Intro

Hello, I am going to review JDS Atom for you today. It is one of my all-time favorites. 

Atom is a hand-sized desktop amplifier that succeded the critically acclaimed Objective2. ATOM has a new design and let me tell you this, JDS knows their way around amplifiers.

I was a long-time Objective2 user, I have used many amps around this price bracket including magni3, sap9, a50, va2, sh8.. I am currently driving modded 58x and 6xx with Atom and I couldn’t be happier. The DAC of the setup is Khadas Tone Board. 

JDS Labs

Great company. In the past I ran into some problems with my EL DAC, therefore, I had the privilege to meet the brains behinds JDS. Lovely people. They’re innovative in nature and very solution-oriented. They sorted out all my problems answered all my questions. I happily used EL DAC and O2 combo for 2 years, then I gifted them to my 66-year-old dad, who is a jazz connoisseur. They’re in good hands while I am busy with this new toy called “Atom”.

JDS Labs Atom Amplifier

Atom is the latest magic that wizards of JDS concocted in their lab. It has crazy good measurements and managed to build on an already good amp.

Specifications

  • Frequency Response, 20Hz-20kHz+/- 0.01dB
  • THD+N, 1kHz, 32 Ω0.0008%
  • THD+N, 20Hz-20kHz, 32 Ω0.0012%
  • IMD CCIF 19/20kHz 32 Ω0.0002%
  • IMD SMPTE 32Ω0.0005%
  • Noise, A-Weighted-114 dBu
  • Crosstalk @ 150 Ω-87 dB
  • Input Impedance10k Ω
  • Output Impedance0.1 Ω
  • Channel Balance< 0.6 dB
  • Max Output @ 600Ω125mW (8.68 VRMS)
  • Max Output @ 150Ω502 mW (8.66 VRMS)
  • Max Output @ 32Ω1 Watt (5.66 VRMS)

Design

On the outside, Atom has this simple yet sleek design, featuring a big, leddy knob on the center and sporting a matte black finish.

The real design, however, is inside. Atom’s PCB is designed with everything in mind. It’s 4 layered, ground-loop proof, smart-relay equipped and manages to give you 1 WATT of clean power. (did you see the thd and snr?) You also have the ability to hook up 2 inputs and switch between them instantly.

Sound Signature

Atom’s signature is neutral. It has no coloration whatsoever. It is the reviewer’s best friend. There is no emphasis or boosted margin in Atom’s nature. Neutral, clean, powerful. I’ll try to describe the difference to you.

Low – Middle – High

Bass is well-defined, clean and blazing fast. Quantity is perfect. It is fast, agile and clarity is something to behold. “Ólafur Arnalds&Nils Frahm – 20:17” this track has a complex presentation and it is easy to ruin it with uneven bass response. However, Atom’s coherent 0-500hz spectrum handles this track with easy. You can hear the richness of the lows.

Midrange is also very transparent and tonally accurate. Vocals are full-bodied and feels natural. There are no audible dips. Stringed and mid-dependent instruments are smooth, articulate and most importantly, effortless. Clarity is top-notch. Not just mids, general resolution is very impressive. Upper mids have great control as well.

Top-end extension is very well done. You can hear every single bit of detail and layer in the treble. Attenuation is precise. Atom has a really good PRaT and this results in clear, capacious treble. Nothing is bright or sibilant. Just like the rest of the spectrum, Atom manages to maintain great control. 

Imaging is great. airy, breathy presentation Headroom is wide, precise, layered and instrument locations are downright accurate.  PRaT is great and this brilliant imaging capability is maintained throughout the genres. 

Last Words

JDS Atom is the best option under 200$ hands down. It is a versatile, powerful little beast and has the potential to tackle down even some of the high-end amps. The technical side of things are crystal clear and documented but I believe what I hear and Atom never disappointed me. Whether I use it with my active monitors or headphones or sensitive IEMs, it provides stable, pure bliss performance.