Question: Does ATC have the best midrange driver?

Since music is like 90% mids then seems to me ATC is the best speaker. But if they are so good, how come there's no rave going on about them? Price factor?
What is "best" is obviously going to be quite subjective and personal. As to the ATC stuff, it appears that they have the same loyal follows that tend to cheer on Bryston gear. To each their own.... Sean
I don't know if they are the best. I know Mr. Dunlavy doesn't feel the dome midranges are worth a flip, and I don't know the physics or reasons behind it. Obviously there is some time delay between sound coming of the edge of the dome versus the center, just like in a dome tweet--one more type of phase distortion. E-speakers lists a new Zellaton driver that claims one of the best and then Skanning makes a nice 4" driver. I really couldn't claim them as the best. Loudspeakers are systems, and one driver isn't always superior since the application matters. If someone wants the even dispersion characteristics of a coaxial type loudspeaker, you won't get with ATC, you'll have to go with volt, cabasse or others. I don't doubt the ATC are nice units and better than alot of stuff. But there are so many international companies I'm sure I'm not aware of what they are doing-who knows all the stuff the Germans are doing.
i don't cheer on bryston gear. and when you consider that sony and pioneer (to mention *only* two) master all of their dvd's and SACD's on them (instead of using their own speakers), there is a bit of a rave professionally. they've only recently started selling to the consumer market.
I have listened to the ATC flagship speaker ($15000, I forget the number) many times at a friends house and it is one of the nicest setups I have ever heard. The music just floats around the speakers in a fashion that had me calling them "Quads that play really loud". I always felt the bass driver was not fast enough for the superb midrange but that was a minor quibble. That system is just plain awsome. It is the first time I have ever really enjoyed listening to an all solid state stereo. When watching TV I was drooling over any music playing (listening thru Direct TV satellite) it was that good! I know this sounds a bit overboard but you have to listen yourself.

After this rave I would still buy Sound Labs and Atmosphere amps instead (if I can dream), I am a planer and tube kind of a guy.
I have never heard the ATC's so I don't know for sure. But, the recording industry is not exactly known for having "golden ears" in the past. The previous "most used" monitor in recording studios was Yamaha NS-10's. Not exactly great. I doubt if their ears have gotten any better with the latest "music" that they are producing. ATC may be a great speaker, but having the recording industry unanimously using them is not a testament to their sound quality. If anything it makes me more skeptical.
Just because a car has "the best" engine doesn't make it the best car. The midrange driver, good as it is, is only one part of the speaker chain, and the implementation of the entire speaker is at least as important as the drivers themselves.

ATC built their company in the professional market and has only recently began making a serious effort to enter the consumer market, which is why we don't hear about them much at this point. They are incredibly good speakers though, so I suspect this will change over time if ATC is able to procure more distribution and trickle their technology down to more earthbound prices. I do agree with Sean that ATC devotees are almost cultlike in their support of the products, much like you see in brands like Linn and Naim. Basically if you get it, you get it, but I've never known anyone to hear a pair of ATCs and not be at least a little impressed.

That said, ATC speakers are still based on a professional monitor platform and thus will not appeal to those who prefer a more "audiophile" sound. This means that you are not going to get an incredibly expansive, deep, or layered soundstage, and ATCs are not going to pull off the disappearing act as well as many others. The flipside is that ATCs are extremely transparent, clear, dynamic, and have an ability to put the power of a performance in the room like few other speakers on the market. Whether this is "the best" is a subjective and personal decision--no speaker is perfect.

Don't really want to try to defend too much of what's coming out of the professional pop music recording industry, but I do want to clarify one thing.
The real reason the Yamaha NS-10 is the "most used" nearfield in pop studios by professionals is not for their reference sound quality. The truth of the matter is, the NS-10 closely resembles what the avarage consumer listens to at home. Pop engineers use the NS-10 to hear what their mixes are going to sound like in the average Joe/Jane's house. The popularity of this monitor accross the board in professional studios also establishes a sense of consistency. By and large, a pop album is recorded and mixed in several different studios by several engineers, having the NS-10's does allow them to have one constant.

Now, ATC is getting a following in the Classical and Jazz engineering scene as well. There are some very talented engineers that truly love ATC monitors.
"Accuracy is not subjective"

Yes it is - plotting is one thing and listening is another

One person's garbage is another person's treasure-

you can't account for personal taste, emotion, and how trained (or not) a person's ears are, through statistics, or voting, or logic, or anything else in hopes of arriving at an absolute fact.

And one thing I am learning here on these threads is that consensous is impossible and that is because, to quote a scholar, "You can't account for personal taste, emotion, and how trained (or not) a person's ears are..."

"Ponders The Thought" Of how many of the members that have posted the feedback on this topic have had a chance to hear, I mean really hear what they have been missing by not checking out the ATC's
Just to clear another area the ATC drivers have been used in home audio since the mid 80's, and as for the real question here, "Does ATC have the best midrange driver?" A person would have to spend 3x's as much to get better.. If I had the time, I would post ATC's user's list. The name's of the user's and company's that use ATC's, would maybe shed a little more light on how good these speakers are to some of the big boys out there..
I don't have a problem finding good woofers tweets and ribbons. Seems i've encountered a problem in finding a "good" ("best") midrange, THE critical fq's. Most orchestral and jazz instruments fall in the midrange. As well i'm looking for a midrange that delivers vocals with accuracy. Lets see for midrange we've got Scan-Speak, Skaaning, Focal, Accuton, Morel, and there is a german lab called Visaton. Sorry if i left out anyone's favorite. Then we come to the ATC. They are the most expensive of the bunch, (Skaaning's about same price) and maybe in this case you get what you pay for, ie. the superior. It's nice to know that you can buy the single mid-driver. Their entry model is like 15K, very interesting speaker, each driver has its own amp. Hey Laz you've got the SC-50's , can you give us some insight into the +'s and -'s of ATC's entry level speaker. The 100 and 150 has larger woofers but the same tweet and their famous SM75-150S midrange.
actually, they're not the entry-level. there are the scm 7's, the scm 10's, the scm 20's, then the scm 50's. the only real minus of the 50's is that they roll off at about 32hz, and don't drop all the way to 20. everything else is truly the best i've ever heard. the highs aren't quite as sweet as really good electrostat panels, but very, very close. i wouldn't have laid down the money if i didn't truly believe that.

but, the passive and active scm 10's are great little speakers, though limited in bass response due to their size.

and, while we're on the subject of atc stuff, their electronics are also really, really good. i use their amps (obviously - built into the speaker) and their preamp, which is the most sonically transparent preamp i've ever heard. (granted, i haven't heard all that many, though) and the phono stage is also incredible. expensive but, again, at $8500, i wouldn't have bought if i didn't believe. and when i took the top off to set the phono stage portion, i saw why exactly is cost so much. having long built and repaired computers and electronics, i couldn't believe the quality of the assembly and quality of the parts. think of it as a top-shelf martini made by an experienced bartender. good stuff.

and, as for the 150's, 200's and 300's, they're really meant for studio use. if you had them in a normal sized house, they'd blow the windows. and i mean that literally. they won't sound any better, i wouldn't think, than a pair of 50's or 100's with an atc sub.

and, just fyi, the number (ie 7, 10, 50, 100, 150, etc . . .) refers to the enclosure space in liters. the 200 and 300 have identical drivers, but different enclosure spaces.
Entry level refers to the model's with the SM75 mid. Good to hear they compete with the Sound Labs in mids-highs. I can forgo the fq's below 35, ain't much there. I get the feeling that like electrostats they perform best with a special ss amp. Guess the SM75 will not work in a 3 way with my small tube amp. If anyone is interested in seeing the ATC used in a super 3 way Skaaning + ATC + Scan-Speak..doesn't get much better than this, go to a Danish DIYer Mogens Anderson's web
ATC has been in the Asian market(Hong Kong, Taiwan etc.) since 1990. In the first few years, they caused quite a sensation. But after a few years, when their true ability had tested and shorting coming were discovered. And now ATC is almost forgotten in this particular market.....Used ATC speakers are everywhere and nobody want them..............
If studios were trying to mimic what end users where using to listen to recordings on, they would not have went with the Yamaha's. They would be using Bose 301's. As far as i know, they are ( or at least they used to be ) the best selling speaker in the world. We should all be thankful that this is not the case and that some engineers / studio owners DO have common sense and ears.

I've been in a few studios and seen speakers ranging from JBL to Legacy to B&W's and then over to "professional grade" gear like Toa's and Fostex to stuff that i would not use for a boombox. Many studios have several different sets of "monitors" so that the engineers and musicians can get a feel for what their recording will sound like on a variety of speakers.

As to Lazarus' comments about "accuracy not being subjective", i would tend to disagree. The fact that one can show several different products as being the best in any given category has to do with the type of testing done, how the tests were conducted, what one was looking for or which part of the results one was going to exploit, etc... If one has very specific parameters that are set in stone and limited in scope, then yes, you can measure what is "best". Otherwise, you would need to be able to measure a million different parameters all at once since that is what our hearing does for us instantaneously. As such, what sounds best and what measures best can sometimes be very different things and will forever remain a subjective topic of discussion.

As to Dunlavy's comments about domes, i'd like him to show us ONE driver that is linear in the time domain across the entire bandpass that it will be used within. How can ANY cone type driver produce coherent wavefronts when parts of the driven element are always closer to the listener while other parts will always be slightly more distant ? Of course, the severity of this problem will vary somewhat from driver to driver depending on the size and convex of the cone being used.

For the record, i think that John Curl stated something to the effect of the Manger drivers being as close to "technically correct" that you can get. I know that he is not a speaker engineer or specialist, i'm sure that he knows enough ( both through formal education and hands on experience ) to not just spout off something like that without good cause. How these drivers sound to various individuals is a whole 'nother can of worms. Sean
I've read something by a reputable DIYer that stated he felt the Manger was "junk"?? He may be overstating it, but i think he's refering to that they are not musical. Now it's true there are lots of "boom and sizzle" cone speakers on the market that are JUNK. Some expensive JUNK. IF Manger was exceptional they would be selling in the shops. Can anybody testify to the Manger monitors or the driver itself? That would be a good shootout , the 12K Manger Monitor vs the ATC SM 50. The Manger and the ATC's are not tube friendly, so ruled out for me. On the topic of the Anderson Monitors. If these speakers were sold in "hi-fi" shops the price tag would be like $25K to $30K. This guy has been a hobbyist for 25 yrs and has heard many speakers and drivers. He says the Skaaning + ATC are the "best". Now he does not say the Scan-Speak tweeter is the best. He feels the humble Hiqulaphon is a very good bargain. Sean, the Manger, Fostex , and Lowther may offer nice sound for some folks , just not for me.
that makes no sense whatsoever. they started sounding bad all of a sudden? and only in one region of the world? sounds to me like there are cultural reasons, (ie a very fad based market) not performance-based reasons. especially considering their reputation elsewhere in the world.
Denmark is well known for making THE BEST DRIVERS. This speaker builder Anderson IN Denmark knows almost every good driver made. If Mogens says the ATC is the best midrange he knows, consider it good. You will not find good drivers made in Asia. They are good at making many products but not audio equipment. So the asian vote is not to be taken too seriously. Yes Hong Kong is extremely fad oriented. Like i say the Manger full range and ATC's need special amps. They are not tube friendly. That to me is a big drawback.
Tweeker, I was not suggesting the Manger's, only passing on info that i found interesting and thought that others might too. As to your comments about Lowther's, my very limited experience with them was not that thrilling either. Most folks that i know that are running Lowthers have some very specific complaints about them but are willing to overlook those for what they consider to be their good points. Sean
Tweekerman, TAD makes some very well regarded drivers and they are manufactured in the Far East. Don't let this fact disturb your world view that Asians are not good at making audio products, but then again, your comments are not to be taken too seriously.
Onh i'm speaking in general about superior audio equipment. Sorry if i came across with attitude. No don't take me serious, we are all in this hobby as friends to share our views.
Onh if by TAD you mean Pioneer corp.>>> I'm not going to argue. If you like TAD, happy tunes! By the way tell me some of your audio components.
If someone has heard the ATC speakers they should voice an opinion.
I do not read Audiogon for what is often speculation and getting close to gossip.
If you are considering these speakers tweekerman, by all means do yourself a favor and listen if you have not done so already.
These speakers make you forget you are listening to a stereo, the music is very palpable and unimpeded by the typical notions of box or planar(speaker) qualitys. Really first rate.
Yes if fact after the completion of the speakers already under way i plan to use the ATC midrange in a 3 way design. It's a 16 ohm driver and is difficult to xover but is well worth the trouble. I've also found out that tubes have no problem with the speaker.
Tweekerman, I disagree with your original premises. If 90% of music is the mids, then why aren't all audiophiles using Quad 57s? Has any speaker nailed the midrange better than this 45 year old design? The fact that experienced audiophiles use other speakers isn't to fault the Quad, but points out that different people have different priorities and goals which are better served by different products. I cannot conceive of any large group of informed audiophiles agreeing upon a single best driver.

BTW, HFN&RR, Listner and Perfect Vision have all run rave reviews of ATC products. Also Mix did a side by side comparison to the Dunlavy V for studio use. Some preferred the ATC, others the Dunlavy.

Finally, your comment about Asian manufacturers is absurd. Do you really believe that their are no "superior" Asian produced audio products? Accuphase, Air Tight, Audio Note - and these are just the A's.

EMI Abbey Road Studios
CBS/Sony UK Disc Mastering and Quality Control
Nippon Columbia Tokyo Main monitors in three control rooms
Warner Bros Burbank CA Main monitors
Polygram - Wiseloord Studios
Holland Main monitors
Yamaha Research and Development Dept London Main Monitors
BBC Maida Vale, Broadcasting House, TV Centre Music Studios, Transcription Recording Unit, Pebble Mill Studio 2, Wood Norton, Radio 5 and several OB Trucks
Thames TV (The Bill and Poirot)
Danish Radio OB Trucks
Swedish Radio
SBS Television Australia
Video Tape Recording TV Production Company
M2 Video
Nimbus Records lots of ATC's
Sain Records
Sentinel Records
Mute Records Depeche Mode, Erasure
Birmingham University
City University London
Essex University Dr Malcom Harksforda
University College San Diego
Royal College of Music
Royal Opera House
Covent Garden
Sydney Opera House Recording Studio
Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club Recording Studio
Pink Floyd's Studio and Dave Gilmore's Home.
Konk The Kinks Studio
The Real World Peter Gabriei's Studio
The Church The Eurythmics Studio
Neneh Cherry
Juni Morrison
Julio lgiesias's Producer Ramon Arcosa
10 cc
Lou Reed
Surrey University Francis Rumsey etc
Eliabu lnhal Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra
The The
The Waterboys
Tears for Fears
Rainbow Studios Norway ECM Records
Kenny Young songwriter "Under the Boardwalk" and "River Deep Mountain High"
David lord Producer Peter Gabriel, Jean Michel Jarre, Van Morrison, Ice House, Kissing the Pink
Greg Walsh Producer Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, Eikie Brookes
Peter Walsh Producer - Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds, Scott Walker
Rupert Hine/Steve Taylor
James Guthrie Producer Pink Floyd, Toto, Chicago, many films
Curtis Schwiartz Producer
Hans Zimmer Film Music Composer
Mike Oldfield
Carl Wallender World Party
Robert Plant
Mark Sayer Wade Sound Sculpture
The Tale Gallery
Bob Ludwig Masterdisk N.Y.
Ted Jensen Sterling Sound
Joe Gastwirt Ocean View Digital Mastering Greatful Dead etc.
Cold Sweat
Joseph Magee Freelance Classical Record Producer attached to the LA Philharmonic, Telarc
Bruce Leek Telarc, Wilson Audio, (Mastering, recording, editing)
Autograph Sound Recording Studio English Meyer Distributors
Airforce Music Radio Jingles
Shawn Murphy Top Hollywood Scoring Mixer, Hook, Cape Fear, Silence of the Lambs, Dancing with Wolves, Dick Tracey etc.
Dave Harris Freelance Classical Recording Engineer Noteworthy Music
Stuart Brown Freelance Classical Recording Engineer
Peter Bronda Welsh National Opera
Trygg Tryggvasson Freelance Classical Producer, Recording Engineer Virgin, Hyperion, Chandos, etc.
Anthony Howells Freelance Classical Engineer, Pickwick, Hyperion, Virgin, etc.
Paul Barmer BBC and Freelance Classical Recording Engineer
Steve Portnoi BBC and Freelance Classical Recording Engineer
Tony Wass BBC and Freelance Classical Recording Engineer
Budapest Radio Film Music Studio
John Richards Evergreen Studios L.A. (Film Music Studio)
Hammon Studios Tel Aviv Denon Tokyo
Windmill lane Dublin, Terrence Trent D'Arby, U2, etc.
Pioneer Japan
Eastcote Productions Transvision Vamp
E Spy Studios Melbourne
Broxmead Studios Film and TV Music Studio
Beethoven Street Seal, Sandy Shaw
Chapel Studios ELO, Motorhead, Saxon, etc.
Barbra Streisand
Moles Studio Gail Ann Dorsey, Andy Davis
DB Studios Ghostbusters etc.
Boogie Sound Hamburg
Chateau Du Pape Hamburg
Slippery LA Lethal Weapon 11 etc.
Lansdown Group CTS - Largest independent studio in Europe, Film Music for James Bond, Batman, Superman, Passage to India, Baron Munchhausen, Jazz Don Lusher, Stan Tracey, Charlie Watts, MOR Miss Saigon, Roger Whittaker, Des O'Connor and many more
Ground Control LA Madonna, Robbie Robertson, Julio lgiesias, Arif Mardin, Phil Ramone etc.
Exit Lisbon
El Alamo Madrid
Estuidos Eurosonic Madrid
Estudios Azul Cadiz
Estudios Alfaguara Seville
Kash Productions Madrid
The Mill Cookham
Gareth Jones Producer
Magmasters Soho Film, TV, Pop, you name it!
Nick Whitaker Internationally renowned acoustician
Voyageur 11 Mobile Europe's biggest Mobile
Rhinocerous Sydney INXS
Greene Street New York
Blackwiing Basle
National Recording Studios Canberra
Polygram Hong Kong
Chipping Norton
Edinburgh University Music Dept
Fred Vogier Koch lnti, Whoopie Goldberg,
Steve Martin
Australian Institute of Music
Yamaha Japan
Apocalypse Australia
Rich Studios Sydney
Mark Forester (Prince and Kate Cerbrano)
Dutch National Broadcast NOB Soho
Beijing Radio and TV
ABC Australia
Sony Australia
Institute of Sound Production Sydney
Cold Storage
Eden Studios Jackson Recording Co Ltd
University of East Anglia
The Mill Soho
Fleetwood Mobile
Mark Angelo
The Paris Bastille Opera House
Disney World
The Pope
Dire Straits
Simple Minds
Suzanne Vega
The Apollo Harlem
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
A String Studios - Taipei
Level 42
Hugo Records Hong Kong
Wirra Wilia Studios Australia
Castiesound Studios Scotland
Euphonia Freelance Classical (Chop 'em Out)
Todd A.0. The USA's largest film scoring Stage
CBS/Sony Sydney Australia
Paramount Pictures Hollywood
The Chippendales!
Expo '92 mobile studios and PA
John Williams- Classical Guitarist
Hugh Padgham producer Genesis and Phil Collins
SCI- Tokyo
M.0.D. Brass Band Recording centre
Cariton Television
Copymasters London
Divided Studios Chicago
Polish Radio
London College of Music
Roger Taylor - Queen
Gateway Mastering Bob Ludwig
Gilbert O'Sullivan
Freddy Star - Comedian
Crazy Sound Guadeloupe
Evelyn Glennie - Percussionist
Toshiba-Tokyo Digital Mastering
University of York
NRS Sydney
The Blue Nile (Linn)
York St Studios NY
Athens Concert Hall
Status Quo
Hessinger Rundfunk
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Taipei Symphony Orchestra - Principal Violinist
London Weekend Television
Dinemec Sound - Dinemec Classic Label
Sony Music, New York
Albert's Music, London
Pearson Television
Angel Studios, London
Fast Floor Productions 2 pairs main monitors


By the way this list was made up back in 1998. I wonder what the updated list looks like.
probably most of the people dropped off to pick up a better speaker and k-mart and Dollar General were added to the list because they wanted to use them for background music in their stores :) he he

Well I see "Bbtuna" has never owend or heard these. Must be out of his price range. Its looks like from your post that you must shop the K-Mart and Dollar General's. Maybe thats why you have never heard them.. :)
My point in recent posts is that most commercial labs (big names) use XYZ budget drivers and charge a fortune. Yes the local "hi-fi" shop gets his big 100% mark-up. I have not heard a commercial speaker that i felt is worth even half the price asked. I'm going to pick my superior drivers and pay a DIYer or KIT company to do the job with superior xover parts. That's my point. Sure Quads and Sound Labs are nice. Audiogon is supposed to be a web to LEARN about audio products. If you check the threads i'm the only one mentioning superior drivers. And no it's not subjective. These names i mention are well known world over to be superior labs. If commercial speakers used the drivers i prefer , they would cost me one years salary. I save a bundle with a kit. No it's not for everyone, but is an option. Just for the heck of it order a Seas W22 or Skaaning woofer. You'll see what i mean by the word "superior". The point of the thread was to get feedback on ATC and other midrange considerations for a 3 way design. I've discovered both ATC and Accuton are fine units. ATC seems to be in a class by itself. The reference midrange so to speak. There is not a whole lot of superior midranges to choose from. Ribbons and dome tweets of superior quality, there are many to choose from.
Tweekerman, you are right in that there is a shortage of excellent quality dedicated midranges. Most high-end speakers these days use a woofer, a midwoofer, and a dome tweeter. One problem that these systems tend to have is a narrowing of the radiation pattern in the upper range of the midwoofer. But with the 3" diameter ATC dome crossing over to a dome or possibly ribbon tweeter, it is possible to maintain a more uniform radiation pattern through the crossover region.

Why in the world would this matter? Because a characteristic which generally distinguishes live music from reproduced music is how natural the reflected, or reverberant, energy sounds. What we call "off-axis" response determines the tonal balance of the reverberant field. And the tonal balance of the reverberant field is a significant factor in both timbre and listening fatigue. Basically, you want a fairly well energized, diffuse reverberant field that has the same tonal balance as the first-arrival (on-axis) sound.

And the ATC dome midrange has more uniform reverberant field response than a larger-diameter cone would, without having the dynamic non-linearities that plague other dome midranges which don't have that double suspension system.

The emphasis on flat on-axis response stems from research done back in the 60's and 70's. It was determined that the on-axis response played a greater role than the "power response" (summed omnidirectional response) in establishing the perceived timbre of a speaker system, and flat on-axis response has been the holy grail ever since. But another way to interpret the data is temporally: the first-arrival sound plays the dominant role in determining timbre, but the reverberant sound still plays a significant role. I believe that minimizing the discrepancy between the first-arrival and reverberant sound is a worthwhile pursuit, as this mimics the characteristics of live music.

Anyway, I'm not saying the ATC is necessarily the best midrange by all possible yardsticks, but I think it's probably among the better units of its type. I've heard the smaller ATC speakers and think well of them, though I did not choose to become a dealer (I could still hear a bit of boxiness, and for that much money I prefer speakers that don't let you know the music is emanating from boxes). I've actually never heard the ATC dome midrange, so my comments here are educated guesses at best and SWAG speculation at worst. As I write this I have a pair of ATC dome midranges on order to dink around with - perhaps when I've had a chance to get to know them well, I'll have something more useful to post.

Best of luck to you in your brave and bold projects, intrepid Tweekerman!
Thanks Duke for the clarification on this "muddy and murky" area of midrange, THE critical fq's. You should know the midrange area, your Sound Labs shine like no box can in the mids. You answered some doubts i had,about which mid to use. I was going to reconsider using the Seas W12CY or W15CY cone midrange. But your post points to a dome mid as better choice choice for "narrowing radiation pattern". Especially with a ribbon. And maybe i need to go with the C-44, as being "faster" and better match with the ribbon than the C-79. I've received a big vote for ATC and the other for ACCUTON C-79. Both have over 20 yrs experience. I think i would prefer the ATC but am having trouble ordering the driver and the one building prefers the Accutons. Your explanation of the "reverberant field" brings me to a better understanding of what i'm after in a speaker. Please keep us posted on your findings of the ATC.
Audiokinesis makes the point well. With a midrange driver, or any driver, when the wavelength becomes less than the radius of the cone/dome is when the beaming begins. I don't now the math off hand, but this is why 4-4.5inches is about as big as you can get away with if you're going to try an get up to 6,000hz and still be able to cross as low as 100hz. If I was going to do I diy three way, which I hope to one day, the ATC and Skaaning would be on the top of my list. Personnaly, I wouldn't do the Accuton, for lack of internal damping. With the Manger's I've heard less than favorable experience from others with them-like "they were ok, but nothing spectactualar and I've heard betters stuff." I did hear there are some distortion peaks somewhere in the driver which may account for why they don't sound that great despite having some otherwise impressive specs. And they are $$$, but in defense easy to design for/with.
Ezmeral i've heard simular things about the Manger, even the word, "junk" was said. I just checked the Accuton specs. , is ferrofluid internal damping? One speaker designer says ATC, the other Accuton. I'm going Accuton, will let you know in about 3 months.
Internal damping, crudely, is the ability of the driver's material to absorb the standing wave/refelcted wave that forms on the front "inside" the cone. Someone else please say it better if you can cause I know I know what I'm talking about halfway here :) Aluminum and ceramic have virtually no interanl damping. This is all on the front of the cone; the ferrofluid damping has to do with the backwave of the cone-its different. and both have good designer notes sections on the various cone materials you might want to look at short of the books for better explanations than mine. I know dunlavy slams most of those ritzy cone materials. If you get accuton to work great let me know. They are attractive looking and I'd like to design with'em, but the rational side of me still says the Skaanings would have a nicer sound in the end. But I'm no authority.
is this mid range used in the Proac 4 and or 5 or do those speakers use a "knock off" reproduction as someone recently told me?
The Proac 4 speakers used 2 ATC 3 inch dome midranges. The Proac 5 speakers used 2 7 inch Scanspeak midbases.

The best midbase I ever heard, is the JM Lab midbase on the Mezzo utopias and the Utopia speakers. The other midbase that sounded incredible, was the midbase on the Sonus Faber Extremas. Holy Moley did this midrange sound incredible. It was a custom made Skanning midbase. It was a Carbon Fiber Polypropelene midbase.

Got into audio stuff a couple of hears ago - with B&W P4s and Arcam delta stuff - and i have to admit it is one of the most frustrating on one side and then once you think you are done the most beautiful "hobby" (if i am allowed to say to) that i have ever picked up.... my advice to everybody getting into audio - once you buy never try anything else hahahah but that is live the goal to reach the ultimate or best possible sound - lucky i can afford the luxury and i am privileged to be able to go hear concerts at new york's Carnegie Hall - that always kicks me into reality.... but anyway.. i am in the frustrating phase of my audio quest again... i have finally settled for Lexicon gear... i know i know sorry but i am try into match that gear to a good if not great pair of speakers.... and now that is where the problem started.... i had listened over the past couple of month to speakers ranges (Dunlavy (SC-V), Revel (Salons, Studio, F50, F30), B&W (800s, 802, owned 804s also own 805) Wilson (Pupppy 7, Sophia). I really like the SC-V but was not too impressed with the bass all revels were awesome but felt the F50 was the best deal for the buck... I Love the B&W Nautilus tweeters.... to me they are the best in the market these highs just go straight through you and are all around... maybe too aggressive for some but that explains why i own/owned b&w speakers... Wilson i heard by accident at a dealer he was breaking them in sounded pretty good. So B&W i know the best and i think over the past couple of years 2 or 3 some professionals have gotten into B&W as their reference speakers i think some sound studio have also started accepting them- so here my question:

If ATC is so great in the mids and i personally love B&W's highs... can anybody give me the pros and cons between getting ATC 50s B&W 800s and Revel F50s??? obviously all very different speakers.

B&W pulls me towards them because of the mids to highs... Revel for its dynamics and over sound stage... and ATC never heard.... but my dealer suggested them to me... I am a 50% classical 30% pop/electro (oldfield/jarre) and 20% techno/trans guys - i know fucked up mix... i would drive the speakers with 200w of power... (Lex amp) might not even be enough... should have gotten the LX-7 and bridged the channels..

Thanks for any input.

I can tell you between ATC and B&W 803 there is no contest, the midrange on the ATC (I think active 50) is a big step up in clarity and palpablity. The B&Ws are more coherent but are better in no other way. There is a big price difference between these speakers but I would pick the ATCs.
Audiokinesis, what do you think of drivers made from Aurasound, Eton, Audax, Morel Acoustics and Scanspeak?


I was just searching for some info on the manger speakers and stumbled upon this thread, I think you guys should at least give it a listen once I have heard them(I do not own them) and they were simply FANTASTIC, you got to hear some vocals on it and I'm sure you would be more than impressed.

I currently own dynaudio 1.3SE and would change them in a heartbeat to the manger zerobox 109, but still got to get the funds sorted :)

That said, ATC speakers are still based on a professional monitor platform and thus will not appeal to those who prefer a more "audiophile" sound. This means that you are not going to get an incredibly expansive, deep, or layered soundstage, and ATCs are not going to pull off the disappearing act as well as many others.

The irony of this statement is that it is one of the most inaccurate statement about one of the most accurate speakers. ATCs are one of the very few speakers which can disappear with very little effort. The reason is extremely free from distortion and amazing integration among the drivers. I use a SCM40 which is a 3 way speaker and they disappear even within a listening distance of 5ft and you hear exactly a point source even at a 5ft distance. How many speakers can do that ? Contrary to what the above gentleman has written the soundstage is humongous yet precise. You can layers after layers deep into the stage. Images float in an airy envelope stunningly palpable if it is in the recording. As someone else has said it is extremely close to a good electrostat in the midrange.
So Pani, it sounds like you are saying they are not fussing about set up? They are coherent and room friendly?
So Pani, it sounds like you are saying they are not fussing about set up? They are coherent and room friendly?

Well, they are extremely speakers. They tell you exactly how the room is, how the electronics are, cables, isolation, everything. So if your room is really bad it will tell you but if there is any listenable music it will tell you that as well to the fullest. So in a way, it is an extremely neutral speaker. How easy or difficult it is to setup totally depends on the external factors. I have heard these speakers in many different configurations, in different rooms and electronics. It keeps surprising me with its chameleon like character and how different it can sound in different setups.

One thing I can attest to is they are extremely honest towards music and musicality.
The ATC mid is fantastic. no doubt about it.

what makes it sound so well is the fact that ATC crosses at 380/3500 Hz in all their models, meaning that the vast majority of musical information comes through a single, high quality driver.
What is most important is that for many years ATC's SM75-150 midrange driver was considered the best and it was ahead of its time. There are many good midrange drivers nowadays, but the fact that ProAc chose it for its expensive Carbon series says a lot. Being a dome is one of the reasons, as Audiokinesis explained so well.