Steve Guttenberg reviews an ATC active?

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i don’t agree with your statement that studio folk don’t buy a good “preamp”.  Most hi end pro folks do indeed spend a lot on preamps in the form of expensive mic preamps (API or Neve or A Designs or Daking), expensive consoles (API legacy or Vision, Rupert Neve Designs, etc) and expensive monitor controllers (grace or crane song).   I think it’s about the same in the high end pro side as the high end consumer side: the top of the market is passionate about audio quality,  I think this looking down on pro folks is just silliness and not knowing the pro market well.  I read many posts here about hi fi folk avoiding a preamp altogether by buying an integrated amp or home theater receivers.  I think Steve touched on this very idea, that is possible for a high end pro product to please a high end audiophile. 


Apologies @lonemountain it wasn't my intention to generalise studio monitor listeners.  I am in favor of active speakers, as I spend far too much time in my home office compared to my basement.  If you or anyone has guidance on understanding "conversion steps from analogue to digital and back (or with a digital input a D/A-conversion only" with Adam, Genelec, Eve Audio studio monitors etc.  How would one add some warmth to studio speakers and at the same time be able to play dsd files when the monitor is converting the signal.  Think I need more coffee

@spoutmouzert wrote:

"Which is to say no conversion steps from analogue to digital and back (or with a digital input a D/A-conversion only)" I must admit i am confused by this, i am playing some tunes through my Eve Audio DSP monitors in my office which do not need a dac. I have attached a dac to them however but never really compared with or without.

What’s the confusion, exactly? The ATC signal-level active crossover works in the analogue domain only, whereas a DSP (Digital Signal Processing) handles it in the digital domain. Analogue electronic XO’s has an analogue in- and output only, while a DSP can have both an analogue and digital input, the former requiring an A/D-conversion step (to where the processing is done digitally), and then a conversion back to analogue (D/A-conversion) to the outputs going to the amps. You could also output digitally to amps with digital inputs, where the final conversion to analogue is done on the output side of the amps just prior to their respective drivers/speaker systems.

With regard to your active Eve speakers and whether to use only their build-in DAC or another one in addition preceding them, try it out and see what you prefer.

Most studio folk spend little (compared to hifi folk) on their preamp (desktop controller). How does say the Adam S5V speakers below process dsd files or respond to a tube dac preamp as you cannot bypass their conversion? Apologies if i am being dim. Cheers

Don’t use DSD playback myself, but sending a DSD signal to a PCM-based DSP of the Adam speakers requires a DSD to PCM conversion in the playback software, like from JRiver. Doing that seems to take the piss out of what to some people makes DSD a desirable trait, however, so better to just send a PCM-signal to the Adam’s.

One could try the analogue as well as digital output from the tube-based DAC to the Adam speakers, which has both XLR and AES3 inputs (analogue and digital). The latter effectively bypasses the preamp section of the DAC (and a possible volume control) in addition to the A/D-conversion step in the speakers, but that’s not necessarily to say it’s the preferred route. Here as well the tube-based DAC could be bypassed with a signal coming directly from the source, as with your Eve speaker example above, and with digital-input amps the signal could remain digital (with a digital source) all the way to the output side of the amps.

I've always loved ATC speakers but my God the price on their speakers is just over the top! 

I think the current price for the SCM 40 passives is a great value. Compare it to what else you can get for that price.