by May 11, 2002 0 comments



This speaker system from Altec Lansing is targeted at PC and console gaming, music systems, music devices like keyboards and synthesizers and portable MP3 and CD players. It claims to give ultimate surround sound environment, is Dolby Digital compatible and THX certified for the ultimate in DVD movie sound, gaming and music. 

The ADA890 is a 4.1 speaker system–having two front satellites, two surround satellites and a sub-woofer. The front satellites have a 1” tweeter and a 3” full-range driver each while the surround satellites have a 3” full-range driver each. The sub-woofer is an 8” dual-coil driver. The combined satellite/surround power is 60 W RMS and the sub-woofer is another 60 W RMS, resulting in total system wattage of 120 W RMS. The front satellite cables are 10’ and give sufficient separation when placed on your desktop. They are, however, thick and you might have some trouble running them in place (preferable to use stick-on cable clips at appropriate places). The surround satellites have amazing 16’ long cables, which, when properly placed, will surely give you enough surround as claimed. The sub-woofer cabinet is wooden and the design is such that it pumps all the bass towards the ground and hence gives you non-directional sound. 

The system can take both digital and analog input

ALTEC LANSING ADA890
Price: Rs 18,000
Features: One subwoofer, two front speakers and two surround satellites, total 120W RMS power, Dolby Digital compatible and THX certified 
Pros: Great performance throughout the audible frequency range, long satellite cables
Cons: Slight bass distortion at maximum volume
Contact: Trifin Technologies,
 Delhi.
 Tel: 011-6236061, 6226777, 6486447. 
E-mail:
 trifin@vsnl.com
 
RQS

All satellites need to be placed on a surface like a table, though we would have preferred to have wall-mountable surround satellites. The sub-woofer unit houses the amplifier circuitry and the power supply is also in-built. Apart from an analog input, the system also takes a digital input from any source. A ‘Test’ button near the connector jacks plays beeps through the speakers and allows you to check if all are wired properly. A safety fuse is also provided for power. 

The front right satellite base houses controls for power, mode, bass and treble control, and a volume knob. It also has an LCD display panel, and an infrared with two extra controls for surround level and mute. A convenient headphone jack is provided on the left front satellite speaker’s base.

The system functions in five modes–Stereo, Stereox2, Prologic, Quad and Dolby Digital. Like the Select 641, this system also has a claimed frequency response range of 27 Hz-20 kHz. We tested the system with different types of audio and found the performance to be excellent. Whereas the frequency response in our tests was up to the mark, we noticed a slight distortion with loud bass music at the maximum volume. If there are a lot of bass frequencies in the music you are playing, they tend to mix and tear a little. This was not certainly there with the other system (the Select 641) that we checked out. You may need to adjust the bass a little while playing music to get rid of this slight distortion. This speaker system also has a claimed Signal-to-Noise ratio of more than 70 dB. 

The Bottom Line Considering that the system can take digital as well as analog input, and the super sound quality, the speakers are worth the price.

Ashish Sharma at PCQ Labs

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