Amp for ATC SCM11 speakers

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Hello all,

Due to budget constraints, I'll be building my new system in phases. The first phase will be speakers, the second being an amp.

My current setup is:

Pioneer VSX-820 amp used as a home theater amp (tv connected, tivo, dvd, etc all via HDMI)

I just bought ATC SCM-11 speakers that will arrive in a few weeks. I would like to replace or bypass my current amp for music to the ATC speakers. I'm fine leaving the Pioneer as the center for the home theater, but not for music.

My options as I see them are to completely replace the Pioneer for use with music AND my current home theater or simply get a new 2-channel amp and use that only with music to the ATC's and keep the Pioneer.

My 2 questions are:

1) Which setup would you guys recommend between getting a new home theater type amp and using that for music and home theater vs having a seperate home theater amp and music amp.

2) If the recommendation is to get a new amp just for music, which amps should I be looking at? The ATC's seem to be pretty power hungry (max 300 wpc) so I would like something at least 150 wpc.

Thanks for any and all help!

...Josh
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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I'd recommend ATC's own SAI2-150 integrated amplifier. At least you know that the SCM11's will have been designed around the company's own amplification, and will partner them perfectly.
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
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Welcome to the forum :)

As already mentioned, you need to indicate a budget. The other key is what proportion you plan to watch movies v listen to music. Unless you're not going to listen to a lot of music (which I assume is not the case given your plans) then I would say your speakers are so good that you owe them a stereo amp to get the best from them for music.

After that, it's hard to recommend a specific amp without knowing more. David @ FH makes it far too simplistic and limited by only recommended ATC's own amp, although of course this will do a great job. The beauty of the ATCs is that their neutrality will mean you get to hear the source and amplification, so as long as you get something you like the sound of you're onto a winner! So as well as budget, what other amps have you heard and liked?
 
joshkarp said:
Hello all,

Due to budget constraints, I'll be building my new system in phases. The first phase will be speakers, the second being an amp.

My current setup is:

Pioneer VSX-820 amp used as a home theater amp (tv connected, tivo, dvd, etc all via HDMI)

I just bought ATC SCM-11 speakers that will arrive in a few weeks. I would like to replace or bypass my current amp for music to the ATC speakers. I'm fine leaving the Pioneer as the center for the home theater, but not for music.

My options as I see them are to completely replace the Pioneer for use with music AND my current home theater or simply get a new 2-channel amp and use that only with music to the ATC's and keep the Pioneer.

My 2 questions are:

1) Which setup would you guys recommend between getting a new home theater type amp and using that for music and home theater vs having a seperate home theater amp and music amp.

2) If the recommendation is to get a new amp just for music, which amps should I be looking at? The ATC's seem to be pretty power hungry (max 300 wpc) so I would like something at least 150 wpc.

Thanks for any and all help!

...Josh
Hi Josh

The way i see it you can either (i am sorry if i've misread/understood anything) -

replace your VSX-820 for a new and better integrated AV amp for listening to both music and movie sountracks.

As the VSX-820 does not have front, centre or surround pre outputs then replace with an integrated AV amp (with multichannel outputs) or an AV processor and use the former with an integrated amplifier, two or multichannel power amplifer and the later with a multichannel power amplifier.

Anyway, did you audition SCM11 monitors before you bought them? If so, what electronics did you hear SCM11 monitors with?

What speakers do you currently use?

Interconnects and speakers cables are?

What genre of music do you generally listen to?

The size of your room?

Your general listening level?

Is there anything in particular you would like the amplifier to have (such as tone controls, headphone socket, etc.)?

Your overall budget?

What kind of presentation are you looking for the system to achieve?

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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BenLaw said:
After that, it's hard to recommend a specific amp without knowing more. David @ FH makes it far too simplistic and limited by only recommended ATC's own amp, although of course this will do a great job.
I could make it more complicated and harder for the OP, but I'm sure if he ends up going for the ATC amp, he'll thank me for my 'simplicity'. I have recommended it because I feel it gets the best from the SCM11's, which very few beneath the SIA2-150 do.

The beauty of the ATCs is that their neutrality will mean you get to hear the source and amplification, so as long as you get something you like the sound of you're onto a winner!
While I appreciate the ATC's neutrality, I don't feel it's the case that only the amplification and source can be heard. At this sort of price point, the limitations and compromises of a loudspeaker cannot be overcome, and the speaker itself will be influencing the sound in some way.
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
BenLaw said:
After that, it's hard to recommend a specific amp without knowing more. David @ FH makes it far too simplistic and limited by only recommended ATC's own amp, although of course this will do a great job.
I could make it more complicated and harder for the OP, but I'm sure if he ends up going for the ATC amp, he'll thank me for my 'simplicity'. I have recommended it because I feel it gets the best from the SCM11's, which very few beneath the SIA2-150 do.
When you have no idea of the OP's budget or musical tastes, to recommend this single amplifier is idiotic.

The beauty of the ATCs is that their neutrality will mean you get to hear the source and amplification, so as long as you get something you like the sound of you're onto a winner!
While I appreciate the ATC's neutrality, I don't feel it's the case that only the amplification and source can be heard. At this sort of price point, the limitations and compromises of a loudspeaker cannot be overcome, and the speaker itself will be influencing the sound in some way.
You really need to learn to read David. You repeatedly respond to my posts, but not to what i've actually said. I didn't say 'there is no influence from the speaker', or 'you will hear only the source and amplification'. The perfectly valid point I'm making is that at this price point the SCM11s are probably the most neutral and transparent speaker you can buy. Therefore, compared to other similarly priced speakers, you will get a much better sense of the source and amplification.

Apologies to the OP for the diversion, but David has his own bizarre agenda where ATC is concerned and personal issues with me, such that it is difficult to accept his advice with ATC. You will do far better answering Rick's questions and listening to whatever he may recommend as a consequence.

I'm out of this thread.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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BenLaw said:
When you have no idea of the OP's budget or musical tastes, to recommend this single amplifier is idiotic.
Seeing as the OP has purchased a 'neutral set of speakers, we can deduce that he isn't looking for 'colour' in his music. If that's not the case, then the choice of loudspeaker may have been a wrong one.

BenLaw said:
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
BenLaw said:
The beauty of the ATCs is that their neutrality will mean you get to hear the source and amplification, so as long as you get something you like the sound of you're onto a winner!
While I appreciate the ATC's neutrality, I don't feel it's the case that only the amplification and source can be heard. At this sort of price point, the limitations and compromises of a loudspeaker cannot be overcome, and the speaker itself will be influencing the sound in some way.
You really need to learn to read David. You repeatedly respond to my posts, but not to what i've actually said. I didn't say 'there is no influence from the speaker', or 'you will hear only the source and amplification'. The perfectly valid point I'm making is that at this price point the SCM11s are probably the most neutral and transparent speaker you can buy. Therefore, compared to other similarly priced speakers, you will get a much better sense of the source and amplification.
Just check your quote in bold. It states otherwise. This is just another one of your diversionary tactics to turn this round on me.

BenLaw said:
Apologies to the OP for the diversion, but David has his own bizarre agenda where ATC is concerned and personal issues with me, such that it is difficult to accept his advice with ATC. You will do far better answering Rick's questions and listening to whatever he may recommend as a consequence.
What, recommending what I feel is right? The OP, just like everyone else, can choose to take the recommendations of whomever they like, rather than being pushed into it. It's you who has the issue, and if you don't, let others speaker for themselves. You know what I mean.
 

shropshire lad

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Feb 18, 2010
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moon said:
I think deep down, you really like each other . :rofl:
Yes , very deep down . They sound like a married couple to me . Which is a shame because the original question is of particular interest to me as well , as I have a pair of SCM11s partnered to an Audiolab 8000S and 8000P and would be interested to know what I would have to get to better that combination . I feeling I get is that ATCs own amps would be the way to go , but for me that won't be happening any time soon .

I hope we can get some more sensible suggestions ,

Nick
 

moon

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Nov 10, 2011
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Onkyo have a new range out as well, then there is Rotel 1520

Naim Nait 5 i and the XS

online XTZ d3100

of course NAD produce some stuff with plenty of grunt.
 

hoopsontoast

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Oct 1, 2011
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The SCM11's will need a fair bit of welly, especially if you are using them for HT. I found Audiolab to work well with the ATC range. Even the modest 8200A is supprisingly capable with them.

Anyway, ignore any petty arguments. I would recommend Frank Harveys, lots of choice and they have a wide range of products.

Oh, and just to make it clear, I used to work for FH a while back, but I recieve no financial support or reward for any support I give them. I no longer live in the midlands so I tend to try and support my local dealers where I live as much as I can.
 

edplaysdrums42

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May 2, 2009
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Hi Josh

I can confirm that ATC SIA2-150 is a superb amp for the SCM11 as i have one and recently had the SCM11's. The amp has loads of power and is very dynamic which makes them a perfect match in my opinion.

If its an accurate and neutral sound your after then you cant do better.

They do come up for sale second hand from time to time ;)

Regards, Ed
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Wow! Thank you everyone for the opinions and thoughts, mixed with a side of color for good measure!

My budget depends on how the ATC's sound when I get them and hook them up to my Pioneer. To be honest, I'm a little worried because "accurate" is not my normal musical taste. I like very high highs and very present lows, but if I don't like the ATC's I can return them.

The music I listen to is all over the place and usually a lot of crappy live recordings, but can most closely be narrowed down to bands like Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Radiohead, etc.

Ideally, I would love to stay within the $2000 and under range seeing as I'll be adding a new sub to replace my current Velodyne DLS.

I'm not sure if this is true or not, but it seems I can get more bang for my buck if I leave my current Pioneer as a dedicated home theater amp and get a 2-channel dedicated amp for music.

I've read good things about the ATC amp and have to admit, I am intrigued!

Thanks again and keep the responses coming!

...Josh
 

gpi

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Mar 29, 2008
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Bear in mind these are entry level components you are discussing partnering here. Just because a budget and small monitor gets a lot of praise doesn't mean it's the beyond all and end all of hi-fi and is so sensitive and influential in a system with other budget gear, it will make much difference. The ATCs are quite stubborn to drive and need at least 50 watts a side to get them going, so no good with valve amps. When someone asks, 'are these speakers good for heavy rock music?', what does that mean exactly? Do the speakers recognise what is being played and automatically emphasise the bass? I would have thought that someone who mainly plays heavy rock/metal should not be buying small monitors with five inch drivers.
 
gpi said:
The ATCs are quite stubborn to drive and need at least 50 watts a side to get them going, so no good with valve amps.
Hi gpi

But then again I've got clients who are using low powered amplification from Audionote with ATC passive monitors such as SCM40's and with power to spare.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

Macspur

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May 3, 2010
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MUSICRAFT said:
gpi said:
The ATCs are quite stubborn to drive and need at least 50 watts a side to get them going, so no good with valve amps.
Hi gpi

But then again I've got clients who are using low powered amplification from Audionote with ATC passive monitors such as SCM40's and with power to spare.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
Yes that's right.

Don't get too hung up on this notion that ATC needs a massive amount of power... I used to have SCM40's with my 35W Sugden and it worked fine... only reason I changed from ATC was they were just too neutral for me, some music sounded great and other times couldn't live with the sound... find Harbeth a much more balanced loud speaker.

Cheers

Mac
 

gpi

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Mar 29, 2008
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OK, point taken. We don't all have the same hearing anyway. My hearing I suspect is gradually changing and I probably don't hear high frequencies my daughter can. I was reading up on budget/midrange standmounts recently and while one person prefers the ATC SCM11, another one plumped for the PMC DB1i.

Anyone here auditioned the AE Reference 1?
 

mpapo

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Jan 15, 2011
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The ATC SCM11's are indeed very neutral, but for me that does not mean they are boring. They do good with any type of music and while listening I can't hear any specific flaws or annoyances that I heard with other speakers I've owned.
 
mpapo said:
The ATC SCM11's are indeed very neutral, but for me that does not mean they are boring. They do good with any type of music and while listening I can't hear any specific flaws or annoyances that I heard with other speakers I've owned.
Hi mpapo

Nice one :)

Btw, I can't help but notice that your avatar looks very much like Johnny Herbert :grin:

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
I have recommended it because I feel it gets the best from the SCM11's, which very few beneath the SIA2-150 do.
Id be interested as to whether you feel Onkyos discontinued 9755 integrated amp is in your opinion amongst the ' very few' ?
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
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frotler said:
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
I have recommended it because I feel it gets the best from the SCM11's, which very few beneath the SIA2-150 do.
Id be interested as to whether you feel Onkyos discontinued 9755 integrated amp is in your opinion amongst the ' very few' ?
Unfortunately I can't say as I've never heard that model. I would recommend the Onkyo A9070 or A9000R though.
 
frotler said:
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
I have recommended it because I feel it gets the best from the SCM11's, which very few beneath the SIA2-150 do.
Id be interested as to whether you feel Onkyos discontinued 9755 integrated amp is in your opinion amongst the ' very few' ?
Hi frotler

I hope you won't mind me chipping in however if the Uniti (MK1) is deemed to be adequate for SCM40 monitors then the A-9755 should also be perfectly capable of being partnered with SCM11 monitors.

Btw, a CA2/P1 (although not much in it) does an even better job then the SAI2-150 MK2 does with SCM11 monitors. A CA2/P1 (x2) even better still, .....

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

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