Speakers for Atom

I know there is few simular topik, but I still waiting for solution.
My room is 6.5 x 3.8m. For now I using B&W 685s2 and waiting for inpruvement with large orchestras with many instruments. I miss the feeling of a symphonic concert, which I get to some extent when I listen to Atom+ headphones.
I am satisfied with other genres.

Another drawback is sometimes a sharper sound that can get tiring when listening for a long time. I definitely like the warmer sound.

It fits into my budget Kef R3. Do these speakers make a difference in what I’m looking for?

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IMHO, you’re asking too much of the Atom.

In a room of those dimensions, and with standmounters, 40 W/Ch will never give you the atmosphere of a symphony orchestra; it is also normal for it to get sharp and harsh as soon as you try to crack the pot.

To give you an idea, in a room of almost the same dimensions, although somewhat larger and ceilings at 3.6 m, with ProAc K6 floorstanders and 220 W/Ch, you can do the magic, listening to the shots of saliva among the audience, the passage of the scores and the movement of the musicians in the chairs; but you can’t compare…

With balanced headphones it is much simpler: they are within the parameters of the Atom and there is no room.

Edit–> I forgot to comment: treated room, high quality wiring, and a perfectly integrated subwoofer monster (SVS SB 16 ULTRA).

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I am using b&w 705 s2 and i feel like they are made for the atom. I tried the 706s2 and they wer almost equally as brilliant.

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“it is also normal for it to get sharp and harsh as soon as you try to crack the pot.”
What you mean?

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I use Vienna Acoustics Haydn speakers on Solidsteel SS6 speaker stands with Uniti Atom.[(See Link here)].(What was the last bit of gear you bought in 2022? - #541 by Wilfried). At the dealer’s I compared the Vienna Acoustics with B&W and Sonus Faber Sonetto II. The Viennas sounded much better, more balanced, more spatial. As @newcomer mentioned above, the Uniti Atom has limitations in performance and spatial imaging of large orchestras. For that, you need a much more complex and expensive system. However, with suitable speakers and some tuning measures (cables, including power cables, placement, etc.), a great sound image can also be created with the Atom. My Atom sounds very good, especially with smaller ensembles. It never sounds harsh or sharp. I like it very much.

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Engine, I have an Atom and B&W CM1 speakers. They have the same tweeter as yours, and possibly other components in common. I think the weakness you are up against is very much the speakers. All B&W speakers it seems have a “happy smile” type of response with a peak at about 100 Hz and another above 15 KHz. The CM1s add to the problem by having a big suck out at 2 KHz, like a hole inside a basin! Being so small they are not able to get into the lower registers that orchestral (and much jazz) will comprise. Adding a subwoofer goes a long way to help the base, but there is nothing to done to help the highs, which can get harsh at higher volumes.

The Atom does a very good job with it’s 40 W/ch and it will do better with more sensitive speakers. I suggest looking for something with 86dB and up sensitivity, a reasonably flat response, and plan for a compatible subwoofer. You should hear a major difference easily. This is low hanging fruit in the world of hifi.

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That in such a large room, the Atom has to raise the volume a lot so that it begins to spread the sound, and when a limited power amplifier begins to enter the clipping zone struggles, and the first symptom is that shrill, harsh and edgy sound; further up, and tweeters begin to enter the danger zone.

If you decide on a subwoofer, it should be of the highest possible quality.

Another different route could be some high-sensitivity floorstanders, such as Klipsch Forte III (99dB @ 2.83V / 1m) or Heresy IV (99dB @ 2.83V / 1m), which although well above their budget, usually reduce the price by more than half when they change or update the model (that would already be very close to their budget). Then you would start to have scale… But it would lead to the updating of the wiring, and, probably, also of the Atom …, and in that way, to the rabbit hole …

I think the system is loud enough for this room. 24 square meters for the living room plus the dining room and it’s not big. I never boost the atom above 50%. Atom has excellent cooling, never too hot. Audio cables are NacA5.
So the problem is the speakers. I would like some softer sounding ones.

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My Vienna Acoustics Speakers have a sensitivity of 88.5 db. I never have to raise the volume on the Uniti Atom above 45. This is enough for a listening volume of 60-70db. That’s more than enough for my ears and most of the time I don’t listen that loud. My living room is divided in two and has 51 sqm total and 26 sqm in the living area where the system is placed.

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The KEF R3 that you mention is probably a good place to start. ( And perhaps finish!) Speaker availability tends to be location specific, but you can certainly find something good at that price point. In my case, I like to see measurements, before I read the subjective reviews: look for a level response, good sensitivity, and factor in a matching sub if going with bookshelf units, then listen for yourself.

I had a pair of old b&w 685s with my Atom (room is 5.4m x 4.5m, so similar…ish). I upgraded to a pair of 705s2 (after also auditioning 706s2). They’re great and worked really well with the Atom. I never had any issues “filling the room”.

Unfortunately, the whole experience gave me the bug and I have since upgraded the atom to a Nova!

I had assumed that I would then be looking to upgrade the loudspeakers again to “keep up” with the Nova. However, much to my surprise, while auditioning the Nova with the 705s2, my dealer plugged them into a 250dr through the Nova. That combination really brought the 705s alive. I didn’t realise those speakers were capable of such depth, balance and clarity.

I’m not saying that the 705s are the last word in speakers, of course not, but it has made me think that investing in the source over the speakers is a solid way to go.

Or maybe it’s just a good job that my dealer didn’t plug in a £5k pair of loudspeakers…!!

A while ago Focal and Naim offered several electronics + speaker bundles. The speakers they combined with the Atom were from Focal’s Chora range, specifically the stand-mount 806 and floorstanding 826. I have not heard either combo or much enjoyed the presentation of the Focal speakers I’ve heard at hifi shows. However, there are several very satisfied users on the forum and the speakers are pretty sensitive (91db), so may perhaps help you with making orchestras sound more realistic with the Atom in your fairly large room.

Roger

Roger

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I have an atom with 705s2 as well, and I now am using a 250DR connected to the preamp outputs. Soon a 272 will be appearing as well as an atom HE with it’s better preamp. I’m very pleased with the 705S2s and the 250DR combo. the 272 will up the ante…as will a pair of tunetots…and a pair of Stellia’s. … … 2 systems with some mix and match potential.

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I too would argue for the Atom being a great product of its type, but full orchestral scale in a decent-sized room is asking a lot.

I’d try smaller floorstanders here. An ex-dem pair pair of Fyne F501s would be an option, among others, but I’d recommend Neat Iota Alphas - don’t let the small size put you off! Price rises make them look outside your likely range, but ex-dem pairs show up on eBay.

There are lots of great speaker bargains second-hand, but trying them first is tricky unless you are prepared to use a few dealers for demos and then ignore them to buy s/h privately instead.

One other option is to upgrade the Atom by adding a power amp. A NAP250 looks like a ridiculous choice new (you could buy a s/h Nova and a pair of speakers for that money), but you can buy an old but great NAP250 for little over £1K and it would give a lot more grip than the Atom’s power amp.

Of course, once you start looking at possible upgrades, it’s often a slippery slope…

I hadn’t considered the 250dr as an upgrade route until I heard it. Actually, one of the reasons for going for the Nova was to come to an “end point” to stop me spending decades in this rabbit hole. No such luck.

I am now thinking that a 250dr would be a nice intermediate upgrade, then take the 250 and build another system around it over time (for another room in the house). Problem is that would mean, at some point, unplugging the 250 from the Nova….

I like the idea of pairing it with a 272. Maybe by the time I get a 250 and I’m ready for the next steps, the 272 replacement will be here?Otherwise, a nac 282 and an ndx2 seems the more likely route - ouch!

Another vote for Neat Iotas.

Well I have Atom and Iotas in my small office and the combo is very enjoyable. But Iotas wouldn’t be my choice for large scale orchestral music in a sizeable room. Perhaps Iota Alphas might do it, but they’re still not all that sensitive.

Roger

Hi. I just did exactly what you are talking about…i was fully prepared to just get a nova and some tunetots….for about 5500 us i purchased a 250dr and a 272…i couldnt stop myself.

And all you need now is an XPS or, really, a 555ps for the 272.:innocent:

Roger

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