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ATC SCM50 A PRO

The SCM50 has long been the mid-field monitor of choice for many audio professionals across the world. Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to listen them next to a whole host of competitors and whilst personal preferences always differ at this end of the market, the SCM50 remains a serious contender for the main monitors in many small/medium studios.

For many, the SCM50 represents unparalleled accuracy throughout the mid-range. We often find ourselves criticising rival loudspeakers for being overly flattering in mix areas notorious for spectral congestion. Inaccuracies (often perceived as gaps) in the upper-mids are also common concerns when listening to alternative monitors. The SCM50 suffers neither of these drawbacks, reproducing audio extremely faithfully throughout the region. Harsh recordings (vocals and violins are prime examples) will not be softened by these speakers, but of course, in most cases this should be to the benefit of the engineer. It should be noted that in contrast, good recordings are a pleasure to listen to!

The SCM50 doesn’t have the level of very-high-frequency (16-20kHz) detail showcased by modern ribbon-based tweeter solutions; side-by-side comparisons can be startling in this respect. Ribbon tweeters aside though, the high frequency response is still very good and doesn’t possess the same slightly artificial-sounding boost that is detectable with many competitors. For this reason, they are by no means a fatiguing loudspeaker in our experience.

Providing they are well mounted in a good listening environment their low end is powerful and responsive, but not unnaturally boomy, punchy or overbearing. A number of competitors of a similar driver/cabinet size undoubtably provide more bass than
the ATCs, but this is usually at the expense of proportion, relative to the rest of the frequency spectrum.

Pros, Cons and Applications

Transparency across the frequency spectrum, particularly in the mid-range makes the SCM50s a favourite with recording engineers and others for whom spectral accuracy is paramount. By the same token, they are not flattering loudspeakers, and may not sound as exciting as speakers with slightly richer responses at the extremes of the range. For this reason they may not always be the choice of professionals in the more artistic sections of the industry, dependant on their workflow and mix strategies. Higher degrees of very-high-frequency detail can be achieved with some ribbon-tweeter loudspeakers, but they of course bring about their own sets of pros and cons!

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