Steve Guttenberg reviews an ATC active?

Ag insider logo xs@2xlonemountain

@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.

@willywonka wrote:

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

Compared to what? Veneering is expensive, not least tower versions of the ATC's. What Steve didn't mention, oddly enough, is that the pro versions in duratex black (that are the same speakers) come cheaper: the SCM50ASL Pro retails for $17,500/pair, which saves you $4,500 compared to the version Steve reviewed. And, again: it's the same speaker. For $23,000 the SCM150ASL Pro can be had, so just $1,000 more than the ones in the review.

Still not cheap speakers, but the build, parts and engineering quality is indisputable, and in that light (and their active configuration considered) the pricing is actually fair. Many high-end speakers in the same "weight class" of the SCM150ASL Pro just mentioned are way more expensive - sans amps, that is - and none of them houses a world class midrange driver like the one found in the ATC's here. 

Sorry @spoutmouzert 

Sort of looked like I picked on you when I didnt mean to do that.  I meant to take issue wirh the idea that pro people are clueless and have no idea what sounds good.  While one can find plenty of examples that support this, one can also find plenty of examples of home audio people being clueless too!   I think its more that the "low end" of both markets have some embarrassing aspects to them.