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Tobes

ATC SCM100ASL - the beasts arrive!

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On 22/06/2019 at 12:04 AM, Tobes said:

Your preamp outputs connect directly to the back of the speakers (which contain the power amps). 

The ATC's have balanced XLR inputs only - though they do show you how to connect preamps with RCA only outputs.

The speakers, of course have to be connected to AC power.

My main source is a Mac Mini which streams to a Benchmark DAC3L into the Benchmark HPA4 pre, then XLR out to the ATC's.

I'm using relatively cheap Mogami studio Gold XLR cables - good enough for the studios, then its good enough for me.😉

My AC cables are DIY VH Audio 'Flavour 2' with Furutech Fi-11ag  connectors at the amp/speaker end.

20190316_142454.thumb.jpg.78b478a481a44078ba3f02cdbecb23c6.jpg

 

20190621_235533.thumb.jpg.0b1837c2a3fe6ec3a7143138e3a97c7b.jpg

 

 

 

I strongly suggest you try and audition a set of Cardas Clear XLR I/C's.

 

After that I highly doubt that you would still stick by your statement.......😊.

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1 hour ago, JohnL said:

 

I strongly suggest you try and audition a set of Cardas Clear XLR I/C's.

 

After that I highly doubt that you would still stick by your statement.......😊.

For $7500 for a 3mtr pair......

Will they be 50 X better than a quality pro pair?

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1 hour ago, Conch said:

For $7500 for a 3mtr pair......

Will they be 50 X better than a quality pro pair?

 

Highly doubtful but  also highly subjective.

FWIW........my used  2mt pair only cost $2K and I could never go back........😄

 

Considering that Tobes is using quality Benchmark gear into high end actives.......and

has already gone with higher end AC cables and connectors.....

.......why wouldn't you explore higher end I/C options?.....

 

Anyway........I sure am glad I did!!!!

 

Listen to some if you can and then you will know where you stand.

Edited by JohnL

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9 hours ago, Conch said:

For $7500 for a 3mtr pair......

Will they be 50 X better than a quality pro pair?

Yes exactly. The XLR to my left speaker is 15ft - so about 5m.

There is no way in hell I'd spend that type of money on interconnects. I have compared the Mogami Studio Gold to Wireworld Eclipse 7 XLR (a set of which I still own) and the Mogami stack up pretty well. They sound different, but nothing that would justify the expense of buying a 5m set.

A single 15ft Mogami XLR is about $80 and comes with the industry standard Neutrik gold XLRs

 

I think money would be far better spent on acoustic treatment that could have massive positive impact on sound quality - far outstripping gains on expensive cables.

I'm not saying cables don't make a difference, I think they do, but value for money vs other options to improve sound is poor - and worse at the pointy end.

Cables are icing on the cake, not fundamental like acoustic treatment. 

I also think that the differences between unbalanced cables are more pronounced than XLR, probably because the former are far more likely to introduce noise to input stage of the next component. Properly designed differential balanced equipment will cancel any noise introduced to the cable.

 

BTW, here is a link to a video by Benchmark's John Siau where he demonstrates the effective noise suppression of  Canare star quad cable (similar construction to Mogami). I suspect many 'hi-end' cables would be inferior to these pro cables in terms basic noise suppression.  

Edited by Tobes

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I use Canare L-4E6S star quad xlr cable with gold neutrik xlr on my 100ASL.

 

I have expensive xlr siltech , ps audio , furutech etc sitting in the cupboard that I'll get around to selling .

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On 12/07/2019 at 6:33 PM, Conch said:

I know what you mean mate.

I have passive 40’s and active 100’s and the actives grow on me more every time I listen to them. 

What pre amp are you using?

cheers 

Liam

 

I am using a naim audio 252 - 2 box pre. amp, with this mate.

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I know these discussions about cables nearly always end in tears but still I think it’s worth telling the story of my recent experiences with different XLR cables.

 

Over the last month I have been trying various XLR’s with a Technical Brain integrated amp and the differences in sq are obvious. When the amp was first in my system several months ago with Aurealis copper litz XLR’s as the interconnect the difference the amp made was quite stunning sq wise, in fact it was the best my system has ever sounded, however the amp was only at my place for a weekend.

 

Just over a month ago  it was bought back, the only XLR’s I had in the house at the time was a pair of cables that came with some Vincent amps, so how did it sound? ... crap!

Then a pair of Kimber Hero XLR’s that I had loaned out were sent back to me a couple of weeks later, SQ improved but still not like it was, again pretty ordinary.

Another mate loaned me some expensive Audioquest Niagara XLR’s, again a decent improvement but that original memory of how almost magical the amp sounded in my system was still not replicated, but it wasn’t that far off I thought.

This week a pair of Aurealis copper litz cables, like the ones I originally heard the amp with, arrived and that magic that we experienced when the Technical Brain was first plugged into my system was back, the step up over even the Niagra’s was impressive.

 

The Technical Brain amp only has balanced connections and that is the one interconnect cable I had few of but this drawn out episode of getting different cables to try has once again proven that different cables can and do make a big difference and expense isn’t always the deciding factor in the difference in sq cables can provide. 

 

There is a caveat to all of this, if your system and especially your speakers are big on detail and are very resolving then changes in sq from different cables is obvious. If the speakers aren’t very big on detail then it’s quite possible that differences in what you hear with different cables will be less to non existent.

 

Again like with most everything in Hi-Fi it comes down to synergy.

 

cheers Terry

Edited by TerryO

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7 hours ago, TerryO said:

There is a caveat to all of this, if your system and especially your speakers are big on detail and are very resolving then changes in sq from different cables is obvious. If the speakers aren’t very big on detail then it’s quite possible that differences in what you hear with different cables will be less to non existent.

Thanks for the report Terry.

Like I said above, in my case it isn't a matter of not hearing a difference but rather whether or not that difference is preferable or an across the board improvement.

I do believe in quality cables and have heard quite significant differences in SE designs over the years. I remember back when the Monster Cable M1000 was introduced (around 1980?) and was labelled outrageously priced at US$125/m pair. Things have gotten pretty ridiculous since then, but when you look at the actual construction of cables it's hard to see how some of todays prices are justified.

 

Confession to make, while I've tried several SE cables brand name and DIY cables, I've only really tried the Wireworld XLR's - mainly due to being highly rated and of generally neutral disposition. These sounded a bit 'bigger', warmer, possibly more dimensional than the Mogami - which may be preferable with some material. However when I put the Mogami XLR's back in I didn't feel any great sense of loss or depending on the material I might prefer the latter.

This was between the Benchmark  DAC3>HPA4>AHB2 which are true differential fully balanced components and are  very revealing with S/N and distortion figures close to SOTA. Maybe other components vary more with different cables? 

In any case, even with moderately priced cables like the copper WW Eclipse, long lengths become quite expensive - enough to rule out experimentation. The more exotic cables can be crazy expensive in long lengths, just not a path I'm comfortable to travel down (unless I win the lottery). 

As always with these things the value is in the ear of the beholder. YMMV.

 

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Seems nothing remains static for long.

Only just added the diffusion panels to my long wall placement (with pretty nice results) and now I've decided to make a major change moving the speakers to the more traditional short wall placement. 

I've been pondering trying this for some time, but being such a PITA (in terms of system upheaval) I've put it off.

One reason for putting it off is short wall placement eats up some available space as the sofa is pulled out into the room - and I've had to remove my seperate headphone listening nook I had with the old setup (sofa position presently used for both).

I've yet to play around with side wall placement of the diffusers, which are where I had them for the previous setup.

 

Old setup. Room dimensions were chosen for favourable room modes - 6m x 4.2m x 2.7m :

 

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Short wall setup - sofa about 2m from the back wall and speakers 1.8m from the front wall and 900mm to side walls (centre of baffle in both cases).

Absorbent panels placed at first side wall reflection point, but I've yet to adjust DC2 diffusers (which are were they were for the long wall placement).

Results are very positive - more stable/consistent imaging and depth discrimination. Great sound balance.

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Record racks on the back wall provide pretty good diffusion - probably won't bother treating this wall, there is a 600x600mm foam absorber on the door. The diffusers on the right will be moved to more appropriate positions, possibly some to the ceiling.

20190722_142017.thumb.jpg.61a1759fb367cd599e0af534f903428b.jpg

Edited by Tobes

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Looking good mate. Can I ask where you bought and how much those white diffusers are?

Cheers. 

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@romekaff the diffusers are the Vicoustic DC2 - they sell for about $700 for six (600x600mm). They are made from polystyrene foam, so are functional rather than strictly good looking. They do also come in grey and black.

I got mine for Audio Trends in Melbourne.

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I have them too.  They are Vicoustic DC2

They come in a 6-pack and are about RRP $700

They are white grey or black.

They seem to be denser than normal polystyrene.

 

[Tobes types faster than me.]

Edited by aechmea

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Just updating the thread to show how the room treatment evolved with the SCM100's.

The DC2 ceiling treatment has made a profound improvement to clarity, focus, ambiance resolution and plain realness/naturalness of the sound. 

Not sure if I've reached the limit yet - may consider additional ceiling treatment.

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Love the room @Tobes (and the system in general!) - i was curious though, your placement of the acoustic treatments, was this based on anything in particular?  

I was going to head down this path soon and your placements are very simple & well balanced room/wall/space-wise and i think this will go some way to satisfying the WAF :-)

Acoustic treatments and where to put them are baffling to me at the moment (no pun intended)...

 

Cheers!

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@rowbo I mostly followed a few widely used principles.

Placing the speakers for the best balance of sound (particularly bass) is probably the first thing, because it will effect how you move forward with the room treatment. 

 

All room treatment is placed symmetrically left to right (ie treatments placed in mirror image - the speakers too are placed carefully with measured distances from front and side walls). This yields dividends in imaging and soundstaging.

 

There are bass traps in the front corners, some absorption and diffusion behind the speakers - which is my preference after trial and error. I elected to keep the window area uncovered for aesthetic reasons, but this doesn't seem to have much drawback. I could experiment with curtains, but it doesn't seem necessary.

After that it is mostly treating of the first reflection points on the side walls and ceiling and minimising flutter echoes across the side walls (some trial and error). 

As I've said elsewhere, I was amazed at the improvement after adding the ceiling treatment. It seemed to have the most profound effect (centred on the first reflection point) - though that may be because it was the last surface to be treated ie last piece of the puzzle enhancing the effect of previous treatments.

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I heard these speakers at the hifi show. These were the best speakers at the show by a decent margin in my opinion. I have been waiting patiently for a pair of jbl 4367 to come up for sale on our second hand market and they just don't pop up.

So, I am starting to look at ATC more seriously as my budget grows.

I noted that the ATC 100 comes in a few flavors

SCM100ASL Pro

SCM100ASL

SCM100ASLT

 

The specs are identical.

 

Do these speakers sound exactly the same? Maybe there is slight difference due to the stand, additional cabinet volume, ground coupling, weight?

Has anyone compared them directly?

 

I have linked photos to the products for anyone wondering that the differences are.

The price variance is fairly massive. If they are basically identical

I do not care about appearances. if the pro is the same sound and more than half the price I know what I want!

 

Also, although I loved the ATC 100 ASLT at the show, they definitely need a sub.

 

Hope it is OK to post this in here, there is not a dedicated sub for ATC on stereonet as far as I can see.

 

 

 

 

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They’ll sound the same. Pricing on the pro won’t be half, probably much the same as the domestic version.

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Yes, the pricing on domestic versions has come down so I wouldn't expect that big a difference. You do pay a fair bit extra for the towers, special veneers and gloss finishes (as per Hi Fi show demo pair).

 

ATC say they sound the same, though I can't rule out very minor differences. Apparently, the "effective internal volume" (I made that term up) is the same in towers vs Classic. I guess the towers have an extra cabinet section below. Both domestic models come with spikes, though no stands are included with Pro models. 

 

We recently got a new thread for ATC here;

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/292410-atc-speakers-owners-discussion-thread/?tab=comments#comment-4382482

 

I'm an ATC dealer.

 

Cheers,

John

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