New ATC loudspeaker info

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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby Fredlocks » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:39 am

Brad Lunde wrote:
Fredlocks wrote:
Dogill wrote:Also the SE models have a better ( laminated ) cabinet as Ben Lilly explained to me.


Does that mean the cabinets are more rigid and inert or is this a cosmetic thing? ATC cabinets are built like brick outhouses, as we say in the UK, so I am intrigued as to how this improvement translates into sound quality benefits.

I would imagine better imaging and a deeper soundstage perhaps.


I will ask what he means but I think this is "higher quality veneer" kind of better, not structurally better. The cabinets are MDF, veneered inside and out (for balance), but the qualities of veneer vary wildly. ATC is in the land of Jaguar, Bentley and several high end auto parts suppliers all just up the road. There are some incredible woodworkers/leather workers there. The leather binding of the new SE10's was the same folks that do Aston Martin, the high end Audi, etc. So its these hidden qualities that cost- I just ATC would tell more people about it!
Brad


Once again Brad, thanks for the great answers. I feel much more 'in the know' now. I am, however, disappointed that there aren't more reviews of ATC speakers around. The entry level speakers got loads of attention and that's probably because that's what most people can afford and rightly so but given the proliferation of reviews of really expensive gear (Wilson Audio, Magico, etc.) and given ATC's stellar reputation and popularity one would expect a few more ATC reviews than are out there.

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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby Dogill » Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:38 pm

Several German magazines have reviewed the top models ( although no SE yet ). All 50/100/150 monitors are sold with the discrete amps in Germany.
http://www.audiotra.de/startseite/alle-tests/
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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby Joe951 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:53 pm

Brad Lunde wrote:
darrenyeats wrote:Brad, also none of those people would say they "sound totally different". I do admire the enthusiasm, but you admit that's stretching it?
Darren


I would say that listening is a skill; you have to practice and work at it over and over again. Like musicianship.

George Massenburg, I used to be his sales guy for his own gear, had the best ears of anyone I ever met in the studio. He could hear stuff I could not. He could hear 1dB of compression on a single vocal inside a completed mix; his level of discernment is amazing. It was very difficult to keep up, as I was "supposed" to be able to demo his compressor (which was sonically invisible to 98% of skilled mixers). He mixed September for EWF, all the Linda Ronstadt/Nelson Riddle stuff, Little Feat, etc. Very talented guy, considered one of the best mixers of all time. He for sure heard things I could not hear and when he said, "that track sucks", it was "stretching it" to me

I was on a panel with Al Schmitt's and Peter Asher recently, talking about recording. AL Schmitt's orchestra is the best in the business, how come he is different? He hears things others don't. He knows the difference between one microphone in a sea of microphones on an orchestra, in the mix. I promise you, most would say "Al, you are stretching it, the orchestra sounds the same with that other mic vs the one you just put up." But he hears it. How did Peter Asher hear James Taylor in a bar and "hear" what he would sound like on record? He hears things others don't, like seeing a statue inside a giant chunk of raw granite.

In studio work, its competitive advantage to hear things others don't. That's why ATC is so popular. I listen to more gear than ATC engineering, so I hear things in their gear they don't. I think this is no weakness or fault, its the way great things get made. I am their customer, they work to please me. My customer is George Massenburg, or Al Schmitt or Peter Asher: I work to please them. I have to listen in their studio and take what they say back to factory. I better be able to explain it and describe it accurately or we are all screwed.

Sadly I have done demos before where someone could not tell the difference between an 11 and 19. For that person, I AM stretching it! For me, a 50 active and 50 discrete active ARE totally different. If you heard them like I do, you'd say that's true, that IS the way it is, they are similar, but not the same.

So that explain it?
Brad


If this were true I'd think they'd be offering these totally different discrete amps as an option at least on the pro models. I was just looking at vintageking and the 20's mention that they have discrete amps but it isn't emphasized and the cost is only $5,000 for a pair. None of the other pro models I looked at said anything about discrete amps. I don't doubt there's a difference but I can't believe it's big. I do believe the new tweeter will be a big improvement and I'm hoping to do the upgrade at some point.

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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby linger63 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:56 am

Dogill wrote:Several German magazines have reviewed the top models ( although no SE yet ). All 50/100/150 monitors are sold with the discrete amps in Germany.
http://www.audiotra.de/startseite/alle-tests/


Hi,

Not sure your comment is accurate.
One of your review links for the SCM 50ASL (Stereoplay 4/2011) quotes amp power as 250W, 100W and 50W.

I am pretty sure that the usual discrete amp set up is 200W, 100W and 50W.
I have an Anniversary Edition and that's what it has.

Maybe just a mistake/misprint by the magazine.

I do doubt though that only Germany would get discrete amps in their models......... with not a word mentioned about it!!! :?:

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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby Dogill » Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:29 am

On the ATC website both standard tower and SE models are 50/100/200

The German models are called FF ( fine fidelity ) and are described as having discrete electronics.

I'll ask at the Munich show ( Ben Lilly said they might even have a room this year.. )
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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby linger63 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:16 pm

Dogill wrote:On the ATC website both standard tower and SE models are 50/100/200

The German models are called FF ( fine fidelity ) and are described as having discrete electronics.

I'll ask at the Munich show ( Ben Lilly said they might even have a room this year.. )




Thanks Dogill.

It will be interesting to find out exactly what they are up to!! :?

It sure sounds like you are onto something!! 8-)

Enjoy the Munich show and please don't forget to post back your findings. ;)

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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby darrenyeats » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:15 pm

Brad Lunde wrote:I listen to more gear than ATC engineering, so I hear things in their gear they don't.

For me, a 50 active and 50 discrete active ARE totally different ...

they are similar, but not the same.

So that explain it?
Brad

Brad,
If by "totally different" you mean similar, but not the same then fine.

I'm glad you explained the views in your response to AlmaataKZ were yours, not Ben Lilly's or Billy Woodman's. My views probably don't coincide exactly with ATC engineering either, but it's good to be clear on who's saying what.
Darren

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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby Shadorne » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:11 am

Fred,

ATC start off with some of the world's most expensive drivers. So compared to other manufacturers the components in the speaker are extremely expensive. The drivers are hand built to tight tolerances and have massive motors - they are not mass produced in China or Norway. This is a big part of the cost with the classic series.

The latest SE models have serious Art Deco hand made cabinetry work. This is extremely expensive.

I think the major component of higher cost is the stunning cabinetry work.

I have the EL150SL with the P6. The cabinetry work on these is absolutely stunning.

The fully discrete amp in the P6 are no doubt the best ATC make currently, however, if I was on a tighter budget then the pro 150ASL model with standard pro amp would have probably got me similar or close in sound but the aesthetics of the standard black ATC boxes are not remotely close to their higher end models like the SE series.

Bear in mind that other speaker manufacturers do the reverse of ATC - for the lower models they concentrate on cabinetry first and fill their pretty boxes with cheap mass produced drivers. So it is usually not an apples to apples comparison on price unless you take a careful look at the quality of what goes into the speaker cabinet. The high quality drivers from ATC are able to produce great sound even at much higher volume or dynamic levels than their mass produced competitors.
"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: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby Brad Lunde » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:28 am

Joe951 wrote:
Brad Lunde wrote:
darrenyeats wrote:Brad, also none of those people would say they "sound totally different". I do admire the enthusiasm, but you admit that's stretching it?
Darren


I would say that listening is a skill; you have to practice and work at it over and over again. Like musicianship.

George Massenburg, I used to be his sales guy for his own gear, had the best ears of anyone I ever met in the studio. He could hear stuff I could not. He could hear 1dB of compression on a single vocal inside a completed mix; his level of discernment is amazing. It was very difficult to keep up, as I was "supposed" to be able to demo his compressor (which was sonically invisible to 98% of skilled mixers). He mixed September for EWF, all the Linda Ronstadt/Nelson Riddle stuff, Little Feat, etc. Very talented guy, considered one of the best mixers of all time. He for sure heard things I could not hear and when he said, "that track sucks", it was "stretching it" to me

I was on a panel with Al Schmitt's and Peter Asher recently, talking about recording. AL Schmitt's orchestra is the best in the business, how come he is different? He hears things others don't. He knows the difference between one microphone in a sea of microphones on an orchestra, in the mix. I promise you, most would say "Al, you are stretching it, the orchestra sounds the same with that other mic vs the one you just put up." But he hears it. How did Peter Asher hear James Taylor in a bar and "hear" what he would sound like on record? He hears things others don't, like seeing a statue inside a giant chunk of raw granite.

In studio work, its competitive advantage to hear things others don't. That's why ATC is so popular. I listen to more gear than ATC engineering, so I hear things in their gear they don't. I think this is no weakness or fault, its the way great things get made. I am their customer, they work to please me. My customer is George Massenburg, or Al Schmitt or Peter Asher: I work to please them. I have to listen in their studio and take what they say back to factory. I better be able to explain it and describe it accurately or we are all screwed.

Sadly I have done demos before where someone could not tell the difference between an 11 and 19. For that person, I AM stretching it! For me, a 50 active and 50 discrete active ARE totally different. If you heard them like I do, you'd say that's true, that IS the way it is, they are similar, but not the same.

So that explain it?
Brad


If this were true I'd think they'd be offering these totally different discrete amps as an option at least on the pro models. I was just looking at vintageking and the 20's mention that they have discrete amps but it isn't emphasized and the cost is only $5,000 for a pair. None of the other pro models I looked at said anything about discrete amps. I don't doubt there's a difference but I can't believe it's big. I do believe the new tweeter will be a big improvement and I'm hoping to do the upgrade at some point.


OK Joe 951, you can think of it as you wish. The answer is VK, my customer under TransAudio Group (our pro side), will now call me and I can say to them exactly what I am saying to you here.

Discrete in a monitor size package is not something we (or ATC) are prepared to offer. The discrete in hi fi comes in tower form only, using the tower space to remote the power supply away from the amps. The discrete does not offer the low end adjust for 1/4 1/2 space, which is ultra critical in pro. Discrete does not have sensitivity adjustment and does not offer a power on light. It also does not offer a clip light. All of these things are necessary in pro and would be a big issue if they weren't available. If a pro customer wants to buy a set of hi fi discrete towers, he is welcome to do so though any of our US hi fi dealers, but in 15 years, it has not come up. James Newton Howard was the first because he is writing, not spending all his time mixing in commercial room or moving monitors around to the studio he is working in this week (like a typical mix engineer ATC Pro customer).

We do not offer towers in pro as these are not the right form factor for a studio. When a desk is involved, the studio space works around that. Have discussed offering something discrete in a mastering speaker, a tower type speaker; it could work as mastering desks are small and not so impactful to studio control room acoustics. A floor standing speaker could work there. But that is a "what if" discussion and a ways off. Its all we can do to keep up with 25s, 45s, 50s, 100, 150s!

On our hi fi side, Lone Mountain Audio, we offer passive, standard active or discrete options for towers. In a similar way to pro, we do not offer any "monitor" sizes in hi fi outside of entry series (no veneered 50/100/150 monitors). Space is not a big problem in the US so towers are the preferred way to go here.

OH, last point: Yes, Ben and Richard and the electronics team put a lot of work to improve the amps in the 20, as it's the latest ATC amp design. They are moving forward for sure!

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

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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby Shadorne » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:20 pm

I think I mentioned on another thread that my old 1995 vintage SCM100 ASL are pretty much discrete. There are a couple of chips with what could be three separate components. So discrete is probably not the whole story - the latest fully discrete amps are likely tweaked based on years of experience with the design. My old ATC make a small audible hiss at the tweeter with your ear very close to the driver. The ATC EL150 do not. So noise floor is likely lower although my comparison is not a fair one as one speaker is new while the other has had 20 years of abuse!

The new ATC tweeter is a significant improvement. Since my hearing does not extend above 14.5 KHz (age related) it is not a frequency range thing but how the tweeter sounds in the important musical range and how it integrates with the other drivers. The new tweeter sounds as natural as it gets and believe me that I find most hi if tweeters to be obnoxiously unnatural sounding. I believe the double spider has something to do with it but it may also be the lack of ferrofluid. It sounds so clear and yet sweet - ATC seem to have captured the attack and precision of metal dome tweeters but without the hashy messy sound that follows and which to my ears seems to mess up the timbre. Whatever metal or rigid domes do right their faults are such a distraction that I can hear it and don't like it - messy, hashy, splashy.

I think ATC are still decades ahead of other manufacturers in driver design. They won't share their trade secrets for obvious reasons but I believe the way their drivers are damped internally (doped fabric) and precisely aligned pistonically (double spiders with large coils) means you simply don't get as much resonance or modal vibrations (rocking or internal cone vibrations) added on top of the music. This is what gives ATC a unique clarity in their sound which is in another league versus competition.

So why don't other manufacturers use ATC drivers - well they do and have produced some very successful designs but manufacturers primarily choose to put cheaper drivers in expensive aesthetic boxes as that is what sells. Surprisingly few people actually trust their ears over what they see or are told in marketing hype.

If Brad's clients hear a difference then for sure there is something there - as these pros earn a living from their hearing and knowledge of how to adjust, compose and produce music. Will it be as important to you - I suggest you audition!

BTW tweaking may sound rather unscientific but believe me that when it comes to reducing the noise floor in electronics, tweaking is very much the way to get there as you are dealing with stuff that becomes hard to measure.
"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: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby darrenyeats » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:47 pm

When I called ATC recently I was told the amp pack my 50s (2011 vintage, so-called Mk.4) hasn't changed since roughly the mid noughties and is absolutely up to date. I doubt the 20 amp pack has different technology in it. This would mean the term "Discrete MOSFET class A/B amp pack" (used in the 20s and 45s description) is the latest description of the non-special edition amp packs, rather than a new amp design? If I'm wrong I'm sure Brad or Ben can correct me.

"Fully discrete amplifier" describes the amps in the special editions.
Last edited by darrenyeats on Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby Dogill » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:03 am

Indeed, and when Ben was asked in the Hong Kong video about the 100SE whether they had improved the electronics he said there was nothing they could improve.
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Re: New ATC loudspeaker info

Postby Brad Lunde » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:06 am

darrenyeats wrote:When I called ATC recently I was told the amp pack my 50s (2011 vintage, so-called Mk.4) hasn't changed since roughly the mid noughties and is absolutely up to date. I doubt the 20 amp pack has different technology in it. This would mean the term "Discrete MOSFET class A/B amp pack" (used in the 20s and 45s description) is the latest description of the non-special edition amp packs, rather than a new amp design? If I'm wrong I'm sure Brad or Ben can correct me.

"Fully discrete amplifier" describes the amps in the special editions.


The only fully discrete amps ATC makes are the silver anodized amp packs used on Anniversary, Germany's FF, and the discrete towers I bought for several clients; P6 is discrete (used on EL150 or special order) and the amps concealed under the laser etched panels in the SE's.

The 20Mk2's are not fully discrete but have some discrete features. This amp pack is the latest amp pack designed and built so it's got some nice extra features. I wonder if we'll see some of those features echoed on the active 19 ( SMC 19AT ).

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

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