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  1. #1261
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    droodzilla wrote:
    I run ATC SCM7s at the end of entry level Naim separates, but I listened to SA1s during the audition process, and the clarity of their mid-range still haunts me. I often wake at night in a tangle of sheets, coated in sweat, and wonder out loud: Did I do the right thing??!
    argghhh!!! Looks like we are sharing the same recurring physical symptoms, post SA1-demo. Bloody brilliant xxx-expensive mini monitors.

    Nice to see someone's using a Naim with ATC speakers. This is a combination you don't often see on forums, given ATC's mythic need for power and Naim amps' famous lack of triple-figure wattage.


    "My plan is to move one level up the Naim hierarchy (the last I can realistically afford) and then make a final decision about matching speakers. After that I will never buy another piece of hi-fi again! Maybe."

    What a noble aspiration! Futile I'm afraid. You'll have to delete all audio forum links from the browser and steer clear of all mags. And with Naim, there's no such thing as a final second upgrade. There's that urge to climb the food chain and become an even bigger greenie.:green:





    cheerSS




    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
    PRIMARE DAC30 > AYRE K-5xeMP > 6V6GT SE Class A | audiolab M-DAC
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    SS relics: REGA ELICIT, ARCAM A38, Musical Fidelity X-A2, NAIM NAP 100, QUAD 909, SONY TA-F246E | MiniWatt N3

  2. #1262
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    Post imported post

    Nice to see someone's using a Naim with ATC speakers. This is a combination you don't often see on forums, given ATC's mythic need for power and Naim amps' famous lack of triple-figure wattage.
    Yes, but Naim baaa waatts baaa are baaa special baaa! My listening room is small, and has some acoustic"issues" but the bass from the ATC SCM7s is as clean and tight as any I've had. That said, I'm sure a NAP200, supported by a flotilla of auxilliary power supplies would do an even better job of extracting the last ounce of sonic excellence from "mybabies".

    As for my upgrade plans, well... I'll try to be good . But I should confess that I simplified them in my original post. Although I'm fairly confident I'll stick at the NAP200 level on the "brawn" side, I am tempted to go as far as the NAC282 for "brains". I am reliably informed by fellow audiophiles on the Naim forum that this would be a quantum leap, night and day, step-change in performancecompared withthe NAC202, and that several veils would be lifted from the music as a result. And then,even if I get my boxes sorted, there is a whole world of foo (both Naim and non-Naim) to throw money at at. Hmmm, maybe kicking this hi-fi habit will not be as easy as I thought .

    I haven't read the whole thread but I wonder if you've ever considered the Harbeth mini-monitors? I've yet to hear them myself, but Harbeths crop up so infrequently on the secondhand market they must be very hard to part with. Could they be the ultimate handsome small speaker?



  3. #1263
    Super Wammer The Strat's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    droodzilla wrote:
    Nice to see someone's using a Naim with ATC speakers. This is a combination you don't often see on forums, given ATC's mythic need for power and Naim amps' famous lack of triple-figure wattage.
    Yes, but Naim baaa waatts baaa are baaa special baaa! My listening room is small, and has some acoustic"issues" but the bass from the ATC SCM7s is as clean and tight as any I've had. That said, I'm sure a NAP200, supported by a flotilla of auxilliary power supplies would do an even better job of extracting the last ounce of sonic excellence from "mybabies".

    As for my upgrade plans, well... I'll try to be good . But I should confess that I simplified them in my original post. Although I'm fairly confident I'll stick at the NAP200 level on the "brawn" side, I am tempted to go as far as the NAC282 for "brains". I am reliably informed by fellow audiophiles on the Naim forum that this would be a quantum leap, night and day, step-change in performancecompared withthe NAC202, and that several veils would be lifted from the music as a result. And then,even if I get my boxes sorted, there is a whole world of foo (both Naim and non-Naim) to throw money at at. Hmmm, maybe kicking this hi-fi habit will not be as easy as I thought .

    I haven't read the whole thread but I wonder if you've ever considered the Harbeth mini-monitors? I've yet to hear them myself, but Harbeths crop up so infrequently on the secondhand market they must be very hard to part with. Could they be the ultimate handsome small speaker?

    Absolutely no doubt that the 282 is a quantum leap and I agree changing the power amp is only going to deliver significant benefit if your speakers demand it - mine did!
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  4. #1264
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    Post imported post

    Woah! My current knowledge of Naim amps only runs from Nait5i to SuperNait. Drood dude, when you said you were planning to go "one level up" from your Naim basics, I had no idea that meant into NAC and NAP land.

    Some wammers had previously mentioned to me Harbeth as a Spendor alternative. That was just one day before I bought my ATCs so I hadn't a chance to check this brand out. Looks-wise, I have seen a few pics now and IMO Spendor fits the "handsome, small, metrosexual speakers" mould better than Harbeths. But thanks for the refresher. I'd better take note to include a Harbeth tour should I be looking to re-demo the Spendor standmounts in 2010.

    It reads like you are already a stickler for the fluid transparency of the Spendor sound. Imagine how that will sound with some PRaTty Naim pre-power watts behind that. Could be a different world from pipe n slippers' QUAD. A sparkling crystalline presentation fused with Naim's lustrous burnished midrange glory.

    How can you hold out for this any longer?

    If I were you I'd ask Igglebert for first dibs on his SA1 when he changes to the A5 (as we know, he's surely going to) Hopefully its in the piano black finish to complement your Naims, not the Pancake veneer with Maple Syrup Side-Trickles.

    Happy Spendoring in 2010, you two.


    SS





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  5. #1265
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    Post imported post

    SSM wrote:
    Woah! My current knowledge of Naim amps only runs from Nait5i to SuperNait.




    you've always lacked class
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  6. #1266
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    Post imported post

    SSM wrote:
    If I were you I'd ask Igglebert for first dibs on his SA1 when he changes to the A5 (as we know, he's surely going to) Hopefully its in the piano black finish to complement your Naims, not the Pancake veneer with Maple Syrup Side-Trickles.
    Thing is mate, the A5s are very low. I've tried listening to my SA1s above the tweeter and everything goes wrong. Everything sounds hollow and nasal. Why do Spendor make everything so low? What the hell's wrong with them? Maybe they expect everyone to slip down the sofa into a dreamy state of hypnosis...

  7. #1267
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    Post imported post

    Yes, but what colour are your SA1s, Rob?

  8. #1268
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    Post imported post

    droodzilla wrote:
    Yes, but what colour are your SA1s, Rob?
    You really mean business lol! Go on, PM up Iggy and make an offer. That should prod him a step further towards elite A5-dom.

    (Am I a good enabler or what...)

    Rob, I had Dali Ikon 5 floorstanders that are about the same height as the A5 (80cm). My listening couch lifts my butt just 25cm off the floor so I didn't have a problem with treble-midband alignment with my ears. You could always change to a more low-slung couch. Best yet, consider going the satin cushions on persian rug option. I did that for a while in 2008 with the Ikon 5 and 6. Quite an exotic experience. The hookah is optional.


    cheerSS


    [line]ps: Lindsay Happy New Year, you turn 52 in 2010



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  9. #1269
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    droodzilla wrote:
    Yes, but what colour are your SA1s, Rob?
    Gloss Zebrano, they're really nice...

  10. #1270
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    SSM wrote:
    You could always change to a more low-slung couch. Best yet, consider going the satin cushions on persian rug option. I did that for a while in 2008 with the Ikon 5 and 6. Quite an exotic experience. The hookah is optional.
    ...thanks for the suggestion but it won't go with our country cottage. I'm thinking L-shaped sofa so I can lay out...

  11. #1271
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    Post imported post

    igglebert wrote:
    droodzilla wrote:
    Yes, but what colour are your SA1s, Rob?
    Gloss Zebrano, they're really nice...

    That's a shame - you very nearly had a ssale there! :green:Seriously, I would not be quite as catty about the zebrano as Solid - I had a pair on home demo for a week, and got used to them, not least because the build quality and standard of finish is exemplary. However, it has to be piano black for me, to fit in with the rest of my system and the decor in my lounge. Much to my annoyance piano black pairs of SA1s *never* come up for sale secondhand.

    Solid, the way you're egging Igglebert onto buy the A5s makes me suspect you're a secret shill for Spendor. Come on, fess up - how much are they paying you to keep this thread alive?!


  12. #1272
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    Post imported post

    I shill for no one. Just happen to get an orgasmic thrill from helping other audiophools squander their money.

    The Gloss Zebrano is a pretty radical veneer coming from Spendor, but I do think it's quite lovely. Sometimes, its nice to have some colour from the speakers in an otherwise all-black system, for contrast. Wood veneers also add a touch of humane warmth to a speaker IMO. Synthetic black finishes border upon plasticky coldness.

    Well, looks like you need to get yourself an A5 too after those Naim upgrades, to fully let through all of that goodness in the improved wattage. Anything less is just doing things halfway.

    Happy NY.




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  13. #1273
    Super Wammer The Strat's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Happy NY to the participants in Solid's Blog.

    That's a nice system Drood has got - looks very well balanced would imagine the synergy to be spot on.

    In 2010 I predict Solid will finally come out of denial and get an XS with a stage line and one of these:


    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  14. #1274
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    Post imported post

    That's Lindsay my cyberspace-HWMBO, in case you guys were wondering... Wot he said. I'm very honoured that Drood chose to lose his posting virginity to me.




    Yeah, I have a terrible premonition about me and Naim this year. Have already had two disturbing dreams about the XS since I came away from that demo empty-handed.

    In the first I found myself a guest at a midnight picnic with Naimites around the grave of St Julian on the anniversary of his ascension. The catering was done by McDonald's and the Ronald Clown MC had on a luminous green wig and nose (so creepy). Then, we were informed that guests who don't own Naim would be given a free XS when they leave at the cemetary gates. YAY! I was the last to exit and the official told me that I was one more guest than they anticipated and were short of an XS for me. No worries, they had a special present for me. A pair of N-Sats painted at the QUAD L factory with seven layers of shiny lacquer. N-Sats.


    In the second, I was in ancient Rome and had accepted a bribe of a Nait XS! I then made my way to the Senate with a dagger under my cloak. First Consul Antony Michaelson was there and I was the last senator to plunge my dagger into him. "Et tu, Cloonius?" Antony gasped. (I looked exactly like George Clooney in this dream) "That's for not being in my box to watch me in the Wimbledon final. Die!" said I, before AM sank dead into my arms while music from Wagner's Liebestod (Ger.LoveDeath) played. I turned my guilty eyes to the sky. There the stars turned into bright blue LEDs and the moon into a huge MF volume knob. What a beautiful end.



    SS



    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
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    SS relics: REGA ELICIT, ARCAM A38, Musical Fidelity X-A2, NAIM NAP 100, QUAD 909, SONY TA-F246E | MiniWatt N3

  15. #1275
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    Post imported post

    Ha ha, that's one of the funniest things I've read all year and a perfect illustration of why I chose to, ahem, "lose my posting virginity" on this thread. That, and the subject matter of small monitors, which is dear to my heart as I only have a small listening room.

    @Lindsay: Yes, it's a great system, very nicely balanced. Adding a Flatcap 2x a few months ago felt like the missing piece of the jigsaw, and finally allowed me to experience the legendary "inky blackness" between the notes that I've read about for so long. The synergy is all present and correct - not least between the SCM7s and my 4x3m listening space. Every other speaker I've tried has given me bass boom trouble. Plus the ATCs seem to go loud without distortion (an eerie experience) and seem built to survive a nuclear strike. I could easily live with this system for the rest of my life if I had to!


    Happy New Year to everyone on this great thread!

  16. #1276
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    MacDonalds? Shame it wasn't Hooters. Still, a nice shiny pair of N-Sats is quite a consolation prize. I heard them on the Nait5i with the CDX2 and was very pleasently surprised. Ten minutes after the demo I started to hear again properly but I don't think I'll ever get rid of the tinitus. Nice and clear sounding though, with great ebay values.

  17. #1277
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    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  18. #1278
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    Post imported post

    igglebert wrote:
    MacDonalds? Shame it wasn't Hooters. Still, a nice shiny pair of N-Sats is quite a consolation prize. I heard them on the Nait5i with the CDX2 and was very pleasently surprised. Ten minutes after the demo I started to hear again properly but I don't think I'll ever get rid of the tinitus. Nice and clear sounding though, with great ebay values.
    Isn't it surprising that Naimie Drood uses ATC instead of the stupendous N-Sats?

    Tis' best not to underestimate your SCM7 in lieu of any incoming Spendors, Nigel. Maybe keep yours as backup. Like you said, this range of ATC speakers is well-built and don't crack under pressure. The Spendor standmounts (S3e, S3/5R, SA1, IME) have more delicacy but are comparatively lighter in touch. It is possible that the dynamic shove you are accustomed to from your NAP-powered SCM7 could be lessened by switching to a Spendor standmount. It may be like replacing strong black tea with wispy green tea.

    So the reasoning from the above is: to ensure you aren't short-changed in the upgrade, the Spendor A6 should be your minimum target now!:green:

    SS


    [line]ps: prefer the pink one, Lindsay. It'll match my plastic garden flamingos.




    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3 & ET3SE > SUN SV-2A3 L.E. 25th Anniv. SE Class A | NAIM DAC V1 > C-J CLASSIC 60SE PP
    PRIMARE DAC30 > AYRE K-5xeMP > 6V6GT SE Class A | audiolab M-DAC
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    PRECISION 6.2, ELAC BS244, ATC SCM11, S3/5R, Alnico, XERO, DM 2/6, Q 2020i
    SS relics: REGA ELICIT, ARCAM A38, Musical Fidelity X-A2, NAIM NAP 100, QUAD 909, SONY TA-F246E | MiniWatt N3

  19. #1279
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    SSM wrote:
    igglebert wrote:
    MacDonalds? Shame it wasn't Hooters. Still, a nice shiny pair of N-Sats is quite a consolation prize. I heard them on the Nait5i with the CDX2 and was very pleasently surprised. Ten minutes after the demo I started to hear again properly but I don't think I'll ever get rid of the tinitus. Nice and clear sounding though, with great ebay values.
    Isn't it surprising that Naimie Drood uses ATC instead of the stupendous N-Sats?

    Tis' best not to underestimate your SCM7 in lieu of any incoming Spendors, Nigel. Maybe keep yours as backup. Like you said, this range of ATC speakers is well-built and don't crack under pressure. The Spendor standmounts (S3e, S3/5R, SA1, IME) have more delicacy but are comparatively lighter in touch. It is possible that the dynamic shove you are accustomed to from your NAP-powered SCM7 could be lessened by switching to a Spendor standmount. It may be like replacing strong black tea with wispy green tea.

    So the reasoning from the above is: to ensure you aren't short-changed in the upgrade, the Spendor A6 should be your minimum target now!:green:

    SS
    Of course, this could also be wrong so plenty of demoing required before conclusions. The new Spendor speakers are a bit of a different breed to past incarnations.

  20. #1280
    Wammer
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     Nigel
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    Post imported post

    SSM wrote:
    igglebert wrote:
    MacDonalds? Shame it wasn't Hooters. Still, a nice shiny pair of N-Sats is quite a consolation prize. I heard them on the Nait5i with the CDX2 and was very pleasently surprised. Ten minutes after the demo I started to hear again properly but I don't think I'll ever get rid of the tinitus. Nice and clear sounding though, with great ebay values.
    Isn't it surprising that Naimie Drood uses ATC instead of the stupendous N-Sats?

    Tis' best not to underestimate your SCM7 in lieu of any incoming Spendors, Nigel. Maybe keep yours as backup. Like you said, this range of ATC speakers is well-built and don't crack under pressure. The Spendor standmounts (S3e, S3/5R, SA1, IME) have more delicacy but are comparatively lighter in touch. It is possible that the dynamic shove you are accustomed to from your NAP-powered SCM7 could be lessened by switching to a Spendor standmount. It may be like replacing strong black tea with wispy green tea.

    So the reasoning from the above is: to ensure you aren't short-changed in the upgrade, the Spendor A6 should be your minimum target now!:green:

    SS



    [line]
    ps: prefer the pink one, Lindsay. It'll match my plastic garden flamingos.



    Aaah, green tea or black tea, the eternal dilemma. Perhaps this is an opportune moment to come clean about the extent of my box-swapping habit. I feel that I am among friends here, who will not condemn or jeer at my affliction.

    My first "proper" hi-fi was the Naim CD5i/Nait5i combo,which, in the space of about four years, I have upgraded to my present system. During that time, I have owned the following speakers:

    Quad 11L - Can't remember much about these

    SpendorS6e - I bought these ex-dem, feeling I was getting a once in a lifetime bargain on a five star product (I was young andnaive in them days). They were indeed lovely speakers, and I don't think I've ever heard solo piano musicreproduced better. However, over the course of about a year, I became aware that my room was awash in soft muddy bass frequencies, which robbed rock music in particular of any enjoyment. I sold them on e-Bay to a German student who wanted to demo them with "Tubular Bells" (which I don't own).

    Art Stiletto - This dainty little floorstander replaced the S6e's. They hada faster, lighter sound, but over time I realised the mid-range sounded a little boxed in, and the bass was still a little bit much for my small listening room.

    Naim n-Sat - All I can say is... don't believe everything you read on the Naim forum. Very tinny sounding, and completely unnatural. They lasted about a week, and the Art Stilettos survived to fight another day.

    Neat Motive 2s - Another Naim forum recommendation, and a case of moving from one extreme to the other. In my room, the downward firing port created bass mayhem, which gave me a thumping headache. However, sadly, I succumbed to the hype, and persuaded myself that I enjoyed their big "meaty" sound. Exit the Art Stilettos.

    Spendor S3/5R - Finally, sanity prevailed. The first CD I used to demo these featured a solo piano piece, and I knew within seconds they were a vast improvement on the Neats. A natural, tonally accurate sound that made the Motive 2s sound like the over-amped hulks they really were. Very fine with small jazz ensembles and chamber music. More than passable with large scale classical works, but slightly iffy with some rock music, where the electric or synthesised bass seemed to get a bit out of control. Hence...

    ATC SCM7 - Great all rounders, with fantastic dynamic range. Orchestral music has real, and occasionally terrifying, slam. They also handle jazz and rock very well. Chamber and solo instrumental music, I am not so sure of - they occasionally seem to lack the necessary finesse and refinement (especially in the treble region). Still they are great all-rounders and an absolute bargain at around £500.

    I have also home-demoed Spendor SA1s and Spendor A5s, and can confirm that the new A range is a different beast altogether than the old SE or classic ranges. Both have a much faster, pacier sound. I found the SA1s a little bass light although they occasionally surprised me with what sounded like a very low, yet ethereally refined bass note. I am still curious to hear how they will sound with my current electronics (or better). The A5s were great, with fast, supremely articulate bass, which, sadly, was a little much for my room.

    Finally, lest you still doubt the extent of my madness, I was recovering from a minor operation in December, and, being less than mobile, found myself cruising e-Bay for bargains. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I'd ordered a pair of AVI Neutron Vs (at £275 for a brand new pair, I found it impossible to resist). They look beautiful in piano black, and are annoyingly good. Especially annoying in that they excel in clarity, openness and airy treble - precisely the areas where I feel the SCM7s are (relatively) lacking. However, the Neutrons do not have the slam & substance of the SCM7s. Overall I think I prefer the shocking honesty of the ATCs, but it's a close thing.

    Which brings us back to green vs black tea. Isthere a speaker that does both? Is there any hope for me and my affliction?

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