• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

ATC SCM150ASL PRO or Genelec 1238A

Whathe

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2022
Messages
14
Likes
4
Recently, I want to upgrade my speakers to 15-inch within the budget under 22000 USD. I like the sound of MONITORS like Kali IN-8 V2 which I'm now using, or the sound like Genelec. I went to the locals and listened to some speakers nowadays and now I've decided these two models which are also similar in price and affordable.

For Genelec, I have only tried 8351B and 1037. The sound style is very suitable for me, but the metal treble is too harsh, especially the 1037s. I feel tired in ears after listening to them. 8351B may have been tuned to make the ultra-high frequency less fatiguing.

ATC I have tried is the model named SCM150ASLT LE. I like this sound very much. The mid-frequency vocal is really invincible. I personally think it sounds much better than 8351B. But there is no 1238A audition in my location. I would like to ask whether you have any suggestion for choosing between these two models? Thank you guys!

Listening style: 80% ACG, 80% of which are female voices. Then 15% Chinese pop, 5% symphony.

I've heard of other brands as well:
JBL 4367, I think it is very good, but the UHF is a bit flawed, so I passed it;
Focal Utopia Scala, I don't like Focal's very elegant beryllium treble, it's so harsh, and the mid-frequency vocals sound too thin, and I lose interest in this brand;
PMC BB5SE, the sound is also very good, but I feel that the low frequency is relatively loose, not tight enough, and the price is too high, otherwise I can consider this brand;
I have heard B&W 15-inch 801D and Nautilus, feeling so-so, not my favorite voice style;
Klipsch Cornwall IV, my personal sense of hearing is that the tuning orientation should be the tuning of the smiling curve, and the human voice is slightly darker at the back, which I don't like;
AND I really like the aerodynamic treble of the Wharfeal Elysian4. It has the resolution of the metal treble and the delicacy of the silk dome, which is not as ear-scratching as the metal treble.
 
Last edited:

dfuller

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
2,442
Likes
3,517
The closest thing to the 1037 is the 1237. The 1238 essentially just has an extra woofer. The reason you're probably hearing the Genelecs as "harsh" is probably not the metal tweeter, but rather the dispersion performance. It doesn't slope down as much as some others and there seems to be a slight mismatch in the 1-2k region on the 1037 which could sound a bit harsh.

The SCM150s are going to have some odd off-axis behavior transitioning from the 15" bass driver to the 3" mid dome. Thankfully it's at a low enough frequency that it's less crucial.

IMO - your best bet is either ATC SCM50 ASL Pros or SCM100 ASL Pros plus subs, or Neumann KH420s plus subs. On the upshot, if you went for the KH420s, you'd also end up with about 10 grand left over for fixing room issues.

Focal Utopia Scala, I don't like Focal's very elegant beryllium treble, it's so harsh, and the mid-frequency vocals sound too thin, and I lose interest in this brand;
The harshness is coming from their "house sound" which blows the dispersion out super wide for the tweeter between about 2-9k. It can sound quite bright in room.

Klipsch Cornwall IV, my personal sense of hearing is that the tuning orientation should be the tuning of the smiling curve, and the human voice is slightly darker at the back, which I don't like;
Yeah, it's definitely V shaped, I'll say that much. Lots of bass boom, lots of treble zing.
 
Last edited:

Vintage57

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
397
Likes
566
Location
Ontario, Canada
I sold my ATC SCM150A's after 14 years of use and replaced them with KH420's and 4 KH805 subs and never looked back.
I find the dome midrange of the KH420 to be as good if not better than the ATC and the bass, there's no comparison, the15" ATC sounds anemic when side by side, both with no subs.
I started added 2 subs, not so much for bass extension as for room node correction. As used KH805's became available I maximized it to 4 subs in daisy chain sequence.
Best system I've ever heard regardless of price.
This is my experience YMMV
 

Inner Space

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
1,210
Likes
2,659
IMO - your best bet is either ATC SCM50 ASL Pros or SCM100 ASL Pros, plus subs or Neumann KH420s plus subs. On the upshot, if you went for the KH420s, you'd also end up with about 10 grand left over for fixing room issues.
I agree - and would add the JBL 4367 if you're OK with passives. HF and UHF on the 4367s is really sweet if you knock them down by a dB with the front switches. But the really important part is the last part of @dfuller's sentence above. It's nuts, insane and crazy to spend five figures on speakers without major physical room treatment, which can totally transform your listening experience - not just at lower frequencies, but throughout the spectrum, thereby dramatically improving clarity, precision and detail, while also dramatically reducing fatigue ... to the point where any one of half a dozen speaker choices would sound just about equally superb.
 
OP
W

Whathe

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2022
Messages
14
Likes
4
dispersion performance
Much thanks, I didn't realize this before. I guess I'll have to find a dealer of Genelec to listen to the 1238A myself before throwing the huge budget.
your best bet is either ATC SCM50 ASL Pros or SCM100 ASL Pros plus subs, or Neumann KH420s plus subs.
I'm so impressed by the 15"s, and because of which I'll strugle up to 15"s :facepalm:. But sadly, I recieve a notification that the ATC dealers are planning a price increase before 2023. ATC 150 might be unaffordable next year, which could lead to the end of forcing me to choose 1238A:rolleyes:.
 
OP
W

Whathe

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2022
Messages
14
Likes
4
I agree - and would add the JBL 4367 if you're OK with passives.
Indeed, I thought about having 4367s once. But when I went to the local for audition, I found the UHF of 4367 is a bit flawed. I don't know whether it's a room problem or the problem of 4367 itself. Insted of buying 4367, I'd rather choose 1238A or ATC 150 with the electrical crossover.
 

goat76

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
550
Likes
483
But sadly, I recieve a notification that the ATC dealers are planning a price increase before 2023. ATC 150 might be unaffordable next year, which could lead to the end of forcing me to choose 1238A:rolleyes:.

Can’t you buy the ATC’s before the price increase and just have them in their boxes until it's time to use them?

If I were you and the amount of money you are going to spend, I would go for the speakers you already know you like the sound of.
 
OP
W

Whathe

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2022
Messages
14
Likes
4
The closest thing to the 1037 is the 1237. The 1238 essentially just has an extra woofer. The reason you're probably hearing the Genelecs as "harsh" is probably not the metal tweeter, but rather the dispersion performance. It doesn't slope down as much as some others and there seems to be a slight mismatch in the 1-2k region on the 1037 which could sound a bit harsh.

The SCM150s are going to have some odd off-axis behavior transitioning from the 15" bass driver to the 3" mid dome. Thankfully it's at a low enough frequency that it's less crucial.

IMO - your best bet is either ATC SCM50 ASL Pros or SCM100 ASL Pros plus subs, or Neumann KH420s plus subs. On the upshot, if you went for the KH420s, you'd also end up with about 10 grand left over for fixing room issues.


The harshness is coming from their "house sound" which blows the dispersion out super wide for the tweeter between about 2-9k. It can sound quite bright in room.


Yeah, it's definitely V shaped, I'll say that much. Lots of bass boom, lots of treble zing.
Today, I find another 16" Box called ME Geithain RL901k, same price as 1238A. Could this model sounds better than Genelec 1238A?
 
Last edited:
OP
W

Whathe

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2022
Messages
14
Likes
4
Then do yourself a favor and check out the KH420's, especially if you don't plan to use subs.
15" is a hurdle in my heart, and I want to have it once in my life. Now I get few interests in the 10"s. Also, money will be ready in a few more months.
 

Pearljam5000

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
2,979
Likes
3,230
Genelecs all the way(or KH420 as mentioned)
Besides the ATCs don't have GLM or any room correction
 

fredstuhl

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
85
Likes
132
Yeah, if you worry about high end harshness, remember that this can easily be tweaked by EQ when you have well designed loudspeakers. Super easy to change the downward slope of the frequency response with GLM, I am sure it‘s the same for Neumann‘s system.
 

dfuller

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
2,442
Likes
3,517
I think you're really too caught up in the 15" driver thing. It makes much, much more sense to go for a slightly smaller one and augment with subs if you want more bottom end response.

Genelecs all the way(or KH420 as mentioned)
Besides the ATCs don't have GLM or any room correction
Room correction EQ is largely a fool's errand, though I know I will be shouted down on this forum for saying that.
 

Geert

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
1,390
Likes
2,240
I think you're really too caught up in the 15" driver thing.

Agreed. Would be smart to consider the size of the listening room, the building materials (wood versus concrete), the listening distance, the distance of the speakers to the front wall and the listening volume. In my listening room for example a 15" would make no sense.

Room correction EQ is largely a fool's errand,

Room correction is just brilliant, in situations where there's no room for extensive acoustic treatment ;)
 
OP
W

Whathe

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2022
Messages
14
Likes
4
if you want more bottom end response
I don't really need the ULF down below 30Hz. The only thing I want from a 15" driver is all about its soft and loose feeling that a 10" driver can't deliver. And about the smaller speakers plus subs, personally don't like this kind of conbination. And of couse, I'll have some acoustic treatment for my listening room. If necessary, room correction is the last method to deal with the acoustic problems.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom