ATC SCM 7 V.3 and

Hi, looking for speaker to replace my 15 y.o Sonus Faber Concertino Domus speaker, currently using Accuphase E-280 integrated amplifier in a small room of 11.4'x 9.5' x 8' (L x W x H)

Was looking for ATC, B&W speaker which is good match & synergy with E280.   Lately i read some poor review on B&W product quality especially the 600 series.  Now focus on ATC .

Would like to know if E280 capable to drive this ATC SCM7 v.3 , how's the synergy ?  My preferred music genres are Jazz, Classical, vocals, etc.

Any other recommended brand of speakers with Accuphase is welcomed based on similar setup and genres.




Tarun's review is always spot on that you might take a look.  I never own either of this but I adore ATC SCM 11 so much and have an eye on those.  I will be concerned with the 7's insensitivity (82 measured which is 2dB lower than the specified) so you might want to also look at Proac Bookshelf alternative which has similar tight / nimble bass. (although they are more expensive)

Your amp rated 90 watts 8 ohms...The small room would be a +.I am in a 13 by 10 room with the 19’s,but ss 200 aside modwright.I still feel i could get away with more power.I started with the 11’s and went 19’s because of the driver in the 19 and didnt want to coulda shoulda to be a factor in purchase.I would even think the 11’s would work great in the size room.I originally thought the 19 might be to much for the room,not so.The design of no port really show how well controlled they are.

Guys @lanx0003 @digsmithd thanks for your insight and sharing.   FYI, i just sold my 200W Krell KAV-400xi amp after moving to small room, otherwise it should easily drive SCM7.

I have asked ATC distributor,  they said E280 (damping factor 500) able to drive this speaker.  Just my little concern on lower bass frequency especially double bass or equivalent instruments may be hard to be auditioned

If more info and backup info "lonemountain"...really helpfull.No bs.A nice 12 gauge quality cable will help Amp to speaker.And jumpers...are the cherry on top.

For your musical taste and room size you should look at any LS3/5a type of speaker. Harbeth, Spendor, Falcon, Stirling, etc, etc,! BTW, I think the Harbeth P3ESR ( my favorite) would be great with the Accuphase!!


Since you have mentioned the high damping factor (DF) of your amp and the uncertainty on the 7’s bass performance, the combination of two might produce bass notes on the leaner side and sometimes might affect the midrange too. Remember 7’s freq. response is 60Hz-22kHz at +-6dB already and you could probably imagine how will the bass notes be perceived under well-controlled amplification. I like tight bass but not overly tight because it will sound lean. To give you an example that I do have actual experience with. I own Parasound NC 2125 (DF = 150 at 20Hz) and A23 (DF over 800). Both are class A/B rated 125 wpc into 8 Ohm. From the same speakers (NHT Sb3), the bass with A23 is tighter, cleaner but less weighty than the bass with NC 2125 in an absolute term. The effect on my main speakers, Wharfedale Linton Heritage, is similar. Linton has tighter bass so I match it with NC 2125, and Sb3 is with A23. This works out well for me.

The other coveat is, as Tarun points out, Scm 7 is ideal for near-field, desktop settitng. With even small size room setting, I will consider upgrading to at least Scm 11 ($900 more). The soundstage of Scm is modest, not particularly wide as compared to other speakers with dispersion tweeter driver. So you will need to place them further away to acquire better soundstage. In a room setting with due separation, I am afraid 7’s will probably not perform to your satisfaction.

@yogiboy LS3/5a was my shortlisted speakers like Harbeth, Rogers, etc. But they are above $1800 budget . Will scout for used perhaps, I like musical speaker , listening to music, natural timbre and not equipment. thanks for your recommendation 

@lanx0003 thanks for your advise on damping factor on bass impact.  I am not lean on bass, just that I hope E280 / SCM7 can produce as wide frequency range as possible.  I will go for audition soon and will see .

Talking about near field, I am sitting less than 2m from Sonus Faber Concertino Domus with 2.2m between the speakers with slight toe in.  

These Falcon Acoustics Q7 are sold factory direct and are within your budget. My nephew owns the larger IMF 100s and they are outstanding. They are sold in both kit or finished. They might be worth looking into!

Here is a review!

Its really close to my specs room know what you want out of your system...Good stands and setup properly you may achieve a great sound stage with the scm 7.They may surprise you.Option to upgrade would be good.

I ended up toeing in enough to eliminate 1st reflection/just over shoulder.

Op, let us know please the outcome of auditioning.  Maybe I could use it as reference for my quest for scm bookshelf 😀

@yogiboy thanks for your recommendation on Falcon, having checked our local distributor,  there's no Falcon Q7 here, but LS3/5a,  it's overpriced here at USD 4k.  

@digsmithd I hope SCM7 will sound good at low level listening in view of small room and not to disturb neighbourhood.

@lanx0003 I do hope I can express my listening experience after audition 🤭

Besides SCM7 , I will audition 10 years old Harbeth Compact 7ES-2 for comparison, the latter draws my interest for more musical and natural  sound and could listen at low volume level ...what do you guys thing about C7ES2 ?

Yeah nice speaker...they do sound like there more in your quest.The atc are musical and natural to my ears, but the harbeth are sweet musical.I think that there are trade offs with everything/speakers.Harbeths played at lower vol is a +.

Harbeth...older iteration...probably newer crossover updates/changes,metal tweeter?

Atc ...Will throw a nice sound stage...need to have some vol to get things up and running.Wont have the throw the harbeth have... just physics/cab volume.

With AAVA (Accuphase Analog Vari-gain Amplifier) technology of Accuphase, possible SCM7 can be listened at low level volume without sound degrading ? 

I’m curious what the reasoning is for why an ATC 7 suffers at low level? Fletcher Munson effects? There is no technical reason why this would be true. One of ATC’s strengths to owners in both pro and consumer is the consistency of sound from high to low SPL. I’ve been involved with ATC as the importer to the US for 20+ years and I have never experienced this low level SPL being different (other than Fletcher Munson perception issues) 



Hi Brad, yes, that's the Fletcher Munson effect . That's why now several amplifier manufacturer has "loudness" button to deattenutate.


Besides that, I also noticed the few remastered album from Tidal  is more "loudness" as I observed from Roon track/album details DB gain compare to the earlier version . 

Aside from loudness buttons and great recordings (which is a big part of it)...i think having your system in good form to begin with is really necessary for a speaker to be able to perform at optimum low level...Speaker well run in,Quality stands/sound anchors work.Speaker placement dialed in...components properly decoupled made a huge difference for my system.I sometimes wonder how far people go to achieve optimum performance...At one point i was ready to off my atc 19 because i just wasnt hearing what i thought these speaker's should be capable of.It wasnt the speaker but was my lack of attention to stands and setup that was keeping them from performing.That done made all the difference... Not always the speaker that is the weak link.

digsmithd: wise words. I go in and out of major recording studios and also stores with speaker displays; set up is a HUGE issue that affects everyone everywhere. The biggest surprise to me is how people do not experiment with different speaker placement, different seating positions, different stands, changing things up to see if anything makes it noticeably better. Its shocking how much stands affect the speaker. I recommend sound anchor in pro as the speakers always sound better on them. Setting the speakers on consoles or desks is NOT the way to get performance. Using light weight stands cause "ringing" to be added to the speaker sound. I could not find any wooden stands or light metal stands that sound great to me. Ridiculous to spend 4 or 5K on a speaker only to have a $100 stand ruin it. Same idea with a tonearm on a turntable- it helps the cartridge sound better.



I hope SCM7 will sound good at low level listening in view of small room and not to disturb neighbourhood.


I am not sure about this. I’ve read many posts saying the ATCs don’t do low volume as good as the Harbeth. They need to be played at moderate to higher volumes to open up and sound good. At low volume it’s all treble with little to zero midrange and bass with the ATC. Not sure how true is this.

@ryder I just got my SCM 11 a week ago.  There is no issue listening at low level , my integrated amplifier is with AAVA analog vari-gain amplifier  loudness control though.  According to its entry brochure, one can listen at low level or then gradually increase the volume to sufficient sound pressure level depends on room size , listening distance etc. 

Auronthas, that is good to know. The ATCs are great speakers. There are few owners who use top-flight Naim amps with the speakers particularly SCM19. The Accuphase E280 and SCM11 look like an interesting combination.



I'm convinced this "don't sound good at low level" is a some myth started by someone who doesn't understand what they are doing.  This myth is in direct opposition to what the entire professional community already know about ATC: its sounds the same at every level, unlike many others, with the caveat of Fletcher Munson effects.

Given the fundamental truth that all our demos everywhere are heavily affected by Fletcher Munson effects, this means even a small difference in level will be perceived as more bass or less bass in the speaker when it's no such thing- its our perception of bass causing this effect.  So given that people just hook a pair of speakers and then hook up another pair right after, or hook up two pairs to an amp with a speaker selector switch, whichever pair of speaker is more efficient will win the demo because its louder and sounds "better" (more bass/more treble).   I see this all the time here, where people extoll how much better one is vs another and efficiency is not even considered.  Ignore such comparisons unless its matched levels precisely.  These demos completely mislead the listener when using  a switcher - switching instantly from one speaker to the other will favor whichever one has greater efficiency (over Fletcher Munson effects).  A 1/2 dB increase/decrease in amp gain will completely alter the outcome of such A/B comparisons.  

Given the very deliberate engineering choice by ATC (and other manufacturers as well) to choose more bass extension instead of efficiency in designing the speaker system, the lower efficiency makes it vulnerable to uniformed listeners who directly A/B two speakers, picking the more efficient one as "better" every time - solely because its louder and sounds like more bass (and more treble).  It in fact does NOT have more bass, it just sounds like it because of Fletcher Munson.  A speaker that is 89dB SPL 1w/1m vs a speaker that is 89.5 dB SPL 1w/1m - the 89dB one will lose every time in a switched demo.  The public will not hear this 1/2dB difference in level, they will just hear more or less bass.  Engineers and marketers know this and work it big time.  Tricks like this, higher efficiency, port boosting, are exactly how speaker companies sell more to the public.  

So it is not true that ATC has less bass at lower level.  It is engineered to have MORE bass but efficiency comparisons will make it appear the opposite.


Lone Mountain/ATC USA