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 🙏




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!