WHEN you place a “Special Edition” tag on an already excellent series of loudspeakers, you know you’re in for something extraordinary. Three models in ATC’s reference-level Classic series of speakers not only get a bump-up in looks and performance, but an “SE” suffix in the process too. Presenting the limited edition SCM50SE, SCM100SE and SCM150SE speakers, available in both active and passive versions.
So what comes new with the Special Edition tag? For starters, these three-way speakers sport new, improved drivers fresh from the ATC design workshop, namely a 25mm soft dome tweeter (SH25-76S) and new short coil super linear magnet bass drivers (three sizes – SB75-234SL, SB75-314SL, SB75-375SL – dependent on model). The 75mm soft dome midrange driver (SM75-150S) has been around since 1976, and since it has yet to be bettered, is retained in the design.
These are housed in a “finely curved multi-layer laminated cabinet” and customers can pick their choice of high-quality veneer (rosewood, burr magnolia or high gloss cherry) with crowning “top brow’” detail. The series now features PVD coating for its rear-venting and input panels, acid-etched with Special Edition details; each speaker sits on a frosted acrylic plinth.
The active versions of the series are now equipped with ATC’s “highest performance three-way amplifiers featuring the company’s discrete 21 transistor op-amps in the input, buffer and filter stages for the lowest possible noise and distortion.” Dedicated class A/B Mosfet output stages for each drive unit form a tri-amplifier of 350 watts. Parallel overload protection circuits ensure hard clipping does not occur.
These new SEs are still made the old-fashioned way, designed and hand-built at ATC’s UK development and production facility at Stroud, Gloucestershire. All ATC products come with a six-year warranty.
And if you must know the prices: SCM50SE (passive/active) – £23,671/£26.964; SCM100SE – £25,638/£28,921; SCM150SE – £31,879/£35,406… no, not for the faint of heart or slim of wallet.