Ovator s400 & NAP200dr vs ATC SCM40a

I’m scratching an itch on a potential upgrade to the ATC having realised that I’m just not happy with the overall sound of the ovators in my current house.

The first time I heard the ovators I fell in love, with many tracks they just sounded so live and exciting and I’ve loved them ever since, until moving into my new house that is where I either have to choose less bottom end and fullness in the bass or losing the wonderful soundstage.

I’ve just had dropped off a demo pair of SCM40a and so I thought I’d start a thread to give my thoughts aswell as taking some measurements to see if they wish to stay.

For now I have positioned the ATC on the outside of the ovators to give the ovators the advantage, my thought being that if they compete like this then they are likely better for me, once I’ve had a few days of direct comparison (after getting them level matched on the n272) ill move the ovators and let the ATC rock it out for a week.

I’m giddy for the weekend :slightly_smiling_face:


I bet for the Ovator S400, because your 200 dr will probably struggle with the ATC 40.

The 40s are the active versions so they definitely don’t struggle haha

I thought 40 are non active and 40a active. So in that case I understand that the ATC will win very probably.

You are correct, hence why the title of the post and the post itself has the “a” :slightly_smiling_face:

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I should have read more precisely the title :dizzy_face:

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Goodbye ovators & 200, easily going to be trashed i feel.
Lovely midrange and matching amps to drivers, not really a fair fight lol

Initial Impressions are in favour of the ATC but its far from a thrashing, I suspect you haven’t heard the ovators in a good environment, they really are an excellent loudspeaker and sound very similar in a lot of ways to me to the ATC

Have you not considered a different power amp for the Ovators, like a 250 or 300?

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I auditioned the 250dr at the same time as the 200 and actually preferred the voicing of the 200 at the time.

The financial outlay between going 250 vs the ATC isn’t that far away and I honestly just think the ovators aren’t optimal in my room. I’m my old house they were exceptional and had I still been there I would have never needed another speaker. So far the ATC is showing promise for sure.

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how much are the 40a ?

I had active ovator s600 for a while, so i know exactly what they are like, the scm40a once set up correctly should be a nice improvement.
As you say they are already making an impact and they are in the worse position, so i would get the ovators out, get them positioned right and do a proper demo off them.

As Dunc says give the ATC’s a chance with placement . They are not overly fussy to accommodate , especially to the rear but mine are about a metre from the sidewall for best results .

Good luck with your comparison Danny. I’ve owned my Active 40’s for 3 years now and still love them. After a while, I tried using Naim Powerlines instead of the standard ATC power cords to see if they would improve further. I still remember my brother’s facial expressions when we swapped them over and yes, it was a real ‘wow’ moment.

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I have listened to the 40A’s a couple of time at demonstrations and just loved them! I would have been happy to swap out my Ovator S400’s for a pair of the ATC’s but for me were price prohibitive at the time.

Good luck with the demo this weekend and will look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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Thanks all, its certainly the plan to get the ovators out of the way and experiment with positioning, even in their current position I’ve had a few genuine laugh out loud moments with them already, one stand out was lady gaga’s enigma from her latest chromatica album which was hilariously good with the wick up a little.

So I’ve swapped the positions and while I’m still not giving the atc full room to breath with the ovators parked out of the way I can tell already that the 40s are unravelling far more detail than in the previous position. Some low level listening tonight with a glass of red I think. Good evening all.


Put the Ovator in another room, to really have a real impression of the ATC. Speakers need really to breathe.
If you can carry them, of course.

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I think that was his plan. One step at a time. No rush.

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Indeed it is, like you say, plenty of time as the dealer has been very insistent on making sure they are the right option and has put no pressure on either the sale or the time limit of demo. Presently seeking out some of my poorer vinyl to put them at a real disadvantage, so far they still get my feet tapping