Wilson WP 7, ATC SCM150ASL, or Meadowlark BH-2

I have heard some rave reviews about the ATC SCM150ASL and the less expensive Meadowlark Blue Heron-2s. Some say the latter two speakers can do everything the Wilsons can and more.

Has anyone auditioned these three?
I did extensive auditioning of the Wilson 7s and the Medowlark Blue Heron-2s . Unfortunately they were not in similar setups. The Wilsons were set up with a Hovland pre and amps and the Medowlarks were set up with first Cary gear then Accuphase. I went back and forth between the set ups over several months with both LPs and CDs.
Maybe you could make an arguement that the Blue Heron 2 can do almost everything a Watt 5 can do, almost. But, it can't touch the Watt 7. I wanted it to because of the price but, no amount of positioning the speaker gave the it the bass or soundstage or depth of the Watt 7.
Check out the following comparison between the Wilson WP 7 and ATC SCM150ASL. It's an interesting read.
WP7/ATC150 comparison
While I have not heard them side by side, I would take ATC active 100's in a second over Wilson. However, ATC 100's need to be played fairly loud to "come on song" - maybe 75 dB as a guess. They also have a smaller sweet spot as wide dispersion is not so important in studio monitors.
I have side by side reviewed the Watt Puppy 7's and sophia's against ATC's and the ATC's are in a class of their own. They were much better then the wilsons and more enjoyable to listen to. They are so deceiving, at loud levels they still seem to be playing low because they are so smooth. The harshness and that feeling of keeping your hand on the volume button just dissappears. I realized just after I replaced my speakers with ATC's that for the first time in my life I set my system to reference level and never touched one thing for the whole movie. I looked over to my girlfriend and said "wow i just realized that I never once had to play with volume or levels". It was just pure bliss and enjoyment. My local dealer is a wilson, rogue, krell and ATC dealer with others as well of course and guess what? You got it, he has ATC's in his house and said they are the best speakers in the world hands down. Don't ask the dealer what he sells, ask him what is in HIS reference system...

Hi Maestro2be,
Are you referring to active or passive ATC's when you compared them with the Wilson's. If they were passive, were you using the same power amplifier?
I recently heard some active 150's at the ATC factory in Stroud, UK and they were awesome even with there cheap source and cables!!
When you compared the WP 7 versus ATC 150s were they both being driven by the same electronics and was it a tube amp?

The ATCs are driven by their ownou amplifier or can you use an external tube amp with them? What preamp and CD front end were you using for the audition? WIll jazz, vocals, and orchestral music sound equally good? I am not looking for home theatre speakers, only the best audiophile two channel system speakers for under 22K. Why hasn't any major audio mag reviewed these if they are so fantastic? Where can I read a review or get more info??

I've heard Wilson WP's in a very expensive Levinson setup (390S, preamp, monoblocks) and it sounded very nice.. but it was four times as expensive as the active 50's I have... maybe it was the room, maybe it was the speakers, but I prefer the 50's.

As for using valve power amps with passive ATC's - I'd say forget it. These speakers love power, and you'd be looking at 100's of watts. Moreover, just about everyone agrees the ATC's should be active..

As for pre-amps, front ends, interconnect and mains leads (and power conditioners) your going to find that ATC don't play the Audiophile game. ATC recommend Belden interconnect, I don't think they recommend special mains treatment, and I beleive the opamps used in the active crossover would give most audiophiles apoplexy.

I've used my 50's with CD players and preamps on a spectrum of prices and the systems sonic signature is totally dominated by the room and speakers. I can recommend ATC's preamps (I happen to own both), but they are rare in the US and the cheaper CA2 is truly excellent for very little money.

I've run my 50's direct from a Benchmarkmedia DAC1 and they sound superb. It's possibly the best value for money system I've ever heard.And is not beaten by the Levinson 390S direct (which I also own..)

As to why no magazine has reviewed them. Well, widescreen review were very positive about the 150's. But truth be told ATC are a small company that in the last couple of years have become much more visible in the UK with the excellent active 10's, passive 7's and 12's - they've probably got their hands full over there :)

Moreover, they are a small company without advertizing revenue, so there is no "incentive" for review by the US magazines - the range has been well received by the UK press. The active 50's and SCA2 preamp were reviewed in HiFi+.

Finally, ATC have a solid reputation in the pro world - they don't need accolades from the highly subjective hifi press, or the desire to put up with the audiophile BS.

Here's a copy of the widescreen review article..


Finally, reading reviews is pointless. You need to hear a pair, no matter what any reviewer says (even someone with charisma like Art Dudly) it's your ears that matter. Also, 150's, or any speaker with that level of bass extension and power, needs to be tried at home, otherwise you might find yourself wanting to take a bath with an electric fire...
ATC active 10's sounded better IMHO with ATC's own $3,500 integrated than the internal power amp. Active is still the better concept but when you compare $3,500 amp to ~500 internal amp what can you expect.
The full size active 50's and 100's are a different story. I heard them with Naim CDP and preamp. Fabulous. They are about 82-84dB efficient so better to go with ATC's amps. Like 200+ watts per driver (not speaker).
Low efficiency speakers will give better bass and typically have better response curve. Going high-efficiency usually causes some brightness peaks - Lowther is a good example.