Joseph audio perspectives, magico a3, ATC scm40 v2

I am deciding between three speakers for my livingroom setup:

Joseph audio perspectives (v1)
Magico a3
ATC scm40 v2

My living room area is 15ft by 24ft. I need to place the speakers very close to the back wall so i was considering closed cabinet design.

previously i was using ATC scm40v1 and enjoyed its midrange especially male vocals and live music presentation. My setup is prism sound dream da1 as DAC, conran jhonson pv5 tube pre (about to get a schiit freya plus in Aug) and still deciding on amps.

One option for me is to get the ATC40v2.

I auditioned Magico S1 mk2 and Magico S3 mk2 but not yet the A3. S1 and S3 are wonderful sounding speakers with tons of details, great 3d imaging and dynamics, but sometimes a bit too refined and analytical. I would say the mids are just different flavors in S1 and S3 compared to ATCs, but not necessarily better. Also a3’s appearance and weight are not too appealing to me.

I found a used pair of joseph perspectives for $6k. I heard good things about joseph audio perspectives. They look great and are perfect in size and weight for me. Can anyone share their experiences with sonic performance of the joseph perspectives compared to ATC40s, especially in the vocals presentation? Thanks a lot!
A526a7da 4d2e 4111 9799 f9ecb4b66411yuhengdu_tiger
The Perspectives are very good sounding speakers, but they do have serious limitations.  You have to understand that they are small tower speakers with small drivers.  Jeff has done a great job at making them sound very full and big but with that comes a lot of driver excursion to achieve that output.  This compromises the mid-range, especially the louder you play them.  If you have a medium to large room or you like to listen fairly loud, you'll want to go with a larger 3 way speaker.


I agree that someone should have his expectations in check to a degree.The size of the sound and the bass that comes out of the Perspectives is really surprising.  However, yes, we are talking about fairly small drivers (though long excursion, and low distortion).

Not sure what you mean by "compromises the midrange" the louder you play them.  One of the features of the Perspectives is that they remain clear, clean and grain-free even at loud volumes.  That's what I hear, and John Atkinson made a point about that also in his review.

However, I'd say there does seem to be a bit of a limitation in terms of going super loud, where it seems like you turn up the volume but they hit a point where they don't seem to be going much louder.    But, for me, that only just barely begins to happen when I'm cranking them to listen from another room down the hall in my house.  They go louder without strain than I need when in my listening room.

But, yes, if you play really loud you might want a larger speaker, or one with more/larger drivers (well designed of course).
@dznutz Thanks for the input. I don’t listen very loud actually I often listen quite small volume since I am putting the speakers in the living room area where my 2 kids are around. I normally sit either 11 ft or 15 ft from the speakers though.

The dilemma for me is that I can not go for a too large of a pair of speakers (such as atc scm50) since I will have a hard time to get a wife approval. That’s why I limit my options to be small foot print speakers in the first place.

Anyway, I get to audition the perspectives next week and I will see if they will work for me. 
I was considering getting the ATC p2 amp and pair with ATC scm40 v2. How do you feel this p2+atc40 passives would stack up against the atc40a? The atc40a is a bit pricer than the passives combo though.. Since I can only find new ones of them which is $13k a pair.
@yuhengdu_tiger Good to know you've already compared the SCM19A and preferred your SCM40s. That's significant! So again we figure that SCM40As would be the ideal solution for your room but I completely empathize they are so expensive new, and finding used/demo pairs is almost impossible.The P1/P2/SIA2-150 are all perfect matches for the passives, but they can't match the full performance of an active tri-amped pair. But recall also that there is the option of passive biamping and triamping.

Very crudely, and with some margin of error, let's figure that: 
  • SCM40A = 100% sound potential (active triamp)
  • SCM40v1 + P1 = 65% (passive stereo)
  • SCM40v1 + P2 = 75% (passive stereo)
  • SCM40v1 + 2 x P1 (passive biamp) = 80%
  • SCM40v1 + 3 x P1 (passive triamp) = 85%
  • SCM40v1 + 2 x P2 (passive biamp) = 90%
  • SCM40v1 + 3 x P2 (passive triamp) = 95%
If we consider the cost of each config, we hit irrational returns with passive triamping, as we exceed the cost of the SCM40A itself, but there are some interesting options before that. 

The amp ratings for each SCM40A are: 150w for the bass driver, 60w for the midrange, 32w for the tweeter. Which would let you play at higher listening levels than you wrote that you ever do. So let's call that 100% performance is also an overkill.

I suggested before you may get really good improvements in clarity and poise from passive biamping (one amp per speaker; one output dedicated to the bass terminals + remove the bass-mid jumper, the other amp outut goes to the mids or tweeter terminals + keep the mid-tweeter jumper). 

Is there any way you can try this out? It doesn't necessarily need to be ATC amps, even though they are proven matches technically and sonically; there are going to be many great amp matches out there. You'd need two stereo power amps with the same gain (thus easier to do if they're identical). Compare the difference using one of the amps for both speakers, vs one amp per speaker, and one amp channel each for the bass terminals.

P.S. The pro audio versions of the P1 and P2 (same inside as the consumer ones!) can be bought new from pro audio stores much cheaper than from hi fi stores, weirdly.

Well I have done that!  I have tried every combo of passive with ATC amps (which is not so difficult when you are the importer).  The active wins every time on the same issues: detail, image, transparency, dynamics.   I've even done that demo at a trade show, AXPONA 2 years ago.   Its not hard to hear. 

BY the way, no apparent improvement in detail, image or transparency adding amps in the passive biamp or triamp method.  Some improvements in dynamics due to increased power.  But imaging is what I like out of actives and there is nothing I can do to the passives to equal the actives in listening, consumer or pro.

To be fair there are some people who will not be able to hear the difference.  It is NOT like two different speakers.  The timbre, the balance and the "tone" of the speaker was the same between active and passive.  Just the resolution, the quality of the image, the overall speed of the speaker was very different. 

I know that from a technical perspective there will be a big difference between the passive and active in the linearity of phase.  The actives will look perfect, the passives not perfect.  This is a by product of a passive crossover, all that cable, and lack of ability to adjust phase of individual drivers- all those problems go away on a active designs.