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The active speakers club

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nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
163
49
18,620
Paulq said:
I am planning to demo the SCM20A's next week and also the Linn Akudorik Exakt as I have always wanted to hear those. Ideally, I was after a listen to the SCM19a's but that's actually proved quite troublesome and the dealer I am travelling to has also recommended the 20's over the 19's.

I will have a listen to the 19's with some Naim kit at the weekend but that's not really a basis for a buy decision as my source is different.

So I have booked Monday off and it's butties and flask in a rucksack and a day in the demo room

I'll be very interested to see how they both perform alongside my Activ Katans setup.
Wow, sounds fun! Where are you going, as there aren't too many places that carry both?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
163
49
18,620
Paulq said:
It's the SCM40a's that I am demoing tomorrow, not the SCM20a's - dealer error
Nice! A bit beyond my budget as you can see below, but more of what I am enjoying has to be a great thing! Good luck!
 

Pedro2

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2010
42
0
18,540
Hi Paul,

I used these between the Akurate and the Nord:
1 Meter - Gotham GAC-4/1 (Black) - Star Quad, Dual Shielded Balanced Male To Female Microphone Cables With Amphenol Silver XLR Connectors

I'd read that these have very good rf shielding and I found them to be totally silent (no hums) which was unusual in my set up as mains cables are too close to interconnects.

As a result of my experiences so far, I've re-ordered them on Amazon for my new actives (I'm presently using different lengths of cheapo phono interconnects) but in much longer runs (one 3m and one 5m). XLR cables can be used over long stretches without any problem of loss etc and no need to be as fussy about matching lengths.

I would also recommend standard pro studio cable such as these as they sound great despite not being very expensive. You can purchase very expensive 'hi fi' versions but it begs the question why?? Van Damme also supply them at reasonable cost. I believe you'll need a male/female on each cable (remember to order two as they don't usually come in pairs!) if the ATC active is the same as the Acoustic Energy. Hope this info helps and have fun tomorrow!

ps the Acoustic Energy AE1a are stunning!
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
Paulq said:
As an aside if I were to buy the ATC's then I would need to buy cables and I assume that I'd use the balanced Pre-Out on the ADSM to the Male XLR on the ATC's?

I'd need roughly 3.5m either side - are there specific cables I need and any tips where to get them from?

Ta v. much.
Hi Paulq

Male XLR out to Female XLR in on the curved SCM40A’s.

As for cables i’d recommend sourcing the XLR cables from ATC as they’ll make them up to whatever length you need and without wishing to state the obvious ATC have designed the 40A’s around their cables.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
Paulq said:
As an aside if I were to buy the ATC's then I would need to buy cables and I assume that I'd use the balanced Pre-Out on the ADSM to the Male XLR on the ATC's?

I'd need roughly 3.5m either side - are there specific cables I need and any tips where to get them from?

Ta v. much.
https://www.designacable.com

Electro recommended them to me a while ago.
I used them for mine and they are ace.

Use star quad
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
Andrewjvt said:
Just found a website that sells dynaudio lyd7 and has ex display items for only 399 each and a 14 day money back guarantee. That's 220 saving
Obviously they will not be new and pristine but I would expect them to be in pretty good condition with minimal use.

Pity they do not have a pair of Lyd8 for around £1k. Might be tempted, just for fun!
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
Just found a website that sells dynaudio lyd7 and has ex display items for only 399 each and a 14 day money back guarantee.
That's 220 saving
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
I haven't heard those specific speakers....but you have found the same as me, which is, that at a given Linn budget for amp/speakers, you can get a better sound elswhere, often for a lot cheaper.
 

Paulq

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2007
309
9
18,895
Well, today has been a long day and I promised to report back so here goes.

I spent a couple of hours demoing both sets of speakers and here's what I thought:

1) - Linn Exakt Akudoriks

These were already set up and playing when I arrived so had a good few hours on them. This is the first time I have ever heard a set of speakers that cost £17k and also the first time I have listened to speakers with integrated amps. They are as simple as they are stunning looking with a single ethernet cable connecting them to the Akurate DSM. This is really how Linn intended Exakt to work - simple. It took one look at them to reinforce my utter contempt for these stupid Exaktboxes that are being sold to people, necessitating a load more analogue cables into the bargain. Defeats the object.

Anyway, the sound. You'll be disappointed to know that I simply can't find the words - none seem to articulate what I mean sufficiently. Bass was utterly extraordinary for such a relatively small cabinet and the top end was also quite sublime. At £17k they are not cheap and they certainly need some fiddling around with to sound their best but there's no doubting their sheer command of the music with a variety of genres.

If I had a reservation, and I will come back to this later, it was the mids. In my experience as a Linn customer of over 25 years, I have always held that their front ends (Majik, Akurate, Klimax etc) are pretty peerless and the higher up the hierarchy you go the better they get. I'm biased but at least I can base my opinions on having used them for so long.

However, I have also had the view over that time that Linn makes lousy loudspeakers (and, some may say, amps) with notable exceptions being the Katans and the Keilidh especially when driven actively. They have always sounded to me like there was a 'veil' over the music. I'll leave this here for now and come back to it later.

So in summary - pretty awesome but they should be.

2) - ATC SCM40a's.

Firstly, these things are bloody huge. And I mean huge. The finish of them is beautiful in its simplicity and they ooze quality from both the feel and the heft of them. Position them correctly the first time because they won't move. Ever.

After listening to the Akudoriks I was at that point where I thought 'this is gonna be quick as they can't be anywhere near as good'. I was finishing my brew ready to load up a couple of tracks and say my goodbyes before getting on the train to reckon up how long it would take me to save up for the Akudoriks. Even factoring in selling the wife made it seem like an eternity.

You know when you just hate it when you are right? That's what happened when the ATC's fired up.

They weren't as good as the Akudoriks - they were better. Everything was there - bass that would make your teeth fall out, highs that would shatter them before they hit the floor and the mids were just, well, sensational. I absolutely loved them and was literally shaking the building - these things go loud!. They are subtle when they need to be and party when they need to.

The reason I said earlier that I'd come back to the Akudoriks was this. I only knew what was missing from them when I heard it in the ATC's - until that point, I was like 'wow'. But the ATC's just hit the spot for me and that old feeling was there when you just know something is right for you. It was 'that' sound I have always yearned for but seldom been able to find within the boundaries of what I can afford.

So, I am now faced with a problem. I 'want' the ATC SCM40as but simply don't think I have the room to accommodate them. I wasn't able to demo the SCM19a's and the dealer was less than excited about them in comparison to the 40's. Nonetheless, I am going to have a listen to some on the end of some N**m gear tomorrow (sorry God - I'll have a good wash afterwards!) and may well go for those if they are anything like the 40's.

This was the Playlist:

A Winged Victory for the Sullen - A Symphony Pathetique.

Adele - Set Fire to the Rain.

AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill.

Rush - Headlong Flight.

Marillion - This is the 21st Century.

Candy Dulfer - Nikki's Dream (Live in Amsterdam).

Paul Simon - Stranger to Stranger.

Dave Gilmour - Wish You Were Here/Coming Back to Life (Live at Pompeii).

Thanks for all the support and advice. I am not sure if I can actually say on here where I went but the shop was superb with me - no pressure, just music.

Final word after today - if there's an active speakers club - I'm in it!
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
Paulq said:
Well, today has been a long day and I promised to report back so here goes.

I spent a couple of hours demoing both sets of speakers and here's what I thought:

1) - Linn Exakt Akudoriks

These were already set up and playing when I arrived so had a good few hours on them.  This is the first time I have ever heard a set of speakers that cost £17k and also the first time I have listened to speakers with integrated amps.  They are as simple as they are stunning looking with a single ethernet cable connecting them to the Akurate DSM.  This is really how Linn intended Exakt to work - simple.  It took one look at them to reinforce my utter contempt for these stupid Exaktboxes that are being sold to people, necessitating a load more analogue cables into the bargain.  Defeats the object.

Anyway, the sound.  You'll be disappointed to know that I simply can't find the words - none seem to articulate what I mean sufficiently.  Bass was utterly extraordinary for such a relatively small cabinet and the top end was also quite sublime.  At £17k they are not cheap and they certainly need some fiddling around with to sound their best but there's no doubting their sheer command of the music with a variety of genres.

If I had a reservation, and I will come back to this later, it was the mids.  In my experience as a Linn customer of over 25 years, I have always held that their front ends (Majik, Akurate, Klimax etc) are pretty peerless and the higher up the hierarchy you go the better they get. I'm biased but at least I can base my opinions on having used them for so long.

However, I have also had the view over that time that Linn makes lousy loudspeakers (and, some may say, amps) with notable exceptions being the Katans and the Keilidh especially when driven actively.  They have always sounded to me like there was a 'veil' over the music.  I'll leave this here for now and come back to it later.

So in summary - pretty awesome but they should be.

2) - ATC SCM40a's.

Firstly, these things are bloody huge. And I mean huge. The finish of them is beautiful in its simplicity and they ooze quality from both the feel and the heft of them.  Position them correctly the first time because they won't move. Ever.

After listening to the Akudoriks I was at that point where I thought 'this is gonna be quick as they can't be anywhere near as good'. I was finishing my brew ready to load up a couple of tracks and say my goodbyes before getting on the train to reckon up how long it would take me to save up for the Akudoriks. Even factoring in selling the wife made it seem like an eternity. 

You know when you just hate it when you are right?  That's what happened when the ATC's fired up.

They weren't as good as the Akudoriks - they were better.  Everything was there - bass that would make your teeth fall out, highs that would shatter them before they hit the floor and the mids were just, well, sensational.  I absolutely loved them and was literally shaking the building - these things go loud!. They are subtle when they need to be and party when they need to.

The reason I said earlier that I'd come back to the Akudoriks was this.  I only knew what was missing from them when I heard it in the ATC's - until that point, I was like 'wow'. But the ATC's just hit the spot for me and that old feeling was there when you just know something is right for you. It was 'that' sound I have always yearned for but seldom been able to find within the boundaries of what I can afford.

So, I am now faced with a problem.  I 'want' the ATC SCM40as but simply don't think I have the room to accommodate them.  I wasn't able to demo the SCM19a's and the dealer was less than excited about them in comparison to the 40's.  Nonetheless, I am going to have a listen to some on the end of some N**m gear tomorrow (sorry God - I'll have a good wash afterwards!) and may well go for those if they are anything like the 40's.

This was the Playlist:

A Winged Victory for the Sullen - A Symphony Pathetique.

Adele - Set Fire to the Rain.

AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill.

Rush - Headlong Flight.

Marillion - This is the 21st Century.

Candy Dulfer - Nikki's Dream (Live in Amsterdam).

Paul Simon - Stranger to Stranger.

Dave Gilmour - Wish You Were Here/Coming Back to Life (Live at Pompeii).

Thanks for all the support and advice. I am not sure if I can actually say on here where I went but the shop was superb with me - no pressure, just music.

Final word after today - if there's an active speakers club - I'm in it! 

 

 
Glad you enjoyed them
As a side note the scm19 s have the same foot print as the 40s anyway.

Glad you enjoyed the addictive ATC mid range
 

Pedro2

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2010
42
0
18,540
Hi Paul,

Your post made v interesting reading and confirmed 2 things for me:

1) Linn’s own active (aktiv) route is not necessarily the best way to go and can seriously damage your wallet

2) ATC make cracking speakers

I’m currently extremely pleased with the sound I’m getting from a Linn streamer feeding a non Linn pair of actives. It just seems so simple and direct.

In all honesty, I would have liked to have auditioned the ATC actives but for the size of room, the floor standers would have been too big (especially the 40a) and the price a little bit too high.

keep us all posted on the 19a and as soon as my XLR cables arrive, I’ll post my thoughts on the AE1a.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
163
49
18,620
Great write up, Paul, thank you. Your experience seems familiar.

I have a friend with Klimax system, and I've not heard it for about 3 years, but it was the then current models. He had active Linn standmount speakers plus huge US subwoofers. It worked beautifully, and mostly on a diet of hires downloads. I never loved the speakers, though like you I admired the detail and precision.

Earlier this year, in the context of my own system, and swapping amp and speakers after an interval of almost twenty years, I auditioned a variety of speakers. They included the passive ATC in my signature, and you'll possibly recall my thread on this. https://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/floorstanders-around-ps3000-tale-two-speakers Suffice it to say, the ATC were 'everything' where others had been good in parts, and that's how I sense you experienced your audition.

Thanks again the write up.
 

Paulq

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2007
309
9
18,895
A further little trip out this afternoon saw me demo the 19a and 40a A/B. I refused the offer of a N**m source and instead heard them through the very impressive Auralic Altair.

If I didn't own the Akurate that would be a contender.

Anyhow, for brevity, the 40s are the ones I am going for. Just too good to leave.

Only hurdle now is offloading some of the Linn gear which the dealer has offered to do for me for a fixed fee.

Am pretty excited.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
Excited for you but also amazed that you got it so quick.

Btw atcscm40a are better than passive 50s according to ATC
 

Paulq

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2007
309
9
18,895
Haha - why amazed?

I tend to just know when I like something then I don't hang about. I need to sell the Linn stuff first then get the speakers so it won't be that quick.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
Seems ive been looking at the Pro LYD as a temporary upgrade (until I get ATC actives) to my little JBL305LSR.

So as you do been looking on youtube etc and Ive become increasingly interested in the new dynaudio Focus xd range

Has anyone heard these? (possibly at the last indulgence show)

The Dynaudio marketing does a really good job of getting you hooked

I really need to compare focus xd20 v atc scm 20asl

I could cut out the benchmark Dac with the xd 20 and save a lot of money in the end (although I really rate this benchmark)

where can these be demo'd?

Not much info as yet
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
716
111
19,070
Andrewjvt said:
Seems ive been looking at the Pro LYD as a temporary upgrade (until I get ATC actives) to my little JBL305LSR.

So as you do been looking on youtube etc and Ive become increasingly interested in the new dynaudio Focus xd range

Has anyone heard these? (possibly at the last indulgence show)

The Dynaudio marketing does a really good job of getting you hooked

I really need to compare focus xd20 v atc scm 20asl

I could cut out the benchmark Dac with the xd 20 and save a lot of money in the end (although I really rate this benchmark)

where can these be demo'd?

Not much info as yet
Depends on where you live right ? *dance4*
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
Andrewjvt said:
Seems ive been looking at the Pro LYD as a temporary upgrade (until I get ATC actives) to my little JBL305LSR.

So as you do been looking on youtube etc and Ive become increasingly interested in the new dynaudio Focus xd range

Has anyone heard these? (possibly at the last indulgence show)

The Dynaudio marketing does a really good job of getting you hooked

I really need to compare focus xd20 v atc scm 20asl

I could cut out the benchmark Dac with the xd 20 and save a lot of money in the end (although I really rate this benchmark)

where can these be demo'd?

Not much info as yet
I heard them at a Dynaudio 'event'. No compaisons with any other brands but I thought them much better than the xeos, which were also present. I was quite taken by the standmount model though it is difficult without proper comparitive demonstrations.

I think Dynaudio are hoping that potential buyers will be drawn in by the whole wireless thing which is their real usp. Technically these speakers perform at a very high level, there is 'cross polination' from their highly regarded studio speakers and I have little doubt that they are seriously good.

Whether or not they are to your taste in a hi-fi sense is something else, for example, I find the clarity and control of even the cheapest Lyd model to lift them way above Dynaudios passive offerings such as the Emit but that is me, others might prefer the extra warmth of the passives. You have to audition.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
davedotco said:
Andrewjvt said:
Seems ive been looking at the Pro LYD as a temporary upgrade (until I get ATC actives) to my little JBL305LSR.

So as you do been looking on youtube etc and Ive become increasingly interested in the new dynaudio Focus xd range

Has anyone heard these? (possibly at the last indulgence show)

The Dynaudio marketing does a really good job of getting you hooked

I really need to compare focus xd20 v atc scm 20asl

I could cut out the benchmark Dac with the xd 20 and save a lot of money in the end (although I really rate this benchmark)

where can these be demo'd?

Not much info as yet
I heard them at a Dynaudio 'event'. No compaisons with any other brands but I thought them much better than the xeos, which were also present. I was quite taken by the standmount model though it is difficult without proper comparitive demonstrations.

I think Dynaudio are hoping that potential buyers will be drawn in by the whole wireless thing which is their real usp. Technically these speakers perform at a very high level, there is 'cross polination' from their highly regarded studio speakers and I have little doubt that they are seriously good.

Whether or not they are to your taste in a hi-fi sense is something else, for example, I find the clarity and control of even the cheapest Lyd model to lift them way above Dynaudios passive offerings such as the Emit but that is me, others might prefer the extra warmth of the passives. You have to audition.
im with you on the whole clarity presentation.

but yes i need to demo

those lyd look a great deal at 399 each

could give me a taste - i like the passive dm 2/7 very much
 

radiorog

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2013
54
0
10,540
Paulq said:
Haha - why amazed?

I tend to just know when I like something then I don't hang about.  I need to sell the Linn stuff first then get the speakers so it won't be that quick. 
Very interesting write up Paul. If the 40as are a 10/10, what score would you give the 19a's? Cheers :)
 

Romulus

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2014
57
25
10,570
From other peoples impressions ATC 40 A and ATC 19A are great sonic speakers, but my slight worry is that in regard to ATC 40A quite a few people say it does not come to its own until one hears them from middle volume to high, however one reviewer praised the ATC 19A (Branski) as being able to sound just as good on more modest volumes. I just wondered if any one else have heard the ATC 19A at all volume levels and what impressions they formed. Maybe ATC speakers were not designed for modern apartments where sound travels more freely between walls..?
 

Paulq

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2007
309
9
18,895
radiorog said:
Very interesting write up Paul. If the 40as are a 10/10, what score would you give the 19a's? Cheers :)
Thank you!

The 19a's are also superb in their own right but obviously, you notice a difference with one driver and amp fewer. The main area this was most noticeable was, again, the mids but I'd still score them a strong 8/10.
 

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