ATC’s CDA2 Mk2 will make you want to put the phone away and dig out your CDs


If it’s been a while since you played a CD, you’re not alone, but that doesn’t mean that the format has gone away. While it may not necessarily be the preferred format for casual listeners, there is plenty of great music that is only available in CD format, which is where audiophile-focused CD players come in. The ATC CDA2 Mk2 is one such player, but this one also functions as a DAV and preamplifier, and it is now shipping in the U.S.

The name ATC may not be familiar, as the company is based in England and is more popular overseas. Lone Mountain Audio imports the brand, which is sold through its U.S. sales representative Rutherford Audio. The CDA2 Mk2 was developed to be the ideal partner for the latest model of ATC’s P2 power amplifier and features the same sleek chassis made from steel and aluminum. This design is eye-catching but also relatively neutral, which is handy if you plan to pair it with another amplifier like the ELAC Element EA101EQ-G.

The Mk2 improves on the original CDA2 with an upgraded CD transport and DAV board, making for more reliable and better-sounding playback. This model also features a dedicated headphone amplification section, which is great if you’d rather not have to spring on a separate headphone amp to use for private listening. Another addition is the rear USB input, allowing you to play back high-resolution audio files in up to 384 kHz PCM, as well as DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256.

The front panel is where you find the controls, which are supplemented by an included IR remote. All of the inputs and outputs, including the headphone jack, are located on the rear of the CDA2 Mk2. Here, you find a digital input section with both optical and coaxial connections right next to the USB port. The analog input section consists of two RCA auxiliary inputs, as well as a single 3.5mm jack meant to be used with phones, tablets, and other low-output mobile devices. Analog outputs are available in both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA formats.

The ATC CDA2 Mk2 sells for $4,300 and is shipping in the U.S. as of Monday, March 12. To find a retailer where you might be able to pick one up, see the Rutherford Audio website.

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