ATC makes some of the best dynamic speakers available. They're used extensively as professional studio monitors. They need plenty of high current amp power and careful room placement. The tweeter is a wide dispersion design. Rather than go with the passive version, seek out the powered versions.
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I have to say that the system setup that I spoke of had the best sound I have heard in quite awhile. Its hard to say it was the best I've heard but it was as good as I can ever remember.. They don't make powered 20s do they? I think the 50s can be had in powered form but the foot print won't work for me. The 20s were the right size. How big of a SS power amp would I need for these babies. I am very inclined to stay with Classe and would upgrade to a CA-150 or CA-200 but that's it. No CA-300 or CA-400 for me. Too big foot print wise.. Thanks...
I still have my old SCM20SL Pro passives on Sound Anchors and love them! They’re awesome 2 ways that just sound so right; the best qualities being the natural, transparent mids and surprisingly deep, tightly damped bass.
For sure, all ATC passives need beefy amps with a high damping factor to control the drivers. However, I’d question matching the SCM20s with the kind of $$$$$ amps your dealer used. I use ATC’s own P1 and these are a great match at a sane price. The SIA2-150 integrated has the same power amp section, but with a single-ended pre-amp section. There’s also the higher powered P2 and the new PMC Cor integrated. I’ve read that Plinius also gives a good match. DIY folks liked using higher powered Ncores, but I prefer class AB.
Ultimately, though, if you had the higher budget (and larger room) and buy into what ATC are really about, then one should go for their fully active SCM20/40/50 ASLs. All ATC speakers have an active version except maybe the little SCM7. The 19/20s do have an active version, but I think at a rather steep price, unfortunately, at which point, the full 3 ways are getting into reach.
In my modest system and room, I prefer the SCM20s with the P1 over the SCM40s (I found the 2-ways give better driver integration), but if I could, the next jump up is to the SCM50s. I would dearly love a pair of SCM50 ASLs, which deliver even lower extension with that unbelievable mid!
The 20 is a "pro" number in the US, and home audio model is called the SCM 19. Active is called the SCM 19A.
The SCM 19 and SCM 20 pro are voiced differently, in both active and passive versions. The 20 is brighter and set up for highlighting flaws in mixes, where the 19 is warmer and nicer to listen to. Both use the same drivers, but different crossovers in passive form and different amplifiers in active form. Most people do not know this.
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Except there’s also the "SCM20" from the home classic series with the detachable baffle: http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/hi-fi/loudspeakers/classic-series/scm20/
I’m not clear how the 19/20/Pro can be voiced much differently if the crossover point is exactly the same at 2.8khz (well, before they introduced the ATC tweeter...with the 19s and 20 Pros now at 2.5khz) and if they use the exact same drivers in more or less the same cabinet. I think the crossover caps are different (Bennic in the 19s, Ansar in the 20 Pros), which might do it. Otherwise, there’s only resistors and coils left.
Great speakers, must have equally great ancillary equipment for them to really shine. ATC speakers are used in studios all over the world. Based on my limited short term listening , if you don't like how they sound it's probably not the speaker's fault. For some contemplating amplifiers, active ATC s are the way to go if you can spend the $$$