ATC speakers & Naim NAP 250 (2023)

Hello everybody,

I am a French owner of a great pair of ATC SCM-20 PSL (2023)
bookshelf speakers that I currently drive with a Supernait 3 + NDX2.

I am overall very happy with this already top level system,
however I wonder with what alternative amplifier could lead them
to an extreme level performance in the context a modest
hearing room of today 18 m2, tomorrow maybe 25-28 m2

I thought about going active with the SMC40 and SCM50 but just
love these SCM-20 for their compactness / price /performance ratio.
I also thought about ATC P2 power-amp (too big), Pass Labs INT-250
(too big and too expensive) and, at the end, said myself: “maybe the
solution is simply with the NSC-222 + NAP 250 (2023)” as a second
hand in a couple of years (2025, 2026 or later).

Hence, my question for you, gentlemen is: did you have an experience
of this Naim setup with a pair or passive ATC SCM-50 or SCM-20,
or another demanding loudspeaker model? With what other Naim product
range have you compared it and how would you define your feelings?

Thanks a lot for your feedback,
All the best,

If you like ATCs you really should try their actives. ATC themselves are strong advocates of active operation and explain their reasoning on their website. I’d seriously look at replacing your passives with active 20s. They come in a plain black studio version or a pretty tower with the option of fancy veneers at a premium price.

You could front them with NSC222 and NPX 300. That would be a fine system. Or keep your NDX2 and swap your SuperNait for a NAC332. That would offer lots of upgrade opportunities.

Roger

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Thanks for your review. Well, I get your point but really dislike the design of SCM-20 active, same for its tower version. I also don’t consider going on the SCM-50 active or passive, nor the SMC-40.

Regarding your suggestion to couple the SCM-20 with NAC-332 (9K€), this would mean I must then add a 2023 NAP 250 (7K€) or a pair of NAP-350 (unrealistic), leading to 16K€ of expense, minus the sell of my Supernait 3 (2,8 K€). This makes a net effort of 13,2 K€, just too much.

What I find more realistic is the NSC-222 + NAP 250 as second hand or retail around 10,5 K€ the batch, minus the NDX 2 (3,9K€) and Supernait 3 (2,8 K€), meaning a net effort of 3,5 K€/ 4K€.
Or keeping the NDX2, selling the Supernait 3 and investing around a 4/5 K€ on a second hand very performing alternative amplifier.

But let’s see, I will hear the Supernait 3 versus NSC-222+ NAP 250 (2023) comparison
at a local dealer this coming November.

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If you’re thinking of waiting for a couple of years (2025/26), there could very well be an NC Supernait by then.
Lots of new developments possible in the next 2 years…:wink:

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The actives are, from the front, visually identical to the tower version of the passives, so I guess it’s floor standers you dislike so much? I’d still recommend having a listen to ATC actives; it’s where the pro range really shows what it can do. IMO, of course.

You could certainly replace your NDX2/SN3 with NSC222/NAP250 and that might well sound better. ATCs generally thrive on more power and might well appreciate the extra power of the 250 especially in your larger room. Whether it would be worth the expenditure to you is less obvious. I’d try it first if at all possible.

Roger

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I think the ATC SCM-20 PSL are not so common in the forum and still a bit underrated. I would be very interested in your listening experience with new Naim Classic.

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I have a friend of mine who has listened to a NSC - 222 and NAP 250 on a pair of ATC passive SCM-50. He was impressed, though more impressed again by the active version. Active is the best obviously, but I just don’t want to go on these 50s, too big for my living room.

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Well read.

Well, I think the 20 tower look extrememy rigid compared to the classic 20. And yes, I definitely will do tests to compare the SN3 to 250/222, maybe the gap will be meaningless. Or not, who knows?

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I went from a NDX2, Supernait 3 with HiCap DR driving B&W805d3 to ATC SmC 40 passive and added a NAP 250DR.
I thought I would add my input because adding the power amp really helped drive my new speakers. I am sure this would help with your ATC speakers as well.
For information I did audition actives but preferred the passives. I also auditioned the latest 250 but decided on the 250DR primarily for cost reasons ( latest better definitely faster but still enjoyed the DR).
Sometimes cost wins (plus many second hand DR’s and future preamps will hit the market if you decide to later upgrade your SN3).
Hope this helps.

2 Likes

The floorstanders SCM40A (and larger) will bring lower bass response - and if your room may become larger you may find bigger speakers better, and aesthetically they would dominate less in a larger room than small (thou bear in mind that a floorstander doesn’t occupy much different floor space or room volume than a stand mount plus stand

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Tanks for your testimony! Two small questions:

  1. Did you judge the HiCap coupled with SN3 a valuable or marginal addition?
  2. With you ATC SCM40P, did you couple the ‘classic’ NAP 250 with a NAC 282 + HC, or what?

Thanks a lot for those precision!
JB

I auditioned the HiCap DR when I bought the SN3 and NDX2 it improved the sound so much that I bought my dealers demo model ( dis out), I couldn’t imagine not getting it.
I auditioned the actives with my set up NDX2, SN3 & HiCap DR.
I hope this helps you.

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Definitely! Thanks a lot! Looking forward to testing an HiCap with my SN3.