Marantz M-CR603 best bookshelf speakers £500 - £1000

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chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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Craig M. said:
having heard a i30 on my scm19s, chebbys friend could do well to ditch the dacmagic as source.
It's connected via optical from an iMac at one end, and balanced XLRs at t'other end, and plays lossless rips from CDs. I doubt a 'better' DAC would fundamentally change things that much. (And he uses a Rega P3-24 with TT-PSU and Denon DL103R as well as digital.)

By the way, my friend loves his system so he doesn't need to ditch (or change) anything. I also doubt there is anything wrong with his room acoustics either. ATC SCM speakers (just like any speakers) are not going to be universally liked by everyone. Their big virtue - hard-hitting and ruthless exposure of recordings - is a bit too ruthless for my liking more often than not.

Example... he finds it very difficult to find good enough recordings of some Queen albums any more. Before the ATC SCM11s I don't recall that was ever a problem for him. There are two ways you can look at that. Either (a) he must sacrifice some of the music he likes and/or buy better recordings if they are available. Or (b) speakers/systems should be able handle the odd recording that is a bit 'rough' around the edges without making it un-enjoyable.

In fact I expect better systems and better speakers to make such recordings more enjoyable not less.
 

True Blue

New member
Oct 18, 2008
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chebby said:
I would suggest calling PMC and having a chat about it. (T 01582 405694 )

Close to a wall is not a problem. They are fine about 3.5 inches from wall (the distance PMC's own brackets keep them at) and another member here (True Blue) experimented and found 3.5 inches was optimal for him.

The shelves are the issue you need to discuss with PMC.
Since moved out to approx 12" from rear wall and 24" from side walls.
 

Craig M.

New member
Mar 20, 2008
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chebby said:
Example... he finds it very difficult to find good enough recordings of some Queen albums any more. Before the ATC SCM11s I don't recall that was ever a problem for him. There are two ways you can look at that. Either (a) he must sacrifice some of the music he likes and/or buy better recordings if they are available. Or (b) speakers/systems should be able handle the odd recording that is a bit 'rough' around the edges without making it un-enjoyable.

In fact I expect better systems and better speakers to make such recordings more enjoyable not less.
that's why he might prefer something other than the dm, i could always hear an 'edge' to the upper mids and treble with the dm. i'm not saying he isn't happy with what he's got, i'm saying he might find he can listen to queen again. my chord used to reveal all the warts, but didn't push it into unenjoyable - i listen to queen fairly regularly. i'm also not saying he needs to 'upgrade' - just change to something with better treble. i haven't heard the dm through its xlr outs though, Gerrardasnails always used to say the treble edge wasn't there through those.

edit: the op should try to demo atc if he is interested in them, depending on partnering kit i heard mine sounding too lean and bright and, too warm and dark. with atc what you hear is your electronics character.
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
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18,895
chebby said:
Craig M. said:
having heard a i30 on my scm19s, chebbys friend could do well to ditch the dacmagic as source.
It's connected via optical from an iMac at one end, and balanced XLRs at t'other end, and plays lossless rips from CDs. I doubt a 'better' DAC would fundamentally change things that much. (And he uses a Rega P3-24 with TT-PSU and Denon DL103R as well as digital.)

By the way, my friend loves his system so he doesn't need to ditch (or change) anything. I also doubt there is anything wrong with his room acoustics either. ATC SCM speakers (just like any speakers) are not going to be universally liked by everyone. Their big virtue - hard-hitting and ruthless exposure of recordings - is a bit too ruthless for my liking more often than not.

Example... he finds it very difficult to find good enough recordings of some Queen albums any more. Before the ATC SCM11s I don't recall that was ever a problem for him. There are two ways you can look at that. Either (a) he must sacrifice some of the music he likes and/or buy better recordings if they are available. Or (b) speakers/systems should be able handle the odd recording that is a bit 'rough' around the edges without making it un-enjoyable.

In fact I expect better systems and better speakers to make such recordings more enjoyable not less.
I naturally agree ATC aren't going to be universally liked - as you say this is true of any speakers and the reason why the OP ought to demo if possible. I don't think it's helpful to confuse two things in describing them as you have done tho. Yes, they are extremely transparent, neutral and lacking in distortion (what you describe as hard hitting and ruthless exposure) but this is NOT the same as, as you suggested, all recordings being like having your head gaffer taped to a drum kit. As Craig had said, what ATC does is let you accurately hear the recording as relayed by your components. If the system sounds as you describe, there's something wrong elsewhere, not with the speakers.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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BenLaw said:
I don't think it's helpful to confuse two things in describing them as you have done tho. Yes, they are extremely transparent, neutral and lacking in distortion (what you describe as hard hitting and ruthless exposure) but this is NOT the same as, as you suggested, all recordings being like having your head gaffer taped to a drum kit. As Craig had said, what ATC does is let you accurately hear the recording as relayed by your components. If the system sounds as you describe, there's something wrong elsewhere, not with the speakers.
I am very familiar with the SCM11s (but only those). I have heard them for about 8 hours at a time, every 4 - 6 weeks for the last 18 months with a range of material both analogue and digital spanning heavy metal to light classical. My opinion is based on that.

I don't go along with... "if you don't like them then there is something wrong with the room/system/listener/recording..."

And the fact that the owner of of the system loves it, is proof to me that ATC loudspeakers (like anything else) are a matter of personal preference and are just one option - amongst many others - when it comes to choosing great speakers. Even their much vaunted 'neutrality' doesn't make them the only/best loudspeaker in town for everyone.

Otherwise we end up in a situation where all other loudspeaker manufacturer's efforts are considered as just... "a debate with ATC". (A bit like the philosophy that emanates from AVI and one I sense here to a degree.)

I guess it was my own fault to set myself up (a bit) against the ATC lobby here by saying I don't like them and prefer PMC.

Anyway, I know, PMC DB1is are out of the running in this instance because of the particular restrictions of the OP's shelves.

So I am left recommending Rega RS1s and pocketing the difference to enjoy on something else.
 

Craig M.

New member
Mar 20, 2008
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chebby said:
I don't go along with... "if you don't like them then there is something wrong with the room/system/listener/recording..."

And the fact that the owner of of the system loves it, is proof to me that ATC loudspeakers (like anything else) are a matter of personal preference and are just one option - amongst many others - when it comes to choosing great speakers. Even their much vaunted 'neutrality' doesn't make them the only/best loudspeaker in town for everyone.
i think you've missed the point completely chebbs. you could partner atcs to sound exactly to your taste, but then your friend wouldn't like them. you're hearing the influence of his kit on the speakers, change the partnering kit and you can get a completely different sound - an arcam cd37 and moon i3rs produced a warm, organic sound that lacked in bite and slam and was far too dull for my taste - the opposite of what you've described.
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
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chebby said:
I don't go along with... "if you don't like them then there is something wrong with the room/system/listener/recording..."
And I've never said that, so don't misrepresent me please. I've said I'm surprised about the sound you describe emanating from them (in fairly full-on negative language), and that that is very different from the sound I get out of my Primare / SCM11 combo. Therefore (as a matter of logic) either the sound is different (which can only be down to source, room acoustics or, if you think they make a significant difference, cables / racks), or we are hearing something very different. But I'm 100% not saying 'if you don't like them there's something wrong' - I would happily have someone listen to my system and tell me it's not for them, that's a matter of personal opinion, and what hifi's all about. I agree with what you say here:

And the fact that the owner of of the system loves it, is proof to me that ATC loudspeakers (like anything else) are a matter of personal preference and are just one option - amongst many others - when it comes to choosing great speakers. Even their much vaunted 'neutrality' doesn't make them the only/best loudspeaker in town for everyone.
Otherwise we end up in a situation where all other loudspeaker manufacturer's efforts are considered as just... "a debate with ATC". (A bit like the philosophy that emanates from AVI and one I sense here to a degree.)
I don't really want it to come across like that. Naturally, anyone who's happy with their system will say it's good and potentially defend it from criticism. I disagree with your criticism, which was fairly forcefully put, albeit I hope I've defended the speakers in a friendly and reasonable way


As we both agree, ATC has its merits which works for some people, so perhaps we can both agree that a demo would be a good idea for the OP
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Well thanks again for all the responses...I've enjoyed reading the ATC debate as well :)

I've narrowed it down to a two horse race (had to abandon the Spendors as after I measured my shelves I found that I only have 29cm height to play with!!)

Dali Mentor Menuet (Best Price I can find £894)

Leema Xero (Best Price I can find £495, cannot find them for £400 as was suggested by macipod in his post)

Cannot get to Demo these...I'm in wildest Norfolk and can only find one place (50 miles away) that has the Leema's, let alone the Dalis!...so looks like a blind buy (I know, I know....)

They both get great reviews, Both seem to suit my purpose, Both will fit.....

The fact they are both available in a White finish is a nice touch....

Now...I guess the question is whether the Dalis are £400 better than the Leemas?

If anyone knows of any better prices then those I've quoted then that would be useful as well...

Thanks again for all the help on here...

PS: I intend to order the Marantz M-CR603 today, best price I've found is £429.90 at Peter Tyson so I will probably order this morning unless anyone knows a better price.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
BenLaw said:
And 10% off there with code REW07 if the offer is still on.
Thanks for the info Ben...I just checked and the 10% off code still works...that means I could get the Marantz and Dali speakers from Sight & Sound for £1187 Delivered...not bad at all...

One problem though (as always)...they only have the Marantz in Black available on the website and I need it in Silver for Partner Approval Purposes!!! I've e-mailed them to see if they have any in Silver, fingers crossed...

If not I could still get the Dalis from there and save £90 using the code :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Well that's all done now...Sight & Sound got back to me saying they did have the Marantz in Silver (and very kindly gave me 5m of QED Silver XT cable for noticing the oversight on their website, now that's Customer Service for you). Together with the 10% off code that Ben posted that is a pretty good deal all round I feel.

Thanks to everyone for their knowledge and advice...I shall look forward to getting my M-CR603 and Dali Mentor Menuets...when I do I shall be sure to report back with my impressions.
 

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