Dear members,

I have almost decided to buy ATC SCM150ASLT. But before investing big ammount, I still need to answer few questions. I will be very thankfull if you can answer some or all of them. There is no possibility to audition in my country, so I will need to take some risks and order anyway. Also local dealers usually know less and just care about selling more gear for more money. I would really appreciate that.

I am still a beginner in hi-fi world and this will be my first big system. I own near field monitors Genelec 8351, which I like. But I already want an improvement and I am looking for the big sound.

I mainly listen to electronic music, also ambient, down-tempo, nu-disco and etc. My music often inludes some instruments and vocals. I do not listen cheap mainstream EDM. I only occasionally listen to other genres like rock/jazz/blues/pop/rap and etc.

Few tracks to get an idea:



Question 1 - Models.

Do I correctly understand, that all these models sound totally the same? SCM150ASL Pro, SCM150ASL and SCM150ASLT. Difference is only in cabinet finishes and added accessories (grills, stands)?


Question 2. Room.

Speakers will be in a summer wooden frame-house. Made from 15 cm. glasswool inside and some drywall. Room has two big windows from floor to ceilings. Room dimensions is around 5-6 m. x 8 meters. Ceiling height moving from 2.4 to 2.8 m. I will ask for professional acoustician to treat my room after we install speakers. At least primary reflections and solve biggest room issues if we find any.

  • Is my room large enough for ATC SCM150ASLT? What is the smallest room recommended?
  • I have attached my room plan. How far from side walls and rear wall I shoul place the speakers? Is my plan good?
  • Speakers will stand in front of glass wall. I know it is not good. But still usable? What problems I may face and if it will be possible to solve them?

I understand , that nobody can guarantee the sound quality in a specific room. But I just need your guidelines if you have any.


Question 3. Pre-amp and DAC.

I will be listening only to digital files through my computer. Maybe I will add vinyls/cd and streamer after few years, when I will have extra budget.

My goal now is to get maximum out of my speakers, with buying least needed boxes, but best quality, so they match my speaker quality and price range. I do not understand if I need pre-amp and if it affects sound quality.

Please help me to get right strategy what to buy now, and what I can upgrade later. And how big adding better dac or pre-amp affects overall sound quality.

So questions are:

  • Can I just buy best I can afford pure DAC (with analogue sound level control) and go straight to my active speakers (so there is no pre-amp in my system at all)?
  • Or I need DAC, not pure, with some kind pre-amp funkcionality?
  • Or I need to buy pre-amp and Dac (separate boxes)? Would that improve sound quality a lot, because of pre-amp in the system?
  • Or I should better buy best DAC I can and add pre-amp later? Or otherwise - I should buy now best pre-amp and simple DAC, which I can upgrade later?

If I am getting it right, I do not need a pre-amp now, if I play only digital files from my computer. I should now buy best pure DAC I can and which matches my system’s quality and price range, am I correct? Later on I could add pre-amp (I would choose ATC SCA2 pre-amp for brand synergy), which would improve sound quality just a little bit, but I could add vinyls also. Is that correct?

If yes, could you give reccommendations for pure DAC, that are known for good synergy with ATC? Which model could be good match for my system in terms of quality and price range? Should I invest in DAC like 5-10k.€ to get most of my speakers?


Question 4. Updates.

ATC models have been updated quite long ago. And ATC 50 year aniversary is coming next year. Would it be wise from my side to wait till let’s say Munich Hi-Fi Show to see if there are any big news from ATC? 

I would be very sad to buy my first big system and find out that it was updated just few months later…


Question 5. Audition SCM150ASLT.

Do you know any place in upper part of Europe like Poland, Germany, Scandinavian countries, where I could go and audition ATC SCM150 model? I would fly there to listen before buying.


I will be very very very thankful for all your answers 🙏



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I think the ATC are way overkill for PC streaming electronic music. How about adding a pair of subs to what you have? You might look at The Spatial Audio Lab Sapphires or their X series (and subs). They are fast and have wonderful imaging. 

Is it overkill for "PC streaming" or electronic music?

I will add decent streamer later.

System will also serve for me to get better in understanding good sound.

First off, I love electronic music... but I’m not sure it demands a monitor designed to tell the tone of violin strings between two violins created 6 months apart. Further, those ATCs are expensive. And your room is a challenge. I made an edit above to mention open baffle speakers. Check them out. You could also look at Spendor D9.2

I heard a pair of ATC SCM100 ASL on demonstration at Axpona last year, partly demonstrated using streamed electronic music. All I can say is, the very best speakers I heard at the show; dynamic, realistic and beautifully made. If I had the room, I would buy a pair in a heartbeat. There is a very interesting pair of SCM150 ASL speakers for sale on eBay:


@noromance - My main logic behind, is that nowadays electronic music is created with ATC, as many studios have ATC. Even in my small country our main studio for electronic music has SCM110ASL Pro with subs. So I just want to hear what artist and mastering engineer created. That's way I am buying same gear. 

I would not want (and could not) double the budget, but I am comfortable with what they cost.

And lastly, I would have "reserve" to explore other kinds of music, so I would have good speakers to do that.

The T is for tower. I have the 150s. I love the sound. I also have the 20s , also love their sound. I have the 11s too for home theatre. Get the 150s and you will fall in love with them :)).

We have a pair of ATC SCM150LE in our shop - only 11 pairs of this very limited edition were made world-wide. A fabulous speaker and in a very fine special veneer. Available in Edmonton Canada. Come fly in for a listen. This offer is available to anyone who wishes to come by - just let us know when you are coming!

@OP Regarding ATC updates, ATC have been using essentially the same driver technology for ages. ATC founder Billy Woodman died fairly recently so I wouldn't be expecting massive changes in their designs in the short term - though that's just speculation.

The speakers you are considering are very expensive, albeit that includes the price of the amplification. If you want studio monitor type speakers, Focal, Bowers and Wilkins, and PMC are all used in studios. However, for EDM, there are lots of other studio monitors that would potentially do the job for less.

I recommend you check out Phil Ward's reviews on to explore other possibilities.

Here's on for starters from Genelec - who make excellent speakers and are now starting to get some recognition in the hi fi space.


yoyoyaya Thank you for your ideas. Makes sense about ATC.

After loooong research have already decided to go with ATC. Just trying to understand details now.

I am good with theirs price. Plus I will have huge potential. But thank for you offers!

@iseland Thank you! Do you know if they have ATC SCM150ASLT? Or 100s?

Gothenburg is not too far away, I would definitely fly over to listen :)

I can't think of a better choice of speaker brands to meet your criteria.

Both my sons are EDM (electronic dance music) musicians and often bring their final mixes to my home. First they monitor near field in my studio (Michael Green tunable room) which has active ATC SCM20ASL Pro Mk II speakers. Like headphones without headphone problems for this application. This allows them to hear and correct minor flaws not otherwise obvious when more of the listening space acoustics come into play.

Then they listen to SCM50ASLT active speakers using my main music system which is about the same size as yours. I'm not in the house for this as they can simulate club sound levels (seriously) which would compromise my old ears.

With all that said, I used to have SCM100ASLT speakers in that room and I found them to be too be too large and unnecessary with the addition of the correct subwoofers (one may be okay for theatre but two are mandatory in any stereo music system). Speaking of which...

ATC just last week introduced their new C4 Sub MkII 12" subwoofer (see the linked press release). I'll be ordering a pair and believe that the 50ASLT with these subs to be a better solution than 100s or 150s for your application. You'll have the extra flexibility for proper low frequency room/listening position set up and lower bass response that the 150s. IMHO, this would be your best solution and you'll save some money.

Respectfully, the comments suggesting that ATC speakers are a poor choice for EDM, based on my actual experience, is incorrect. The best speakers will play all styles of music properly and ATC active is always my first choice to achieve this as it is for most professionals in the music industry (I've also linked ATC's impressive client list).

Best of luck to you.

New ATC C4 Sub MkII Press Release

ATC Client List

You are going through the exact process I went trough. I wanted a clean and precise system to which I could add at a later point in time. I did tons of research and landed on ATC also. I listen to a very wide variety of music, so i wanted something that could handle all, if not most. I couldn't be happier with the choice I made.  100ASLT's and a Lumin P1 as streamer, DAC and pre-amp in one.  Ill share as much of what I found in my pursuit. 


Question 1 - Models.

As far as I found out, these all use the same drivers and sound near identical. They might sound slightly different to a variation in weight or additional bracing. I had my mind set on the pro's at first for budget considerations, but the finish is (understandably) quit rough compared to the hi-fi versions.  I ended up with the towers because of WAF in the end. 


Question 2. Room.

I have mine in a concrete box smaller than yours, 6 meter by 5 meter but with lots of sound treatment and not as much windows. I ended up with the 100's as the 150's would be even harder to place. I had mine in the Livingroom before moving them to the current room and the difference in rooms was quite significant. These puppies need a little room to really sing IMHO. In hindsight I would have chosen the 40's or 50's for my smaller room. 


Question 3. Pre-amp and DAC.

I went with a one box solution, with lots of room too add or tweak at a later point. I really comes down to personal preference I guess. That being said, I am considering a separate tube pre-amp. When listening to strings or vocals this set up can be quite cold and clinical when streaming.    


Question 4. Updates.

This is pure speculation from my side, but I would guess an anniversary set is bound to be released at some point? But I imagine they would use the same drivers and upgrade the amp packs as they have done with previous versions. 


Question 5. Audition SCM150ASLT.

Reach out to ATC directly, I have to say their customer service is beyond good. I initially eyed up some used anniversary 50's and they had me email directly with the person that put them tog ether. They were extremely forthright about specs, possible issues etc. They are extremely happy to help so I would imagine they can steer you in the right direction where to audition?  



Best of luck


1) Yes they sound the same but there are differences in how a ASL monitor and ASLtower sound due to stands used on the ASL. If its sound anchors, the sound would be the same or better on the monitors. If its wooden stands, the towers would be better.

2). Is this room you will have some challenges in that the surfaces on the first reflection points (side walls) are different. There are many solutions but be aware that it’s the differences in surfaces that are the biggest challenge to creating a strong image off axis response (off axis is an ATC strength). Different surfaces reflect different frequencies and reflect them differently in response. In other words, getting off axis reflections to be "the same" as on axis is the way to ideal imaging.

Consider the TV wall; you would need to decrease the triangle size, the couch would need to be closer, but it could turn out better if heavily treated. It may be easier to achieve consistency in this position than that large glass surface on one side and the broken wall on the other. Be willing to try this or at least consider it (I have no idea which one will actually turn out to be better, there are so many variables, but it is important to try different approaches and listen. SO my advice is tell your acoustician to treat the room for both positions). General advice is the further from side walls the better (reducing reflections), but there are SO many other factors.

3) Everything affects sound quality. Consider the 150 a platform to work from and you will hear differences in absolutely everything- preamps, cables, cartridges, turntables, etc. It’s what makes active fun I think, as the transparency is so high that differences in things upstream are easily identifiable. What is the "right" place to start is a really big question that may have more to do with your budget. ATC favors analog, so the SCA2 is pure discrete analog. The newer CDA2 preamp/DAC/CD player could be a place to begin knowing you will move this off to a smaller system later. You will have many other issues that occupy your set up phase which could last a while. But to be fair, a zillion other preamps/DACs would also work. To begin, I would avoid a high color preamp or DAC. GO for transparent and neutral to begin. The handling of inputs properly will be something that matters over time, as it affects you in the operation of the system more than the exact listening to it. As you evolve and the industry evolves and you WILL want other devices in the future. Having more than one input, even if it’s analog, would be handy. I would start with a preamp DAC or Preamp + DAC pairing treating the computer is just one input on the system.

4) There are no changes coming to the 150 in the next year or two. Changes come slowly at ATC as between product development in consumer and pro they have a lot going on at any given time. Subwoofers are the current project, as you can see from the C4 introduction.

Have you considered the existing SE150? This uses the ATC discrete amp package and is the best audio (highest resolution) ATC offers at the moment.

5) Why not fly to ATC in England and audition there?


ATC US importer

(Consumer and Pro)


@audioslave1561 Nice writeup.

I have two friends that drive their ASLTs (50s in one case and 100s in another) directly with a Weiss DAC501 (in both cases wired ethernet directly in as I do with my 501). I agree; these clean, minimal systems like yours can sound spectacular.

"These puppies need a little room to really sing IMHO." Well said. That's why I downsized from 100s in my room. Those 100s were sold to the friend mentioned above. She has a very large room and they sound spectacular, much better than they did in my room.

"When listening to strings or vocals this set up can be quite cold and clinical when streaming." IMHO, this sounds like a network and/or AC optimization issue to me. I would optimize these (plenty of good threads on that here on Audiogon) before adding a line stage or any kind.

I had an exchange with a previous ATC importer (Keogh?) and he told me that the 50 was the most accurate.  As woofer size increases the top of the pass band is more directional and results in a less accurate frequency response.  He said this wasn't unpleasant but if you wanted the most accurate speaker go with the 50.  

I've often wondered why ATC doesn't have a consumer 110.  It's the most consumer friendly design to have.  Why have the 200 and 300 towers but not an equivalent 100/110?

Pat Keogh was a US dealer with us for ATC in the NE. He’s inactive now but was a strong supporter for many years. Its not exactly true the 50s are more accurate, but it was the founder’s favorite model and over the years one of ATC’s best sellers. Ive sold them to folks like Tom Petty, James Guthrie (pink floyd) and quite a few mastering engineers. Its our least expensive high dynamic range 3 way.

What Pat was talking about was narowing of dispersion behavior of all cone drivers as frequency increases- this is a true. H. owever, ATC crosses over from a woofer to a midrange driver at 380Hz, extremely low for a 3 way. This is well below the frequency of significant performance degrading HF narrowing. This is a more relevant criticism of a larger cone woofer 2 way, say something like a 8" or larger 2 way. 2 ways typcailly cross much higher, as dome tweeters do poorly below 2K. From 1K to 2K there is significant narrowing of a cone woofer.

In horn loaded systems, the rules are different. Now dispersion is determined by physics, throat size and horn mouth size and design. So the net result is that narrowing at HF is still present in horns/driver combos, and it can be somewhat severe in older horn designs (its why multi cells were invented to try and create lots of small dispersion lobes instead of one big one). Bob Keil did a lot of research on this for multiple audio companies a long time ago and is credited with developing the entire constant directivity design approach (which helped raise the narrowing frequency quite a bit and improve fidelity of horns a lot).



"I think the ATC are way overkill for PC streaming electronic music...." 

Most definitely!  You don't need one of the best speakers available, unless you're wanting to reproduce the real, live sound of the best classical, jazz, blues, piano, strings, brass, vocals.  

I only wish I could justify the investment required for the ATC 150's!  

He said it was mild and most people wouldn't notice or care if I remember right.  More of an academic point than a practical one.  If money were no object I'd get a pair of 300 towers.  The dynamics on those has to be incredible.  

@todbut I'm sorry to inform that the store sold the demo pair a couple of weeks ago. He didn't know if he would order a new pair any time soon .

( he recently got the complete avantgarde lineup in store so space is sparse)

Dear vinylvalet and audioslave1561, thank you a lot for your time and detailed answers. I have found them very informative 🙏🙏🙏

I am now ready to go with ATC. Just need to figure out which model as I am little bit confused. I will post my ideas in next message.

Dear lonemountain, first of all I want to say big thank you for all your posts in this forum. I have read all of them and found tons of useful information for me. You are a big value for ATC community. You are a real ATCyclopedia :)

  1. As I understand differences are totally minor and me as a beginner should not think about it. Question answered ✅
  2. I am ready to go with ATC. But this last question is now the biggest one left. Which size speakers should I go with? I am somewhat a beginner and it is really hard for me to decide. Information that I know:

- In many forums I have read, that I should go with the biggest speakers my room can accommodate. Many posts say 15” inch is superior and if your room is big enough, you should choose it. My room is around 40-45 m2, which is somewhat at the minimum requirement to get that big speakers.

- I don’t see any recommendations to go with sub. Only if it is cinema system, which is not in my case. As system would become 4-way. I see though many recomendations to better go with 2-way horn systems. But it’s out of my beginners possibility to understand which is better, 3-way or 2-way 🤷‍♂️ People say, that for home use 2-way horn systems are better because have less reflections from walls, and 3-way is better in studio, where room is heavily treated. But it's too hard for me to understand which is true or not 🤷‍♂️

- Ben Lilly, Technical Sales Manager at ATC, in one interview told that minimum space for ATC SCM150 is 35m. So my room is even little bit bigger, than required.

- It is second time I hear, that ideally room’s first reflection points should be symmetric. I have plan B. I can rotate room and put speakers on oposite room’s side. On the wall where now kitchen is located with small window in the middle. That way I can reach 100% symmetry for first reflections. If you could one again open my room’s plan and comment , I would be very thankfull.


Taking all this information into account, which size speakers should I go with? What would be your guess? I understand that risk and responsibility is on me, just asking for your experienced guess.


  1. I think for beginning I will go with the best neutral pure DAC I can afford. And will feed it from my computer. Later on I will add good streamer. Or preamp, if I will start listening to vinyls.

I hope ATC will have pure DAC in it’s collection one day. Would be a no brainer for me to buy.


  1. Yes I have considered SE150. They seemed to expensive for me (as for beginner). Also if all studios are happy with ASL line, why would I not be and need SE line. Maybe next upgrade :)


  1. I would fly to England right away to audition. Do you think it is possible? Whom I should write to get information on where I could audition SCM150 before making an order? Could you help me to get right contact?


Once again BIG THANKS for your answers! 🙏



@todbut You're welcome. I'm excited for you.

I've rotated through many speakers over the years, both in my music rooms and my studio. My SCM50ASLT and SCM20ASL Pro Mk2 active speakers are here to stay.


HI Todd- answers below.

What size to go with may have more to do with the visual issue . 150s are big. TO be honest we sell more 50s and 100s for home use. THose are manageable in size. So I might look at those- the sound exactly like the 150s but dont go as low.

If you can fly to England then you need to speak to Ben to set that up. Call the factory-don't email- and ask for Ben. Talk to him once you know roughly when you could fly in. They are about 2 hours from Heathrow. Come early and you can get a factory tour- its fascinating!



I always wondered about the ATCs. They have a super confusing web site, but I am happy to hear the sound spectacular


What a fascinating post and many interesting/informative responses. Clearly, ATC are a well respected manufacturer of great speakers. Must admit, I am also tempted to explore upgrading from my current speakers to SCM100ASL. I heard them last year at Axpona, for me, best in show!

lonemountain, thank you a lot. I guess Ben has more important things, than to consult small buyers, but I will give it a shot and if lucky will fly to the factory.

I am not afraid of big speakers in my room. If they can work in my room and perform best, I will choose 150's. Will try to find it out in ATC factory 🙌

I'm jealous. I would love to have an ATC factory tour one day.

Perhaps I can one day convince Rick or Sir Paul for a personal audition in their studios. The picture in the attached link shows ATC active pro monitors in the background. I'm guessing both know something about good sound...

Rick & Sir Paul


I don't think any of us in the business have anything more important than helping anyone considering/owning/using ATC.  I believe you cannot "sell" things, you have to "explain things" and people will make their own judgements.  These are investments that have a long life.  I just got a pair of 50s in the shop that were built in the 80s.  

I send studio and home people to Ben at the factory regularly - we have worked together for years.  I visit him there as well and know all the people at the factory.  When he visits the US, we take him to US studios and dealers.  He was just here and few months ago, did an ATC event at Audio Hunters in NJ and then took him to Nashville to meet my Nashville staff and visit several major studios like Blackbird.  Leland, who runs consumer for us attended so he could see what real pro looks like- serious audiophiles that happen to do sound for a living!  


@lonemountain wrote:

What Pat was talking about was narowing of dispersion behavior of all cone drivers as frequency increases- this is a true. H. owever, ATC crosses over from a woofer to a midrange driver at 380Hz, extremely low for a 3 way. This is well below the frequency of significant performance degrading HF narrowing. This is a more relevant criticism of a larger cone woofer 2 way, say something like a 8" or larger 2 way. 2 ways typcailly cross much higher, as dome tweeters do poorly below 2K. From 1K to 2K there is significant narrowing of a cone woofer.

380Hz isn’t a low cross-over point in a 3-way system, but in a 2-way ditto it is, and with a conventional, direct radiating iteration with a dome tweeter that’s not going to happen. That is, unless perhaps we’re talking about the use of a coaxial driver; crossover points seem to leave their distinctive mark more as spread-out point sources that also invite timing issues between the driver elements and proper summation at different listening positions, rather than the crossover points themselves via a single point source, or emulated with a Synergy horn. Another matter is the power response at the crossover points, which is mostly left wanting with dome tweeters and coned drivers.

In horn loaded systems, the rules are different. Now dispersion is determined by physics, throat size and horn mouth size and design. So the net result is that narrowing at HF is still present in horns/driver combos, and it can be somewhat severe in older horn designs (its why multi cells were invented to try and create lots of small dispersion lobes instead of one big one). Bob Keil did a lot of research on this for multiple audio companies a long time ago and is credited with developing the entire constant directivity design approach (which helped raise the narrowing frequency quite a bit and improve fidelity of horns a lot).

Don Keele did great work developing the Constant Directivity horns. Here you can have a low crossover point with a 2-way system in the ~600Hz range to a 15" woofer/lower midrange without any notable issues, while having great dispersion pattern at the crossover, prodigious output AND low distortion.


I think you misunderstood what I was trying to express.  380Hz is the crossver point ATC uses from woofer to midrange (in active or passive versions of their 3 ways) therefore avoiding the worst narrowing effects of the various sized LF drivers exhibit when run up to common crossver points.   The HF crossover from the mid dome to dome tweeter is 3800Hz.  BIlly was very keen to develop a consistent off axis speaker as he was adamant about off axis relfections need to be consistent with on axis information to preserve imaging even in highly reflective environments. 

Don yes, very nice guy! A [product] engineer's engineer..  Met him multiple times at EV as he was responsible for the "white" EV horns that lead the way in the 80s.  Course EV was using a  1.3 inch driver/throat for their horn so that made crossing low difficult.