ATC PA-65

ATC & other makes of Hi-Fi equipment
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Re: ATC PA-65

Postby studioman » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:02 am

Absolutely, Brad, I couldn't agree more. Cheers, David
They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there. Now somehow I have reached 62...oh shit, it's 63 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: ATC PA-65

Postby studioman » Tue May 31, 2016 8:58 pm

My two Amp Packs have been back to the factory for the power caps to be changed, and a few other adjustments, including replacement of some cermet pots.
Should be picking them up in the next week or so....
They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there. Now somehow I have reached 62...oh shit, it's 63 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: ATC PA-65

Postby MattSPL » Tue May 31, 2016 9:26 pm

studioman wrote:My two Amp Packs have been back to the factory for the power caps to be changed, and a few other adjustments, including replacement of some cermet pots.
Should be picking them up in the next week or so....


Great news, keep us posted :)
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: ATC PA-65

Postby studioman » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:42 pm

I drove down to ATC near Stroud from Nottingham today to collect my repaired Amp Packs.
Nothing much had been wrong with them but I thought that they would need recapping and I was right.
My daughter had taken them down for me a couple of weeks earlier on the way to a meeting in Bristol, and it had been a week before I received a phone call to say they were ready for collection.

It was a lovely day once I got beyond Birmingham, all the way downwards Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds.
I met three of the staff, all of whom were particularly welcoming.

The work had all been done, including new sets of mains caps, some new cermet pots, new bolts, washers and rubber grommets, and a new pair of mains switches.
In discussion with the guys, they agreed to re-set the phasing of the outputs, to suit my SCM150 size cabinets.
It was fascinating to see inside the workshops, well organised, with rows and rows of partly completed units, along with racks of older kit which appeared to be in for repair.

Yes of course I would have loved a guided tour but I decided not to 'presume' to ask, as I was only there to pick up my repaired units.

I am, however, very pleased that I decided to go personally rather than have them couriered back to me, as it really gave me an opportunity to sample the friendly but totally professional atmosphere inside ATC. It was very 'family' and the whole visit ( and particularly the gigantic list on the wall in reception which showed many of the hundreds of famous ATC users ) made me feel part of a rather select and special group.

It was a very worthwhile experience and a good road trip!
Last edited by studioman on Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there. Now somehow I have reached 62...oh shit, it's 63 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: ATC PA-65

Postby MattSPL » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:02 pm

Great to hear you have your amps back and that you got to visit ATC :)

Do you have the amps installed yet?

Cheers
Matt
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: ATC PA-65

Postby studioman » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:17 pm

No, Matt!
Just recovering from the 240 mile trip!
Haven't got around to veneering the damn cabs yet, but I will be doing in the next few weeks! Then......
They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there. Now somehow I have reached 62...oh shit, it's 63 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: ATC PA-65

Postby MattSPL » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:23 pm

studioman wrote:No, Matt!
Just recovering from the 240 mile trip!
Haven't got around to veneering the damn cabs yet, but I will be doing in the next few weeks! Then......


Ok, I look forward to seeing the finished product :)
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: ATC PA-65

Postby studioman » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:06 pm

Veneering just about complete now....
They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there. Now somehow I have reached 62...oh shit, it's 63 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: ATC PA-65

Postby MattSPL » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:50 am

studioman wrote:Veneering just about complete now....


Great :D Have you listened to them yet?
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: ATC PA-65

Postby studioman » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:20 pm

These are my new DIY cabs for theSuperLinear 15" bass units, Superdome 150S, ATC tweeter & Townshend Supertweeter.
Cabs are massively built, braced & damped, with CV Brazilian Rosewood veneer, Audi Dakota Grey Metallic paint on the baffles, and design touches here and there from the EL150 and Anniversary 150 designs. Not yet finished, but getting close!
All built on a shoestring....out in the yard and in the dining room! The castors are temporary to avoid damage to me. :-)

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They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there. Now somehow I have reached 62...oh shit, it's 63 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: ATC PA-65

Postby MattSPL » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:17 am

They look stunning :D
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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Re: ATC PA-65

Postby Lemen » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:27 am

They sure DO look stunning!

@ studioman
That's a lovely bit of veneer and you obviously have excellent woodworking skills - clearly you know which is the spinny end of a router :D
I like your colour choices too. May I ask, have you removed and spray painted the waveguide of the midrange unit? If so, was the waveguide adhered or simply held by the 3 bolts? I ask as I would also like to paint the waveguides of my midrange units.

Keep carrying on; looking forward to see further progress.
ATC SCM50 ASLT Anniversary (gloss white)

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Re: ATC PA-65

Postby studioman » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:14 am

Thank you for the compliments, guys.

Re: the veneer....
This is CV veneer. CV, I think, means Constructed Veneer, otherwise known as Engineered Veneer. Mine is Brazilian Rosewood style. It is real wood, reconstituted, dyed to look like Brazilian rosewood. It is probably made from bamboo. But once stained with Colron Refined Brazilian Rosewood stain, it is very hard to tell that it is anything other than the real thing. It's just common sense that tells an observer that it can't be such a huge cabinet made out of rosewood!
Mine was from Goldcrest of London. http://www.goldcrestoflondon.co.uk/cv-engineered-veneers.html
You just cannot get real veneer in any width suitable for this size of speaker cabinet, so I decided to use this stuff. It has a paper backing to help stop it splitting, but it is 640mm wide and mine came in 2500mm lengths (about 2ft by 8ft). It arrives rolled up in a large box. You buy it by the square metre in the UK. Real Brazilian Rosewood veneer would be almost impossible to get hold of in the UK, probably no more than about 15cm (6") wide, so loads of joins, and is of course CITES protected. It is VERY expensive in small pieces for guitar bridges, etc, and I have some knowledge of it, as I have used it in guitar making myself before now.
Other options are Santos Rosewood and Indian Rosewood. Both similar but different, if you know what I mean.
I just love the look of Brazilians (!) so this CV veneer was a good option for me. Also, because it was in 2.5m lengths, it helped me to continue the grain pattern around the top and sides of the cabs.

Re: the midrange waveguide
I was loathe to do anything that might put my midrange drivers at risk.
However....There was a roughness to the 3 moulding marks on the waveguide. I didn't want to try to get rid of these marks when the waveguide was attached to the dome....
Not only did I want to get rid of the roughness, but also I had also been considering painting them. My speakers were going to be of the Anniversary Tower style, so the grey baffle and grey waveguide was what I really was after.

I had seen on the interent somewhere, someone discussing the removal of the waveguides...I can't remember if it was to recone or to update the waveguides, which originally were apparently different. One guy had said it was ok to remove, another said he didn't succeed in removing them. So no concensus there. I was on my own.

The health warning...I managed all of the following ok, but read on and decide for yourself whether you want to do this at home, kids! You could get hurt (most likely heart failure!)
If you're going to go ahead, set up a clear workbench area (or clear the kitchen worktop/counter and place an old towel on it to work on!) Make sure you're not going to be disturbed, turn all the lights on, put your spectacles on. Then take a deep breath.

Very steadily, I undid the 3 front recessed bolts. You visualise parts flying everywhere like in a Tom and Jerry cartoon....But nothing flew out!
I carefully levered the waveguide upwards just a little by placing the handle of a large screwdriver between the magnet assembly and the edge of the waveguide...it was stuck, but not with any strength...it just seemed to be the 'gooeyness' of the edge of the fabric dome that was holding it in place. You have to keep an eye on the two thin copper wires connecting to the voicecoil...they are held in place in 2 tiny slots, damped with a non-setting mastic. And then it was free.
After labelling both parts and marking which was around it had been removed, I started on the second one.
It was all fine.
Then I started to work on the waveguide, but I moved the remains of the drivers (and the bolts, which had attached themselves to the outside of the magnet) on a tray to another room where it was clean and they were protected from my cats.

I used wet and dry paper to smooth off the moulding marks and give the paint a key. Can't remember the grade but I think it was around 400grit, followed by 600 grit. I did this all over the surface to be painted. I also put the TINIEST radius on the outer front edge of the waveguide, where there were already a couple of teensy chips....I then washed the baffles to get dust out of any crevices.
Then I used the same paint that I was going to use for the baffle. I used 3 thin coats of spray paint.....my chosen colour was Audi Dakota Grey (gray) from Halfords, a UK car spares shop. I let the paint harden for a week before touching it again.
Before reassembly there was one more thing I decided to do....
The waveguide is a great moulding, made of a thermoset plastic, feels like bakelite, but I really don't know what it actually is. It is very thick and heavy duty, but it does have a hollow in the rear, all the way around.
I had already bought a 5lb pack of IDEAL 31-605 DUCT SEAL for use on various parts of my speakers. This is a non-setting, dark grey plasticine type material which does not attack plastics or metal, and is designed for sealing 'ducts' (doh!) in the plumbing trade.
I had bought this to fillet a few edges, to damp the bass driver chassis, and in general to use where I needed to.
SO I filled the cavities on the rear of the waveguide, to stop them being potential resonant cavities in such a critical location. Filled them NEARLY completely, flattening the compound with a steel rule. I had decided not to fill them completely in case I OVERFILLED them. I though that when I reassembled and tightened the 3 front bolts, some compound might be forced onto the edge of the dome, or maybe even prevent me from tightening the bolts fully if there was a thin skin of surplus compound.
I then reassembled the drivers.

I am still in the throes of final building and assembly, so I can't tell you if the use of the damping compound makes a sonic difference, but the waveguides look great now, and I am sure that the damping compound at best will reduce internal resonances, and at worst do nothing.

Re: My 15" ATC SuperLinear Speaker foam surrounds:
One further thing was that ATC quoted me for reconing my 15" drive units.....the foam surround was at the end of its life. The cost was high at £139 plus postage plus VAT each, and would have been worth it BUT even if I bought the kits from ATC and did the job myself, their reconing kits were still expensive. ATC don't just sell the foam surround, but after discussion with them, I decided to see if I could buy the foam surrounds elsewhere.
There are many foam surrounds available on eBay and I tried two samples but had to send them back...they seemed ok in the adverts, but when they arrived they just weren't the right size.
So I looked further afield and found a pro company in the USA http://www.simplyspeakers.com/speaker-foam-edge-repair-kit-fsk-15a.html who sell a foam surround kit with EXACTLY the right dimensions (inner, outer, roll size, etc.)
It's their 15" Speaker Angled Foam Repair New-Edge-It ® Kit, Part # FSK-15A. I bought them, with the adhesive, and when they arrived, they fitted and worked PERFECTLY, so I now have 2 newly renovated 15" drive units. The ATC technician I talked to about this commented that it should be FINE just to replace the surround with this kit, whereas the ATC kit is a complete recone kit.
While I had the old foam surrounds off, I also cleaned the metal rim of the speaker 'basket' thoroughly, masked them and repainted just the visible edges in the same Audi Dakota Grey Metallic spray. They look sharp now. :-)
They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there. Now somehow I have reached 62...oh shit, it's 63 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: ATC PA-65

Postby studioman » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:25 pm

Today I completed the final staining and lacquer on the first cabinet, fitted the stainless steel 'waistband' and a 240v neon power indicator (in the middle of the stainless steel band) which I will be connecting to the power switch on the amp pack. It's one thing I've always thought was missing on most ATC actives.
I'm using ABBEY ROAD REFERENCE speaker cable for the internal speaker wiring, apart from the Townshend supertweeter which has its own Townshend cable.
Still got the waxing and polishing to start....

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Last edited by studioman on Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't really there. Now somehow I have reached 62...oh shit, it's 63 now, ...How and when did THAT happen?....there's a lesson there somewhere if only I could figure it out...

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Posts: 6434
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:46 pm
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Re: ATC PA-65

Postby MattSPL » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:18 pm

Looking good, nearly there :)
Sony BDP-S790 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's with SB Acoustics drivers > DIY Dayton Audio UM18-22 Sub

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