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ATC's SCM 7- joyous!

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August 19, 2003 9:58 PM

Just wanted to drop a note to say I have always wanted a decent pair of standmounts to switch off to when it's that time of the month. Or whenever, really.

Picked up a pair of used ATC SCM 7's on a lark (with the intention of listening for the hell of it, then selling them at a loss-- as always) but lo and behold they actually ARE a wonderfully musical transducer.

They are the first speakers I have heard (except Kans and such) That are as fast as my Neat Mystiques, but they have a more even-handed balance in my smaller room.

Lots of tight and pitch accurate (maybe even kind of Quad-like??!) Bass.

And they are fast.

Indeed-- but not bright. I expected them to be bright what with ATC being all about "true accuracy" and all that-- But they are not in any way bright at all-- just smooth and natural with my CDX2/202/NAPSC/202. A great all around speaker.

I can only imagine what their more upscale SCM 12 sounds like...

Of course, in a bigger room than mine-- you'll probably want one of the company's bigger speakers.

I am quite happy with them so far, and I highly recommend that those wanting either a standmout pinch-hitter, or a main speaker in a not-too-big room give the lil' ATC's a listen.

A beautifully musical speaker.
 
 
 
Buffy (Guest)
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August 19, 2003 10:52 PM

Hi onlythat,

I auditioned the ATC SCM 7s at the beginning of the year on my previous non-naim system and I thought they were
- lightning fast
- very musical
- and sounded bigger than they looked.
The reason I didn't buy them was because I wasn't happy with the bass - or lack of it. I'm used to listening to floorstanders and the SCM 7s just didn't satisfy enough with their lack of scale and extension. I've also had a short listen to the SCM 12s, the bigger one, at a dealer's. They had them hooked up to a Classe 150W integrated and cd player. Sounded VERY fast & punchy and had lots of grip. I asked if I could try my Nait5 on them and he said sure. So I brought my Nait and hooked it up to the 12s and boy was I disappointed. The Nait didn't have enough power to drive them and was showing some distortion. That was the only day I was ashamed of my Naim. Frown Next time, I'll ask for a home audition.
I think the SCM 12s are everything the reviews said them to be and I'd love to hear how they will sound on a 500.
Perhaps I should give the SCM 7s a try again this time on my Nait. I can feel the itch coming.. Big Grin They might possibly give me more enjoyment than the Ruark Talisman IIs I'm currently auditioning. But who knows... Confused
 
 
 
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August 19, 2003 10:58 PM

quote:

Perhaps I should give the SCM 7s a try again this time on my Nait.


Even if all Naits sound more powerful than they are I believe the Nait5 is simply to small for the ATCs. It might sound ok but a speaker with both a kinder impedance and higher sensitivity will be a better match IMO.
 
 
 
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August 19, 2003 11:12 PM

I bought a pair of SCM7's a few months ago used,mainly because of their size and being a sealed box,as I was having bass problems with my ported Royd Doublets.
I can honestly that they are one the best speakers I have ever heard,and the lack of any real bass is not really a problem for me as what they produce is tight and fast with perfect pitch and timing.
I'm using mine on Linn Kan stands,but I have just bought a pair of Target Reference 4's to try out.........sound better on the Kan stands to me.

Paul.
 
 
 
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August 20, 2003 3:16 AM

"Of course, in a bigger room than mine-- you'll probably want one of the company's bigger speakers.

I am quite happy with them so far, and I highly recommend that those wanting either a standmout pinch-hitter, or a main speaker in a not-too-big room give the lil' ATC's a listen.

A beautifully musical speaker" onlythat

I agree with your opinion regarding the SCM7's.
Very underrated speaker that sounds good in a larger room as well, mine is 1,000 sq ft. Go up well against the wall.
 
 
 
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AndrewThomas (Guest)
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August 20, 2003 4:21 AM

onlythat: "Of course, in a bigger room than mine-- you'll probably want one of the company's bigger speakers"

You will want one of the company's bigger active speakers.

One of the more or less agreed issues on this forum is that ATC speakers should be active..

Active 10's are simply stunning (let's just say I sold my active isobariks, after buying the 10s, and leave it at that Smile)

I also have a pair of Active 50's which are in another league above the 10's. Get a listen if you are near a dealer..


quote:
Originally posted by John Gilleran:
I am quite happy with them so far, and I highly recommend that those wanting either a standmout pinch-hitter, or a main speaker in a not-too-big room give the lil' ATC's a listen.

A beautifully musical speaker" onlythat

I agree with your opinion regarding the SCM7's.
Very underrated speaker that sounds good in a larger room as well, mine is 1,000 sq ft. Go up well against the wall.


You have a room that big!!! No wonder those little SCM7's need to go against the wall! It's the only way you'd get any bass.

The 50's I have aren't big enough for that room!

Andrew

[This message was edited by AndrewThomas on WEDNESDAY 20 August 2003 at 08:17.]
 
 
 
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August 20, 2003 8:07 AM

John: is your room 1000 square feet, or 1000 cubic feet? I can imagine SCM7's working just dandy in a room of 1000 cubic feet. In a room of 1000 square feet you'd almost need a telescope just to see 'em!

Jim
 
 
 
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Buffy (Guest)
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August 20, 2003 10:30 AM

quote:
I believe the Nait5 is simply to small for the ATCs

I shall find out soon. Also giving PMC DB1 a listen. (Hifi News recommended system - Nait5/DB1)

Buffy
 
 
 
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August 20, 2003 2:03 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Buffy:
I shall find out soon. Also giving PMC DB1 a listen. (Hifi News recommended system - Nait5/DB1)

Buffy
Good luck in your search.
 
 
 
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August 20, 2003 2:33 PM

"is your room 1000 square feet, or 1000 cubic feet? I can imagine SCM7's working just dandy in a room of 1000 cubic feet. In a room of 1000 square feet you'd almost need a telescope just to see 'em!"

The room is really about 1,000 sq. ft. The room where the hi-fi and speakers are located is about 25 X 24, it also has a pool table and 13 foot long bar. This room is open to a room that has my records and a home theatre, this room is 17 X 18. Behind the bar is a storage room that is about 12 X 17. Here's a downsized photo to give you an idea.

The speakers really do produce a very satisfying and tuneful bass and I've never felt a yearning for anything more in that department. In fact,having the speakers in a large room mounted 5 feet off the floor helps the bass develop in a way they wouldn't in a smaller room.

[This message was edited by John Gilleran on WEDNESDAY 20 August 2003 at 18:06.]
 
 
 
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August 20, 2003 4:10 PM

So a question or two--

First, grilles on or off??

Second-- if i like the little SCM 7's and I want to try the bigger boys, do you go for the SCM 12's or the active 10's?

Before you answer that one, know that I JUST GOT my nearly new 202/NAPSC/200, which sounds wonderful-- so getting a pair of active 10's would mean either just using the 202 and maybe buying a hi-cap with the money from the sale of the amp--

or buying one of the new baby ATC pre's to use. This would mean selling my NAIM stuff ALREADY (which i just friggin' got!!! but at a good price, thankfully) (and which sounds great I might add).


Getting a pair of SCM 12's would mean just selling the 7's and upgrading. Simpler? Yes. But if their pre is as great as their speakers... maybe a CDX2/ATC pre would be amazing.

Let me know.
 
 
 
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August 20, 2003 4:43 PM

I much prefer the sound of mine with the grill's off.
Andrew,do the active 10's work ok near walls like the 7's?
Considering how good the passive 7's are I am very tempeted as well to hunt down a pair for a listen......not shure about the pro looking cabinets though Wink

Paul.

[This message was edited by quickie on WEDNESDAY 20 August 2003 at 17:41.]
 
 
 
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August 20, 2003 6:28 PM

I spoke with the reps of ATC in the states, flat earth audio.

They told me that if you have a "good Naim system" you might want to check out the SCM 12, as they work really well with Naim stuff (as good as 7's) and that will save you having to ditch your system for an ATC pre with active speakers etc.

She says the 12's are basically a 7 with more scale and bass. Souds good to me!

David
 
 
 
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August 20, 2003 6:43 PM

Passive ATCs are very good speakers, but I agree with those who say ATC actives are where the action really is. (I have active 10s.)

They will work very happily with a Naim pre - a dealer can make up the required DIN to twin XLR cables, or Chord will sell you some. You will need a hicap for the pre, however.

They work close to a wall, as well...

-- Ian
 
 
 
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AndrewThomas (Guest)
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August 20, 2003 6:52 PM

quote:
Originally posted by onlythat:
So a question or two--

First, grilles on or off??



The ATC official advice I beleive is "grilles on". Oh and the you can't take the (metal) grilles off the 10's (they look pretty ugly without the grilles - trust me Smile)

quote:

Second-- if i like the little SCM 7's and I want to try the bigger boys, do you go for the SCM 12's or the active 10's?

Before you answer that one, know that I JUST GOT my nearly new 202/NAPSC/200, which sounds wonderful-- so getting a pair of active 10's would mean either just using the 202 and maybe buying a hi-cap with the money from the sale of the amp--

or buying one of the new baby ATC pre's to use. This would mean selling my NAIM stuff ALREADY (which i just friggin' got!!! but at a good price, thankfully) (and which sounds great I might add).



Without knowing what the NAP200 is capable of, you could push the boat out and try a pair of passive 20's (beware they have both floorstanding and standmount variations). The 20's have a reputation for sucking the life out of smaller amps though ...

I'd say don't sell the naim stuff and watch audiogon for ATC passive bargains.. Be warned ATC is pretty much unheard of over here and the stuff moves slowly on audiogon (so buying NEW on a whim isn't such a great idea..)

quote:

Getting a pair of SCM 12's would mean just selling the 7's and upgrading. Simpler? Yes. But if their pre is as great as their speakers... maybe a CDX2/ATC pre would be amazing.



CDS2/XPS + ATC SCA2 + Active 50's is a pretty good set up Smile

I have the SCA2 pre-amp which is the big brother of the CA2. The SCA2/CA2 share a good deal of circuitry, and I've been told that the CA2 is "so close". Can't say I've heard a naim pre-amp with ATC's, but someone lurking here has Smile

Andrew
 
 
 
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AndrewThomas (Guest)
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August 20, 2003 6:59 PM

quote:
Originally posted by quickie:
I much prefer the sound of mine with the grill's off.
Andrew,do the active 10's work ok near walls like the 7's?



Grilles don't (officially) come of the Active 10's Smile

They do "work" near walls, I found them to sound better away from the walls (where you might argue they were a little lean..)

quote:

Considering how good the passive 7's are I am very tempeted as well to hunt down a pair for a listen......not shure about the pro looking cabinets though Wink



Given how thin on the ground the dealers and stock are, you might have to listen to whatever he has to hand -- like the NEW active 20-2. Don't take your check book Smile

Andrew
 
 
 
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Mark Azoulay (Guest)
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August 20, 2003 7:10 PM

Buffy

Apols for thread-butting, I'd really be really interested to hear what "nice bass" speakers you settle for. My Nait5 is pushing Ruark CL10s - nice frequency range - but they're still small boxes at the end of the day.

Mark A
 
 
 
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Buffy (Guest)
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August 21, 2003 9:59 AM

PMC DB1/Nait5 - My jaw has dropped

OMG! The sound from these babies being pushed by my Nait5 is simply astounding. Explosive! Fantastic! Very dynamic speakers and boy can they rock. Bass was very tight and yes they do have good bass and a sound that's much bigger than they look I was very impressed with these speakers but vocals can be a tad bit lean and bright. I was told that the SCM7s produce a warmer and richer sound - thus vocals also. But I'll soon find out if they can perform as well and the DB1 in terms of dynamics.

My verdict for the PMC DB1 on a nait5: Explosive, astounding speakers that will rock your house with very well controlled bass. Boy it was such a rush.. I was cursing and swearing euphorically after blasting some Joe Satriani Smile

Yet to test the SCM7s. Will get it today.
 
 
 
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Buffy (Guest)
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August 21, 2003 10:01 AM

I forgot to mention I have returned the Ruark Talisman IIs to the dealer. Muddy bass...
 
 
 
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August 21, 2003 6:24 PM

ATC SCM7/Nait5
quote:
Originally posted by bjorne:

Even if all Naits sound more powerful than they are I believe the Nait5 is simply to small for the ATCs.

Bjorne,

The SCM7s are in my house right now and you are right. The Nait5 is does not have enough power to drive them. That's the first downside.

ATC SCM7 vs. PMC DB1
The second downside: I find that these speakers are VERY MUCH slower than the PMC DB1s. When I had the DB1s, my house was rocking and grooving with any kind of music on the panet that will shake you to your bones. The SCM7s are slow (sorry to spoil your fun onlythat). Even though instruments and vocals are fuller and have more body with better pitch, I find that these speakers are boring. They don't dance and they don't groove. In my opinion, the 7s are a small speaker that tries to sound like a big speaker with limited bass extension. However I feel if partnered with powerful amps (eg: 200/250), they might actually sound better and more balanced, but still with limited bass extension. But stil they will be quite slow and boring. Vocals are nice and rich.

Conclusions
The SCM7s are rich and full bodied but with limited bass extension. The PMC DB1s are very much faster, exhilirating, explosive speakers that packs tons of juice and groove and are very dynamic. When playing anything on these speakers, you just hear the music EVERYWHERE. I found myself playing one album after another and the fun never stops. Most of all I was really gettin' high...Cool. The DB1s are very well balanced speakers but positioning plays a very big role here to achieve the best bass and balance. If not placed properly they will sound lean and bright. But when you get it right, these babies are magical, explosive and extremely involving speakers that will give endless hours of enjoyment. Trust me. You gotta try them.

Buffy.

P.S. I made a mistake saying the Nait5/PMC DB1 is the recommended system fom Hifi News. Actually they are the recommended system from Hifi Choice.
 
 
 
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August 22, 2003 12:10 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Buffy:


I auditioned the ATC SCM 7s at the beginning of the year on my previous non-naim system and I thought they were
- lightning fast
- very musical
- and sounded bigger than they looked.


You later said this:

The SCM7s are slow (sorry to spoil your fun onlythat). Even though instruments and vocals are fuller and have more body with better pitch, I find that these speakers are boring. They don't dance and they don't groove. In my opinion, the 7s are a small speaker that tries to sound like a big speaker with limited bass extension. However I feel if partnered with powerful amps (eg: 200/250), they might actually sound better and more balanced, but still with limited bass extension. But stil they will be quite slow and boring. Vocals are nice and rich.

What amp did you use when you first listened to them?
If the Nait can't drive them,then what do you expect them to sound like?

Paul.
 
 
 
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Ken P. (Guest)
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August 22, 2003 3:22 AM

I had the chance to audition DynAudio 1.8's last night powered by the Nait 5/CD 5/Flatcap 2 and was extremely impressed. They just seemed to get everything right. My old Rega ELA's are charming by comparison but don't approach the Dyn's. I was suprised that the Nait could drive the speaker so well. Anyway, I would like to hear Neat's next. Model suggestions, opinions on differences? Not aware of ATC's in Chi-town.

Ken
 
 
 
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August 22, 2003 4:25 AM

The ATC's slow????? Dont think so. My Neats are BLAZING quick and the ATC is just a step or two behind 'em on the dance floor. In fact, the ATC is the first speaker since the Kans that didn't make me think I was on a one way ride back to Roundie-ville on Boredom Highway.

Perhaps you like Rock music (or whatever you kids are calling it these days-- hoppity hip?? Eh? Something??) more than I do-- and so you value a speaker that can play your man Satriani like a bastard. Perhaps the DB1's fit that bill nicely.

Me?? I'll take Pavarotti any day over Joe and the alien he rode in on, so the ATC is probably more my bag, baby.


Ultimately though, i think they are going to be a touch too small in scale for my room over the long hall-- so I have decided to dem their big brothers, the 12's.

If they are half as good as the 7 but with greater scale-- They might just dethrone my Neats. A feat which none of the 8 or so other well regarded speakers I have had over to tea recently could quite manage. (Including Spica TC50's, Kans, De Capos, Totem one's etc..)

David
 
 
 
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August 22, 2003 4:25 AM

ATC's in Chi-town.

Try Chris Barry the US importer of ATC and a great LP12 setup man. He's got practically all the models for demo.

HIGH FIDELITY SYSTEM
19 S. Wabash Ave
Chicago
IL 60603
Illinois


Tel: 312 201 0403
 
 
 
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Royster (Guest)
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January 20, 2004 3:37 AM

Hi all,

Could current ATC 7 users shed more light on these following myths, As a Kan user with a tiny room, these speakers are of great interest to me:

1) They require even more upscale (and powerful) gears than Kans to make them work.

2) They are free space speakers, close to wall siting is do-able but not recommended.

3) They are merciless and unforgiving.

4) The only do classical.

The 3rd and 4th point is of most concern for me, for as a music lover (for which hi fi is a means to an end - i.e. not into upgrades unless something is broken) a large percentage of my software a vintage or not well recorded, while I do not mind a speaker which reveals these to me, I do not need one which HIGHLIGHT or ACCENTUATE them to me. One of my reasons of considering a world beyond Kans is due to the fact that some vintage pop, rock, soul what have you becomes literally PAINFUL to listen to...not a lot but enough to make me investigate further...

your thoughts is greatly appreciated.

Roy
 
 
 
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January 20, 2004 4:59 AM

congrats!

I haven't heard any other speakers around the same price and delivers what SCM7 offers. ( maybe except now discontinued SCM10 at used pricing )

Enjoy!
 
 
 
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Royster (Guest)
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January 20, 2004 5:41 AM

Kuma,

Could you please eleborate?

Best

Roy
 
 
 
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January 20, 2004 8:35 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Royster:

1) They require even more upscale (and powerful) gears than Kans to make them work.


Not necessarily. Whilst I have not driven my SCM10 with Sony reciever, they don't sound that bad with entry level amps. They do shine, however, at higher SPL, so, better the amps' horse power you can ensure their performance at best.

quote:
2) They are free space speakers, close to wall siting is do-able but not recommended.


dunno, is 1ft. away from the wall too far? I do agree that they sound better freestanding. I do not recommend putting 'em right up against the wall.

quote:
3) They are merciless and unforgiving.


I think this depends on who the listener is. I didn't find ATC, especially non SL driver models such as SCM7 or 10 ruthlessly revealing. I found larger active ones, whilst they offer tremendous dynamics and unflappable performance at high SPL, tad too clinical for my taste. ATC active models have a tendency to sound too strident. That's why I prefer using my own electronics to tailor different degrees of musicality.

quote:
4) The only do classical.


This is puzzling. Confused
I think ATC is one of the best all-rounder and this is their strength. i.e. they treat all music with equal care and enthusiasm.

And this is the main reason ATC is one of my favorite speakers.
I listen to all kind of music and none of 'em are particularly well recorded. They are revealing enough to show upstream components, so, I'd assume that if ATC sounds unbearable, probably faults lie somewhere else in a signal chain...

Vintage pop, rock and soul? Smile Put on Grandmaster Flash and ATC would do justince if they are fed right. ( does not have to be expensive. they just need to be matched well )

at any rate, I thought SCM7 shared the same personality as SCM10 sans bass. One thing going for SCM7 is that they would work near rear wall as SCM10 you want at least 1ft. off the wall. If the space isn't the problem, SCM10 at around the same pricing (used ) as SCM7, the latter might have a wider appeal. ( that is if you buy into the ATC sound )

I think SCM7 sounds more *alive and kicking* than Kans and have more guts. But that's me.
 
 
 
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January 20, 2004 8:44 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Ken P.:
Not aware of ATC's in Chi-town.



A friend of mine scored SCM12 around your neck of the woods for 1200$. Big Grin
 
 
 
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January 20, 2004 9:48 PM

Hi Roy.

"They require even more upscale (and powerful) gears than Kans to make them work"

Mine sound superb driven by a Nap110,just don't expect earth shattering levels.

"They are free space speakers, close to wall siting is do-able but not recommended"

Mine sound better close 5-10" to the wall than in free space(24"+)

"They are merciless and unforgiving"

Maybe of poor quality hardware but not poorly recorded music.
This is one of their best strengths to me....being able to make not so good quality recordings still very enjoyable to listen to.

"The only do classical"

I listen to very little classical.

Are you tempted yet? Wink

Paul.
 
 
 
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January 20, 2004 9:58 PM

I second all Kuma says-- the ATC 12's and 7's I had had only one weakness-- the need for power to hear them at their best. Otherwise they are stellar.

They absoultely POUND on rock music and are no classical-only speaker-- that's a total myth! In fact-- they are used all over by professionals in studio monitoring for rock/jazz etc.

Probably only a few studios and audiophiles use 'em for classical!

The only thing they MAYBE are is a touch rolled in the treble-- and a touch warm.

Otherwise they are terrific all-around musical loudspeakers that can play loud without breaking a sweat and have mids to die for.

I am getting a pair of 12's to go with my Harbeth Compact 7's as i could't decide either way.

Oh-- maybe one more caveat-- I should warn you that at very low, background levels with Naim gear in particular for some reason, they may lack some dynamics. This may be a function of their relatively low efficiency and sealed nature. Or of-- perish the thought- the Naim gear itself, in combination with certain speakers.

David
 
 
 
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January 21, 2004 12:57 AM

quote:
Originally posted by onlythat:
Oh-- maybe one more caveat-- I should warn you that at very low, background levels with Naim gear in particular for some reason, they may lack some dynamics. This may be a function of their relatively low efficiency and sealed nature. Or of-- perish the thought- the Naim gear itself, in combination with certain speakers.



David,

It's the speakers. One thing I can fault on smaller ATC is that they fall asleep at low volume. They come alive when a certain level is maintained. Naim gear is plenty dynamic for a solid state design.
 
 
 
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January 21, 2004 3:24 AM

Having tried the ATC SCM 12's with a Naim 112/150 Flatcap2 combo, I can say the 150 lacks the oomph to drive the SCM 12's. Switching to a LFD PA2M, dual mono rated at 90 watts/channel, made all the difference. Suddenly there was bass and much more drive to the speakers.
However, I must say the SCM 12's are not perfect. They lack the nth degree of resolution in the treble which I enjoy. The SCM 12's also beg to played loud to bring out the best in the music. YMMV
 
 
 
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Royster (Guest)
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February 7, 2004 5:05 AM

Got a pair of 7s yesterday. burning them in now. will report soon... thanks for all those who have responded!
 
 
 
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February 7, 2004 8:26 PM

Hi Roy,

Hope you're enjoying the speakers. How are they working out with the Kan stands? I'm thinking the spikes may not matchup with the footprint of the speaker.

Regards,
John
 
 
 
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February 7, 2004 8:37 PM

You will have to turn the Kan stands through 90 degrees so they will fit on the top spikes.
I doesn't look to bad and they work a treat on them.

Paul.
 
 
 
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February 9, 2004 2:47 PM

John,

I find them to just as much different as they are alike with my Kans - if that makes sense. Tonally 7s win hands down, however Kans are simply addictive when you feed then right. You know its MSG with the Kans but it still. During my 5 years with the Kans I had never known that muddy recordings existed! It just clear, sharp, painful. My first 72 hours with the ATC has shown me a much different reality. While they are revealing, they were never sharp or bright at least with my naim kit and in my carpeted tiny room. bass was not lacking in the sense that like well setup Kans they sound "meaty enough" for most music genres (including tech and dance!) for a tiny to small room.

Now to lose my FEP credit completely...orginally I had them roughly 10cm from the front wall and while that was fine, it notice a little congestion in the mids and upper bass, not offensive but there nonetheless... I began moving them forward, the first few cms helped but that began to excite my room's modes and all upper bass went crazy! so more forward they went. Of horrors, I ended up with them almost a metre out and almost 1.8 metres apart 60 cm away from the side walls and 1.7 metres away from my head and just the tinest toe in. What it got was some of the most musically organised sound I have heard in my system. Whereas the Kans presented the details almost all on one layer (7s did a similar thing when against the wall but a little more chaotic), the 7s is able to reveal the many layers (MUSICALLY speaking, not in an imaging sense) that occurs in any particular piece...

gotta get back to work but will post more info soon...

BTW, it got the 7s as a valentine's day present from my much better half who got sick and tired of me fiddling about with the mains the past few weeks.. (we moved and the mains and new room broke the spell between the Kans and myself) so my eternal love and thanks to her!
 
 
 
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