Thanks, jaxwired. I thought I should share. All this upgrade story has started right on this forum. I got some good advice and also in general the forum has re-infected me with the hifi bug. And you had a role as well. Didn't you see the pointed comment earlier in this thread?
AlmaataKZ, awesome pics! Thanks for sharing. Very cool look inside ATC. I just read a 25 year old editorial by J. Gordon Holt the founder of stereophile magazine talking about why they focus so much on smaller lesser known audio companies. To summarize, it's because they make the best stuff. Makes sense. Big companies have trouble with bureaucracy and often lack innovation. Also, Holt points out that they can't make improvements even when they identify them because they are married to a particular part and manufacturing process due to a large investment in production.
If it was me, I'd go for those 50 actives. The 100s are just crazy big. Maybe if I had 30 x 20 foot dedicated listening room.
Anyway thanks for updating us. Have fun...
Funny you should mention Gordon Holt. Sadly, he died last year. His reviews were often much more critical than the run-of-the-mill everything reviewed is really fantastic shrilling you tend to see in most audio rags today. He used ATC SCM 50ASL at home. Wes Marshall is another reviewer who uses the ATC SCM50.
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Wes also likes Thiel speakers prior to switching to ATC. Gordon liked large Soundlabs prior to switching to ATC.
Incidentally, any updates on this thread from the original OP? When does everything arrive for your in home evaluation?
Currently trying to
- get the cheapest possible but decent 7m rca cable (DIY?)
- find if there are any modern av receivers that will fit on 155mm tall rack shelf
The speakers for home trial are scheduled for end May.
While getting ready to trial the new gear I have downloaded some test tone tracks - mainly to check the behaviour of the current system and to see what kind of bass response I am unknowingly used to (see posts above re ATC 100 AT SL bass impressions). Surprise, surprise:
20Hz - no sound whatsoever
30Hz - no sound, barely noticeable sound when ear is 10cm from the sub
40Hz - sound. let's call it +6dB loud
50Hz - sound. let's call it -4dB
60Hz - +4dB
70Hz - +0dB
80Hz - +0dB
This tells me that:
- my system (sub + room specifically) resonates and/or has harmonic distortion resulting in peaks somewhere around 40 and 60Hz (at least)
- I am indeed used to over-emphasised bass in this range
- I possibly need to think about a better performing sub
I will do further tests with different settings on the sub and also with the new speakers with and without the sub - will be interesting to see how it changes with ATC 100s and 50s.
I also have an ipod app that shows frequency response, but as I do not know the limits of the mic I am not sure I should be watching it a lot.
AlmaataKZ where did you download test tone tracks from?
I'd be very interested to do the same in my listening room.
I used this one:
I also used these
http://tech.ebu.ch/publications/sqamcd More descrete tones here.
Well, had a go at re-tuning the sub using test tracks. Amasing results!
I played sets of low frequencies on repeat and tried different settings for volume and cut off on the sub, while listening and watching the response on the ipod spectrum analyser. On some tracks I could clearly hear (and see - which basically made me understand what it is) the harmonics, i.e. the additional peaks that should not be there. I could not get rid of them completely but with lowering the cut-off setting on the sub I could see them almost disappearing. So I did this throughout the sub range and ended up with the cut-off setting about a quarter lower than before (was at about 50%, now at 75%, i.e. the sub kicks in lower).
I then played the test tracks again now changing the gain level on the sub (rasing it - as the volume became lower through the previous step). I also played some familiar music tracks with low bass for that. I ended up with level set at about 75% (was at 50%).
The result I could clearly see on the ipod is much reduced harmionics (almost no extra peak at 60Hz when playing 30Hz tone etc). The sub now goes to 25Hz.
The result I can clearly hear is that the depth is better, and the bass became faster, cleaner and kind of airy. The mids and highs came forward as well!
I remember from some sub setting-up guide that this is a common mistake - setting the cut-off too high and level too low. That is exactly what I had. And I thought I was subtle with my sub settings.
So, very happy with the results. I recommend everybody with subs try this.
You do not get a completely flat response of cause (a more advanced bass mgt is clearly needed for that) but the result is very very good.
Next step - trying different sub positions in the room.
And hopefully trying the new speakers in abt 2-3 weeks.
So, Shooter69, did you manage to try testing the sub?
Well, 6 weeks since the order for the ATCs and the speakers are not ready and I do not have a date of when they will be. Sometime in July, the dealer tells me. Maybe ATC had a higher than usual number of orders just before the recent price increase.
In the meantime, the new rack did arrive and today I finally had some time to assemble it. So, here goes the Custom Design Milan LCD 4 rack from unpacking to assembled:
... and from assembled to installed.
This is the walnut finish with black glass, shelf spacing is 105mm (optional free), 155mm (standard) and 200mm (optional +40GBP). Optional spike shoes are also included (these turned out to be of not very high quality - I would have preferred more solid ones and bigger in diameter).
The space on the top shelf is reserved for the new centre channel speaker (ATC C1C). I also plan to fit a freeview HD box a bit later (hoping that choice and prices, as well as availability of content will improve during this year).
I would also like to replace the receiver at some point with a relatively compact one but with modern HD sound decoding to use the full bluray potential.
EDITED BY MODS. nice rack!
All kidding aside, that is a beauty! Love your choice of the walnut. Most people seem to pick cherry these days. Very smart.
Thanks, jaxwired. It is a good quality rack, I can recommend it. I wish they had rosewood finish option (to match the future speakers) but they do not so I went for the walnut. Looks great.
That is gorgeous
really lovely looking rack.
Very tidy, nice kit.