I haven’t been to happy with the sound of the Atom, my speakers are very efficient at 99db. I just put a tube amp on the Atom and what a difference. Smoothed the sound with that ear piercing sound gone without loosing the nice detail…it turned out excellent…
I would just comment that I don’t have an ear-piercing sound from my Atom, either on its own through SBLs or through the 82/135 set-up. I’m interested though to hear more about the amp, cabling and speakers. I’m very impressed with the Atom’s sound. I could potentially see it being the heart of a system for me with record player, ‘Core’, an additional amp such as you have done and perhaps some more consistently bassy speakers than the SBLs.
Ear-piercing? That’s the very opposite of what I hear on my Atom. But I’m glad your valve amp has cured your problem.
BTW what are the speakers and amp? They’re not mentioned on your profile.
It was hard for me to find a system, in my area there isn’t anywhere to audition different systems. For speakers I picked the Klipsch Forte IVs only because I bought a pair back in the 80s bringing back those young memories LOL. That was a mistake, they are hard to match up, the Atom is not a good fit. Luckily this tube amp has solved the problem, I can listen all day and not get fatigued. The amp has two modes Ultra-linear, this settings gives you all the watts and is good for old rock and roll music, Triode Mode cuts everything in half, it’s like giving your system Valium which I like for these Klipsch speakers at 99 db sensitive, they have a horn tweeter and horn mid. This is next level now, totally amazing, every song on my playlist puts me in a trance…really amazing…if you consider a tube amp really do some homework there is alot of them on the market…I went for PrimaLuna at Upscale Audio, the customer support and money back guarantee gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s really well made with lots of safety features so you really can’t hurt it being this is my first tube amp. It’s the PrimaLuna EVO 400 amplifier.
I feel the Naim products are number one, this was a fix for my mistake. If I had it to do over again it would be the Atom and different speakers.
If you have found speakers you like, I think that makes a very argument for tailoring the electronics to suit it rather than the other way round.
Finding speakers that match your room acoustics and your personal taste is often the biggest challenge in building a great system. If the Klipsch do that for you, I would stick with them.