Flip the open box upside down and lift it off. The speaker slides resting on the packaging (although it is quite snug so takes some pulling!)
No-frills power cables and spikes are inside the boxes.
OK, 50s done.
Now, the 100s. these are a bit tougher.
Just taking the screws out takes quite a bit of time. These are self-cutters, so they are quite tight.
Pop the box on its side, then open side down (putting some of the packaging on the floor first under the speaker), pull the box up. These ones are tighter fit than the 50s so really take some effort. Now, speaker back to vertical. Pivot on corners onto a door mat. Slide over the door step and into the room. Repeat for the second one.
Take the bags off.
Take a break.
Pssst (sound of StPeter's Golden Ale bottle opening)
The Floorstanders look great, congrats mate.
I've been waiting for this update.
Those speakers look very impressive.
They are certainly massive. Mega speakers.
More to follow.
Yes, yes! Jaxwired - baaaaaaad. OK, I'll have a drink to you tonight, just before the Spain-Portugal game!
I can report that it was a modest shot of Green Island Superior White Rum by International Distillers of Mauritius Ltd!
Wow! I'm tearing up... Those 100s are like looking directly into the sun. I can look at them, but then I have to quickly look away due to their awesomeness (actual word?)
Dude, you're my hero
I can see now that I've been a stingy SOB with myself. Time to go by the Dynaudio Confidence C1s that look soooo pretty.
Congrats on the amazing new system. Those pics are like audio porn...
Yes, indeed, they are absolutely fantastic!
Well, I remember when I started this thread I was genuenly thingking: oh, maybe one day, sometime, in a long time I can get something like this. And then I read your post and the one from arablondon (who does not seem to be around much) and I thought: what the heck?! Why don't I get it now?! Well, not impulsively. do it properly, you know, get demos, home trial, get good prices etc so I am absolutely sure it is something special. and then... well, as I said, I am keeping one thing until later in the thread...
so, GO AND GET IT! but do it properly so you have no regrets. make sure what you are getting is the best. do not overstretch the finances/relations though! life is bigger than any speaker.
here come some more!
My objective is to decide between the following:
- 50s + sub
- 100s + sub
The sub is an existing Rel q100e but potentially can be replaced with a better one if I found it necessary for the ATCs.
I thought this was a very valid comparison because:
1) the price difference between 50s and 100s is not so big (%-age wise) and if there was a good gain in sound with the 100s then it coudl be fully justified. going for 100s may allow geting rid of any sub completely.
2) from previous reading and demos I had to explore the bass response of ATCs and how a sub would impact it
3) if I found a sub was a must, then again the price difference between 50s and 100s could give me a budget for a sub - and there are quite a few decent subs for that money avaiable
4) I also wanted to be sure the size of the speakers (+sub package) is adequate for the realities of life
So, this is the scene for the trial. Listening impressions to follow.
After unpacking I had to dash off to get some XLR cables. Again, the dealer failed me a bit here - the deal was that the speakers will come with the cables. Nope, did not happen. So I am off to my local hi-fi shop (5min walk) to check if they had any 2-3 m XLR cables. And they have them! Fantastic! How much? What?! 250?! Errmm... But I only need a normal XLR connector. No? Oh, well.
Off to Tottenham Court Road to the pro audio shops. 15 min trip and yes of cause they have lots, choice of lengths and makes. 30 quid for the pair (and that was not the cheapest - nice, quality connector).
While I am there I spot two items of marginal value bling: a small cheapo model saxophone that I thought looked nice and a pair of small LED clip-on lights that musicians use for lighting up their music sheets in orchestras etc. So I get myself those too. I always wanted a small model musical instrument to stand on my rack. And the lights - I was not sure but they could light the rack somehow, potentially adding to the looks - I thought I would try some. They are only 5 quid each or something.
Back home. Slide the speakers in place and connect. So, here they are, ready to rock! (and decorated by some towels, bananas and a model saxophone).
Jaxwired, you may want to put some sunglasses on....
The 37inch TV does not look big any more once the 100s are near it. and it seemed huge to me when I got it a couple of months earlier!
The 50s are big. Properly big. the 100s are simply huge! I cannot imagine how big 150s would be in real life! fit for a castle!
So, enough of hifi erotica, on to the sounds of music.
I have a playlist of lossless music that I put together recently to use for auditions. Music that I am very familiar with so I start with this one of cause.
The first ones on were the 50s.
Within a third of a second of playing the first track a loud WOW comes out. It was a W. Marsalis track. Just cuts through with dynamics. And the wow continues through the rest of the tracks. The mids and highs are brilliant. The bass... It is very good - fast and correct, but with me used to a sub it sounds thin. (But I expected that and I know I need to understand the ATC bass more through more extensive listening of various tracks).
After abt 20 min I try the 100s.
Same tracks. Same WOW. They are a bit louder, which feels like 'bigger sound'. The bass is better, i.e. still fast and correct but is a bit deeper. Just a bit. It is at this point that the thought "ah, maybe 150s and no sub..." hits me. But for now - on with the 100s. I have a couple of tracks with particularly strong bass. One is a Bach organ track which has clean tones abt 30Hz and the other one is Grieg In the Hall of the Mountain King which has big drums and orchestra. I would say that 100s do those very noticeably better than the 50s in terms of depth (which should be expected from the specs). But I could do with a bit more depth.
Having said that, the bass on both is excellent and is indeed, as I heard many times from others, "in another league", at least in comparison to what other gear I have heard before.
I then put the sub on and spend some time tuning it up. Go through the playlist again - definite improvement in depth. I do not notice any negative impact of adding a sub.
Then, a day later, during the weekend, I get ready for the full-on listen, with the objective to choose the set-up I will go for, that is 50s, 100s, or any of those with a sub.
I do a quick selection of 22 tracks - representative enough for me to evaluate the sound for dynamics (strings, winds, voices, percussion etc), complexity (big orchestral or similar passages), bass (various types) etc.
To keep it clear, I actually put a quick table together on a sheet of paper (tracks and what I am checking on the rows and which speakers are played on the columns) to note at which level every track is played and what the finding is. I then slowly go through all the tracks with each of the set-ups, noting my observations. 50s, then 100s, then 100s + sub, then 50s + sub.
Well, the step from 50s to 100s shows that 100s are louder and have noticeably deeper bass. I do not notice that the bass is slower, as was suggested to me before. I do not notice any difference in dynamics or anything else in mids and highs. I would say the only difference between the two is depth of bass.
The step from 100s to 100s+sub then further extends the bass. With the sub tuned to assist subtly I again do not hear any negative impact of the sub's presence.
The step from 100s+sub to 50s+sub, I find, keeps all the benefits of adding the depth and all the dynamics are still there.
These were my impressions. Based on these I have decided to keep the 50s and use them with a sub. At the moment it is a modest Rel but I will be looking into ATC subs. If they are anything like the ATC speakers, they are definitely worth a try! What I hope for is that, using the 'saving' from not getting the 100s, I may get an ATC sub and extend the bass even deeper than with the 100s and, hopefully, have not only deeper but also faster bass. But that would be the next step.
Another thing worth saying here is the that Grieg track has a very loud and complex part at the end. And both 50s and 100s were the first speakers that could play it without turning it into a noisy mess. It remains music, with all sounds separate, to the very end - loud or not. Is that not great?
So, I (and all of the few who were around during the trial) have been very impressed with the speakers - both the 50s and 100s. Big, effortless, dynamic, fast sound with endless headroom. The two models are so close in performance that choice between them is not easy. The improved bass of the 100s is complicated by its huge size so inevitably drives the decision into a trade off. If size was not an issue, the 100s are better. 150s I imagine would be even better still. For me, the 50s+sub is the solution.
Next on the list - packing the 100s up for return and getting a demo of ATC C4.