ATC SCM40 stumbles the SN2?

Amplifiers such as the NAP 250DR and NAP300 DR will get on top of and energize the 40's more effectively however the SN2 is still more than capable of driving 40's perfectly well. We've had no issues in using SN2/40's in the last five years. In fact we've not also had any issue with NAP100/40's either.

Musicraft (Derby) posted:

Amplifiers such as the NAP 250DR and NAP300 DR will get on top of and energize the 40's more effectively however the SN2 is still more than capable of driving 40's perfectly well. We've had no issues in using SN2/40's in the last five years. In fact we've not also had any issue with NAP100/40's either.

A few things;

1. I agree with you that the NAP250 is a perfectly capable amp to drive the passive SCM40

2.  I once hooked up a Nait XS to the SCM40 and also found it, 'perfectly acceptable' So when you say "We've had no issues in using SN2/40' what do you mean? 

3. The million dollar question is: Will a NAP250, NAP 300 or even a NAP 500 will be better than a pair of ATC SCM40A?

mpw posted:
Musicraft (Derby) posted:

Or the NAD C325BEE 50w/ch discontinued at £270. No issues over eleven years with 40's MK1 and 40's MK2's

maybe the Topping too ?? 

From the NAP200 and SU2 ‘struggling’ with the SCM40 to NAD’s C325BEE and NAP100 having no issues with it

I once asked ATC and their response was “buy our amps or go active” so we can’t ask the parents 

Can anybody with actual experience with these ‘extremes’ inject some objectivity here? 

 

 

 

 

 

Alonso posted:
mpw posted:
Musicraft (Derby) posted:

Or the NAD C325BEE 50w/ch discontinued at £270. No issues over eleven years with 40's MK1 and 40's MK2's

maybe the Topping too ?? 

From the NAP200 and SU2 ‘struggling’ with the SCM40 to NAD’s C325BEE and NAP100 having no issues with it

I once asked ATC and their response was “buy our amps or go active” so we can’t ask the parents 

Can anybody with actual experience with these ‘extremes’ inject some objectivity here? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ATC SiA 150V2 is a 150W amp

that should say a lot about what is required.

mpw posted:
Alonso posted:
mpw posted:
Musicraft (Derby) posted:

Or the NAD C325BEE 50w/ch discontinued at £270. No issues over eleven years with 40's MK1 and 40's MK2's

maybe the Topping too ?? 

From the NAP200 and SU2 ‘struggling’ with the SCM40 to NAD’s C325BEE and NAP100 having no issues with it

I once asked ATC and their response was “buy our amps or go active” so we can’t ask the parents 

Can anybody with actual experience with these ‘extremes’ inject some objectivity here? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ATC SiA 150V2 is a 150W amp

that should say a lot about what is required.

 

Alonso posted:
mpw posted:
Musicraft (Derby) posted:

Or the NAD C325BEE 50w/ch discontinued at £270. No issues over eleven years with 40's MK1 and 40's MK2's

maybe the Topping too ?? 

From the NAP200 and SU2 ‘struggling’ with the SCM40 to NAD’s C325BEE and NAP100 having no issues with it

I once asked ATC and their response was “buy our amps or go active” so we can’t ask the parents 

Can anybody with actual experience with these ‘extremes’ inject some objectivity here? 

I can’t speak for the 40s, but I can the 19s and 12s (earlier model). I found, perhaps unsurprisingly, the musclier the amp, the tighter the bass, other than all Naim amps I tried sound good in their own way with their own amp character passing through, even the Nait XS2... I perhaps found the 200 a little thin with the 19, but the 250.2 sounds glorious in my room. The 40s having more drivers are going to be no doubt somewhat more demanding on amp for control, so I would use at least one of the regulated Naim amps such as the 250... The amp regulation is there for more demanding speakers in terms of control, it not just about the Watts.

 

The ATC SiA 150V2 is a 150W amp

that should say a lot about what is required

 

yeah... but we know that every single manufacturer has its own peculiar way of measuring 'watts' - Naim's monster NAP500 (Statement aside) is 'only' 140W per channel... And the 5i can measure itself against other brand's amp that technically double its output (on paper) so I am not sure we could use that as a an absolute reference. 

I’ve used the SCM40 version 2 with a variety of Naim amps over the years. From 250.2, 300, 300DR and 500DR. In my system, I only managed to get the bass under control with a 500DR. I would say the biggest jump came from 300DR to 500DR. It’s only then when I felt the amp had an iron grip on the 40’s.

I prefer the 500DR/40 combination over active 40s. The bass seems to be punchier with Naim amps compared to actives.

Laxton posted:

I’ve used the SCM40 version 2 with a variety of Naim amps over the years. From 250.2, 300, 300DR and 500DR. In my system, I only managed to get the bass under control with a 500DR. I would say the biggest jump came from 300DR to 500DR. It’s only then when I felt the amp had an iron grip on the 40’s.

I prefer the 500DR/40 combination over active 40s. The bass seems to be punchier with Naim amps compared to actives.

But price differential between the 40 active and the 500dr is big!!

leni v posted:

Dont like the tri amp speaker conectors of the 40's,does atc have a good solution or are we supposed to strugle with all kind of f connections.

I have removed the horrid ATC binding posts and replaced with one set of quality WBT units, ie only one pair per speaker. The improvement is beyond what anyone would expect. For £150 and a couple of hours, which is totally reversible, is a no brainer.

Laxton posted:

I’ve used the SCM40 version 2 with a variety of Naim amps over the years. From 250.2, 300, 300DR and 500DR. In my system, I only managed to get the bass under control with a 500DR. I would say the biggest jump came from 300DR to 500DR. It’s only then when I felt the amp had an iron grip on the 40’s.

I prefer the 500DR/40 combination over active 40s. The bass seems to be punchier with Naim amps compared to actives.

makes sense, the 500 DR amp is a lot superior than the ATC amp packs attached to the SCM 40 A

Contrary to most, I found the 40 performed better with a 300 compared to 300DR. In any case, the limiting factor in the 40 is its mediocre crossover. It doesn’t really allow the qualities of higher end upgrades to shine through. Perhaps that’s the reason why the active 40 sounds so much better than passive . If ATC improved the crossover in the passive version, then perhaps the differences between the active and passive versions will be less pronounced.

This is getting a bit petty....

Laxton posted:

..., the limiting factor in the 40 is its mediocre crossover. It doesn’t really allow the qualities of higher end upgrades to shine through..

This is fascinating and certainly a view I had not heard before.  I am not an acoustic/electronic engineer so would you mind explaining in layman terms in what ways the crossover in the SCM40 is mediocre? Also, When you took out the crossover out for testing, what did your measurements show and what were your performance benchmarks in terms of specification and design? I am sorry to ask so many questions but I am genuinely curious  

I comment per se, but the latest SCM40 had a significantly improved and carefully optimised crossover and I certainly wouldn’t call it mediocre... it has provided a big performance boost compared to earlier versions of the SCM40 crossover... and as a result are an easier load for the amp to drive and are very much more resolving and subtly transient.

However all passive crossovers will get in the way and distort the signal... and this increases with the more different frequency range transducers your speaker has... passive crossovers are an inherent weakness in passive speaker sets and will ultimately limit the performance no matter how good the amp is...  given the horrible complexity of a multiway speaker and speaker cable passive load on an amp, I am amazed how good passive multiway speakers can sound, but can also really easily understand how matched actives can often sound so much better, especially at higher powers and higher number of drivers.

I've used SN2 to SCM40 for ~three years now. The combo works well but you do need HiCap DR or some other PSU for SN2 to make it work. I've only once tried the bare SN2 to SCM40 and the result was horrible. Loose bass and great loss of control in the sound. So consider this when auditioning. My room is around 20m2. I first used HiCap DR with mine but lately an aftermarket PSU. Slightly different results but both PSU's work well. Even though SN2 + PSU drives SCM40 surprisingly well, every now and then I do have this feeling that the speakers would benefit from beefier amp. I use Naim DAC + PSU as source and have thought about 272 + 250DR but I think 272 can't come even near the Naim DAC with sound quality. I've not done the comparison though but I did own NDX at one point. NDX lost with clear margin already. So that's why I'm sticking with Naim DAC + SN2 combo. More probable move might be the change of speakers or active ATC's but with active route there's still the problem of which Naim source + pre combo could I get without the need of winning in a lottery.

 

Foxman50 posted:
leni v posted:

Dont like the tri amp speaker conectors of the 40's,does atc have a good solution or are we supposed to strugle with all kind of f connections.

I have removed the horrid ATC binding posts and replaced with one set of quality WBT units, ie only one pair per speaker. The improvement is beyond what anyone would expect. For £150 and a couple of hours, which is totally reversible, is a no brainer.

Could you tell more about the process? I'm interested. I hate the three-way binding posts. I've made short cuts of NACA5 for jumpers and I connect the speaker cable to the middle posts. Sound quality differs when you connect the speaker cables to high or low posts, middle has the best balance (unsurprisingly). 

 

Alonso posted:

This is getting a bit petty....

Laxton posted:

..., the limiting factor in the 40 is its mediocre crossover. It doesn’t really allow the qualities of higher end upgrades to shine through..

This is fascinating and certainly a view I had not heard before.  I am not an acoustic/electronic engineer so would you mind explaining in layman terms in what ways the crossover in the SCM40 is mediocre? Also, When you took out the crossover out for testing, what did your measurements show and what were your performance benchmarks in terms of specification and design? I am sorry to ask so many questions but I am genuinely curious  

Having gone through a variety of Naim amps with the 40s, they don’t exhibit significant improvements when moving up the ladder - it seems to be chocking the performance of the higher end amplifiers especially DR. Assuming the ATC drive units are capable performers, the other remaining factor that’s different from the active is the passive crossover.

In any case, I’ve sold the 40s as I found them severely limiting in my system. My point is if you audition ATCs and feel that the sonic signature works for you, then go for it - it’s quite a different presentation to the typical Naim sound. Bigger ATCs such as the 100s sound great, but they lack the live magic that Naim offers with the right speakers.

analogmusic posted:

Thanks Laxton for your post

I’ve now removed ATC from my list of speakers to demo

Wouldn't it be wiser to use your own ear's before making a decision like that? 

There again you do generally appear to make comments based on technical spec, price and plagiarised comment from people like Rob Watts to name just one of many, rather than actual personal experience.

I used the 40's and 250DR with wonderful results before moving on to the active version. A very highly regarded dealer in the UK sells more 40's and 40A's than anything else from a very wide range of excellent speakers. A good number of customers being Naim owners.

 

 

there's no chance to audition ATC where I live.

I would have to spend my hard earned cash to travel to hear ATC, and I can't be bothered to after reading Laxton's view.

I've long experienced that passive speakers with very good drivers and minimalist crossovers can rival active speakers - and I'm not a fan of the amp packs attached to active speakers. Imagine all the vibration and aggravation from the speakers reaching the sensitive electronics in an amplifier attached to the cabinet!  Blimey !

If going active, I would do it the Naim way - but with a number of excellent passive speakers I've heard from Sonus Faber, Dynaudio, and even B&W - It isn't required to enjoy music. 

Having heard Dynaudio active vs passive speakers, in a Dynaudio speaker at least the crossover isn't the limiting factor as they sound actually remarkably similar. 

for me the end of interest in a component - but especially a speaker, is to read that it isn't capable of showing the progression in Naim amplifiers.  

Oh and about Rob watts - I own 2 Chord Dacs including a Chord Dave... so not sure what you're trying to tell me.  

analogmusic posted:

there's no chance to audition ATC where I live.

I would have to spend my hard earned cash to travel to hear ATC, and I can't be bothered to after reading Laxton's view.

I've long experienced that passive speakers with very good drivers and minimalist crossovers can rival active speakers - and I'm not a fan of the amp packs attached to active speakers. Imagine all the vibration and aggravation from the speakers reaching the sensitive electronics in an amplifier attached to the cabinet!  Blimey !

If going active, I would do it the Naim way - but with a number of excellent passive speakers I've heard from Sonus Faber, Dynaudio, and even B&W - It isn't required to enjoy music. 

Having heard Dynaudio active vs passive speakers, in a Dynaudio speaker at least the crossover isn't the limiting factor as they sound actually remarkably similar. 

for me the end of interest in a component - but especially a speaker, is to read that it isn't capable of showing the progression in Naim amplifiers.  

Oh and about Rob watts - I own 2 Chord Dacs including a Chord Dave... so not sure what you're trying to tell me.  

So not on your demo list anyway, and a meaningless decision/comment based on Laxtons view? Completely bizarre!!

Plagiarise - take (the work or an idea of someone else) and pass it off as one's own.

Patu posted:

I've used SN2 to SCM40 for ~three years now. The combo works well but you do need HiCap DR or some other PSU for SN2 to make it work. I've only once tried the bare SN2 to SCM40 and the result was horrible. Loose bass and great loss of control in the sound. So consider this when auditioning. My room is around 20m2. I first used HiCap DR with mine but lately an aftermarket PSU. Slightly different results but both PSU's work well. Even though SN2 + PSU drives SCM40 surprisingly well, every now and then I do have this feeling that the speakers would benefit from beefier amp. I use Naim DAC + PSU as source and have thought about 272 + 250DR but I think 272 can't come even near the Naim DAC with sound quality. I've not done the comparison though but I did own NDX at one point. NDX lost with clear margin already. So that's why I'm sticking with Naim DAC + SN2 combo. More probable move might be the change of speakers or active ATC's but with active route there's still the problem of which Naim source + pre combo could I get without the need of winning in a lottery.

 

Foxman50 posted:
leni v posted:

Dont like the tri amp speaker conectors of the 40's,does atc have a good solution or are we supposed to strugle with all kind of f connections.

I have removed the horrid ATC binding posts and replaced with one set of quality WBT units, ie only one pair per speaker. The improvement is beyond what anyone would expect. For £150 and a couple of hours, which is totally reversible, is a no brainer.

Could you tell more about the process? I'm interested. I hate the three-way binding posts. I've made short cuts of NACA5 for jumpers and I connect the speaker cable to the middle posts. Sound quality differs when you connect the speaker cables to high or low posts, middle has the best balance (unsurprisingly). 

 

Patu

have a look at this thread, hopefully works, a couple of posts in i detail what i did and reasons why. Its really easy and easy to test.

https://forums.naimaudio.com/to...active-or-not?page=1

Regards

Ali, I agree with most of the others here... the SCM40 in its latest incarnation is a fantastic speaker and sounds superb  with a pair of them on the end of a NAP S1... if you have the space do try and listen some how. ATCs have great global following, but primarily through the music recording industry.. that may be a way of getting to hear them... rather than a ‘hifi’ retailer.

 if you have less space the 19s are peachy. One thing you get with ATC is a wonderful grin inducing transparency that is very dependent on the underlying electronics... it compliments Naim wonderfully if you like those clean transparent presentations that gets you closer to how the engineer mixed and mastered the recording.

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