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Buying a speaker solely on the basis of reviews?

 

Evangelina
Unregistered guest
I'm buying a pair of ATC SCM 7's on the basis of several reviews. The most important one is the What Hi Fi? April 2003 supertest review of midrange standmount speakers. The SCM 7's were highly praised, as was the general quality of ATC speakers. No one where I live carries these speakers, but I did find one dealer online. Still, I'd like to know if anyone else has bought speakers without auditioning them and if they were pleased with what they got.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Onimushalord

Post Number: 19
Registered: Nov-04
I have auditioned them before against the Quad 11L, and I did like their sound a bit more, where midrange is concerned, you have a winner but when it comes to bass, please look elsewhere ya!
For less bass-heavy tunes, buy them, you won't need an audition.
 

johnnyrocker
Unregistered guest
As long as you have a money-back guarantee, go for it. All you'd be out is some shipping if they don't tickle your fancy

Without a money back guarantee, me personally, no way
 

Evangelina
Unregistered guest
OminushaLord,
Thanks for the info. I listen mostly to classical,
opera, and world music--especially tango. So bass isn't my biggest concern; I'm much more concerned that the treble isn't bright. Those sopranos can be harsh on the ears!!

By the way, where do you live? I could only find one dealer online.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 293
Registered: Sep-04
I'm surprised you found an online dealer! ATC is a very specialised manufacturer. For this reason they usually require a specialised service from the retailer which requires face-to-face relationships with the customer. They're very well known in the professional studio market where they share the spoils with Dynaudio, B&W and PMC. ATCs aren't that easy to drive typically so you want a fairly beefy amp to go with those SCM7s, typically upwards of 70 watts per channel. If you don't have a powerful amp, the ATCs can suck all the juice out and that's when things will turn harsh. This is true for all systems where the amp isn't up to the task, not just down to the ATCs. Dynaudios are similarly difficult to drive and do the same thing when inappropriately matched.

The SCM7 is fairly rare in that it is a sealed unit. This means there's no port or hole in the cabinet. Sealed units usually display less bass, but they generally display a more tuneful bass when it's there and they tend to be easier to place in a room since there is no port to interact with room boundaries. The ATC is described as a free-space speaker meaning it will want to be pulled away from the rear wall, but if you find the bass to light, you'll be able to augment the output by placing the speaker closer to the wall behind it. The compromise when you do this will be in a flatter soundstage perspective.

Finally, if you're considering going for a surround setup in future (the ATC has a matching centre and sub), then note that the large magnets in the speaker are difficult to screen properly and if you use an ordinary CRT TV, you may need to be careful about where you put the centre speaker (i.e. below and as far away from the TV as possible). If you don't intend to go surround sound then this doesn't matter but if you do and it isn't possible to place the centre at least 05m below the CRT, then reconsider the purchase and consider Dynaudio Audience 42s which are a similar format speaker of similar quality but are better screened.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 294
Registered: Sep-04
Sorry that was meant to read "at least 0.5m"

Regards,
Frank.
 

mauimusicman
Unregistered guest
Evangelina, do yourself a favor and audition a pair of Green Mountain Audio Europa's. At under $1K/pair I know of no other speaker that comes close to these. Check out the companies web-site at Http//greenmountainaudio.com/
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 541
Registered: Oct-04
Evangelina: There happens to be a pair of mauimusicman's Green Mountain Europa speakers for sale on "audiogon." Asking $650 - in West Hollywood, California.

Might want to check these out? Just a suggestion. . .
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 85
Registered: Mar-04
speaker reviews are DEFINATELY subjective. i bought my original NHT super zeros based partly on a crappy shelf demo at a "superstore" and based mostly on their favorable press and a bias towards tiny acoustic suspension speakers after being totally blown away by a friend's subless infinity minimonitors when i heard REAL hi-fi for the first time ever.

i've been satisfied with the NHTs for their great imaging and extremely low box resonances, but i bought a pair of mission M71s after reading a rave in stereophile along with favorable reviews in brit mags too.

i am very unimpressed with the missions. to their credit, they do have treble speed and extension that embarasses my NHTs, but they are also overly bright and fatiguing to listen too and have cheesy noisy cabinets.

nothing beats listening to a pair of speakers for yourself, especially in your home with the equipment you own.

reviews are just rules of thumb... not scientifically indesputable facts.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 86
Registered: Mar-04
pmc uses atc drivers from what i remember reading somewhere a while back for whatever that's worth
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 87
Registered: Mar-04
i've returned to the slightly polite NHTs since as they are much easier on the ears for extended listening and sound much more relaxed. i'd love it if they had mission tweeters though.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 89
Registered: Mar-04
i've returned to the slightly polite NHTs since as they are much easier on the ears for extended listening and sound much more relaxed. i'd love it if they had mission tweeters though.
 

Ewan
Unregistered guest
Hi there, I have found these speakers on ebay (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=14993%26item%3D57511911 08%26)
But like you I cannot find them to listen to. What kind of price were you getting quoted? I could get these for less than £200 including postage, is this a good price?
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