SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

ATC & other makes of Hi-Fi equipment
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SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby Allan » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:06 am

I've decided to go the integrated active speaker route for my HiFi system (in a normal domestic environment) and I'm trying to decide between these two, but finding it difficult to choose. Anyone compare these two directly?

Do the better specifications of the Pro model result in a noticeable improvement in audio performance? or are the performance differences between the two likely to be quite subtle, therefore choose on looks?

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby Brad Lunde » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:54 am

Allan wrote:I've decided to go the integrated active speaker route for my HiFi system (in a normal domestic environment) and I'm trying to decide between these two, but finding it difficult to choose. Anyone compare these two directly?

Do the better specifications of the Pro model result in a noticeable improvement in audio performance? or are the performance differences between the two likely to be quite subtle, therefore choose on looks?


I think the 19A is better for home. 19A seems not as bright and the low end feels like it goes deeper to me but not 100% sure that is exactly the way it measures. 19A won some high praise from Absolute Sounds' Neil Gader this past year. I also feel the stands you need to use on the 20A's are a huge issue: the sound anchors are the only stands I've found that pass sonic approval with me but the look of them does not pass visual approval from the wife. 19A does get approval.
Brad
Brad Lunde
Lone Mountain Audio, part of TransAudio Group
ATC Importers USA

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby Allan » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:12 pm

Thanks for that Brad. The 19A's and 20Pro's are roughly the same price here, so nothing really to choose between them on that basis. I much prefer the looks of the 19A and if their audio characteristics are probably better suited to a less analytical home environment then that sounds like a win-win for the 19A's. That's good input and I'm definitely leaning more towards the 19A's now.

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby saureign » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:59 pm

If you like near field listening, and you value a crispy, neat and sharp-focused sound, then 20. Excellent for monitoring, truly shines with well-recorded and -mastered audio, almost awful with poor records.
If you favor a little more laid-back sound, and a leaner presentation, then 19. More forgiving sound, better looking cabinet.
ATC CDA2 mk2 / Van den Hul [The Dwarf, Mainsstream, Mainsserver & The Mountain] / ATC SCM40A
past: CA2 mk2 / CDA2 / P1 / P2 / scm11 / scm19 / scm20 / scm10se

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby Allan » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:03 pm

Thanks for the reply saureign. I get the impression that the 20 PRO's are capable of lifting a veil, or two, compared to the 19A's but the downside is their forensic ability reveal the best and worst in a recording. I can appreciate that this is a tremendous strength in a working environment but might end up dictating which music gets chosen when listening for pleasure at home.

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby saureign » Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:38 pm

@Allan:
precisely. Well said.
ATC CDA2 mk2 / Van den Hul [The Dwarf, Mainsstream, Mainsserver & The Mountain] / ATC SCM40A
past: CA2 mk2 / CDA2 / P1 / P2 / scm11 / scm19 / scm20 / scm10se

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby Brad Lunde » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:32 am

Allan wrote:Thanks for the reply saureign. I get the impression that the 20 PRO's are capable of lifting a veil, or two, compared to the 19A's but the downside is their forensic ability reveal the best and worst in a recording. I can appreciate that this is a tremendous strength in a working environment but might end up dictating which music gets chosen when listening for pleasure at home.


I would not say that the 20A is lifting a veil. I would say it is brighter. Brighter is not lifting anything, its just brighter. Many people think the 20A is too bright in my demos for pro. Few think that about the 19A in hi fi. Again, go back to the AS review by Neil Gader.

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

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby Allan » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:08 pm

Thanks Brad. I placed an order for a pair of 19A's yesterday and I'm feeling very comfortable with that decision.

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby scm100 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:43 am

The 20ASL PRO MK2 have better quality and higher powered amps.
And the 20's have the top of the line ATC S spec tweeter which is MUCH better than the standard version found in the 19's.
Wonderfully accurate natural and delicate ,sounding speakers.
Bright ? ....hell no.

I also have a pair of scm7 v3 with the standard tweeter and comparing it at length to the S spec in the 20's shows it to be not even close.

Check out the extremely positive 5 star what hifi uk magazine review of the 20asl pro mk2.

No doubt profit margin is greater on the domestic entry level series 19A but if sound quality is a priority the active 20 are the go.
ATC SM100 ASL PRO , SCM20 ASL PRO MK2 , Two ATC C4 SCM 0.1/12 Subwoofers.
Bel Canto Pre6 Gen2 multi channel preamp , Oppo BDP95 , Wadia WT3200 cd transport , Benchmark dac1 HDR.
Technics SL1000MK3 turntable , Dynavector 17d3 , Whest PS30R.

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby Brad Lunde » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:07 pm

scm100 wrote:The 20ASL PRO MK2 have better quality and higher powered amps.
And the 20's have the top of the line ATC S spec tweeter which is MUCH better than the standard version found in the 19's.
Wonderfully accurate natural and delicate ,sounding speakers.
Bright ? ....hell no.

I also have a pair of scm7 v3 with the standard tweeter and comparing it at length to the S spec in the 20's shows it to be not even close.

Check out the extremely positive 5 star what hifi uk magazine review of the 20asl pro mk2.

No doubt profit margin is greater on the domestic entry level series 19A but if sound quality is a priority the active 20 are the go.


I am really sorry, I don't I agree with you. I think you are being fooled by your own demo.

First the facts: yes the 20ASL has larger amps and a S spec tweeter, but it is NOT better quality than the 19A. They are both hand made by the same people at the same time using the same parts. 250W on the 20 vs 150 on the 19 is maybe 2dB more SPL capability. 32 in the 19 vs 50 in the tweeters also maybe + 2dB more SPL. This is there not for higher quality (ie. lower distortion, more linear performance) but to cover the additional peaks in uncontrolled studio work such as tracking, where huge spikes are normal business, so lowering the clip potential of the amps and adding some headroom for the amp/drivers is wise to prevent heat build up that causes failure. Additionally, the average period of use of a studio speaker is 8-10 hours at a time, at max SPL. This is a leagues more difficult condition from a heat perspective from the average home use of 2 to 3 hours and usually at low level. So I might agree IF you love to listen loud for very long periods of time, a 20 might be a more reliable choice. But it is brighter. I still say that 19A and 20Amk2 next to each other, which I do all all the time in my shop here in the US, the 19 is more satisfying as a home listening speaker. Plus ATC does not "downgrade" a design for home vs pro. They only build pro with features that make it more reliable since this is such a "make or break" issue in the decision of what speakers get used in a studio session (where time is money).

The amps are built buy the same people using the same parts on the same line. The only driver difference is the higher power capacity "S" ATC tweeter- so similar in design to the lower power version that the only real difference is the bigger motor. The SL drivers are identical.

Comparing the SCM7 3 to the 20AMk2 would not be a good comparison, as the SL woofer/driver goes octaves higher than the crossover point. That means there is a broad range where you are hearing BOTH the SL woofer and the tweeter. With the SCM7, the same is true, your are hearing the ATC 5 inch and the tweeter over multiple octaves. The distortion level of the SL woofer is lower than the ATC 5 inch woofer. SO I believe you are hearing the superior COMBINATION of the SL woofer and the ATC tweeter rather than "S" vs non S virtues of the tweeter alone.

Oh, and I did not say the 20A Mk2 is bright-it is not. I said the 20Amk2 sounds brighter than the 19A and I'd rather listen to the 19A in my own home. I think the 19A is completely in keeping with the voicing of the 40A.

Compare the 19A and 20A in the same space at the same time and I think you'll hear a completely different scenario.

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

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby scm100 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:54 am

No chance to listen to active 19 here in Perth unfortunately , I have however auditioned the passive scm19v2 at length with my own audition test cd.

Yes , I agree the 19 is a warmer sounding speaker , it sounds a bit smoother and rounded off compared to the 20asl pro mk2.
I hear subtle details , reverb tails and fingers plucking bass guitar strings clearer and cleaner on the active 20 , and they remain absolutely composed and unstressed at higher volume levels , for me they are superior in every way .

No doubt the active 19 are a step up from the passive though so I can't comment until I hear them , just conjecture on my part given the better tweeter , more powerful amps and the 19 being ATC's entry level series vs the 20's being part of ATC's higher performing classic series.
ATC SM100 ASL PRO , SCM20 ASL PRO MK2 , Two ATC C4 SCM 0.1/12 Subwoofers.
Bel Canto Pre6 Gen2 multi channel preamp , Oppo BDP95 , Wadia WT3200 cd transport , Benchmark dac1 HDR.
Technics SL1000MK3 turntable , Dynavector 17d3 , Whest PS30R.

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Re: SCM19A vs SCM20ASL Pro Mk2?

Postby Brad Lunde » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:11 pm

scm100 wrote:No chance to listen to active 19 here in Perth unfortunately , I have however auditioned the passive scm19v2 at length with my own audition test cd.

Yes , I agree the 19 is a warmer sounding speaker , it sounds a bit smoother and rounded off compared to the 20asl pro mk2.
I hear subtle details , reverb tails and fingers plucking bass guitar strings clearer and cleaner on the active 20 , and they remain absolutely composed and unstressed at higher volume levels , for me they are superior in every way .

No doubt the active 19 are a step up from the passive though so I can't comment until I hear them , just conjecture on my part given the better tweeter , more powerful amps and the 19 being ATC's entry level series vs the 20's being part of ATC's higher performing classic series.


OKay, seems like we agree. Although the current 20 Mk2 was not designed as part of the Classic Series. It was a pro speaker designed purely for studio and equipped with the higher power tweeter for this capability. The amp was beefed up due to some studio users complaining about the old metal 20As clipping too early. The Classic Series represents the legacy all "in house" construction technique of the boxes. This is why the price is much higher than the Entry. The internals are the same between Classic 50A [monitor] and Pro 50A and Tower 50A so performance between all three is identical.

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

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