Boston Acoustics SA1

Subwoofer amplifier

  • Boston Acoustics SA1


  • Boston Acoustics SA1



Our take on the Boston Acoustics SA1

by Amanda P.
Boston Acoustics

The SA1 amplifier provides high-quality power for up to two compatible Boston Acoustics subwoofers. Selectable crossover and equalizer settings let you achieve an optimal blend of sound with your other speakers. The auto on/off feature allows for more streamlined operation — you won't have to take any extra steps to power on this amp before listening to music or watching a movie. Plus, the SA1 can be stacked with the rest of your audio components or rack-mounted in a closet or cabinet for out-of-sight installation.

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  • 140 watts (mono) RMS into 8 ohms, or 210 watts RMS into 4 ohms
  • gold-plated stereo line-level input
  • unfiltered LFE (Low Frequency Effects) input for connection to a home theater receiver's subwoofer output
  • two sets of binding posts for speaker-level output
  • continuously variable 40-160 Hz, 24 dB/octave low-pass crossover
  • selectable auto-sensing power on/off
  • selectable equalizer settings
  • phase control
  • selectable 12-volt trigger for use with 3rd-party control systems
  • rack-mountable design
  • detachable AC power cord
  • 3-1/2"H x 19"W x 12-1/2"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Number of Channels 1
Power Output per Channel (8 ohms) 140
Power Output per Channel (6 ohms) ---
Power Output per Channel (4 ohms) 210
Frequency Response N/A
THD 1%
Bridged Power per Channel N/A
Speaker Outputs 2
THX Certification No
Width (inches) 19
Height (inches) 3-3/4
Depth (inches) 13-1/4
Weight 18 pounds
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Inputs & Outputs
Number of Inputs 1
Level Controls No
Speaker Connectors Binding posts
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • SA1 Subwoofer amplifier
  • 5.75' AC power cord
  • Product manual
  • Warranty sheet

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.



Overview: The SA1 amplifier is designed to be used with the Boston Acoustics line of installed subwoofers. One SA1 amplifier can power up to two of the same model subwoofer.

Variable Crossover: The amplifier has a built-in variable crossover that makes it easy to achieve a seamless blend with the main speakers, while the 24dB/octave low-pass filter prevents the subwoofer from being easily localized by the ear, increasing placement flexibility. The crossover point may be adjusted from 40-160 Hz.


Front Panel Controls:

  • Phase Switch: switches the polarity of the two speaker outputs; the correct setting is that which yields the fullest bass
  • Low-pass Knob: allows you to adjust the low-pass crossover point from 40-160 Hz
  • Volume Knob: allows you to adjust the volume level up or down until the bass level of your subwoofer matches the bass level of your speakers

Rear Panel Controls:

  • EQ Mode Switch: allows you to select one of the following EQ modes, depending where your subwoofer is located: Wall or Floor
  • 12-volt Trigger Switch: allows you to choose one of the following settings:
    • On: amp is on whenever the front panel switch is in the On position
    • 12V: amp is in standby mode whenever the front panel switch is in the On position. The SA1 turns on when a 12-volt power supply triggers it.
      • Note: Be sure to use a power supply that is rated as, "9 to 14 volts DC @ 1.5mA max. 1/8" diameter female plug with tip positive."
    • Music: amp is in standby mode whenever the front panel switch is in the On position. The SA1 turns on when an audio input signal triggers it.


Rear Panel Connections:

  • Line In: left and right RCA audio jacks; use this configuration if you wish to set the subwoofer crossover point using the SA1's low-pass control knob on the front panel or are using separate components, such as stereo preamplifier.
  • LFE/Xover Bypass: single RCA audio jack; in this configuration, the SA1's internal low-pass filter and front panel low-pass control knob will be bypassed
  • Speaker A/Speaker B: gold-plated binding posts; the binding posts are not 5-way because a plastic collar prevents their use with spade lugs
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Boston Acoustics SA1 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

4 people say:

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5 out of 5

At last...

Written By Devilsmane, Chesapeake, VA on Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
About 5 years ago after Boston Acoustics stopped making their outdoor bass speaker I bought it to use in a home I thought I was buying. Unfortunately the economy decided otherwise and I never purchased the SA1 amplifier. On a couple of different occasions I searched for the item but it could not be found and was also out of production.

A couple of weeks ago I hauled the unopened woofer from storage and decided to try and sell it of give it away but decided to make one last attempt to find the amp on line. I was suprised to see that Crutchfield had these in unopened boxes in stock and new.
I decided to integrate the SA1 with the woofer in my home theater system. 1. Easy hookup using a trigger and a second bass output from my existing receiver and a Reference Furman. 2. No hum and powerful bass. 3. Integrated into an all Martin-Logan speaker system beautifully as a side woofer.
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5 out of 5


Written By Bob, Minnesota on Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Although any older design, the SA1 was extremely easy to hook-up and had all the features I was looking for. I am driving two 15 inch sub woofers and the 2 speaker outputs work very well.
Easy hook-up and small size.
None noted yet.
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5 out of 5

SA1 subwoofer amplifier

Written By Anonymous, Southeastern, Pennsylvania on Friday, April 19, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This subwoofer amplifier and its twin from Snell are very good, reliable products. This is my second and powers an in-wall Snell subwoofer used with a Snell IW-K7 in-wall array. The Snell satellites are driven by a Pioneer SC63 receiver. The room is approximately 2200 cubic feet.

The original SA-1 is perhaps ten or more years old and is used with second generation Technics THX subwoofers which present a four ohm load. The Technics is used as part of a second generation Technics THX array. The satellite speakers are driven by a Linn 5125 amplifier. The room has Acoustic Sciences sound treatment and is approximately 1500 cubic feet.

I did not know there were any SA-1's left and had tried a Definitive Technology product without success. The Def Tech product sounded very boomy from the first moment. Nowhere in the Def Tech manual, which claims that the product can be used with other manufacturers' passive subwoofers, did it mention that the product has a non- linear low frequency boost of perhaps five or six dB.. A call to Def Tech confirmed what I heard, though the customer service person tried to suggest that it was not significant. I feel that Def Tech misrepresents their product.

Unless there is a compelling reason to the contrary, I roll off subwoofers at 80 cycles as per THX recommendations. The nicely made Boston has an equalization switch for wall and floor. While not "high end," the Boston is more than ample for the applications.
It just plain works without difficulty
In my opnion, it would be nice to have both adjustable low pass and high pass filters for some of the more challenging passive subwoofers
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5 out of 5

boston amp

Written By toodles, West Fargo,ND on Sunday, December 26, 2010
I have this amp running boston pri85 subs(two in ceiling).and it pounds them.As a
technical note i contacted boston prior to buying this to make shure it would run two
subs.It does what people dont know is this amp has two sub channels,both are
seperate 4 ohm capable channels,running at max 210 watts rms on each channel for a
total of 420 watts rms for two speakers.this is a nice feature and makes wiring two
subwoofers extremely versitile.either 8 ohms or 4 ohms on each channel,but the boston
rep did say they suggest you run the same ohms on both channels.either way this is a
clean powerhouse for subwoofers,that has the option to be rack mounted or wall
mounted; also a nice touch.can't reccomend BOSTON ACOUSTICS,denon,murantz
enough.they are one of the few companies that have fantastic customer service.
6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

Can this subwoofer amp with 2) 4 ohm outputs be wired into a single dual voice coil 4 ohm subwoofer speaker? [ john  Aug 21, 2014 ]
2 answers
  • Dear John: Thank you for your question about the Boston Acoustics SA1 which Crutchfield forwarded to me. I am not sure that I fully understand your question, but I may give you some usable information to reach a conclusion. I have two SA1's in two home theaters. One has been driving a Snell subwoofer in a Snell in wall array which is nominally rated at 6 to 8 ohms for almost two years. The other is driving a second generation pair of Technics THX subwoofers in accordance with the original Technics directions which have these two subwoofers wired in parallel. The Technics subwoofers wired in parallel are connected to a single output on the SA1 and have a total nominal impedance of four ohms when wired in parallel across the SA!'s output terminal. The SA1 driving the Technics has been in place for perhaps ten years. Before I bought the SA1, I had discussion with Boston or Snell (Snell had been purchased by Boston) and was assured that the SA1 could easily handle a four ohm load, which it has here for about a decade. If you are asking if the SA1 can easily drive a two ohm load, I really do not know and would be reluctant to do that with any home subwoofer amplifier without speaking with the manufacturer or better yet, getting something in writing regardless of the stated specification. It has been years since I spoke to anybody in Boston and Snell is now defunct, but their customer service was very, very good and the people I spoke to knew their products very well. I believe that Boston is still selling a passive subwoofer (in-ceiling?) which uses the SA1, so there must be somebody left who has thorough knowledge of the SA1. If possible, please have the Crutchfield people let me know what you end up doing. While the SA1's build quality is no match for the ultra high end, it s a very good product and has been extremely reliable. If there are quirks, even after a decade of use, I have not found them. Jerry [ JEROME   Aug 23, 2014 ]
  • I believe the answer is yes. I have 5 of these units installed, however I am only driving single coil subs in each application. The unit drives both outputs identically, so I would think from the SA-1's perspective it would think it is simply driving two 4 ohm subs. The amp is great, and applies a curve to bass output to properly accentuate lower volume levels. [ michael   Aug 22, 2014 ]

Add accessories for the Boston Acoustics SA1

You'll need speaker wire to get the signal from your new receiver to your speakers. UL-listed wire is specifically designed for in-wall installation. See all categories & accessories

AudioQuest FLX-14/4 14-Gauge 4-Conductor In-Wall Speaker Cable UL-approved for in-wall use; direct-burial rated (125 feet)
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Monster Cable® 600sw Subwoofer cable (4 meters/13.2 feet)
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Monster Cable® 400sw Subwoofer cable (4 meters/13.2 feet)
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Monster Cable Stereo Audio 200i Stereo interconnect cables with RCA plugs (2 meters/6.6 ft.)
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CableTruth 303A Stereo interconnect cable with RCA plugs (6 ft.)
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Original Monster Cable With gold pin connectors (15-foot pair)
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Monster Cable SuperFlat™ Mini Decor-friendly speaker cable with gold pin connectors (50-foot spool)
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AudioQuest Type 4 Speaker cables with pre-attached banana connectors (10-foot pair)
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AudioQuest NRG-2 High-quality replacement AC power cable (6 ft.)
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