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ATC CDA2 Mk2 DAC/Preamplificator/CD player stereo hi-end
ATC CDA2 Mk2 side ATC CDA2 Mk2 front ATC CDA2 Mk2 back


ATC CDA2 Mk2 -Stereophile Recommended Components for 2021


ATC CDA2 Mk2 -Stereophile Recommended Components for 2021
  • Stereophile Magazine shortlisted the CDA2 Mk2 as one of their Recommended Components for 2021:
  • ATC CDA2 Mk2 CD player: $4249
    "An unexpected gem in the product line of a UK speaker specialist, the CDA2 Mk2 majors in the playing of "Red Book" CDs and minors in preamplification. As KM noted, "the beating heart of the revised CDA2 is twofold: a Chinese-made TEAC 5020A-AT CD transport . . . and [AKM's] AK4490EQ DAC chip." Preamp gain comes courtesy of op-amps built around discrete devices, and the USB receiver is an Amanero Combo 384. When using it to play CDs, KM found that "the ATC presented each as a character study of a unique sonic personality telling a singular story," and he praised in particular the player's sonic transparency. Playing files through the ATC's USB input—streaming is not supported—Ken described the sound as "very good overall, including from DSD files, but it lacked the visceral grip of CDs through the ATC's transport." Reporting from his test bench, JA praised the CDA2 Mk2's "generally superb measured performance, though its S/PDIF inputs aren't up to the standard of jitter rejection offered by CD playback and the USB input." (Vol.41 No.12 WWW)"
ATC CDA2 Mk2 - What Hi-Fi review


ATC CDA2 Mk2 - What Hi-Fi review
  • Impressive transparency. Its tonal balance is as even as you like, with no part of the frequency range gaining undue emphasis, so the natural tone of instruments (and voices, as we find out when we listen to Nina Simone) come through undiminished.
  • As with the company’s speakers, the CDA2 is impressively transparent to the source material. It’s not one to fudge things with coarse or aggressive recordings, so any flaws are easily heard. Equally, it won’t go out of its way to make such recordings unlistenable, such is its refinement and lack of overt distortion.
  • The sound through the line-level inputs is excellent, showing a degree of insight, warmth and finesse that is unusual in such a digital-centric product.
  • The ATC sounds thrilling when the music demands, but can also soothe when required.

ATC CDA2 Mk2 - Stereophile review - Page 2ATC CDA2 Mk2 - Stereophile review - Measurements


ATC CDA2 Mk2 - Stereophile review
  • When I swapped out my Shindo Allegro preamplifier for ATC's internal preamp running direct into the power amp, things got only better. While music now sounded slightly more forward, it also grew in scale, resolution, and weight—especially bass weight, which turned boomy with some CDs. Now, with the Krall-Bennett CD, I could hear piano hammers striking piano strings. Tony Bennett's voice was more detailed, the sense of its freshiness more vivid; his and Krall's voices were better balanced with each other. Ullrich's disc of Mozart sonatas also revealed the unique sound of hammers on strings, and weight and tonality also improved, creating a massive soundstage and a more forward sound. All in all, I was surprised at how different the ATC's internal preamplifier sounded from my Shindo Allegro preamps. Warmth remained, as did the ATC's luminous translation of digital material, while resolution—and, to a larger degree, weight and soundstage height—improved by considerable margins.
  • Conclusions
    You could ea sily spend $2000 apiece on a CD player and preampliffer and not get the construction quality, ease of use, and fantastic sound of ATC's CDA2 Mk2 CD preamplifier. I was shocked when the ATC went head-to-head with my more expensive Shindo preamp and bettered it in some regards, and it worked very well with my tubed power amplifier. With ATC's CDA2 Mk2 offering pleasing tonality, resolution, and dynamics, a versatile feature set, and rock-solid build, all for a decent price, it's impossible not to crown it with the highest recommendation. It can provide a fine starting point for a solid high-end system.

ATC SCM 40 Active & CDA2 Mk2 - Hi-Fi+ review

ATC SCM 40 Active & CDA2 Mk2 - Hi-Fi+ review

ATC SCM 40 Active & CDA2 Mk2 - Hi-Fi+ review

ATC SCM 40 Active & CDA2 Mk2 - Hi-Fi+ review

ATC SCM 40 Active & CDA2 Mk2

ATC SCM 40 Active & CDA2 Mk2 - Hi-Fi+ review
  • This is a startlingly immediate system. The 44.1 rip of Emiliana Torrini’s Gun has a presence and visceral ‘she’s right there in the room’ quality to it. Her staccato intakes of breath are vivid and absolutely real, while the gradual increase in scale and volume to the track is handled with absolute imperiousness.
  • And the bass… the low end on offer here is exquisite. The technical arguments for why active speakers can generate better bass than an equivalent passive design are worthy and entirely accurate, but are no substitute for listening to what this system is really capable of. The sledgehammer low-end of Scratch Massive’s Waiting For A Sign is simply awesome. If you want bass that you feel as much as hear, there’s very little else available anywhere near this price that can out slam this setup. What sets it apart further is that there’s nothing I’ve ever heard anywhere near this price that combines this gut-wrenching impact with the agility this system possesses. As a combo, it is utterly addictive.
  • The role that the CDA2 Mk2 plays in all this is subtle, but effective. It gets all of the basics right with a wonderfully linear volume control and a total absence of unwanted noise, but beyond that the quality of the digital-to-analogue section is entirely noteworthy. It takes a little time to appreciate quite how good it is because it is so natural and unobtrusive, but it allows this system to demonstrate truly lovely tonality at times.
  • This, then, is a rather special system even judged by the hallowed standards of Beautiful Systems. It is comfortably one of the very best implementations of active speakers that I have had the pleasure of spending any time with. It does the things we have come to expect from equipment in 2018, offering a sensible footprint, flexible inputs and elegant aesthetics. It then combines all of this with a performance that is utterly and unequivocally joyous. The active loudspeaker is no longer simply the optimal choice on paper, it’s a real world champion too.
ATC CDA2 Mk2 - Hi-Fi Choice review


ATC CDA2 Mk2 - Hi-Fi Choice review
  • Hi-Fi Choice Recommended, May 2018
  • The CDA2 Mk2 delivers it with real drive and a wide open view of the layers of the recording, charging through the album with such verve that it seems to be over almost before it’s started.
  • With a wide-open sound, masses of detail and unrestrained slam, it makes a fi ne partner for power amps and active speakers alike, getting on with the all-important business of delivering the music without adding or subtracting anything.
  • LIKE: Neutral, detailed, and wide-open sound
  • WE SAY: Functional, styling and an impressively neutral performance make this a great multipurpose CD player  
ATC CDA2 Mk2 - The Ear (UK) reviewATC CDA2 Mk2 - The Ear (UK) review


ATC CDA2 Mk2 - The Ear (UK) review
  • Electrical noise is the enemy of digital audio as products like the Innuos Zenith SE prove and ATC have paid close attention to keeping it as low as possible by building a new power supply with nine extra voltage regulators above those in the original CDA2. ATC has also refined the in- and output gain stages with discrete op-amps that provide buffering of inputs and a true balanced output from the XLR connections, the output stage itself being biased in Class A.
  • As an analogue preamp the CDA2 Mk2 is very strong as well with excellent bass extension, a very open presentation and very good image depth. It shares the coherent demeanour of the digital input and adds a relaxed quality that helps to bring out the musical message extremely well.
  • The results were inspiring, a combination of authority, articulacy and rock solid timing made for a musical experience that was nigh on addictive.
  • The CDA2 Mk2 is well built, comprehensively equipped and highly revealing, but more importantly it makes familiar material engrossing, it makes you listen longer and dare I say it, louder. ATC has driven down distortion and noise so that more of the crucial timing and imaging cues can be heard, in the process they have delivered their finest digital product yet, it’s a great pity they took it away! Jason Kennedy

ATC CDA2 Mk2 - Hi-Fi News reviewATC P2 - Hi-Fi News review


ATC CDA2 Mk2 - Hi-Fi News review
  • Hi-Fi News Higly Commended, April 2018
  • The crisp resolution of the CDA2 Mk2’s digital section allows the lumbering rhythms of ‘Have A Cigar’ to power out into the room, while making every detail of the lyrics and recording plain to hear.
  • HI-FI NEWS VERDICT: The music centre, ATC style: the CDA2 Mk2 may have all the air of ‘a horse designed by committee’, as it does so much, but this is more thoroughbred than camel, with a wide-open sound, masses of detail and unrestrained slam. It makes a fine partner for power amps and active speakers alike, getting on with the business of delivering the music without adding or subtracting anything. If it does all you need, it’s a bargain.. Andrew Everard, Hi-Fi News, April 2018.

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ATC CDA2 Mk2: high end DAC preamplifier with CD player, hand built in the UK

In 1996, ATC designed and developed its first stand-alone hi-fi electronic product through the necessity of the ongoing quest for the best possible performance money can buy. Few pre-amplifiers available at that time could drive the long lengths of cable often necessary to link electronics to active loudspeakers. ATC’s solution was to develop the SCA2 pre-amplifier with its exceptional audio performance, transparency and current drive ability.

ATC today has a broad pallet of high performance audio electronic products from the CA2 pre-amplifier to the exquisite P6 active power amplifier. Expanding this formidable range of audio electronic products is the CDA2 Mk2 – the second generation of ATC’s integrated compact disc player/pre-amplifier offering all the performance of the CA2 pre-amplifier plus a built-in CD transport, a high resolution asynchronous USB interface and a premium AKM stereo 32-bit DAC having very low distortion at -112dB.

The new CDA2 Mk2 has truly exceptional performance and features. ATC has grown to become one of the very few manufacturers successful across both domestic and professional audio. By selecting ATC you join a group of music lovers, professional audio engineers, educators, studios and musicians across the world that understand the value of the engineering that goes into every ATC product.

Built to give a lifetime of service and musical enjoyment all ATC products carry a six year guarantee.

ATC SCM 40A, ATC SCM 19A & ATC CDA2 Mk2 DAC preamplifier

ATC CDA2 Mk2 Features:

  • All discrete Input and Output preamplifier gain stages. There are 6 common gain blocks,
    • 2x discrete stages for left and right Input buffering
    • 4x discrete stages to provide a “true” differential Output for the left and right channels. The positive and negative drivers are arranged in parallel to ensure that the positive and negative signal delays and phase shifts are identical.  The Output stages are configured as unity gain complementary compound (Sziklai) pairs, biased in class A
  • High resolution USB input capable of handling PCM data up to 384kHz and also DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 (2.8MHz, 5.6MHz ‘dual’ and 11.2MHz ‘quad’ rates)
  • CD Player updated with a completely new TEAC transport.  This delivers faster play and seek times and much lower mechanical noise.  The new transport is also less susceptible to CD errors/damage/scratches (greater error correction)
  • New high-resolution DAC.  The new AKM chipset delivers lower noise and distortion and an optimised PCB layout brings further improvements to the convertor performance
  • Power Supply – additional high-performance voltage regulators have been added - for a total of 9 – and their locations on the PCB optimised.  Local power supply decoupling has been further optimised from the Mk1, yielding additional improvements in performance, especially around the new DAC chipset
  • Additional aux analogue input via 3.5mm mini jack with high input sensitivity for improved compatibility with low output portable devices such as phones and tablets
  • Hand built in the UK
  • 6 year warranty
ATC CDA 2 Mk2 Roon Tested certification


Frequency Response (-3dB) : < 2 Hz - > 280 kHz
Distortion (1kHz) : <0.0008% / 102dB
Input sensitivity for 2V Output : 600mV (400mV for the 3.5mm mini jack input)
Maximum Output Level : XLR 18.4V r.m.s., RCA 9.2V r.m.s. 
Overload Capacity : 13dB
Input Impedance : 14k Ohms
Output Impedance : 10 Ohms
S+N/N Ratio : IEC “A” >112dB, DIN >108dB, Wide Band >96dB
Absolute Phase : Phono Zero Degrees, XLR Zero Degrees, Pin 2 Hot
Output XLR CMRR (100Hz - 10kHz) : >60dB
Digital Input - Optical and Coaxial
Distortion : <0.001% at all supported sample rates 44.1kHz, 48.0kHz, 88.2kHz, 96.0kHz, 192.0kHz* (*192kHz supported via coaxial input only)
Digital Input - USB
Distortion : <0.001% at all supported sample rates 44.1kHz, 48.0kHz, 88.2kHz, 96.0kHz, 176.4kHz, 192.0kHz, 352.8kHz, 384kHz
Supported Wordlenghts
Optical and Coaxial : 16bit and 24bit
USB : 16bit, 24bit and 32bit
Digital Input - DSD
Frequency Response -1dB : < 10Hz – 50kHz
Supported DSD Rates : Windows DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256, MacOS DSD64 and DSD128
CD Player
Distortion : 1kHz < 0.0015% (-96dB), 10kHz < 0.003% (-90dB)
Frequency Response (20Hz–20kHz) : +/- 0.2dB
Dimensions (HxWxD) : 90 x 445 x 330mm
Weight : 7kg

ATC CDA2 Mk2 detail
ATC CDA2 Mk2 brochure ATC CDA2 Mk2 user manual
Brochure Manual
Stereo Setup - partnering electronics
ELAC Alchemy DPA-2
Cyrus Mono X 300 Signature
Mono X 300 Sig
ATC P1 ATC P2 DAYENS Ecstasy IV Power Amplifier
P1 P2
Stereo Setup - partnering loudspeakers
ELAC NAVIS ARB-51 powered stand loudspeakers
ELAC NAVIS ARF-51 white high gloss
ATC SCM 19A Stereo Setup
ATC SCM 40A Stereo Setup
ATC SCM 20A SL PRO Stereo Setup
ATC SCM 50A SL PRO Stereo Setup
ATC SCM 100A SL PRO Stereo Setup
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