France’s Atoll Electronique is a small family business run by brothers Stéphane and Emmanuel Dubreuil since 1997. In the summer of 2018, your author had the opportunity to visit the factory in Brecey and get to know the aimable brothers. The tour, lunch and listening session made for an unforgettable day there in sunny Normandy. This time a home session with no less than two mid-range devices. The Atoll SDA200 Signature and the CD200 Signature. With this duo you really have everything you need to play all your music. Let’s take a closer look!
Over the years the appearance has changed little but the front has become more attractive with fewer buttons and just the essentials. The result is more uniformity. You have two versions (black or silver) where the black version charms us the most. The black version almost completely eliminates the need to focus on the music. No bright lights or excessive bling bling with Atoll.
The four ranges are simply indicated with 100 to 400. Atoll Electronique makes amplifiers, streamers and CD players. Speakers, turntables and cables you have to get elsewhere. This is fine as far as we are concerned because in this way the range remains limited and the quality control high. We have seen this with our own eyes. Each product is made in the factory in Brecey and all parts are sourced locally as much as possible. Sustainability is also becoming increasingly important in this sector.
Atoll SDA200 Signature
The Atoll SDA200 Signature is heavy, very heavy. Thirteen kilograms to be exact. It contains two large toroidal transformers that would not be out of place in a serious power amplifier. Eight capacitors keep the charge nicely and provide a stable control. The rest of the technology is also neatly incorporated into the spacious cabinet.
At the bottom is the digital section with a Burr-Brown dac, now Texas Instruments, which uses a 1792a chip that we see being used more often. That same chip, by the way, is also in the CD200 Signature.
First of all, the SDA200 Signature is a Class A/B integrated amplifier with 120 watts into 8 ohms and a nice 200 watts into 4 ohms. In addition, this unit is also a streamer, dac, usb player and headphone amplifier. The SDA200 is the only all-in-one device in the range and costs 3000 euros. This puts it in nice company with the likes of the Cambridge Evo 150, Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 or Naim Uniti Atom ‘to name but a few’.
In recent years many of these devices are coming onto the market and we think that many enthusiasts will increasingly opt for them. Compact, complete and easy to use. That’s in the end what most of us are looking for. If you don’t need the amplifier part then you can opt for the ST200 Signature streamer tested earlier.
Up front on the Atoll SDA200, we see two large rotary knobs flanking the beautiful oled color screen. The right knob controls the volume and the left one allows you to enter the menu or select the inputs. On the black version you hardly see the 6.3mm headphone jack and usb-a input. But they are there and they are a fine addition to this particularly complete device.
The austere line present on every Atoll unit comes through nicely on the silver version but is again almost invisible here. With most brands we always prefer the silver option but with Atoll we always lean more towards the black color because of its almost ‘stealth like looks’.
At the back we see a nice selection of connections. There are two analog inputs (rca) and a pre-out (rca). In addition, there are two digital outputs (optical and coax) and four digital inputs (2x optical and 2x coax). The Ethernet connection, a second usb-a input and a pair of beautiful, robust speaker terminals complete the uncluttered rear panel.