ATC A7 Floorstanding Speakers

4.8/5 (5 Reviews) MSRP : $1700.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mambosun a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2006

Bottom Line:   
After 6 years of cohabitation with these guenuine high end bookshelf speakers, I'm still happy with them and have to praise ATC about the impressive good work.
I still wonder why this brand is so underrated and so little advertised, excepted by some reviewers from HifiChoice who still use them as benchmark when assessing new stuff.
I use them too to record my own demos with the help of my old Revox A77 with great ease and pleasure.

Every change/ upgrade I've done in my setup was immediatly noticeable and rewarding ( I'm not talking here about cable, snake oil or any fancy tweaks).

Anyway, what you hear in every single CD you buy is what the sound engineer wanted, while recording with this kind of monitors.
Hence for the best or worse, you'll get a clear insight with these A7.

If one day I decide to upgrade my speakers they will ATC again.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Importer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by earle a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 6, 2001

Bottom Line:   

Very sensitive to what you feed to them : qualitative recording, good source and amp will definitively be a must for the ATC A7 to deliver their best. They would expose differences between masterings & recordings with no mercy, and show the weak component in the HiFi chain while remaining neutral and musical.No problem to pair them with (very good) medium powered amplifier nonetheless.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $1000.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ron a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: December 5, 2001

Bottom Line:   
When assessing equipment, and specially loudspeakers, you’re often confronted with the usual dilemna : loving what you hear or hearing what you love. Put in other words , is good HiFi system supposed to modify the recorded source according to your taste (more punchy bass, clearer high etc… ad nauseum) or do we have first to educate ourself a bit more about what can be reasonably expected from the electronics world ?
ATC is mostly a professionnel audio company with a strong and highly respected down-to-earth pedigree. They hopefully adress the consumer market with the same pragmatical philosophy, and I have to say it perfectly works.
The ATC A7, as stated by Ken Kessler in HiFi News, are simply better than you could ever imagine. Bearing in mind they can handle up to 300w, they surely like high wattage but they are not amplifier embarassing; all depends on the volume level of musical replay you need and the room to fill. My A7 perfectly work connected to a Marantz PM17 mk2. When quality of the recorded source allows, the wining combination delivers a smooth and natural sound which doesn’t grasp attention in itself. Music simply fills the room and your heart. Highly recommended !

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $1200.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 4, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I’m not too found of writing reviews because of the subjective side which usually plagues any serious evaluation of equipment. Looking at the numerous contradictory postings in this website about a given device is quite revealing but is also likely to make people clueless when they are to invest in (expensive) HiFi stuff ; people ususally relies on such reviews (from customers and journalists) either because they need an « expert » advice not connected with the retail market , because of a lack of self confidence , or mostly because they can’t find and evaluate the equipment themselves in a local shop. As an example, the rather messy french Hifi market led me to audition speakers in London rather than Paris, because most of the brand I put in my short list are not distributed / demonstrated here on a regular basis, which was the case for ATC speaker, only known in the audio professional field .
So why did I decide to pen something about the A7 which by the way have been recently and sadly discontinueted? Only because they are excellent speakers and they largely deserve more than a single high praise !
For those who are interested the new options are the Active 10 (costlier) or SCM 7 (cheaper).
If HiFi is supposed to be a transparent/ neutral mean to accurately reproduce whatever is well or badly recorded , this is the right speaker for you.
If Hifi is also about upgrading (no tweaking) step by step your equipment in a straightforward process while at the same time being highly rewarding, again this is the right speaker for you.
Is HiFi is not supposed to rewrite or interfere with the sound engineers intentions this is the right stuff ( ATC professional DNA ?).

Then, you’re there and if quality of music and recording allow : enjoy !

But now if you’re not statisfied with the result, you better have to check your amp or sources and the most crucial source of all : the « quality » of the recording and mastering. If Hifi Land there’s a quite respectable saying : the quality of an Hifi setup would be as high as the weakest component : in this case the weakest is obviously the recorded and mastered source ! Ask to audiophiles why do they usually listen to unmusical and uninspiring music form « audiophile CD’s » of the Linn sort for instance. Because, at least (not the case everytime… Linn again) this kind of CD should sound right and good, and is expected to highlight the sonic quality of the expensive Hifi system you’ve patiently built up.

Now if you think HiFi has nothing to do with that above mentionned, please do yourself a favour : think twice and buy a PA !

Based on my modest experience, I suggest the following scale about what actually matters most ( from 1/maximum to 6/ minimum) in order to get the excellent sound quality you’re after :

1) Taste, education, expectations, mood, availability, funds…
2) Sources (recorded or boadcast) : CD, Vinyle, tape, FM radio stations, etc…
3) Loudspeakers with Room acoustics and Stands
4) Source reproducer (CD player, Dac, Turntable, cartridge etc…) with Amplifier.
5) Accessories : cables, power cord and conditioner, vibration cleaner etc…
6) Tweaks : Snake oil, what else ?

Did I say, the A7 are true excellent speakers ?

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   ATC France



Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Dick Bowman a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 25, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I owned A7's for about 18 months, feeding them a steady diet of unreconstructed free jazz.
Their purchase was motivated very much by a desire to reclaim some living space; also in the
potential frame at that time were the Totem Model 1 Signature (I didn't pursue this option very far
because of limited British availability). My original intent had been to buy ATC's SCM10 but
comparison showed the 7's to have a more appealing presentation; the 10's were very hard to
bring to life, in my opinion.

As a long-standing admirer of ATC's products the 7's suited me just fine; there's a "family sound"
which they aligned to very well (I think the 10 is probably on the darkest edges of this
sonic area). I find that the majority of speakers have "a characteristic" and if this fits
your prejudices then you're happy. An accusation which I'll hurl at the majority of small speakers
is that the designer tries too hard to offer "bass" and ends up with something audible but
inaccurate. What I liked about the 7's was honesty; they did what they did and they
didn't invent what they didn't do. Essentially, I think it's a clear and accurate little speaker with a
performance which reflects the fact that it costs a lot more than most boxes of that size.

There are two downsides to the 7. It loves amplifier power; I drove them with a Bryston 4BST and
it was a very happy pairing (although the Bryston clipping lights were in action more than once).
Personally I'm quite happy to share living space with a large solid state amplifier; if your
electronic thing is microwatt single-ended triodes you may wonder whether ATC's drive units actually work.
7's are more sensitive than 10's.

The other downside is a sense of brassy glaze to the sound which seemed to mask detail; I suspect that it
made itself apparent because
I was trying to get more out of the speakers than was reasonable. I think the bass/midrange unit has
just too much work to do. Eventually I felt that the overall sound was too wearing; I started to
experience an effect of sound "burning it's way" out of small points in space. Some mini-monitors
have done this to me in minutes, it took the A7's eighteen months.

So, a nice little speaker which eventually had to make way for something larger. After a few sonic
unpleasances (I don't want to name names, good speakers which were not for me)I'm now more than slightly
happy that the A7's made way for ATC's SCM20SL.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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