• If you ever spot Spam (either in the forums, or received via forum direct message) please use the Report button at the bottom of each post to make sure a Moderator can handle it quickly. Thanks for your help in keeping things running smoothly!

ATC SCM40 Home Audition

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
2,556
2
0
Picked up a pair of these heavy beauties on Saturday from Guildford Audio, aka Trevor's van. They had been in the van all night so were bl**dy cold, Trevor reminded me to leave them to stand out of their boxes for a few hours to warm up. Just as well, the metal drive enclosures soon had condensation all over them so as well as cold, they were a bit wet! So off shopping I went to let them warm up.

On return found the speakers were now warmer and drier ;) Unpacked and wired them up, no problem with the tri-wire configuration as the ES30s are the same. Running 2 lengths of Townshend ISOLDA cable both sides, one to the woofer, other to the mid with tails to the tweeter.

Turned on the Muse 300W mono blocks and dropped in a silver dics (I forget what). Well I was told not to be instantly amazed. Well perhaps "amazed" is over stating it, but the difference was clear. The sound was bigger, most noticably the bass was bigger, deeper and much more even. No more lumpy ported bass...this was the kind of sound I have been looking for, and the Cardea C30s just didn't produce. And this is before the amps and speaker were properly warmed up.

Did much more listening on Sunday and I am quite impressed. They sound much more even, smooth across the frequency range, quite transparent with much better transient response, and improved dynamic range. Loud passages are louder. And they do go loud without straining. I heard details I'd never heard before, presenting more in the mix. The sound was kind of effortless, I suppose like I would expect a studio monitor to be. Speaker positioning was much easier than with the ported ES30s, very forgiving. Placed a little out from the rear wall, toed in little...I tried a couple of positions from the rear wall and it made little if any difference.

Yes these speakers are revealing. Their strong point is also their weakest. Some recordings sounded a little edgy, on a couple of CDs there was sibilance but this had to be down to the recording since on better produced CDs there was none.

Despite the shortcomings of my EPOS ES30s, the ES30s are very musical, I hesistate to say may be more musical than the SCM40s. Its a hard one this, since the ATCs give me more of what I want - details, dyamics, slam etc but I think they just reveal more of whats on the CD which isn't always the "nicest" of sounds. On a well produced CD they are hands down winners, but on some poorly produced CDs it would be nice to swap them out for the ES30s...

I've got more time with these speakers, not sure when Trevor will either want them back or some money but I'm certainly tempted. Will listen over the next few days and see where my minds at over the weekend. Would have been nice to have compared the SCM40s with the PMC OB1is he had until recently. Oh well, one thing at a time.

:cheers:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Too accurate seems to be atc's achilles'heel. On saying that, the recording industry has a lot to answer for. :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Its given me some insight into what a pair of Wilson Watt/Puppys might sound like, essentially being a pair of studio monitors (like the ATCs) with some decent bass units attached. I quite fancy the idea of the Wilsons later in life if I can afford a used pair :dance:
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
475
7
18,895
Good review Dr L :)

I look forward to your thoughts when you've had some more time with them and will be interested to see what direction you go in the end :)
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
Dr.Lodge

Based on your last post...

As good as the OB1i's are, I would also have a look at the Twenty.24's. They're much more neutral and open, but keep the 'PMC sound'. Huge soundstage.

Depending on how good your monoblocks are, you could also try the KEF Reference 201/2's. They may be a standmount, but don't let that fool you!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the input Frank, think I might just settle with the ones I've got :grin:

Here's a photo of my setup.

 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
Hi Dr Lodge,

Glad you're enjoying the SCM40's. Used to have this model. The only reason I couldn't get on with them is that they showed up my CDX2 as too forward and it was cheaper to change them than the CDP.

I see you have a Wadia 861... I've seen an 861 SE that I am very interested in... are you able to describe the 861's characteristics for me.

Cheers

Mac
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Macspur said:
I see you have a Wadia 861... I've seen an 861 SE that I am very interested in... are you able to describe the 861's characteristics for me.
Difficult for me to give much of an opinion on the 861 since I haven't much to compare it to, other than to say I really like it! I would say its "fluid", plenty of detail and punch, I can really hear the strong bass coming through now with the SCM40s. It seems to go well with the SCM40s and with the amps, provides a good front end. Reviews have mentioned it can sound quite "dark", supposedly the treble rolls off a little and I would agree, therefore it doesn't sound harsh at all.

I have seen 861s on Ebay for not very much, so the 861SE could be a bargain. I was thinking of getting the SE in order to then send off to GNSC but they now only upgrade players they have sold. Doubt I will upgrade the 861 now, although Wadia are doing good trade in deals which makes the 381i more affordable, but still expensive. My reason for having the Wadia is that it has digital volume (no pre amp required) and audio inputs, and so can be the centre of a digital music system. And the money saved on the pre-amp can be spent else where.

What price is the 861SE going for?
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
Hi Dr Lodge,

The Wadia sounds a really good match for ATC... really pleased for you.

The SE is going for just under 3K, but it is over 7 years old.

Thanks for the insite.

Cheers

Mac
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Macspur said:
The SE is going for just under 3K, but it is over 7 years old.
For £3k Id grab it quick. I paid £4.5k + £1k to have the digital i/o board fitted, that was around 2007 I think which is for the non-SE version. Id say that would be one of the best £3k players you can get today :clap:

Does it also have the digital i/o board?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
BenLaw said:
How are you finding the 40s after a few days Dr L? Were they a new pair or demo?
Thanks for asking :grin:

Ooh I like 'em! I've always been into transparent sounding equipment having been brought up on my Dad's Quad ESL57s/II/22 setup and having this in my bedroom for a while in my youth. Also bring a musician and drummer (of years past) I really like hearing the impact certain sounds have, drums should sound real and this is very heard to recreate well.

There is just so much more music coming out of the mix and hitting my ears, I can crank the speakers up and they dont fatique in the slightest. If there is a downside which is hearing whats bad about bad recordings, it is more than compensated for by the upside - a rich, detailed, tonally smooth and honest reproduction of whats on the silver disc.

Am in Munich now till Friday so will get to hear some more of them over the weekend. I think I will be having my hifi turned on alot more and rediscovering my music collection.

These speakers are a used pair, just a few months old and advertised on guildford audio website. So should I decide to keep them, they just stay where they are :p The previous owner didn't get on with them as he was sold equipment "at a good price", but that just didn't gel - the speakers were just too revealing for the CD and amp. I wont mention the retailers name that sold him unsuitable gear, just that it wasn't Guildford Audio!

David
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Where are you located Ben? Would be interesting to compare setups!
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
475
7
18,895
Dr Lodge said:
BenLaw said:
How are you finding the 40s after a few days Dr L? Were they a new pair or demo?
Thanks for asking :grin:

Ooh I like 'em! I've always been into transparent sounding equipment having been brought up on my Dad's Quad ESL57s/II/22 setup and having this in my bedroom for a while in my youth. Also bring a musician and drummer (of years past) I really like hearing the impact certain sounds have, drums should sound real and this is very heard to recreate well.

There is just so much more music coming out of the mix and hitting my ears, I can crank the speakers up and they dont fatique in the slightest. If there is a downside which is hearing whats bad about bad recordings, it is more than compensated for by the upside - a rich, detailed, tonally smooth and honest reproduction of whats on the silver disc.

Am in Munich now till Friday so will get to hear some more of them over the weekend. I think I will be having my hifi turned on alot more and rediscovering my music collection.

These speakers are a used pair, just a few months old and advertised on guildford audio website. So should I decide to keep them, they just stay where they are :p The previous owner didn't get on with them as he was sold equipment "at a good price", but that just didn't gel - the speakers were just too revealing for the CD and amp. I wont mention the retailers name that sold him unsuitable gear, just that it wasn't Guildford Audio!

David
Hi David. Good stuff :) A lot of the qualities you identify are why I'm a dedicated ATC fan. The speed, accuracy and texture of bass is like nothing else I've heard, so the recreation of even complex drumming is superb, I find you get a visceral sense of the individual drumhead, and have read expert drummers being able to identify particular drum manufacturers with them! The lack of fatigue is another thing, due to their low distortion. I can easily sit and listen for 5 hours to them (when I get a chance!). I know what you mean also about bad recordings, although as long as it's music I like I find the ATCs won't make anything *worse*, so music will range from 'ok' to 'astounding'.

Hope you enjoy Munich and then enjoy getting back to the speakers at the weekend. I'm Manchester / Stockport, how about you?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
BenLaw said:
Hope you enjoy Munich and then enjoy getting back to the speakers at the weekend. I'm Manchester / Stockport, how about you?
Ah, can't you guess with me dealing with Guildford Audio? Guildford's in Surrey :shifty:

And in Munich its snowing...hopefully I won't get snowed in over the weekend!
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
475
7
18,895
I thought that might be the case! Worth checking tho, feel free to get in touch if you're ever in the area.

I have a funny feeling the Germans will cope with snow a bit better than we do over here.... good luck!
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
Hi Dr Lodge,

Hope you managed to get back from Munich!

Just wondering how you're getting on with the 40's?

Are they a keeper?

Cheers
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi Macspur,

Yes managed to get back from Munich OK, they have the proper tools to clear snow, including a small digger type thing that was outside a local shopping centre clearing the pavements. Now you would never see such a thing in Blighty!!

These SCM40s are for keeps I think, its just a matter of settling on a price. I can see how these speakers could sound harsh in the treble but with my setup they are just wonderfully revealing. I really wonder what a pair of active SCM50 or SCM100s would sound like with their bigger bass units...one day perhaps :grin:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Dr Lodge said:
Hi Macspur,

Yes managed to get back from Munich OK, they have the proper tools to clear snow, including a small digger type thing that was outside a local shopping centre clearing the pavements. Now you would never see such a thing in Blighty!!

These SCM40s are for keeps I think, its just a matter of settling on a price. I can see how these speakers could sound harsh in the treble but with my setup they are just wonderfully revealing. I really wonder what a pair of active SCM50 or SCM100s would sound like with their bigger bass units...one day perhaps :grin:
100's for sale on a certain auction site. Temptation Dr :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
FATS 2828 said:
100's for sale on a certain auction site. Temptation Dr :)
I can see a pair of 100 passives, not actives tho...those black passive speakers look...UGLY!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Dr Lodge said:
FATS 2828 said:
100's for sale on a certain auction site. Temptation Dr :)
I can see a pair of 100 passives, not actives tho...those black passive speakers look...UGLY!
Definitely active in a fender tweed finish, new drivers. :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
FATS 2828 said:
Definitely active in a fender tweed finish, new drivers. :)
Ah, I see them now, listed as "monitors" not "speakers"...they are a little steep for my budget right now, and I think they are the ones that sit on top of stands not "towers" that I prefer. Will watch them though, see if they go...
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
Dr Lodge said:
Hi Macspur,

Yes managed to get back from Munich OK, they have the proper tools to clear snow, including a small digger type thing that was outside a local shopping centre clearing the pavements. Now you would never see such a thing in Blighty!!

These SCM40s are for keeps I think, its just a matter of settling on a price. I can see how these speakers could sound harsh in the treble but with my setup they are just wonderfully revealing. I really wonder what a pair of active SCM50 or SCM100s would sound like with their bigger bass units...one day perhaps :grin:
Hi Dr Lodge

Yes, bigger LF units with SLMT technology, studio Super Soft Dome, superior HF units, electronic crossovers with optimised professional studio grade class A tri amplification, etc. add up to SCM50ASL and SCM100ASL monitors offering significant gains in overall performance over the already superb SCM40 monitors.

Fwiw, i use SCM100ASL Professional monitors - C6/SCM0.1/15 and apart from SCM150ASL's i have yet to hear better.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS