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Positioning of ATC SCM40 speakers

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  • Positioning of ATC SCM40 speakers

    I would be grateful if someone could advise me on the ideal positioning of my passive SCM40's. Currently they are 3 meters apart (toed in slightly) with the left hand speaker only 20cm from a wall, the assumption being that they are infinitely baffled and not having a rear facing port placement is not critical. I've experimented a little with placement and to me sound superb as they are. All the same I'd appreciate anyone's views/ experiences. I am also using Tellurium Q black speaker cable (3 meters) and would be interested to know what others are using. Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Paul T; 01-23-2021, 03:33 PM.

  • #2
    Hello Paul. I am not a 40 user (but have played with 20/50/100s) I’d say try for the equilateral triangle set up as an option, which I think is a common suggestion from ATC.

    I don’t think there is a simple ‘x position will work’ as our rooms and tastes are just too complicated, imho.

    I think it is a case of experiment with known music over time and make notes of distances and how you think it sounds. Take your time.

    It should be fun...but I have to say it’s driven me potty at times!

    Let us know how you get on!


    ps fronts are all actives only have rear passives and I use some chord speaker cable.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. Have them in roughly an equilateral triangle though may move them forward a little, wife permitting.


      • #4
        I have Scm40 passives the mark2 version.
        The speakers are 82.5cm out from the wall (as recommended by Tarun at British Audiophile)
        The bass is less boomy in my 20 square metre room as a result of moving the speakers so that the centre of the front baffle is 82.5cm from the wall behind.


        • #5
          Tarun at A British Audiophile has some great YouTube videos on this topic-
          Hifi Myths & Misconceptions - Placing Speakers Close To Walls

          Hifi Myths & Misconceptions - Speaker Setup


          • #6
            I have seen both of the videos above from the A British Audiophile channel. I think they are very good. And as good as it gets for general advice without knowing a lot of details about any particular listening room. The presenter clearly has read his "Sound Reproduction: ..." book (I have too - twice as its information content is immense and needs effort to take in). He does a very good job, IMHO, of presenting simplified but still accurate information.

            The method below probably isn't for everyone, but a practical way of positioning loudspeakers that I have used successfully is to set up a real-time frequency response measurement and move the 'speakers about for best results from watching the real-time display.

            I have REW (free) on a laptop; an audio lead from the laptop to the preamp; and a UMIK-1 USB microphone connected to the laptop. This is the procedure:
            • Set up the microphone at the listening position (omnidirectional - pointing upwards)
            • Set up REW's audio source to generate wide-range pink noise at a moderate level (low enough not to damage hearing or loudspeakers).
            • Set up REW's real-time analyser to look at the low frequency region from 20 Hz to about 1,000 Hz
            • Find positions for each loudspeaker separately which reduce excessive low frequency lumps in the response (without being over zealous about flatness and not worrying too much about dips)
            The result has been in place in my listening room for a couple of years now and I find it very satisfactory since I simply haven't noticed anything I thought sounded wrong.



            • #7
              Thanks again for all the replies they've given me plenty to think about. I also have the mk2 40's in a rectangular room a little less than 20 square meters and noticed significant improvements particularly in bass by simply moving each speaker 25 cm away from the wall. The REW / microphone idea is one I'm going to try. Thanks

              Last edited by Paul T; 01-25-2021, 11:12 AM.


              • #9
                My SCM40s are about 30cm (measuring from the middle of the rear speaker panel) from the back wall and toed in so that they are pointing at my normal listening position. It took a bit of time to get the speakers into the position that works best for me, a compromise between sound quality and not rearranging the lounge totally. One speaker is about 50 cm from an outside wall, the other speaker is a similar distance from an internal wall that creates an alcove to the side. As I have a varnished wood floor, I have the speakers resting on Linn Skeets to aid movement and protect the floor. I found the best way to adjust was to move the speakers a centimetre at a time. I would then listen normally for a few days then move the speakers back to their original position. Listen again and decide which placement I preferred. This continued until I got to the positioning that I liked best. A slow process but it worked for me and was recommended by my dealer who installed the speakers for me, an ex dem pair so I didn't have to run them in. Unfortunately, I am going to have to do this again soon as I have recently sold my home and will be moving soon, the good news is that it gives me the perfect reason for lots of listening to music.


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