New ATC UK Dealer – DNA Audio
ATC are very happy to announce, DNA Audio have been appointed as an ATC dealer, covering the West Yorkshire area from their brand new premises in Otley near Leeds.
DNA Audio is owned by Darren Green and Alistair Gladstone and the company is based on a simple premise: great customer service, fantastic listening rooms and products they wholly believe in.
Darren’s previous employment was with Naim Audio, working in their service department where he gained a detailed and thorough understanding of hi-fi products whilst also supporting his love of Hi-Fi that had started with a visit to the Harrogate Hi-Fi show alongside his dad, in the late 70s. Alistair’s journey into Hi-Fi started with his love of music (also inspired by his father) and is a keen guitarist, playing with David Lynch inspired band, The Red Room.
DNA Audio operate from Clifford house, a recently refurbished building that dates back to the 17th century. The stylish space features great facilities including two demo rooms, showroom, disabled access and parking for five vehicles.
“DNA Audio is delighted to be representing ATC Loudspeakers having long been admirers of them. Come and listen for yourself or get in touch.” Alistair Gladstone, DNA Audio.
Air Studios Mastering Upgrade Monitoring with ATC P2 Pro Power Amps
“We felt it was worth exploring some Class A/B amp options, but, having tried several, we weren’t impressed… until we came across the ATC P2 PROs. Now there’s a more musical bottom end, and this extra dimension has made things more enjoyable to listen to.” – AIR Studios Mastering engineer, John Webber, 2018.ATC is proud to announce that AIR Studios Mastering (UK) — a division of the world-famous AIR Studios started by Beatles producing genius George Martin and specialising in analogue and digital mastering — has literally and figuratively amplified its full-range, ‘no expense spared’ speaker monitoring system, thanks to two ATC P2 PRO Dual Mono Power Amplifier additions…
John Webber at Air Studios Mastering. Photography by Adam Crowe. www.adamcrowe.net
According to AIR Studios Mastering’s wisely-worded website: Professional audio mastering is the last part of the sound production process where recordings are given a final gloss. Our role is to bring multiple songs together within a project, creating consistency across different formats and ensuring greatest possible impact when played on different systems. Using a full-range speaker monitoring system in an acoustically treated room, our experienced ear will polish your music for release. It’s a creative and technical process. No two tracks are the same; each track is treated individually, and this requires ever-changing and well-maintained solutions to ensure the best results. All of which is made possible at AIR Studios Mastering.
Making all that perfectly possible at AIR Studios Mastering comes courtesy of a killer combination of top-tier creative technical talent with three pairs of experienced ears between them. Award winning mastering engineer, John Webber who cut Air’s first ever direct to disc sessions and has re-mastered many classic albums, “often from the original analogue sources” as well as working with releases for a wide range of notable film and TV scores. Cicely Balston, who joined from Gearbox records and the semi-retired Ray Staff (hit after hit spanning all genres of music since starting out at London’s Trident Studios in 1970).
Being part of (the dearly departed) George Martin’s studio legacy clearly comes with some serious fringe benefits. Beautifully built, the “…one fully-kitted mastering suite…” in which John Webber now spends most of his time — now that Ray Staff “…comes in occasionally on a freelance/consultation basis…” — boasts a full-range, ‘no-expense spared’ monitoring system. Said system was developed in surroundings akin to Lockheed’s secretive ‘Skunk Works’ advanced aircraft facility with a purchase price skyrocketing towards a lofty six-figure sum! “The TAD Reference One’s dual-concentric driver was partly developed here at AIR, and they were very kindly gifted to us by Pioneer when the room was conceived,” clarifies their principal practitioner.
Pioneer’s kindness notwithstanding, there is routinely room for improvement in most mastering studio setups — even one as well specced as AIR Studios’. “Originally Class-D amps were chosen for our speakers, but we always felt they were a little hard-sounding and lacking in musicality,” maintains John Webber. “We felt it was worth exploring some Class A/B amp options, but, having tried several, we weren’t impressed… until we came across the ATC P2 PROs.”
Perhaps this is hardly surprising since the P2 PRO power amp is 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. “The TADs are potentially a tough load with dual 10-inch bass drivers to control, and then there’s the passive crossover network and 4-ohm impedance to consider,” continues John Webber. “They’re designed to be very responsive and linear, so, speculatively, we were looking for something that provided a balance between fast, focused, and sweet.”
So sweet it is that those two P2 PRO power amp additions at AIR Studios Mastering proved to be a perfect pairing. “The sound is still quite lively and true, but now there’s a more musical bottom end, and this extra dimension has made things more enjoyable to listen to,” trumpets John Webber. “Two P2 PROs in a bi-amped configuration certainly sound different to just using one and took a little time getting used to, but I have always found brutally honest and revealing monitors to be best for my work because there’s little in the way of flattery going on and I generally find that masters translate better in the outside world.”
While original soundtrack albums for vinyl, CD, and download by Jed Jurzel (Alien Covenant), Murray Gold (Dr. Who) and Clint Mansell (Loving Vincent) alongside “…a ten-LP
boxset of Ornette Coleman’s Atlantic-era releases and reissues for George Michael, Chris Rea and many others….” have already been benefiting from P2 PRO-amplified mastering by John Webber, his brutal honesty shines forth in his closing comments: “If I was to describe the ‘sound’ of the amps in general, I would say they’re balanced, open, and uninhibited. We’re achieving a naturally unveiled soundstage, clean top end, and extended — but never over-egged — extension at the bottom end. I feel like P2 PROs provide excellent value for money… for us, they definitely came out on top when compared with similarly priced competitors.”
ATC P2 Pro
Air Studios Mastering
HTS40 System Awarded ‘Best Buy’ by Home Cinema Choice
Home Cinema Choice have awarded the HTS40 & HTS7 system, ‘Best Buy’ status in the August 2018 edition of the magazine.
Here’s just a short out take of their thoughts on the system:
“When K enters Sapper Morton’s apartment in Blade Runner 2049 (Blu-ray), the various Foley effects amid the near silence of the room are beautifully conveyed. The squeak of floorboards and the bubbling of the pot on the stove are perfectly placed and worked into the mix. They don’t leap out at you because they sound absolutely and unambiguously right…There is simply no clue as to where one speaker’s activity ends and another begins. A good turn of the volume dial helps their performance expand in scale, but even at low levels the listening experience is wonderfully immersive.” Ed Selly, Home Cinema Choice, August 2018.
To read the review in full, click the HTS40 & HTS7 System Review to open as a PDF
Home Cinema Choice Magazine
Beautiful System – Hi-Fi Choice Review the SCM40A & CDA2 Mk2
Hi-Fi Choice have reviewed the active SCM40A loudspeakers and the new CDA2 Mk2 CD/DAC/Pre as part of their, ‘Beautiful Systems’ feature.
Here is just a little tast of what reviewer, Ed Selly thought of this system:
“And the bass… the low end on offer here is exquisite.”
“It takes a little time to appreciate quite how good it is because it is so natural and unobtrusive, but it allows this system to demonstrate truly lovely tonality…”
“It is comfortably one of the very best imlimentations of active speakers I have had the pleasure of spending any time with”
Ed Selly, Hi-Fi Choice, July 2018.
To read the review in full, click the link below:
SCM40A & CDA2 Mk2 System Review, Hi-Fi Choice, June 2018
PRODUCER/ENGINEER/SONGWRITER/GUITARIST MAT MITCHELL WORKS FASTER WITH ATC
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 2018: Twenty-five years into his career, Mat Mitchell has a lot going on, little of which fits into tidy job descriptions. He’s a producer and an all-things tech having toured the world on behalf of Nine Inch Nails, Tool, and Katy Perry. He’s also the lead guitarist and producer for Tool and A Perfect Circle front man Maynard James Keenan’s band, Puscifer. When not on the road, Mitchell works out of his private studio space in north Hollywood centered on an SSL 6000E/G+ console with Apogee Symphony II converters and tons of fabulous outboard gear. His most recent work is with The Beta Machine, the up-and-coming project of A Perfect Circle’s Matt McJunkins and Jeff Friedl. Mitchell recorded the band’s EP, “All This Time,” and is just about to finish producing, recording, and mixing the band’s debut full-length. Before doing so, however, Mitchell ditched his NS-10s for a new pair of ATC SCM45A monitors.
“I’m pretty old school, and I used NS-10s forever,” Mitchell said. “I always had good results because I knew how to work with them, but recently I was listening to some of my mixes in a friend’s mastering room. It was easy to hear things that I had to really focus on to hear in my studio, and I thought, ‘you guys are having a whole different experience!”. Inspired by the thought of having that same experience on a daily basis, Mitchell arranged a demo with Troy Manning at Vintage King Audio, Los Angeles.
“We started out with a pair of ATC SCM25As, which sounded fantastic,” Mitchell said. “Then I wanted to try some other monitors just to get a sense of what’s out there. Sometimes a particular manufacturer initially made me think, ‘that sounds great!’ but once I listened closer to songs I was familiar with, I could tell that things were missing or exaggerated. We tried some of this and some of that, and then we bumped up to the next level speakers. I heard some other manufacturers, and then Troy put on the ATC SCM45As. I was like, ‘ok, we’re done here!’ To my ears, they were very familiar and also very honest.”
Once they were back at his studio, Mitchell had fun playing songs he knew well both alone and with some close friends. “I had a pretty good idea of which songs had mixes I considered were really perfect, and that came through on the ATCs,” he said. “But I also detected problems that I had never heard before in some other songs. On my old monitors, they all sounded like ‘great mixes.’ Now I could discern different levels of ‘great!’ The differences were obvious.”
Mitchell completed the mixes for all eleven songs of The Beta Machine’s forthcoming debut full-length on his new ATC SCM45As. “I think when it’s all said and done, I’m getting to the same place I used to get to, but it’s so much easier and faster,” he said. “I’m reacting to the mix and making choices much more quickly. Any problems are instantly apparent – it’s like, ‘oh, that’s out of phase’ or ‘that needs to come down 1.5dB.’ Plus, it’s more exciting. Once I have things is a good place, it’s fun to turn it up because the ATC’s sound so great! The imaging is wide and precise. And of course, as advertised, the ATCs translate perfectly. Every mix sounds just right on my home stereo, in my car, on my phone, and anywhere.”
Mat Mitchell’s Website
ATC SCM45A Pro Webpage
The Ear Review the CDA2 Mk2
Writing for, The Ear, Jason Kennedy reviews our latest digital source, the CDA2 Mk2.
“ The CDA2 Mk2 is well built, comprehensively equipped and highly revealing, but more importantly it makes familiar material engrossing, it makes you listen longer and dare I say it, louder. ATC has driven down distortion and noise so that more of the crucial timing and imaging cues can be heard, in the process they have delivered their finest digital product yet, it’s a great pity they took it away!”
Jason Kennedy, The Ear, April 2018.
Read the review in full at The Ear website.
Hi-Fi News Review the New CDA2 Mk2
“…with a wide-open sound, masses of detail and unrestrained slam. It makes a fine partner for power amps and active speakers alike, getting on with the business of delivering the music without adding or subtracting anything. If it does all you need, it’s a bargain”. Andrew Everard, Hi-Fi News, April 2018.
Connect to a PC or streamer and use the on-board high resolution DAC to bring your music library, Tidal or Spotify to life.
Also need CD? No problem – simply use the CDA2 like a traditional player but connected directly to a power amp or active loudspeakers.
If you’ve also got a vinyl collection, hook up a phono stage via one of two analogue inputs.
Find much more information and an in-depth review and lab test in the latest edition of Hi-Fi News, available in print or digital editions now or via the link below.
To read in full or download a PDF, click this link to the CDA2 Mk2 Review.
ATC launches CDA2 Mk2 CD/DAC Preamplifier
Wholesale upgrades to ATC’s leading source product deliver audiophile levels of accuracy and dynamics to music reproduction, combined with extraordinary value for money…
ATC Loudspeaker Technology is extremely proud to announce the arrival of the CDA 2 Mk2 CD/DAC Preamp, which represents a re-engineering of its predecessor in all the key performance areas. Developed as the ideal partner for ATC’s latest P2 power amplifier and active speaker designs, the Mk2 combines convenient USB access to high-resolution music streaming with an upgraded CD transport and DAC board, dedicated headphone amplification, expanded input choices and analogue circuits redesigned to deliver an extremely wide and flat frequency response with very low distortion.
Joining rear panel coaxial and optical 192kHz inputs, the Mk2’s new high resolution USB input is capable of handling PCM data up to 384kHz and also DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 natively. Excellent jitter rejection ensures that signal integrity is maintained even with poorer quality sources and over long cable runs. Completing the Mk2’s wider digital interface, a new TEAC-supplied CD transport delivers faster play and seek times, much lower mechanical noise and improved error correction.
The meticulously re-engineered analogue circuits optimise ATC’s implementation of a new premium 32-bit AKM DAC, selected for exceptionally low noise and distortion. Supporting the DAC, the Mk2’s power supply architecture employs no fewer than nine additional high performance voltage regulators, and local power supply decoupling has been improved from the Mk1, yielding further performance gains.
In another refinement, both input and output gain stages have been improved by an arrangement of discrete op amps comprising six common gain blocks: two for left and right input buffering, and four to provide a “true” differential output for the left and right channels. The positive and negative drivers are arranged in parallel to ensure that the signal delays and phase shifts are identical on both sides. The output stages are configured as unity gain complementary compound (Sziklai) pairs, biased in class A.
These major design revisions combined with many marginal gains (from hand-soldering surface mount components on the legs of specific chips for instance) ensure that the CDA2 Mk2’s analogue stage exhibits exceptionally low noise and distortion across a very wide bandwidth.
Also benefitting are twin rear-mounted analogue phono/RCA inputs and an additional aux analogue input via 3.5mm mini jack, which is equipped with high input sensitivity for improved compatibility with phones, tablets and other low output portable devices. Additionally the Mk2 benefits from a revised high performance headphone amplifier capable of driving headphones from 30 – 600 ohms, delivering exceptional results from the vast array of modern headphone designs. Output is via a rear panel mounted 6.35mm jack.
The CDA2 Mk2’s chassis is constructed from a combination of steel and aluminium and uses constrained layer damping to control panel resonances. The front panel is machined from an extruded section of 13mm/0.5” aluminium alloy with a brushed and anodised silver finish.
The product is supplied with IR remote control and is covered by a six year warranty (2 years CD mechanism).
Recommended UK Retail: £2950 (inc. VAT).
UK Show Premier for new CDA2 CD/DAC preamplifier
ATC is celebrating its Bristol show debut with the UK show premier of its CDA2 Mk2 CD/DAC preamplifier, driving a mix of the brand’s multi-award winning passive and active speaker designs.
The Mk2 combines convenient USB access to high-resolution music streaming with an upgraded CD transport and DAC board, dedicated headphone amplification, expanded input choices and analogue circuits redesigned to deliver an extremely wide and flat frequency response with very low distortion.
Join us for the first time at Bristol: Room 102!
The show takes place from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th February and is held at the Marriott City Centre Hotel, Bristol.
Sound & Vision – The Bristol Show Website
Martin Colloms Reviews the SCM50PSL for Hi-Fi Critic
“this is a fine loudspeaker of startling dynamic range with great clarity and excellent resolution.”
Martin Colloms, Hi-Fi Critic, December 2017.
The SCM50PSL has been awarded a much coveted, ‘Audio Excellence’ award by highly regarded magazine, Hi-Fi Critic, the only independent advert free magazine featuring venerable reviewers, Paul Messenger and Martin Colloms.
Here’s just a little more of Martin’s thoughtful insights into the SCM50PSL.
“The inherent neutrality enabled all kinds of material to express itself, from jazz (both forceful and relaxed examples) to heavy rock such as classic Hendrix, where you were brought almost to the front of the audience at high sound levels. The more modern Keith Richards’ Main Offender sounded like we were present in the monitoring room, it was so punchy and immediate…I suppose its great virtue was the way it became acoustically unobtrusive, allowing the wide range of music programme we sampled to tell their individual stories.”
“This ATC three-way generated powerful, tuneful and believably accurate sound images. Despite reasonably compact stand-mount proportions, it had fine bass with extension, tune playing and attack, a very neutral and well integrated midrange, and a sweet, detailed and natural high frequencies. Rather more powerful than its modest proportions might indicate, this fine design delivers stereo images on a grand scale, and conveys much of the character and detail in fine recordings. It hits the audio excellence level for its sheer all round ability – not least the massive power handling and the resulting dynamic range.”
Martin Colloms, Hi-Fi Critic, December 2017.
To read the review in full, open or download the PDF here: Hi-Fi Critic SCM50PSL Review