New from ATC is the SIACD, an all-in-one 'just add speakers' system combining CD player, DAC with USB input, preamplifier and 100Wpc power amplifier.
Selling for £2975 when it goes on sale next month, the system is housed in compact 'three-quarters width' casework, just 31.5cm wide, and joins the CDA2 CD/DAC/preamp, also new at £2153, in the ATC range.
The SIACD has two analogue line inputs (one duplicated on a front-panel 3.5mm socket) and both optical and electrical/coaxial digital ins capable of handling music at up to 24-bit/192kHz.
The USB Type B socket is galvanically isolated from the computer source using a transformer, and can accept content at up to 16-bit/48kHz, ATC saying that users wanting to play higher-resolution files direct from a computer may do so with the addition of an asynchronous USB to SPDIF converter.
Digital conversion is in the hands of Wolfson's WM8740 chipset, the SIACD's digital clock recovery ensuring signal integrity even with poorer quality digital sources, and the built-in power amplification has an improved version of ATC's discrete MOSFET power stages, claimed to offer ' vanishingly low levels of distortion, very wide bandwidth and a reduced idle temperature.'
The company says these new Class A/B 'grounded source' power amp stages offer resolution 'superior to the performance available from most ‘high-end’ stand-alone power amplifiers, let alone "all-in-one" player/amplifiers', and the SIACD also has a dedicated headphone amplifier designed to drive a wide range of headphone sensitivities and impedances. Preamp outputs are also provided.
Handmade at ATC in Stroud, Gloucestershire, the unit is built on a steel/aluminium chassis using constrained layer damping to control panel resonances, with the front panel machined from a 13mm aluminium alloy extrusion and all the controls machined from solid aluminium.
The SIACD is available in a choice of brushed and anodised finishes – silver or black – , and is supplied with a remote control and a six-year warranty.
The CDA2, meanwhile, combines a CD player with a digital/analogue preamplifier, having two line analogue inputs and two digital on a choice of optical or coaxial/electrical sockets, and using a preamp design from the company's CA2. One of the analogue inputs also offers a 3.5mm stereo input on the front panel, and outputs extend to a choice of phono or balanced XLRs, plus a rear-mounted headphone socket.
The digital-to-analogue section offers the same clock recovery strategies and resolution as that in the SIACD, and the output stage is designed to drive long runs of cabling to suitable power amps or active speakers if required, with an output of up to 7.5V RMS on the phono sockets, and 15V on the balanced XLRs, into 600ohms with no signal degradation.
Like the SIACD, the CDA2 is handbuilt by ATC, and comes with a remote control and six year warranty.
Written by Andrew Everard