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atc loudspeakers - simply the best ?

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
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atc loudspeakers are designed, i believe, to be accurate, clear, transparent and faithful to the source / signal that is sent to them be it their passive or active designs.

many other loudspeaker manufacturers claim their products also provide this but do they ?

surely if this is the case (and accurate, clear, transparent may be equally available from rival brands) then atc speakers could be considered the best available ?

after all isn't this what we want from a pair of loudspeakers ?

a product that allows us to hear exactly what our source components (source meaning signal so a combination of cd player and amplifier) actually sound like ?

if funds are ever available, a system i would love to own, includes the atc scm40a actives partnered with the atc cda2 - a cd player, pre-amp and dac combined. below is a review of the atc scm40a loudspeakers which the reviewer can only find praise for them !

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TObCGUlmeWU
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
505
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Never heard any of their speakers, but I doubt there is any area of mainstream manufacturing where one company is unequivocally the best (discounting the utterly new/novel).

And just because ATC claims something doesn't necessarily make it so.

It's not a very 'purist' thing to say, but I wish their speakers weren't so dull to look at - it's preferable to being over-designed (like a lot of high end gear that clearly wants you to know it cost a small fortune), but surely a middle ground isn't too much to ask for?
 
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MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
atc loudspeakers are designed, i believe, to be accurate, clear, transparent and faithful to the source / signal that is sent to them be it their passive or active designs.

many other loudspeaker manufacturers claim their products also provide this but do they ?

surely if this is the case (and accurate, clear, transparent may be equally available from rival brands) then atc speakers could be considered the best available ?

after all isn't this what we want from a pair of loudspeakers ?

a product that allows us to hear exactly what our source components (source meaning signal so a combination of cd player and amplifier) actually sound like ?

if funds are ever available, a system i would love to own, includes the atc scm40a actives partnered with the atc cda2 - a cd player, pre-amp and dac combined. below is a review of the atc scm40a loudspeakers which the reviewer can only find praise for them !
Well to put it mildly they certainly know a thing or two about loudspeaker design (y)

Anyway, here’s a nice highlights video of ATC 40th Anniversary Celebration -

View: https://vimeo.com/107575611?from=outro-embed&utm_campaign=5370367&utm_source=affiliate&utm_channel=affiliate&cjevent=8cca3ab4cb2c11ea83ea003d0a18050c


ATC Transducer. A precision monitoring instrument :)
 

Romulus

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2014
50
21
10,545
ATC for me is pretty much up there for a speaker producing a studio or live sound which tries to present an 'honest' sound. Are they the best speakers to produce massive, deep soundstages, probably not. Do they reproduce an honest live sound, probably not because ATC love to do precision imaging within a soundstage, do we really here this in live music in a concert hall? Of course there are stiff competition from other brands. However if a musician who loved the sound of the particular cello, is particular to hear that particular sound in a two way stereo system he or she would probably end up with ATC speakers.
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
299
113
11,070
My view on Atc is they'res speakers are easily outperformed by a great margin. They're needlessly hard to drive and in my view completely lifeless when compared to brands such as revel and JBL. People get far to hung up on measurements when in reality it leads to lifeless sound.

But hey! each to there own, people can aspire to whatever they want to own, I used to aspire to them and was hugely let down when i listened to them.

One thing that really bothered me and it was nothing to do with the sound, it was the sticky cone, it has a soft sticky goop on it that attracts everything, if you have a pet it will literally be covered in fur after a few days of owning them.

My advice stands listen to everything you want to buy dont just aspire to own it, it leads to disappointment
 
Last edited:

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
526
57
470
Most of us build up our systems over a long period of time but if I had to start again with a large amount of cash, the SCM40A's would be very high on my list.
the reviewer in the video basically says this also. i f he had the cash he would skip the box swapping and just go straight to these !
 

Romulus

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2014
50
21
10,545
My view on Atc is they'res speakers out there that out preformed them by a great margin. They're needlessly hard to drive and in my view completely lifeless when compared to brands such as revel and JBL. People get far to hung up on measurements when in reality it leads to lifeless sound.

But hey! each to there own, people can aspire to whatever they want to own, I used to aspire to them and was hugely let down when i listened to them.

One thing that really bothered me and it was nothing to do with the sound, it was the sticky cone, it has a soft sticky goop on it that attracts everything, if you have a pet it will literally be covered in fur after a few days of owning them.

My advice stands listen to everything you want to buy dont just aspire to own it, it leads to disappointment
I agree audition, audition and audition. We all have our own tastes however to describe ATC enthusiasts hung up on measurements is missing the point entirely.....
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
526
57
470
My view on Atc is they'res speakers out there that out preformed them by a great margin. They're needlessly hard to drive and in my view completely lifeless when compared to brands such as revel and JBL. People get far to hung up on measurements when in reality it leads to lifeless sound.

But hey! each to there own, people can aspire to whatever they want to own, I used to aspire to them and was hugely let down when i listened to them.

One thing that really bothered me and it was nothing to do with the sound, it was the sticky cone, it has a soft sticky goop on it that attracts everything, if you have a pet it will literally be covered in fur after a few days of owning them.

My advice stands listen to everything you want to buy dont just aspire to own it, it leads to disappointment
i have read about the sticky drivers but to get round it i would just keep the plastic / cloth bags over them when not in use. i have done this with all the speakers i owned then sold - helps keep them immaculate !
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
Well ATC are generally regarded as probably having the most prestigious client list in the business. Here's a pic. of a classic ATC Soft Dome Monitoring - Friends around the world (special limited edition print) poster 66/100 signed by ATC's founder and chief engineer Billy Woodman we have here on display in the store listing a selection of ATC's clients over the years. My favourite on the list is The Pope :cool:

atc poster 1.jpg
 

Jez l

Well-known member
May 1, 2020
26
18
45
I've listened to atc before and found them a little dry sounding but extremely quick sounding. I liked the speed and attack of the sound but didnt like what I perceived to be a lack of warmth and refinement.

I'd trade a bit of transparency for emotion and involvement tbh
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
I've listened to atc before and found them a little dry sounding but extremely quick sounding. I liked the speed and attack of the sound but didnt like what I perceived to be a lack of warmth and refinement.

I'd trade a bit of transparency for emotion and involvement tbh
ATC designs and build monitors. They are flat and honest. They have been designed to reveal the quality of what they are fed with as effectively as possible in an uncoloured and natural manner. The only way around this look at speakers which warm up the sound. However this warmth is distortion. So that’s the choice.

Please take at ATC's Corporate brochure for a background on ATC's take on loudspeaker design -

http://atcforums.co.uk/pdf/ATC CORP BROCHURE.pdf

Page 6 -

"The aims of the forefathers of the industry seem to have been completely forgotten and many loudspeakers of today's manufacturers are described as being musically involving, having pace, rhythm and slam or as just being a musical experience, words which might have a definite subjective meaning to the originator, cause confusion and suspicion in the mind of the public, and provide the less scrupulous with a cover for rather cynical products poorly engineered."

ATC Transducer. A precision monitoring instrument.
 

Jez l

Well-known member
May 1, 2020
26
18
45
And this is why our hobby is so much fun.

There is something out there for everyone.

One mans "transparent" is another mans "dull"
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,573
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19,720
atc loudspeakers are designed, i believe, to be accurate, clear, transparent and faithful to the source / signal that is sent to them be it their passive or active designs.

many other loudspeaker manufacturers claim their products also provide this but do they ?

surely if this is the case (and accurate, clear, transparent may be equally available from rival brands) then atc speakers could be considered the best available ?

after all isn't this what we want from a pair of loudspeakers ?

a product that allows us to hear exactly what our source components (source meaning signal so a combination of cd player and amplifier) actually sound like ?

if funds are ever available, a system i would love to own, includes the atc scm40a actives partnered with the atc cda2 - a cd player, pre-amp and dac combined. below is a review of the atc scm40a loudspeakers which the reviewer can only find praise for them !

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TObCGUlmeWU
"Simply the best?

Wow! That's some statement. I won't for one moment knock the brand. They have a very good reputation, no question.

Whether any product is classed as "the best" comes down to many things: System synergy, personal preference, room size and acoustics... but certainly the former is the most important.

How many times on here have we all read some idiot who's lumped all 5 star products together and it sounds rubbish? Then had the balls to come on here and slag off the review?

My system as a whole is massively transparent but I wouldn't say the TB2s have the overall qualities that you described the ATC's to have. But one size doesn't fit all. Personally I would rather own Dali Rubicon 2 than ATC... for my taste anyway.

Are ATC's tricky to drive? They certainly need a ballsy amp. Rickycraft over the years has said he's heard them with a Arcam Alpha 7 (IIRC). Indeed it would sound okay, but you would never make the most of ATCs with 40 Watt £300 amp (as new costs).

For some nothing else will better the ATCs, for others, however, they are instantly forgettable.
 
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12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
505
258
5,270
Well ATC are generally regarded as probably having the most prestigious client list in the business. Here's a pic. of a classic ATC Soft Dome Monitoring - Friends around the world (special limited edition print) poster 66/100 signed by ATC's founder and chief engineer Billy Woodman we have here on display in the store listing a selection of ATC's clients over the years. My favourite on the list is The Pope :cool:
Given a certain religious organisation's complicity with widespread child abuse, I suspect an modern version would not include same! (Apologies if this crosses GRAPES guidance.)
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
526
57
470
I've listened to atc before and found them a little dry sounding but extremely quick sounding. I liked the speed and attack of the sound but didnt like what I perceived to be a lack of warmth and refinement.

I'd trade a bit of transparency for emotion and involvement tbh
thing is was that the speaker at fault or just the signal being fed to it being accurately reproduced ?!
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
526
57
470
ATC designs and build monitors. They are flat and honest. They have been designed to reveal the quality of what they are fed with as effectively as possible in an uncoloured and natural manner. The only way around this look at speakers which warm up the sound. However this warmth is distortion. So that’s the choice.

Please take at ATC's Corporate brochure for a background on ATC's take on loudspeaker design -

http://atcforums.co.uk/pdf/ATC CORP BROCHURE.pdf

Page 6 -

"The aims of the forefathers of the industry seem to have been completely forgotten and many loudspeakers of today's manufacturers are described as being musically involving, having pace, rhythm and slam or as just being a musical experience, words which might have a definite subjective meaning to the originator, cause confusion and suspicion in the mind of the public, and provide the less scrupulous with a cover for rather cynical products poorly engineered."

ATC Transducer. A precision monitoring instrument.
+1.
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
526
57
470
"Simply the best?

Wow! That's some statement. I won't for one moment knock the brand. They have a very good reputation, no question.

Whether any product is classed as "the best" comes down to many things: System synergy, personal preference, room size and acoustics... but certainly the former is the most important.

How many times on here have we all read some idiot who's lumped all 5 star products together and it sounds rubbish? Then had the balls to come on here and slag off the review?

My system as a whole is massively transparent but I wouldn't say the TB2s have the overall qualities that you described the ATC's to have. But one size doesn't fit all. Personally I would rather own Dali Rubicon 2 than ATC... for my taste anyway.

Are ATC's tricky to drive? They certainly need a ballsy amp. Rickycraft over the years has said he's heard them with a Arcam Alpha 7 (IIRC). Indeed it would sound okay, but you would never make the most of ATCs with 40 Watt £300 amp (as new costs).

For some nothing else will better the ATCs, for others, however, they are instantly forgettable.
it would help consumers if more loudspeaker manufacturers would team up with cd / amplifier manufacturers as regards to system matching.

having said that it would still not guarantee a perfect sound as such when you consider room acoustics listener tastes etc !
 

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