250nc and atc 50 passive

I m start thinking about this combo and i really app reciate experience and opinion. My dovuto is a out the current meeting of the 50 and the power capabilities of the 250nc

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If you’re thinking of that combo, you really should also consider active SCM50s, perhaps ATC’s most iconic speaker. The actives will probably be cheaper and sound better (at least to me). OK, I confess I’ve not compared active 50s with passives with NC250, I doubt many have, but I have compared SCM40s in active and passive forms, the latter driven by a 250DR and much preferred the actives. I felt a 300DR was needed to be competitive, but the actives were still ahead to my ears.

Active or passive, that’s a very revealing system and will need a very good front end and preamp to really make the most of it. I’d be looking to the new 300 series or something of comparable quality.



thanks Roger, I agree with you in any part, however I ve a logistic constraint with the active ones because of their weight and I ve to think about the passive one and this is why I m asking if the 250 can drive them

My dealer has the new Naim boxes set up with passive ATC50’s in his demo room

Having had 50’s before I bet they are a superb match, will go and have a listen when I get some time.

In my room the actives outperformed passives (with a nap300DR) by some margin….


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I think you would really need the 350 to drive them. The 250 is a great match with the 40s but would run out of steam with the 50s in my opinion. The 50s really come to life with a 500 and having heard the 350 into 40s I think this would definitely be a good match with the 50s.

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Choosing a system based on weight is an interesting approach. A passive SCM50 weighs 41.1kg. The active version weighs 48.9kg. That’s 7.8kg more, or 15.6kg for the pair. A NAP250 weighs 16.8kg, so the passive solution is 1.2kg heavier. Given that the 250 isn’t enough, a 300 or 350 pair will weigh even more. So based on both weight and performance, the active version wins the day.


I really would like to hear more about this. So many people say that the actives are better, but a naim power amp is no ordinary amp. It will be vastly superior to the amps from atc even though there are 3 of them. I have active DBL’s so would always prefer active, but I think prat will suffer without the naim XO and amps. It may be better to go passive these days with naim, especially since I like the way ATC speakers are voiced compared to Focal.

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There is debate about which route is best to go with ATC speakers, active or passive with Naim amps. Personally, I prefer the Naim amp route. Is it better or worse, not really, just different? Listen and make your choice is my advice.

With the ATC actives, it’s not just the independent power amplifiers per driver but also the active filters that tune the the cross over frequencies, the roll off, phase, gain etc. that make these so good. Seeing these being “tuned” not just to match the the three drivers in the cabinet but also between the the pair of seekers was very impressive in my factory tour.
I have 50 actives being driven by a 222 and they are sublime! If that is not good enough then maybe add a 300?

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I didnt give you the details, I m not choosing because of the weight but I ve to suspend them, the lighter the better.
However 350w amp in less than 8kg with a massive transformer is a miracle

Thank you gary.
I m sure that active are better than passive but it was because of some constraint that i was thinking to passive.
Can you please let me know how it works with 250nc because I feel that in terms of current and power the nc is more capable than 300dr

By suspend, do you mean hanging them from the ceiling?

I mean to fix on a wall

Don’t forget the passive crossovers are massive, heavy and add a significant amount of cost.

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The Pro version of these are often set from the wall in recording studios. Suggest you talk to the nice people at ATC, you will probably find them very helpful.

Thank you Paul

I m not concerned about the speaker but about my wall, it is a living room and i ve to survive with my wife

I can’t help with making the speakers any smaller but the key is to spread the load over as large an ares as possible. Even a thin partition wall will support a significant load.

Listen and decide for yourself. I much preferred SCM40 and 50 powered by a 300DR to active. Whether the extra power from the NC250 brings further benefits, or whether the 2-box design of the NAP300 would still be better, I wouldn’t know.

How about considering that the prime challenge for a normal power amplifier is not to drive the speaker coils but the passive crossovers via an undefined speaker cable with all of their complex impedance?

It’s my understanding that the speakers need a considerable distance from the wall behind, so I’m not sure wall mounting would actually work. Why not just get stands, or a floor standing speaker?