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ATC SMC12 or Quad Cinema set up

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by skywalker1010, Jan 31, 2003.

  1. skywalker1010

    skywalker1010
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    I currently have a 7.1 set up with the following.

    Denon AVCA1-SE amp with upgrade
    Sony DVP 745 DVD Player
    Tannoy P40 Fronts
    Tannoy PC Centre
    Tannoy P30 Rears
    Tannoy P10 x 2 Rear Centres
    Paradigm Servo-15

    All Bi-wired with AST200

    This has provided me with a great many years of fantastic audio, but it is now time to upgrade.

    I will be getting a Denon DVD-A1 player soon as the first part of my upgrade and will then want to replace all but the Servo-15 will a new set up of speakers.

    I have heard great things about the ATC and Quad's, certainly as audio clarity goes. Has anyone here ever gone for a full Home Cinema set up consisting of the ATC SMC12's or the Quad 11L as rears and the larger 22L's as fronts?.

    I would not have a problem with TV shielding, as I know the ATC's are not shielded, as I have a very large rear-pro. But I may be getting a DLP soon as well, so future use is not a problem.

    I agree that I will have to demo these and I fully intend to, but most dealers would be set up for a stereo demo only I would imagine.

    Any feedback would be really appreciated.


    Nick
     
  2. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    The SCM-12's will kick serious ass for home cinema, guaranteed. From my experience, the Quad sound tends to be more laid-back, which may be alright for hifi, but IMO would not be preferable for home cinema. The ATC's are much more dynamic and exciting, with incredible bass. 5 ATC SCM-12's around you, or maybe 12's across the front and 7's in the rear, fed by a meaty amp will sound absolutely jaw-dropping, without doubt. If you prefer a more laid-back sound, the Quads may be more your cup of tea, though.

    One particularly nice thing about the new range of ATC passives is that they're voiced with an ear for hifi, so they don't have quite the same 'high-strung' sound that the Actives can have (I have Active 10's, and though I love them, and though they sound incredible in music and movies, they can sound a bit harsh with certain material), though IMO they're still more exciting and dynamic than the Quads I've heard. Admittedly I haven't heard the big 22L's, only the smaller ones in the range.

    Cheers,

    Dunc
     
  3. skywalker1010

    skywalker1010
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    Thanks Duncan,

    Really appreciate the speedy response.

    The ATC's really are my favourites, going by all the reviews I have seen.

    I was thinking of placing them in-wall.

    I really need that demo, soon.

    Cheers


    Nick:smashin:
     
  4. gimli

    gimli
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    Not sure about ATC at Bristol in three weeks time but Quad are sure to be there if you want to listen to them and a few others too.
     
  5. skywalker1010

    skywalker1010
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    Thanks Gimli,

    My next task is to audition them both, if they both might be at Bristol then that is worth the trip.

    Cheers for the info

    Nick
     
  6. Bonesy

    Bonesy
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    Nick,

    I am going through the same purchasing process now,

    PG hifi in guildford have offered to set up a denon / quad 11l& 22l demo for me, I just need to give them a bell -

    Guildford far from you?

    and also, I will be going to bristol to sanity check before making my choice. found anywhere good for ATCs?
     
  7. juboy

    juboy
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    Poor old PG Hi Fi ;)
     
  8. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I did audition some fairly pricey ATC active speakers a couple of months back. SCM50s and SCM20s I think they were. There's always the possiblity that there was something wrong with the way they were set up, and the listening room acoustics weren't great, but even so I have to say that, taking account of how much they cost, I was absolutely unimpressed by them. Very poor value for money, IMO. The biggest problem was in the treble - really shrill. I like my speakers more transparent/neutral.
     
  9. skywalker1010

    skywalker1010
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone,

    Bonesy,

    Guildford is a bit of a way for me...I have managed to sort out a Quad demo near me, but thanks for the offer.

    The ATC's are proving a problem in getting a demo, I can get a stereo pair demo near me, but I cannot find anyone able to offer a 5.1 or 7.1 set up.

    What I may do is contact a few local dealers and try and get a loaner pair of SMC12's off each at set up at home.

    NicolasB

    I am surprised about your disapointing ATC demo, something must have been wrong somewhere there on their set up.

    I have seen some fantastic reviews for those units.

    Nick
     
  10. sinister_stu

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    I have heard the SCM 12s used for stereo and they sounded very good. They sound was very clean and neutral. They have a very minimalist approach to crossover design which appeals to me. I would go for the SCM12s.
     
  11. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    In response to NicolasB's comment:

    In my experience ATC's actives tend to be voiced more like studio monitors (which is ATC's primary area of expertise) - i.e. as explicit as possible. This can make a lot of recordings sound shrill or harsh in the treble. It's easy to exacerbate the situation if they're partnered with bright or shrill-sounding source or pre/pro components, and room furnishings/positioning can and do make a big difference.

    That said, if you take your time choosing an appropriate source and preamp - the matching ATC CA-2 preamp is excellent, though not cheap at £750 (this is ATC's "budget" preamp, though - their "main" preamp is more like £3300!!) - and if you have plenty of soft furnishings and a nicely deadened room, they sound very, very nice indeed.

    There is plenty of music that is recorded with an emphasis in the treble, which gets softened by more laid-back speakers/components, but which the ATC's do not forgive. But IME a well-mastered, well-recorded album will always sound breathtakingly real on a pair of ATC actives.

    And it's this realism, coupled with ferocious dynamics and frightening holographic imaging, that makes active ATCs particularly exciting for home cinema as well as music. Scenes like the air crash in Fight Club or basically all of Pitch Black DTS, for instance, are seriously firghtening, and seriously grin-inducing on my system (made up of three Active 10's across the front, Mission 77DS surrounds, and an ATC Concept 2 subwoofer) because they're so dynamic and powerful and realistic. What can I say - I love 'em to pieces. :)

    But, having said all that, I recently auditioned the new SCM-7 passives from ATC, and found that they're voiced in a more traditional 'hifi' stylee - i.e. a bit more smooth and laid-back. Although they're not really as dynamic or realistic as the Active 10s, they retain a lot of the qualities of the actives (they use, AFAIK, identical drivers to the Active 10s) whilst also being a bit more forgiving of treble-happy recordings. Although I haven't heard them, I have a strong suspicion that the SCM-12s are similarly voiced to the 7s.

    Anyway, the moral of the story is, whatever you do give your prospective purchases a thorough audition before shelling out! But I can wholeheartedly recommend just about anything by ATC. :)

    Cheers,

    Dunc
     

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