Anyone with experience of these two brands?
The models i am interested in are as follows,
PMC MB-2/IB-2 "vs." ATC SCM 50/100/150
(also the active versions)
Compaired head to head, the same electronics (if not active), room aso..
I know the PMC is a transmission line speaker but what about ATC?

D42f0dc5 eeff 491c 92ec a58d534b32f4inpieces
I know of people who use both over at It's a UK based web site .. you might get answers there if not here.
Never heard either myself, I'm afraid, so I can't help.

I have compared MB2 with active and passive atc's. I thought the mb2 was better all around though classical lovers may prefer the atc's emphasis on the treble although it is a departure from neutrality. ATC can't play rock well. ATC were active or with Bryston. PMC used with Bryston. ATC are not TL - they have light bass.

Active ATC's have plenty of bass and are not bright. Passive ATC sound pleasant but really do not show what ATC is capable of.
Active ATCs are bass light - in the latest versions ATC deleiberately upped the bass balance to address this but they still dont have anywhere near the weight, extension or quality of pmc bass. Classical on atc is fine - but play rock and the treble is like fingers down a blackboard. I have heard them half a dozen times in different systems and the result is always the same.
A half a dozen times?!? That's amazing. I know lots of Audiophiles and have heard lots of systems, but I don't know anyone who has ATC active speakers. I guess I live in the wrong part of the country.
At different dealers over quite a few years.
Dear Inpieces: If you really like the active loudspeakers you have to take a look to the Pass Rushmore from

I already heard the ATC and the Pass ( never the PCM ) and the Rushmore beats easily the ATC, at least to my music/sound reproduction priorities.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I use my PMC MB2's triamped - this is a big leap forward from monoblocks. According to PMC going fully active adds about another 5-10% performance in a treated room. I plan to convert to active using a custom crossover when the warranty runs out.
Raul there's only a $35,000 difference between the better ATCs and the Pass Labs Rushmore, they better sound better. I had high hopes for the Rushmore's but they were way too big for their room at CES. I don't doubt for a second that they're great, I just didn't hear it.

You need to get up to date, the PMC's and ATC's are nearly interchangeable, the PMC's go deeper but they don't have the sense of timbre the ATC's have in the bass.

As for the highs, ATC two years ago upgraded to the SEAS from the Vifa. problem solved. I just played before i posted Megadeth, Metallica and Queensryche at 110+ dB on SCM150ASL's and no chalkboard problems,

I like both speakers its a win win especially if you go active. Whichever one costs less if you want my opinion.

PS: the SCm50's are light in the bass, versus all the other speakers mentioned.
I have listened to ATC active 10's, 20's and 100's in people's homes. They are definitely not bright with rock music let alone "nails on a chalkboard". Thiels, Triangle, B & W, Energy, Monitor Audio - these are bright speakers. With Naim pre and CDP, ATC is one of the best speakers for rock I've ever heard.
For $92,500 you can get ATC's Concept 7 which uses SCM 70 ASL. According to J. Gordon Holt Stereophile Guide to Home Theater Oct 2000:
"The C7 answered once and for all the question of whether one system can do equal justice to music and soundtracks, and the answer is a resounding YES."
" The system was so much better than anything else I've heard that it makes more sense to compare it with real sound than with other systems".
I dont pay attention to stereophile - hifi mags (and dealers) are a thoroughly corrupt institution. Their recommendations reflect nothing more than their advertising revenue and the clout of the advertiser. The naim cdp and pre being a moot case. Naim are the most overrated amps in creation. They are just ripped off from 60s app notes in Electronics World and the like, without even the later design note amendments to remove the third harmonic which is now naims trademark (and marketed as a plus to add insult to injury!) Amps at 15% of the cost give the top naim pre power and cdp a sound thrashing. People buy B&W, naim, atc etc because the mags say they are the best. In general the more a mag hypes a product the worse it is - good products sell themselves. Just look at the underground following on the net now for hifi kit you wouldn't even know existed according to the mags.

The ATC's are bright and have light bass. Fine for classical but not for rock (many megadeath fans cant hear abouve 5 khz abyway ;-)). They sound nothing like real life tonally. A quck trip to an acoustic venue to listen to a real female voice will make that pretty clear. In two dems I went to woth two different friends both asked to be excused from the room while playing rock or female vocal on the atc 100A scm as it was too unpleasant to remain in the room (in an all atc system with naim cd player). They do not sound like real life and they were not designed to. They are near field studio mix monitors meant to pull the treble forward for analysis not enjoyment. I have heard the atcs recently and my comments still hold.

AS a fan and soon to be dealer of PMC, ATC, and Meyer Sound, your assessment it appears is based on a system you have no control over. The PMC and the ATC are so similar and outstanding that I don't disagree with your preference I just can't agree with the magnitude of your statements. You intellectually have to realize that your experiences have been flawed to some degree. The PMC is modeled after the ATC and there's nothing wrong with that!

The ATC has a better tweeter but female vocals are generated by the midrange in both speakers and trying to say the original is not as good as the copy would be hard to believe.

I've been in studio and my own system with both PMC and ATC and they are both really X3 good and really X4 accurate, the PMC is the less detailed but has better bass (probably related in perception) (love those Volt drivers) and as far as I know their version of the midrange is not up to the SL standards yet, correct me if I'm wrong?. I have not talked to anyone from PMC in about a year.

I can tell you that ATC's are not purposely affected to be monitors, just like the PMC's are not fettered either. I don't know where you're getting your information from. But your nearest ATC dealer seems to need your help with speaker setup ;). Because the 100's should not drive you from the room. I'm not going to disagreee about the bass, but the there is a design reason for that.

You're just getting bad demos and you should know that.

Dear Nrchy: Yes, is true and you have to hear it: great !!!

Regards and enjoy the music.
I have a feeling you two know each other ;-). I heard both speakers in exactly the same system dem - there is no issue of a "bad dem". It was a dealer dem with both speakers at the same time and was repeated accross several dealers. Your comments that I should have known that I was getting a bad dem but failed to perceive this are therefore pure supposition, incorrect and therefore irrelevent. I have had plenty of bad dems in the past and lots of dealer rhetoric and I know it instantly - you are doing it now. The self proclaimed "expert" trying to use his "expert" status instead of anything more substantial. ;-)

ATC are first and foremost a studio desk monitor company and that is what their products are designed for. Read their website. PMC are mastering suite monitors and that is something compeltely different. PMC are not a "copy" of ATC - they sound very different. I would suggest that repeated listening to megadeth at 110db+ has perhaps permanantly damaged your hearing if you cannot hear the difference ;-)! In terms of sound the atc has classic desk monitor balance while the PMC is much closer to the BBC sound.

The PMC has greatest advantage over the atc in the midrange, they orignally used the atc unit many years ago but switched to their own and this caused performance to leap forward, where it has remained. The extra "detail" of the atc is merely a treble boost relative to the PMC. Once that effect has worn off in perception then the PMC reveals it is more detailed and the treble is in better perspective.

You make a lot of baseless assumptions - "bad dems" or that I have not listened to the latest variants - in an attempt to undermine my remarks. Sorry but it won't work - stick to the facts.

I don't have to read the websites I have measured the speakers talked to the designers and have measurements that unless you requested them from the manufacturers yourself or worked there do not have.

Yeah they sound a little different but again like you mentioned the ATC's require close to wall placement and PMC's do not. If you pull ATC's out into the room you greatly affect their tonal balance to the negative. And where I disagree with you is this night and day portrayal of these speakers. As for BBC sound?, that is garbage, why would a Mastering monitor require a nearfield small speaker patch up?

Expert status like yours?, are you a tourist or the real deal bro, don't poke around. If you understand impulse response and IMD then don't play coy. Lets chat it up and educate the folks about how a speaker works.

Look I really don't want to go on and on I stated my case and my experience. Let it get sorted out from there. If you want to talk real tech then give me some real reasons other than your tourist perspective.

The ATC's are sharp and ATC are always having to mouth spiel about "accuracy" and "harsh recordings" to sell them. They are designed for mix analysis - that is where atc started and where they sold to the studios. That is their history and that is fact. Neither impulse response or IMD are relevent here you are just tossing in technical terms to try to make yourself look like an expert, hoping that I don't know what they mean and will back down. Unfortunately I understand them very well. The very fact that you have used terms that have no relevence prooves you are not an expert. Let's talk tweeter characteristics and crossover voicing. That is where the atc problem lies and they are voiced that way for a reason. It also explains why ATC have problems selling domestically in comparison to pmc who are the fastest growing audio company in the uk on the back of their domestic sales.

As I said in my previous emails throwing your baseless suppositions and trying to claim a position of superiority just doesnt work. It stands or falls by the facts and the listening experience. I didn't claim expert status - you did - so I don't have to defend myself as a "tourist". Incidentally I mentioned nothing about speaker placement (which influences the bass). However, PMC are a transmission design with a full bass and very effective room loading so benefit from free space siting. ATC have neither of these advantages so doubtless benefit from rear wall reinforcement. Which has nothing to do with the harshness of the atc anyway. As for the bbc sound the pmc owes a lot to that heritage and voicing - the designers were ex-bbc engineers and wanted to develop a full range design based on that ethos. Which they did - and forms the basis of my assertion.

I don't need a high frequency response plot to know a speaker is sharp if my ears are bleeding!

You are an atc dealer on audiogon. I seriously question your impartiality in this matter and beleive you are writing this for the benefit of potential customers that might be reading this. You must be aware I am not going to fall for it but plenty of audiophiles are pretty gullible and will fall for dealer rhetoric. I hope my response will make them think twice.
You're right Brizon, we're all in collusion against you. Stereophile is out to get you too.
You've gotta check out Audio Asylum. I can just imagine you and RGA going at it!
Happy 7 day anniversary as an Audiogon member :-).
"That is their history and that is fact. Neither impulse response or IMD are relevent here you are just tossing in technical terms to try to make yourself look like an expert, hoping that I don't know what they mean and will back down."

No actually I was hoping you had more than some listening experiences that directly conflicts with my own. Are your experiences more valid that mine? See we are in a dead lock, what I hear versus what you hear is juxtaposed. But I thought maybe you'd explain how the PMC midrange is better than the ATC? Thought maybe you'd have some facts, my laying down the rules of engagement was to add some structure on what level I wished to discuss this vast improvement you claim for the PMC has come about and how it manifests itself as superior in the design. I am listening to what you have to say, It be nice to learn something on this forum.

You are the one who keeps upping the stakes and we've got a long way to go before I'm all in if you know what I mean.

Unfortunately, what I hear is junior league sales training coming from you and the reason I know is because I went through it myself. In your posts you seem to want to overlook that the ATC is designed to go against or in the wall which will have it load the room even better than a T-Line, especially when placed in the wall.

As I posted earlier it is only a matter of time before I am a PMC dealer too, I have not said once that the ATC is better than the PMC what this discussion is about is that ATC's are not as bad as you portray. I think I've said that like 5 times now.

Up till now you are the one who wants to to validate your experiences and you are the one who has put himself in this position by making outrageous statements justifying you opinion and experiences. Don't tire out on me now, I'm just seeing if you can back it up. Do you have a problem with that? If you want I can back it up, just ask me, what do you want to know?

"They are designed for mix analysis - that is where atc started and where they sold to the studios."

That is not what Billy Woodman told me, what did he tell you?

"I don't need a high frequency response plot to know a speaker is sharp if my ears are bleeding!"

So speaker manufactures like PMC and ATC (same level of professionals use their equipment world wide) become respected world over and yet the ATC's are flawed to the point where they make your ears bleed. See how ludicrous your comments are? And yet the typical weak *ss tactic of "I didn't claim expert status - you did - so I don't have to defend myself as a "tourist"", well you seem quite certain that I'm out of line and so I thought that required you knowing something I don't? So I thought you'd share some real facts not some sales back story. Instead you've flexed your Clintonesque skills of talking around the point and trying to make me the topic when its the speakers I want to talk about.

"Let's talk tweeter characteristics and crossover voicing. That is where the atc problem lies and they are voiced that way for a reason."

So what is wrong with the SEAS tweeter?,

I'd like your opinion the link will get you to the site. And if the ATC's measure flat +/- 1 dB in room from 1200-16,000hz where is the peaky voicing?

C'mon dude slam dunk me, I'm not guarding the hoop, its wide open. Just one interesting relevant fact about the PMC's or ATC's performance to justify that the ATC makes you run from the room and the PMC is the cat's pajamas.

What about the tweeter, do you know what the distortion is for that tweeter at 3Khz?

None of what you told me already means anything...T-Line does not make a speaker tolerable and one intolerable. I'm looking for something good like the rise time of the midrange has been improve X%...I'll be waiting, don't let me down.
No collusion - just human nature. People with vested interests are not impartial. Especially when it involves money. Hifi mags are corrupt - it has been proved in court in the UK. I also have friends "in the trade" and I am very well aware of what gopes on between dealers mags and the manufacturers. I am already on audio asylum - who is RGA? ;-)
Sales training? This comment is rather revealing - so your spiel is "advanced sales training" then (advanced BS? ;-))? That would appear to be it in a nutshell. I dont work in hifi. However I do come from an engineering research background and my arguments are based upon that angle. Your suppositions are way off as always. As I said neither IMD or impulse response are relevent here. Had you made some more pertinent comments your assertions may have deserved more credulity.

Speaker performance isn't just about driver stats. Can you know a speakers bass extension just from the bass driver frequency range? Of course not. Same for the treble. The atc frequency response plots I have sign have a slight rise in anachoic conditions which equates to a treble peak in real life when reverbation in a real listening room is considered. +1db sine wave isnt much but +1db broad band signal is a lot of extra energy and the ear can pick it up easily. Again this cannot necessarily be deduced from the driver - the crossover and cabinet must be considered, as well as typical listening conditions. In addition frequency plots dont tell the whole story. Variations in off axis response can make any speaker look flat if you position the mic right - doesnt mean it reflects real life though. Lies, damn lies and statistics... and as these are musical reproduction devices the ultmate test of acceptibility is how they sound - in conjunction with rigourous enginerring development. I buy based on sound not stats (though I would like to imagine good engieering and good sound quality are strongly linked). However the latter on its own is not enough. Plenty of hifi has outstanding specs all round but still sounds awful. Because people develop to these metrics and our understanding is not complete. Plus manufacturers pick and choose specs to show their equipment in its best light and ignore the shortcomings so manufacturers specs are not a relaible source of information. This is true in every engineering field. There are opamps and transistors with fab specs but sound terrible - it's only when you examine them yourself that you see the short comings and they are not necessarily encapsulated by tradition specs. Music is a complex signal and it is very hard to make effective metrics - steady state sinewaves are not always useful - which is why lsitening tests are so essential. The ear is a nonlinear mechanism and the least well understood of our senses still. Psycho acoutics is still a bit of a black art.

In addition PMC midrange units are proprietary and the specs are not in the public domain (as you well know). The bottom line is - PMC sound markedly better on female voice. Partly due to TL and partly due to the improved midrange unit. If I was able to compare the specs of the two drivers I could perhaps suggest a reason for this. If you have them please forward them and I will be happy to do so.

To claim rear wall reinforcement will load a room as effectively as a TL is rather a bizarre staement at odds with scientific theory and practice. Back that up with a rigourous explanantion. I heard the ATC's close to the wall and also away from the wall. It was sharp either way. In addition TL stiffens the bass driver to give a double benefit. In combination these two effects not only improve the bass but have knock on effect into the midrange (which they partially cover anyway).

ATC have changed their story to match the changing times and the consumer market. They have already tweaked drive units and crossovers to make them more domestically acceptable in the treble and bass over the last few years. I have spoken to rec engs over the eyars and I know what they are used for. The sharpness is not a "flaw" when considered for the pro market. As I said the atc do what they are designed for - which doesnt align well with domestic use. Just because a spanner cant tithten screws doesnt mean it is flawed. Its a fit tool for its purpose and so is the atc. But now they want to make money from the home market. The adaptions they have already made prove my points.

As I recall I restricted myself to the products until you made groundless suppositions about the dems I have attended. In that light your remarks look pretty Clintonesque - accusing me of the very thging you are guilty in order to draw attention away from that fact. I dont say anything is wrong with the seas tweeter. I beleive the vociing of that unit in conjunction with the crossover is "wrong" and that has nothing to do with distortion specs at 3 khz. So you have a distortion versus frequency trace - so what? A little knowledge is a dangerous thing it seems. Look at the big picture. Not 0.1 db difference in distortion at 3 khz.

I am well aware you will sell both pmc and atc. I said you are baised about atc as you sell them I didnt say you were baised for atc over pmc ;-).

Yours is sales speil - good spiel but spiel nonetheless. Unquestioning acceptance of tech specs without really seeing the big picture or understanding R&D. Being able to quote tech specs and drop a few terms in doesnt equal understanding.

You ordered the "slam dunk" pizza - it just got delivered. I hope you like the free garlic bread.
Ah Brizonbiovizier,

Well your attempt at slam dunk came up a bit short. And all I wanted was a temperment of your earlier comments about the ATC's and I think I got it, thank you.

Voicing differences I can accept, and I'll never get through to you because you know so little about speakers. But keep up the R&D, your better than average you just have a few wires crossed.

I will tell you this for future reference, I'm not a salesman and I have done more R&D than you have, especially in audio. SO just be careful because our conversaation never got above elementary for me and I lost you when I went JR High on you..

PS: Try not to confuse the TL superiority over Ported systems with superiority over sealed box systems. Oh and I almost forgot my scientific response, "2pi loading" Been fun.
Just because you say it came up short doesnt mean it did. You just stated that to be the case but provided no comments to back that assertion other than an irrelevent comment on rear wall reinforcement. Your response is just empty wind blowing. If it came up short then proove why.

There is no temperment of my earlier comments. They still stand unmodulated.

You have no idea how much R&D I have done thank you. More empty supposition on your behalf. You are a dealer therefore you are a salesman. If the conversation never got above elementary for you then show me the next level. You have failed to do so far. I await that respsonse with a high degree of anticipation.

"2pi" loading is not a scientific response to my arguments (most of which you have ingored as you have no answer). It is a simple statement of the loading effects of rear wall placement. My comments apply to sealed box as they do to ported designs. While sealed boxes do stiffen the mechanical resposnse of the bass unit they do not do so in as effective a manner as TL loading and also do not provide as effective bass performance. "acoustic impedance matching" - look it up. Anyway, as you may recall this discussion concerned the treble - not rear wall reinforcement. Do you have an answer for my rationale regarding anechoic measurement v in real room treble reponse given the observed treble lift? Nope not a word.

In summary empty bluster and a single irrelevent and inaccurate technical remark. And a lot of unsubstantiated "yo mama" waffle about how much higher your level is than mine.

The ball went through the hoop and its caught on camera - talk is cheap. You know more about speakers? Proove it. So far all your comments proove the opposite and I have given reasons to back my claims up. Try doing the same. I look forward to being educated.
Oki, thanks for all replies!
But please, Bri and Cine - why all these "hot feelings"?!
You both seems to know a whole lot of speakers,
but try to it cooler discussing.
No offense guys!
Anyway, i'm most thankful for all of the answers.
I got one more question though..
I've heard the IB-2 and liked it, i guess their are more great TL speakers out there!?
Any tips for me, other manufacturers to look in to?

Because Brizon keeps dragging this out after he calls his friend who knows about speakers. It be nice if he would just come out and say what he has to say.

He keeps ducking in and of this technical to neophyte wording which likely means he's calling a friend to help him because his concepts are correct but his symantics are NOT TO THE LEVEL OF HIS ARGUMENT, so my hostility is to his wasting my time. But then again I am sitting for my nephews so I'll waste his.

"I have sign have a slight rise in anachoic conditions which equates to a treble peak in real life when reverbation in a real listening room is considered."

Sign? And you can't have recent ATC anechoic measurements you BS fabricator.

Treble lift, so PMC puts a dip in their response to anticpate this? My opinion of PMC's design team is slowly sliding down the respect scale due to your rhetoric(maybe you'd like to disclose the frequencies this phenomena effects typically) in room versus anechoic behaviour, is highly dependent on room acoustics as is bass lift which can be an enemy of a T-Line as most rooms will add gain significantly below 40 HZ, you don't want a speaker flat to 20hz because it will end up +12dB. So it doesn't make much sense PMC would compensate for treble lift and ignore room gain? But in my room measurements show no lift except a tinge around 14khz but I don't know if that's the tweeters normal response in the treble in fact it is the tweeter which rolls off at about 12dB/octave starting at 16khz that mainly gives us the +/-1 variable. But that is likely due to the diffusive room treatments I have. So we go along, your experience versus mine. IF you're in the UK maybe its the humidity that's making the difference?

It be nice to see how the PMC mid stacks up against the ATC mid in 2005, call your friend and have him serve up the data, I'll get some from ATC. The last time I compared it was 2001 and the PMC was slower but appeared to be slightly better damped which will make it smoother sounding. But you already know that, well maybe you don't because you said impulse response was irrelevant. The MB2's were more dynamic (bass) but not as coherent as the ATC's. Most of my PMC experience recently has been with the more ordinarily priced speakers so forgive me for talking about a 4 year old memory but I did have them in my house for a month or so, I think I got the best out of them and their best was absolutely outstanding.

BTW Voicing is not a scientific term its a term used by speaker designers who can't get right so they fudge or change their speaker so they can sell it. I'm a salesman so I know these things. Do you have an issue with the 4th order crossover used by ATC, personally the integration on my 150's is flawless, not ripple to be heard not a ripple to be seen, the mid does have a little bump but that could be mic positioning and the like. Maybe you info is flawed? I know what I hear and the 150's play all my CD's just fine no glare or harshness a little more forward when played in two channel but I listen in trifield so that isn't a problem

Sharp is not a technical term, sharp is caused by distortion whether it is amplitude or unwanted modulation. maybe you guys talk that way over there, like bonnet etc. So we may have a semantics problem.

Your comments on T-Lines, they load the room better is technical?, is incorrect unless you mean easily more boomy. they do not present stiffer impedance than a sealed box it acts just like a sealed box over most of its frequency. 2pi loading is better and more manageable in room it creates the least modal problems, what were you talking about, what does your research show Brizon? Most of the superiority is not proven its opinion and its superior for the application those designers intend, I prefer to use subwoofer where you have T-line output, so for every positive there is a negative, my opinion I like sealed boxes the best with impedance correction, I build my subs that way and for domestic use I try to only get my speakers flat to 50 hz because bass and midrange need to be in seperate places to "load" the room properly. I use a T-line type cavity to remove the resonant energy from the cone in one of my designs , but having air coming out of a tube is one more variable I do not welcome, . See we have different philosophy's maybe we can compare speaker designs?

See we are talking about ATC and PMC, neither of which have text book loading, but I don't need to tell you that which is why they outperform the more pedestrian offerrings from other companies. To lump ATC with B&W just shows you have an axe to grind and objectivity is beyond your R&D mentality, you should throw PMC in there to then with B&W, because all they have done is shined up pro models for home use and how about those Bryston amplifiers, I guess they're a bunch of sell outs too like ATC. You act like PMC is so different, but I don't see it and you have this attitude like you're fighting uphill against the industry leader (like I do, carrying PMC, Meyer, DALI, Blue Sky and ATC does not make you the most popular dealer, trust me) like ATC as if they don't deserve it. But the fact is JBL is probably the industry leader and ATC and PMC are in the same fight against them.

Your supositions based on incorrect second hand knowledge about what ATC is trying to do are not facts to rebbutle they are just some time wasting topic spinning BS you made up. The things you discuss do not relate to the 50's,100's and 150's. 7's 12's 35's yes.

BTW go to and you can see my 150's now one thing I didn't think of was that they were specially built for an AES Sony SACD demo, so maybe they differ from the run of the mill 150? That I do not know. But the 50's I have measured seemed similar through the treble and were tocu analytical due to the lack of bass afforded by the 100's and 150's.

Usually I'm not discussing two excellent speaker systems because a person smart enough to buy PMC respects the ATC, which I think I had to drag out of you under one of your pretenses that the ATC's 50,100.150's are desk monitors...Whatever. You are different and in the end you are the one who is the salesman but you won't disclose it.

Whoever you look to for guidance in what makes a superior speaker differs from mine in their philosophy. And that's ok.

Like I said I wanted you to temper you comments and you did, maybe in the UK? ATC is a big dog marketing driven company, but here in the US it is much different.

"You have no idea how much R&D I have done thank you," well saying that means nothing to me why not say I have 20 years R&D experience? When it comes to audio I KNOW you have little experience or it was wasted experience while you got paid for it, or you have been unfair in dragging this out.

Hi. Another supposition! You assume I have a friend who knows about speakers - because otherwise your "story" about me just doesnt fit. Well sorry to have to tell you this but you are just plain wrong. I did this all alone and unassisted. What's more it was easy ;-). All you can do is make false assumptions and sling labels hoping they will fit as you have no technical argument to fall back on. All your suppositions are contradictory - you are just clutching at straws hoping something will stick. Consequently your remarks about my not coming out and saying what I have to say are so bizarre as to be inance beyond any hope of my making a sensible answer to such nonsense. I have clearly surpassed your presumptions about my level hence your need to invoke an imaginary speak expert who is whispering in my ear. Come on be serious. Do you think I am calling pmc or something?? I have no connection other than the speakers I bought.

I didn't temper my comments - if you read carefully I have not backed down on or moderated a single claim. If you beleive I have then show me which one.

As for my semantics they are perfectly sufficient and accurate though for truth I was dumbing down the concepts somewhat until you proved that you were taking things to a higher level. Please show me exactly where I was ducking in and out and I will be happy to clarify.

As for the atc measurements I have seen such on numerous occasions and you yourself admitted a treble peak of 1dB broadband!! Given that we both agree this fact then certain physical laws lead inexorably to my conclusion. You are hoist by your own petard. If I was fabricating "BS" then it's the same BS you also produced. I happen to know something about anechoic chambers as they were necessary for research work I did many years ago. No need for an imaginary expert - I have a research engineering phd and my own expertise is quite sufficient. Specifically I worked in speech recognition and monitoring systems - nothing to do with audio or sales but an area of engineering which distinctly overlaps in a lot of ways. A lot of use of anechoic chambers and frequency response measurements for speakers. So I know what reproduces human voice best and it is PMC not ATC - voices just don't sound the way the atc presents them tonally. Or do you still think I am a junior salesperson??? Given you have corroborated my assertion from your own mouth then surely the issue is beyond any contention.

People don't listen in anechoic chambers and the design should reflect this. The same as a speakers anachoic bass response does not match real world siting as you noted - so it is with the treble. ATC themselves rely upon rear wall reinforcement - this is a strengthening of lower bass response that would not be present in the anachoic measurement. However they factor it in for real world performance. That is just good engineeering practice and applies to the treble as much as the bass. No-one says you have to cut the treble but a reasonably directional tweeter and a flat response rather than a peaked response would be a good start. Got it? PMC are hardly dull sounding they are still brightish due to the FLAT response. In a treated room their inherent neutrality would be more apparent, just as it made the atc treble more palatable, though not quite neutral still due to the treble lift under anechoic conditions.

Sure you have to be careful with a TL - you need a big room I don't dispute that. I keep mine 2m from the rear wall and 1.5m from the side walls. Problem solved. Yes likely in a smaller room atc might sound better due to bass room interactions. However given a large enough room the TL will give much better results. Again I point you to the issue of acoutic impedance matching to the air mass - sealed or reflex boxes just can't compete. If you have technical papers that claim otherwise I will be happy to view them. In a large room with appropriate positioning the TL will give a flat response to an appropriate level and will do so more effectively in terms of dynamics and detail than a sealed box or reflex design. Which is exactly what I heard. There is no isssue of pmc ignoring room gain. You are off on a flight of fancy.

The issue here is the treble response not impulse response.

You claim to KNOW beyond any shadow of doubt quite a few things about me - many of which you have already abandoned as they proved to be wrong. You then move onto the next guess you absolutely KNOW is right. :S

"Voicing" is a non-technical description of interpreting test measurements in order to engineer a flat frequency resposnse taking into account room effects. Just a colloquial way of descrbing the R&D process. Happy now? ;-) I used these non-technical terms so as not to alienate other readers by trying too hard too look like an expert. Likewise with "sharp". Stop nitpicking it is irrelevent and petulant. We are not pretending to be hifi designers here. At least I am not ;-).

I suggest you read a techical book regarding TL, the theory is pretty clear - I have explained the issues but you don't seem to have grasped them. They are only boomy if poorly implemented or sited. It is very hard to make a good TL so usually sealed box or reflex is better implemented. However the failure is implemtantion not fundamental theory - and PMC have got it right. They provide a better match to the air mass of the room - that is established fact and the theory is outlined in even the most basic texts. The back pressure on the bass driver also improves control over the bass effectively as if it were increasing the damping factor of the driving amplifier. We can discuss amp design as well if you like - all my electronics is currently being converted to DIY kit - eventually only the speakers and turntable wil remain and I will convert the PMC to active using diy active crossovers and using my own in-room measurements. I am sure the atc crossover is very good - it is only the treble peak I take issue with. It's a preference not a flaw of the design. "Sharp" refers to a treble boost nothing to do with distortion. I think the PMC sounds cleaner myself but I think this is a knock on effect into the midrange of the TL driver.

The PMC midrange driver spec is not in the public doman so far as I know as it is an in-house design. contrary to your beleifs I don't have inside access at PMC. Nice try to trap me but no good I am afraid.

Your sub idea sounds good - it will doubtless work well when room size is limited. I have a huge listening area so I don't need to consider it. I have not observed any particular modal problems (except for one piece of organ music) so it isn't an issue for me. So long as you just use the sub low down and don't intefere with the mid then it's a good idea in principle.

I don't lump atc with B&W - atc are much better. I just don't like listening to either of them if the truth be told. I have no axe to grind why would I? You seem to think I have a vested interest but I do not. I found that atc and pmc sounded very different to me. Doubtless each excels in some areas relative to the others and maybe you prefer that designs compromises and I prefer PMC. They are designed for different things and their different tonal balance reflects that. For me tonal neutrality is the most improtant thing. I am certainly not dogmatic. I like bryston amps. However I prefer the older ST series - the SST range don't do much for me. So maybe they have sold out ;-). Maybe PMC will too. If soemthing better comes along I will happily buy it. If that happens to be ATC then all well and good. FYI most of my comments apply to the 100s.

By the way - which pmc models are you actualy talking about? My comments are restricted to the larger three way designs like the MB2.
Hey brizon,

Well I don't doubt we could swap systems and go on enjoying ourselves, I'm glad we (I) had a holiday weekend to sort this out.

All do respect to what you were saying, I get it now but you were talking like two people, and I appreciate you dumbing it down but to me it was deceptive (not intentional I know) I wanted to have a discussion not a fishing expedition :). Look if you studied speech intelegibility then let me know, part of my film degree (25%) of my classes were devoted to speech intellegibility and "noise" in communication. I still study it today, independently. I was just fishing to see who you were and I must say, the combination of semi-promotional speak (fastest growing speakers...on the back of domestic sales) SOLD!!!!, words like sharp and etc, with an obvious clear understanding of how things work, I'm like "who is this guy can I go here, lets poke him and call him a tourist if he's educated I'll get a response!" I knew you were playing me, So I kept poking you with those crazy SUP's and traps so you'd tell me to clarify my petulant ways. :)

Hey check these out, these kind of support my argument but they were the only ones I could find if you can direct me to others I want to see because the speaker is what it is and I can't change what the ATC is and You can't change what the PMC i'd like to know what I can.
eratc.pdf, "this is kind of sketchy I know."

I have a new mic preamp coming in and when I get it if you're interested I'll take some measurements of my 150's and I'll run them through the psychoacoustic filter and compare the straight in room response, take a quasi-anechoic then with the psycho-acoustic filter see what we get.

I must admit that I took sharp as more of an adverb and an adjective, or a dynamic problem. So that's why I jumped to impulse response or IMD because I assumed if it drove you from the room it had to appear by surprise not as a consistent character or you wouldn't have played it that loud. LOL! But maybe I'm taking you too literally.

Fact is after all this we still disagree on magnitude and I still percieve your hearing like the Princess and the Pea :)....still, I guess it is what it is. Thanks for the kind words on my sub design and since I work typically in 8X12X3 meter rooms max, you understand my philosophy.

I sold the Bryston St series the SST's seem a bit softer, that's probably because so many speakers are sharp...I guess that's the best way to go to catch a few more flies if you're building amplifiers these days.

Have a good week. look forward to chatting again hopefully more constructively now that we know each other a little better.

I had MB2's, Those are the only big three way PMC's I have heard.


PS: "The PMC midrange driver spec is not in the public doman so far as I know as it is an in-house design. contrary to your beliefs I don't have inside access at PMC."

Actually it was wishful thinking. I'm a curious dude when it comes to these things ;(
Haha thats ok, doubtless having a treated room makes the top end quite a bit more palatable. However this is something usually only studios or very dedicated individuals can commit to. I rent so it's not an option for me. Most rooms are very reverberent in the Uk due to wooden floors and even with carpets the treble just gets too strident especially with small rooms.

My first research job was working in speech recognition systems of which testing things like hearing and speaker systems is a very important part. One of the things I looked at was computer speech recognition in high noise and distortion environments like fighter cockpits. I then moved into RF engineering which also involved listening tests for radio intelligibility. I then went into nonlinear signals processing and analysis before jacking it all in to work in finance 5 years ago. My interest in diy just comes out of the fact I am interested in everything technical.

I have also rountinely had to have my hearing tested up to 20 KHz. My hearing extends flat past 16 kHz which is extremely unusual in a person of my age. I often find I can hear high pitched sounds that others can't and this is partially way high frequency treble boosts annoy me so much. To others they probably dont care. The person who complained the most when I took them to atc dems were female. They usually have better high frequency hearing too. She actually liked hifi (especially if it was big, bulky and black!) so she wasn't just petulant about being dragged in. ;-). She liekd the pmc best and I managed to convert her from cd to vynil in that dem (she thought there was soemthing wrong with the cd player initially!).

Are you using active crossovers with the atcs?

Im impressed!
"The person who complained the most when I took them to atc dems were female."

If I get ever get past my Masters, my doctorate thesis is on why women do not participate in audio the physiological and psychological factors. Audiophiles? give me woman anytime to judge the sound of a system.

My ATC's are active, infact the speakers I build have room correction and response shaping built in with their amplification and Blue Sky, Meyer and ATC are all active speaker lines (ATC has a mix as you know), Most passive speakers simply cannot get to the level of performance active speakers can without using very expensive amplification, which makes them more expensive for the same performance. The reason I don't have PMC is they are more expensive and not a strong a line at more modest price points as ATC and DALI, so they had to slide on the priority scale a little but their time will come.

Have a good one.

PS: Checkout the lake technology crossover @
Ah well active and room eq makes all the difference - of course it can be as sharp or dull as you like then ;-)
Very interesting thread! I hope to hear more from Brizon and Cinematic in the future!
Wow, not me!
Admit it you loved it - why keep coming back to look else? Any other topics you want us to discuss?
Yes, can you discuss religion and politics ? You choose the order. Just let me get my beer and popcorn before you begin.
This is a hifi forum. I should perhaps have specified that it should be an audio related topic even if loosely connected. ;-)
I have listened to both PMC and ATC (albeit smaller speakers) and to me their presentations are more similar than not. They are both high quality speakers with excellent, detailed presentations. I would really question how someone could have such a bad listening experience with ATCs and flaunt PMCS. Listen for yourself and you can decide.

In the context of Linn and Naim I think audio and religion intersect.
Woo! You didnt need my help you started the fire burning all by yourself.

Yes Linn is surely the most overrated component of all time and the one most seriously past competition in the current market. Still marketing cost Linn less than having to R&D a new deck ... it would be the first one they actually designed after all. ;-)
I have to give major kudos to Brizon on this thread! He had a flush draw on the flop, but slow played Doug like Doyle Brunson in a WSOP tournament. Nice hand and very well played indeed.
Yeah, he beat me at my own game. :)
You are being a bit hard on yourself there - I think you gave equal account of yourself ;-)
pmc's are consistantly outstanding throughout the line, though pretty much the 'imf' or 'tdl' of today. the atc is still a brand searching for a sound, a personality, a classic design or two. way overpriced for the same detailed midrange you pretty much get from any 30 to 40 year old jbl.
I agree - atc are too pricy and arent generalists in the same way as pmc
Hi Nick,

It's interesting reading your comments regarding ATCs and PMCs, as your experiences are almost the direct opposite of mine.

I like PMC monitors, but compared to ATC 100s or 150s they are less neutral to my ears and have a rather peculiar 'thumpy' quality in the bass. For me the bass is over-emphasised on PMCs, and their midrange is not as natural sounding as that on ATCs, and certainly not that of my Spendor SP100 BBC-style monitors. The treble on PMCs for me also has an 'etched' quality that makes some recordings quite painful to listen to. I also don't find the bass on ATCs lightweight in any way, just free from boom and overhang, which in my opinion is more prominent on PMCs. It's certainly interesting that we hear things so differently!

Anyway, PMCs are in my top five favourite speakers, so I'm sure they sound very nice in your system.

Hi Marco,

Congratulations, you just revived a 2 years old thread!

May I know which model of the PMC mini-monitors that you find the bass thumpy and the treble etched? You may have the impression that the bass is over-emphasized because PMC's which are TL designs produce bass that belies their dimensions. Only if you drive those minimonitors above their limits then you'll find the bass thumpy akin to a 'thud-thud' kind of sound as practically they can't do prodigious bass with those small drivers. You have bigger floorstanders for reaching those very low octaves. Having said that, I am very impressed with my LB1 Sigs which sounded very much in control under high SPL's considering their diminutive size and I dare say the bass goes deeper than some moderate sized floorstanders.

I am not familiar with ATC so I can't comment but I know they are quality speakers as well.

Hope we don't bring back Brizonbiovizier and Cinematics into the game. Looks like they really know their stuff!
This thread is quite fascinating.

I discovered ATCs when looking for a well built, near field monitor with good MIDrange to use and to recommend for a PC based desktop application, as described in my latest virtual system thread.

Having demo'ed a pair of their active monitors, I am using passive SCM 7's, last year's model circa 2006.

I am still getting to know these speakers, but so far I have been very impressed and I like them very much. I have not found them fatiguing, in fact I have found them to have a warmer more laid back UK style than many other monitors I have auditioned recently.

So the idea that they would be criticized for being too "hot" - wow that would be very audacious, Clintonesque marketiung by ATC if Brionbiovizier is correct?!?!

As for their active monitors, I cant comment intelligently. But I will say that both my brief experience with the active ATC's and a pair of active Genelec 1029s which I have kicking around the house have a punchy, bright and "in your face" pro audio quality to them that I never liked.

The passive ATC SCM7s however, have just been a great little speaker.

I hope I am not just drinking their kool aid, but if anyone knows of better near field monitors with great midrange, and smooth, non fatiguing treble, please do let me know.
Hi Ryder,

LOL. I didn't realise the thread was so old. It was late when I was looking through the threads on the site and the PMC/ATC discussion was of interest to me as a result of some of the listening I've done in the past with pro-monitors.

I've heard the likes of OB1s, but I was mainly referring to the IB1s, which I compared to ATC100s about a year ago. They were on the end of a meaty Bryston pre and power amp combo (which was very nice!) against active ATC 100s - this was at a dealer’s shop. I can't remember what CD player was used. I much preferred the ATC 100s, as their sonic signature was more to my taste, and they made music sound more realistic and less 'processed' sounding.

I know the PMCs are TL designs, so I was prepared for that, but the bass in my opinion was still overblown and 'thumpy' compared to what I heard from the ATCs. I know good bass when I hear it, as I run a pair of Spendor SP100s (with 12" bass units) on the end of ECS 200W monoblocks, which are a true BBC monitor design, and the bass from both my Spendors and the ATCs to my ears was more natural and realistic. I also found the top end of the PMCs somewhat 'brightly lit'. However, on material that didn't show up the looseness in the bass, the IB1s bass was quite incredible in terms of power and extension. However, unfortunately, due to the problems I perceived they would limit the enjoyment of my music collection.

If Brizon and Cinematics want to re-join the discussion bring them on!

It sounds to me like the positioning was wrong. They need to be a long way from walls. As for the etching - people most often accuse this of the atc mid rather than the pmc. Still its all according to taste ;). The ib2 / mb2 also have the hand made mid which is quite a bit better than the vifa mid in the ib1.

I welcome your devil's advocacy on ATC SCM7's.

Any idea where I can find better midrange and non fatiguing highs with a similar sized monitor to use in a nearfield application?

Thank you