I just attempted to buy a pair of ATC scm 40's two days ago here on agon . Unfortunately they had sold while the listing was active and i missed by only a couple hours . They were floor standers though . Do they also make a bookshelf scm 40 ? If you get the floor standers no worries with children ? Good luck . We will be competing for future ATC 's if you are buying used !
Consider the active ATC SCM40A? The bass with ATC is much more accurate and it sounds like you already know what the ATC mid range can do and it solves your amplification headache in one go. Kids grow up but your speaker will be with you for years.
I'd go Tannoy and keep the Tubes; more musical to these ears. And if you don't have to replace amp, perhaps Canterbury become doable?
Thanks for the responses. MapleGrove, I would be buying the new SCM40 V2 from my dealer, so you can have the used! (Although I have to say I think the original SCM40 with the black face look just fine, and now a great bargain used). Shadorne, yes, the actives are an option, for sure. If I choose the ATCs I will consider the passive version vs. the active.
I should add for posterity, if I chose the actives I would still have to buy a new preamp with balanced outputs to connect to the speakers. Vintage McIntosh have RCA only. Also, active speakers have power chords, so you have to consider additional power chords and available wall outlets (or extensions) with regard to speaker placement. Still they are a great option.
The amps also have sentimental value and I would like to use them." as far as I am concerned this is your answer...
A wonderful aspect of ATC is how faithfully they reproduce what has been recorded on the media. This can be amazing with excellent recordings but horrible on poorly recorded ones. They are very clear, resolving and tonally neutral. I've owned the 20-2's and the SCM-11's. I currently own the SCM-19's. The bass for the size has slam and is very detailed. They do require powerful amplification. Many don't like ATC because they are too revealing.
On the other hand Tannoy are not as "fast" are more mellow sounding and less detailed. With good tubes they produce a warm blanket of sound which many people like. I own the Glenair 15's and once owned the Turnberry's.
Based on your listening preferences I would recommend the Tannoy's.
Here is a reply that you will love Jimmy2615.
I went from a ATC SCM40 to Tannoy Turnberry SE. It was not an upgrade effort. I just had relocate to a different city so I sold my ATC (with a heavy heart) and bought a Turnberry SE (just took a chance after some auditions). Contrary to what many will tell you, they are more alike than different:
1. They are both very very neutral. Yes, Tannoys are very neutral when driven by good high current amps. But people normally drive Tannoys with more colourful (soulful) tube amps and in the process lose some neutrality and transparency. Drive the Tannoys and ATC with a quality class A amplifier or say something like the ATC SIA-150 and you will hear both of them doing terrific in terms of speed, transparency and tone.
2. The ATC is a bit more neutral to tone but is also drier than the Tannoy. With the Tannoy the timbre is more wet and audible. You can hear a more breathing guitar with the Tannoy whereas ATC will sound more straightforward. To me, Tannoys sound more realistic whereas ATC sounds more accurate (slightly academic in comparison).
3. In terms of dynamics the ATC is amazing. It is more dynamic and effortless than 95% of conventional speakers out there. But Tannoys are partially horn guided and that shows! The Tannoys are even more effortless! Those big drivers do scale and dynamics in a more natural fashion. Those horn guided tweeters bring the bells and triangles more into the room and closer to the listeners, more live I would say.
4. The bass of ATC and Tannoys are different. ATC is drier and punchier, more pistonic. Tannoy is juicier, more wholesome. Kick drums sound more exciting via ATC due to that outright punch, double bass sound more engaging through Tannoy because of the texture and tone which makes it feel more like a real instrument in the room. Just that one needs to understand, while Tannoys sound wonderful with a 30 watt tube amp, if you want it to rock and groove, give it more power like you give the ATC.
5. In terms of outright transparency the ATC is better. The Tannoys on the other hand is more coherent and sounds like a point source more readily because of the concentric drivers. When I moved from ATC to Tannoy I knew the ATC could sound more transparent but the Tannoy was also very transparent so I did not miss the ATC. By the way when I listen to a well setup active ATC I do not miss the Tannoy either.
6. The Tannoys are more forgiving but they are not coloured. They are just a bit more natural sounding while ATC is a bit more surgical in its approach. But it is really not something to be worried about. ATC is not clinical or surgical in absolute sense. It is only a bit more surgical compared to a Tannoy Prestige.
Big drivers by law of physics do some things that small drivers cannot do and vice versa. But when well implemented big drivers and small drivers come very close to achieve the same sonic goals of the more realistic music reproduction. Tannoy and ATC are an example of similar convergence.
All said and done I would one day like to own a ATC SCM100 active and a Tannoy GRF MK4. They both remain my favourite conventional speakers till date. There are other amazing speakers that I really like e.g Pioneer Exclusive 2402, Avant Garde Trio Omega, TAD CR1. I may get into these big horn speakers if I leave Tannoy and ATC.
I would suggest you look at the Turnberry GR Limited edition instead of Kensington. Kensington sounds more transparent but it also sounds a bit too bright. Turnberry GR is very balanced. Or you could directly go ahead with Canterburry which is the best of the lot.
On the ATC side, get the 40 active or if it has to be passive then get ATC amplifers to match. Dont try to match amplifiers from other brands which is a pain. I have done that and ultimately found ATC own amplifiers to be an amazing match.
Hoggshead and Pani, thanks for the all the info ! It is very helpful, indeed. I was afraid I would not be able to find people with experience with both manufacturers, so is this great. Pani, what do you think about the Turnberry's ability to fill a room my size compared to the SCM40? I was concerned it might be on the smallish side; also, I like the height of the Kensington - the Turnberry seems like a must for stands.
No experience with Tannoy but the SCM40 are fabulous. The ATCs do like quite a bit of power. Out of all the stuff we've tried them with so far the Devialet 200 is the favorite. Non-integrated amps then Parasound Halo A21, NAD M22 and the ATC power amp all work well.
We do have a pair of SCM40v2 in Cherry 8/10 condition we are trying to find a new home for. Price is under 5k. You can contact us via our website if you are interested. We're only selling so we can get a pair of the ATC SCM40v2 Actives on display. We also have SCM11 through SCM50 on display here in SF Bay Area.
Nyal / Acoustic Frontiers
If you decide to go the Tannoy route, I have a pair of Canterbury GR that I will be selling. This may be an opportunity to get them for near the Kensington price. The Tannoy works perfectly close to the back wall and has adjustable bass ports and is one of the most dynamic speakers I have heard. Im not a dealer, I just have a pair that I purchased new that I need to sell. A 40 watt tube amp would be perfect. The Canterburys work great with as little as 12 watts and as much as several hundred. They are very beautiful to look at as well. You can contact me here if you are interested/
Jimmy, both ATC SCM40 and Turnberry SE would fill up similar sized rooms. But the Turnberry because of its bigger horn loaded drivers tend to sound fuller and bigger so it will sound more comfortable in a bigger space. Both SCM40 and Turnberry sound very effortless and open overall. More effortless than some very big speakers you will come across. Just that ATC needs 2-3 times more power/current than Turnberry to completely sound free and open and that is why it is highly advised to go with active ATC. Tannoy however will be very happy with 60 solid class A watts.
Thanks Pani and all, appreciate the info.
Follow up - I decided to try some Tannoy Turnberry SE Loudspeakers to finally audition some Tannoy's in my home and system. I figured this way I could hear the 'house' sound, and more importantly hear them with my vintage McIntosh equipment. I received them today, and having unpacked them, true to form they are beautiful cabinets. After an initial listening period, so far very impressive...
After a week of intermittent listening, there is a lot to like about the Tannoy's. I could sum up by saying that Pani's description above seems spot on to me. Some things I really like: First, as I listed in my original post I wanted something that was 'child friendly', worked well with my 40 w/ch vintage tube gear, and were easy to place in the room. Yes on all three accounts. Second, I like that the screens are very well built - while Tannoy recommends you listen without them, they are pretty transparent. They are the best built screens I have ever seen, and easy to remove (for the adult but not the kid). Third, as has been said many times, they work fine at low volumes. I think this says a lot about the overall engineering and design. Lastly and most importantly is the sound. Inner harmonics are fantastic, detail and soundstaging are very good, they are musical, and have a top to bottom (of the frequency spectrum) consistency that is rare in the loudspeakers I have had thus far. Also very important to me, they do not mind being pushed hard. All in all these speakers have a lot going for them. My tube gear never sounded better; I am intrigued by what a good solid state amp would do with them. I'm also interested to hear the Alnico versions - the Kensingtons still may be a final choice. I did mention concerns about the size of the Turnberry's. While they are shorter than I would prefer (I actually sit on the floor when doing critical listening), they are not by any stretch too small for the room - in fact, on some music they almost seem like they would prefer a larger room. One interesting thing is that these are the first pair of speakers I have had that have such a wide 'sweet spot.' You can sit anywhere in the room and still get a centralized stereo image from them. I do think they need stands though, as many have said. Overall, impressive speakers and definitely in the ball park for what I was looking for.
jimmy2615, how do the Tannoy do with large scale orchestral?
Jetexpro, they do very well. I'm listening to Vaughn Williams' "Sea Symphony" right now, with peaks on my radio shack spl meter upwards of 97 db. Instruments remain separated, the sound is uncongested, no strain (effortless, as Pani talks about above), regardless of the volume. At this point (these volumes) my room and possibly amplifier I think will become more of a factor in sound degradation than the speakers. I think also with a high powered SS amp the large scale classical might even be more impressive.
After re-reading some of my comments here I wanted to correct a couple things that were probably not exactly what I wanted to say. First, I mentioned I have to sit on the ground with the Tannoy's. To clarify, if I want my ears to be level with the speakers I can sit on the floor without slouching to do that. Sitting in my chair, my ears are about a foot above the tweeters. The sound is fine sitting in the chair. At ear level you get a bit more detail, but I did not want to suggest that these are unlistenable in other positions. Second, I mentioned in the original post that the Klipsch's don't image well. That's probably not fair (and I'm surprised some Klipsch fans haven't jumped on me for that) - they do pretty well if set up well. What I was trying to get at is that I don't think the 3 drivers integrate as well as some other speakers somewhat contributing to the overall image, and in my set up they did not image all that great. But they can. Lastly, back to the Tannoy's, I may have suggested that my vintage gear was perhaps satisfactory with these speakers, like it was a compromise. Of course I can not know the truth until I try some other gear, but otherwise I think the match between the old McIntosh and the Tannoys is really quite good. This is a great system and at this point I am starting to look just at tube rolling to see about possible improvements.
Jimmy, I've enjoyed reading your experiences with the Turnberrys. I thought I'd add my two cents, as I've been using a pair of custom 12" HPD (ca 1975 Dual Concentrics), that have custom crossovers and have been converted to hard edge surrounds, as per the current Prestige drivers are.
I have driven them with a multitude of different amps, and my current favorites are a 500 Wpc class d amp, and a 9 Wpc SET 300B that the Tannoys sound delicious with. With either amp, the sound is very enjoyable, the class d delivers better bass, which you would expect given the disparity in power available. The SET is actually quite good at delivering excellent bass, as it has massive power supplies.
Having two such disparate amp topologies to choose from is something I enjoy being able to do, and I don't doubt that I will live happily this way for the unforseeable future.
Good luck to you, I don't think you can go wrong with the direction you are heading.