Atomic CLR - Not all it's cracked up to be?

  • To address a few of the suggestions so far in this thread:


    I have tried using it in different rooms. It sounds pretty consistent it seems no matter the size of room or location in the room, which is a good thing, but it changing the room didn't magically make it amazing.


    I have tried raising the CLR up to ear height rather than just tilting it. It does sound better straight on, but it still doesn't retain as much profile character as other speakers.


    For the suggestions to re-tweak the profiles you should understand that I didn't tweak these profiles even to start with. I was testing with TAF profiles which Andy sets up using very high FRFR studio monitors. Although I could probably tweak a profile to sound better with the CLR, my main point was that a lot of the character of a profile seems to be lost with the CLR.


    This isn't about a certain group of frequencies being too strong or too weak, the distinct formant signature that makes a profile sound distinct and interesting, that gives it all its character, seems to be muddled with CLR, like other PA systems I've played the Kemper through. Those formants aren't something that can be attained through any kind of standard EQ; if you were viewing a graph of the FR of a profile where the character comes from is the many dozens or even hundreds of small peaks and valleys and dips and bumps through the range of the FR. Restoring that detail would require like a 500 point EQ.


    As far as the possibility goes that I may have had a bad unit, I'd say that's just... depressing. I spent $150 in shipping and another $70 in taxes to get it across my border. Who on earth would screw around shipping this thing back and forth for the chance that it might've been a bad unit? I personally don't have that kind of money to burn, and honestly, for $1K don't you think there should be a bit more consistency in build quality?

  • Here is a response that Jay Mitchell posted this morning in my thread over at TGP (original_post); I thought many of the folks here would find it informative:


  • 3. Like "Tilt," "BL" is optimized for just one listener. In this case, however, the choice is forced: there is no way to optimize the response for mutiple listeners, and that optimization is an imperfect one even for a single listener, for all the reasons stated above. If you place a CLR on the floor, select this preset, and stand approximately six feet away from the speaker, the overall response will be balanced. There is no way to optimize any speaker to a greater degree than this when it is to be used in this manner.



    I was not sure what "BL" meant and I asked Tom King during a conversation.


    He told me it stood for "Back Line"...


    Duh! as palm hits my forehead!

  • I was testing with TAF profiles which Andy sets up using very high FRFR studio monitors.

    You do realize that Andy owns and is quite happy with two CLRs, do you not? See: http://www.thegearpage.net/boa…hp?p=16626341&postcount=1 for his assessment.


    If you don't like how his profiles sound through a CLR, perhaps you just don't like how his profiles sound. According to Andy in the linked post, "No matter what you did, the sound relayed exactly as you put in, I found that I could be more expressive as the sound I captured using the real amp, translated pretty much with perfect accuracy across to the CLR's, I did not have to adjust EQ, remove the bottom end, or dull the treble (like on other systems, not to be named here) - it sounded like I was in my studio, but in a live environment, (and this is where they really shine)...

  • I've been using my CLR live for over 8 months ( and the NEO version for the last 3) And Ican only say that after using several of the popular choices here ,It is the first time in a live setting I do clearly hear the differences in different amp and cab profiles. I recently tried it with my Eleven Rack and Bias on iPad and again I found the same to be true.


    I'm not a fan boy just an older guy who's been playing live for 40+ years ( I've done much to protect my hearing)and imho these are the most accurate live speakers I've used.

  • As far as the possibility goes that I may have had a bad unit, I'd say that's just... depressing. I spent $150 in shipping and another $70 in taxes to get it across my border. Who on earth would screw around shipping this thing back and forth for the chance that it might've been a bad unit? I personally don't have that kind of money to burn, and honestly, for $1K don't you think there should be a bit more consistency in build quality?


    Sorry parlance, I can clearly feel your frustration but the above doesn't make any sense to me. I spent 15,000 € for my brand new car and the window riser (?) went for good after one month.
    I can't believe you don't realize that faulty units are (or can be) present in any industrial production!


    PS: My advice to contact tom king was not a joke, I'd do it now more than ever :)


    To repeat myself: nothing can faithfully reproduce a profile's sound better than the CLRs under 2500 $. I believe that if you don't like it, either you don't like the profile, you're making some mistake (gain staging, settings?...), or you have a broken unit.

  • As far as the possibility goes that I may have had a bad unit, I'd say that's just... depressing. I spent $150 in shipping and another $70 in taxes to get it across my border. Who on earth would screw around shipping this thing back and forth for the chance that it might've been a bad unit? I personally don't have that kind of money to burn, and honestly, for $1K don't you think there should be a bit more consistency in build quality?


    Sorry parlance, I can clearly feel your frustration but the above doesn't make any sense to me. I spent 15,000 € for my brand new car and the window riser (?) went for good after one month.
    I can't believe you don't realize that faulty units are (or can be) present in any industrial production!


    To repeat myself: nothing can faithfully reproduce a profile's sound better than the CLRs under 2500 $. I believe that if you don't like it, either you don't like the profile, you're making some mistake (gain staging, settings?...), or you have a broken unit.


    PS: My advice to contact tom king was not a joke, I'd do it now more than ever :)


  • Now the funniest thing: because I wanted to try stereo setup I ordered Behringer Eurolive F1320D and tried it with the Atomic, as a stereo pair.....
    Little confused at the moment...Im not so sure is it wise to put nearly 1000 euros to Atomic CLR... :S


    I've got a pair of F1320D's and they're more than decent once you get the onboard EQ set to compensate for its slight boominess. Mine are set roughly at High=2oclock, Mid=1oclock and Low=11oclock. The only real problem I've had with these is that they turned out to be too weak when playing with a band that has insane levels on stage.

  • Quoted from "parlance"


    As far as the possibility goes that I may have had a bad unit, I'd say that's just... depressing. I spent $150 in shipping and another $70 in taxes to get it across my border. Who on earth would screw around shipping this thing back and forth for the chance that it might've been a bad unit? I personally don't have that kind of money to burn, and honestly, for $1K don't you think there should be a bit more consistency in build quality?


    [quote='viabcroce','index.php?page=Thread&postID=123099#post123099']Sorry parlance, I can clearly feel your frustration but the above doesn't make any sense to me. I spent 15,000 € for my brand new car and the window riser (?) went for good after one month.


    Viabroce, you live in Rome and you drive a new car! You are a very brave man! lol. :D


  • [quote='viabcroce','index.php?page=Thread&postID=123099#post123099']Sorry parlance, I can clearly feel your frustration but the above doesn't make any sense to me. I spent 15,000 € for my brand new car and the window riser (?) went for good after one month.


    Viabroce, you live in Rome and you drive a new car! You are a very brave man! lol. :D


    LOL! :D

  • A bit surprised with this thread, since I've heard a lot of praise for the CLR. At the same time, maybe they just don't work for the OP vis-a-vis his usual speaker system.


    OP, if you don't like them, return them for a refund. It might leave you $150 out of pocket, but at least you won't be $1000 short.


    At the same time, what I understood from other users is that you might not get best results without a little experimentation. There has to be some reason for the praise for this unit, though I agree, there is often too much crap floating around on the internet for it to be judged reliable.


    Still, my gut feeling is that if you fool around with it for a while longer, you might find things improve and I sincerely hope that's not a case of your ears breaking in ^^

  • It's actually very easy, and there's no experimentation needed at all.
    Once the gain staging is done (per the CLR manual) the CLR will reproduce exactly what input you feed it. No colouration or imposing of an 'own sound'.
    And that's the beauty of it: If you don't like what you hear, work on your input source, work on the profile.
    The translation to other amplification solutions or to FOH will be significantly better and so will be your whole experience with the profiler.


    Edited for typos.

  • It's actually very easy, and there's no experimentation needed at all.
    Once the gain staging is done (per the CLR manual) the CLR will reproduce exactly what input you feed it. No colouration or imposant of an 'own sound'.
    And that's the beauty of it: If you don't like what you hear, work on your input source, work on the profile.
    The translation to other amplification solutions or to FOH will be significantly better and so will be your whole experience with the profiler.


    Very well put.
    It really is worth putting the time into tweaking profiles. As guitarists we tend to just want to plug in and go, but being a bit of a geek can really help.

  • On the same subject, how would you CLR users compare them to a studio reference monitor? Which is more accurate? Obviously, monitors can't be a stage solution because they can't compete with other instruments, but for home use and tweaking profiles?


    I own Yamaha HS-80 monitors which aren't the most highend ones available but are a de- facto standard in studios all around.
    I can change to the CLR and have nearly the same listening experience except that the CLR on paper is even a bit more flat than the Yamaha's.