Active ATCs and ARC Pre-Amps

ATC & other makes of Hi-Fi equipment
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Re: Active ATCs and ARC Pre-Amps

Postby darrenyeats » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:54 am

The best preamp is no preamp, but there are caveats. My DAC has a reasonably low output level (2V RMS) and reasonably low output impedance (60 ohms) via XLR, and this is a difficult combination actually to find. Other options I know of that tick both those boxes are dCS and Weiss. Otherwise you might find yourself using very low volume settings day to day, or that the DAC sounds a bit stunted - and a preamp might then bring something to the party. Also I find some DACs (mine included) lack guts at full output and have more ease, liquidity, bass articulation below full output (below full output is what you get naturally with digital volume control).

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Re: Active ATCs and ARC Pre-Amps

Postby Dogill » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:20 pm

darrenyeats wrote:The best preamp is no preamp, but there are caveats. My DAC has a reasonably low output level (2V RMS) and reasonably low output impedance (60 ohms) via XLR, and this is a difficult combination actually to find. Other options I know of that tick both those boxes are dCS and Weiss. Otherwise you might find yourself using very low volume settings day to day, or that the DAC sounds a bit stunted - and a preamp might then bring something to the party. Also I find some DACs (mine included) lack guts at full output and have more ease, liquidity, bass articulation below full output (below full output is what you get naturally with digital volume control).


I totally agree. I'm using my new Weiss Dac502 at the -20dB setting for analogue output and it's stunning.
Haven't tried the vinyl emulation yet ! :)
Weiss DAC 502, ATC100SE

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Re: Active ATCs and ARC Pre-Amps

Postby MevDinc » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:14 pm

I'm also in the camp of best preamp is no preamp provided of course the DAC has a very good volume control.
So far I've been lucky, my previous Zodiac Gold and now Lindemann Musicbook both have very good analog volume controls.

But, I can't wait to try out the overly anticipated Leedh Processing, which supposed to give perfect digital volume via DACs or software players such as Audirvana +.
Audirvana+3.0 - Mac Mini, Lindermann Musicbook 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL (with the ATC tweeter!)

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Re: Active ATCs and ARC Pre-Amps

Postby xtraktz » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:30 pm

SCA2 one of the best! You need try it first for further comparisons ;)
> dCS Bartok > ATC SCA2 > ATC SCM 50 ASLT

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Re: Active ATCs and ARC Pre-Amps

Postby GAT474 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:27 am

I was using a Benchmark DAC/PRE2 as both a dac and a pre with my active 40's for a while. Very capable and worked best on the 60 ohm output setting via balanced. I've now gone to a solid state pre amp with one ohm output and it's improved things dramatically. I run the active 40's full range and also have dual JL Fathom F113 running from about 50 hz up at 24 db.

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Re: Active ATCs and ARC Pre-Amps

Postby darrenyeats » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:05 pm

GAT474, interesting, what preamp is that?

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Re: Active ATCs and ARC Pre-Amps

Postby GAT474 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:56 pm

I have to correct my previous post, the pre amp is two ohm output, not one. It's an Australian pre, not made any more but has quite a cult following here as do the power amps. I've tried the amps including a 55 kg monster on my passive 40s and as good as it was it wasn't as good as the my active 40's. The pre amp brand is ME which is short for Modular Electronics the model is the 24 so it's an ME24, remote control but no phono. It can be used to run headphones from the RCA output with converter plugs. Works pretty well running HD600's. Company went belly up quite a few years ago but back up support for the brand is still good.

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Re: Active ATCs and ARC Pre-Amps

Postby Votan » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:03 pm

Hi Stidge,
I as well have try my active 50 and 100 with valve pre ARC REF 2 MK II, ARC REF 3, ARC REF 5, CARY 05, BAT 51 SE and solid states ATC SCA 2 and finaly Sim Audio Moon 740 P.
All the valve ones seemed to be exceptional until I tried solid states! Why? Because of valves very high output impedance making mismatch with the very low impedance of active amps of ATCs causing a significant roll of in low and high end of the spectrum.
This was evident when I listen to solid states where then I realised what I was missing with valves! I found Moon 740P much superior compared to SCA 2, having an exceptional sound combining the attributes of both worlds (valve's and solid states)
VPI Prime Signature TT/10”3DR arm in Finite Element platform, VPI ADS PSU, Lyra Delos Cart, WireWorld Silver Eclipse 8 Phono Cable, Groove+ SRX Mk II Phono Stage, Moon 740 Pre, Moon 650 DAC, Moon 820 PSU, ATC SCM100 TSL Active (Seas) + ATC SCM40 passive, AQ Niagara IC, WireWorld Silver Electra 7 A/C, Finite Element Ref Rack, RPG Room Treatment.

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