ATC reviews!

ATC & other makes of Hi-Fi equipment
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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby darrenyeats » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:52 pm

dimis wrote:BTW, it is the step response that is a triangle in good designs. On the contrary, the perfect impulse response is a positive spike. For more details, as well as some conventional speaker designs with a very good step response, see: http://www.stereophile.com/content/meas ... two-page-3

Step response is discussed here http://www.linkwitzlab.com/frontiers.htm#F One of the things Siegfried explains is that it's very easy to misunderstand step response graphs (the review he singles out is from the very magazine you mention). BTW this is written by Mr Linkwitz as in Linkwitz-Riley filter ...

Also he explains a three way speaker step response can't look like the one you posted, without DSP. That fits with the Grimm LS1's design concept.

ATC offer a pretty unusual combination a technical engineering focus (e.g. focus on driver design, active amplification, phase correction) and traditional purism (e.g. simple analogue crossovers, conventional drivers, class A/B amps).

Not everyone is enamoured with DSP. Here you're amongst a demographic, ATC owners, that isn't the first to whom I'd sell DSP. For a start, a bunch of them own analogue front ends and you'd have a job getting them to plug them into an ADC or digital amps. Well, I'm an ATC owner and personally I'm sceptical of DSP outside of producing an undistorted stereo signal from a DAC! I was very underwhelmed when I heard the latest DSP wunderkid, the Devialet Phantom. OTOH, the Focal SM-9 actives (analogue crossovers, A/B amps etc) I liked a lot.

I've not heard the Grimm LS1, though, so I live in hope.
Darren
Last edited by darrenyeats on Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:46 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby dimis » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:29 am

A good step response is possible even with 3-way passive designs:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/dunl ... nts-part-3

Surely, adding delay with dsp gives more flexibility to speaker designers. Nevertheless, properly designing dsp-based speakers is not trivial, you may want to have a look at the LS1 white paper for some of the associated challenges:

http://www.grimmaudio.com/site/assets/f ... eakers.pdf

I strongly suggest to anyone a careful audition of the LS1s, the speakers are truly SOTA. Of course Atcs are great, too. My point is that there is room for improvement by combining Atc's core strengths (e.g., driver design) with advances in dsp technology.
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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby Shadorne » Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:24 pm

I agree about DSP. I have used it in the ultra LF bass in the past and for the 7.1 system. It can do wonders when the room or setup is less than ideal and I would not hesitate to use it when the benefits are audibly better. However ATC philosophy is still the best - no DSP and a well acoustically treated good sized room with good speaker and listener placement is always best.

Since getting the EL 150's and moving to a new space - I no longer need DSP. Both myself and friends prefer the sound without it in the new space. This is luck more than anything else but the speakers may also help as they can be placed quite close to the back wall due to the oval cabinets. The new room is narrow (about 5 meters wide) and extremely long (about 15 meters) with an open plan kitchen and staircase in the middle. I did not expect this space to work but it for some reason it does...
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby dimis » Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:15 pm

This is great news Shadorne, you and your system deserve a good sounding room!

Contrary, I have not been lucky acoustics-wise. Neither the acoustician nor myself managed to tame my small, rectangular room (4.7m x 4.8m). In our effort to tame the bass, we made the room too dead sounding while the treatment consumed a lot of the real estate. So, I had to remove some of it and use dirac live to compensate, which is not bad but by no means as good as a good sounding room, especially in the low end.
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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby Alexk » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:11 pm

dimis wrote:This is great news Shadorne, you and your system deserve a good sounding room!

Contrary, I have not been lucky acoustics-wise. Neither the acoustician nor myself managed to tame my small, rectangular room (4.7m x 4.8m). In our effort to tame the bass, we made the room too dead sounding while the treatment consumed a lot of the real estate. So, I had to remove some of it and use dirac live to compensate, which is not bad but by no means as good as a good sounding room, especially in the low end.


This is where DSP can be a real lifesaver! As you say, it's better with the DSP, but the best solution is to just aim for a good sounding room through speaker placement and room treatment/layout...

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby Shadorne » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:19 pm

My home is wood. This is also a big plus. Concrete or brick structures will trap the ultra LF while wood walls and floor and ceiling allow leakage and therefore better RT60 decay.

I play drums in the basement which is concrete and ideal for preventing angry neighbors hearing what are astronomic sound levels but the sound is so bad that from my corner where I sit behind the kit that I can get really overwhelmed when my guitarist cranks his amp!!


So soundproof rooms have some (dis)advantages and leaky rooms have different (dis)advantages...
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby linger63 » Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:02 am

Guys,


Apart from certain room dimensions which should be avoided I think the key to a decent sounding room also lies in the "opposing surfaces" rule.

I have a brick feature wall behind my SCM 70's and heavy drapes at the other end.

The room is also carpeted with soft furnishings but has a bare plastered ceiling with a few downlights only. (removed a large light fixture)

I don't think it matters too much what substance is where as.........provided they are "opposing".........it SHOULD better balance out the frequency response improving overall SQ.

I went to a showroom a while back and they had heavy drapes BEHIND the speakers and a brick wall at the OTHER end........still sounded good.

A friend of mine has a large room with cathedral ceiling but (despite my advice)..........NO drapes and NO carpet......just plaster everywhere and a (lovely to look at) wooden floor with a tiny rug and minimal furnishings.

To me the sound is hard edged, bright and fatiguing but he must feel differently I guess (it's HIS choice anyway)

With regards to using EQ/DSP in a stereo setting........ I consider it as icing on a cake.......

If you can mix the right ingredients and make the cake yummy enough it shouldn't need any..........otherwise...........why not!!!


Cheers

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby darrenyeats » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:44 am

dimis wrote:This is great news Shadorne, you and your system deserve a good sounding room!

Contrary, I have not been lucky acoustics-wise. Neither the acoustician nor myself managed to tame my small, rectangular room (4.7m x 4.8m). In our effort to tame the bass, we made the room too dead sounding while the treatment consumed a lot of the real estate. So, I had to remove some of it and use dirac live to compensate, which is not bad but by no means as good as a good sounding room, especially in the low end.

A square room like that is tough. At least it's wide enough to place the speakers away from the side walls, if you can manage 1m then great.

In terms of bass, where is the door to the room? If bang in the middle of the wall I'd seek to place the speakers either side of the door. If the door's in a corner, I'd seek to have the door wall behind the listener. For either location, try opening the door, this will reduce the intensity of the room mode front to back. Resonances caused by modes are the worst problem. The side to side mode would cause resonances for listeners near the side walls but remember most listening positions are central-ish in the side to side dimension.

Furthermore, in the stated locations, opening the door should not add big problems with frequencies above the bass - it's worth a try - though that would depend on what's outside the door.

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby dimis » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:11 pm

darrenyeats wrote:
dimis wrote:This is great news Shadorne, you and your system deserve a good sounding room!

Contrary, I have not been lucky acoustics-wise. Neither the acoustician nor myself managed to tame my small, rectangular room (4.7m x 4.8m). In our effort to tame the bass, we made the room too dead sounding while the treatment consumed a lot of the real estate. So, I had to remove some of it and use dirac live to compensate, which is not bad but by no means as good as a good sounding room, especially in the low end.

A square room like that is tough. At least it's wide enough to place the speakers away from the side walls, if you can manage 1m then great.

In terms of bass, where is the door to the room? If bang in the middle of the wall I'd seek to place the speakers either side of the door. If the door's in a corner, I'd seek to have the door wall behind the listener. For either location, try opening the door, this will reduce the intensity of the room mode front to back. Resonances caused by modes are the worst problem. The side to side mode would cause resonances for listeners near the side walls but remember most listening positions are central-ish in the side to side dimension.

Furthermore, in the stated locations, opening the door should not add big problems with frequencies above the bass - it's worth a try - though that would depend on what's outside the door.


Thanks for the advice! The door is in a corner; opening it does indeed improve reverberation time in the bass region. (I need to update my system thread with pics and measurements.) But having listened to ATCs in a mastering studio (soffit mounted), I can not be satisfied with the acoustics of my room.
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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby Shadorne » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:24 pm

dimis wrote:A good step response is possible even with 3-way passive designs:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/dunl ... nts-part-3

Surely, adding delay with dsp gives more flexibility to speaker designers. Nevertheless, properly designing dsp-based speakers is not trivial, you may want to have a look at the LS1 white paper for some of the associated challenges:

http://www.grimmaudio.com/site/assets/f ... eakers.pdf

I strongly suggest to anyone a careful audition of the LS1s, the speakers are truly SOTA. Of course Atcs are great, too. My point is that there is room for improvement by combining Atc's core strengths (e.g., driver design) with advances in dsp technology.


I don't think a good step response is that critical and neither is time alignment. I believe the decay (waterfall or speaker Q or room RT60) however is critical to sound quality. Our ears/brain do not really hear details or shapes of impulses or deltas - what we hear are frequencies and/or patterns in sounds (timbre) over extended periods of time (lasting from about 0.1 to 15 mesc) ATC understand this more than other companies (although Dr. Floyd Toole at Harman gets it) - therefore effort is on good even dispersion (because half what we hear is reflected sound) and well damped bass with drivers that are well damped inherently (doped fabrics or pulp and paper) are the way to go. Those who concentrate on impulse or pistonic actiing drivers end up using rigid drivers that tend to add awful colorations in timbre as they tend to have internal resonances (due to internal rigidity - like a bell). Of course a soft damped cone has other issues like breakup when you get to larger diameters - but ATC solve this by using a small but very powerful 3 inch midrange with slight horn loading or wave guide. The unusually large 3 inch voice coil couples to the soft dome very well - probably allowing an even softer and better damped cone than other alternatives - hence the incredible midrange detail!!! Of course a large diameter coil is harder to keep aligned but ATC solved that with the double spider. The beauty of the ATC mid range has yet to be beaten - after 30 years nobody has come up with a better mousetrap!!!
Last edited by Shadorne on Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby Shadorne » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:28 pm

linger63 wrote:Guys,


Apart from certain room dimensions which should be avoided I think the key to a decent sounding room also lies in the "opposing surfaces" rule.

I have a brick feature wall behind my SCM 70's and heavy drapes at the other end.

The room is also carpeted with soft furnishings but has a bare plastered ceiling with a few downlights only. (removed a large light fixture)

I don't think it matters too much what substance is where as.........provided they are "opposing".........it SHOULD better balance out the frequency response improving overall SQ.

I went to a showroom a while back and they had heavy drapes BEHIND the speakers and a brick wall at the OTHER end........still sounded good.

A friend of mine has a large room with cathedral ceiling but (despite my advice)..........NO drapes and NO carpet......just plaster everywhere and a (lovely to look at) wooden floor with a tiny rug and minimal furnishings.

To me the sound is hard edged, bright and fatiguing but he must feel differently I guess (it's HIS choice anyway)

With regards to using EQ/DSP in a stereo setting........ I consider it as icing on a cake.......

If you can mix the right ingredients and make the cake yummy enough it shouldn't need any..........otherwise...........why not!!!


Cheers


Absolutely agree 100%. I think a live front end (where speakers are placed) and a dead back end (behind the listener) can be extremely effective. Symmetry of surfaces and dimensions is only important at the front end and to the left and right - for stereo image.
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby darrenyeats » Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:41 pm

Shadorne wrote:I don't think a good step response is that critical and neither is time alignment.

Hi Shadorne,
AFAIK the change of absolute phase that occurs through frequency - unavoidable without DSP - isn't harmful as long as it's smooth and continuous. Is that you what mean? But aligning the phase of drivers in their crossover region is desirable (as I'm sure you agree).
Darren

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby Shadorne » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:28 am

darrenyeats wrote:
Shadorne wrote:I don't think a good step response is that critical and neither is time alignment.

Hi Shadorne,
AFAIK the change of absolute phase that occurs through frequency - unavoidable without DSP - isn't harmful as long as it's smooth and continuous. Is that you what mean? But aligning the phase of drivers in their crossover region is desirable (as I'm sure you agree).
Darren


Yes. This is exactly my understanding. Anything that mucks around with the frequency response or causes lobes is bad because it is usually causes audible artifacts. So as long as phase changes are smooth and continuous there is no big deal as we aren't sensitive to things like absolute phase or precise time alignment.

Time alignment to a msec or less is pretty much inaudible - but alignments that cause cancellation across drivers that have overlapping frequency responses is VERY audible. Panel speakers create cancellation by virtue of having a driver that is WAY too big. This causes comb tooth filtering in which certain frequencies get completely cancelled. This is why panels can sound spacious in higher frequencies - like a flanger circuit on a guitar amp. The same panel may be sound more focussed at lower mid to bass range frequencies. In the case of panels, users actually prefer or like the effect even if it is a coloration. A concert hall may do the same thing especially with multiple instruments playing or reflective surfaces around an orchestra or in the pit. Sometimes panels are better able the recreate that spacious concert hall feel because of the coloration. A proper recording should also create the spaciousness of the hall and should not require a panel to create this effect.
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby Musicraft » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:46 pm

ATC curved SCM40A monitors with Naim NAC-N 272 pre amplifier reviewed by Jason Kennedy in the latest issue (132) of Hi-Fi Plus 8-)

“Power handling has always been a strong point thanks to ATC’s pro audio heritage.”

“I had a lot of fun with this system and it has reignited my enthusiasm for active operation; there really needs to be more speaker systems like this.”

“… the ATCs are full bandwidth speakers that have grip in the bottom end and a total absence of ventilation on the cabinet. The bass is deep, solid and, thanks to the active operation, tactile. It has a degree of solidity that makes everything feel like it’s in the room, that and the ability to play at the sort of level that approaches that of live sound you get in a studio control room.”

http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/wp-content ... A_Naim.pdf :D

Thanks

Rick @ Musicraft
Musicraft is Derby's foremost dealer for the finest specialist Hi-Fi, Home Cinema & Multimedia components/systems. So, if you would like to know more about how our products can enrich your life, then please visit us or contact Rick.

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Re: ATC reviews!

Postby MattSPL » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:11 pm

Musicraft wrote:ATC curved SCM40A monitors with Naim NAC-N 272 pre amplifier reviewed by Jason Kennedy in the latest issue (132) of Hi-Fi Plus 8-)

“Power handling has always been a strong point thanks to ATC’s pro audio heritage.”

“I had a lot of fun with this system and it has reignited my enthusiasm for active operation; there really needs to be more speaker systems like this.”

“… the ATCs are full bandwidth speakers that have grip in the bottom end and a total absence of ventilation on the cabinet. The bass is deep, solid and, thanks to the active operation, tactile. It has a degree of solidity that makes everything feel like it’s in the room, that and the ability to play at the sort of level that approaches that of live sound you get in a studio control room.”

http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/wp-content ... A_Naim.pdf :D

Thanks

Rick @ Musicraft


Hi Rick

It sounds like he enjoyed the scm40A's :D

Cheers
Matt
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