ATC SCM40 stumbles the SN2?

Have just sold the Harbeth SHL5 and am going to audition the SCM40 soon. However the ATC dealer mentioned I would need a 500DR to drive the 40. He had a customer who uses the SN2 with the 40 and the amp clips above 85db volume (I assume no HicapDR). He recommends ATC 40A and to use the SN2 as pre.

Naim dealer told me the same, need at least a 300DR.

Another ATC dealer says no issue as his customer uses an all in one naim system (I assume its either the SU or nova) and drive the 40 well. So what gives?

ATC SCM 40 has a impedance not lower than 5 ohm with 85db/w sensitivity and traditionally not an easy speaker to drive. However, SN2's 80watt is no slouch. .

I am currently waiting for the NDX2 and presently have the Allodigital One>NDAC>SN2/HicapDR. I would appreciate feedback from existing ATC 40 owner on their experience. Thanks

Original Post

I've had a dem in the past of SCM40s driven by a NAP200 so similar to SN2 and they sounded great , not lacking at all . They will definitely benefit from more power and I use a 250DR on my SCM19s but you definitely don't need a 300 . 

I think there a couple of members here with SN2/SCM40 combo . Patu maybe ?

kaydee6 posted:

Have just sold the Harbeth SHL5 and am going to audition the SCM40 soon. However the ATC dealer mentioned I would need a 500DR to drive the 40. He had a customer who uses the SN2 with the 40 and the amp clips above 85db volume (I assume no HicapDR). He recommends ATC 40A and to use the SN2 as pre.

Naim dealer told me the same, need at least a 300DR.

Another ATC dealer says no issue as his customer uses an all in one naim system (I assume its either the SU or nova) and drive the 40 well. So what gives?

ATC SCM 40 has a impedance not lower than 5 ohm with 85db/w sensitivity and traditionally not an easy speaker to drive. However, SN2's 80watt is no slouch. .

I am currently waiting for the NDX2 and presently have the Allodigital One>NDAC>SN2/HicapDR. I would appreciate feedback from existing ATC 40 owner on their experience. Thanks

i heard often that atc 19 needs a nap 250 to really begin to perform well.  So i guess the atc40 need at minimum a 250 and better the 300....  If i were you i would take more the atc 19( if you keep the sn2).

But perhaps try another speaker, because you will loose the midrange beauty of the harbeth and get a leaner sound.  Sonus faber olympica 2 is faster than harbeth but had body and lots of beautiful textures.  

Or try atc 40 with nap 300....

 

 

I had a demo of SCM-40's driven by a Nova a few months ago at Acoustica in Chester and it sounded really really good at reasonably loud listening volumes. No issues at all. I don't see why a SN2 wouldn't be equally as good.

 

Also to say that the demo was to listen to the Nova and the speaker choice was down to Acoustica themselves so they must have thought they would make a good demo pair :-)

Hi all. Have had the following for the past 6 years & never had a problem with volume or sound quality;

202/200 with Hicap and Napsc. Original 40's (without the fireguards). Absolutely fantastic sound (for me), never any clipping etc. even when playing Yes/Floyd/Meatloaf/Zep at window bending volumes.

Trust your own ears, they are a better guide than someone looking for a hefty sales bonus.

Stainless

I enjoyed a very good demo of N272/250DR driving a set of ATC SCM40s beautifully.  No sign of clipping or distress that I could discern.  I really liked the SCM40s and would recommend an audition with your SN2 and decide what you think.  They probably do sound better with a 500 but that doesn't mean they can't work with something a little more modest...

I auditioned the SCM40s with my NAC252/300 and they worked fine, no signs of clipping at all. I went for SCM50s and they work even better. ATC say power amplifiers up to 1500 watts can be used, but I can't imagine many people do. If you have doubts try the active version, I saw the active SCM40's at Bristol driven by an ATC pre/streamer/CD and that seemed a very neat solution, as Halloween Man suggests try active SCM40 with a 272

I have the ATC SCM 40's on home demo right now. I am running them from my superuniti, and whilst volume isn't an issue, bass control at 'enthusiastic' listening levels isn't great, (i'll go further, it's not good enough). The dealer also lent me a Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated to try, which I am using as a power amp fed from the SU. In this guise the system has much better control over the bass, which is deep and punchy, very satisfying.

So, I strongly suggest a trial at home with your amp and if possible borrow a bigger amp as it might give you a clearer insight into how well your amp is managing the ATC's.   

Clearly the NAP 250dr power amp would be a more appropriate partner for the SU as a source, but as the ATC dealer doesn't carry Naim kit, I am now wondering whether the NAP250dr would be enough for the ATC's.

Good luck

Can't comment on how how Naim amps drive the 40's. But having owned a pair for some years and heard them driven by a number of amps, one thing ive found. You need an amp with plenty of drive and enough grip to control them.

without this they sound weak, woolly and flabby. With it they are still the best speaker ive heard under £10K, IMHO.

I tried the ATC's  at lower volume last night, still fed by the M6Si, and the bass held up well. I really like the controlled sound of the SCM 40's. I can see that I will need to consider the 'power and the grip' of my amplification.

Any one have any other suggestions?  

Hungryhalibut posted:

Why not try the active 40s? Swap the SU for a 272 and you are sorted. 

Ah, HH this option had crossed my mind, I guess I have a fear of committing to buying my amps as a part of the speakers, either way it seems like I'm going to have to pay for a 'bigger' amplifier either in, or out side of the speakers.

One key advantage of buying the amplifier as an 'out board' item is being able to buy used, as I haven't budgeted for an amplifier.  I'm now looking for a powerful amplifier with the ability to drive a tough load, any ideas?  

I auditioned Supernait2 against 250.2 into SCM40's. The 250 had  more control over the bass driver. SCM40A is an interesting speaker, which was not in production when I bought the 40's, I would try 250DR into 40's against 40A. listen to the music, not just just the huge power increase of the 40A. I suspect the 250DR into SCM40's will give more PrAT, but I must listen myself.

a friend has NAC 202 + NAP 200 into ATC SCM40 - he was unhappy in a largish room

he shifted to a smaller home and is much happier

If i wanted the ATC SCM 40 - i would pair it with ATC SiA 150V2 + Naim 272 streamer or Naim DAC

Those ATC SCM 40 are nice speakers though.

 

 

Hi Kaydee

You don't say why you sold your Harbeths so it is not entirely clear what you are looking for in your new speakers.  With that caveat in mind I concur with others that if you are considering ATC you owe it to yourself to listen to their active speakers.  Amongst their entry level range I have heard the active 19s and 40s and both are quite exceptional imho.  I had a long demo at Acoustica last autumn and a chap from ATC who was there at the shop reckoned that the 40As were a real sweet spot in the range and that most of his colleagues shared this view.  As HH has suggested you could swap your whole system for a 272/SCM40A or, depending on budget, include an XPS or even swap the SN2 for a pre-loved 282 to front the ATCs.  Lots of things to try but I urge you to investigate the SCM 40As.

Roger

A few weeks ago I had a ring around to locate a nearby demo of ATC Active 40s and I got an email yesterday that some had arrived in a central london dealer . I became free this afternoon and managed to get a direct passive and active ATC 40 demo . 

The source was a fancy Burmester Network player / Pre and a £3k ish ATC Power Amp on the Passives to keep things in  tandem price and spec wise . 

In short anyone considering SCM40s with that level of electronics has to seriously seriously consider the Actives , I listened to a few familiar tracks streamed from Tidal by Marvin Gaye , Massive Attack , Nina Simone, Air , the Stones and Frank Sinatra  etc and the sounds were fabulous but it was Jimi Hendrix's guitar solo halfway through 'All along the Watchtower' that stole the show , it was like I've never heard it before , absolutely incredible ! 

So after about 45 minutes listening to the Actives we switched everything identically to the Passives and the signature remained the same but it felt like all the life , dynamics , detail and realism had gone . Everything much smaller , I fully expected the Actives to win but not by this margin . We listened to the Passives for about 5 minutes , about 30 seconds a track . Job done . I'll need to try the Passive 40s at home as I don't think I can borrow the Actives but my findings at the Acoustica show were reinforced today . 

Very likely my next speaker .

Thank you Pete for reporting your findings, sounds like the actives have to be on the list.

On a related note, on the day I picked the passives up from the dealer for a home demo, another chap was auditioning what i think were active scm 50s  in the store. They sounded incredible even through a closed demo room door, the door seemed to be rumbling in its frame. I know, I'm such a kid!

Hi HH, I'm currently working away from home and don't actually know the size of my room! They are situated either side of a fireplace approx. 5.5 - 6 feet apart. The lounge opens up into the dining room. I'll be home tomorrow, and I'll let you know dimensions then! I've had no issues with overwhelming bass or anything but they are still running in, with only about 30 hours use so far. Even the demo models I tried which were fully run-in had no bass issues whatsoever. I used to have Passive 19's with a 250DR but these active 40's are far superior in all respects.

Hi HH, my lounge is 17 x 11 ft then a 3ft 6ins doorway leading into a 11 x 9 ft dining room. The Active 40’s are 5ft 4 ins apart, firing across the width of the lounge, either side of the fireplace (I can’t move them any further apart due to a tv unit one side and a sideboard the other). The speakers are 8 inches out from the back wall and the listening position is approx 8 ft from the speakers. The speakers are connected to the wall with Naim Powerlines which are a massive improvement over the standard power leads supplied by ATC. I have Chord Shawline RCA to XLR between the 272 and the speakers. No need for a power amp, speaker cables or interconnects between power amp and 272. Just the 272, 555DR and the Active speakers. A simple system but sounds mighty fine to these cloth ears!

Russt posted:

Hi HH, my lounge is 17 x 11 ft then a 3ft 6ins doorway leading into a 11 x 9 ft dining room. The Active 40’s are 5ft 4 ins apart, firing across the width of the lounge, either side of the fireplace (I can’t move them any further apart due to a tv unit one side and a sideboard the other). The speakers are 8 inches out from the back wall and the listening position is approx 8 ft from the speakers. The speakers are connected to the wall with Naim Powerlines which are a massive improvement over the standard power leads supplied by ATC. I have Chord Shawline RCA to XLR between the 272 and the speakers. No need for a power amp, speaker cables or interconnects between power amp and 272. Just the 272, 555DR and the Active speakers. A simple system but sounds mighty fine to these cloth ears!

Thank you so much for going to the effort with all that detail, it’s absolutely perfect and much appreciated. ATC are sending me some 19A to try, but I was also wondering about the 40. My room is 12’ wide, and they’d be firing across that distance. 

The slight issue is that if I wanted to connect the speakers to the mains spur, which I would, I’d need to run the mains lead and din to XLR through a conduit behind the fireplace, which is not ideal with an unbalanced connection. ATC reckon it would be ok for the four feet of conduit. They don’t have 40s available so I’ll see how the 19s work. The 20 is the one I’m really interested in but they don’t have any available. 

I must say that the idea of not having tweaky burndies and SL wires rather appeals. We’ll see what transpires. 

HH, my room is only 11 feet wide and the Active 40's work fine. When I spoke to my dealer about trying the Active 19's first, he thought that the Active 40's are far superior with the infamous midrange unit and larger bass unit and the additional power of having 3 separate amps per speaker but with the same footprint of the Active 19's. So he suggested trying the 40's first and if they didn't work in my room with my system to then try the 19's. I tried the 40's from ATC and the rest is history, as they say!

So I would strongly suggest you try the Active 40's in your room, with your system, if you can get hold of a pair prior to making a decision about the 19's. 

Hungryhalibut posted:
Russt posted:

Hi HH, my lounge is 17 x 11 ft then a 3ft 6ins doorway leading into a 11 x 9 ft dining room. The Active 40’s are 5ft 4 ins apart, firing across the width of the lounge, either side of the fireplace (I can’t move them any further apart due to a tv unit one side and a sideboard the other). The speakers are 8 inches out from the back wall and the listening position is approx 8 ft from the speakers. The speakers are connected to the wall with Naim Powerlines which are a massive improvement over the standard power leads supplied by ATC. I have Chord Shawline RCA to XLR between the 272 and the speakers. No need for a power amp, speaker cables or interconnects between power amp and 272. Just the 272, 555DR and the Active speakers. A simple system but sounds mighty fine to these cloth ears!

Thank you so much for going to the effort with all that detail, it’s absolutely perfect and much appreciated. ATC are sending me some 19A to try, but I was also wondering about the 40. My room is 12’ wide, and they’d be firing across that distance. 

The slight issue is that if I wanted to connect the speakers to the mains spur, which I would, I’d need to run the mains lead and din to XLR through a conduit behind the fireplace, which is not ideal with an unbalanced connection. ATC reckon it would be ok for the four feet of conduit. They don’t have 40s available so I’ll see how the 19s work. The 20 is the one I’m really interested in but they don’t have any available. 

I must say that the idea of not having tweaky burndies and SL wires rather appeals. We’ll see what transpires. 

HH, your new 555, 300 and wires are barely run in... 

Antonio1 posted:

272 into Active 40s is very, very  good.

But Goldmund/passive 20s is glorious.

Naim matches well with ATC so I'd expect a nap300 to be a very interesting proposal.

as I've mentioned in other threads I'm (or I should say we are) a fan of the simple visual approach and now been listening to 2boxes, 2speakers for nearly 18 months.  recent N272 update to 4.6 has moving things up another notch. 


Fronted by a N272/555 I listened to SCM40 passive with  (my) 250DR & then 300DR,   The 300 raised the bar significantly as you would expect....however linking the front end to SCM40A with some inexpensive and very thin ATC made up cables seemed to play music so right.  This was directly afterwards, and the 'active magic' even from cold.     
I will say the 300/scm40 pair had a fuller bottom end. 

kaydee6 posted:

I am currently waiting for the NDX2 and presently have the Allodigital One>NDAC>SN2/HicapDR. I would appreciate feedback from existing ATC 40 owner on their experience. Thanks

I did a (not so quick) search on what forum members post in their profiles with the key word "ATC" to find out what Naim amplification they hook up their ATC's with

So yeah... there might be hundreds of other users who never post on the forum and/or don't have their profile here so this does not pretend to be a statistically valid sample. I've also excluded those systems that do not use Naim amplification, and no, I am not bothered about the electronics in front of the power amp. I excluded the ATC actives since those preclude the use of a power amp and I was not too interested since my idea involved an external (Naim) Amp

I did this instead of asking forum members, I felt this 'put your money where your mouth is' but reversed (i.e. what do people ACTUALLY own) would give me a better idea than asking for opinions and get answers like 'I've never had X speakers but my experience with Y is...." 

Each line represents one user

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NAP250 ATC SCM11

NAP250 ATC SCM11

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NAP300 ATC SCM11

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SN2 ATC SCM19

SN2 ATC SCM19

NAP250 ATC SCM19

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NAP250 ATC SCM19

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SN2 ATC SCM40

SN2 ATC SCM40

NAP150 ATC SCM40

NAP200 ATC SCM40

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