Description

After setting up a full 7.1 system all with ATC's bigger speakers and largest centre channel, I went back to basics!!!!! This current stereo setup is my simplest by far. Just enjoying the music.
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Components Toggle details

    • Denon DL-110
    Not last word in resolution but lovely classic FM sound. I can listen all day (and night) long.
    • Pioneer PL-550
    Direct Drive All Manual. Matching burl veneer to ATC.
    • Benchmark Media Systems DAC3
    DAC 1 was outstanding when it came out
    DAC 2 was competitive but not special vs the market 
    DAC 3 ....IMHO Benchmark have hit it out of the park again with this model - it may take competition many years to catch up (like it did with DAC1)
    • ATC EL150SL active
    Includes the latest double spider tweeter from ATC with no ferrofluid.
    • ATC P6
    6 channel Power Amp - 1 discrete amp per speaker driver
    • McIntosh MC-2600
    Classic triode sound. Not the last word in resolution but sublime polished warm FM radio style sound for casual all day listening. Best sounding amplifier I have ever used for moderate listening levels all day and night long. Mid range is to die for. Bass is warm and punchy. Treble is ethereal. This is with stock tubes! Mcintosh tube amplifiers with 50+ years of experience have exquisitely crafted what is a perfect balance between resolution and lush tube warmth. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right.

Comments 24

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@shadorne I've gone down your path and bought a pair of S/H big ATC actives - not the sublime looking EL150's but the more attainable SCM100aslt's in my case.
My little SCM19's were great but the big actives are awesome. 

tobes

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Owner
@keithtexas 

PMC are excellent too - especially the bigger pro models!

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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OUTSTANDING !!

I currently have PMC speakers but am on the lookout for active ATCs. 

keithtexas

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Owner
@mmeysarosh 

Their stated ratings are continuous (not peak output). I agree that most speaker maximum output level ratings are vague. I have measured my older active 100's playing around 112 dB SPL continuous at the listening position and it sounded totally clean. I have not tested the bigger EL150s.

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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@mmeysarosh  states:

The specification in itself is honestly rather vague, which is another gripe the entire industry as measurements must be standardized to permit consumers to compare. Far too many brands take liberties with specifications. Sure, it could be set out to lessen consumer confusion when providing only what is deemed necessary, but when a specification is incomplete such as the one listed on ATC's own website, its best to leave it out instead. 

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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@mmeysarosh  states:
The ATC's can be highly dynamic, but go ahead and call ATC if you like, they publish the maximum SPL is 117db at 1m, and at typical listening distances will be around 110db or less. Also note, the distortion figures aren't provided but I would wager it has peak distortion levels of around 10%. This is not to say across the audio band, just simply the highest level of distortion at any point across the audio band. The vast majority of speakers produce this at 20-250hz, but many exhibit audible distortion at 95db average levels in the mid or treble ranges. There are very few speakers that can achieve this kind of dynamic range, but bass drivers are typically massive to keep distortion under control with mid and tweeters often being horn loaded or in an array configuration to withstand the load.

The ATC design will produce a notable amount of distortion in the bass if driven, but being a doped paper driver and our lack of sensitivity in that audible range makes it somewhat negligible. Doped paper, while not really capable or producing a rigid diaphragm, is quite good with internal dampening and generally makes the system work well. Its lightweight makes cone movements easier to achieve with a given motor assembly. Those soft domes used in the large dome mid and treble drivers also follow the same ethos. Light and well damped, which is pretty reliable approach.

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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@defiantboomerang 

The speakers are active - 6 poweramps one for each transducer so I don’t need a power amp for this model.

@mmeysarosh 

I believe ATC claim that a single ATC 300 cabinet will deliver an astonishing 121 dB SPL at less than .3% THD (with 10dB of headroom). The 300 cabinet is the same build as mine except for two 15" woofers per speaker instead of one (300 litre volume cabinet instead of 150 litre). So 117 dB SPL for one of my speakers at 1 meter sounds about right.

... please direct further questions on my system thread as I don’t think it appropriate to continue to discuss ATC speakers further on a thread that is specifically about Schiit’s excellent Yggdrasil DAC. I prefer not to hijack this thread.

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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A very nice system. How come you didn’t pick the Benchmark power amp?

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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@mmeysarosh states:

The ATC's can be highly dynamic, but go ahead and call ATC if you like, they publish the maximum SPL is 117db at 1m, and at typical listening distances will be around 110db or less. Also note, the distortion figures aren't provided but I would wager it has peak distortion levels of around 10%. This is not to say across the audio band, just simply the highest level of distortion at any point across the audio band. The vast majority of speakers produce this at 20-250hz, but many exhibit audible distortion at 95db average levels in the mid or treble ranges. There are very few speakers that can achieve this kind of dynamic range, but bass drivers are typically massive to keep distortion under control with mid and tweeters often being horn loaded or in an array configuration to withstand the load.

The ATC design will produce a notable amount of distortion in the bass if driven, but being a doped paper driver and our lack of sensitivity in that audible range makes it somewhat negligible. Doped paper, while not really capable or producing a rigid diaphragm, is quite good with internal dampening and generally makes the system work well. Its lightweight makes cone movements easier to achieve with a given motor assembly. Those soft domes used in the large dome mid and treble drivers also follow the same ethos. Light and well damped, which is pretty reliable approach.

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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very nice! well done... those ATC are gorgeous!!

hddg

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Owner
@audiotroy 

Troy, 

Sorry I have not been checking my system lately- obviously a very tardy reply. 

Thanks for your observations and comments. I agree the TT is nothing special but it is more nostalgia for me. I know that Jimmy Page still uses an old technics SL-B2 belt drive TT - so mediocre is good enough for me - especially as vinyl is rarely pristine to begin with (at least not my collection...)

I have upgraded to a Benchmark DAC3 and very happy with it. I recommend you give Benchmark another chance and listen to the DAC3 as I feel that Benchmark regained leadership with this one and I agree that the DAC2 was not outstanding vs competition. I feel the DAC3 is outstanding at least it matches so well with ATC - so could be a synergy thing.

Just  try to imagine your delight with your discovery of the SCM 40 or 19  - as limited as those speakers are, they're still among the best you can find and do so much correctly at all SPL levels! Now multiply those "extraordinary" 40's or 19's  by a factor of 2 or 3 and you have the 150. Frankly, the large ATCs sound so impressive with any source - so natural, detailed, dynamic and effortless....they make anything sound good - even my modest vintage TT.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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We just became an ATC dealer after having experienced a pair of active SCM 40 at the show!

We have the SCM 11 and SCM 19 monitors on the floor know and I have to tell you after 40 years of Audio experience, the ATC sound is among the best I have heard.

I can't believe how few people here know about ATC or know what they do which is rather extraordinary.

The images are spooky large and well defined, the midrange is natural, and the dynamics sound like the real thing.

I think the vintage table is cool personally I would have gone for one of the better modern tables but they that is me, and I think you can also do better than a Benchmark Dac, however, the most important thing is that you love the system. 

Troy, visting part time geek, Dave owner
Audio Doctor
www.audiodoctor.com
Jersey City NJ
877 428 2873

audiotroy

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Hi Shadorne.

Only just seen your ATC speakers, they look great and I am sure they sound brilliant as well.  I have not seen many other ATC set-ups on Audiogon.
Interesting to read your comments about speaker placement.

dctom

Center
Shadorne,
    Wow, I can only imagine the shockingly pristine sound of those multi-amped ATC's! Relating to the previous question about placement near the rear wall, that was the issue that led me to acquire my much more modest ATC SCM19's. They aren't very picky to place, and I had no choice but to actually cram them into a bookshelf. 
    Any way, a beautiful system you have. Tasteful AND opulent at the same time. Well done.
~Oran

oranfoster

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Owner
@oldfordcrap    

Good question about wall distance. There are two positions that generally work well. Either very close to the wall or far out from the wall. 

If the front of the speaker is less than a meter from the wall then there will be no rear wall quarter wave cancellation which is good. Room modes will be stronger - not so good.

If the front of the speaker is far out into the room then this is ideal. Farout means at least 2.2 meters from the wall behind the speakers.

Since my speakers are very wide and not deep I can place the front of the speaker at 0.5m from the wall which works really well in my room. Room modes are not too bad as the room is odd shaped (Lshape) and I prefer the sound with no room EQ or Adyssey XT32 when listening to music. If I were to move the speakers out more than 2 m it would block the seated view to the TV - so I always have gone with that practical consideration.

See this article for a detailed explanation http://www.genelec.cn/faq/acoustical/not-enough-bass/

Of course YMMV depending on your speakers and room shape - the above rules are just rules of thumb!

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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Beautiful system and room,...those speakers are off the charts in how striking and beautiful they are. Going to have do some reading up on ATC's now <grin>!

Ag insider logo xs@2xzephyr24069

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Hi do you keep the speakers that close to the rear wall when your listening? Have you tried moving them forward? My speakers are also close to the rear wall more because of the wife but also room size,just curious because all of the "experts" I've heard from say almost all speakers sound much better away from the rear wall. I've moved mine out and don't really notice much if any difference,just wondering if you have and what you found

oldfordcrap

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Perfect systems

xta

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Love what you've done, beautiful table, Enjoy

needfreestuff

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Owner
Dan,

If you are interested in a more complete history I have a build thread of my previous 7 speaker surround system here. I guess I never posted it here.

http://atcforums.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6271

I guess moving house got to be so expensive in what I left behind that I have gone completely away from custom installs...

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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Rainteaut,

You are very observant. The TT does have a acrylic dust over but I had not installed it at the time of the photo.

You are correct that the L speaker is right next to the TT and far from ideal placement being in a corner to boot! It does indeed pick up some vibration at louder levels and of course I can hear that given the resolution of the speakers. I listen to digital primarly but I enjoy finding Vinyl gems that never made it to digital as well as the whole vinyl experience. 

I guess I am going the simple route - no longer seeking all out assault or perfection. I have Audyssey 32 room correction in my DSP but I don't need it (I guess I'm lucky with the room) I have a big sub but these speakers don't need it for music. 

Just enjoying the music!

Thanks for stopping by!

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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Dan,

Yes I have gone a different direction. I had to sell the house with the huge basement HT project with 7 surround ATC's and an ATC sub. Sad because I put an awful lot of effort into that HT setup. Nevertheless I enjoyed the project which was a significant part of life - the journey is just as fun as the destination.

Anyway thanks for stopping by! As everyone here knows I fell in love with ATC when I first heard the SCM 20 in 1994. Nothing else has tempted me although I continue to audition - so it was logical to go ATC again for my new home and the EL150SL will be my last speaker as it represents the pinnacle of what ATC have achieved. I have a matching veneer custom ATC subwoofer but no surround setup anymore and I think I will keep it that way in case I need to move again! 

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

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Shadorne, As I recall, your system as it is now is completely different from what it was a few years back. The ATC EL 150 SL's I've not seen before, but they are out-of-this-world gorgeous, and must sound at least as good as they look.


Great choice, simple but elegant. Nicely done.

Enjoy, and regards,
Dan  

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

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Simple is good! Not sure if you are a Vinyl lover or digital. If you have a vinyl lp collection and the turntable platter accumulates dust. Check out Dust-o-disc website. A simple product to prevent dust from being transferred to the LP.
Speakers are lovely - Are they close to the TT ?

Ag insider logo xs@2xrainteaut

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