Sweet sounding speakers part 2

Original thread posted November 21 has been closed, so my apologies for having to start a second one. If @Richard.Dane sees this he might be able to append it to the original perhaps?

Sonetto3 and Audiovector R1 or R3 Signature remain current first choices, but have asked Music Matters if I can hear Neat Ministra and Majistra and Dynaudio Evoke 20 and 30.

I was also pleased to learn that Audio Affair are soon to re-start offering auditions, so asked them to line up the ATC SCM40 against the Proac D20R and was very surprised to be advised that “the NAP250 will not drive the ATC’s, you would ideally need to stick with ProAc”.

Rather took the wind out of my sails, I have to say.

ATC’s website says all their domestic passive speakers are rated for amplifiers from 75-300 watts. WTF?

I’m not trying to fill an auditorium here, just my modest lounge.

I have heard both sets of Audiovectors and Dynaudio listed above and if I had the cash I most definitely would have gotten a pair of the R3. I was using an older pair of audiovectors before I changed to a set of Dynaudio bookshelf speakers. The R1 just didn’t feel as they had the scale as other bookshelf speakers. The R3 I think sounded fantastic. Also easy to drive and place in the room. I think the evoke series kinda misses and it bettered in sound quality by the Emit series IMHO


That is, quite frankly, nonsense. I’m fairly sure @jonathanG runs SCM40s with a 250DR and recently published an enthusiastic review of the combination. I have myself heard SCM 40s driven by that amp. Whilst I felt that a 300DR would wring more out of them, there was no sense that the 250 could not handle the ATCs.

FWIW, I opted for active 40s, but that is another story.



I’m not sure I’d choose the ATCs for a ‘modest lounge’ as they are really rather large. I’d be getting an XPSDR for the 272 before upgrading speakers in any event.

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Looking at it another way, what is it about the PMC’s you want to change or dislike?
A PSU on your pre is worth putting on your list of things to try/change as noted by HH.

@Milspec1 thanks for your thoughts. I will definitely be arranging another visit to Midlands Audio Exchange to listen to the R3 Signatures. These have the great advantage that my wife loves the look of them, in addition to any sonic qualities they possess.

@PeakMan I was hoping to hear responses along these lines Roger, so thanks again for your input. I have to remember that the dealer in question is in the business of selling amplifiers as well as speakers, whereas I am only in the business of buying speakers.

@hungryhalibut yes Nigel, I don’t doubt the XPSDR will make what is already good sound a little better, but that will be for another day. More immediately I need to stop the dreadful harshness in the treble which is spoiling perfectly good music and making me want to turn it off rather than turn it up.

The room is complex in that we moved into our 1930s house 53 years ago but when others decided to move onwards and upwards in the mid 70s to 80s we decided to make ours as open plan as we could by knocking out some walls. So there is a 5m x 5m space but behind the settee is what used to be the hall and stairs but no wall. At right angles to this the former dividing wall has a large archway forming a through space to the back of the house. Add to that it is full of soft furnishings and fitted carpet, so a bit of grunt is needed from the speakers, which are only 2m away from the listening position.

@Mr.M As said I accept that a PSU would improve matters to a degree, but the immediate issue is with the harshness my new hearing aids now pick up from the PMC tweeters. Unfortunately these were bought new only a short time before the ‘improved’ version came out.

There is fuller discussion of this in the original thread.

Understood, I was curious on what was leading you to feel the need to make the change in speakers.

Hi Jeff. Forgive me, I’d forgotten the aids issue. I’ve had a music setting put onto mine, which is basically standard but with no filtering for wind, noise and so on. I’ve also had the gain reduced so that I can turn the stereo up a bit more and avoid them amplifying the much more weedy sound when it’s playing quietly.

Two metres is very close and the ATCs would be very oppressive. I wonder if room reorganisation is possible, or even wall building. It’s also worth experimenting with the toe in on your speakers - the treble is less assertive if you have them pointing straight ahead. These open plan layouts are great for parties but less great for music. Before my hearing problems I used to love loud music on occasion. We have concrete floors, solid walls and really heavy fire doors, and the 300 and SL2s could provide an incredible experience. Now, sadly, it’s just a memory. Maybe with the aids you’ll never get exactly what you want, but I do think tuning the aids and maybe tweaking the speaker position may help.

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@hungryhalibut The hearing aids are a big improvement in most areas of my life but it is unfortunate that they impact my enjoyment of music, especially when played on period instruments. What used to be ‘plangent’ has tipped over into discordant, so that eg the beautiful adagio of the 6th Brandenburg currently sounds almost like a parody, unless I listen to it in my man cave or bedroom, away from the PMCs on much cheaper speakers, when of course detail is lost.

The audiologist did put a ‘music’ program onto the aids but it is hard to discern a difference. Listening to various speakers with a ‘sweet’ treble has allowed me to hope that this is the one sure remedy. Certainly simpler than putting walls back. Just the two of us now, so I have carte blanche to play loud if I want whilst my wife is watching tv upstairs.

I have tried adjusting the aiming of the speakers but this affects imaging without reducing harshness.

I have both the K6 Signature and the Tablet 10 (in different systems) Both are “sweet” sounding as they are never harsh or fatiguing to listen to. A pair of D20’s or D30’s would sing in your system. I’d recommend the ribbon tweeter version.


I recently moved from a Supernait 2 to 250DR with ATC SCM40 speakers. This is in a rather small room 4m x 4,5m.

I had no problems driving them with the SN2, but I can hear clear improvements with the 250. No surprise, really.

I think you could ask to hear them with the 250DR to form your own opinion, and that might also give a hint how they would be performing in your room.

To me these speakers seem to scale very well with upgrades, and that should account as something in favour of them, rather than being painted as they will be lacking with a certain amplifier. You could ask the dealer to show what the 250 can’t do with the SCM40. :blush:

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@ChrisBell @Porphyr

Helpful feedback. Thank you both.

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I have Atc Scm40 in same size of room as yours sit around 4.5 away no problems at all. Placed 2.3 apart and 900 mm from back wall to tweeter not oppressive at all

Sonetto 3 sound fabulous with 272/250DR.

XPSDR transforms 272 though, wouldn’t be without it now.

We’re moving on to 252/SCDR and new streamer but will keep speakers to begin with, see how they perform.

But how would you feel if they were only 2m in front of you?

I sit 2.5 away error putting 4.5 even at 2.5 they are not oppressive in fact had I gone scm 19 on correct stands they would have been 30 mm taller. Cabinet size is the same

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In my room best sound quality in my room (near 7m wide and 7m long, though not square) is with my ears about 2.7m from each speaker, or about 2.3m from the plane of the speaker baffles. The speakers are PMC EB1i with mid/treble satellites on top, somewhat larger I think than the SCM40, and there is nothing oppressive about them being that close. And indeed no reason why they should - sound is sound, and the distance from the source, with volume control suitably adjusted, is of no relevance provided enough for the drivers to integrate. However being close relative to room size has the advantage of reducing the relative magnitude, and increasing the relative delay time of room reflections. I do have clear space between the speakers, and view of the garden.

I actually measured it last night at 2.4m from front baffle to eyeballs.

Given this is our one and only multi purpose lounge I am also mindful that visual dominance must be avoided as much as the potential for oppression by sound. Hence the hesitation over the audibly very acceptable Sonettos due to their flamboyant design, against the conservative Danishness of the Audiovectors and Dynaudios and the square, British and proud of it appearance of Spendor’s A and D lines. Aesthetically the offset tweeters on the ProAcs make me feel itchy, but wife prefers the grilles off look against the alternative plain black/grey expanse of foam or cloth.

272/250 is currently played at around 43 for the PMC 25.21 for most classical recordings, though down to 38ish for other repertoire. If my weedy 250DR will be out of puff with SCM40s, and these are less sensitive, I might have to dial the level up a tad. No biggie.

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Exactly my experience, having listened to the sonetto iii versus spendor a7 recently. I personally find them ugly; very well made but that veneer finish is bland and I would have to cover them up with grills.
My other demo was a 5 way match with 2 pairs of neats, kudos (which I wrongly assumed would win), alr jordan, and proac.
The proac d20r were the winner for me by some margin.

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