ATC SCM11 good match for valve amp or Arcam P85 or Proac standmounts ?


Active Member
Read a fair bit about how good the ATC SCM11 is a very good standmount speaker but are really hard to drive at 82-85db.

I recently moved to a valve amp (Puresound/Bewitch A30 - need to update my sig !) and have been using Proac Response 2.5 floorstanders which I love up to a point. I think they may be just a touch too big for my 2.5m x 5.5m room.

Can my Puresound/Bewitch A30 amp (30W class A) deliver enough power for ATC SCM11 ?
Could an Arcam P85 be a better solution ?
Or perhaps Proac 1SC would be better in a small room.

I listen only at moderate levels, maybe a little loud now and again but nowwhere near party/gig/disco levels.
Music taste is broad but mainly rock + indie to jazz, vocal, acoustic.

The Proacs/A30 are absolutely fab with vocals and acoustic seem less capable on the more cluttered faster rock / indie music.

Any thoughts ?

Mr Pig

Well-known Member
I don't know, but I doubt it. Things like the impediance characteristics of the speakers matters too but I would think that 30 watts is going to struggle into that sensitivity, unless you like very low volume. I would think that 80 to 100 watts might be a more sensible minimum.

Try a search for ATC speakers with valve amp, you never know.


Active Member
If you're going to look at ATC, my suggestion is that you go the extra mile and buy the active versions. That way you know that you have a pair of amps that are designed to work with it.
I know that won't have "valves", but you can get around that by buying a decent valve pre-amp.
Personally I wouldn't try running any ATCs with a low powered amp.


Active Member
Alaneglinton, I used to have an Audio Innovation Anniversary Class A valve amplifer, and although 'only' rated at 20W/ch or so it had absolutely no problem with my then speakers, namely a pair of Ruark Sabre MkII's, infinite baffle ... as are the ATC's, 'driving' them to very high levels with no audible distortion. Valve power is so different to solid state, as you probably know, which means its possible to have 'live like' sound at lower volumes as you are using. That sounds like a contradiction in terms but I think you know what I mean. Why not try the ATC's at a dealers if you can? Alternatively, I used to have Studio 110's with a cyrus system. They are easy to partner. I hope you find a suitable speaker.



Active Member
thanks for all the feedback,

Mr Pig - I have searched for ATC and valve amp and found pretty much nothing so am looking for forum members experience. I have read that ATC are power hungry and have to be loud to be appreciated.
This is very much against my normal prefernces but I have read so much good stuf about the ATC's that I guess i'm looking for a reasson to give them a try (can't practically demo so usually buy used and try and keep or sell)

Mr_Sukebe - Yes, actives. Thats another good debate. I had a thread on that very topic and was almost there - but was seduced by reviews and feedback for the A30 and Proac 2.5's and both were available at a reasonable price. I think one day I will try actives but not just yet.

Drummerman - I agree that valve class A amp power spec allows a much lower rated amp to drive as well as a 3 or 4x rated Solid state amp.
Was just trying to get an idea whether 30W would scale would be enough for a speakers that in theory requires 50-300W.

Any other thoughts ????
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Mr Pig

Well-known Member
I have read that ATC are power hungry and have to be loud to be appreciated.
You might want to try searching for forum posts on the speaker alone then and try to get some feedback from users. I know nothing about them.

From the sensitivity you quote, and if they have difficult impediance characteristics, then I'm sure they will be power hungry and I honestly doubt they would sing with valve amp. It's true that valve watts are not the same as solid state watts, my son has a 30watt Marshall valve guitar amp and I've never heard it at full volume as I don't think my ears would survive! However the speakers that work well with valve amps tend to be high sensitivity and an easy load, doesn't sound like the ACT's are ether.

I'm also concerned about you saying that they only come on song at high volume. If that's true it's bad news. I've tried speakers that were like that and it's just plain annoying.

Of all the people I can think of who love ATC speakers every one of them are or were using active ATC's, which is where they made their name. I'm not saying the ones you are looking at are not good, I have no idea, but I have little confidence that they'll work well with a valve amp.

What you could do is try them and if they disappoint, see if you can borrow a good solid state amp to try on them. To be honest any opinions you might get are largely irrelevant anyway as we all have different tastes in Hi-Fi. When you buy used you often just have to take a chance. If it doesn't work out, just sell the things!


Well-known Member
The tubed amp will work fine,even into a very reactive load,but don't expect high SPLs.

You simply wont get that,or much headroom when you begin to turn it up,although the valve amps overload characteristics will allow you to run it a bit harder without the sound getting too hard.

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