ATC speakers and PS Audio Gear

There was an old 2019 thread about ATC i just read which contained some great info. Had some questions but didnt know if anyone would see them if ibreplied to that ild thread, so here goes.

Thread here:

I was wondering the following:

  1. Scm11 and scm12 pro are cobsumer and pro line counterparts. Do they use the same drivers and only differ in cabinet finish and grills coming with the 11 and not the 12 pro? In the US, there is a significant price difference of around $600 with the 11 costing more than 12 pro. Same question applies to scm19 vs scm20 pro.

  2. Are scm19/scm20 pro considered more detailed, revealing and analytical vs scm11/scm12 pro? Is itndue to the S spec drivers used in the former?

  3. I heard the scm40 and above are where the atc famous dome midrange become available and supposedly take things to another level. Would i lose anything over the scm11/12pro or 19/20pro? Would going with 50, 100 or above just mean same sound only more of itbfor bigger rooms?

  4. I read good things about the active versions. That they are hard to beat with separates. So it seems like actives will bring the best out of the atc. Is this true? If so, i dont really like the hissing noise from most active speakers when nothing is playing. Do the atc have this too?

  5. My idea is to start with 2 channel for music… so maybe get scm11/12pro to start. Then use as rear in a 5.2 setup secondarily for movies. Getting 19/20pro for fronts and add a center and 2 subs. This way for music only i can swap between the 11/12pro and 19/20pro depending on quality of the source material and whetherbi want more musicality or critical listening. But wondering if i should instead look at 40 and above plus 11/12pro instead.

My room isnt huge but if i move and get a bigger space i would like to get speakers that can fill that space down the road.

Would this be a good strategy and at what point up the model lineup does it become more ofbthebsame just greater ability to fill bigger spaces?

  1. How well do Stellar m700 or m1200 synergize with atc and are they optimal or are there better options to consider? Same question regarding DirectStream DAC.

Thanks !


Welcome and nice handle.

Hi MusicLuvr,

I have no direct experience with the SCM11/12 and SCM 19/20, and also heard the SCM40 only once at a dealer. Still, I own a pair of ATC SCM 50ASL, so I’ll limit my answers to the questions, where my experience might be helpful:

Regarding your fourth question: my pair is active, and there is no audible hiss at all by the speaker themselves. They are dead quiet.

BUT (and also answering question six): depending on your source, this might change. When I directly connected my PS AUDIO DirectStream DAC via XLR the background noise of the DAC was clearly audible (for me) at the listening position (when no music was playing). While it sounded amazingly transparent I could not stand this hiss, so I happily use a pre-amp (Pass Labs XP22). The pre completely fixed that issue.

Personally I favour the active version, as the active crossovers paired with matching Class A/B amplifiers are hard to beat for the money. But this is a matter of taste - some (understandably) prefer external amplifiers and like to tinker with speaker cables etc.

The active SCM 40s might be a great fit for you. That midrange driver is just fantastic. But again: if you plan to use the DSD, I would recommend a good pre-amp in the system.


I’m still using and remain exceedingly satisfied with my SCM11. I believe the SCM12 Pro has a slightly upgraded tweeter but don’t quote me. I find nothing lacking in the SCM11 paired with dual 12" sealed subs.

I have upgraded nearly all my components since 2019 but the SCM11 remain. I found them ‘used’ in the UK. Even with shipping they were less than purchasing new in the US, much less.

I understand ATC goal for all their speakers is the same, the same sound, each successively larger model is for larger spaces and higher dB. I’ve only ever heard the SCM11 and only in my space. I did upgrade most of the crossover components only keeping the inductors as they are very high quality. The caps and resistors were OK but the $200 on better components has really brought the to the next level of clarity and ease.

Good luck in your quest!