New SCM20ASL Pro and SCM20PSL Pro Launched
ATC is proud to announce the release of two new high performance reference nearfield monitors — the active SCM20ASL Pro (V2) and passive SCM20PSL Pro.
As implied by name, the active model replaces the previous-generation SCM20ASL Pro, while the passive model is an allnew affair, providing an entry point into ATC studio monitoring at a lower price point, albeit without compromising component quality over features.
Both models feature ATC’s renowned drive units, hand built in its UK facility. Of particular note is the new SH-25-76S 25mm/one-inch soft dome tweeter, the first to be designed and built by ATC, and the result of six years of research and development by Managing Director Billy Woodman and R&D Engineer Richard Newman. “The tweeter is designed and built with the same no-compromise philosophy as all other ATC drive units,” notes Newman, before continuing: “The design takes notes from the highly-regarded ATC midrange dome by utilising a dual-suspension design, negating the requirement for Ferro-fluid, and avoiding the detrimental effects of this drying out over time, a feature considered to be of utmost importance for longterm consistency.” The massive neodymium motor with heat-treated top plate is optimised to ensure an extended frequency response (-6dB @ 26kHz) and low non-linear distortion. The geometry of the waveguide is designed for optimum dispersion and made from a precision-machined alloy so that the entire structure is extremely rigid and free from resonances.
The bass/mid driver used in both loudspeakers is ATC’s proprietary 150mm/six-inch Super Linear device. Constructed with a 75mm/three-inch voice coil and a short-coil, long-gap topology, it combines the high-power handling and low-power compression usually only found in large, high-efficiency systems with the fine resolution and balance of modern high-fidelity systems. Unique to the drive unit is ATC’s Super Linear technology, which, by employing specialist materials in the magnetic circuit, reduces third harmonic distortion in the lower midrange.
The electronics in the active design have also had considerable development time invested in them, resulting in reduced noise and distortion (a further -10dB @ 10kHz) and a reduced operating temperature for improved reliability. The amplifier design is a revised version of ATC’s discrete MOSFET Class A/B design with 200W and 50W continuous power available for the bass and high frequency sections, respectively. The user controls have also been improved over the previous generation with more flexible input sensitivity controls and a revised low frequency shelf control to help achieve good balance in difficult acoustic conditions. The amplifier includes protection circuits for both DC offset and thermal overload.
The cabinet has been restyled to more closely follow the larger monitors in ATC’s professional range and is constructed from heavily-braced MDF. Highly damped, elastometric panels are bonded and stapled to the cabinet’s inner walls to suppress cabinet panel resonances, while the enclosure’s front panel is heavily radiused to reduce cabinet diffraction, improving the frequency response and imaging. The loudspeaker can be wall mounted via a K&M 24120 Wall Mount (available separately). Note that the cabinet requires modification to accept the ‘top-hat’ mount.
Ideally suited to critical nearfield listening applications in all control rooms, LCR surround monitoring in small-to-medium control rooms, and surround channels in medium-to-large control rooms, anyone looking to seriously improve their reference nearfield monitoring experience surely owe it to themselves and their studio setup to take a listen to the SCM20ASL Pro (V2) and/or the SCM20PSL Pro in action? EQ, balance, and edit faster, with more consistent results and reduced listening fatigue using the latest reference nearfields from ATC.
The SCM20PSL Pro passive high-performance loudspeakers carry a UK RRP of £2,083.00 GBP (plus VAT) per pair; the SCM20ASL Pro (V2) active high-performance loudspeakers carry a UK RRP of £3,647.00 GBP (plus VAT) per pair.
The Absolute Sound Review the SCM19
This month, The Absolute Sound have reviewed our new SCM19. The review, undertaken by, Neil Gader was very positive and here is just a little of what he had to say:
“As I hear it, there’s a very short list of rivals that play in the league of the SCM19. And even fewer at this attainable price point. Although this review should speak for itself, let me reiterate: The ATC SCM19 is, without reservation, a superb monitor that should excite and please the most discriminating of listeners. My highest recommendation.” (Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound, August 2014).
You can read the review in full on The Absolute Sound website.
Ed Cherney & ATC SCM25A
Ed Cherney needs no padding on his resume. A veteran producer and engineer with 35 years logged in the control room, Cherney has worked with the top talent in the industry, including Iggy Pop, Bob Seger, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Jann Arden, Jackson Browne, Keb’ Mo, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones, to name just a few. His work has earned him six Grammy nominations and three wins, along with seven TEC nominations and five wins. He is a founding member of Producers and Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy and served as the Governor of the L.A. Chapter of The Recording Academy. Until last year, Cherney was also an avid, collector of studio reference monitors, learning to work around the faults of each model before relegating it to the closet when a newer model came through the door. That cycle ended with the arrival of a pair of ATC SCM25A 3-way nearfield monitors. Cherney now uses his ATC SCM25As for almost everything he does because they’re exciting to listen to and because the work he does on them translates flawlessly on any other pro or consumer system.
“I am always looking for speakers because they’re my eyes in the studio, my window to the world,” said Cherney. “I get a lot of inquiries from younger engineers, asking me if I can recommend a good pair of monitors for five-hundred bucks. I can’t. And it’s crazy that they’ll spend thousands on microphones and outboard gear without first giving themselves the one tool they need to actually hear what they’re doing. It’s like an artist buying expensive paints and then turning out the lights. That said I’ve had a hard time finding the ideal speaker at any price. I guess I’m something of a collector now.”
Cherney first heard a pair of ATC SCM25As at a studio in New York, and he liked what he heard. Shortly thereafter, he was working at a studio in his hometown of Chicago that had no good options for monitors. “I spoke to Brad [Lunde] at TransAudio Group [ATC's U.S. distributor] and he sent out a pair of ATC SCM50ASLs for us to try. They were spectacular as well! We could turn them up loud, and the low end was defined, the midrange was smooth and silky, and the high end was sweet. The sound was thrilling; it could wash over me and punch me in the chest. These were the first mid-size speakers that could give me the experience of the soffit-mounted loudspeakers that the big studios have.”
He continued, “I’ve been dissatisfied with 2-way speakers in the past. The challenge is always to get the right vocal tone and volume, and it often depends on which side of the crossover the vocal is sitting. Sometimes the same singer can be below the crossover in the verse and above it in the chorus. In the past, I always took my mixes around to different systems – different speakers, my house, my car – to make sure the vocals were sitting in the mix correctly. Now that I have the ATC SCM25As, I rarely have to do that anymore. The vocals sit nicely in the midrange driver, and I’m always within a half dB. Every song. For the first time, I really trust the quality of the mixes in the studio. I don’t have to take them out and check them. I nail it and they translate to the rest of the world. That’s a huge improvement.”
Cherney has already used the ATC SCM25As on a number of projects. He produced, recorded, and mixed the main title for the Disney film Planes called “Nothing Can Stop Me Now,” as well as Robben Ford’s Bringing It Back Home and Eric Burdon’s Till Your River Runs Dry. He mixed Love for Levon on DVD, CD, and broadcast using the SCM25As, and he mixed Road to Forever by Don Felder of the Eagles. Currently, he’s working on a debut album from Athena Perez, a rising country artist from Chicago, and a new Bette Midler album.
In addition to how well his mixes translate on the ATC SCM25As, Cherney is also inspired by their clean, fatigue-free volume. “If I’m recording drums, I like to turn it up!” he said. “If the band’s in the control room, I have to turn it up! When I’m doing the final balances, I may be down around 75dB, but getting there, I want to feel it pop, physically! I want to move air in the room! With the 25s, I can. And I can do it all day long and still be as clear-headed and energized at the end of the day as I was at the beginning. My ATC’s make recording and mixing music much more fun.
SCM7 Review – Home Theater Review
This month, HomeTheaterReview.com has covered the new (Mk3) edition of the SCM7, featuring updated styling and the new, in-house designed and built, ATC 1″ soft dome tweeter.
The review was undertaken by Steven Stone and here’s just a little of what he had to say about the loudspeakers:
“If you are in the market for a small monitor speaker capable of wide dynamic contrasts, accurate imaging, and well-above-average power-handling capabilities, the ATC SCM7 mark III speaker should be on your short list of must-audition transducers. And if you already own the previous version of SCM7 speakers, I would strongly suggest that it might be time for an “update” to the latest version. If you liked the SCM7 mark II, you are going to love the SMC7 mark III.”
To read the review in full, please visit HomeTheaterReview.com
SCM25A Review – Tape Op
Thom Monahan has reviewed our SCM25A compact 3-way monitor in Tape Op edition #101.
Here are a few outakes from the review:
“Crafting sounds on the SCM25As was a joy; the clarity and openness of the midrange had me pulling back compression, as it was easier to identify artifacts and smeariness.”
“The SCM25As contributed to a better mix flow as I was able to set something and move on, instead of having to approximate and then see-saw back-and-forth between monitors in order to build solid mixes.”
“The biggest payoff was experiencing the best translation I’d ever gotten out of my studio when I took the finished CRB record to JJ Golden at Golden Mastering.”
You can read the review in full on the Tape Op website.
SCM25A product details can be found here.
Stereophile SCM19 Review
Over the pond in the US the chaps at Stereophile have been casting their ears and eyes over more of our new models. The latest magazine (and now also featured online) reviews the new SCM19 which features the new ATC Dual Suspension tweeter, 6.5″ SLmid/bass and revised crossovers. Read John Marks’s review here on the Stereophile Website.
HiFi Choice Group Test Winner – SCM7
The SCM7 comes out as group test winner in the £639-£810 category in the May 2014 edition of HiFi Choice magazine!
Read the group test verdict here.
ATC SCM150ASL Pro makes mastering clear as day at Jacob’s Well
“The biggest strength of the ATCs are their ability to present the midrange at its best, which helps me a lot in terms of evaluating the mix and deciding what to do with it.”
– Sangwook ‘Sunny’ Nam (Owner, Jacob’s Well Mastering)
WEST LEBANON, NH, USA: specialist British loudspeaker drive unit and complete sound reproduction system manufacturer ATC is proud to announce that Grammy®-nominated mastering engineer Sangwook ‘Sunny’ Nam has installed a pair of custom SCM150ASL PRO three-way active loudspeakers at his unique Jacob’s Well Mastering facility founded in 2012…
“The reason I decided to go with ATC is that I had used ATC speakers during my time at The Mastering Lab.” So states Sangwook ‘Sunny’ Nam, a protégé of mastering legend Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab in Hollywood (and, later, Ojai, California) from July 2005 until flying solo, setting up shop towards the Eastern Seaboard at a scenic riverside location in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. How, why, and when Korean native Nam needed to seek out a mastering mentor before becoming an internationally sought-after mastering engineer in his own right makes for fascinating reading.
“I began my career as a recording engineer in 1998,” Nam begins. “Establishing myself as a top producer for classical music recordings and as an engineer for audiophile recordings in Korea, I worked with well-known musicians, such as Myungwha Chung, Daejin Kim, and Yeol Eum Son, and also a range of orchestras, including the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Polish National Radio Symphony, and Nashville Symphony. I also got involved in the mastering process to preserve the quality of my audiophile recordings, but then I was able to enjoy mastering recordings produced by other people. Even though my interest in mastering stemmed from classical music, I mastered many musical styles, ranging from hip-hop to heavy metal. My passion to become a better mastering engineer drove me to e-mail Doug Sax, asking him to be my mentor. Doug generously allowed me to work with him and I also had the honour of working with great engineers like Al Schmitt, Bill Schnee, James Guthrie, and Don Murray when I joined The Mastering Lab.”
By the time of Nam’s noteworthy tenure, The Mastering Lab (TML) was equipped with ATC loudspeakers, which speaks volumes about their perceived quality when considering the unique transfer system employed there. “TML has a very unique signal chain,” notes Nam. “While it’s a commonly held belief that one has to have the cleanest signal path to be of service as a top-quality mastering studio, this is easier said than done. TML has ploughed its efforts into realising this simple but demanding belief since 1967, designing and building equipment in-house to achieve the cleanest possible signal path. A lot of elements in the signal chain there are quite unconventional, requiring extra effort from mastering engineers — unlike using modern equipment in other mastering setups. So the most important thing that I learned at TML is how to evaluate the elements of the signal chain that can serve to implement the best transfer system.”
Which was exactly what Nam took with him when family commitments compelled a cross-continental move: “My wife was hired by one of the Ivy League colleges and wanted to take our kids with her. I sort of commuted for about a year before deciding to stay with my family. It was pretty hard for me to leave TML and Doug, but my priority lies with my family.”
Far from the madding crowd, Nam chose to build his own biblically-named Jacob’s Well Mastering facility close to his newfound family home: “My studio sits on a riverbank of the Connecticut. It was originally a big storage unit attached to a small office building, so I built the studio inside it from the ground up. My room is designed by Rick Ruggieri, who designed TML’s room in Ojai — basically, it’s the same design, but scaled a bit differently because my room is built for stereo channel mastering only. The uniqueness of my room lies in the placement of the equipment rack behind the engineer. To achieve the cleanest signal path possible, putting nothing between yourself and the speakers is pretty obvious. This makes it much harder for the engineer to work, but both TML and myself don’t mind going the extra mile to maintain our philosophy at every stage of the signal path, and, actually, once you’re used to that placement, it’s not that hard to work in that way.”
Specifying SCM150ASL PRO three-way active loudspeakers for Nam’s new room at Jacob’s Well Mastering may not have been a hard choice for its driven owner, but fulfilling the order was far from standard practice for manufacturer ATC since soffit mounting was the order of the day. Concedes Nam: “This is quite rare in mastering studios, but this setup works for me, and Rick did wonderful work to mitigate the problems that could come out of the soffit design. Also this enabled me to put in a big window through which I can enjoy the beautiful view of the Connecticut river without affecting the room acoustic. ATC handled all my requests for a custom wood enclosure and different placement of the mid and tweeter units with grace. The amp pack was also sent separately to JCF Audio, who built all of my custom transfer system, for modification to suit my needs.”
As for the finished result, Nam is clearly happy with his room and the custom SCM150ASL PRO setup within: “With the design of the room, the ATCs translate the sound that I’m getting into other speaker systems very well. When it comes to speakers, most of the time people talk about bass and high frequencies, but, for me, midrange is most important, because that’s where most of the music is. The biggest strength of the ATCs are their ability to present the midrange at its best, which helps me a lot in terms of evaluating the mix and deciding what to do with it.”
Dave Clarke, “The Baron of Techno”, chooses ATC
For quite a few years now Dave Clarke, DJ, producer and radio presenter, has been based in Amsterdam. During his long standing career, Clarke has remixed many of electronic music’s biggest names, including the Chemical Brothers, Leftfield, Moby, Underworld, New Order and Depeche Mode.
Dave Clarke has also become a key player of the annual Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE). He is a regular DJ presence at top global clubs such as Fabric in London, Berghain in Berlin, and Fuse in Brussels. He has also played a wide range of festivals including Glastonbury, Pukkelpop, and I Love Techno and hosts his own successful stage at Tomorrowland in Belgium since 2012.
It’s an understatement to say Dave’s floating studio is well equipped. He is the type a person that always keeps an open eye and ear for cutting edge technology. Along with the ever increasing audio quality of his studio equipment, Dave realized his existing monitor system no longer met his requirements.
Several audio monitors passed in review and to cut a long story short, the ATC SCM-25A turned out to be Dave’s favorite choice. Their detailed and distortion free sound was what appealed to him most.
Dave: “Though not super abundant in the low-end the SCM-25A produced an exact and very tight image of bass pulses and bass lines. Extremely important when producing low frequency dependent club music. The mid range reveals lots of detail but is never obtrusive, the detail you can hear in the reverb tails in complicated mixes was a complete surprise and highs are frosty & crisp but never harsh or edgy. This is a monitor that tells it like it is but doesn’t bring about any listening fatigue. In fact, it is a real pleasure to listen to them and finally hear everything in the mix even if it is a complicated one.”
The ATC SCM-25A monitors where supplied and installed by Helios Pro Audio Solutions.