Quad intros upgraded Atera Play+ CD player DAC preamp

posted on Friday, 31st August 2018 by Steve May

Hi-fi  High-end  High Res Audio 

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Quad has announced a new, more usable version of its Atera Play all-in-one CD player DAC preamp. The new ‘Plus’ model includes aptX Bluetooth, and sports a front-mounted headphone output. There’s also some sonic improvements under the hood.

The Play+ is designed to partner Quad’s Stereo power amplifier and Solus all-in-one system. All Artera Series components share the same compact 32x32cm footprint.

28671_Artera Play + Crop

Build quality is high, from the textured aluminium front panel, to thick glass top and CNC-routed heat sinks on either side. The CD player uses a slot-loading mechanism and buffers data before routing it to the asynchronous DAC section. A quartet of digital filters are available to tailor the sound from both CDs and external digital sources.

There are five digital inputs, two coaxial, two optical and one USB Type B , as well as a pair of phono inputs handle analogue sources. Two digital outputs (optical and coaxial) and a 12V trigger output complete the array.

28672_Artera Play + (internal ) Crop

The player uses an ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC which handles PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz as well as DSD64/128/256. The Play+ has also refined the post-DAC analogue filter circuit, to better work with the ESS DAC. The power supply circuitry has also been redesigned.

The Artera Play+ launches at £1,200.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and Ideal Home (amongst others).

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