What Center with the SCM20

ATC & other makes of Home Cinema equipment
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What Center with the SCM20

Postby Mariner » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:16 pm

I want (slowly) build up a ATC multichannel (5.1) system.
Due to experiences i know that it ist very senseful to use a center the fits perfect with the front speakers.
Which one would you recomment for an older pair of SCM20 ??
Thanks a lot !!

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby paul_riordan » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:24 pm

I took the approach of getting as similar a speaker as possible. The best thing to do would be to buy a single SCM20 (I think ATC will supply them as single items). The other option is to buy a pair on eBay or something like that. There are a few websites where could could possibly find used SCM 20s. Pinkfishmedia.net or hifiwigwam.com and there are definitely others. You also probably want to make sure you have the same power amps on each channel if possible. What kind of amp/processor do you have or do you intend to get?

These are currently on eBay - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ATC-SCM-20-Speakers-monitors-SCM20-/262161508485?hash=item3d0a0b2885:g:rNsAAOSwsB9WB8lg
Source: Auralic Aries Mini + Mytek DAC 192
Video source: Oppo BDP-93 blu-ray/SACD/DVD-A
Pre-amp: Mark Levinson ML380s
Cinema Processor: Anthem D2v
Speakers: ATC SCM50ASL (Front and Centre), ATC C4 (Sub), ATC SCM20A-2 (Rear)
Screen: Pioneer KRP-600A

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Mariner » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:55 pm

Thanks for reply !

At the moment the SCM runs on an Mcintosh MC2205.
At the welcome area of this forum i wrote something about my history an the comming problems.
The AV-Reciever i own and use in another system is the Yamaha RX-V3067.
My idea is to use the SCM20 as front speakers powerd by the Mac, and an active center or a passive center which will be powered by the AV-Reciever, or i try to get another old Mac-poweramp.
That may depend on what the used market will bring me for the center!
What do you think about an ATC C4CA center ??

Do you thing i use one SCM20 as a center speaker??
Or build a center speaker out of two SCM20 ??

I thought that center speakers have a special audio crossover to force the mid frequencies.
Maybe i´m wrong ??

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Alexk » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:13 pm

The crossover frequencies aren't different to give the speaker a different sound - it should sound as close as possible to the main speakers. Often the crossover frequencies are lower on a centre-channel speaker to stop the two midrange drivers cancelling out each other with each other when listening back at an angle, although this is usually ignored.

It's probably best to try and either stay all active or all passive across the front. Passive rears work fine.

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Mariner » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:48 pm

So you think it´s better for my (passive) SCM20 to look for a passive center?
When i look on the ATC webside there are two different C3, which have bass/middrivers at the same size.
As i can see the drivers of passive C3C are more different to mine, as that from the active C3CA.
The mid-dome is different!
Now i have a dilemma :?
What speaker should i prefer ??
This spring there was a used C5CA at audioemotion for a reasonable price, but i missed it ! :(
The C5CA seems to have the same drivers as the SCM20.
But i´m again on the active side !!
Thats why i´m a little bit helpless.
Maybe it is really the best to take one single old SCM20 for the center ??

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby GAT474 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:36 pm

I used a single and then a pair of SCM10's as a centre for a while. They worked pretty well but then I got onto a C4A active centre which has the same sized drivers as the 10's and the vifa tweeter but is active. It''s a big improvement over the single or dual passive 10's.

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Mariner » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:05 pm

The C4CA is also very interesting from my point of view!
The only thing is that the mid/bass drivers are different to the SCM20, and i dont know how much that matters.
I think that the sound characteristics sould be the same.
But i´m not in a hurry and wait for more ideas and experiences of some forum members! ;)

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby linger63 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:32 am

Mariner wrote:So you think it´s better for my (passive) SCM20 to look for a passive center?
When i look on the ATC webside there are two different C3, which have bass/middrivers at the same size.
As i can see the drivers of passive C3C are more different to mine, as that from the active C3CA.
The mid-dome is different!
Now i have a dilemma :?
What speaker should i prefer ??
This spring there was a used C5CA at audioemotion for a reasonable price, but i missed it ! :(
The C5CA seems to have the same drivers as the SCM20.
But i´m again on the active side !!
Thats why i´m a little bit helpless.
Maybe it is really the best to take one single old SCM20 for the center ??



Hi Mariner,


With regards to the C5CA.........I'm the guy from Australia that bought it!!!

I had the C4CA which I sold to GAT474 as the C5CA matched up better with my SCM 70 mains. (bigger with the same SEAS tweeter)

The C3CA is the old C5CA in regular clothing and is the right match up for you regarding drivers.

I don't think that ATC make a passive version of it however.

I think a used C4CA will still work fine though.

All I can really advise is..........go active if you can.

I have an active front end with passive rears and am very happy.

Maybe you could consider an active centre as the first step towards an active front end with your passive 20's acting as rears.

There's something to shoot for!!!!!!!!!


Good Luck

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Mariner » Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:49 am

You are the one !!! :o :D :D

Well..... what you are writing seems to be a good concept for my problems.
It looks like going active is going forward.
Thanks a lot for your opinion!

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Shadorne » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:27 pm

Centre is less important than surrounds or a good sub provided you get a DSP that will give you a phantom centre from the L and R.

I would not even begin to worry about a centre until you have at least four speakers (2 front and 2 surround) and a sub.
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Mariner » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:18 pm

AS i wrote in the "Welcome" thread.
I already own a complete Surround- Set (Yamaha RX-V3067, Oppo BD93, 4 ProAc Tablette, 1 ProAc center, 1 Dynaudio Sub25)
This set is very nice!
But i have also a Stereo- Set (Mcintosh C29 / MC2205 /MR 78, Marantz CD10 (tuned), Thorens 160 /SME 2009II and ATC SCM20)
In the nearer future i have to decide for one, or try to put them together.
My idea is to take the SCM20 for the front amped by the MC2205, ????? (Active/passive) as Center,
The four ProAc´s (two for front presence/two for the rear) amped by the Yamaha RX-V3067, and the Dynaudio stayed as Sub (i´m not hungry after a ultra deep bass).
I know that the ProAc center won´t fit with the SCM20, but i believe that the SCM20 will sound much better in the front than the ProAc´s .
And my experiences with surround sound are.... Front and center are the most important speakers
Thats why i asked for a ATC center speaker.
I´m not sure if i really need the ProAc´s. Maybe i take some used SCM7 for the rear and no presence speaker for the front.
I´m just thinking about possibilies! Maybe there is a good solution ??
I won´t miss my Mac´s, but i also won´t miss surround-sound !
But i have time, and maybe get here some informativ ideas for experienced users.

I´m very thankful for the ideas until yet, and hope there are more for the future !!

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Shadorne » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:11 pm

Tough decisions! Your Proac set is complete. The ATC 20 are on a whole other level. I think you will need to experiment. If you mix and match then it might not work. Sound tracks have more dynamics than music - so you risk imbalances in SPL levels with ATC in front and smaller Proac surround. These imbalances can cause the sound field to become uneven compared to the intended studio mix. You can balance the levels at 85 db using a DSP with a microphone by tuning individual speaker levels but it may only balance well at the reference level you select - soft levels or loud levels might not balance.

You may be better off sticking to the all Proac setup....
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Mariner » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:39 am

Shadorne wrote:You may be better off sticking to the all Proac setup....


That´s what my intension and aim should be!

But because i´m not willing to change all at once, i think i should start with the center.
As linger63 wrote...i will try to get active at the front.
At first i will try to get an active center and use it with the SCM20 in front, and maybe some used SCM7 in the rear.
Then try to get some active front speaker and take the SCM20 for rear and maybe the SCM7 for front presence.
That might be a strategie that will work . :roll:

As center i will look for a used C3CA / C4CA or C5CA.

What do you think of that ??
Good ?? Or any other ideas/advices) :?:

I forgot i say that music listenig is my main thing!
Looking video/films is not that inportant for me!

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Shadorne » Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:05 pm

If you are going to replace bit by bit then I would suggest matching SCM 20 surround first then a centre. If you have an audio transparent screen then another SCM20 centre will work great at the same height as the L and R.

Check my home cinema thread... a good screen and projector is probably the first step before going for high end surround audio. Nothing beats a big screen and exceptionsl technology exists at reasonable prices today (not so true 10 years ago when decent projectors were 25 to 50 grand)
"ATC. Always The Champion. I will not record without them. The best studio monitors. Period." ~ Lenny Kravitz

Benchmark DAC3, 2 x ATC SCM EL150ASL, 1 ATC SCM 0.1/15, 2 x Genelec 8020, Roland TD-30 Drums, Pearl Ref Acoustic Kit, Ludwig brass & Pearl Ref snares, Gibson LP Supreme, Fender Precision Bass

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Re: What Center with the SCM20

Postby Mariner » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:08 am

@Shadorne
Thanks for your respond, but ....i don´t know if i got you right.
You think that it´s more important to look, at first, for rear spakers that match with my SCM20,
and then look after a center?
You are shure that a single SCM20 will be as good as a , for example, C4CA?
And who sells one single SCM20 used ?? :?

I have a 55" plasma, but, as i wrote before, my main aim is not to watch DVD/Blu-Ray with surround sound.
My main intension is to create a system that works perfect for music listening, also for music-DVD etc.
Last edited by Mariner on Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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