Alta Audio brand speakers have been on my radar for the longest time, for several reasons.

Alta Audio Adam Speakers

Their sinuously curved shape, the use of a ribbon tweeter, and their design location near to me on Long Island in New York. Responsibility for Alta Audio falls on the shoulders of Michael Levy, the engineer, and designer.


Alta Audio Adam Speakers

  • Tight yet extended bass response.
  • Incredible clarity and detail.
  • Beautiful fit and finish, particularly in Rosewood.

Alta Audio Adam Speakers Top Front


Attending audio shows is exceedingly rare these days for me, there is always the Covid excuse but attending them has become difficult when your business, and how I make my living, have my priorities. But I do tend to follow the shows, the manufacturers, and what they are bringing new to the market. The Secret’s team does an excellent job covering the shows and Alta Audio caught my eye with their new Adam, a floor-standing speaker.

Announced for AXPONA in Chicago during the last show, I was happy to see Alta was debuting their new floor-standing speaker, the Adam. I requested and was granted a pair of them to review. A few weeks later they arrived.

Alta Audio had already received rave reviews on their stand-mounted Alyssa which is derived from the same architecture, and their other floor-standing Alec model reviewed in these pages at Secrets. Co-Editor Chris Eberle has reviewed their stand-mounted earlier version, the Alyssa, and raved about them. But he is not alone, I have read many similar positive reviews.


3-Way Bass Reflex loudspeaker with Transmission Line design.

High-Frequency Transducer:

Single 5.75” Ribbon Tweeter

Mid-Frequency Transducer:

Single 6” Midrange Driver.

Low-Frequency Transducer:

Single 8.75” Woofer.


91.5 dB / 2.83 Volts @ 1 Meter.

Frequency Response (Manufacturer):

20 Hz to 47 kHz


4 Ohms

Power Requirements:

50 to 300 Watts per channel


Piano Black, Beech, or Rosewood finish.

Dimensions (H x W x D):

41” x 15” x 18”


96 lbs. (each)


$17,000 (piano black), $18,000 (other finishes)




alta, transmission line, loudspeaker, audiophile, reviews, reviews 2022, speakers review, speakers review 2022


Alta Audio Adam Speakers Front view

Like the entire Statement Series, the first visual impression is the main design form of the Adam, a curved shape with a sloped top that cascades down each side and flares at the floor giving it a substantial footprint. The Adam is hardly modestly sized, at 41” tall with a flared base at 15” x 18”, and weighing 96 pounds. For Alta Audio fans, the Adam would appear to be the Alec with an additional driver. The units I received were in glossy beech wood but are available in piano black and rosewood, which may set you back another grand, but is my preferred aesthetic taste.

Alta Audio Adam Speakers posts with port vent

The Adam is a 3-way design, with a 5.75” 3rd generation neodymium magnet ribbon tweeter, a 6” midrange driver, and an 8.75” woofer. All drivers are made custom to Alta Audio specifications with the midrange boasting an aluminum pole said to increase dispersion.

Alta Audio Adam Speakers vent mid driver

Alta Audio couples the custom-designed woofer with a proprietary geometric design in the speaker cabinet to deliver at the very least, lower frequency response, named XTL or Extended Line Transmission. It reminds me of the ATL Technology developed by Peter Thomas for PMC speakers. The main concern is with cabinet resonance distortion and although the PMC is heavily stuffed, Alta is much more reserved with its stuffing, so reserved in fact that there is none! In addition, the Adam design looks for a controlled, deeper bass response. Michael Levy’s transmission line leads to a port, making it a “tuned port” speaker.


Michael warned me of the potential that the bass response of the Adam could be overwhelming for a smaller space, it did not, thankfully. My primary 2-channel listening space is in our basement meaning like most American homes, is limited in ceiling height. The room is barely 7.5ft in height but expansive at 15ft X 28ft.

The other concern is the Alta Audio Adam has a rated sensitivity listed at 91.5 dB and an impedance rating down to 4 ohms. I chose to drive the speakers with my Parasound Halo JC 5 amplifier. Plenty of power at 600 watts into 4 ohms. At the helm is the Parasound P6 preamplifier. Digital sources from an NAD C658 Streamer and analog from a Marantz 15 S1 turntable through a Parasound JC3 phono preamp.

If you care about toe-in and spacing, I positioned the Adams about 8 ft apart and slightly toed in. I do find the ribbon tweeter benefits from an aligned position with my ears. I did not quite toe them in for a direct alignment, but they fired to just outside my ears sitting about 10 ft back. This gave me a proper balance between soundstage and focus. I kept them as far off the rear and side as possible with the concern for boominess in my space. With all the concern for ample or clean bass, taming your room is critical.

I was told the Adams in my possession were used in various situations, shows, and showrooms, so I was not too concerned about break-in.

In Use

Alta Audio Adam Speakers Top view

I believe every music lover listening to speakers desires different things. Some want a big wall of sound, some want the speakers to disappear, and others want excellent tone, and so on. All equally important of course but there is always something that makes you sit on the edge of your seat, that one tangible ingredient. I listen for clarity. If it makes you sit on the edge of your seat with definition and clarity, the speaker for me has done its job well. The Adam has a high sensitivity meaning it will both play louder but also offer more detail.

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That means a lot to me – playing slightly louder allows the speaker to breathe and the drivers to open without causing both stress in my ears and the music. Playing louder will give you nuances and micro sounds that you cannot hear during modest or low volumes.

Starting on my SACD shelf, Wes Montgomery’s jazz guitar recorded in 1960 sounds remarkably fresh. Along with some great piano, standup bass, and drums, the Alta Audio Adams breathe life into this old recording from my same birth year, 1960. Montgomery defines jazz from the era with smoothness and warmth that would elevate any dinner party, or more seriously any nightclub from Chicago to New York. The Adam renders several tracks highlighted by the deeper, richer guitar chords while keeping the sense of delicacy in his playing.

More contemporary and a little less known, the jazz vocalist Rene Marie’s voice appeals to me. Her Live at Jazz Standards has been in my steady rotation of review material. Recorded in 2002, I have never marveled at the piano as much as I have through the Alta Audio Adams. I should say, all the instruments “feel more real,” alive. Honest. But it is her voice that I enjoy most. Her traditional scat is highlighted on the acapella Bolero/Suzanne track. Turning it up and listening to her whisper and breath up and down through the composition is a real treat. The Adams capture not only her strength but her delicacy as she scats Bolero through the first two minutes or so before she sings.

This is an epic rendition for my taste. I grinned through the entire 10 minutes of the track. The Adam disappeared leaving your ears with the music, clear and majestic. The background piano and light drum work are beautifully paced.

Alta Audio Adam Speakers Bass Driver

I noticed that despite hearing significant bass the bass drivers hardly move, which perplexed me. For moving so much air, you would expect there to be more excursion however as I mentioned, the bass is a powerful tool feature to the Adam. I will suppose that this is due to the XTL design.

I have always admired David Bowie as a vocalist more than his music. Grabbing a new copy of Changes on 180g vinyl, I am struck but how much more I am enjoying the music as well, the structure, the background vocals, and the excellent engineering of this album. Give credit to the Alta Audio Adams. Instrumental separation highlights but depth of the percussions as much as the guitars, saying nothing yet of Bowie’s voice. I will skip to the last track, Golden Years. The song has an R&B vibe to it. But the vocal harmonies and the sharp guitar chords along with the twangy bass guitar. The whistling hovers and snakes in and around each speaker before hanging there for a bit before disappearing.

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Switching gears I pulled out an SACD from Living Stereo featuring Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony playing Also sprang Zarathustra by Richard Strauss. The epic introduction Sunrise is joyous, the Adam clearly thunders through the opening yet the high strings and accompanying horns capture the essence of the depth the Adam achieves. The Adam renders the delicate track, Dance Song, and Night Song wonderfully given the beautiful plucky melody highlighting the high strings. It first feels like a waltz, but it is a deeper sense of contemplation by the composer. The Adams do a superb job of taking us for a ride. Considering the age of this recording, it remarkably resonates today with its quality production.

Alta Audio Adam Speakers Frontal View

As a super amateur guitarist, I love the way I hear strings glisten from the high “E” to the low “E” strings. Much like the piano, I find the guitar sounds both crisp and clear yet warm. The Alta Audio Adam rendered guitar music with a rich, textural sound. I return to the affable sound of Bruce Cockburn and his Speechless album. A 100% instrumental recording, his fingerplay is so cleanly heard and resolved, it is simply magical. The ribbon tweeter and the midrange driver are clearly the stars here.


Alta Audio Adam Speakers at a glance

For my space, the ALTA AUDIO ADAM exudes a warm tone, well-balanced bass, and crisp-edged highs. They are quite outstanding.

  • The rich, warm, yet clear sonic signature
  • Extended, tight bass
  • Beautiful finish
Would Like To See
  • Nothing of note

There comes a time in every reviewer’s mind – do I like this enough to make it permanent in my system? The bass response, the level of detail, and resolution through the midrange in the Adams to me say yes. They just “match” my system very well and I would be happy to have them permanently.