U.K.'s ATC Announces CD Player/Amp-DAC Combo

Convinced the 36-year-old Compact Disc still has plenty of life left in it, U.K.-based ATC Loudspeaker Technology has announced that a new integrated amp/digital-audio converter (DAC) and matching CD player are headed for these shores.

Designed to work together, or individually as an upgrade to an existing source component or amplifier, the ATC CD2 CD player ($2,349) and SIA2-100 amp/DAC ($3,749) will be available in April through U.S. importer Lone Mountain Audio.

In explaining the move, ATC said, “Although many music lovers increasingly rely on file-based or streamed music systems, they also own large collections of CDs.” Add to that the most recent data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which shows the CD is far from dead, having racked up 2018 sales of 18.6 million units worth $24.6 million.

The CD2 player, which can be controlled via pushbuttons on its front-panel or the supplied remote control, provides a range of connectivity options, including line-level output via RCA jacks, balanced output via XLR connectors, and both optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs.

The player boasts a high-quality TEAC 5020A-AT transport in place of a conventional slot-loading mechanism, and incorporates an AKM digital-to-analog converter with an output stage comprising a digital filter and ATC’s “low-noise multiple feedback analog filter.” Each of the CD2’s four gain stages, have 11 discrete components to provide a “true differential output for the left and right channels,” and its output stages are configured as unity gain complementary compound (Sziklai) pairs, biased in Class A.

ATC said enormous care has been taken to reduce distortion and noise throughout, including the use of nine individually calibrated power regulators and a high-performance isolation transformer on the digital coaxial outputs to prevent hum loops if both audio and digital signals are connected to the same equipment.

The SIA2-100 combines a preamp, 2 x 100-watt power amplifier (rated into 8 ohms), headphone amp rated for 32 to 600 ohms, and AKM DAC in a single chassis with a 3.5mm minijack input on its front panel plus a rear-panel complement comprising two pairs of RCA line-level inputs, optical and coaxial digital inputs, and a USB B input.

Speaker connection is via binding posts and stereo line-level outputs are provided along with a front-panel headphone jack. The integrated amp/DAC can be controlled via the supplied remote handset or front panel controls: an Alps precision potentiometer for volume and a pushbutton input selector.

ATC said rigorous measures were taken to reduce noise and distortion in the SIA2-100, including the use of separate power supplies for the preamp and power amp sections and amplifier circuit topology that has been revised and refined over 30 years. Lateral MOSFETS are deployed in a “common source configuration to provide very low distortion together with a wide frequency response” and a peak limiter is included to protect connected speakers.

A discrete analog design and the use of multiple local power supply regulators is said to provide the optimum operational platform for the onboard DAC and USB receiver. The USB input handles PCM sample rates from 44.1 kHz to 384 kHz with word lengths up to 32 bits and decodes DSD64 and DSD128. Rated distortion for all inputs is less than 0.001%.

The matching CD2 and SIA2-100 each boast a “rigid and well damped” chassis featuring a precision-machined 0.5-inch aluminum front panel finished in titanium silver and are covered by a two-year manufacturer’s warranty, which extends to six years on the SIA2-100 if the warranty card is returned to ATC.

For more information, visit lonemountainaudio.com.

Billy's picture

I am an old codger and still buy CDs, but recently I have been having trouble with Gracenote when I tried to rip them on WMP for use on my home network. I get no cover art, and usually no meta data as well. Anyone else having to manually insert these things? Is there some new type of copyguard I am unaware of? Doesn't seem like the CD companys are adhering to the fair use laws for legally purchased materials. Anyone have any ideas? New CDs are getting harder to buy, can't go to Tower records anymore and not even dumb old BB. Amazon keeps trying to get me to purchase their downloads, but the quality is not so good. High res downloads do sound good, but they cost big bucks and have weird codecs that are hard to play on my home network. Older used CDs are still a good purchase, and they rip okay and I still get metadata on those, any ideas?