ATC makes a welcome return to The Music Room.
By Jack Lawson 12th December 2017
Making a welcome return to The Music Room, among ATC's offering is the refined ATC SCM19A active loudspeaker. ATC is one of the elite few manufacturers making their own drivers in house.
Image © ATC Loudspeakers
We are delighted to be reappointed by ATC after a gap of 9 years. There could not be a better time and a more synergistic partnership. The Music Room offers artisan audio for the price of High Street Hi-Fi.
Put simply, you can buy a branded loudspeaker with a deceptive discount or you can come to The Music Room and discover why, worldwide, the committed studios and creators of music place their trust in this small but perfectly formed company in Gloucestershire.
I went along last month to find out for myself (see gallery at base of article).
All of the staff were still there after 9 years. What that means to you, the consumer, is a big advantage: they know what they are doing and they care.
I’ll give you an example. The SCM-7 is a small stand-mount speaker that sells for £1,875 per pair. Sorry: that is a typo. They sell for £875 per pair. This means that they are doing something very different to the others. They are not wasting your money on marketing, luxurious demo lounges, fancy buildings or directors’ cars. The truth is that commercial loudspeakers comprising cabinets and drivers are massively over-priced.
I watched ATC’s entry point SCM-7 being made and it tells an impressive story. The cabinets look hewed from a tree, and the two drivers are hand crafted in-house with much of ATC’s distilled knowledge. They are all tested and calibrated, not batch tested. In a small room, the SCM-7 sounded so natural, detailed, open and I don’t believe that there is at this level any other loudspeaker to even get close.
In the dem room, I was curious to start with the larger £2,300 model SCM-11. Sorry another typo, £1,300. What!!!??? Impossible. No kidding. £1,300. Again, hand built in house. Time to introduce the electronics…. Everyone knows that ATC has optimized active loudspeakers for home or studio but I am amongst the luddites who love amplifiers and passive loudspeakers. So system 2 was a pair of elevens driven by ATC’s power amp, the P-1 at 2 x 150 watts and (you heard it here, first!) early in 2018 the new CD-preamplifer CDA2-2. The revised model may sell for around £2,895. Compared to the old model, new CD transport, new DAC, new analogue stage (you should have called it the CDA4, guys!).
So here was a system at around £6,500 that just rocked. Three-dimensional, natural sound. This is what it is supposed to be. But the hi-fi industry is run by people who make changes for the sake of growing the market and the market has stalled and declined with people paying absurd sums to buy Emperors’ Clothes.
If you are ambitious, if you seek the true scale and majesty of a live sonic event then this is where ATC become very interesting indeed. Famous users like Pink Floyd (and I am revealing my age) could mount three pairs of Active Fifties in their conservatory and perhaps SCM-7s in the gardener’s cottage! As for myself, well, spoiled for choice as the choice of models for 2-channel and surround sound is vast. The price list runs to nine pages, so this is where a consultancy type dealer is better for ATC and for their customers.
Which one is best for you?
We are very glad to have ATC back as a core brand, especially now with the amazing new tweeters, and the amazing value electronics. With the domestic currency depreciated by political meddling, the American and European products are getting costly so we have a double advantage with these British integrated amplifiers, pre-amps and power amps, plus the upcoming CD player that needs no pre-amp with digital inputs.
If you aspire to ATC, own ATC, bought it from us, or just curious, send us an email. Better still, come to see and hear Glasgow’s ATC studio. Find out what you are missing.
(13th Dec update: We're currently adding products to the website and our first shipment of ATC is imminent!)