Stereo Amplifier - Step up to a new reference in sound amplification with class G. The Arcam SA 20 uses the best of traditional amplification combined with modern methods.
OUR VERDICT - Okay, hands up, if you read the Arcam SA10 page then this is going to sound familiar. Thats because Arcam have managed to make the sound signature similar in the entire SA range. The only thing that changes is the level of performance and dynamic reach which is mainly due to the Class G amplification.
This is a supremely stable, confident-sounding amplifier regardless of the music it’s asked to replay. Fleetwood Mac: Dreams, shows the Arcam SA 20 Integrated Stereo Amplifier to be something special. The SA20 captures the interplay between instruments brilliantly, and delivers rhythms in a wonderfully surefooted manner. Not only that, it conveys variations of pace beautifully, giving an unusually stark insight into the ebb and flow of the music.
There’s a lovely sense of solidity to the sound, and much of it stems from the amp’s terrifically taut and textured low frequencies. Bass is not only punchy but articulate and subtle too, conveying the texture of low notes really well.
Move onto Adele’s 21 and the Arcam continues the great work by delivering Rolling In The Deep with real passion. There’s plenty of insight here and ability to render vocal nuances with precision.
Along with delicacy, this integrated amp delivers strong dynamics, conveying contrasts with authority. Despite the enjoyable low end there’s a strong sense of finesse, and a lightness of touch which is a trait we have come to expect from Arcam. The same qualities are present for Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Orff’s Carmina Burana. The SA20 really is a well-rounded amplifier. - Thoroughly Recommended.
The most awaited replacement for the multi-award winning A29 amplifier, the Arcam SA20 amplifier is an ultra-low distortion type Class G amplifier that will loom over its predecessor when it comes to performance. The Arcam SA-20 has been designed to set new standards, whether your music is playing via compact disc or streamed from a computer, and has become the new standard-setter in digital audio. The SA20 features five analogue inputs (1x line/MM switchable) and three digital inputs (2x SPDIF and 1x optical). This is a powerful integrated amplifier that has become well known for its fast dynamics, and thanks to the ESS Sabre ESS9038K2M DAC, this amplifier offers a superb, low-jitter digital performance.
The SA20 is rated at 80wpc into 8 ohms (both channels driven). It delivers just under 20wpc in pure Class A. As you turn up the volume the amplifier then engages class G mode to provide extra power reserves for the most demanding of loudspeakers. This groundbreaking amplifier is an absolute must for those seeking true excellence in an amplifier at an incredibly affordable price.
The design of the HDA range draws upon all of Arcam’s experience as one of the UK’s most respected audio companies, to produce Arcam’s best performing range of audio products yet – using the best quality components and engineering practices, the HDA range is designed and built to give you years of listening enjoyment.
In any amplifier, the signal path is at the mercy of anything that creates noise within the unit. Thus, Arcam spare no expense in using only the most high-quality components, even if it means the cost of our power supplies overtaking that of everything else.
The SA20 allow's the listener to choose between a number of digital filters for use with the coaxial and optical SPDIF inputs. There are seven options available on the SA20. Digital filters are required to minimise unwanted antialiasing distortion in the audio band.
Brick Wall (B Wall)
No phase shift, but introduces both pre and post ringing artefacts.
Corrected Minimum Phase Fast Roll Off (Corr MinP) Low pre-ringing and the phase response varies at higher frequencies. There is more post ringing compared with linear phase and apodizing filters.
Apodizing (SA20 default) A compromise between phase, frequency response and ringing. Its main advantage is that it removes most of the ringing that has been introduced upstream in the recording process when the original material was recorded and mastered.
Minimum Phase Slow Roll Off (MinP Slow) No pre-ringing artefacts but can introduce phase shifts at higher frequencies. It has less post ringing than the Minimum Phase Fast Roll Off, but this is still higher than the linear phase filter options. Very high frequencies in the last half octave of the filter pass band will be slightly attenuated.
Minimum Phase Fast Roll Off (MinP Fast) No pre-ringing and the phase response varies at higher frequencies. There are significantly higher amounts of post ringing compared with the linear phase filter options.
Linear Phase Slow Roll Off (LinP Slow) – Low and equal levels of pre and post ringing. No phase shifts but can introduce high frequency aliasing at a higher level than linear phase fast roll off. Very high frequencies will be slightly attenuated.
Linear Phase Fast Roll Off (LinP Fast) (SA10 default) Higher and equal levels of pre and post ringing compared with linear phase slow roll off. No phase shifts and with minimal high frequency aliasing compared with slow roll off.
|Inputs||3 x RCA
Phono RCA x 1
3.5mm Aux x 1
|Frequency Response||20Hz – 20kHz ± 0.2dB|
|Power Output||80W at 8 Ohms|
|Dimensions||87 x 433 x 323 MM ( H x W x D )|