Atc smc40

Currently auditioning the RAM30 speakers from Falcon and they are brilliant. I thought my D20Rs were good but the RAM30s simply blow them away. Bass is far better controlled… I can hear notes now in the lower bass. Also increased detail in the whole range… the clarity on vocals is eerily superb. When we (AD came round to set them up) were playing around with them even SWMBO came into the room and praised them (that’s good because it helps soften the price).

However another suggesting that’s been made are the ATC SMA40… any user feedback or advice please?

Amazing speakers, if you can afford SCM50ASLT it will be even better - in any case they will stay forever I think.

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I switched from PMC 20-21’s to ATC SCM40’s primarily because having auditioned many other speakers I kept coming back to the sound of the great mid range unit in the 40’s and the punchy bass. They seem to need a fair bit of power to bring them alive, but a demo using a 250DR sounded fine to me.
I will say that I miss the sparkle of the PMC treble a bit and the quantity of the bass can over power my room (6x3.5) when at volume on some tracks.
Do take a home demo if you can.
I have heard the 50’s too, they were staggering, but probably too big for my place. :0)

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I understand what you say about the D20R bass. It’s good, but not the tidiest, and (like any speaker) room dependent. The good of the D20R is their musicality; a very involving speaker.

The ATC are certainly more clinical with tighter bass, but for me to a point where involvement and musicality begins to suffer. Also consider that the Proacs delve deeper into the bass range and ergo may excite more of your room modes. ATCs are great for precision, but if I was to go with them I’d also budget a sub for added warmth. The Proacs might benefit from some bottom-end room treatment to clean up the bass if you haven’t addressed that.

This is a great thread to find, as I was about to creat one about the ATC SCM40 myself. My questions is if I have a 300DR SL full loom, would the SCM40A be worth exploring further or would / should a 300DR be better with SCM40 passive than the active version ?

I’ll be conducting an in depth dealer demo. of both versions very soon, unfortunately with no naim gear as the dealer does not sell naim. So if that progresses well, I’ll take the passive version home for a trial and provide feedback.

Yes, that 3 inch done mud is a superb driver, largely unchanged 30 or 40 years just refined slightly - and the SCM40 is ATC’s lowest model with it (though their lower models incorporate aspects of its design.

PMC used to use it in their higher level products, now having their own clone in the SE and pro range allegedly because ATC ceased supplying them as a competitor. I have PMC EB1i speakers (effectively an extended bass version of the IB2’s predecessor), and to improve the mid I’m now using that ATC driver myself, and loving it! Sadly ATC stopped selling it to the DIY market a couple of years ago, shortly after I bought mine.

Sounds like I’d be stupid not to give them a listen… I do like the RAMs though :wink: The reviews out there of the SCM40’s talk of great detail and I like detail.

Talk of perhaps too much bass worries me a little. Our room is a living/dining room with a step and wide opening between the two. One half is c. 4x5m and the ‘listening’ half about 3.5x4.5 so in aspect it’s a large room but with the split approach it’s perhaps better to think of it as the 3.5x4.5 size… not an easy room.

I might see if the dealer will bring some ATCs for a back-to-back demo.

I have the ATC SCM40 Actives here , they are fabulous speakers . I used to have passive SCM19 powered by a 250DR and this combination was great but after packing everything away during renovations I looked into going Active to reduce box count . I heard ATC 40, 50 and 100 in both Active and Passive configurations . The amps used in Passive set ups were either Naim or ATC . In every instance the Actives blew away the Passives , probably the easiest , clearest demo I’ve had .

The midrange is to die for but I think what immediately hit me was the level of detail and control in the bass . I would have bought the 50 if I had a bit more space and the 100 if even more space …

The Passives are certainly great speakers but I think you’d have to go very high up the amplifier ladder to get close to the Actives IMHO .

These speakers are stayers ( famous last words ) .

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What I can say from my experience, is that I was unable to find a dealer, who had a correct amp for 50s passive, never tried 40s as always wanted 50s. They connected several amps costing 10 -15 K each time, but it always sounded dull and lazy, then after reading many articles about them, I bought finally the active version, blind purchase, brought them home, connected - and WOW!!! Just try the active version if you can before your final decision. Serge

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I heard the SCM50s passive driven by 252/300, and was really impressed with them. Then heard the SCM40A (I think the source was Auralic) and by comparison they sounded pretty dull and lifeless to me, which was a surprise. My dealer is a big fan of the 40s, though. I guess it all goes to show the importance of that often repeated mantra, ‘home demo essential’.

I have a similar listerning room to yours. I’ve demoed the SC40s and D20Rs and eventually went for PMC Fact3s - all great speakers - the Fact3 works best for placement and bass interaction with the room. Sticking with bass, I found the D20Rs bass less articulate than the other two.

Just spoken to the dealer about getting the SMC40s for a home comparison early next week.

Dont forget the little one. The active SCM19A which comes in the same floorstander box as the SCM40. It is still a 19 litre sealed-box, using the upper half. The amps in the bottom half. Being a two-way I think it has a softer more elegant look in a room than he three-way SCM40A. And it looks less weird with the grille than the standmount SCM19.

As an active sealed-box the bass is very tight/controlled and pitchful. Not much below say 40Hz in my room. Compared to the passive standmount SCM19 the active version has more controlled bass, improved and very solid imaging/details and orchestral music sound bigger. It has the same fantastic midrange as the standmount.

It does sound more like a point-source speaker than the SCM40A which has more of a big-speaker sound. I came from 135 amps and very old SBL.s that started to look a bit scruffy. Being active they reduced boxcount by 2. I dont miss the SBL.s that much, which is more than I could say about other speakers I tried.

I demo:ed the SCM40A for many weeks - impressive and I loved them but to bassy for my flat in the city and not as easy-going for low-level night-listening. The money saved going for the SCM19A (compared to the 40A) almost paid in full for the Townshend Seismic Podiums I added with great effect under the SCM19A:s.


Hi mate, where did you manage to find the RAMS to demo? I’ve emailed Falcon but yet to receive an reply, can’t find then anywhere!

I contacted them via their web site over christmas. Got a reply within an hour saying where my local dealer was and they could get a demo pair there within a week! When I said my local naim dealer wasn’t a falcon dealer they said no problem and contacted them instead and arranged it. Took a couple of weeks to sort but now sorted and I’m listening to Brave through them right now!

I spoke to a guy called Mark Alcock at Karma AV. Not sure if I’m allowed to say more on the forum.

They’ve been great and, tbh, this sort of service goes a long way in my mind.

Just had a very enjoyable couple of hours with a dealer demo. of the ATC SCM 40 passive vs the active. Passive was enjoyable, but the active was much clearer, better defined and deeper bass, vocals and the midrange was what impressed me the most. But it was all very coherent and seemed “together” better via the actives as well.

Now I just got to figure out how to get a pair home for an extended evaluation up 2x flights of stairs …
My only real concern is I am pretty sure my 252/300DR and ProAc D48R will be much better and it won’t be a fair comparison. The D48R really do plunge the depths and throw up a massive soundstage but with just enought sweetness in the treble that takes the slight edge my naim set up has in my room. I fear the ATC 40A will be far too “real” and honest in comparison.

I guess I will find out.

Hi Steve, another vote for ATC Active 40’s here! I completely agree with Pete T. I went from passive 19’s to the Active 40’s and after 12 months, I’m still blown away!

The amount of detail, the midrange, and the level of control especially in the bass is incredible. The difference from Passive to Active really has to be heard to be believed. My listening room is approx. 5M x 3.5M and I listen across the width and I have no issues with the bass but obviously a home demo is a must, to ensure they work in your room.

When I researched going Active, I understood the limiting factor with most Passive speakers is the crossover, so no matter what power amp you put before it, it is the Passive crossover that will limit the overall sound quality.

Whatever you decide, please take the opportunity to listen to Active ATC’s if you can, I’m sure you won’t regret it!

I second the active recommendation. I haven’t heard the 40s (I suspect the bass may be just a tad rolled off for my taste - if I was auditioning I’d try the 50s first), but my speaker combination adding the ATC mid that I mentioned in my previous post is actively driven, an active crossover being the only way I could set it up. In the process, when I first removed the passive crossover from the PMC I tried it active, and that improved the sound despite the quality of its passive XO.

I have been an ATC customer longer than I have been a Naim customer and can absolutely recommend them, and there have been many innovations over the years… of note with the newish curved box domestic series, the tweeter is hugely improved, over the earlier none in-house tweeters, and the crossovers significantly improved, so the newer models don’t need as much power to run compared to the earlier models which were power hungry and where the association of ATC and high power amps came from… new models a lot better… a little Nait can drive the new 19s for example.

The other thing with ATCs is neutrality and consequential enhanced emotion you get from them when listening to music with emotion… the conveyed emotion can be so intense ATCs are the only speakers that have moved me to tears or taken me almost into a trance… (with Naim electronics) … but this reality and transparency means you notice imperfections more elsewhere if present… so quality electronics and careful room coupling required.
For example the bass from the 40s can be over powering in smaller to small mid sized rooms, and that is where the 19s would then come in. But get it wrong the other way and the result could sound a little cold and distant.

ATC, along with some others, appreciate the importance of the mid frequencies, that is where much of the communication in music and speech comes from. The 40s have a dedicated mid driver, and the 19s have their famous combined very low distortion mid dome bass driver… a phenomenal unit that is used in their professional and domestic products alike.

So you do need to audition carefully with ATC to ensure optimum room coupling to really experience the magic from ATC speakers.

A word of warning, once hooked on ATC it becomes quite hard / impossible to escape, you keep coming back… I tried to escape to PMC, but came back, the treble in the 25 series just sounded coarse by comparison after a period of time, and the lower mid upper bass from some Harbeth designs sounded flabby and ultimately irritating by comparison… but these other designs I am sure would have sounded superb if I was not used to ATCs


Thanks for all the advice… hopefully the dealer can come round to show them off (and leave them for an extended demo) Tuesday pm.