ATC SMC40 v2 passive with NAP 250 70-watt?

Does anyone have experience with this combination? I have a 1985 vintage NAP 250, recently recapped and am buying these passive ATCs. The older 250s were rated at 70 Watts. Newer ones are 80. Seventy watts is at the very bottom end of the power requirements for these passive speakers.

On the off chance someone has experience with this pairing, could you please tell me whether a gutsier amp will be required?

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NAP 250 DR, NAP 300 DR and NAP 500 DR are gutsier amplifiers and ultimately will with all things being equal grip, drive and energise SCM40 v2’s more effectively at almost any comparable level.

As long as you’re not after constant disco like listening levels than the NAP 250 is more than capable of powering SCM40 v2’s :+1:


Thank you! What a relief.

Alas my disco daze are behind me but the lovely ladies say my wide lapels and bell bottom sweatpants are SNAZZY as ever! ! :man_dancing:t4:

If you find an old (Chrome bumper or Olive) 250 is struggling the newer black 250.2 should cope better, and the current 250DR better again.

Curious how you get on with this pairing. Please keep us updated on how you get on with the combo.

Thank you for your interest OliveAmps.

I currently have:

NAC 82
NAP 250
Original Kans
Original CDX (best ever)
Cambridge Audio 851N Azur Network Streamer (marvelous too)

and will be going to:
NAC 252 (10 days hence?)
Supercap ibid
NAP 250
ATC SMC40 v2 ibid
LP 12
CA 851N Azur

That’s a great system you’re building there. My one reservation would be that if streaming sound quality is at all important it should come as no surprise that using a £1200 source into a £17,000 amp with very revealing speakers is hardly a good balance, great though your CA streamer is for its price.

Few years ago I had SN2 + HCDR driving 40’s. It was ok but only after upgrading to active 40’s, did I realize how underpowered it was. You really need a lot of juice to drive 40’s to their true potential.


I don’t really know enough about this hobby but I was warned against, by my dealer, considering SCM 40s passive for my Rega Aethos. The Aethos, on paper is more powerful than the 70 watts you are considering. I know its not all about watts but I wanted to upgrade from my SCM 19s and in auditions I went for Harbeth SHL5+ XDs which are sublime with my Aethos.

The 19s didn’t work well enough with my 2nd system which is a Uniti Star so I have added an ATC P1 power amp. Now the 19s sing

The 250DR works really well with the SCM40 Mk2 speakers to my ear. Plenty of oomph, no downsides unless you want to lift the 40s, then they are a tad heavy. I can’t see an older 250 struggling.

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An old 250 is not the same as a 250DR or 250.2 and can struggle with some speakers that the newer amps are able to drive comfortably.

There are reviews of the ATC’s available online, and one in particular, written by Jonathan Gorse, may be of interest, as he is reviewing the 40s in in a 33’x14’ room using his 82/hicap/250 system.

If you are set on the ATC’s, the only way to see if the 250 is up to the job is try them in your room at the volume levels you prefer.

Home demo is king! In my room the active 40’s sounded better than passives driven by a 300 and by some margin too.


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I ran my SCM 40s with my Superuniti for quite a while, it was just fine.
Ultimately greed got the better of me.

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As far as I know, SCM40s are pretty easy to drive.

I’ve recently bought SCM40’s and am running them through a 200 (70w), sounds great (although waiting for a 250 DR to arrive)

Thank you Musky!! Would you be so kind as to let me know what happens when you get your DR? Pretty please?

It’s hard to do an A/B comparison when you don’t know what the B is. How do I know what I’m missing when I don’t know what I’m missing?

At least I don’t have to buy that used Levenson mono-block dual Class A amp. ;>)

Hi Farthings. I should think 40A’s would sound better than passives in virtually any situation, regardless of setting, no? This is my first go with ATCs…

Yes, compared to the older models they are not so demanding, although when I had the SCM40s on my shortlist my dealer suggested I should wait until I upgraded my 200DR to a 250DR first.

I thought this may have been the case, but I listened to the SCM40s and 50s active and powered by a 300DR, and in both cases I preferred them with the 300DR. Of course it could be different with “only” a 250DR!