CAS 2014: Lone Mountain Audio presents ATC Electronics

Dyn_CAS-logo-2Britsh company ATC Loudspearks was providing some excellent sound over the weekend in the Lone Mountain Audio room. ATC got its start in studio monitors, providing professional recording gear and PA rigs to the likes of Supertramp and Pink Floyd. They’ve been in the audiophile market for nearly twenty years now, however, and the speakers on offer over the weekend were definitely not studio pulls, although they retained the clarity and detail of an excellent studio monitor.

The room offered two different listening experiences. On one wall stood the floor-standing SCM40v2 loudspeakers ($6,999/pair), set up with the hefty P1 class A/B amplifier ($3,999) and CDA2 ($4,299), which is a combined CD player and preamp. The P1 offers 150w per channel, a dual mono design, and balanced and unbalanced inputs. The CDA2 has, along with its CD player, two analog inputs and two digital inputs.

The opposite wall featured the mini version. Two pairs of bookshelf speakers were on display, the SCM7v3 ($1,749/pair) and the slight larger SCM11v2 ($2,599), paid with the SIACD ($5,999), a superb integrated amplifier with CD player. This integrated amp has USB, coaxial, and optical inputs, as well as two analog inputs and a front-panel mounted headphone amp.

I really dug the look of all of this gear; I thought the pairing of the black metal mesh grills with the warm wood of the speakers really worked. The gleaming silver heft of the electronics was equally appealing. This is gear that looks and feels like what it costs, not like cheap plastic. The sound was equally appealing. I only listened to the floor standers for a few minutes before, at a customer’s request, we switched to the smaller system. Both systems were wonderfully listenable, with a sense of a lot of power on tap and just the barest hint of warmth — unsurprisingly like a good studio system, except tuned just a bit more for comfortable listening rather than scintillating detail. The bass was superior from the larger speakers, but I liked what I heard from both set-ups.