ATC SCA2 preamplifier
- Hand built in the UK.
- 2 balanced stereo inputs and balanced output.
- 6 phono inputs.
- Fully discrete Ultra-Low noise circuitry throughout.
- Optional Ultra-Low Noise discrete RIAA phono stage.
- 6 year warranty.
A key feature of the ATC SCA2 preamplifier is the total elimination of audio integrated circuits in the main signal path which is made possible through the introduction of no fewer than ten high performance discrete circuitry gain blocks. Furthermore, all amplifiers in the monitor chain are of similar type and built from discrete bipolar transistors and FETs.
The input stage is a fully complimentary dual long tail pair arrangement which uses low-noise bipolar transistors with constant collector voltages provided by cascoded junction FETs. Output of the current mirrors is buffered by a pair of complimentary Sziklai Darlington transistors. To further minimize signal degradation, input circuitry including all sockets, selection relays and tape buffer is mounted directly onto a single PCB.
In essence, the gain block within the ATC SCA2 preamplifier is a high output, low distortion amplifier with a very wide bandwidth which is easy to use in conventional feedback configuration because it has only one stage of gain (in other words, there is only one possible source of roll-off and phase shift at high frequency.) The result is remarkable audiophile product which, in both laboratory and subjective listening tests, clearly redefines the state of the art.
Auditioning reveals an open, neutral, transparency the amplifier creating a solid soundstage which is both wide and deep. Voices are reproduced with uncanny realism being portrayed with natural warmth and articulation. Bass takes on a rich, superbly controlled solidity. Strings are reproduced with a fine degree of detail and texture, while brass is conveyed with attack and clarity. Percussion is handled with great speed and definition. As you’d expect from a design as highly specified as the ATC SCA2 preamplifier, dynamic range is outstanding.