Hi-Fi Wigwam – Real Reviews – SCM19A
As part of their new RealReview feature, Hi-Fi Wigwam have been reviewing the SCM19AT. Reviewer, Richard Bowles made a few interesting findings during his extensive listening…
“The obvious test of any piece of equipment is its ability to make you keep listening. As I start the first draft of this review, we have most of the family arriving for Easter on what was tomorrow but is now today. It is three in the morning and I am being moaned at, not unreasonably, for carrying on pulling things off the shelves to listen to. That, in a nutshell, is the ATCs. They make you want to keep finding things to play. A number of tracks are probably the best I have ever heard them sound.”
Richard Bowles, Hi-Fi Wigwam, April 2017.
Hi-Fi Wigwam SCM19A Review
Synth whizz Will Gregory gears up to take new Goldfrapp album to the masses with ATC assistance
“What’s good about the SCM25A Pros is that they’re more muscular; they’ve got more bass end, and you can control that… they manage to throw the sweet spot quite a long way into the room, so everyone can share it… but they have all that accuracy, so when you do sit yourself down in the sweet spot they’re absolutely invaluable.” – Will Gregory (composer/keyboardist/producer), 2017.
BOX HILL, WILTS, UK: specialist British loudspeaker drive unit and complete sound reproduction system manufacturer ATC is proud to announce that Goldfrapp synth whizz Will Gregory turned to London based ATC dealer Funky Junk to supplement his trusty Nineties-vintage SCM20 passive monitors with an altogether more modern SCM25A Pro three-way active studio pairing, promptly put to good use when working on the multiple Grammy®-nominated British electronic duo’s recently released seventh studio album, Silver Eye…
But before finding critical acclaim and international chart success with vocalist Alison Goldfrapp — Supernature sold over one million copies as Goldfrapp’s third album (featuring striking smash hit ‘Ooh La La’), the Bristol-born multi-talented composer, keyboardist, and producer predominantly recorded and toured throughout the Eighties with Bath-based rock/pop phenomenon Tears For Fears and later performed with other big name ‘local’ acts, including singer-songwriter/humanitarian activist Peter Gabriel and trip-hop pioneers Portishead. It was around this time that Will Gregory began a lifelong love affair with those trusty two-way passives, playing their part in putting him on the road to Goldfrapp glory. “I managed to source a second-hand pair of SCM20s, because I didn’t have a lot of money at the time,” he begins. “But I’ve always used them as my main reference monitors, and I’ve taken them to all the mixing sessions we’ve done with Goldfrapp. I know where I am with them, so they’ve stood me in good stead, because they have this quality of not bringing anything to the party.”
Problems have, however, occurred — albeit as far as Will Gregory’s well-honed listening skills are concerned — when stepping outside his ATC comfort zone: “I’ve had to mix on other speakers when working elsewhere, but then when I play those mixes back on the SCM20s I end up making more changes — put it that way. Whatever else I play them on after I’ve made those changes, I don’t want to make any more changes, so — in that sense — you can trust them to be accurate.”
All of which rather begs the question: why the need to move on up to ATC’s acclaimed SCM25A Pro three-way actives? An answer lies somewhat closer to home. Home is where the heart is, after all, and home for Will Gregory is a spacious Sixties bungalow also housing his primary studio setup (as well as a synth-based room and another room dedicated to analogue drum sounds and tape manipulation). Here he hunkered down for the best part of two years to work on the new Goldfrapp album, announced on Twitter by Alison Goldfrapp herself back in July 2015. While Will Gregory has not entirely forsaken his passive pair of beloved SCM20s, the larger SCM25A Pro three-way active studio monitors met with his approval in more ways than one: “What’s good about the SCM25A Pros is that they’re more muscular; they’ve got more bass end, and you can control that because they’ve got ports on the side, so you can decide how much or little you want, which is great. I love the totally practical, physical way that you can just remove or insert the bungs to change the bass, but, either way, they fill the room much better than the SCM20s.”
Tricky as it may sound, residential room size played a part in influencing Will Gregory’s studious SCM25A Pro purchasing decision. “I’m in quite a big room now,” notes its owner, adding: “I’m here a lot of the time, so it functions like a home. I think they used to have more room in the Sixties, so it’s got this large sitting room with a lovely picture window, which means you can see some nature while working. So I love it from that point of view, having spent so many years underground, which is where musicians seem to put themselves a lot the time in studios for some strange reason. But because we’re detached here, we’re not going to disturb our neighbours unduly, so it’s ideal. But when I’m working with other people in there we clearly can’t all fit in the sweet spot between the speakers, yet they manage to throw the sweet spot quite a long way into the room, so everyone can share it. They’re also fantastic for just ramping up the vibe a little bit, but they have all that accuracy, so when you do sit yourself down in the sweet spot they’re absolutely invaluable.”
Invaluable for referencing that all-important bass end on Goldfrapp’s eagerly-awaited seventh studio album, about which the dynamic duo themselves collectively commented: “Silver Eye belongs more to the electronic world of Supernature and Black Cherry. We’ve worked with some fantastic people on this album and we’re really excited to share it with you.”
SCM25A Product Page
Will Gregory Moog Ensemble
SCM19A Review – The Speaker Shack
Giancarlo Massironi is the latest reviewer to be bowled over by the performance and musicality of the SCM19A.
“the ATC SCM19AT speakers have all the potential for offering up this album with an extra-large serving of quality. The dynamics and transients are really excellent…with the ability to create a large scale sonic picture in my smallish room. The top end is so detailed with not a hint of any harshness as the tweeter is one of the finest sounding I have come across…Listening to the SCM19AT speakers has proved to be a very rewarding experience…” Giancarlo Massironi, The Speaker Shack, March 2017.
To read the review in full, please visit The Speaker Shack website.
ATC P2 Power Amp Review – Hi-Fi News
The new P2 power amplifier has received a glowing review in the latest (March) edition of Hi-Fi News.
Hi-Fi News reviewer, Adam Smith greatly enjoyed his time with the amplifier and here are just a few of his thoughts from the review:
“the P2 is one of those subtle components that quietly works its magic on you, until you suddenly realise that it is doing everything brilliantly but without any fuss or melodrama. Put simply, it just sounds ‘right’.”
“In terms of detail, the P2 struck gold once again. Instruments were lifelike and beautifully atmospheric, no matter whether a recording featured a soft solo acoustic ensemble or a grand orchestral bombardment.”
Adam Smith, Hi-Fi News, March 2017.
To read the review in full, click the link to the PDF.
For more details on the amplifier, visit the P2 product page.
To arrange a demo, please get in touch with your local ATC dealer or distributor. Details of retailers in your area can be found here.
Hi-Fi News, is the longest running Hi-Fi magazine, worldwide. It is widely respected for it’s detailed and thorough reviews, covering both the subjective quality and the measured technical performance of the products it covers. You can find out more on the Hi-Fi News & Record Review website.
GREEN DAY AND CHRIS DUGAN OUTFIT NEW STUDIO WITH ATC SCM45s AND SUBWOOFER PROS FOR REVOLUTION RADIO
As the legendary five-time Grammy-winning punk rock trio Green Day filled out a project studio in anticipation of recording its twelfth studio album, their longtime engineer, Chris Dugan (U2, Iggy Pop, Smash Mouth), collaborated on the equipment choices. They filled it with their favorites, including API, BAE, Manley, Vintech, Universal Audio, Chandler preamps and equalizers, and a Trident 80b console. When it came time to decide on monitors, Dugan recommended ATC SCM45A Pro nearfields paired with two Subwoofer Pros Studio 18’s, following his success with his own pair of ATC SCM25A Pro monitors. As a result, “Green Day’s recently released recording, Revolution Radio was recorded entirely on the ATC/Subwoofer Pros system. The system was sold to Dugan and Green Day by their long-term supplier, Cutting Edge Audio and Video, San Francisco.
“We had been demoing some songs the band had been working on, and as we made the transition to recording for the album, I suggested that we consider upping the monitoring in Green Day’s project studio,” Dugan said. “We agreed that it made sense to go to the top of the line so that we would know that we’re doing exactly what we hope we’re doing for this big recording project. I have a pair of ATC SCM25As, and I heard the SCM45As at AES last year. I knew they would give us the kind of precision monitoring that we needed, and Brad Lunde at TransAudio Group helped us complement the ATCs with two Subwoofer Pros subs.”
He continued, “They were exactly what we were hoping for; we were able to hear absolutely everything. When I’m talking to my non-audio friends, I tell them that monitors are like prescription glasses: you can’t really discern the details without a good pair. Bad monitors hide various aspects of the sound, and it’s those aspects that poke out in weird ways when you listen back on another system. In contrast, the ATCs reveal everything. The Subwoofer Pros subs fill in the bottom end nicely, which gave us a more inspiring playback – the full frequency impact was impressive!”
JOE CHICCARELLI SCORES WITH ATC SCM45A PRO MONITORS
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 2016: With Ten Grammy wins, including Best Engineered Album for The Raconteurs Consolers of the Lonely and scores of platinum and gold albums, Joe Chiccarelli has made good on the famous opportunity Frank Zappa gave him during the recording of “Sheik Yerbouti” – among Zappa’s best-selling albums ever. When the head engineer couldn’t make the session, Zappa promoted then-assistant engineer Chiccarelli to take the lead.
Joe Chiccarelli at Sunset Sound with his ATC SCM45A Pro.
Since then, Chiccarelli has had the opportunity to work with the biggest and best artists in the music industry, including U2, Beck, Elton John, Rufus Wainwright, Tori Amos, The Strokes, Jason Mraz, The White Stripes, and on and on and on. Inspired by their transparent midrange, extended low- and high-end, and impressive SPLs, Chiccarelli recently switched from the monitors he had been using for two decades to ATC SCM45A Pro nearfields.
“I had stuck by the same monitors for twenty years because they offered the kind of phase coherence that allowed me to hear, for example, small differences in mic position,” explained Chiccarelli. “But in the last five years or so, I started looking around for something that would give me that same phase coherence, but greater low-end and high-end content to meet the current expectations in the recording industry. People are making bigger, punchier albums these days, with an extended frequency range and plenty of synthesized sounds with extreme frequency content. For a long time, it was an unsuccessful search, and I stayed with my old monitors.”
He continued, “But then I was working with The Killers at their studio in Las Vegas, and Brad (Lunde, president of ATC’s U.S. distributor, TransAudio Group) loaned me a pair of ATC SCM25A loudspeakers. We were doing guitar overdubs at the time, and the moment we put the SCM25As up, I heard details that went beyond the capabilities of my old monitors. It was immediately apparent that I had to go move the mic a quarter inch because it wasn’t quite right where it was. That’s the kind of fine detail that I depend on to make the right decisions.” Keen for more low end than the SCM25As could offer, Chiccarelli waited – on the advice of Lunde – for the introduction of the ATC SCM45As, which have two low-end drivers.
In the year-and-a-half that he’s had them, Chiccarelli has used them to record, mix, and/or produce Morrissey, Alanis Morissette, Arkells, Needtobreathe, Milow, Spoon… “pretty much everything I’ve done,” he said. “Recently I’ve been traveling to Montréal to work on a project with Broken Social Scene, and after I finished pretending that I could get by without my ATCs, Brad stepped in to help me find a local pair that I could use. It’s really the midrange for me – that’s the tell. Plenty of monitors can impress with their low end or high end, but the midrange is where most of the critical work happens. I think that’s why engineers used to rely so heavily on Auratones, Altecs, and JBLs – speakers that had that clarity in the midrange. New speakers, with the exception of ATCs, are missing that. And truth be told, ATCs take that midrange clarity to a whole new level – this is something new under the sun.”
Not only do the ATC SCM45As sound great and produce recordings that reliably translate, they also produce plenty of clean volume. “That’s important,” Chiccarelli states. “I do a lot of live tracking sessions with full bands – it’s not just about the vocal. I want the band to come back into the control room and get excited about the work they’re doing. I want it to be big and powerful and to reflect who they are as artists. It’s an impressive psychological advantage that feeds back to inspire better recordings. My SCM45As practically sound like soffit-mounted mains!”
Chiccarelli is so reliant on and impressed by the ATC SCM45A Pro that he recently purchased a second pair for a new overdub room that he opened up in his home-away-from-home, Sunset Sound.
SCM45A Pro Product Page.
Transaudio Group (ATC U.S. Distribution).
ATC announces availability of P2 Pro Dual Mono Power Amplifier
ATC is proud to announce upcoming availability of the P2 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier — a true dual mono design, delivering 300W of continuous power simultaneously from both channels to drive the most challenging loudspeaker loads with ATC’s signature virtues of wide bandwidth and ultra-low distortion — as of November 3rd…
Hand-built by ATC in the UK, as implied by name, the Class A/B P2 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier is a dual mono design, keeping the power supplies, signal, and return paths discrete. This approach ensures that the amplifier will achieve maximum signal separation with minimal crosstalk, and that intermodulation between channels via the power supplies is reduced to an absolute minimum across a frequency range of 400kHz. It also means that the power delivery from one channel cannot affect the specified power available from the other.
Within a new low-vibration 19-inch rack-mount chassis design featuring a precision machined 12.7mm brushed aluminium front panel, the P2 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier’s layout includes a massive, custom-made 400 VA low-noise transformer for each channel and an output stage involving three pairs of MOSFET devices per channel to achieve peak current output of over 15 amps. According to ATC Technical Sales Manager Ben Lilly, “The final design of these transformers is the result of seven design iterations with the goal of achieving best possible audio performance and lowest possible mechanical noise. This was achieved by using a very high-grade steel core which is then vacuum-impregnated with high-temperature resin, post-winding. The exceptionally low levels of mechanical hum/buzz, along with convention cooling, are vital features if the amplifiers are to be used in control rooms designed with lowest possible levels of background noise.”
Needless to say, with ATC’s unique ‘grounded source’ output stage, smooth power delivery and extremely low harmonic distortion is a given. Gain matches that of the P2 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier’s lower power P1 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier sibling so that they can be used together in passive bi-amp or tri-amp systems connected via ‘Link’ phono inputs/outputs.
The P2 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier offers both balanced XLR and unbalanced phono inputs, ‘Link’ phono outputs, proprietary speaker terminals, and a front panel-mounted power switch. Signing off, Ben Lilly lets it be known that this product has been a long time in the making due to two major factors — namely, new power supply design and a new top cover/lid design: “The mains power ‘soft start’ feature has been revised, slowing the rate at which the unit powers up. The design of the venting has also been revised with the steel mesh covering the heatsink vents being replaced by a beautiful acid-etched stainless steel insert. Not only does this component greatly enhance the amplifier visually, it also reduces lid/cover vibration.”
Weighing in at an impressive 21kg/46.2lbs, the P2 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier’s accomplished specifications similarly leave little to chance:
- Max Continuous Output Power : 300W (8Ω, 1% THD).
- Input Sensitivity: 2V rms (ref. 150W out).
- Input Impedance: 10kΩ/leg.
- Frequency Response: <2Hz – >400kHz (-3dB).
- Signal to Noise Ratio : >110dB (DIN).
- Crosstalk: >100dB.
- THD: >0.002%/-95dB.
The British-built P2 Pro Dual Mono Power Amplifier will be available as of November 3, 2016 at a UK RRP of £2,833.00 GBP (plus VAT). For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated P2 Pro product webpage.
ATC Win at the 2016 What Hi-Fi Awards!
ATC have won awards in three categories at the annual 2016 WHat Hi-Fi Awards.
SCM11 Best standmount speaker £1200-£1500
Awarded 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
“It’s hard not to be totally enamoured by the ATC SCM11s. For the money, they seem to do everything right – and their solid curved cabinets look the part too. When it comes to speakers, or even hi-fi kit in general, there are few better ways to spend £1200.”
Learn more on the SCM11 webpage.
SCM19 Best standmount speaker £1500+
“These ATCs are analytical yet never sound clinical or passionless. They remain transparent to the original recording and system electronics. And when it comes to insight and honesty, we haven’t heard any better for the money.”
Learn more on the SCM19 webpage.
C1 system Best speaker package £2000+
“We suppose the highest praise we can offer ATC here is that it has provided a match for our considerably more expensive reference system. We can think of no better alternative for the money. A consummate triumph, to be sure.”
Learn more on the ATC multi-channel webpage.
To get the full details on these awards, please visit the What Hi-Fi Awards 2016 microsite. You can read about all the award winners in the offical awards issue of the magazine which, is available now.
New Product Launch – P2 Power Amplifier
Generating twice the power of its smaller P1 sibling, the P2 will drive the most challenging loudspeakers with ATC’s signature virtues of wide bandwidth and ultra-low distortion…
Hand-built by ATC in the UK, the P2 class A/B stereo power amplifier is designed to complement the brand’s range of hi-fi preamplifiers, both aesthetically and operationally. Rated at 300W continuous power per channel and developed in tandem with the P2 Pro studio amplifier, the ATC P2 is a Dual Mono design, keeping the power supplies, signal and return paths discreet. This approach ensures that the amplifier will achieve the maximum signal separation with minimal crosstalk, and that intermodulation between channels via the power supplies is reduced to an absolute minimum across a frequency range of 400kHz. It also means that the power delivery from one channel cannot affect the specified power available from the other.
Within a new low-vibration chassis design featuring a precision machined 12.7mm brushed aluminium front panel, the P2’s layout includes a massive, custom-made 400 VA low-noise transformer for each channel and an output stage involving 3 pairs of MOSFET devices per channel to achieve peak current output of over 15 amps. ATC’s unique “grounded source” output stage ensures smooth power delivery and extremely low harmonic distortion. The gain of the P2 matches that of the lower power P1 (150W/ch) so that they can be used together in bi-amp or tri-amp systems, connected via the amplifier ‘Link’ phono inputs/outputs.
The ATC P2 offers balanced XLR and unbalanced phono inputs, ‘link’ phono outputs, proprietary 4mm speaker terminals, and IR remote control.
• Latest ATC discrete MOSFET grounded source output stage.
• Class A/B topology.
• 300W into 8 ohm continuous power O/P capability
• Dual mono-design ensures minimal crosstalk and inter-channel modulation.
• Entirely separate power supplies for high voltage audio, low voltage audio and logic/control.
• 400kHz bandwidth to ensure best possible transient reproduction.
• Vanishingly low distortion.
• Custom low noise toroidal transformers.
• New chassis design for reduced vibration and a more striking visual appearance.
• Max Continuous Output Power : 300W (8Ω, 1% THD)
• Input Sensitivity : 2V rms (ref. 150W out)
• Input Impedance : 10kΩ/leg
• Frequency Response : <2Hz – >400kHz (-3dB)
• Signal to Noise Ratio : >110dB (DIN)
• Crosstalk : >100dB
• THD : >0.002%/-95dB
• Dimensions (HxWxD) : 141x448x337mm (5.6˝x17.6˝x13.3˝)
• Weight : 30kg / 66lbs
• 6 year warranty
The P2 will be available from Monday 7th November and carries a UK retail price of £3125 inc. VAT (20%).
Soundstage Experience Review the SCM19
North American audio ‘Supersite’ Soundstage! Network has given a glowing review to the SCM19 two-way standmount loudspeaker.
The SCM19 is ATC’s most compact and affordable loudspeaker feauring ‘Super Linear’ (‘SL’) motor technology. ‘Super Linear’ motors use a proprietary iron powder for the area of the motor system closest to the voice coil, reducing the effect of current modulated inductance and, greatly reducing third harmonic distortion. Wether you like to immerse yourself in the technology or prefer to simply focus on the music, reviewer Wes Marshall thoroughly enjoyed the loudspeakers and here is just a taster of what he thought:
“The ATCs did a better job of catching the naturally decaying sounds of instruments in a room than any other speakers I know of.”
“Ever since I bought my first pair of ATC speakers 20 years ago, it’s been my opinion that you can never go wrong with ATC. I nominate Billy Woodman for the Audio Hall of Fame.”
Wes Marshall, Soundstage! Experience, October 2016.
You can read the review in full here at the Soundstage! Experience website.