Listening to what's new out there

ATC & other makes of Hi-Fi equipment
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Listening to what's new out there

Postby darrenyeats » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:53 pm

Lately I've had the opportunity to listen to some other systems.

Most recently the East of England audio show.
- JBL4367 with Mark Levinson streamer/pre/power. 15 inch bass was nice, mid/top was amazingly focused, clear, detailed, smooth. But I wouldn't buy them because I perceived a slight "horn-like" sound from the mid/top, as if the sound was narrow beamed into my ears. This wasn't for me. But now I know why people love TOTL JBLs and I respect that!
- Focal Kanta with Naim front end/power. Had verve even in a big room, open, with some tracks a little energetic in the bass department (despite very large room) and treble. Nice sound though.
- Kudos speakers. Not bad, but the T707s (with Naim) could not boss the large room, and the T808s with Chord front end were a bit sterile.
- Magnepan 1.7i with Quadraspire front end. The CD front end was better than vinyl IMO (the guy said the Quadraspire is balanced internally and sounds best via balanced outputs), I like these, at £3k they are something different. When it comes to bass, not much extension and a bit mid-bassy, think a scaled up version of a typical bookshelf speaker.

At the Windsor show:
- Tannoy Kensingtons with Music First front end. Nice actually - meaty bass, slight bite which I put down to the speakers, I discovered much later the power amps were class D, and that explains it IMHO!
- Larson speakers - designed to go against the wall, I liked them.
- B&W 702 S2, also I liked them all round. B&W make good speakers IMO.
- Kef LS50 actives. I like the Blade 2s for sure, I don't like these at all. A bit harsh and gritty. I literally wouldn't keep them if you gave them to me. I really wanted to like them because of their price point.
- PSI Audio Actives fronted by MERGING+NADAC playing London Grammar - nice!

After hearing all the above I don't want to change from my active 50s. In fact, I've not even done the tweeter upgrade yet, because nothing is really annoying me - that sounds like faint praise, but it's high praise. (IMHO a lot of this comes down to the attention I've paid to acoustics and front end in the last few years.)
Last edited by darrenyeats on Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby MattSPL » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:44 pm

Thanks for your thoughts Darren. It’s good to hear other people’s experiences with Hifi. It’s been a few years now since I’ve had the chance to hear much new gear.

Your experience with the JBL’s echoes most other people’s views. I’d like to hear them myself. You can’t beat a big bass driver :)

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: Listening to what's new out there

Postby simonthepieman » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:05 am

After hearing all the above I don't want to change from my active 50s. In fact, I've not even done the tweeter upgrade yet, because nothing is really annoying me - that sounds like faint praise, but it's high praise. (IMHO a lot of this comes down to the attention I've paid to acoustics and front end in the last few years.)

Darren Do the tweeter upgrade if you can (likely could be serviced at the same time ) then fall in love with your Atc's
all over again !

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby MevDinc » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:53 pm

simonthepieman wrote:After hearing all the above I don't want to change from my active 50s. In fact, I've not even done the tweeter upgrade yet, because nothing is really annoying me - that sounds like faint praise, but it's high praise. (IMHO a lot of this comes down to the attention I've paid to acoustics and front end in the last few years.)

Darren Do the tweeter upgrade if you can (likely could be serviced at the same time ) then fall in love with your Atc's
all over again !


Fully agree with this, the tweeter upgrade is well justified.
And, what's better than all ATC drivers working together in perfect harmony? :)
Audirvana+3.0 - Mac Mini, Lindermann Musicbook 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL (with the ATC tweeter!)

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby darrenyeats » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:27 pm

No way I'm moving those speakers unless necessary - too heavy, too much hassle. If I move house or if the speakers need other repair or maintenance, then we can talk!

If I was unhappy with the sound then I'd do it, but I'm not.

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby MevDinc » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:34 pm

darrenyeats wrote:No way I'm moving those speakers unless necessary - too heavy, too much hassle. If I move house or if the speakers need other repair or maintenance, then we can talk!

If I was unhappy with the sound then I'd do it, but I'm not.


Well, I wasn't unhappy either but now happier than before :)
Audirvana+3.0 - Mac Mini, Lindermann Musicbook 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL (with the ATC tweeter!)

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby darrenyeats » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:20 am

Ha-ha, ok! I appreciate the advice.

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby Brad Lunde » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:33 pm

darrenyeats wrote:Ha-ha, ok! I appreciate the advice.


Tweeter upgrade is surprisingly important. Keep in mind, the tweeter while crossed at 3500, do have output an octave lower (1750Hz). We are pretty deep in midrange land at that frequency so things like piano, strings or acoustic instruments with harmonics are noticeably cleaner and clearer. The SEAS have a bite to them that's not so noticeable until you move away from them to the ATCs. Its a spike in the response somewhere up high, and you do notice that they have more distortion components than you thought once you make the switch. You notice more "air" too, so more response up really high, above 20K. Things like "room sound" in the recording are much more defined and placement of instruments in 3D space is more precise. 4XDSD is a joy with the new tweeters as is a well set up turntable. So easy to hear a change in imaging with varying tonearm set up.

I've had the luxury of ABing same speakers, only tweeters different, more than a few times across different models. Its sort of like the upgrade from Short Coil to Short Coil "SL" LF Drivers- less "extra things" in the audio that you realize upon hearing them are not music but distortion. Cleaner and more extended is the words I would use to describe them.

Brad
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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby Lemen » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:04 pm

Brad Lunde wrote:
Tweeter upgrade is surprisingly important. Keep in mind, the tweeter while crossed at 3500, do have output an octave lower (1750Hz). We are pretty deep in midrange land at that frequency so things like piano, strings or acoustic instruments with harmonics are noticeably cleaner and clearer. The SEAS have a bite to them that's not so noticeable until you move away from them to the ATCs. Its a spike in the response somewhere up high, and you do notice that they have more distortion components than you thought once you make the switch. You notice more "air" too, so more response up really high, above 20K. Things like "room sound" in the recording are much more defined and placement of instruments in 3D space is more precise. 4XDSD is a joy with the new tweeters as is a well set up turntable. So easy to hear a change in imaging with varying tonearm set up.

I've had the luxury of ABing same speakers, only tweeters different, more than a few times across different models. Its sort of like the upgrade from Short Coil to Short Coil "SL" LF Drivers- less "extra things" in the audio that you realize upon hearing them are not music but distortion. Cleaner and more extended is the words I would use to describe them.

Brad


Hello Brad
Well from what you say above, I'm really looking forward to hearing my 50's (with new tweeter) when I get them back next week.

Lemen.
ATC SCM50 ASLT Anniversary (gloss white)

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby Lemen » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:15 pm

darrenyeats wrote:No way I'm moving those speakers unless necessary - too heavy, too much hassle. If I move house or if the speakers need other repair or maintenance, then we can talk!

I know exactly what you mean. The process of handling, packing and moving my speakers has indeed been a lot of hassle. However, in my case, it WAS necessary to get them back to ATC for them to check over the amp-packs, as they were running way too hot for my liking. When I receive them back I've got the hassle of getting them back into the house, unpacking and setting up again to NOT look forward to!

I'm sure it'll be well worth it though and hope that my 50's won't have to be shifted again for a very long time.

Lemen.
ATC SCM50 ASLT Anniversary (gloss white)

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby darrenyeats » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:19 am

Brad Lunde wrote:I've had the luxury of ABing same speakers, only tweeters different, more than a few times across different models. Its sort of like the upgrade from Short Coil to Short Coil "SL" LF Drivers- less "extra things" in the audio that you realize upon hearing them are not music but distortion. Cleaner and more extended is the words I would use to describe them.

Thanks for the advice Brad.

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby lieberung » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:31 pm

But how do I change to the new tweeters on my active50s? Any guides out there?
Speakers: ATC SCM50 ASLT, Source: PC, fully specced Empirical Audio Off-ramp 5 w/Dynamo psu, DAC: Audio-GD Master 7, Preamp: Audio-GD Master 1, CDP: Audiolab CDQ8200

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby darrenyeats » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:04 pm

The new ATC tweeter has no ferrofluid, IIRC the SEAS does. E.g. in a studio, the speakers are often played loud for long periods and the ferrofluid will thicken at a relatively fast rate. I've heard a range of opinions about the new ATC versus old tweeters. Could this explain some of the overall disagreement?

I still intend to upgrade my tweeters at a CONVENIENT time, because I believe the new tweeters are better. And I don't want the ferrofluid biting me later!

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby Brad Lunde » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:24 pm

lieberung wrote:But how do I change to the new tweeters on my active50s? Any guides out there?


You can't. You'd need to adjust/calibrate the speakers or they would suddenly sound brighter or darker, depending on the sensitivity of old tweeter vs the new ATC.

Brad
Brad Lunde
Lone Mountain Audio, part of TransAudio Group
ATC Importers USA

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Re: Listening to what's new out there

Postby darrenyeats » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:01 pm

Lemen wrote:Well from what you say above, I'm really looking forward to hearing my 50's (with new tweeter) when I get them back next week.

Lemen, any feedback?

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