Arcam SA20 Integrated Amplifier Review & Comments

Abacus

Banned
Great review, however the SA20 seems a little half-hearted with normal features missing and a sound quality that is up and down, (Depending what you are listening to) it feels more like it was added to show Arcam was still going after being acquired by Harmon, rather than bringing anything new to the table, (A bit disappointing really) plus the left handed look has always seemed weird to me. (Overall it doesn’t seem to be the Arcam of old)

As to class G, then it seems like the same technique that Peter Walker used in the Quad 405 power amp from the 70s, (Just more refined) which also had a class A section for main work with class B coning in when required. (It was coined current dumping)

Looking forward to the Cyrus review as normally I find them to sound thin and weedy, plus they are very dependent on the load of the connected speakers, thus making sound variability very large rather than being able to drive anything with aplomb.

Bill
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
It looks great IMHO, but with out Dirac or an option to buy Dirac as an extra leaves it a little lacking the Arcam ace IMHO.

Compare to others this lack the all-in-one-ness that the others have pegged their hopes on. So while a great amp. not really going to point them front of stage, which is a shame for a great UK based company.
 

BobbyMac

Banned
Doesn't make me feel the need to upgrade from my Alpha 10 (with DAVE board) - 100W, and 4 digital inputs.

I agree that including Dirac (and some more digital inputs) would have been a great feature.
Why would they cannibalise sales of the SR250?
 
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dollag

Well-known Member
Why would the cannibalise sales of the SR250?

Have to agree, Could of done what Nad did with their avr and offer Dirac or Dirac lite for additional cost
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
@Ed Selley
Did you test USB playback? The documentation suggests it's for software updates only?

Assuming that's the case then along with the lack of streaming, bluetooth & USB DAC it seems a typical Arcam half-arsed effort. £150 for an rBlink to add bluetooth to an amp at this price point that already has the DAC is laughable.
 
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meep

Active Member
Any sign of htbypass mode on this? Would be a useful bit of info to include in the review. Thanks.
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
Would be nice to have AV forums bench test amplifiers. Power output, distortion and the ability to drive low impedance loads is always interesting.
The Arcam has a design to reduce cross over distortion, so it would be interesting to see some technical results. Scope pictures of the sine wave at low levels and when the extra power kicks in.

We test bench video displays, why not audio?
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
I'd also question the use of a £1,500 mains conditioner to test a £1k amp. Unless the test environment is known to be problematic, in which case it would be far more useful to know how the amp performs in those circumstances.

But we need to remember that a review is nothing more than one persons subjective opinion based on a very specific set of circumstances.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Would be nice to have AV forums bench test amplifiers. Power output, distortion and the ability to drive low impedance loads is always interesting.
The Arcam has a design to reduce cross over distortion, so it would be interesting to see some technical results. Scope pictures of the sine wave at low levels and when the extra power kicks in.

We test bench video displays, why not audio?
Two reasons- space and cost. Unlike the TV measurement kit which can be used for every TV, the means of measuring different audio products requires a larger selection of components. These are expensive and right now in particular, I simply have no means of storing equipment of this nature when not in use.

I'd also question the use of a £1,500 mains conditioner to test a £1k amp. Unless the test environment is known to be problematic, in which case it would be far more useful to know how the amp performs in those circumstances.

But we need to remember that a review is nothing more than one persons subjective opinion based on a very specific set of circumstances.
As I've commented in the past, the conditioner(s) are there to keep my mains safe from test equipment and vice versa. As everything that is reviewed is connected to them, they can be taken to be a constant baseline. They're mentioned because they're present.
 

tallguy101

Standard Member
Interesting that the review summary mentions that there may be a problem with lack of bass when using larger loudspeakers. That’s exactly what I found 2 weeks ago when I auditioned the SA-20 with B&W 683 S2 and Kef R700’s. I bought the Yamaha AS2100 amp and am delighted with it.
 

Jefke13

Active Member
Hello Tallguy,

As i read the review it says there might be too much bass with floorstanders!!??!!
 

Jefke13

Active Member
Glad you like it. It's coming in for review tomorrow. Already tested the SA 10 and liked it a lot. Will be comparing both... Let you know how things go...
 

sharkkeeper

Standard Member
Glad you like it. It's coming in for review tomorrow. Already tested the SA 10 and liked it a lot. Will be comparing both... Let you know how things go...
Bass is slightly overdone at very high volumes tho i am using focal aria 926 floorstanders but amp is amazing still
 

Jefke13

Active Member
I noticed this with the SA10 as well. But my Audiovectors are quite lean so they matched perfectly...
 

BobbyMac

Banned
I noticed this with the SA10 as well. But my Audiovectors are quite lean so they matched perfectly...
A fellow Audiovector aficionado like myself
What model do you own, if you don’t mind me asking?
 

Jefke13

Active Member
I have the new QR 1 monitor speakers. For the money absolutely stunning! NAD M50/DION AUDIO NOS DAC/BRYSTON B60R to make the set-up complete. And you?
 

BobbyMac

Banned
I have the new QR 1 monitor speakers. For the money absolutely stunning! NAD M50/DION AUDIO NOS DAC/BRYSTON B60R to make the set-up complete. And you?
Audiovector Mi3 Avantgarde Fronts & Super Rears , Mi1 Signature Sides & AV3Ci Avantgarde Centre

Part of a 7.2.4 Atmos System

Rest of kit as per my sig
 

BobbyMac

Banned

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