They have arrived, set up and warming them up for 24h before a serious listen.

Excited !!!


Congratulations and enjoy!

I love natural cherry when it’s factory fresh before the sun darkens it.

Wonderful, how exciting!! Do let us know what they sound like, I really fancy getting a pair exactly like yours!


Do you not love it when it darkens with age?

I haven’t knowingly seen factory fresh cherry, but I think aged cherry is a gorgeous rich colour.

I actually prefer it lighter.

My Harbeth’s are light on one side and dark on the other where the sun hits them. I noticed a difference after only a few months.

Congrats, Seadog,
I also look forward to reading your comments on how the ATC40A get along with the type of music you listen to, but mostly with rock and heavy metal. Enjoy, Vik

Cheers !!!
Yes, some run in to do with them. Apparently just the amp. pack mostly, as the drive units get a “stress test” in the factory and are close to full break in on leaving the factory. But yes, I expect the them to take a few hours to come on song, I guess being brand new and all that.

Put them on Isoacoustic feet already:

  1. Brought them up a bit higher so the midrange is at ear height.
  2. The supplied spike set is very, very average and getting them level was impossible, the Isoacoustics threads were much better in matching correct height.

I’ll get another Naim PowerCord soon and use the one from my sold 300DR and this will give another “quality bump” to them.

Not sure about the Flashback cables yet, they did get me started and I’ll keep them as a spare set. But I am looking at the Chord Shawline DIN to XLR soon as well I think, for another little “quality bump” for not much.

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For the past couple of days I have had my dealer’s dem pair of SCM40As in my lounge. Reaction? All I can say is that these are truly wonderful speakers for all genres. When the system was first powered up yesterday I really did have one of those “wow” moments. Having heard them at the dealers, I was worried that their sound might be too boomy for my modestly-sized lounge, but if anything they sounded even better than in the dealer’s larger dem room. My musical preferences are almost the complete opposite of Seadog’s with over 80% of my listening acoustic music: classical, jazz, folk etc, but my conclusion is the same, particularly as regards their clarity and immediacy. One thing that has surprised me is how well these relatively large speakers with over 240w of amp power up ‘em handle delicate musical passages where you might expect a big amp/speaker combination to be ponderous and heavy. They are also extremely good at layering orchestral music so you can hear both the overall weight of the orchestra as well as listening in to details hidden well down in the mix. I have just played Richard Strauss’ late oboe concerto, a piece I love, but my (highly recommended) recording of it has always come across as a bit heavy and faintly disappointing. Suddenly there is a lightness and transparency that I had not experienced before and as a result the shivers down the spine were much in evidence.

Looking for negatives, I guess the only things one could say are that, if the source material is poor, these speakers will not cover up the deficiencies and it is true that they really come alive at a fairly realistic volume, which is not to say that they are not still enjoyable at a lower setting.

For my musical tastes and listening environment these are ideal and it looks like I will be ordering a pair tomorrow.



SCM40A are fantastic speakers but don’t dispel the passives.

The passives also sound superb having a very similar sound signature to the actives. I have listened to both in my room and to me the differences were not night and day.

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Nice :sunglasses:

Interesting! At my dealers I have spent some time comparing both 19s and 40s in both active and passive form. In both cases I preferred the active versions, in the case of the 40s by a significant margin. The passives were driven by a 250DR and I notice that your power amps are rather more powerful, at least on paper. Perhaps this accounts for our different perceptions of the relative SQ of the two models. I have also heard the passive 40s singing on the end of a 300DR so it could be that a degree of oomph is required to get the best from them; some of the reviews certainly seem to suggest this.

Anyway the die is cast; I have ordered the 40As along with Auralic Vega G2. Now I just have to cope with waiting a few weeks for the goodies to arrive.


Congratulations Roger, great choice.

I actually had ATC P1 driving the passive 40 and it sounded fantastic. I never compared side by side at the same time.

With both active and passive sound quality was sublime.

Trying to dial these in “just right” in regards to toe in and back wall distance. My room is a bit difficult, 10m x 4m but set up along the long wall firing across the 4m width and all set up in the left 1/2 side of the room - long wall.

I love the sound, just trying to wring the last drop out of them. Added 2x PowerCord cables to them and this added more bass depth and punch. Anyone have them toed in or firing right ahead and what worked better ? I have them 37cm back of speaker to wall behind them, with the Gaia2 feet they are “very” hard to move in out easily. Anyone find closer than 37cm work well ? I know the magic distance is when bass is deep and detailed - but not at the expence of the overall soundstage and/or a diffused midrange etc.

Waiting on my n-SUB to be repaired and I’ll try to see if this will add or mess up the balance of these.

In my experience of atc toe in is always good. My 11’s are set so tweeter crosses just behind my head and I reckon you could move them back a bit

I had mine about 40cm from the rear and at least 90cm from the side with moderate toe in. The more toe in, the more high frequency balance I’d hear.

I had them on speaker spike shoes on granite slabs laid on carpet.

Ultimately I was never able to tame the bass in my room. I did try Gaia2 but didn’t hear any noticeable difference.


Hi Seadog,

Just wondering how the new system is sounding?


Hi Django,

Some thoughts on my 40A:

Since Feb, this year I have gone from n-DAC / 555 / 252,SC2DR/ 300DR SL speaker and amp. cables / ProAcD48R (also a Spendor D9 for 3 months).

Then pretty quickly onto a NDS/555 (DR and recapping also upgraded in this period) 252,SC2DR / ATCSCM40A with Flashback DIN to XLR cables with naim Powerlines on the speakers.

So my reference point to go from in describing the upgrade to the 40A is very sketchy unfortunately - simply due to this massive turnover of gear. But I will try as best I can to describe what I am hearing,

They have about 100 hours run in on them. So just about fully run I guess.

I’ll get the few negatives out of the way first.

As mentioned almost everywhere, low volume listening is not really their strong suit , they are OK, but my previous 300/D9, D48R did much better. However they are very engaging and upfront in the way they deliver music. I would say even a bit in your face - take no prisoners - in the way it plays. Straight up rock really , really is “full on” and the drive is amazing - it is so very propulsive. So that’s ether a negative or a positive - depending on my mood at the time as I dive into a listen session. Not really a sleepy and relaxing take on music, but I do not expect or want this anyway - as my music is 80% rock, pop, hard rock.

But to be fair it never really grates on your nerves and it does not have the annoying hard edge that the D9 had at extreme loudness most of the time and it drive me nuts because of it,

That’s about my only negative take on them thus far. I am tinkering with a Ethernet switch and cables soon to be delivered and I have booked my SC2DR in for a recapping , so that will change things up again a bit again.

Positive -
Very , very fast and engaging - it is off the chart good. The 40A beats (just) the 300DR, D9 for speed and pure engagement of pop & rock and heavy rock music. It’s like the music is just “there” in terms of being immediate and the instant on/off of the music leading edge and decay as well as the drive and propulsion and what it is trying to convey to the listener. Very hard to describe this part of the speakers, performance, I have never had active speakers before and I “think” this describes, to a certain degree, what the active crossover filters and active amplifiers on each individual speaker driver is doing (or my interpretation on what I am hearing it do).

Instant start/stop of notes and the bass drive is crazy good, same for the decay of music , the very end of a song - for instance - where it fades to nothing is the best I have ever had in my room.

They will go insanely loud - but without compression or any uncomfortable edge. They just go louder and louder without strain until I back off the volume or the fuse or the inbuilt thermal overload protection gets activated I assume (however I have never been game enough to test that bit) Brilliant in that way,

The most pleasing aspect of the 40A for me is it appears to play music a “whole package” in the way it plays music. In a sense that the music is never exaggerated or false. The top to bottom coherence and even handed way it plays music is the best I have ever had in my home. Nothing fazes them, treble, midrange and bass is handled so evenly they nothing is “spotlighted”. Deep bass on my D48R was (in my room anyway) exaggerated and far too much bloom and a bit loose too, In hindsight, It just drowned out the midrange to some extent. The upper midrange/lower treble on the D9 was far too prominent in my room , it was just annoying and it fatigued me on long listening sessions.

Very, very deep bass (under the 30 Hz or so range I guess) is missing, but it does not really bother me at all. What bass I do have with the 40A is so very tuneful along with the best bass definition and a very immediate and punchy bass drive I have ever had. I simply don’t care it is not real full range or has subwoofer type slam.

I’ll see how my SC2 recapping and other few tweaks go.

However if I was super picky about the shortfalls of the 40A then I would say they don’t really peer deep into a recording like my D48R/ 300DR did with the ribbon tweeter. That last drop of resolution and last drop of detail retrieval is perhaps missing with the 40A. Also the 300DR really is a magnificent amplifier it really is the best bang for your buck amp. that naim has and I do miss it.

So as I said in the beginning, my reference point is cloudy because if my huge turn over of gear since Feb. and I suspect that I may prefer the n-DAC with some music or on some vocal pieces than the NDS. But as a total overall product, the NDS is a bit better overall ( I think…)

But the 40A is an amazing product and an absolute bargain for what you get vs the price I paid.


Superb write up there… you’ll find that 3- 400 hrs they will really loosen up and the bass gets better and treble sweeter, at least that’s my experience with all the passive atc’s I’ve had… enjoy and I’m proper envious of the set up you have!

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was wondering size of your room.Forgive me if it is stated earlier in the thread.
Do you think ATC active 50s or 100s would give you the same sound signature in an appropriately sized room? Mine is 28 X 17 feet with vaulted ceiling.

Ooohhh…what a dilemma (or trilemma). Go up the Naim power amp hierarchy and upgrade passive speakers, or go ATC active. Or indeed go Kudos passive and then active with the same (Kudos) speakers (and Kudos SNAXO plus extra Naim NAP).

Almost impossible to make an informed decision.

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