Nice to hear the frogs can do something significant.... .Hi guys,
Just thought I'd give a quick update on the Atoll IN200 Signature.
I've had it since a week last Friday, after it caused a snapped tendon in my left arm, 2 visits to hospital, an x-ray, MRI scan and a week off work. Actually, the Atoll didn't cause my injury; my very own stupidity did. I should have paid more attention to those Manual Handling courses at work 😊.
Anyway, this was a blind buy with only reviews and the odd sound clip on YT (not really helpful).
Initially, the bass was a little lacking in heft as I mentioned in an earlier post, but what was there was very well controlled. This has now come on a long way since first listens; plenty of weight in bass now, and still controlled. Compared to the Nait XS2, the Atoll has a much better control over bass - for example, the "Hey Now" track by London Grammar, when the bass/kick drum comes in was a LF soup with no definition. Other tracks and music I listen to had similar impressions. With the Atoll, it is refined, individual kick drum hits nad bass notes are there, and clear. I'm not a bass maniac at all, but I do like it to be present and legible, with a modest amount of thump. (I've turned off my REL for now, just to get a good idea of what the Atoll is doing)
As for everything else, I was a tad concerned/worried at first, as there seemed to be a lack of lower mids; this made vocals really stand out, but could sound a tad sterile for my taste. Again, this has equalised a little now, and I'm growing used to it.
Highs are nice and detailed, no harshness, detailed, airy, great, no problems.
Overall, I really like the presentation; I prefer it over the XS2 - just more engaging (to my taste), projects a little further in to the room. Probably need to play around with speaker positioning again, but wanted to get some solid first impressions and contrast to the XS2 before changing anything else. I have just pulled out the Naim, and plugged in the Atoll - nothing else has been altered at all.
To my mind the XS2 has a little more warmth than the Atoll, which I didn't take to straight away, but has grown on me. My preference has changed gradually to like a more neutral presentation (NJC Reference DAC, I'm looking at you ☺) and the Atoll has moved my system more in this direction.
I will definitely be keeping the Atoll; it keeps surprising me. Familiar tracks, can still show me something new on the Atoll, that I had not noticed prior. I feel like the Atoll is playing music for me, not at me, which is how I grew to think of the XS2.
It's not perfect by any stretch (what is!?); those mids/lower highs are a tad brighter than the XS2, maybe due to the lower mids being a tad light, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Eventually, I will reactivate Roon back in to the chain and play with the DSP functions to try and up the lower mids without changing the sound too much.
So for a first proper foray outside of Naim land, I'm pleased I made the jump. Thumbs up for the Atoll 👍🙂