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ADS L980

3-Way Loudspeaker System (1983-86)

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ADS L980


Type: 3 way, 3 driver loudspeaker system

Frequency Response: 37Hz to 27kHz

Power Handling: 300W

Recommended Amplifier: 15 to 300W

Crossover Frequency: 550, 5000Hz

Impedance: 8Ω

Sensitivity: 90dB

Bass: 1 x 12" cone

Midrange: 1 x 50mm soft dome

Tweeter: 1 x 19mm soft dome

Grille: perforated steel

Finish: walnut veneer, matte black PVC

Dimensions: 680 X 382 X 335mm

Weight: 29kg

Year: 1983


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Reviewed Sep 25th, 2017 by amb3cog

I had the pleasure of hearing these at an AudioKarma event. I was walking by them as I was doing an initial walk through. Just seeing what was there. And I got a few feet past them. And as if they had their own gravity, or I was grabbed by the collar. They pulled me back, and demanded to be heard. I have no point of reference to other ADS speakers. But I own a set of Canton Quinto 540's which have the same basic setup. Only in a smaller cabinet. The Cantons while not quite spectacular. Are about one notch off. They are my best speakers, and I own 6 pairs. 4 of which are also classic vintage models that are well respected, and sound great themselves. The last being a modern Bose pair I had to take in a trade to get what I wanted, and are VERY fatiguing. I bought the Cantons, because they were the closest to these I could afford. While I have possession of them. The ADS L980's OWN them! And own them bad too!

They image better (they were on the factory stands BTW). Have better bass. Are clearer. Are better off axis. Look better, and seem too be built better too. They basically do everything better. And believe me. The Cantons are GREAT speakers. I'm rocking out to The Scorpions right now, and I've never heard this band sound better on any other equipment. With the possible exception of hearing them live (Monsters of Rock Tour 87' Foxboro Stadium) when I was a teenager. These speakers play most music very well. And rock/metal is no exception. Dome mids, and tweets are great.

One of the great things about the dome mids, and tweeters is that they have a great dispersion pattern. However one of the worst things about dome mids, and tweeters is that they have a very wide dispersion pattern. So great in a big room with room treatments, but not so much in tight areas with a lot of reflective surfaces. Which is why I was so shocked to hear how great the ADS's sound. They were in a basement with a low ceiling, and basically nothing but reflective surfaces! And amazingly you can hear the very wide bandwidth in very wide area. I didn't have to have my head on a vise to hear the high end at all. Which is great, because you'll want to walk around, and admire them. These are very classy speakers. And thankfully the pair I heard were in nearly perfect shape as best as I could see. Just gorgeous!

I'm sorry I don't have more details about their sound, but I didn't get to hear them for very long, unfortunately. I will say that they are on my list of speakers I want to get asap. And one of the few that I would be willing to buy in bad shape, and restore. Mainly due to their rarity. Amazingly the prices are not too crazy for these, if you can find a pair that is. Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended!!!

Reviewed May 27th, 2017 by mjb1959

The L980 speaker by ADS is perhaps one of their crowning achievements, it is a large bookshelf speaker at over 60 lbs. Stated to be The most accurate transducer possible was the companies premise for this speaker. And it is pretty much what they say it is.
The speaker has a 3 way configuration of a 12 stifflite woofer, .075 inch tweeter, 2 midrange, both ferrofluid designs, and were mirror imaged. The speakers came with either walnut or black matte finishes, and a precision fitted metal mesh grill.
When given the most demanding recordings, is where this speaker shines the most, it is in fact a very detailed, full sounding speaker that is best suited on the floor with it's matching stands.
My rating is a 9/10, simply because this is an older speaker, that has been passed by with some modern technologies, however, that said, it is a bargain audiophile grade speaker that is absolutely fun to listen to for hours on end with not fatigue whatsoever.



This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by ADS. To purchase L980 spares or accessories, please contact the company via their website or visit an authorised retailer.