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ATC Loudspeakers SCM20PSL MK2

ATC Loudspeakers SCM20PSL MK2

5 5 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

Months of testing various monitors for my new room, and these were the clear winners for me. Amazingly detailed and clear, while retaining a sense of musicality. Tricky on positioning but once its right, stereo image is vast and super accurate.

27th January 2016

ATC Loudspeakers SCM20PSL MK2 by Celinara

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
ATC Loudspeakers SCM20PSL MK2

I started my hunt for monitors quite a while back, and had been considering every pair I heard in my day to day happenings for purchase. A few months ago however, I took a very active approach and tested monitors from many companies in a similar price point to these. I also managed to get a decent amp to power them with, and after getting a chance to listen to them, it was a no brainer.

A bit more background, I work mostly on acoustic and classical music, with the occasion pop piece. So mid range accuracy and clarity is VERY important to me. I've always a bit more sensitive to midrange "mud" in monitors, and many i have listened too just felt like they had a curtain in front of them.

They do for sure take quite a bit of break-in time to open up the low end, and after a fairly extensive amount of time getting them set up just right, I have to say that I've been blown away by them. The SCM20PSL's have allowed me to work much more efficiently since I can hear every EQ and other change so clearly. At first I thought the low end was very lacking, but after spending more time on them, I have changed my mind. Its just extremely clean, which im not entirely used to. It's there, and now since I have more time on them, i can mix low end as well with great translation to other systems.

These are going to be permanent fixtures in my studio, with other additions in monitoring strictly to compliment them.
Anyone that is working with anything that requires that extra bit of midrange focus and clarity for mixing should try these out.

  • 1
2nd February 2018

ATC Loudspeakers SCM20PSL MK2 by watersedge1234

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features N/A
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
ATC Loudspeakers SCM20PSL MK2

EDIT 2 - ATC has promptly sent me a new pair to account for the miswired tweeter. Great customer service and some of the best quality control in the industry - this one just fell through the cracks it seems. It is always worth checking polarity on new monitors in my book. I am currently out of town but will check back here and update my thoughts when I return.

Ah, the SCM20. Much has been written already about these fantastic speakers, although most have been in relation to the powered version. I purchased the passive version in the wake of a significant price break to these in the past week and I am highly satisfied with my choice. I ended up with a demo model in perfect condition that helped seal the deal.

I've been through a few monitors in my room but the ATCs have ended up being the forerunners in my final decisions. I originally had settled on the SCM12s which are also a highly recommended speaker for the price in my book (of which has also received a price discount as of late). However, and understandably so, the 20s trump the 12s in every way.

It's incredible to me that ATC is able to offer these passive models at such an affordable price. The amount of research and development inside each one of their speakers is unmatched. The SCM12s utilize their older CLD technology as well as the older dual-layer tweeter design, while the 20s bring the latest SL technology ATC has to offer. You are getting the same tweeter as well as a smaller version of the same SL technology used in their upper level models in terms of woofer design.

These sound excellent. Low end extension is surprising for a sealed box design, although won't wow like that of a ported design. With that said, these are much improved in phase response top to bottom vs ported designs and are equally fast in all registers. I'm less concerned with low end power as long as extension is represented, which it is here, just at a lower level than that of a ported box. Low end extension is improved over the SCM12. Adding a sub makes these absolutely sublime on all levels.

The new tweeter is absolutely incredible. I've yet to experience the fabled "disappearing speaker" phenomenon so many people claim about certain speaker designs. These are the first time I've experienced this. Imaging and localization is musical but accurate, and these are just a joy to listen to. Effects and hard panned sources span across and beyond the dimension of the speakers. Its difficult to localize the speaker positions and creates a wide, accurate, musical image.

Also - in terms of overall SPL, these go louder than you'll ever need them to in a nearfield scenario. I've yet to find the top of these speakers and I have them gained 10 db down even before hitting converters. At -16 these are pushing a LOT of air (amp is JW modded Adcom 555), too much air for me. -26 seems to be around 85 db with my amp setup.

I still love and would highly recommend the SCM12PSLs. For the money, even before the price drop, these are excellent. However, the SCM20s are an exponential upgrade over the 12s. $1350 a piece puts these in line with one of the best price/performance ratios on the market IMO. The SCM12PSLs come in at an equal if not better price/performance ratio at $850 per box, but with the demo deal I received (putting them just a little over $1000 per box), it made sense to upgrade and I'm glad I did. I don't think you can go wrong either way, but I absolutely love my 20s.

  • 3
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