ATC vs Harbeth?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ls35a, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    Here's an interesting speaker - bigger than a P3ESR and smaller (and cheaper, by far) than a Compact 7.

    So what's the skinny on ATC vs Harbeth, Spendor, Proac, and the other usual suspects?


    ATC SCM11 (2013) review

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    ATC make excellent speakers, I own two pairs and I spent many hours auditioning some very nice speakers, none of them bettered my ATC 50s, having said that I've really liked every pair of ProAcs I've spent time with and although I'm far less familiar with Harbeths and Spendors they also make good speakers, you need to audition them all for yourself and decide which comes closest to what you are looking for and which works best in your system, there are no bad speakers in your list so it really will be down to your personal preference.
     
    sfoclt, noladaoh, Helom and 1 other person like this.
  3. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    Include Stirling Broadcast, Graham, and maybe even Epos on that list.

    I haven't heard ATC or ProAc but have heard the rest and they make very competent speakers. I am most curious about ProAc, though it appears they don't make large standmounters like the C7ES or SP2.

    Epos is by far the best value IMO.
     
  4. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I owned the ATC SCM11 v2 and Harbeth Compact 7ES3 at the same time and preferred the Harbeth's. A little more natural sounding. Both were great speakers. I also have owned the Spendor A6R and ProaAc Studio 110. All good speakers but the Harbeth's and ATC's stood out.
     
  5. Seafinch

    Seafinch Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Utah
    I too owned the ATC SCM11 v2 and Harbeth Compact 7ES3 at the same time. Kept the Harbeth's - they're special.
     
  6. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston TX
    I never heard any of them except the Proac's and those were great. The higher the price, the more skeptical I get.
     
  7. TheRealMcCoy

    TheRealMcCoy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I've had my ATC SCM 19 V2s now for about 3 months.... Just love them! Everything about them is awesome... I considered the Harbeth's but once I heard the ATCs I was sold... The music is so alive with them... You can place them anywhere close to a wall further from a wall still sound great... Harbeth's I've heard are not good being close to walls...
     
  8. scotto

    scotto Forum Resident

    Another vote for Harbeths, but it all depends on what you like and what you're playing, etc. I auditioned ATCs at the same time and they weren't my cup of tea. I have the 7ES-3s in an all-analog setup and they're perfect. They do benefit from lots of space from the wall.
     
  9. Steve0

    Steve0 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    australia
    It would be wise to listen to what PMC offers in this area as well, since they go head to head with ATC on a daily basis around the world in pro audio circles.
     
    sennj, bhazen and Ivand like this.
  10. Ivand

    Ivand Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I've never had the chance to audition either ATC or Harbeth speakers but I did have the chance to audition PMC's studio 22's last year. Stunning!
     
    sennj likes this.
  11. Shivermetimbers

    Shivermetimbers Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I demoed the Harbeth 30.1 and P3s and have heard them again since. Wonderfully voiced and very easy/non-fatiguing to listen to. They did seem unwilling to not sound smooth and refined though, for better or worse, and didn't like being pushed. (Something that personally steered me away from them). Maybe the larger models are different?

    I really like ProAc voicing and the general balance they achieve. Weighty, nuanced, and very open sounding. Revealing tweeters though that probably won’t favour otherwise bright systems – at least the silk dome tweeters; haven’t heard the ribbon ones. The D2s are a joy to live with and what's cool is they manage to respond well at any given volume.

    Haven’t heard small ATCs. Couple of larger models though which seemed neutral and punchy.

    PMC twenty.21 and .22 are also well balanced and easy with nice hanging imagery.
     
  12. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Although I'd agree they are worth a demo and that their latest speakers are a definite improvement on earlier models in my experience the smaller PMCs were all outclassed by similar sized ATCs, it was only when you got high up the PMC range where they could compete with ATC, big studio monitors and even then I personally preferred the ATCs, although ironically I use Bryston amps to drive my big ATCs.
     
  13. Steve0

    Steve0 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    australia

    Best to let his ears decide :)
     
    Dubmart likes this.
  14. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    I'm a big fan of PMC and have owned four of their models. But they have priced themselves out of the market (IMHO). Their current prices are just nuts.
     
    timind likes this.
  15. Steve0

    Steve0 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    australia

    the 50% dealer margin does not help either
     
  16. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    FWIW I have heard the larger ATCs at shows a few times and was really disappointed. They had a colored non-transparency to the sound.
    Conversely I own and absolutely will not part with a pair of Harb C7s.
     
    Ivand likes this.
  17. Raffy Raff

    Raffy Raff Member

    Location:
    Hawaii
    I've only heard them side-by-side at a retailer in Japan (driven by Rogers tube integrated -- based on memory, an EHF-200). Based on that brief demo (a couple of songs on a couple of different models), I thought that the ATCs, particularly the SCM 19, were really special. They sounded open, fast, and dynamic, with very natural decay to cymbals. Transparent. On the other hand, I was disappointed by the Harbeths I heard, particularly the Super HL5+, which I thought sounded quite colored in the lower midrange/upper midbass and slightly "airless" up top.

    I had never heard either brand in person before, but to me the ATCs were real eye-openers. Likely on my shortlist next time I consider speakers (which may be a while from now).
     
    TheRealMcCoy and Shivermetimbers like this.
  18. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    interesting
    ill be auditioning tomorrow atc scm19 v2 vs harbeth
    will report here

    but my experience with atc is that they are maybe less coloured then harbeth
     
    PATB likes this.
  19. Raffy Raff

    Raffy Raff Member

    Location:
    Hawaii
    I'll be waiting for your report; when I heard them both in Japan, it was my first experience hearing either brand in person. I was really looking forward to hearing the Harbeths, given the rave reviews here and elsewhere, and I, quite honestly, was sort of disappointed. I listened to the ATCs without any real preconceived notions, and came away mightily impressed.
     
  20. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    which harbeth model have you heard?
     
  21. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    Then something must have been drastically wrong. But don't just take my word for it:

    ATC: I've found the mixing/mastering speaker of my dreams..
     
  22. ThorensSme

    ThorensSme Active Member

    Location:
    Seattle
  23. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    I really liked the sound of the ATC SCM100 (active) I heard, no question one of the best box speakers I'd heard and the only one besides Vivid Giya G3 that had midrange that approached the ESL57. The several times I've heard Harbeths at dealers or hifi shows they've sounded nice, but never made me think of that ESL57 like experience.
     
  24. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    seriously, there's no doubt in my mind that ATC are just as good as Harbeth and probably in the top 5 best dynamic speaker companies in the world. no question especially since their new made in house tweeter that every model have since 2015.

    id be very surprised if harbeth 40.2 vs atc scm100 would favor the harbeth.
    who knows... comparing atc scm7v3 vs p3esr showed me that both are equally as good
     
  25. wpjs

    wpjs Active Member

    My dealer sold me on a pair of Harbeth 30's.
    I had requested Harbeth and Spendor. He only had Harbeths on the floor.
    (For some reason Spendor is a bit hard to get here in NYC. I could not find anyone who had them)

    He played some Hendrix through a pair of Harbeth 30.1 and I was sold.
    I loved the presence they had. They can fill a room- and create a great sense of space.
    I'm 80% rock and 20% jazz. These things can rock- but IMO it's jazz where they really excel
    Mine are about a foot and half from the wall and sound fantastic.
    I ordered the rosewood finish and they are gorgeous.
    My only frustration is living in an apartment I have to keep them dialed down most of time- still sound great- but when I take them for a ride up the dial- WOW.
     

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