My Speaker System.
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Hajime

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My speaker system finally came together today when I had the time to go out and buy sixteen concrete blocks from Home Depot. I wanted to spend the most money I could on what I felt mattered on my speaker system so I spent $26 for the concrete blocks as opposed to $100 + for decent stands. The speakers are ATC SCM-7 bookshelves which I bought on the recommendation of Andrew Pielet. I was considering Magnepan MMG's before these, but as you can see my room is very small and I would not been able to place them in a way that would bring out the best in them.



The amplifier I am using is a Sophia EL34. I realize that this is not optimal amplification for the ATC's and I will probably look for a new amp when I have more money. For now it sounds very nice and has a trait that was very unexpected: plentiful, powerful bass.



My source is a Meridian 508.20. The reason it looks covered in white is I have it wearing one of my nightshirts in order to protect it's shine. The light blue rectangle under the Meridian is a 18x18 (I think) concrete slab wrapped in a blue towel so as not to scratch the feet of the Meridian. For speaker cable I am using a three-foot length of insulated 14gauge copper wire. I will use my own speaker cable when I have time to build myself a pair.



This is a picture taken from the mattress on the floor. I disassembled my bed and I now sleep on a mattress on the floor. I did this so I could fit that dresser and speakers in my room.

The only way I could have afforded any of this nice equipment is by buying it at a 50% or more discount. I had some great experiences buying and selling to very nice people. I also had some unpleasant experiences, but building this speaker system has been very positive on the whole. I want to thank a few people for helping me with this system, namely Andrew Pielet for his great advice, Tom Hankins for his (and putting up with my ignorant questions), Jeff (jefemeister) for his advice and anyone I have bought from or sold to.
 
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Ctn

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Nice painting.
 
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ooheadsoo

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The concrete blocks almost fit in somehow. Looks great in your blue room!
 
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ipodstudio

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Well done, congrats!! I've had a blast putting my system together, too and the folks here are some of the best on the net for asking ignorant questions of....I've asked about 200 of them and always received plenty of kind help
 
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Hajime

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Quote:

Originally posted by ooheadsoo
The concrete blocks almost fit in somehow. Looks great in your blue room!


You know, my dad's an architect and he said the same thing.
 
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Andrew Pielet

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I hope you like the way your speakers are set up, it might be a bit difficult to move them!! I am glad you dig the ATCs. Tons of bass, and detail. How do you like the vocals on them? Are they broken in already? If not, you are going to be super stoked when those drivers get loosened up. When you do want to have another listening session?? I have a bunch of Blu Tak you can use to couple the speakers to those "stands" if you aren't using anything yet.
Kieran, to answer your question, yes they take a while. Not as long as Lowthers or Planars, but the magnets in the drivers are the heaviest you can find (please post if you find me incorrect).
I would guess 100 hours would be a good amount for %80 of the correct tone. It might take longer with a lower powered amp like Chris has. I have to find some stands so we can listen to them at my place, or I guess you can just bring yours!!!

Edit: I guess I answered the wrong question. They wont change alot in sound, just more focused and detailed. The signature ATC sound is always present, and will improve, not change.
 
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jefemeister

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Looks like a sweet setup. Not sure how much help I was though. I used to use concrete blocks in an older setup with excellent results. I stacked 2 blocks vertically and spiked under each block. I like how you have your bed positioned right inbetween the speakers. I've been sleeping on my couch lately for similar effect. I agree that Maggies would have been less than ideal.
 
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Hajime

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Andrew,

I actually had them set up wrong at first and I had a heck of a time bracing myself against the wall in order tomove them. I'm using that Blu Tak stuff to hold them on to the top concrete block. So far I'm really liking the vocals, the rest of the spectrum is pretty good though not as good as the mids. I think that's because my amp is fairly low powered as you said. I got these as "demo" speakers from Rob at Canadian HiFi. He's the Canadian distributer and was willing to work with me on the price whereas the American distributers were not. They came with a full warrenty and look almost new as far as I can tell. I'm basically free this week (spring break) so if you want to get together again that'd be cool.
 
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Andrew Pielet

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I think the mids sound superior due to your amp. ATCs are not as known for there mids as the Maggies, but I can see how your system excels in the mid area. It is also the highs and lows that improve with break-in due to the movement of the drivers to produce those areas of the spectrum. ATCS are truly balanced (not the signal itself), and eventually the whole spectrum will sound coherent and equal. I will contact you by phone, maybe this Saturday. My car is still alive too. We would have to find some stands if you want to hear them w/ the mono's. I'd like to check out your room though.
-Andy
 
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ServinginEcuador

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Nice looking speaker rig Chris. I'm glad you're getting what you want honed down and bought. Have you tried to toe-in the speakers some to help the soundstage? If you toe them in a little bit the soundstage will likely get a lot better. Pointing them straight like they are in such a small room they will likely need some toe-in to get a proper soundstage.
 
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Hajime

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Doug,

I'm going to play with positioning. Hopefully I'll be able to find a perfect positioning.
 
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Chris,

I should have known you'd already be a step ahead on positioning. My speakers are about 10' away in my HT system, and they're toed-in about 15 degrees to get the soundstage just right. With a two seater couch in front of the right speaker it will never be perfect, but I can live with how it sounds now.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Andrew Pielet
Are they broken in already? If not, you are going to be super stoked when those drivers get loosened up.


I got my ATC's last December. It took 60 hours for the soundstage to arrive, and it arrived seemingly instantly. I was out actually, came home with them playing and it was just there in full glory.
. ATC makes you want to listen to superlative recordings as they give everything with their supernatural resolution. Johnny Cash was just over here playing those 'American Recordings' a while ago, or so it seemed
.
 
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