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  • 10 years with my SCM40s

    Hi everybody, although I’ve read an awful lot of your posts over the last years I’ve never felt that my active contribution would’ve been helpful. But now, after 10 years with my passive SCM40s (v1), I think it’s time to just express some gratitude.
    The passive 40s were as far as could stretch financially in 2012. In fact, I couldn’t have afforded them here in Germany via the distributor – it took an understanding English dealer to make my dream come true. When they arrived, I had to drive them with my early 90s Luxman integrated. And they were such an amazing step up from my Elacs I couldn’t believe it.
    As soon as money permitted, I went for a used Quad 99 pre / 909 combo. Things got even better, and I’m sure I could still happily with that setup.
    When a pair of used Quad QMP monos turned up for a very decent price, I couldn’t say no. I wouldn’t say that they made a lot of difference at my regular listening levels, but they still give me the feeling that power amp-wise, I’d have to invest a LOT more to get any noticeable results.
    I listen a lot of vinyl, and being a guitarist I’ve got a soft spot for tubes, so a Croft 25r pre with phono stage was up next. I love the point-to-point design and the feeling that whatever is going to go wrong with it in the future can easily be repaired by any tech knowing his or her trade.
    I invested in a better record deck, a Funk Firm LSD, and after some trying settled on a Dynavector 20X2H as my main cart. I added a decent streamer (a Bluesound Node 2i).
    The point is that my 40s stayed. They seemed to applaud each and every step up I made.
    In 2019, I briefly thought about replacing them with active v2 SCM40s. I didn’t go that route after A/B-ing my system with the actives. Were the new actives “better”? Perhaps, and I can totally get why people love them. Were they better for me, my taste in music (mostly bands that can rarely afford recording at expensive studios) and my vinyl collection? No. The Croft/Quad combo slightly takes an edge off sub-par recordings and pressings while still allowing excellent productions to be appreciated.

    Long story cut short – thanks ATC for giving me so much delight!

  • #2
    The Croft preamp would be a great match for any quality speaker system - especially ATCs. In the past I've always preferred the sound of a solid state power amp driven by a tube preamplifier. The best of both worlds. Regarding active vs passives, it's a choice of convenience and taste. And 'better' is definitely in the eye (ears) of the beholder. I like your choice of components!.

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