ATC buying advice

Hi everyone,

I am planning on buying new speakers for a music room I am setting up, and would like some advice from people with experience with ATC--which is the brand I would like to buy the speakers from. I do like to buy extras like an additional preamp and sub from the same brand if possible.

The room is around 48 m2 and 3m high and has no soundproofing, bass traps or anything. I just want to start with a setup that is simple for a starting enthusiast and will be appropriate for the size of the room. That's why I am leaning towards active speakers, such as the ATC SCM40A. Budget isn't really an issue but I do want to keep it relatively simple to start with.

So, I have a few things to figure out, taking the ATC SCM40A as a starting point:
- Pre-amp. The setup will also include a Rega P10/Aphelion2, and I've been looking at the Rega Aura preamp too. But I have no experience with this and don't know if a ATC SCA2 or CDA2 might be a better option (I do like the integrated cd-player of the CDA2);
- ATC SCM40A vs SCM50ASL (Pro) / ATC SCM50ASLT or higher. I understand I will have to listen to multiple speakers and audition preferably in my room, but purely based on your experience and the fact I will use the speakers for home listening. What's your take? I do like the look of the 40 towers in satin black, and know the pro's are less-refined looking. But ultimately it's the sound that matters most. If that means I have to go for the 100's or 150's, so be it.
- Subwoofer. Based on whether I will go for an 40A or up, do you think it would be preferable to go for a subwoofer? I read a lot and the opinions vary and it comes down to personal preference. I do like some bass, but I mostly listen to rock, classical and soundtracks. If I'd go for a sub, would single C1 Sub Mk2 suffice, or would you opt for 2/3 or the C4?
- Cables. What cables do you recommend for my DAP, TT and the rest? Again, I am inexperienced in this and open to suggestions.

All advise is welcome!


The idea that it takes superior engineering to do digital crossovers or eq is hillarious.  Anyone can do that.  The only reason to do digital is because you don't have the engineering to do it analog, obviously.  


There may be advantages over regular methods in some designs but they pale in comparison to what can be done digitally. You have to remember the designer has no idea what environment the speaker is going to be placed in and the room is 50% of the equation, some would say more. Analog can not deal with this. Eventually systems could be digital all the way to the speaker enclosure. With good cable you can easily run a 300 foot AES-EBU line without any loss. 


You have to be kidding me. Analog electrical engineering has been around for eons. I built my first amp when I was 13 years old. Digital signal processing is about 25 years old. It is an entirely different branch of electrical engineering and requires specific training. Programming the crossovers is easy, but that is not designing the circuitry. 

The only reason to do anything in analog is to hand an analog signal to the amplifier so you can listen with your analog ears. Unless you have a large record collection everything should remain digital up to the amps. Not only will such a system easily outperform any analog set up but you can also tune such a system to sound any way you want without any added artifacts. I digitize my phono stage and do the final RIAA correction by computer.  I also use tube amplifiers to drive ESLs.

Just wondering how long my brand new ATC SCM100ASLT take to fully run in ?

I am assuming the 12” woofers will take the longest to “bed in” ?


ATC is not big on the idea of break in. They heavily QC the drive units and "run them in" at the factory. SO I dont think you’ll find any break in is necessary. In support of that, I have never in 20 years had a customer tell me a replacement driver every sounded different from existing drivers in the speaker. If "break in" with ATC is always part of it, if it was clearly audible, how could all those owners over the years miss it?   Strange isn't it?