ATC SCM100 vs B&W 802 D2

rjstaines posted:

I have to say, reading vintageaxeman's list of ATC clients, I wondered if the inclusion of the US Air Force should make me re-think my buying decision...

Surely you’ve seen the Apocalypse Now “Ride of the Valkyries” scene...

Innocent Bystander posted:

This is not arguing against your point, but balancing it a little. Personally I am quite convinced of the quality and integrity of ATC's products, just with the one question mark in my head mentioned above. A comparative audition would be a nice thing to do! I would certainly like to hear the SCM 100s, as just purchased by the OP, in my room, also the 150 - but the shear size and weight of these might be another matter. ATCs are quite a bit cheaper than the similarly sized PMCs, I guess largely a function of the cabinet complexity necessary for that bass extension in the PMCs, though I think the lower cost also extends to the amplification when active versions are compared. All in all, if the ATCs do indeed sound as good in the bass as some on here have said, notwithstanding the specs, then they are mighty good value for money, as well as sounding mighty good!

ATC were actually still selling their superlative SM75-150 mid unit on the open market right up to this year - indeed, I posted a notice on the forum when I learned it was about to be withdrawn, maybe about April or so. However I did hear somewhere that although PMC used it early on, they had to change quite a few years ago because ATC didn't want to keep selling to a direct competitor, but that is hearsay.

PMC, by the way, though they haven't been going as long as ATC, also have an extensive pro client list (though I can't be bothered to compare directly - and I suspect for many the long list above will simply be a turn-off).

 

Absolutely, IB.

The Midrange unit by the way, had 2 versions....The SM75-150 and the SM75-150S.  I agree that the non-S version was available through Wilmslow Audio until some time ago for DIYers, but the S version has not been for at least a decade.... Wilmslow now sell a similar looking Volt unit but it has some quite different specs.  Celef also used ATC drivers years ago, and certainly PMC did too.

Cheers, David

rjstaines posted:

I have to say, reading vintageaxeman's list of ATC clients, I wondered if the inclusion of the US Air Force should make me re-think my buying decision... but then I remembered Naim count Bentley among its clients, and if cars are good enough for Naim, then aircraft would be good enough for ATC.  And besides that ATC have a lot more credible clients on their list, so needn't really have included USAF.  

I'm now wondering if it's the classic stand mount or the towers they install in their planes over there accross the pond? 

OMG, and there was me thinking ATC stood for Air Traffic Control..... 

vintageaxeman posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

This is not arguing against your point, but balancing it a little. Personally I am quite convinced of the quality and integrity of ATC's products, just with the one question mark in my head mentioned above. A comparative audition would be a nice thing to do! I would certainly like to hear the SCM 100s, as just purchased by the OP, in my room, also the 150 - but the shear size and weight of these might be another matter. ATCs are quite a bit cheaper than the similarly sized PMCs, I guess largely a function of the cabinet complexity necessary for that bass extension in the PMCs, though I think the lower cost also extends to the amplification when active versions are compared. All in all, if the ATCs do indeed sound as good in the bass as some on here have said, notwithstanding the specs, then they are mighty good value for money, as well as sounding mighty good!

ATC were actually still selling their superlative SM75-150 mid unit on the open market right up to this year - indeed, I posted a notice on the forum when I learned it was about to be withdrawn, maybe about April or so. However I did hear somewhere that although PMC used it early on, they had to change quite a few years ago because ATC didn't want to keep selling to a direct competitor, but that is hearsay.

PMC, by the way, though they haven't been going as long as ATC, also have an extensive pro client list (though I can't be bothered to compare directly - and I suspect for many the long list above will simply be a turn-off).

 

Absolutely, IB.

The Midrange unit by the way, had 2 versions....The SM75-150 and the SM75-150S.  I agree that the non-S version was available through Wilmslow Audio until some time ago for DIYers, but the S version has not been for at least a decade.... Wilmslow now sell a similar looking Volt unit but it has some quite different specs.  Celef also used ATC drivers years ago, and certainly PMC did too.

Cheers, David

Yes, I knew of the high power/higher sensitivity S version (I believe identical otherwise in performance), though I din't know when it was removed from retail sale - when I bought my standard ones about 8 years ago they were still available.

I recall back around the late 70s/early 80s that mid unit was used by a few manufacturers to high critical acclaim - and it has not changed much over all those years, having been so good a design.

It looks like vintageaxeman's list of ATC users is mainly for their studio monitors rather than for domestic use so not really comparable with other speaker manufactures who don't sell studio gear. I'm sure a similar list could be compiled for B&W (e.g. anybody recording at Abbey Road over the last 30 years will have used their speakers).

The ATC studio versions have exactly the same drivers and electronics, and are exactly the same construction as the beautifully veneered domestic versions....It's JUST the finish that is different.

And of course you are absolutely correct that any other speaker manufacturer with a successful professional history would be able to make their own client list.  I am just particularly impressed with ATC's, and hope that it gives prospective purchasers some idea of the 'club' they are joining, much like the confidence and enjoyment that being in the 'Naim club' gives me! By the way, talking of Abbey Road, Giles Martin (George's son) used ATCs to remaster the Beatles back catalogue...

vintageaxeman posted:

By the way, talking of Abbey Road, Giles Martin (George's son) used ATCs to remaster the Beatles back catalogue...

Not sure which particular remasters you are referring to: but ironically given the title of this thread, B&W 801D were also used during the remastering...

That's interesting, Eloise! It was the 2016 Sgt Pepper, and I think the rest of Giles' work on their back catalogue too...Anyway...I know Abbey Road have used B&W a lot in the past. So I don't know at what point either were used, but checking out sound on multiple systems is always an effective method of quality control.

As an ATC user myself, I had just wanted to point out to RJStaines and anyone else who is thinking about buying ATCs, that they are well worth considering, and really should be listened to alongside other premium brands like B&W, WIlsons, PMCs, Naims, Linns, ProAcs, etc etc, so that the individual concerned makes their own choice, of course......

My dealer delivered to me last evening some passive 40s. I am driving them with 500 series amps and SL cable. Must say they are excellent. Very natural presentation with good dynamics. I like them a lot and they look good too in cherry. In my room they are better than the Sonus Faber Guernari Tradition I had aslo been lent (oddly less bright and more dynamic and over £10,000 cheaper!).

Next logical step is to hear the active 40s at some point. But at the moment, I'm rather impressed with the passive 40s.

rjstaines posted:

Brief update...

Well, persistance and bribery have paid off, although I suspect that Christmas has grabbed SWMBO's attention and edged those 'ugly speakers' (SCM100's) down her priority list.  Nonetheless, the words "I suppose you're going to get them anyway." were, I thought, about as close as I was going to get to an acceptance.  So I've placed a pair of the classic (stand mount) SCM100 active speakers on order - should be a January delivery.  

Meanwhile I've borrowed the tower active 100's which she hates so much, I've packed up the B&W 802 D2's and the NAP500 and sent them to my dealer who has put them on the bay... so the point of no return is past.  I'm going to drape a few strands of Christmas decoration over the offending speakers in the hope that 'out of sight, out of mind' might happen.

Oh, I mentioned bribery... the initial offer was a new tennis bat at £1,500,  but she's decided that the kind of tennis bat that Andy Murray might play with is probably not for her, so she's settled for a wad of cash instead, so the overall cost of ATC SCM100's has risen by £1,000.  ...she should be on the Brexit negotiating team.

Roger

Congratulations, Roger,  both on your decision and on using your own ears (and powers of bribery) rather than Forumites' theories in coming to a conclusion.  I hope you have many years of listening pleasure with your outstanding system.

Your listening experience reflects mine a few weeks ago, albeit I was exploring the Naim/ATC foothills (also at Acoustica).  Whilst there, I had an enjoyable time comparing active and passive SCM19s (driven by 250DR) and formed a strong preference for the former.  I wrote it up in a thread here so won't repeat my findings but I was sufficiently encouraged that I intend to go and listen to active SCM40s when I have the time in the New Year.  I will then probably ask for a home demo of either 19s or 40s.

(The other) Roger

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