ATC SCM19 Speaker Review

A nice and detailed review of the ATC SCM19 bookshelf speakers.

If you put those on a book shelf I would ensure it is reinforced and it is extremely deep… they are about 30kg a piece and are large. They are monsters for stand mounts… in fact I don’t think we have any book shelf in our house that is anywhere near large enough or strong enough for the SCM19s. You need to use strong and sturdy stands.

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I guess qualifying these speakers as stand mounts would indeed have been more appropriate/precise :grin:

They look really interesting, especially the midbass drivers.

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They are good, but they are monitor speakers, so at their best in my opinion for near field listening.

Hi everyone, newbie here in this forum. I am keen to find out more about ATC 19/20. My system is Naim 52/135, and room size is 3*5M, wondering if either is a good match and what are the main difference between 19/ 20?

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Hi mkng,

Welcome to the forum.

ATC speakers seem to offer a brilliant price/performance ratio, and are very interesting from a technical perspective.

Unfortunately I have no experience with ATC speakers.

@Simon-in-Suffolk and others could be of some help.

They are interesting examples of a trend in speaker design towards small bass drivers and small enclosures (though, as @Simon-in-Suffolk says, not small mass) but without much compromise in quality. Not too long ago, any speaker that size wouldn’t be good for anything but the most casual/budget purposes, but now several manufacturers seem to be able to laugh in the face of physics and get rather good performance - particularly at the lower-end - from quite tiny boxes and drivers.

That said, I’ve only read reviews and opinions, not heard any in the flesh.

I have always like these speakers … unfortunately my room is just too small … that 800mm stand off means using these in large uk rooms … but they are superb.

I have owned ATC19s and I really like them. The review pretty much covers everything. They are very revealing of the system, setup and also source material. They’re also very fussy on stands and I used open stands which worked well. I know @Simon-in-Suffolk had used open Russ Andrews open wooden stands with success too.

The 19s (and all the models in the range) have the 25mm soft dome tweeter which I found to be very smooth and revealing. The 19s have the SL mid/bass driver unit which gives excellent bass handling down to 54Hz then rolls off. The speaker being a sealed box design is easy to position too, and they’re not too fussy with room placement. I’ve used the 19s in a similar room size to yours (3.5m x 3.5m) so they should work well in your room.

I did find the lack of lower bass below 54Hz to be an issue, and also they are not very forgiving of average/poor recorded material. They do need very good electronics, stands, and source to really shine.

May I ask how does the ATC SCM19s compare to the Marten Duke 2? I almost wanted to try the SCM19s in satin white after I contacted the dealer but eventually bought the Marten.

The Duke 2s are not going anywhere as they sound absolutely brilliant.

Interesting, I’d say! They do have a different presentation and sound of course, with different drive units and the Dukes being rear ported as opposed to the 19 sealed box design.

I’m liking the Duke2s. It’s early days yet as they’re still running in but I’m finding them a little fatiguing to listen to for long periods. Also they‘re not as easy to place in my room being rear ported. I’m trying out different stands with them but I expect I’ll go with open stands (something solid or solid steel). I’ll also try pairing non-Naim amps with them to see if there’s a better match.

I haven’t heard these speakers, but I have the (much older, and not the current) SCM7 and SCM10 speakers - much smaller than the 19s, with different tweeters and mid/bass. But they are very good indeed, very detailed and excellent over the frequency range that they handle. And of course, the bass driver in the legendary Naim DBLs were SCM units, and those were amazing. If I were looking to buy new speakers, I would certainly be listening to various ATM speakers - they really are good.

The main difference between the 19 and 20 is the cabinets , the Classic 20 having more and nicer options . You can get the 20 in the Pro range at a better price but they only come in Black without grills .
I used to have Passive 19’s from a 250DR and really liked that combination for a couple of years. I now have Active 40’s which are wonderful and the same footprint as passive 19’s .
In terms of finish I much prefer the Satin Black over my previous Black Ash .

Thanks for the prompt response. I’ll keep it short since this is an ATC thread. The Marten Duke 2s are highly revealing speakers which will highlight any small faults or warts with the system, especially brightness which causes listening fatigue. As you might have known, the 282/HCDR/250DR gave me exactly this and the L-590AXII resolved the problem. If you are trying the Luxman L-509X or L-590AXII (especially the latter) with the Marten, pay attention to the cables as well. The Luxman is very sensitive to cabling and the Marten will reveal every small little changes.

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Hi all

I have been using the ATC 11’s for a while now & can confirm that they are not ‘forgiving’ of lower standard recordings, but that doesn’t mean they are unlistenable. I will say that feeding them with the right speaker cable is a must, I’ve tried Linn K20 &, what I currently have; Chord Shawline, but I’d like to try Naim & Witch hat cables at some point.
If set up properly ATC’s are excellent speakers, especially at their price point.

Hi - I am thinking of doing the same - can you give me some views of your experiences with this move both good and not so good?

curved passive SCM19’s are nearly 18kg a piece.

cabinets for curved SCM19’s and all Entry Series are from the far east. SCM20’s cabinets are from the UK, higher quality finishes and the SCM20’s incorporate the Super SH25-76 HF unit v SH25-76 used in SCM19’s and all the Entry Series.

My error then … My 19s feel like 30 Kg to me :grinning:

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Anyone else think ATC’s latest grilles look a bit too much like fishnet stockings for comfort?

Just me, then? I’ll get my coat.