Atc Scm 11 substitution

Dear community.

One year ago I bought my first Naim (Nait 5si) and month latter Scm 11 speakers. Unfortunately I did't have a chance to listen to them in my home environment since this is not a dealer's policy, but I had extensive listening at his audio room. Speakers, connected to my amp, sounded great and very easy to listen even at very high volume. 

Well, situation in my room was quite shocking. The transparency and beautiful sound is still there, but it comes with an ear fatigue, sometimes after 15 minutes, other times after hour of listening. It was very bad at the beginning, but I manage to place speakers in position that gives me minimal unpleasent feeling. But it is still there.

I would like to try some other speakers, maybe a bit warmer, but without loosing the transparency. With Naim I auditioned Neat Motive. They completely killed rock'n'roll with polite guitar. 

Can you give me a hint for what model to where to look, please. There is a huge problem here, since I am limited to audition only a few most commercial brands (B&W, KEF ...).

Thank you.

Regards.

Original Post

Seems a strange policy as every dealer I have come across is only too happy to allow home demo - in my view a home demo is critical as room acoustics play a big part.

i could recommend the usual suspects but my advice would be find a dealer that will allow home demos as that's the only real way you can get the sound you want. 

Gary

fathings cat posted:

Seems a strange policy as every dealer I have come across is only too happy to allow home demo - in my view a home demo is critical as room acoustics play a big part.

 

Gary

That tends to be the case in the UK, but I notice posters outside the UK regularly flag that we're the lucky  ones over here, and even in-shop demos can be challenging in some regions.

I'm about to look at a set of small speakers to go with a second system, preliminary listening has me looking at the Neat Iotas, B&W CM6 s2 and ProAC Tablettes as my probables.

It's more than likely that you have a lot of hard flat surfaces in your listening room.  just increasing the amount of soft furnishings is often enough to tame such HF bright rooms (simpler and cheaper than trying to get different speakers).

There are two glaring omissions in your post...

First: You haven't told us what your source component(s) are (and did you actually use the same type of source and amp when you auditioned the speakers?).

Second (and this is forgivable as you didn't realise room acoustics played such a big part):  You haven't given us any information about your listening environment - some sparsely furnished rooms ring like a bell at HF.  The more information the better (size, shape, openings, wall types, glass, floor type & covering and furniture are an absolute minimum and other info may still be required - anything that can reflect or absorb sound).

 

Huge: No, source in the listening room was different. I use Sqeezebox Touch without external dac, connected with RAC-DIN cable. All music files in flac format. 

My room is 4 x 4 meters. One speaker is positioned close to the left wall. I am sitting on my bed while listening, so there is a soft surface just in front the speakers (and also the wall behind my bed). Behind one of the speaker there is a window, but it is covered with thick fabric. 

First...   HH's comment is very pertinent:  Same Amp, same speakers, different source and something changes - so logically you should first investigate the source rather than blaming the speakers!

Second "One speaker is positioned close to the left wall", not ideal and what is on that wall, any HF absobption? (otherwise you'll get reflection here).

What about floor or ceiling reflections - we still don't have the full picture.


Having said that, ATC speakers are very revealing of the quality of upstream components, and a SBT isn't in the same league as the rest of the system, so look to HH's point about the source FIRST, before blaming the speakers.

Yes, the two variables are source and room. As the room is easier to play with, though not necessarily easy to resolve, maybe have a go: If you clap your hands sharply, around the room, especially where the speakers are, do you hear a distinct echo or echoes? If so that is one indication that the room may need taming.

You say you've repositioned the speakers with some improvement, maybe try more, and vary the listening position, even if it means moving the bed - away from the wall can be beneficial (at this point don't worry too much about practicalities, that can come if you do find something works better). If your floor is hard surface, try covering with something soft between you and the speaker - bed coverings, strewn clothes, anything will do to see if there is a significant effect. You could also try propping a pillow or large cushion on the side walls (especially the one close to a speaker) - imagine the wall is a mirror (better still, get someone to hold a mirror flat against the wall and move it around while you watch from the listening position to identify the right spot): the cushion should be put where the reflections of the speakers would appear from the listening position. 

Eve any of these things make the sound come close to what you liked in the dealer's room, then you can start more deatailed assessment.

Better evaluation of the room can be done with REW software (room equalisation wizard), free and downloadable, though it would require a measuring microphone to use it. It is very good for assessing what is happening in the room in a more methodical way.

a final question: what speakers did you have before, and how did they sound? (presumably with same amp and source?).

You can play with the room, and all those ideas are great, but you simply cannot polish a turd, i.e. the SBT. Changing the speakers won't do a lot unless you can go for something really unrevealing. The ATCs are very revealing, which is one of the reasons they are so good. One might even say that the Nait's not really up to them. 

Hungryhalibut posted:

You can play with the room, and all those ideas are great, but you simply cannot polish a turd, i.e. the SBT. Changing the speakers won't do a lot unless you can go for something really unrevealing. The ATCs are very revealing, which is one of the reasons they are so good. One might even say that the Nait's not really up to them. 

I don't disagree, however my suggestions are because it is possible that the room is a significant factor and it is fairly easy to play about a bit at zero or negligible cost and see if there is scope to improve and get it at least livable, whereas changing the source clearly requires available funding (and the OP can't have home demo to try).

There we go, get your MoJo and have a successfully polished turd!

Actually that's a very good source for a Nait 5Si and ATC11s, all for less than £525
(£400  for the Mojo, and allowing up to £125 for the 3.5mm jack to 5pin DIN cable.)

Thank you for all suggestions.

 

My previous sistem was Rotel 06 with Kef IQ 30 speakers.

Difference when Naim was connected to the KEF speakers was huge.

Sqeezebox is quite a good dac, but will try some better.

Thank you for suggestions. Will try (beside naim dac since i can not aford it).

After all, music maters

 

 

 

Re DACs, I haven't heard it myself, but Mojo is reputedly almost as good as Hugo, so is amazing value for money and well worth it if you can afford. A cheaper DAC that gets good comments on hear as being very good for its minimal cost is the Audioquest Dragonfly, though whether or how much better than the DAC in the squeezebox I leave to others to advise.

Hi Sun,

if you like what ATCs COULD do,  there're two possibilities either you go active or replace the nait (not suitable, you should go up the range,SN at least, though I only appreciated them using202/200 ).

Tablette 10 or new studio SM100 should be of your liking ,but again, I think you should upgrade your amp sooner or later, and won't give exactly the sonic signature ATC are so additive.

 

Antonio, yes, I like Atc. Unfortunately I don't have finace to go SN or active speakers for now.

But I am now (beside room treatment as suggested above) seriously considering adding a DAC. 

Two questions:

Is it better to add a dac to my source (Sqeezebox Touch) or consider other streamer?

If i go with Chord Mojo, does a 3.5 jack degrade sound quality compared to RAC?

 

Going up the range to an SN2 or separates while keeping the analogue out from the SBT would just show-up the limitations of the SBT even more clearly.  In your case, you definitely need to sort out the digital to analogue part of your source first, before getting more transparent electronics.

Both routes to improve the source are valid.  However getting a streamer that will match the quality of the SBT + Mojo combination will cost you a lot more than £525 (for instance the NDX is £3700, and some people still prefer the Chord Hugo with a lesser digital source!).  However, if you're looking to future system upgrades and you've got that sort of money available, it may be worthwhile, but for now (and even taking your amp to SN2 or 202/200 level) the Mojo is plenty good enough.

A 3.5mm jack can have pretty much the same audio quality as Phono RCA connectors (DIN, BNC and XLR are superior, but that's another story).  The main difference here will be the quality of the cable, not the connector (and you can get bad sounding phono cables just as you can get bad sounding 3.5mm jack cables).  Go for a 3.5mm jack to 5 pin DIN cable rather than using the phono connections on the Naim amp - that will get you the best sound from the Naim amp.

Sun King posted:

Antonio, yes, I like Atc. Unfortunately I don't have finace to go SN or active speakers for now.

But I am now (beside room treatment as suggested above) seriously considering adding a DAC. 

Two questions:

Is it better to add a dac to my source (Sqeezebox Touch) or consider other streamer?

If i go with Chord Mojo, does a 3.5 jack degrade sound quality compared to RAC?

 

Others on here do use Mojo into Naim amps - I guess if you search 3.5 you'll probably find much discussion

Antonio1 posted:

SBT with linear psu is vastly inferior to, say, a unitiqute I know I sold this latter to a friend using SN as amp. 

Streamer is as important as dac.

So, what DAC are they using, and how are they connecting it?

Unfortunately without that, your statement doesn't help at all

Sun King posted:

Ok. But if I have to, what speakers woul you suggest if i would not like to loose transparency and would be a bit easier to listen? And be good with rock.

Have you thought at all about the recommendations you've had so far? It's your source that's the problem, not the speakers. If you insist on worse speakers to obscure the poor source, just try a few cheap ones, but they won't be as good as your ATCs. 

Gee Whiz - When did the little SB Touch become the forum whipping boy? Before you go spending money on a new Streamer, DAC, cables etc., why not take the SBT to your dealers and listen to all your home components in their room and then confirm that it is in fact the source of your listening fatigue.

My money says it probably isn't the main problem. While not the last word in detail, dynamics, (insert other hi-fi artefacts) - the SBT is an absolutely fine music maker and under no circumstances should be making your listening uncomfortable - unless you are listening at very, very high volumes in your room, with your ATCs, which by all accounts are unforgiving, and may need considerable run in. I assume the pair you heard at your dealers were not brand new.

I have run SBTs bare into Naim Nait 2 (recently serviced) and Incatech Claymore (never serviced) into Spendor S3/5R² in a small study and it is anything but fatiguing.

I have also run it in my main system feeding 552 DR/500/SBLs, and yes a Hugo elevates it, and a microrendu surpasses it, but on its own it is perfectly capable and not in any way an ear bleeder.

I think the suggestion is that because the ATCs are much more revealing than many speakers, they could be revealing deficiencies of the source that are not evident on less revealing speakers, that explaining the fatiguing nature of the sound, whereas when demonstrated at the dealer the source was different.

Sun King posted:

Dear community.

One year ago I bought my first Naim (Nait 5si) and month latter Scm 11 speakers. Unfortunately I did't have a chance to listen to them in my home environment since this is not a dealer's policy, but I had extensive listening at his audio room. Speakers, connected to my amp, sounded great and very easy to listen even at very high volume. 

Well, situation in my room was quite shocking. The transparency and beautiful sound is still there, but it comes with an ear fatigue, sometimes after 15 minutes, other times after hour of listening. It was very bad at the beginning, but I manage to place speakers in position that gives me minimal unpleasent feeling. But it is still there.

I would like to try some other speakers, maybe a bit warmer, but without loosing the transparency. With Naim I auditioned Neat Motive. They completely killed rock'n'roll with polite guitar. 

Can you give me a hint for what model to where to look, please. There is a huge problem here, since I am limited to audition only a few most commercial brands (B&W, KEF ...).

Thank you.

Regards.

you said you enjoyed the nait 5/ act scm11 at the dealer demo. What was the source at that time?   was it also the squeezbox touch?    i am quite sure, like other members here, that your source is the weak link.   i would add a softer source than naim on your amp/speakers combo, because atc are already, a little, on the hard side( not the exact term perhaps).  So chord hugo, second hand, marantz  na11, naim uniticore/chord mojo, linn majik ds....

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