ATC SCM40 > Soundstage Ultra review
Conclusion >>> The ATC SCM40 is an extraordinary loudspeaker at this price and it’s very hard for me to think of anything that comes close, even at twice its cost.
There are speakers that reveal more at very low listening levels—my own Naim SBLs, for example—but the SCM40s opened up and took a clear lead once the volume rose a little. The ATCs are beautifully built, easy to accommodate, possess world-class dynamics, deliver a powerful full-bandwidth sound, and are blessed with what I think is the world’s best midrange driver. Fed by good sources and driven with enough power, they delivered superb transparency and soundstaging. With their refined new tweeter they are more tolerant of poor recordings than many loudspeakers at this level. The SCM40s had astonishing timing and speed—there was zero overhang, and transient sounds were delivered like a bullet through a plate-glass window. They could groove and rock with the best, yet displayed superb delicacy on classical instruments or solo piano.
As I revealed at the start of this article, I reviewed a pair of ATC speakers 16 years ago and nothing I have heard in the intervening years ever came close to their sound at their price point. Sadly, I returned those original speakers due to fiscal constraints and spent the following decade-and-a-half regretting the decision. In lover’s terms, that pair of speakers was “the one that got away.” Well, not this time, baby. Slip another album on the GyroDec and pour a drink, it’s gonna be a long night.
I finally bought them . . . .
. . . Jonathan Gorse