Cutting right to the chase I usually love an ATC room, and in keeping with my personal history, this one was no different. Less on the surface, this was my first experience with ATC’s awesome Special Edition SCM50E Active Tower Loudspeakers, and the ATC CDA2 MkII CD Player/Pre-amp/DAC. The ATC/Lone Mountain experience at T.H.E. SHOW 2019 is the stuff of legends. During my listening session things got really loud, in a good way. We fired up the new Tool album as it was recorded on ATC speakers, so it was only right to give them the ATC treatment on the way out as well.
Describing the ATC SCM50SE ($65,999 pr USD) loudspeaker is simple. Firstly, none of its components are outsourced, this active tower monitor is completely made in-house by ATC in the UK. Driver complement per tower starts with a pair of ATC hallmarks, their hand-made 1-inch soft-dome tweeter, followed by a 3-inch soft-dome mid-range. Below that, a single ATC’s 9.25-inch SL (Super Linear Magnet) bass-driver, and a front facing tuned port. All pretty typical ATC stuff.
The special sauce for these SCM50SE Active Towers is the use of three fully discrete amplifiers for each individual drive unit, which means six total amplifiers in a stereo pair. Combined the total output of the on-board amplification is 350-watts. Crossovers in this system are indeed active, and include phase correction. Protection for the amplifier system comes in the form of overload protections.
On the electronics side of this system, pre-amp and source decoding duties were handled by ATC’s CDA2 MkII ($4,249 USD) CD Player/Pre-amp/DAC. The pre-amp section is completely all-discrete and operates in Class-A. The CD player is standard ATC high-performance as expected. Digital inputs include, USB, Optical, and Coaxial. The choice of DAC’s internal is the AKM 32-bit chip, supporting up to 384-kHz PCM and native DSD-256 playback. A discrete headphone amp stage, and remote control round out the package.
Also on display (but not active) during my time in the Lone Mountain Audio exhibit room were the new for 2019 — ATC CD2 Compact CD Player ($2,349 USD) and ATC SIA2-100 Compact Stereo Integrated Amp/DAC ($3.749 USD). These new electronics from ATC were paired with a stereo pair of ATC SCM7 two-way monitors. Both the ATC CD2 and ATC SIA2-100 are 2/3rds width components, each with a bevy digital and analog inputs, each handmade in England, and each feature a 6-year warranty.
By Eric Shook