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ATC SCM110 Issue (Seeking Help)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

ATC SCM110 Issue (Seeking Help)

Since upgrading to the ATC SCM110 from ATC SCM50s (new studio) I've been having trouble getting used to what I perceive as a kind of 'harsher' high-end on the 110. They are flush-mounted and paired with subs.

We've been running tests for weeks now, and have had comparisons with ATC SCM50, SCM100 and SCM150. The SCM100 and 150 are in another room right next to it (flush-mounted also), and the SCM50 we've had freestanding next to the 110 for instant A-Bing.

Nearly everything has been eliminated, from cables, cable length (they are flush-mounted and amps are separate) replacing the tweeter and even a new amp and a completely new set of 110. The amps have been adjusted, raising / lowering the volume of the tweeter slightly, but to no avail.

There is a very strong indication that this difference in sound is due to the design of the 110 (perhaps the dual woofers, I don't know) What I hear is that where on the 50, 100 and 150 the highs are silky, smooth and airy, the 110 feels a little bit muddier and has a harshness around 7000-7500hz that is hard on the ears, especially at high volumes.

It almost seems like there's a slight low-pass filter at the top. They sound 'unpleasant' in that regard to me, while the 50, 100 and 150 sound super transparant and smooth, even at high volume.

I have to praise both the distributor and ATC themselves for taking this matter very seriously and going through all the testing together, setting up all the various models and exchanging the speakers, etc. Just wanted to mention this.

However, I am now left with a set of 110 that I am not satisfied with, with the option of exchanging for either 100 or 150. Before I do (the wall of the room will need to be reconstructed to fit the different models) I was wondering if anyone else here has had this kind of experience when comparing the 110 to the 50 / 100 or 150. Any other models can't really compare, as they have different components, most notably a lack of the S-Spec tweeter.

One might think that the 110 may sound more accurate perhaps, and that the fault would lie with the 50 / 100 and 150, but common sense makes me think it's the other way around. Especially also because of what I hear myself and how I find the 110 less pleasant to listen to.

Any advise on the matter or opinions / experiences with these models would be greatly appreciated, as having such speakers to work on daily is a big deal and I am not sure exactly what to do.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Nut
 

How very unpleasant. Is it within your capacity to make some measurements of the available models yourself? Nearfield (+/- 50cm) or gated measurements at 1m on the acoustical axis (normally midpoint between tweeter and midrange) within a small listening window (0° to 20-30°+/- horizontal and +/-10 vertical) would be very useful.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Have you done a direct comparison with others like the SCM100s? Or 150s? Direct as in both freestanding or both soffit mounted?

It sounds to me as though the issue doesn’t lie with the speakers as apart from baffle width they’re identical to 50, 100 and 150...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fhorn88 View Post
How very unpleasant. Is it within your capacity to make some measurements of the available models yourself? Nearfield (+/- 50cm) or gated measurements at 1m on the acoustical axis (normally midpoint between tweeter and midrange) within a small listening window (0° to 20-30°+/- horizontal and +/-10 vertical) would be very useful.
Yeah I agree. However, the good news is that no matter what they will make sure I end up with something I 'm happy with.

Measurements have been done at various distances, but the graphs all show almost identical. I fear the difference I am hearing is so small that it doesn't really show. Most people only hear it when I point it out. I think it's because I've worked on 50s for 5 years every day that it was so noticeable for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
Have you done a direct comparison with others like the SCM100s? Or 150s? Direct as in both freestanding or both soffit mounted?

It sounds to me as though the issue doesn’t lie with the speakers as apart from baffle width they’re identical to 50, 100 and 150...
I agree they should sound the same, though even Ben Lilly has stated that there may always be slight differences between the models because of how they are built. The 110 are especially different in that they have 2 bass drivers.

As moving around in the room (even listening to the tweeter close-up) doesn't change anything about the sound (high end) I think it's safe to say it won't matter whether they are freestanding or soffit mounted.

As all the people involved also say, it would only apply to lower frequencies that soffit / freestanding will alter the sound. The 100 / 150s in the next room are also soffit mounted (same as the 110) and sound good to me by the way.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Curious how else you feel compared to working on 50's vs the 110's?

I occasionally work on 110's in a northward room,

Cross referenced with 20's for near-field editing at home, and thinking of upgrading those to 50's

For the 5-years you worked on the 50's what was your listening distance ... and what made you move up to 110's?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
I'm sure you have done measurements but could it not be the room? You say you have acess to 100/150 and they sound good. Is those rooms built exactly like yours?

To my limited experience, moving from a bigger model within the same line and manufacturer I was always disappointed. I'd say there is a sweetspot for what size of speaker you might prefer.

Non the less in that price category you are justified nitpicking every aspect of your speakers.


Good luck!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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I guessing there is a problem in the flush mounting. Do you have a picture of the room?

Flush mounting won't have a direct effect on anything the tweeter does but I'm guessing the room alignment when flush mounted points the tweeter at flat surfaces which is creating the problem. Are the speakers horizontally level when flush mounted? Is there a mix desk or other flat surfaces directly between you and the speakers. At the tweeter frequencies I would look at all the objects in the room between you and the speaker. Easy enough to fix those high frequencies with diffusion and dampening. (also what I'm getting at is if you remove the 110 flushmounted and replace with 100 or 150 models, you would most likely align the midrange and tweeter again to where it was on the 110 and have the same problem reoccur. )

I'm also assuming all the tweeters in discussion on all the models are the ATC tweeters. The ATC tweeters do have a brighter response than the outgoing SEAS tweeters.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loji View Post
Curious how else you feel compared to working on 50's vs the 110's?

I occasionally work on 110's in a northward room,

Cross referenced with 20's for near-field editing at home, and thinking of upgrading those to 50's

For the 5-years you worked on the 50's what was your listening distance ... and what made you move up to 110's?
The distance is (they're still in my home studio) about 180 cm. The upgrade to 110 simply came from setting up a new studio in a much larger room with better acoustics than at my home studio.

Since I have always worked with a sub, the 110s made sense as they are a popular choice to buy as a combination with subs and flush-mounted in the wall.

In my opinion neither the 50, nor the 100 or the 110 sound adequate in the low-end without a sub, but that may be a personal preference. The 150 are better in that regard that they don't really need a sub (but adding one can be nice)

When I turn off the subs on the 50 or the 110, there's just a whole lot of information that goes missing that I really cannot do without.

I think you really can't go wrong with the 50s for your upgrade. They sound fantastic. But I definitely recommend adding a sub. Doesn't even have to be ATC. What size is your room?

And what's your experience on the harshness around 7000 - 7500hz on the 110s?



Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
I'm sure you have done measurements but could it not be the room? You say you have acess to 100/150 and they sound good. Is those rooms built exactly like yours?

To my limited experience, moving from a bigger model within the same line and manufacturer I was always disappointed. I'd say there is a sweetspot for what size of speaker you might prefer.

Non the less in that price category you are justified nitpicking every aspect of your speakers.


Good luck!
Thanks! Yes, this could be the case. Though the 100 and 150 sound pretty great to me. I do seem to prefer hearing the music a bit more upclose as opposed to a gigantic soundstage. But both can be done in the same room with 2 sets of speakers. Makes sense to me to switch between the two for different types of listening.



Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
I guessing there is a problem in the flush mounting. Do you have a picture of the room?

Flush mounting won't have a direct effect on anything the tweeter does but I'm guessing the room alignment when flush mounted points the tweeter at flat surfaces which is creating the problem. Are the speakers horizontally level when flush mounted? Is there a mix desk or other flat surfaces directly between you and the speakers. At the tweeter frequencies I would look at all the objects in the room between you and the speaker. Easy enough to fix those high frequencies with diffusion and dampening. (also what I'm getting at is if you remove the 110 flushmounted and replace with 100 or 150 models, you would most likely align the midrange and tweeter again to where it was on the 110 and have the same problem reoccur. )

I'm also assuming all the tweeters in discussion on all the models are the ATC tweeters. The ATC tweeters do have a brighter response than the outgoing SEAS tweeters.
Thanks for thinking along with me. The thing is, looking back this harsh sound was also there when the room was empty and I was just sitting on a crate to check out the speakers.

Also, I covered the entire floor, desk, etc with blankets once and again no difference. No matter where you sit or stand, no difference. (Like I said we've been testing for weeks) The 50s have been placed next to (in- and outside) and right in front of the 110s. They sound great.

They are horizontally level they just point inward slightly as is usual to create a nice triangle. The room is completely acoustically treated from the ground up and built / designed for these speakers with this set-up specifically.

But to be 100% sure, you have a point. I think taking out the 110s from the wall and putting the 50s inside the mounts can be a good idea. Like you said, if there anything in the room alignment that is causing this then it would show on the 50s also.

But if not, then I cannot conclude anything else than the 110s sounding slightly harsher than any other ATC model I've heard before. It's a big issue, and will have to look at either 100 or 150s taking their place.

It will need some additional design changes also as the middome of the 100 and 150 will end up being significantly higher than on the 110, because of the subs being beneath them. They are already set up to be as low as they can possible be. :(

Oh, and yes they are all the S-Spec tweeter!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fer2010 View Post
I think you really can't go wrong with the 50s for your upgrade. They sound fantastic. But I definitely recommend adding a sub. Doesn't even have to be ATC.

And what's your experience on the harshness around 7000 - 7500hz on the 110s?
I was thinking of adding a pair of Velodyne DD+ to the 20ASL I have now ... in that case I wonder if I would even need the 50's. I'm sure the lower integration is better, but I'm pretty good at measuring and systems alignment ... what subs did you use with your 50's?

I haven't noticed much issue at 7-7.5k on this 110 install ... However there is a bit of a lift at 1-1.5k a db or so 'push' of presence.

Harshness seems to be limited to the recordings generally. I'm also always running a Massalec MDS unit when in that room ... so it might be smoothing it out for me

I do find myself not pushing has hard as I can in my regular studio with Legacy speakers, everything I do on the 110's comes out much 'cleaner' and tighter .. but not necessarily more 'alive' feeling.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loji View Post
I was thinking of adding a pair of Velodyne DD+ to the 20ASL I have now ... in that case I wonder if I would even need the 50's. I'm sure the lower integration is better, but I'm pretty good at measuring and systems alignment ... what subs did you use with your 50's?

I haven't noticed much issue at 7-7.5k on this 110 install ... However there is a bit of a lift at 1-1.5k a db or so 'push' of presence.

Harshness seems to be limited to the recordings generally. I'm also always running a Massalec MDS unit when in that room ... so it might be smoothing it out for me

I do find myself not pushing has hard as I can in my regular studio with Legacy speakers, everything I do on the 110's comes out much 'cleaner' and tighter .. but not necessarily more 'alive' feeling.
Well, I don't know how serious you are about your speakers, but I can guarantee you the ATC SCM50 will be a big upgrade. They are also the first speakers ATC made and sort of their 'main' speaker that all the others are based off.

The sub is some old Bluesky sub they don't make anymore, with a closed cabinet design.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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As good as the 20ASL is, it is missing the midrange driver the 50 has. And that driver carries most of the burden for its performance characteristics. A sub isn’t going to make up for that.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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When I compared my 50's with 110's at the dealers (Helios, probably the same as yours) I also noticed a slight difference in tonal character. Everything was S-spec tweeter. I remember preferring the 50's mid + high response, and loving the bass of the 110's. The 50's were more natural and balanced overall in my experience, more "together" / like a unit, while the 110's bass response was impressive and they sounded more epic. In hind sight the 110's mid/high's were, dare I say, a little less controlled, like they exagerrated certain frequencies and held others back ever so slightly .. due to some minor comb filtering perhaps .. talking in small differences here .. I can see why you use the term harsh - although that is not how I experienced it. They certainly sounded larger than the 50's and this told me they required better acoustics than the 50's. My understanding was that the larger baffle of the 110's played a role in this minor difference in mid/high tone, and that flush-mounting would help. I wasn't convinced 100 % of the 110's and am looking to audition 150's.

Last edited by Emanuel23; 4 weeks ago at 01:41 PM.. Reason: Clarification
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loji View Post
I was thinking of adding a pair of Velodyne DD+ to the 20ASL I have now ... in that case I wonder if I would even need the 50's. I'm sure the lower integration is better, but I'm pretty good at measuring and systems alignment ... what subs did you use with your 50's?

I haven't noticed much issue at 7-7.5k on this 110 install ... However there is a bit of a lift at 1-1.5k a db or so 'push' of presence.

Harshness seems to be limited to the recordings generally. I'm also always running a Massalec MDS unit when in that room ... so it might be smoothing it out for me

I do find myself not pushing has hard as I can in my regular studio with Legacy speakers, everything I do on the 110's comes out much 'cleaner' and tighter .. but not necessarily more 'alive' feeling.
Why Velodyne and not their dedicated ATC 01/12 sub to pair it with the 20s? And yes, you're not going to get the image and the depth of the larger 50s, but you have no excuses not to make stellar mixes on such a system. In my opinion the 50s can be a bit overwhelming and you might get lost in fine details that nobody is going to actually notice. The 20s + 01/12 do 99% a mixing engineer needs to hear. For the extra 0.5%-0.6% the 50s do the job, and for the extra 0,3%-0,4% the 100s-150s-200s-you get the idea. My opinion, cheers!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel23 View Post
When I compared my 50's with 110's at the dealers (Helios, probably the same as yours) I also noticed a slight difference in tonal character. Everything was S-spec tweeter. I remember preferring the 50's mid + high response, and loving the bass of the 110's. The 50's were more natural and balanced overall in my experience, more "together" / like a unit, while the 110's bass response was impressive and they sounded more epic. In hind sight the 110's mid/high's were, dare I say, a little less controlled, like they exagerrated certain frequencies and held others back ever so slightly .. due to some minor comb filtering perhaps .. talking in small differences here .. I can see why you use the term harsh - although that is not how I experienced it. They certainly sounded larger than the 50's and this told me they required better acoustics than the 50's. My understanding was that the larger baffle of the 110's played a role in this minor difference in mid/high tone, and that flush-mounting would help. I wasn't convinced 100 % of the 110's and am looking to audition 150's.
Well at least I'm happy to hear that someone also seems to hear the same thing I do. When I saw you write 'comb filtering' I thought, 'yes, that's a good description for it!' I think it may be due to how they are designed. Very different from the 50 / 100 / and 150.

I think I'll have a good listen to how 100s and 150s will sound in this studio/
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fer2010 View Post
Well at least I'm happy to hear that someone also seems to hear the same thing I do. When I saw you write 'comb filtering' I thought, 'yes, that's a good description for it!' I think it may be due to how they are designed. Very different from the 50 / 100 / and 150.

I think I'll have a good listen to how 100s and 150s will sound in this studio/
The guys at Helios are pretty smart guys-what are they saying about all this? I liked Pentagons thoughts on this, room interaction. I've heard some rooms do some impossible things, things I would have bet money could not happen but did. SO I never discount room in impacting sonics in a way that can be very difficult to explain to a customer.

The last thought is expectations. I've talked myself into a lot of things over the years too. I WAS SURE something sounded this way or that only to come back to it later and discover I was wrong. Not suggesting you are wrong, just bringing up for readers that even though you are certain there is an issue, and suggesting to others that somehow 110s are different, this may turn out to be another issue not yet discussed.

So calibration? I think maybe its time to ask Helios about that, see if someone can come measure your 110s and your other ATC's to see if your opinions match the measurements. Is the sound differences from the speaker itself or room reflections? AN Audio Precision APX515 with calibrated mic could show that. It could be the 110s are calibrated correctly and the others are not? Could be the other way around? But time to get science working for you.

Brad
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Lunde View Post
The guys at Helios are pretty smart guys-what are they saying about all this? I liked Pentagons thoughts on this, room interaction. I've heard some rooms do some impossible things, things I would have bet money could not happen but did. SO I never discount room in impacting sonics in a way that can be very difficult to explain to a customer.

The last thought is expectations. I've talked myself into a lot of things over the years too. I WAS SURE something sounded this way or that only to come back to it later and discover I was wrong. Not suggesting you are wrong, just bringing up for readers that even though you are certain there is an issue, and suggesting to others that somehow 110s are different, this may turn out to be another issue not yet discussed.

So calibration? I think maybe its time to ask Helios about that, see if someone can come measure your 110s and your other ATC's to see if your opinions match the measurements. Is the sound differences from the speaker itself or room reflections? AN Audio Precision APX515 with calibrated mic could show that. It could be the 110s are calibrated correctly and the others are not? Could be the other way around? But time to get science working for you.

Brad
Helios has been very actively participating in the testing, measuring and solving this issue. Their conclusion is also that there is a slight difference between the models. I understand the concern about the room, which makes sense. Except it's a professionally built studio that was built around these speakers specifically from the ground up (literally, even the dimensions of the room itself) and in addition like I said, even with the room empty and / or the desk and floor covered in blankets there is no difference.

After listening / mixing and testing for a couple of weeks now and having everything replaced (including an entirely new set of 110) with ATC50s right next to it and 100s and 150s to compare also, I think it's safe to say I got a pretty accurate assessment of the sound. Ben Lilly from ATC also visited and listened. Acknowledged that there indeed was a slight difference between de ATC50 and 110, and himself attributed this 'slight' difference possibly also to the inherent build of the various models. We were not 100% convinced about that at that time, and so we kept on testing.

Measurements have been done countless times but they don't show anything. Aside from raising / lowering the podmeter inside the amps to raise / lower the volume of the tweeter slightly there isn't anything to calibrate. It also doesn't matter where you stand in the room. You can turn down the volume of the music very low and walk up to the speaker to listen from 30 centimeters distance and then you still hear a difference between the 110 and 50. Any possible reflections don't even come into play yet there.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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What does the waterfall look like?
Any lingering resonances-- high frequencies should be the easiest to have an even dampness.

I wouldn't be looking at the FR graphs but the waterfall, distortion, and impulse response plots for issues.
As for professionally designed studios around speakers -- I've been in many that still have issues. Modelling room acoustics is still not at a place that all factors can be accounted for and the actual final built room can still have issues.

Since you are talking really high frequencies, I'd look at the mounting of the flush mount speaker itself (the edge gap, the backer rod used, etc.) But you really need to narrow down the problem frequencies and they would show up in one of the measurements above. Once you have the frequency(ies) you can determine wavelength and what interacts with those wavelengths.

If you want to check the tweeter, position a measurement mic 10 cm from the tweeter on axis and sweep a sine wave from 3500 Hz to 20kHz. Do that on both the 110 and 50 with the same signal at the same level. At those distances, the two measurements should match up.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
What does the waterfall look like?
Any lingering resonances-- high frequencies should be the easiest to have an even dampness.

I wouldn't be looking at the FR graphs but the waterfall, distortion, and impulse response plots for issues.
As for professionally designed studios around speakers -- I've been in many that still have issues. Modelling room acoustics is still not at a place that all factors can be accounted for and the actual final built room can still have issues.

Since you are talking really high frequencies, I'd look at the mounting of the flush mount speaker itself (the edge gap, the backer rod used, etc.) But you really need to narrow down the problem frequencies and they would show up in one of the measurements above. Once you have the frequency(ies) you can determine wavelength and what interacts with those wavelengths.

If you want to check the tweeter, position a measurement mic 10 cm from the tweeter on axis and sweep a sine wave from 3500 Hz to 20kHz. Do that on both the 110 and 50 with the same signal at the same level. At those distances, the two measurements should match up.
Hey these are some great tips! Will definitely look into checking / testing this. My knowledge is kind of limited when you start speaking of waterfall graphs, but I will make sure to pass this info along to those that will do the testing.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
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[UPDATE]

I want to thank everyone for pitching in and thinking along with me on this issue. We've reached a conclusion / solution after doing some final testing.

Eventually we took out the SCM 110 from the wall and placed it at various locations in the room, and placed a pair of SCM 50 in the flush-mount socket. The character of the 110's sound remained unchanged and the SCM 50 sounded just great inside the wall, just as they were sounding freestanding (in both cases flush-mount / non flush-mount of course resulted in some expected differences, but nothing to do with the 'harshness' of the sound.)

It appears there is nothing 'wrong' with the SCM 110, or any other 110 for that matter. For me personally I've found that I just much prefer the (cleaner) sound of the SCM 50 and to some extent also the SCM 100 and 150. Why this is I couldn't say, but for my tastes the 110 exhibits a harshness in the high-end while missing some top / air that should be above that. In addition I found it a bit harder to find certain spots in a mix than I would like. They can easily be a great speaker system for any studio, but being used to the SCM 50 this was not a step up for me personally.

As a sidenote, the SCM 50 paired with the subs sound absolutely massive, unlike I had ever expected. They easily have enough power to fill a 5x6m room with a super large image and loads of energy. I literally could not believe what I was hearing. Almost as if this set-up is a perfect match somehow. We'll be testing SCM 100 also as a possible replacement, so the choice is between the 50 and the 100 that will end up in the room.

Perhaps for me the 50 will be the better choice, as I clearly like these a lot. Maybe it's a personal preference or maybe they're just a couple percent better / different than the other models, who knows. They do need subs in my opinion. And flush-mount really does wonders. Hope this can help anyone out who has the same choice to make.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fer2010 View Post
[UPDATE]

I want to thank everyone for pitching in and thinking along with me on this issue. We've reached a conclusion / solution after doing some final testing.

Eventually we took out the SCM 110 from the wall and placed it at various locations in the room, and placed a pair of SCM 50 in the flush-mount socket. The character of the 110's sound remained unchanged and the SCM 50 sounded just great inside the wall, just as they were sounding freestanding (in both cases flush-mount / non flush-mount of course resulted in some expected differences, but nothing to do with the 'harshness' of the sound.)

It appears there is nothing 'wrong' with the SCM 110, or any other 110 for that matter. For me personally I've found that I just much prefer the (cleaner) sound of the SCM 50 and to some extent also the SCM 100 and 150. Why this is I couldn't say, but for my tastes the 110 exhibits a harshness in the high-end while missing some top / air that should be above that. In addition I found it a bit harder to find certain spots in a mix than I would like. They can easily be a great speaker system for any studio, but being used to the SCM 50 this was not a step up for me personally.

As a sidenote, the SCM 50 paired with the subs sound absolutely massive, unlike I had ever expected. They easily have enough power to fill a 5x6m room with a super large image and loads of energy. I literally could not believe what I was hearing. Almost as if this set-up is a perfect match somehow. We'll be testing SCM 100 also as a possible replacement, so the choice is between the 50 and the 100 that will end up in the room.

Perhaps for me the 50 will be the better choice, as I clearly like these a lot. Maybe it's a personal preference or maybe they're just a couple percent better / different than the other models, who knows. They do need subs in my opinion. And flush-mount really does wonders. Hope this can help anyone out who has the same choice to make.
I felt the same after only having a small amount of time with the 110s.
I fully expected to love them and the 45s more than the 25s and 50s. I hated the 45s and 110s! I don't know what it is about their double woofer speakers, but the 50s and 100s are absolutely perfect.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fer2010 View Post
[UPDATE]

As a sidenote, the SCM 50 paired with the subs sound absolutely massive, unlike I had ever expected. They easily have enough power to fill a 5x6m room with a super large image and loads of energy... They do need subs in my opinion. And flush-mount really does wonders. Hope this can help anyone out who has the same choice to make.
You are using a pair of ATC C4 / 0.1/12 subs with them?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loji View Post
You are using a pair of ATC C4 / 0.1/12 subs with them?
It's 2 subs (left and right) custom design for 110. They are exactly as wide as the cabinet of a 110. It's ported and has the same size woofer as a 150 / 300. Don't really know the exact name of it. They don't show up on their website.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fer2010 View Post
It's 2 subs (left and right) custom design for 110. They are exactly as wide as the cabinet of a 110. It's ported and has the same size woofer as a 150 / 300. Don't really know the exact name of it. They don't show up on their website.
It's the design used by Sterling sound and also Skrillex's NEST here in LA.

Sterling


NEST


(both Northward rooms above)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
It's the design used by Sterling sound and also Skrillex's NEST here in LA.
Yes, it's the same subs and set-up here. Don't know why, but I really prefer the ATC50 in this setup over the 110. Maybe 100 (still need to check).
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
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Northward's Avatar
In wall, 50s and 110s sound and measure exactly the same except for lower cut off frequency on 110s.

There is absolutely zero difference in the mid dome and tweeters, nor in the amps feeding those.

There is no harshness in the 110, or lack of air or anything different in there from a 50 or 100 or 150.

What may be varying from one speaker to another (at random, not a specific model) is factory calibration that may be a bit different from one batch to another, but we're talking in the 0.1dB realm. Tweeter batch could potentially vary a wee bit too - but within normal production constraints which at ATC are truly incredibly tight.

We've designed rooms with 50s, 100s, 110s, 150s, 200s and 300s.

Only the 200s and 300s are different, mainly the larger tweeter's response.

From 50s to 150s there is absolutely no difference in mid and HF.

I'm not saying you're not hearing a difference, I'm saying you're not looking at the right factor...

A quick control calibration of both sets of speakers would likely make it very difficult if not impossible to distinguish a pair from another in the exact same environment and position unless playing LF heavy material.

If the 110s had any sort of even tiny disadvantage, they would not be used as a reference by such a large percentage of very discerning high end Mastering studios and engineers.

Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
In wall, 50s and 110s sound and measure exactly the same except for lower cut off frequency on 110s.

There is absolutely zero difference in the mid dome and tweeters, nor in the amps feeding those.

There is no harshness in the 110, or lack of air or anything different in there from a 50 or 100 or 150.

What may be varying from one speaker to another (at random, not a specific model) is factory calibration that may be a bit different from one batch to another, but we're talking in the 0.1dB realm. Tweeter batch could potentially vary a wee bit too - but within normal production constraints which at ATC are truly incredibly tight.

We've designed rooms with 50s, 100s, 110s, 150s, 200s and 300s.

Only the 200s and 300s are different, mainly the larger tweeter's response.

From 50s to 150s there is absolutely no difference in mid and HF.

I'm not saying you're not hearing a difference, I'm saying you're not looking at the right factor...

A quick control calibration of both sets of speakers would likely make it very difficult if not impossible to distinguish a pair from another in the exact same environment and position unless playing LF heavy material.

If the 110s had any sort of even tiny disadvantage, they would not be used as a reference by such a large percentage of very discerning high end Mastering studios and engineers.

Hi Thomas,

Don't know if you remember but I came to visit your studio with Guus (Helios) about half a year ago to check out the 300.

I'd be happy to set it up here so you can come and check for yourself. I agree on all your technical points and know about them also. The middome and tweeter are the same, as are the amps on the 50, 100, 110 and 150.

We even swapped the tweeters from the 50 to the 110 to check if there was something wrong with it, but the 110 kept the same character with the 50s tweeter installed.

What I hear is a 'harsher' sound coming from the 110 and a bit more of a pleasant sound on the 50, paired with a bit more air.

It's quite noticeable if you know what to listen for. All people here who have listened agree there's a very slight difference.

Perhaps the others you refer to have not put the 110 and 50 side by side and are less nitpicky about this particular harshness than I am. You can do wonders on the 110 I'm sure, but from having worked on the 50 for so long I have to say somehow these have my preference.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
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AlexK's Avatar
 

Now before this post is seen as inflammatory - please don’t take it to be! We’re all susceptible to this, but here goes:


Did you do a double blind test?


There’s nothing wrong with being the victim of perception bias. It’s human nature...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 

OBVIOUSLY the cabinets are different, and OBVIOUSLY the sound won't be a hundred percent consistent between models. You can put the exact same components in, but the perceived sound won't be the same. It's called physics.

Interesting thread BTW
Old 2 weeks ago
  #29
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Northward's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timesaver800W View Post
OBVIOUSLY the cabinets are different, and OBVIOUSLY the sound won't be a hundred percent consistent between models. You can put the exact same components in, but the perceived sound won't be the same. It's called physics.

Interesting thread BTW
When it comes to ATC, the tweeters and mid domes have no connection to the main cabinet cavity. They are completely sealed off and self contained units. The crossovers are the exact same components wise and in terms of frequency and slope. 380Hz and 3500Hz. Same amps.

Tweeters and mid domes are the exact same model.

When in-wall, the cabinet edge diffraction is not a problem anymore. Mounted that way in the MF and HF they do sound (and should sound) exactly the same if they are calibrated so their curves are fine matched.

Which in this particular scenario means that what is described higher finds its source in another variable.

Either a slightly different calibration, slightly different amp setting, a sub-par in-wall mounting (you usually can't simply swap speakers with vastly different cabinet size in and out of a wall just like that, it takes time, adapting the wall substantially, retuning the decoupling system due to different cabinet weight...And auditory memory on such fine differences is short = statistically unreliable).

To make a blanket statement that 110s sound harsh compared to 50s has no basis.

A particular pair of 110s may sound a wee bit more hyped in the HF than a particular pair of 50s. But the opposite may be true from another set of 110s and 50s. And differences will disappear if speakers are matched (calibrated).

These are normal behaviours due to very small but unavoidable slight manufacturing process variables.

The actual difference (if splitting hair) is to be found in the LF performance:

- 50s have the least extension but sound most balanced. Ideal for classical, Jazz, etc.

- 100s can take more SPL with a cut off about 3-4 Hz lower, and I noticed have consistently a wee bit more output around 70Hz-80Hz.

- 110s feel somehow like the punchier of them all, can handle more SPL than 100s and 50s and a cut-off frequency right in-between the 100 and 150s. Ideal for EDM, fast music etc.

- 150s are the loudest of all, with the most extension. Their LF somehow 'sit' a bit more than all the others. They shine on hip-hop, drone, Trap. Basically loud, LF dense modern music.

110s are the ones that measure the flattest in LF. Rest is the same.

If not mounted in-wall, there are bigger differences between them due to cabinet edge diffraction being different.

But a room will add a lot more coloration than that, by at least a couple orders of magnitude, in the best of scenarios.

I'm actually on my way to Paris now, to certify and calibrate a 7.1 room, with in-wall 50s used as LCR. I'll have the response of 3 brand new 50s, and will create an overlay graphic in the coming days showing the differences between those and 110s in a similar setup. Well, lack thereof.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fer2010 View Post
Hi Thomas,

Don't know if you remember but I came to visit your studio with Guus (Helios) about half a year ago to check out the 300.

I'd be happy to set it up here so you can come and check for yourself. I agree on all your technical points and know about them also. The middome and tweeter are the same, as are the amps on the 50, 100, 110 and 150.

We even swapped the tweeters from the 50 to the 110 to check if there was something wrong with it, but the 110 kept the same character with the 50s tweeter installed.

What I hear is a 'harsher' sound coming from the 110 and a bit more of a pleasant sound on the 50, paired with a bit more air.

It's quite noticeable if you know what to listen for. All people here who have listened agree there's a very slight difference.

Perhaps the others you refer to have not put the 110 and 50 side by side and are less nitpicky about this particular harshness than I am. You can do wonders on the 110 I'm sure, but from having worked on the 50 for so long I have to say somehow these have my preference.
Sure, but you can't compare speakers fairly having them simply setup side by side. It creates a lot more disturbances than a small or even not so small calibration difference. They have to be set with mid dome in the exact same location. Which means no quick A/B due to moving cabinets and overall setup time.

If I'm ever nearby I'll happily drop by! But short of being an ATC R&D Engineer (which are awesome guys) I've probably installed, calibrated and heard more ATC setups in pro studios than the vast majority of engineers.

What I'm saying is that it's not a matter of opinion, but of experience. ATCs are very very consistent over their range. And within ridiculous tolerances in the MF and HF range from 50s to 150s, especially knowing there is no DSP used. All analog.

Other factors are at play here. Enjoy your ATCs!
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