Headphones that sound like ATC?

ATC & other makes of Hi-Fi equipment
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Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby Allan » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:00 am

Currently using a Chord Mojo into Grado SR80e headphones and I'm thinking of upgrading the headphones. having lived with ATC SCM19A's in my main system for a while now, and being hugely pleased with them, to say the least, headphone listening feels distinctly second best.

Just out of interest, which headphone brand does the forum consider to have an equivalence to ATC loudspeakers?

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby darrenyeats » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:51 pm

I use electrostatic headphones (Muamp Spyder) with Stax energiser (SRM-353X).

I made some comments here in comparison to my active 50s: https://pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads ... st-3293629.

The Muamps are in for repair at the moment though. I very much like Stax 009 headphones with the Stax valve energisers, and I liked the 007 headphones with Stax 353X solid-state energiser (the energiser I own) in a brief demo.

I believe electrostatics are the best headphone technology (and electrostatics are much better suited to headphone application than speaker application for a couple of reasons).

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby studioman » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:37 pm

I use Beyer Dynamic T1, Grado R1, and AKG 701 or 702 headphones. Love them all.
They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there. Now somehow I have reached 63...oh shit, it's 64 now....How and when did THAT happen?....there's a lesson there somewhere if only I could figure it out...

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby Allan » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:26 am

Well, I had intended to give this some thought, do a bit of research, go listen to a few brands and generally try to make a considered decision, and then after all that probably do the obvious thing and buy another pair of Grado's. However, I've crumbled at the first hurdle and impulse bought a pair of Beyerdynamic T90's (the model down from your T1's I believe Studioman) that popped up at a steal of a price.

I did do a brief trawl of the net before committing in order to get a flavour of what they're like. Clean, clear, precise, detailed and analytical even, yet smooth and refined and less "in your head" than most headphones seems to be the consensus. Will have to see when they arrive if they can pull off that trick of engaging and absorbing the listener in the music without drawing attention to themselves.

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby studioman » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:40 pm

Allan wrote:Well, I had intended to give this some thought, do a bit of research, go listen to a few brands and generally try to make a considered decision, and then after all that probably do the obvious thing and buy another pair of Grado's. However, I've crumbled at the first hurdle and impulse bought a pair of Beyerdynamic T90's (the model down from your T1's I believe Studioman) that popped up at a steal of a price.

I did do a brief trawl of the net before committing in order to get a flavour of what they're like. Clean, clear, precise, detailed and analytical even, yet smooth and refined and less "in your head" than most headphones seems to be the consensus. Will have to see when they arrive if they can pull off that trick of engaging and absorbing the listener in the music without drawing attention to themselves.


I'm sure they will be a great choice!
They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there. Now somehow I have reached 63...oh shit, it's 64 now....How and when did THAT happen?....there's a lesson there somewhere if only I could figure it out...

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby Allan » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:49 pm

Just to update this thread, I've been on a bit of a journey!

The Beyerdynamics came and went. They were a bit too bright and insubstantial sounding and therefore not natural or realistic enough to simply get out of the way. I've now got a pair of 2018 manufactured Senneheiser HD 600's. Classic headphones that have been in production for 20-odd years with the occasional running change here and there. These are much closer to what I perceive my ATC's to be. They're not designed to sound pleasant, or fast, or rhythmic or tuneful, they're just transparent to the music. For me, it's rather like hearing ATC's for the first time, you know it when you hear it.

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby MevDinc » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:56 pm

+1
When I moved to Barcelona over 3 years ago I ended up buying a pair of Sennheiser Momentum 2 as I also found them to be very transparent.
Audirvana+3.0 - Mac Mini, Lindermann Musicbook 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL (with the ATC tweeter!)

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby darrenyeats » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:54 am

I heard the Momentums (v1) which I thought were well balanced, and an excellent choice at the price.

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby yamada » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:49 pm

I'm the opposite here; looking for a pair of speakers as good as HD800s :)
No speakers I've heard can do the clarity and overall balance between all the frequencies as 800s model.
I own SCM19 & SIA2 with Benchmark DAC and think HD600 and HD650 ( I own them and 800s) are the closest ATC equivalent.
I wanted to upgrade to bigger ATC's ( 50 or 100s) but clarity is no better and stereo image is actually worse so I'll continiue to look for better clarity loudspeakers but with similar to ATC house sound.
Don't want to hijak the thread but anybody's aware of such a speakers?

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby darrenyeats » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:21 pm

Active ATCs?

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby yamada » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:48 pm

ATC actives 50 or 100s, that was the plan to upgrade to one or the other but after many auditions I'm not convinced.

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby saureign » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:41 am

I have a somehow different experience with SCM Hi-Fi vs. classic series.
I've started with scm11, then looking for a more prominent bottom end, I moved to scm19. I gained more clarity and resolution in the lower frequencies. Then, the 'upgraditis' desease made me try scm20, but after 200 hours, still did not like them. Then I became desperate. Luckily for me, scm10SE just arrived at the dealer, and shortly after, to my place. Better in every aspect than scm20SL, except the impact on the bottom end. But that was the time when I became very interested in active speakers, so after a while I moved to scm40A, which I consider now a satisfactory end game for the greater part of music lovers. But audiophiliacs have other opinion, me included. And here I am, with scm50ASL in the house.
Now: regarding hi-fi series, there are speakers there for almost every regular room, for the most common listening areas, for most people. Very satisfactory listening across the series, quite forgiving with not-so-good recordings, moving up only for more presence at the low spectrum. Musicality - that is the word for hi-fi series.
Regarding Classic: I only know 10SE, 20SL and now 50ASL. More detailed, more truthful, more air, more everything. SCM50ASL sounded better than 40A even from the first minute I set them up. True to the source, low distorsion, big sound, lots of detail - no comparison with hi-fi series, practically another league.
Exposure 3010s / QED Signature 40 / ATC CA2 mk2 / Van den Hul [The Dwarf, Mainsstream, Mainsserver & The Mountain] / ATC SCM50ASL
past: CDA2 mk2 / CDA2 / P1 / P2 / scm11 / scm19 / scm20 / scm10se / scm40A

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby darrenyeats » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:41 pm

I've heard actives 50s sound (a) truly awful and (b) truly sensational - and sometimes in between. Mine are sounding pretty good overall but my room is a limitation. They do absolutely NOTHING to compensate for poor set up, room acoustics or upstream equipment (strangely when those are addressed, I don't find them to have a problem with many recordings, old and new recordings are fine in their own way!)

So though active ATCs have the capacity for greatness, they will make you work to improve others parts of the situation (and that's good) ... IME.

My main room mode was measured at 35Hz, which is difficult to deal with. Couple of weeks ago I took delivery of a pair of custom-tuned custom-size membrane bass traps (GIK Scopus "T35", scaled up based on their T40) to join forces with the tuned HH resonators I already had. This has improved things in the bass department - my point is the 50s aren't close to being a limiting factor.

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby yamada » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:23 pm

I think position of my speakers isn't bad: 2,5 meters apart and I'm sitting 2,5 meters away. I have about 2 meters behind my listening position, speakers slightly toed in, regular furnishing. Bass isnt boomy.
This is my - at least - 10th configuration in this room and no matter what, no matter what music material I can't get the clarity I'm after. Do you guys think speaker positioning can have massive effect on midrange clarity? I can hear the same (very similar) mids on SCM50A & 100A. I have never tried them in my room but many times in various locations ( dealers, shows, people homes).

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Re: Headphones that sound like ATC?

Postby darrenyeats » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:01 pm

How much space to the side walls? ATC recommend a one metre distance and it's good advice IME. Any less than that and treatments at first reflection points should be used to mitigate (I do this).

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