Atc smc40


I am soon to audition the D20r’s in a little speaker shootout and for some reason I really wanted the Proac’s to win but now you’ve turned my head a bit with these RAM30’s, especially in the walnut finish! Would you say they are easily superior to the D20R’s?


I’m going to do this same comparison very soon. My local ATC dealer finally got a demo pair of SCM19A and at some point I get them for home audition. I currently use SCM40 passive driven by SN2 + upgrade PSU. This combo works great also but I’m eager to hear how ATC’s own amplification improves things. Probably going to borrow 272 to drive them or maybe even the new NDX2 as I just learned it can be used with variable output.

Can you tell more about your comparison of passive SCM40 vs active 19. Was there a clear difference on bass extension in favor for SCM40? My biggest fear is that the 19A can’t go nearly as deep as SCM40(?) I’ve got so used to the great bass performance of SCM40 after listening to them since 2014. How about the midrange? SCM40 has the dedicated midrange driver while 19A has integrated midrange and bass driver.

Someone wrote earlier that SCM40 is too clinical/bright/analytical but that’s not how I hear it. I’ve had various configurations in front of them in these 4,5 years I’ve owned them and yes, you can make them sound too bright and analytical with wrong equipment but with proper system matching they produce transparent, very fast and simply beautiful sound. They don’t sound like studio monitors IMO.


The 40 has attenuates less in the deep bass compared to the 19… however the key thing is the room… I listen in a smallish room 8x 3.5 metres, and I feel below around 60 Hz, where the speaker free space response starts to attenuate, the room adds reinforcement to my 19s…and so comes across as full bodied and deep… great with orchestral, jazz and EDM, yet it remains tight with no boom or bloat… what you don’t get is that subsonic air movement around 25 Hz or lower… however there is not much musical info down there, that is more about atmosphere, and also modern mastered music is often deliberately filtered off around there as well to help with punch, pace and compression.


Compared to my pmc twenty 21’s the ATC SCM 40’s are not bright. If anything I think they are a little rolled off in the hi’s and lack a little sparkle


Yes, that distortion sparkle is very evident in my experience with some of the PMCs (I wrote about this on the previous forum)…and that gets in the way with me for some vocal and choral recordings where unnatural sibilence can creep in (most noticeable to me on Statement amplification) . no such issue in my experience with ATCs … where it’s more honest… it will tend to sparkle if in the recording but otherwise not…


Simon, most would call that an average medium size room, imo a nice size.

Are you suggesting the SCM40 benefits from larger room size?


I actually also come from PMC. I had 20.23 before the ATC’s. There’s simply no competition between these two models. ATC destroyed them in the demo and soon I had a pair ordered. PMC is much smaller speaker but what surprised me, ATC was still faster and more agile sounding than PMC.


Debs, absolutely the 40s in my opinion are more suited to larger rooms, ie larger than my room I would say…yes hard to gauge what constitutes a small or large room.
I have found many floor standers difficult in my room.


I’ve read a lot of good stuff about the 40s, but then again some say the bass can be too much, so this room-speaker compatibility issue is probably why peoples listening experience findings and opinions vary so much.

And, although we are all aware about the wisdom of home demo being a must [ or should be ] these forum musings are imo very beneficial for a feasibility study for the effort of having a home demo - and not to purchase on impulse.

At least the 19s are a more manageable weight for one to muscle into the placement position, and if they’re not up to the job they are easier on the biceps to muscle back out again ; )

Apologies for the slight thread hijack, but i think it’s interesting to weigh up alternatives that maybe more appropriate in a given circumstance.



Have you tried Jean-Marie Reynaud speakers?

I have a pair of JMR Abscisse (v1).

These speaker are 2,5 way speakers, have small drivers (13 cm) and a ribbon tweeter.

These speakers are fast, very fast and provide great level of details (not very forgiving).The mediums and highs are amazing, and low frequencies are tight and informative (not boomy at all). They are perfect for small rooms (< 35m2).

I never heard the ATC SMC19 but read a lot about them, in particular your descriptions.

I’ll probably try a pair of them and compare them with the Abscisse.

Considering the descriptions of your tastes regarding speakers and how music should be reproduced, you definitively should try a pair of these if you have the opportunity.


Agree about the lack of ease of home demoing speakers…but arguably the most important component to hone demo… even though as you say the 19 is more manageable, they are still just under 18kgs per speaker…


Hi Thomas, no I have never tried, let alone heard of those speakers unfortunately…


When I had my passive 19’s my room was pretty much the same size as Simon’s and they worked a treat , since my renovations my room became almost twice the size so it felt right to try the 40’s and thankfully they feel just right .


I’m thinking of getting a pair of 40s, and wonder, firstly, would my Supernait 2 be powerful enough, and what experience do people have of room positioning? Anyone using them for classical music? Comments and advice welcome please!

I heard the 40s in a dealer demo room and didn’t think the base was especially pronounced. It was used with a 282 and 300DR and ND5XS 2.


Just found out how to quote on the new forum :wink:

In my challenged listening room yes the RAM30’s are very much better. Saying that the RAM speakers and a bit more money and, when I listened to the D20R’s in the listening room of the dealer they sounded much better. I think they just don’t like my room.


If you try the atc scm19 , i would also recommend adding the atc 19 actives to the mix.
With the right source , and the right preamp , those speakers just disappear and you are left
with the musicians in the room


People seem to worry about the room size with SCM40. I live in a single room apartment and the listening room size is about 21 m2. The wall which has my setup is 4,4 meters (5,6 meters if you count the space for my bed) and the room depth varies but is 3,8-4,9 meters. So the space is rather small. I don’t feel SCM40 is too big for this space. Closed enclosure makes them easy to fit in small spaces. I have them only ~20cm from rear wall and tilted maybe about 15 degrees towards listening spot. To the spot they sound perfect but of course the bass gets boomy in the corners and close to the walls in the room. I’ve had many people here audition the system and nobody has felt too much bass.


I use them with SN2 + PSU. Without PSU, SN2 is not enough. This is my honest opinion. I once tried to unplug HiCap DR and the result was horrible. Lost all control and the sound got loose and sluggish. Not using HCDR anymore but I still have PSU connected to SN2. But with PSU, SN2 does very good job. Of course ATC’s love power so with more powerful poweramp they’d probably sing even better. I don’t listen to classical music much so no comments on that.


One problem is that when people talk about rooms as being small or large or whatever different people have different concepts as to what constitutes small or large. The room quoted above in the UK It’s likely to be considered by many people to be at least medium to large for a lounge - and even in that statement there is a range!


Auditioning the SCM19’s active version would indeed be a good idea. But I rather like the way the 300DR renders music. Keeping passive also allows a certain degree of latitude regarding the choice of speakers and the possibility to go for a 500DR (or not).

The JMR Abscisse are amazing speakers regardless of their price range. The SCM19’s seem to be great speakers too even if their price is half the cost a pair of Abscisse.

Unfortunately it seems that JMR is not a popular brand in the UK (or anglosaxon world).

I should start a thread on the french forum, so we could discuss this a little further.