Atc smc40


What sort of cables are you using between 272 and the Active ATCs? Can you go from single ended RCA to balanced XLR?


I use really basic Canare RCA-XLR cables there. Unfortunately my dealer didn’t have better ones in stock for the demo. I know ic-cables can have a huge impact. In my own passive setup I use Linn Silver DIN between ndac and SN2.


Glad you are enjoying the 19a. active operation is really the way to go for atc lovers. it really makes the speakers disappear. Regarding the nac 272 and Roon, i see that you
have a mutec. What prevents you from using it with the way you were using it with your naim dac ( fronted by your PC) ?


Hi, what I would say with the 19s and similar infinite baffle speakers is that they are room sensitive in terms of placement and size for deep bass… mine are reasonably happy down to about 38 Hz then fall away fast with in room measurenet … (using REW and calibrated Mic). But in a larger room that would rise and start to fall away at 50 to 55 Hz which could feel light in the deep bass but punchy.
In my room with my 250/552 the 19s move the air and on some tracks can get an appealing rumble and very deep bass, but still keep tight and agile… but I know in a larger room that would largely disappear and be inaudible…
All about the importance of room/speaker matching


Yeah, I actually connected it already to the 272 and it works fine that way. But it just feels wrong to get a streaming preamp only to bypass the streamer completely. I do start to feel that active is the only way after all but what to do with the front end…


I don’t feel that my ~19-20 m2 listening room is big. Still the passive scm40 has never felt overpowering or too big here. Also the sweet spot in my room has a slight dip in the bass which works very good with big speaker like scm40. With 19a I miss the lower hitting bass of 40, even though they do many other things better.


I’m using a dcs network bridge with a Hugo TT. The dcs is really superb and is Roon Ready. Since you already have a HC-DR . I believe something like dcs - ndac-psu - 202/HCDR would make lots of sense and easily would outpeform nac 272 + PSU


I would take passive 40s over active 19s every time. I thought the active 19s were too fast and forward for my taste. They were ruthless of poor recordings. The passives were a bit more forgiving but both passive and active 19s were bass light in my room (4m x 4.3m).

If you feel that the passive 40s can’t keep up with the active 19s then you might want to check your amp is driving them properly. ATC P1 amp drives them right in my experience.

The best of all worlds is of course the SCM40A actives, sublime with 272 or Hugo TT in my experience. Passive 40s with a good powerful amp such as P1 is a close second. 250 might also be a suitable amp.

The mid driver of the 40s is superior to the 19s - that’s where most of the music is at.


Interesting comments.
Would a 252/300 with the passive 40 also give the 40A a run for the money ? I just feel a bit too restricted upgrade wise with active speakers (great as the 40A must be).


I can understand that. I can imagine 252/300 with passive 40s will sound superb and if I were you with your setup then that’s where I would go.

btw The 40s offered too much bass for my room (4m x 4.3m) and that’s why I let them go, otherwise I would have kept them.


I’ve been home demoing the 40’s for a week now and I’ve discovered just a subtle change in the angle of the speakers makes a VERY noticeable change in the bass. Angled straighter, so only slightly towards the listener, the bass is less than if they’re aimed more inward. When the dealer left them they were almost pointed straight outward. As an experiment I decided to play with their angle and bent inward just a small amount extra the bass was starting to get a little over blown. I’ve now pointed them back the way they were and back to a nice tight bass.


active 19s are not ruthless per se. With active atcs , you hear differences like crazy,
this is of course a bad thing , if your source is not up to it. Have you tried them with a different source
than your laptop ? The additional driver in the 40a is adding some weight and warmth to the presentation,
this is something that may obscure deficiencies in the source. I feel that the 19a are more coherent , and the two drivers are more seamlessly integrated( maybe this what you mean by fast ).


I tried everything, in the end physics got the better unfortunately.


I’ve never had any issues with a battery powered Apple MacBook (bit perfect playback) into Hugo TT. If the designer of the Hugo TT, Rob Watts, is happy using a battery laptop for critical listening then that’s good enough for me.

I do agree that 40s add weight and warmth compared to the 19s. I never felt the 19s were more coherent or more seamlessly integrated than the 40s. Both seemed equally coherent and the three drivers of the 40s sound to my ears beatifully integrated.


Rather than considering it restrictive, perhaps it is liberating to find there is no need to ever upgrade again (including speaker cables)… Or an upgrade could be 40A to 50A, 100A or 150A :grinning:


Sitting in the sweet spot while writing this, I’m still not sure if 19A offers just enough bass or am I missing the 40’s reach. It all opens up to me when I plug back my own system by the end of the week. Also then I need to make decisions. I might lean towards 40A at the moment but I’d need to cut the front end to something less expensive (temporarily). Probably the Mytek which I have in demo now or something similar.

No matter if I use 272 or Mytek, somehow the 19A sounds more right than my setup before. It offers deeper insight to music, more resolution and information. My old setup definitely sounds smoother though. With some older recordings, 19A can be on the edge of annoying/fatiguing but with 95% of music I’ve played through them, there’s no problem. This might have something to do with Naim DAC vs 272.


An alternative to the Mytek is the Benchmark DAC3 HGC , I bought one ex dem to tide me over and get going on the Active route 18 months ago. Its still here . Its a brilliant , versatile DAC with a very transparent PRE which can be disabled .I have an original Hugo which I love but I preferred the Benchmark to the Hugo TT when feeding Actives . I can patiently wait and see what may arrive in the future from Naim (272/2) etc .


Yeah DAC3 is interesting unit also but I’m not able to demo it. It uses the same chip than Mytek.

I was too curious to connect my old setup back to hear the difference. So it’s now connected. Sound is slightly darker and thicker but still very good. Bass reach and weight on 40’s is on a different level. I can actually feel the bass hit and I just love it. SN2 does surprisingly well here, the sound doesn’t drag or feel slow.

Actives were better in regards of resolution, airiness and speed though. My old setup has more relaxed presentation. I’m still amazed how good the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ sounds. I could easily live with it and active 40’s and maybe wait for updated 272 with proper Roon support.

So the only active route for me would be 40A.


bit perfect is just a requirement and is not enough to predict how a given transport will perform with
a given dac , and i think i never read any claim from Rob watts saying that Hugo TT was immune to upstream components,
sadly it is not immune to sources , neither is Hugo.


Hugo is definitely not immune to RF from sources, and needs a good isolator. TT is far better, and unclear if it is any better or worse in that regard than many a good galvanicallh isolated DAC. (But no DAC is immune to inaccurate data from the source!)


Hugo TT has the same galvanic isolation on USB as Dave, original Hugo doesn’t have this. USB to my ears sounds the same as optical using a battery powered MacBook (which is also completely silent and fanless) which suggests there are no issues with rfi or noise. As an extra measure my usb cable has ferrites on both ends, just to be sure!

For me, it’s the perfect source.