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ATC SCA2 preamplifier started as a no-compromise amp to partner ATC's range of active loudspeaker systems. However, it quickly transpired that it was capable of far more; even enhancing the performance of any audiophile separates system.
This outstanding ability left many who auditioned the final pre-production prototype to conclude it was possibly the finest example of preamplifier design ever.Construction
Manufacturing standards and attention to detail are staggering with only the highest quality components used. The power supplies are super quiet and over specified, all circuitry is contained on a single PCB to eliminate wiring for better wound quality-finally aerospace quality metal work creates an enclosure of great beauty and durability.Discrete Gain
A key feature of the ATC SCA2 preamp is the total elimination of audio integrated circuits in the main signal path which is made possible thanks to 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 cascaded junction FETs. Output of the current mirrors is buffered by a pair of complimentary Sziklai Darlington transistors. To further minimise signal degradation, input circuitry including all sockets, selection relays and tape buffer is mounted directly onto a single PCB.Low Distortion
Essentially, 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 meaning 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 state of the art.Performance
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 spec'd as ATC SCA2, the dynamic range is outstanding. With 8 inputs capable of accepting both balanced and unbalanced signals, the ATC SCA2 preamplifier also has balanced and unbalanced outputs to connect to the rest of your system.Key Features
- 8 electronically buffered audio inputs
- Select input via precision gas-filled gold-plated relays
- Clean stable power supplies due to local active decoupling
- Distinctive case; aerospace grade peened stainless steel
- 440mm wide front edged with bead-blasted machined aluminium