ATC vs Wilson Audio

nolitan -- Sat, 02/13/2010 - 20:44

hi guys,
this my first post here.
great forum from what i've been reading the last few days.
Anyone here by any chance have owned both speakers or upgraded from one speaker to another ?
Are these speakers yin and yang of each other ?
I'm looking at the Wilson Sophia II vs the ATC SCM50 active or similarly priced atc's.
Would appreciate some inputs.

Robert Harley -- Mon, 02/15/2010 - 13:07

I don't have experience with the ATC, but have listened extensively to a variety of Wilsons. Neil Gader has been a fan of ATC in the past; perhaps he can comment.
I think that the Sophia II is fabulous, and dollar-for-dollar, the best speaker in the Wilson line.

dmawhinney -- Tue, 02/16/2010 - 21:08

Is the one 10" woofer of the Sofia II the equal of the two 8" woofers of the Watt/Puppy 7? I have a 12'9" by 16' foot room with a sloped 9' to 10' ceiling. The walls are either rammed earth (concrete) or Quiet Rock 545. I have often wondered whether the W/P 7s are overkill. I had them before this listening environment was designed. I'm driving them with an ARC LS26 and Bryston 7BSTs (not SSTs) with double runs of OCOS speaker cables. The LS26 was a very recent upgrade and the Brystons and cables are next.

nolitan -- Wed, 02/17/2010 - 08:15

I'm eyeing on the Sophia II very much.
I hope i can save enough so I can get one within the year.
thanks for the inputs.

quanmer (not verified) -- Wed, 03/17/2010 - 14:23

I just put Watt/Puppy 8 and remove my ATC20 few days ago.  Before the purchasing, certainly compared ATC's to others as I am awlays addicted to it's sound.
The reasons I did not stick with ATC this time?  I had four pairs of ATC on my shelf in the past, 7, 10, 20, and 20SL, reason one, I don't like the new ATC's, the sound is losted, the orginal tonal signiture is gone.  it's very costly to drive ATC passive, ATC50 active should do just  fine.  ATC is not as wide and deep as WP in soundstage, but the mid is formidable.
Reason two, very personal, my wife like WP 8.
Reason three, one very experienced audiophile asked me : why you like ATC so much?  And other speakers are just not right for you?   Because ATC bring you the most "real" sound to you, think twice, is that real?  ATC cut the high, and shirk the low, of course you will hear a very "real" mid stand out and they call it "coherent" sound, but for him, he does not think it's right for a speaker not so sensitive to the source, "the good speaker shold refleect the source , even one cable make noticable difference"
So I decide to try something else, frankly , I still miss the ATC sound these days.
Go ATC dealer and listen by yourself, I did not like the existing model comaparing to the past model, maybe that's only me. 

neil.gader -- Fri, 03/19/2010 - 18:27

I still use a pair of ATC SCM20-2 passive as a reference compact two-way. It's a fine, fine speaker but does have it's limitations. What it does get magically right is the mid-range. Fro voice, few speakers can challenge them. And this is a trait of most ATCs and an absolute necessity in the recording studio. However I think model for model ATC is lately a bit hit or miss. The SCM50SL actives have been around for awhile and to a degree I believe time and the high end has caught up to them. And of course, the utilitarian look doesn't help them much in the home environment. I will say however that after having heard the five-channel ATC system at Doug Sax's the Mastering Lab last year, the big SCM150 active system made me a believer all over again. Far too big for my house though!

Neil Gader Associate Editor The Absolute Sound

nolitan -- Fri, 03/19/2010 - 20:08

I finally heard the ATCs in action and they were stone cold out of the box.
I'm not so sure if I would like them.
They lack the charm of my Harbeth speakers.
As they are new out of the box, I'll listen to them after a few weeks.
I'll break them in the meantime.
One thing I notice, I lot of my cd's that sounded great w/ the harbeths sounded sterile and flat with the atc's.
They are also a load to drive... Hard to please speakers.
The only thing I notice in them that I like is the timbre. Its very accurate and faithful.
Other than that, I have yet to hear them some more.

Masood (not verified) -- Mon, 04/05/2010 - 11:46

Atc's are not suitable for the home audiophile , I've been living with a pair of SCM35's for the past couple of months and frankly they've been giving me a headache more than pleasure.
The SCM stands for Studio Control Monitor, And this is exactly what they are, They are built for the studio, They are flat speakers with plenty of detail, The best midrange I have ever hear heard, Decent bass however because they are so flat on top, They can be quite uninvolving and fatiguing.
The're strength is also there weakness, The're strength are in the studio and there weaknesses are in the home where most audiophiles want to listen for pleasure and not monitor the sound like a seargent with a microscope at the expense of sheer enjoyment.
They are very truthfull speakers that are ruthlessly revealing, If only they were a little less forgiving on top, Sweeter with more extension then you would simply have to spend atleast twice the amount to come anywhere near them.
I'm hoping to tame them with a vavle preamp and a valve output CD player, hopefull then I may get a more smoother sound.
Before I had the ATC's I had a pair of Totem Hawks for about a year, I did a A-B-C Comparison and it was clear that the ATC's were on a different league, The made the Totem sound shrill and thin, but be warned, You will have a love and hate relationship with these speakers.

neil.gader -- Mon, 04/05/2010 - 12:26

The SCM35 is not my absolute fave in the ATC line-it doesn't use the more advanced linear, tweeter of ATC's larger models or even my SCM20-2 passives (now discontinued) I agree with you, it's a great value, has the wonderful richly-inflected midrange, but the treble is a little hard and clinical at times-good luck with the tubes BTW, it'll likely smooth this issue a bit. Report back-I'd like to hear what you think of the amp change.

Neil Gader Associate Editor The Absolute Sound

Noli (not verified) -- Mon, 04/05/2010 - 17:51

Having lived with these speakers for a few weeks now with over 100 hours in them, I do agree with most of the comments here.
These are analytical, revealing, honest, flat speakers.
They are not musical compared to the Harbeths which i have lived for quite sometime.
I do love these speakers for HT use. Its very good-very clear and the bass is just tight and fast.
For audio, i'll stick to my harbeths for sure.

Mark S (not verified) -- Fri, 04/09/2010 - 02:58

Go with ATC. Wilson has no innovation for years now, and continues to lives off his inventions from the 80's. Why anyone would still consider Wilson products, when you can get a Focal Electra which are more advanced at a much lower price, or a Magico V2 which is decades ahead for about the same price as a Sophia, is beyond me??

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