ATC SCM11 v2, or SCM19 v2 with SN2

Hi All,

I would like to try either of these speakers w/ my SN2 + HiCap DR.  However, I'm not sure which is more suited for the amp.  Reading through the various ATC threads, it's not any clearer (to me) which model would be the best pairing with the SN2.

I have been using Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 for several years.   I've been enjoying them, but just thinking of trying something different.  I've had sealed speakers before (Aerial Acoustics 5B) and would like to try this type again.  I like the tight bass a sealed speaker provides.  

There is no local dealer.  My best option is to buy them from one retailer and demo.  They offer a 60 day return policy.  I'd rather not purchase both models and return one, as that becomes a bigger initial outlay.  Also doesn't make sense to demo the SCM19 if it is a non-starter.  I do not plan to upgrade my amplification further.  

I've noted people use the SCM19 with a NAP250, but is seems the NAP300 is preferred.   My room is about 11 x 15 feet, 8 feet ceiling,  and one end of the room opens to a small dining area.  

Is the SCM11v2 or SCM19v2 better suited to the SN2?  Perhaps neither?  

 

Thanks,

Pat

Original Post

The speakers have very similar impedance and db efficiency characteristics and your SN2 will drive either model equally well. The more relevant question is which speaker is better suited to your room. I have a small (8' x 12') space and chose the SCM 11 as the bass characteristics did not 'agitate/boom'. If I had my system set up in my 20' by 12' living room I would likely have chosen the SCM 19s to help reinforce the bass in the larger space. 

Another factor would be how close your listening position is. Are you saying that the small dining area occupies the 11' x 15' space behind the listening position pushing this closer to the speakers?  If so the SCM 11s may be better suited.  If not I would try the 19s first and flip to the 11s if the bass booms in your space

Hi Pat, hard to say.. I've heard twice the new 11's and 19's driven by cyrus and especially the latter (speaker) with  SN2/hicapDR as I was about to move from older 11's to newer 19's.

Thighter and deep bass you'll get for sure ,but you 'd need to demo as ATC mids get really something as long as you give them watts and watts and a great source for sure. Fact is , I think tighter bass would expose a lot the rest and give the impression  you'd miss some warmth as long as electronics are not really up the game and  especially as you're accustomed to harbeth . I think 282/250 to give way much more in that context.

Also you're room is pretty much exactly as mine as for dimensions and I 've not tested 19's  here, 11's are for sure a safe choice.

 Really, it's up to you, and a demo would help a lot and especially in your room.

I drive ATC SCM40v2 with SN2 + HCDR. Works very well and easily outperformed my earlier speakers (PMC Twenty.23). I'm sure ATC's would benefit from a beefier amp but SN2 is suprisingly powerful. Without HCDR though, there's just not enough juice. I tried to unplug HCDR recently with very bad results. I'm sure either one of the smaller ATC's would work very well. For your room size, I would choose the bigger SCM19. My room is slightly bigger than yours (21m2) and SCM40 works fine here. 

Hi Patu, pretty sure you're right in your description it's just Hicap DR doesn't really give more juice but improves preamp a lot and that gives much more for sure. It could relieve the power amp section from feeding both but that wouldn't be relevant I think.

Antonio1 posted:

Hi Patu, pretty sure you're right in your description it's just Hicap DR doesn't really give more juice but improves preamp a lot and that gives much more for sure. It could relieve the power amp section from feeding both but that wouldn't be relevant I think.

Hi Antonio1, 

To my ears the sound got sluggish, softer and slow after I disconnected the HCDR. Wouldn't it be logical that when the pre-amp section is powered by HCDR, the extra power for poweramp section would (in combination with now improved pre-amp section) result as better clarity, power, speed and grip of sound?

If you find that the 19's work in your room but SN2 lacks the power to drive them you could (depending on your budget) consider active 19's and just use the pre section of the SN2. Some redundancy of SN2 but you could upgrade to a better pre in the future. 

patk posted:

Hi All,

I would like to try either of these speakers w/ my SN2 + HiCap DR.  However, I'm not sure which is more suited for the amp.  Reading through the various ATC threads, it's not any clearer (to me) which model would be the best pairing with the SN2.

I have been using Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 for several years.   I've been enjoying them, but just thinking of trying something different.  I've had sealed speakers before (Aerial Acoustics 5B) and would like to try this type again.  I like the tight bass a sealed speaker provides.  

There is no local dealer.  My best option is to buy them from one retailer and demo.  They offer a 60 day return policy.  I'd rather not purchase both models and return one, as that becomes a bigger initial outlay.  Also doesn't make sense to demo the SCM19 if it is a non-starter.  I do not plan to upgrade my amplification further.  

I've noted people use the SCM19 with a NAP250, but is seems the NAP300 is preferred.   My room is about 11 x 15 feet, 8 feet ceiling,  and one end of the room opens to a small dining area.  

Is the SCM11v2 or SCM19v2 better suited to the SN2?  Perhaps neither?  

 

Thanks,

Pat

A friend who owns the Harbeth Compact 7ES3 compared it to the SCM 19 V1. His amps are the 282/HCDR/250.2. No doubt both will sound different. According to him, the biggest difference between the two is in the bass. The ATC's bass is tight whereas the Harbeth's bass is full. Due to the leaner and tighter bass of the ATC, it sounded lightweight next to the Harbeth's fuller and more enveloping bass. My friend preferred the bass of the Compact 7 ES3 by a large margin.

Thanks for the great feedback everyone.  

-To clarify my room layout,  it opens to the dining area creating an L-shape.  The dining area being the bottom of the L.  The speakers sit on the short wall, firing across the living room, and I sit about 8' ft away.  

-Appreciate the comments on the midrange and bass.  Will keep  this in mind.  Nice to hear a Harbeth comparison too.  I know Simon switched from Harbeth to ATC SCM19s in part preferring the bass presentation of the ATC (I'm sure it was not the only factor, but it is what I remember offhand from his posts).  

-The SCM19 actives are an interesting idea.  As well as the ProAC SM100s, which I have thought about before.  

 

Maybe I will try to demo them one at a time; the SCM19 first.  If I don't care for how it interacts with the room, I can then try the SCM11s.  

 

Thanks again! 

Pat

 

 

spacey posted:

I can highly recommend ProAc SM100's as I've just upgraded to these yesterday, much better than ATC passives. Having owned SCM20SLs, active 50s and 25As so know the ATC sound well. These SM100s are on the money.   

Those proacs do look nice. What did you prefer about them to the atcs? Did you manage to compare against scm19?

The ATCs are textureless and don't have any depth of image in comparison. The mid-band on the SM100s is like an electrostatic in comparison. The LF is in a different league altogether, ATCs have none in comparison at lower volumes main difference hear if the SM100s are front ported, which i prefer.  

spacey posted:

The ATCs are textureless and don't have any depth of image in comparison. The mid-band on the SM100s is like an electrostatic in comparison. The LF is in a different league altogether, ATCs have none in comparison at lower volumes main difference hear if the SM100s are front ported, which i prefer.  

This comment is so far from what I've experienced with SCM40, that I'm starting to wonder if you had powerful enough amp to drive the ATC's? SM100 should be an easier load for the amp. I have nothing bad to say about ProAc though. I owned Tablette Reference 8 Sig's for many years and only upgraded because they were too small for my current apartment. Simply a stunning little monitor! 

My first pair of SCM20SLs were driven by an ATC SIA2-150, the CDP was a Meridian 588. all my other ATC stuff was active, driven by some well regarded DAC/pre's from the likes of Resonessence  Labs, Antelope zodiac, Lavry, Benchmark etc etc.

spacey posted:

My first pair of SCM20SLs were driven by an ATC SIA2-150, the CDP was a Meridian 588. all my other ATC stuff was active, driven by some well regarded DAC/pre's from the likes of Resonessence  Labs, Antelope zodiac, Lavry, Benchmark etc etc.

Oh yes, you mentioned it earlier, sorry. Definitely not about amplifier then. SM100 must be a stunning speaker then!

I just plugged in a used pair of SCM19s. First impressions over the SCM11s... definitely no wow factor. Bass is a bit louder and deeper but not noticeably tighter. I'm undecided as to whether this is an advantage in my room, which is a reasonable size at 6x4m but circumstances dictate speakers quite close to wall and corners so on my more bass-led records I'm getting a bit boomy slightly earlier on the volume dial. On other records it's probably a better balance. 

Tweeter is same and prob less affected by cabinet size so top end as expected sounds v similar. Mid range is where things are more interesting and really seems to define the difference between the 11s and 19s. I was constantly amazed by how good the SCM11s were for the size, super detailed and very good tight bass for the size. The SCM19s seem to highlight that the 11s had quite a lot of separation between bass and treble. The 19s sound a bit less impressive immediately because there seems to be more across the whole range which takes away from the bass and treble. A bit like someone just turned the loudness button off. To distill the last 3 sentences into 3 words: they sound warmer. 

This probably means they're actually better, long term I'm going to prefer them and they'll be less tiring. I think I could probably describe the sound as a bit more effortless. Songs sound a bit slower as a result. 

I am running RP8/Apheta 2/Aria/N272/NAP 200 so source is pretty good. Possible weak link in the 200; perhaps a 250DR would free up the 19s a bit. 

In conclusion then, SCM11 and SCM19 both very good, no difference in resolution but some in presentation. For the size, 11s are simply brilliant. 19s probably slightly better but I don't see the 11s as a second choice - better even, in smaller rooms I'd say. 

Paul Graville posted:

I just plugged in a used pair of SCM19s. First impressions over the SCM11s... definitely no wow factor. Bass is a bit louder and deeper but not noticeably tighter. I'm undecided as to whether this is an advantage in my room, which is a reasonable size at 6x4m but circumstances dictate speakers quite close to wall and corners so on my more bass-led records I'm getting a bit boomy slightly earlier on the volume dial. On other records it's probably a better balance. 

Tweeter is same and prob less affected by cabinet size so top end as expected sounds v similar. Mid range is where things are more interesting and really seems to define the difference between the 11s and 19s. I was constantly amazed by how good the SCM11s were for the size, super detailed and very good tight bass for the size. The SCM19s seem to highlight that the 11s had quite a lot of separation between bass and treble. The 19s sound a bit less impressive immediately because there seems to be more across the whole range which takes away from the bass and treble. A bit like someone just turned the loudness button off. To distill the last 3 sentences into 3 words: they sound warmer. 

This probably means they're actually better, long term I'm going to prefer them and they'll be less tiring. I think I could probably describe the sound as a bit more effortless. Songs sound a bit slower as a result. 

I am running RP8/Apheta 2/Aria/N272/NAP 200 so source is pretty good. Possible weak link in the 200; perhaps a 250DR would free up the 19s a bit. 

In conclusion then, SCM11 and SCM19 both very good, no difference in resolution but some in presentation. For the size, 11s are simply brilliant. 19s probably slightly better but I don't see the 11s as a second choice - better even, in smaller rooms I'd say. 

Good post which made a lot of sense. I have read similar experiences on the SCM 11 and SCM 19.

Comparing a $2000 dollar speaker to a $4000 dollar speaker is kind of silly, why not compare $4000 dollar speakers from other manufacturers? Why limit yourself to just those two ATC speakers?

I really like ATC speakers, they are some of the finest sounding speakers, excellent quality, great demo at this years Axpona, and last years as a matter of fact. A good match with Naim, but in my opinion, other speakers match up better to your amp. I am also an owner of a SN2 ,HiCapDR combo.

You must be talking about Music Direct for your ATC dealer. What others have said about Proac's is spot on, they are much easier to drive and sound amazing. Great combo with your amp. One other speaker in that price range that will give you the best of both worlds, transparency, a see through electrostatic type quality, and excellent tight, fast bass, are Dynaudio speakers, check out the Special Forty, or the Contour 20. You wont be disappointed.

A bit more time with the SCM19s and I'm getting an impression they work better loud than the SCM11s. That is also to say that possible the SCM11s sound better than their bigger brothers at low volumes. When I say better I mean more and more controlled bass. Tweeters are the same so no surprise they sound similar at the top end. Looking at the mid/bass driver on the 19s I am convincing myself I can explain this difference. The rubber suspension around the driver is much thicker and the basic cone bit is probably smaller than on the 11s albeit with a bigger blob in the middle (please excuse my innacurate technical jargon). I've read the 19s have a very heavy duty driver and it seems that will allow them to go much louder than the 11s and that the visible parts of the mid/bass unit are heavier duty to take the punishment. Ergo, this could make them less sensitive at lower volumes. 

Is this baloney? Has anyone else felt SCM11s are better than SCM19s at low volume?

My plan is to give the 19s a few more days then switch back to the 11s and see if I hate them

Scm11s are superb. Colloms reviewed my pair in hificritic and frankly couldn't find anything to fault on them. 

The comment "The ATCs are textureless and don't have any depth of image in comparison" is just nonsense. 

Paul Graville posted:

I just plugged in a used pair of SCM19s. First impressions over the SCM11s... definitely no wow factor. Bass is a bit louder and deeper but not noticeably tighter. I'm undecided as to whether this is an advantage in my room, which is a reasonable size at 6x4m but circumstances dictate speakers quite close to wall and corners so on my more bass-led records I'm getting a bit boomy slightly earlier on the volume dial. On other records it's probably a better balance. 

Tweeter is same and prob less affected by cabinet size so top end as expected sounds v similar. Mid range is where things are more interesting and really seems to define the difference between the 11s and 19s. I was constantly amazed by how good the SCM11s were for the size, super detailed and very good tight bass for the size. The SCM19s seem to highlight that the 11s had quite a lot of separation between bass and treble. The 19s sound a bit less impressive immediately because there seems to be more across the whole range which takes away from the bass and treble. A bit like someone just turned the loudness button off. To distill the last 3 sentences into 3 words: they sound warmer. 

This probably means they're actually better, long term I'm going to prefer them and they'll be less tiring. I think I could probably describe the sound as a bit more effortless. Songs sound a bit slower as a result. 

I am running RP8/Apheta 2/Aria/N272/NAP 200 so source is pretty good. Possible weak link in the 200; perhaps a 250DR would free up the 19s a bit. 

In conclusion then, SCM11 and SCM19 both very good, no difference in resolution but some in presentation. For the size, 11s are simply brilliant. 19s probably slightly better but I don't see the 11s as a second choice - better even, in smaller rooms I'd say. 

Paul, interesting, by the way  don't estimate the importance of stand on bass speed... the 19 in my experience is more demanding than the 11 of the stand, perhaps because of the weight and the extra energy.

I did find a difference in mid and upper mid resolution between the two, and I found voices seemed to really come alive with the 19s in my room compared to the 11s... subtle dynamics seemed more believable on the 19s and orchestral scale seemed to feel better. I did however enjoy my 11s and 12s before that, but the 12s had the same pro mid/bass driver as the 19s, but used the older SEAS tweeter. The pro mid bass diver of the 19s really is rather special IMO, with the integrated  mid dome really helping the performance in those important mid frequencies for voices etc.

Interestingly the 11 and 19 seem to excel at low volume compared to the older designs such as the 12s... again the stand appears important here.

spacey posted:

The ATCs are textureless and don't have any depth of image in comparison. The mid-band on the SM100s is like an electrostatic in comparison. The LF is in a different league altogether, ATCs have none in comparison at lower volumes main difference hear if the SM100s are front ported, which i prefer.  

Spacey, I haven't critically listened to the SM100s, but I don't recognise those comments with the 11, 19 and 40s.. in fact it's texture resolution and transparency that they excel at, with the caution that they will expose difficiencies in your electronics chain because they get you closer to the music, ambiance and emotion, warts and all. 

Perhaps you may be referring to the SEAS tweeters ATC previously used? Yes I did find they sometimes lacked subtly in treble textures and spatial cues, noticeable less on studio recorded rock music compared to classical music.. but that all changed with the ATC in house tweeter.

Slightly predictably... went back to the SCM11s and they sounded a bit flat! Not on all recordings and only in comparison to the 19s obviously. This approach is a pretty useful test I reckon. However, I also did some A/B while I was at it. In fact I played some mono tracks with one of each speakers attached, using the balance to give instant A/B. Luckily the 200 didn't blow up.

19s are 2-3 clicks louder than the 11s, which I was surprised by. 19s definitely better all round. More bass even at lower volumes and more open. You get what you pay for?

badlands posted:

Comparing a $2000 dollar speaker to a $4000 dollar speaker is kind of silly, why not compare $4000 dollar speakers from other manufacturers? Why limit yourself to just those two ATC speakers?

I really like ATC speakers, they are some of the finest sounding speakers, excellent quality, great demo at this years Axpona, and last years as a matter of fact. A good match with Naim, but in my opinion, other speakers match up better to your amp. I am also an owner of a SN2 ,HiCapDR combo.

You must be talking about Music Direct for your ATC dealer. What others have said about Proac's is spot on, they are much easier to drive and sound amazing. Great combo with your amp. One other speaker in that price range that will give you the best of both worlds, transparency, a see through electrostatic type quality, and excellent tight, fast bass, are Dynaudio speakers, check out the Special Forty, or the Contour 20. You wont be disappointed.

Hi Badlands,

Thanks for your sharing your experience.  It is very helpful since you have the same SN2/HiCapDR amplification.  I'm not limiting myself to just these ATC speakers.  I am just trying to get a better understanding with what to start with (11 or 19) given my room and amplification.  

Thanks for the speaker suggestions by yourself and others.  Since I don't want to change amplification, perhaps I would be better served by a speaker that won't lead to nagging thoughts that I am getting the best out of them.  Seems a 250 would be a better match with these two ATC models.  

 

best regards,

pat

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