When it comes to studio monitors, ATC is one of the brands that continuously pops up over and over again, yet we’re surprised when many people say they haven’t actually heard one of themselves.
Granted, their speakers aren’t normally cheap, but when you’re looking for a quality sound with a quality build, nothing else seems to come close. The UK manufacturers continue to impress with every release, including everything from their small active monitors, to their large-scale PA systems.
Today, we’re going to be focusing our attention on SCM25A. This is a compact speaker that covers all the ranges, but is it the studio monitor you’ve been looking for? Let’s find out.
In a Rush?
• A 25mm neodymium soft dome tweeter
• Handmade 3” soft dome mid driver
• Handmade 7” cone bass driver
• High output design in a compact casing
• 19” rack mountable
Of course, the most important thing you’re thinking about when you’re buying a speaker for your studio is the actual quality of the sound it produces. It needs to be as near to perfect as possible, so you can hear every aspect of your track, so you can master and tweak it for release.
We’re typically put off by compact speakers such as this because these speakers can be made so broad that they turn out average at best, but with the SCM25A, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Starting at the high-end of the sound spectrum, you’ll find a 25mm neodymium speaker (a material used in nearly all premium speakers) which is soft dome. This is ideal for producing the higher ends of your track; ultimately generating crystal-clear high notes.
Moving down the mids, you can enjoy all the benefits that come from a 75mm soft-domed speaker for absolute clarity. And then finally in the low department, you’ll find a 164mm low-frequency short-coil speaker.
is a carbon paper-based cone which is perfect for producing those rumbling bass notes while remaining clean and undistorted. This output is actually unbelievable and boasts a frequency cut-off range of 47hz, all the way up to 22kHz, which is truly impressive.
The Nitty-Gritty Specs
While the specs above are enough to get any audiophile excited, the fun doesn’t stop there. When you start looking into the details of this speaker, we found that things only get better. For example, on the back of the speaker, you’ll find a low-frequency boost switch.
This can add 0-3dB of bass at 40Hz for your sounds, which is ideal for if you’re looking for a little bit more amplification while you’re mixing. Of course, you’ll also be protected by the integrated overload protection technology, which minimizes the risk of you damaging your speaker over longer periods of time.
If you’re looking for figures, we’re happy to tell you that the Bass levels run around the 150W RMS mark, the mids at 60W RMS and the highs at 25W, which is an incredible amount of power for an incredible quality of sound.
Built into this speaker, there are also crossover frequencies of 380Hz and 3.5khz, which is about average for a studio monitor of this ability.
With all this mind, turning on and playing sound through the speaker really does live up to its expectations. There’s practically no distortion whatsoever, even when you’re playing at high volumes. Thanks to this active design, you can also play with a range of different genres, and the quality tends to remain consistent.
It’s also worth noting that this three-way speaker doesn’t seem to compromise in any area. The highs are fantastic, as are the mids and the lows, and it sounds just as good as many of the similarly priced two-way speakers that we’ve tested in the past. In some cases, we can’t even tell the difference.
Of course, when you’re purchasing a speaker like this, you need to make sure that you can actually connect it up in your studio, which has been made as easy as possible. You can connect up your speaker using the built-in rear-panel female XLR.
This requires the double pin version, which you’ll probably have laying around, or you can buy one online for next to nothing. This speaker has a sensitivity of I V RMS, which is ideal for most setups, and a balanced input impedance of 10kΩ.
Could Weigh You Down
While we absolutely adore every aspect of this speaker, there are two main drawbacks to consider. Firstly, is the weight of this thing. While the speaker itself is compact, with H/W/D dimensions of 264 x 430 x 396mm, this thing weighs around 30kg.
For a speaker like this, that’s huge, so if you’re planning on dragging your speaker around with you on tour or from your home to your studio often, this might not be the ideal speaker to buy.
However, if you’re planning on purchasing it and then setting it up at home or in your studio and leaving it there, this won’t be a problem. Although, you’re going to need someone to help you set it up.
The other thing to consider here is the price tag. Of course, this can depend on where you’re buying it from, but this is generally more expensive than other speakers in the same category. While this might put budget-conscious musicians and producers off, you really do get what you pay for.
The quality in terms of design and sound is unparalleled, and we’ve really heard nothing like it. The sound is raw and real, and not like other speakers that can sound tinny or bland. This speaker provides real depth to your sound, and that in itself is worth the price tag.
When it comes to studio monitors, you may be stuck thinking whether you want a standard two-way active speaker or a professional three-way speaker, and of course, the choice is really up to you.
However, if you’re willing to spend a little bit extra on a speaker that guarantees to make all the difference in your productions, the SCM25A is highly recommended.