Scm19A or scm40A

ATC & other makes of Hi-Fi equipment
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Re: Scm19A or scm40A

Postby Muser » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:45 am

stringer wrote:Hi Andy,

you are correct the only way for you to figure out the way to go is to home audition

I have a question for people familiar with active atc.
My gut feeling tells me that passive 2 way operation is less a sonic compromise than 3 way passive operation.so that the passive 19s one could get very close to the 19a with a great amplifier. Am I correct ? If i was starting from scratch, it would be a no brainer. But I'm not.
Thanks

Stringer:

It seems your question boils down to driver integration, i.e. a two way should integrate more seamlessly than a three way. Is that correct?

Alternately, you're just saying that a great amplifier with the 19s will get close to the 19a speakers. And perhaps by extension, the 19s with a great amplifier will do that better than the 40s with a great amp will match 40A speakers.

I've owned passive and active 20s, owned passive 35s and spent two months reviewing active 40s and the same amount of time with passive 50s and active 50s (wish I'd been smart enough to buy the active 50s and quit, just couldn't bring myself to spend that much).

Connecting a great amplifier to a passive ATC can yield a very satisfying sound, but it's qualitatively different than an active ATC. The active is more transparent and seems comparatively nimble; bass is also much "tighter" which some describe as light weight, but which I believe is just a very controlled bass driver. I think that most ATC owners here would choose an active ATC over the same passive model every time. If you have not compared active ATCs to passive, you should do that before you take the leap. It's not that passive ATCs aren't good - you can create a very satisfying sound - but the combination won't sound like actives.

Let me offer advice I could and should have heeded. Hear active and passive side by side. Buy the one you prefer and be done or save until you can buy the one you prefer. If you go by half measures you get close but never arrive at what you want. There is a lot to say for fiddling around with audio as a hobby, but it's not about buying and enjoying what you have. Good luck.
ATC SCM20-2A, Pass Labs XP-12 preamp, Amazon Model 2 tt, Moerch DP6 arm and Dynavector XX2MkII cartridge, Oppo 105, Prism Sound Callia DAC, Kubala Sosna Expression cabling. Two 15" Acoustic Elegance subwoofers, powered by QSC RMX 2450 amplifier w/ minidsp equalization.

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Re: Scm19A or scm40A

Postby Brad Lunde » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:04 pm

I've done the comparison multiple times. The biggest difference will be the imaging and details if you use an ATC amp on the passive. The active is more precise and as Muser writes, better bass. And Muser has it right as well in that ATC fans will pick active, because it is audibly better.

If you use a different amp on the passives, it will change the tone of the speakers and the character-in unknown ways. This will add to the differences between active and passive. SO not to imply ATC amps are always the best amps, but they are the ones closest to the sonic footprint of the active amps so you are therefore listening to just the implementation of active vs passive, not [amp] tone differences.

There is NO amp you could use on the passives that would be as good as the active. The reason is phase response is better on a active than a passive and no amp can fix that. Also add to that the differences in sonics of speaker cable, wow, it could be very far away from the active.

Brad
Brad Lunde
Lone Mountain Audio, part of TransAudio Group
ATC Importers USA

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Re: Scm19A or scm40A

Postby stringer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:06 pm

Thanks Muster et Brad.
I did the comparison last week. the passive setup was driven by a heed elixir. This little amplifier is an overachiever and was equal to the task and set the baseline for the active setup , but it so was so far outmatched that at some point i stopped the comparison, and kept listening only at the active setup. I was using very familiar tracks, and was astonished to hear new things in those tracks , things i don't hear at home with my very revealing 19 passive. The timing was also a lot better and i agree , the bass was tighter and faster. Surprisingly , I came out of the demo even more impressed than when i heard the 40a. I'm just waiting for an offer of my dealer to place an order.
dCS Network Bridge/Naim DC1/Chord Hugo/AR Sound Lunar RCA-DIN/Naim NAC 32.5/SC-DR /ATC scm19a/

Posts: 441
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:01 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Re: Scm19A or scm40A

Postby Brad Lunde » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:35 pm

stringer wrote:Thanks Muster et Brad.
I did the comparison last week. the passive setup was driven by a heed elixir. This little amplifier is an overachiever and was equal to the task and set the baseline for the active setup , but it so was so far outmatched that at some point i stopped the comparison, and kept listening only at the active setup. I was using very familiar tracks, and was astonished to hear new things in those tracks , things i don't hear at home with my very revealing 19 passive. The timing was also a lot better and i agree , the bass was tighter and faster. Surprisingly , I came out of the demo even more impressed than when i heard the 40a. I'm just waiting for an offer of my dealer to place an order.


Great story Stringer! I am glad you found the truth of it.
Brad
Brad Lunde
Lone Mountain Audio, part of TransAudio Group
ATC Importers USA

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