FOR Fine rhyth­mic drive; hugely trans­par­ent AGAINST Noth­ing

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Since the ATC SCM11S’ first in­car­na­tion in 2006, they have gone from strength to strength, but with new ri­vals, such as the Proac Stu­dio 118s ar­riv­ing, can the ATCS re­tain their class-lead­ing sta­tus?

We play Ro­driguez’s I Won­der and, just when you think its ri­vals are get­ting to the core of a vo­cal, the ATCS man­age to peel away an­other layer. You can re­ally feel the gut­tural, aching qual­ity of Ro­driguez’s de­liv­ery. The SCM11S cap­ture the sub­tle echo around each word and the raw­ness of the pro­duc­tion, while re­main­ing faith­ful to the record­ing.

Punchy and ag­ile

The SCM11’S clean, neu­tral bal­ance makes them easy to live with. No part of the fre­quency range is favoured, and the pre­sen­ta­tion is loaded with in­for­ma­tion. Tre­ble is clear, while bass is tex­tured and tune­ful, the track’s bassline com­ing across as punchy and ag­ile.

The ATCS have all the pep and piz­zazz you’d ex­pect at this price. They punch hard and sound solid, with a warm, full sound that’s not too rounded or with­out bite. Their nat­u­ral agility and drive give them a real knack for rhythms, and there’s con­trol at ev­ery turn.

The all-en­com­pass­ing sound­stage is alive with scale and au­thor­ity, and power isn’t in short sup­ply ei­ther. Stereo imag­ing is an­other strength; the song’s bass gui­tar, drum and vo­cal en­sem­ble has clear depth and lay­er­ing, and a lovely sense of co­he­sion.

You may have guessed by their Award count that noth­ing re­ally lets the ATCS down. The solidly made cab­i­nets that house the 15cm mid/bass driver and 25mm soft-dome tweeter look and feel as if they’d last a life­time, and the wood ve­neer fin­ish in cherry or black is im­mac­u­late. You get more than enough cab­i­net for the money – when it comes to size and weight, they’re well-en­dowed – so make sure to in­vest in sturdy stands.

To­tally en­am­oured

It’s hard not to be to­tally and ut­terly en­am­oured of the ATC SCM11S. For the money, they seem to do ev­ery­thing right – and they look good too. Oth­ers may beat them in terms of their live­li­ness, but we are more tempted by the SCM11’S greater sub­tlety and trans­parency. When it comes to speak­ers, there are few bet­ter ways to spend £1200.

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