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Good amp for ATC SCM19 and Focal


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Any thoughts on a good amp for the ATC SCM19 or 19a speakers? Both have rather low sensitivity. Prefer solid state leaning from neutral to just a bit on the warmish side.

 

Also listened to the Focal Electra 1008 BE and liked them but thought they were a bit bright, any recommendations on a pre / amp to tone these down?

 

I've not brought either home for trial, just listened at the dealer.

 

Currently running a Pass Labs XA30.5 driven direct by a digital source, no preamp. Love the sound but too low power for the ATCs. Might work well with the Focals. My only riff with the amp besides lower power is that it lacks a bit of "slam", seems it favors acoustic, classical or vocals, while I lean a bit more towards rock (but not too hard) but listen to almost anything occasionally.

 

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I really liked ATC SCM19 while having in the past some studio monitors from Focal so I can see that we have sort of similar tastes. SCM19 sound wonderful with tubes! I didn't liked them with Krell Vanguard — too cold and too clean for me. So I would recommend a powerful tube amp like I have at the moment —*McIntosh MC275, which is pretty clean but with the tube signature. Also, a friend of mine is using his SCM50s with Plinius 150 and he describes the sound as tubie but with the power of transistor.

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"Also listened to the Focal Electra 1008 BE and liked them but thought they were a bit bright, any recommendations on a pre / amp to tone these down?"

 

Never buy components to fix flaws in other components. If the speakers can't do the job on their own without any help, pick something else.

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"Also listened to the Focal Electra 1008 BE and liked them but thought they were a bit bright, any recommendations on a pre / amp to tone these down?"

 

Never buy components to fix flaws in other components. If the speakers can't do the job on their own without any help, pick something else.

 

I don't think so, but thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

McIntosh amps go very well with Focal. I've heard 1008BE and 1028BE with McIntosh (sorry don't know which amp), and they are very resolving - not bright.

One thing I've noticed from listening in a demo lounge, compared to at home, is the complete lack of ambient noise. I think this helps the retailer a LOT.

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I ended up buying the SCM19s. In my small listening space the XA30.5 gets them up loud enough, although an amp upgrade might be in the works.

What I don't like about the ATCs is while they make good recordings shine, some of my favorite pop/rock/indie music is almost unlistenable. I'm not sure that's going to work for me long term.

How do other ATC owners reconcile with this characteristic of the these speakers?

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How can you assess the performance of your new speakers yet? I assume they are brand new. It should take a few months for them to loosen up. Unless they are 2nd hand, of course.

 

Maybe, but doubt it. This wouldn't be my first new speakers. They might change a bit, but they wouldn't turn into different speakers. A few months... how many hours would that be do you think? Absolute Sound ran them in for 24 hours. Other reviewers, not much different. Their engineer told me the drivers go through testing at the factory that puts the drivers through their full excursions, more than anything they'd see in real use. So, no.

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Maybe, but doubt it. This wouldn't be my first new speakers. They might change a bit, but they wouldn't turn into different speakers. A few months... how many hours would that be do you think? Absolute Sound ran them in for 24 hours. Other reviewers, not much different. Their engineer told me the drivers go through testing at the factory that puts the drivers through their full excursions, more than anything they'd see in real use. So, no.

 

Fair enough. I know my B&W 685s took 2 - 3 months for their drivers to loosen up. That was fairly light use, so maybe 200 hours. They started out with a one-note bass, which then opened up during that time.

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