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Custom Design FS103 review

These steely supports are decent and allow your kit to sound fast and agile, but you could do better Tested at £160

Our Verdict

These steely supports are decent and allow your kit to sound fast and agile, but you could do better

For

  • Snappy, agile delivery

Against

  • Not enough detail, weight or punch

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

These steely supports are decent and allow your kit to sound fast and agile, but you could do better

Pros

  • + Snappy, agile delivery

Cons

  • - Not enough detail, weight or punch

The FS103s can be best described as a ‘lite’ version of the Award-winning Signature FS104 stands from Custom Design.

Performance

The FS103s lend a snappy and agile presentation to speakers

The FS103s lend a snappy and agile presentation to speakers

When mounted on these stands, our reference ATC SCM 11s deliver more zing to the treble than oomph to the bass – Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP is delivered with a snappy and light-footed rhythm, but there’s not enough weight and punch to fully flesh out his angry vocals and we’d like a more solid sound overall.

Make sure you fill the central column for increased stability – two bags of inert filler (£5 per bag) is recommended

Make sure you fill the central column for increased stability – two bags of inert filler (£5 per bag) is recommended

Loading the stand with inert filler helps add a touch more substance to the ATC’s sound, as well as giving the tripod design (which can feel a bit unsteady) more stability.

Tip: take the stands outside when filling them so the sand doesn’t spill over in your living room. You can buy the FS103’s satellite poles in black, white, chrome or brushed-chrome finishes, while the central column comes in black only.

Verdict

While the all-metal construction looks good to our eyes, rivals provide a better option for overall performance

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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