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 🙏




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.