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Arcam SA20

Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC

Item # 410SA20

I heard this amp drive some premium speakers here at HQ. Trust me, 90 watts per channel is plenty of power.

I heard this amp drive some premium speakers here at HQ. Trust me, 90 watts per channel is plenty of power.

Item # 410SA20

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$1,650.00 Sale: -$401.00 off


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About the Arcam SA20

Powerful and efficient

Trust me, 90 watts per channel can be plenty. Arcam uses a linear power supply in the SA20 that provides enough clean, efficient power to drive the most demanding speakers. I heard a pair of Revel Performa F206 towers connected to the SA20 in our large training room, and the results were impressive. I could feel the bass in each track I listened to, and my ears enjoyed every nuance in voices and instruments. 

Powerful and efficient

Trust me, 90 watts per channel can be plenty. Arcam uses a linear power supply in the SA20 that provides enough clean, efficient power to drive the most demanding speakers. I heard a pair of Revel Performa F206 towers connected to the SA20 in our large training room, and the results were impressive. I could feel the bass in each track I listened to, and my ears enjoyed every nuance in voices and instruments. 

Versatile Class G amplifier

The engineers who designed the SA20 wanted it to provide the right amount of power at the right time, so your music always sounds exactly as it should. That's why they chose a Class G amplifier, which uses Class A circuitry for low-level signals, then kicks in a higher-voltage power supply for more demanding dynamic peaks. And it does it without adding any crossover distortion or noise.

Convenient connections

The SA20 gives you plenty of options for connecting music sources. There's a Toslink optical connector and two digital coaxial inputs on the back of the chassis, along with three stereo analog RCA inputs. For vinyl enthusiasts, there's a dedicated phono input for turntables with moving magnet phono cartridges. 


Product highlights:

  • 90 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.5% THD
  • efficient high-voltage Class G amplifier
  • THD: 0.002% (80% power, 8 ohms at 1kHz)
  • built-in high-performance ESS 9038K2M Sabre DAC
  • toroidal power transformer for low noise and high-current output
  • Processor Mode lets you connect to a surround sound receiver or pre/pro and use the SA20 as a power amp
  • remote control included
  • 1 optical and 2 coaxial digital audio inputs
  • 3 stereo RCA audio inputs
  • stereo RCA phono input for moving magnet phono cartridges
  • Ethernet port for connecting to a home network
    • enables wireless control with your mobile device using Arcam's free control app
  • RS-232 port for use with third-party control systems
  • Type-A USB for firmware updates
  • 1 stereo RCA preamp output
  • L/R speaker outputs with binding-post connectors
Dimensions and Warranty:

What's in the box:

  • Integrated Amplifier
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • Remote control
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • Handbook Manual
  • "Thank You" Letter

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Arcam SA20 reviews

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More details on the Arcam SA20

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Performance Specs
Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms) 90
Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms) Not given
Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms) 150
Frequency Bandwidth 20-20k
THD 0.5%
Minimum Impedance 4 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio 106
Digital Music Features
Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) Yes
Bluetooth No
Wi-Fi N/A
Total Analog Inputs 4
Phono Input Yes
Optical Digital Inputs 1
Coaxial Digital Inputs 2
USB Input No
Preamp Outputs Stereo RCA
Pre-out/Main-in Loop No
Headphone Output 3.5mm
Removable Power Cord IEC 2-prong
Apple AirPlay No
Apple AirPlay 2 No
DTS Play-Fi No
Chromecast built-in No
Roon No
BluOS No
Dimensions and Warranty
Width (inches) 17-1/16
Height (inches) 3-7/16
Depth (inches) 14-5/16
Weight (pounds) 20.2
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research


90W x 2Ch Integrated Amplifier: Drawing on the many years of amplifier design experience at Arcam, the SA20 integrated amplifier uses the best quality components and engineering practice to produce class leading sound quality for the best reproduction of your music. The ARCAM SA20 utilizes a Class G amplifier design rated at 90 watts x 2 channel (into 8Ω, @ 20-20kHz, with 0.5% THD).

32-Bit ESS Sabre DAC: The ARCAM SA20 integrated amplifier utilizes a 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC (ESS9038K2M) with support for 2ch PCM audio files up to 24-bit/192kHz.

Digital Filters: The SA20 lets you choose between a number of digital filters for use with the coaxial and optical digital inputs. These digital filters are required to minimize unwanted distortion in the audio band. You can choose between the following digital filters - Brick Wall (B Wall), Corrected Minimum Phase Fast Roll Off (Corr MinP), Apodizing (default), Minimum Phase Slow Roll Off (MinP Slow), Minimum Phase Fast Roll Off (MiniP Fast), Linear Phase Slow Roll Off (LinP Slow), and Linear Phase Fast Roll Off (LinP Fast).

Optical & Coaxial Digital Inputs: The ARCAM SA20 offers one optical (toslink) digital input and two coaxial (RCA) digital inputs for connection of a Blu-ray player, TV, or game console. The digital inputs support 2ch PCM only (not compatible with Dolby Digital or DTS). The optical digital input supports 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, and 96kHz sampling frequencies; while the coaxial digital inputs support 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, and 192kHz sampling frequencies.

Analog Line-Level Inputs: The SA20 integrated amplifier is equipped with three line-level, analog RCA inputs for connection of CD player, tape-deck and AM/FM tuner. The RCA inputs are gold-plated for excellent audio signal transfer.

Phono (MM) Input: The ARCAM SA20 integrated amplifier is equipped with a Phono (MM) input for connection of a turntable with an MM cartridge. The Phono input is gold-plated for excellent audio signal transfer.

Front-Panel Aux Input: A front-panel 3.5mm Aux input provides convenient connection of a portable audio player, smartphone, or tablet with a headphone jack output.

Processor Mode: Processor mode can be assigned to any one input. In this mode, the SA20 is set to a fixed level. You can specify the required volume level for the processor mode input.

Binding-Post Speaker Terminals: The ARCAM SA20 integrated amplifier is outfitted with a set of binding-post terminals to connect a pair of loudspeakers. These binding-post terminals will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single only). You will need to remove the plastic inserts from the binding-post terminals to use banana plugs. The binding-post terminals are gold-plated for excellent audio signal transfer.

1/8" Headphone Jack: There is a 1/8" (3.5mm) headphone jack on the front-panel which allows connection of a set of headphones so  you can enjoy listening to your music privately. The unit supports headphones with an impedance rating between 16 and 2kΩ, Connecting a set of headphones will automatically mute the integrated amplifier's speaker outputs and pre-outs (you can turn this feature off).

Pre-Amplifier Output: The unit has a set of stereo RCA pre-out that let you use the SA20 as a dedicated pre-amplifier or as part of a bi-amplified system.

Front-Panel Display: The front-panel display indicates source selection and menu settings. You can adjust the brightness level the front-panel display to "Full", "Dim", or "Off".

IR Remote: The included IR remote is pre-programmed to operate the SA20 integrated amplifier and an Arcam CD player.

ARCAM Control App: The ARCAM Control app (for Apple iOS 9.0+ and Android OS 5.0+) lets you remotely control the ARCAM integrated amplifier using your compatible Apple iOS or Android device. Connect using your home network, providing feedback from your device and eliminating any line-of-sight issues present with an infrared remote control.

Note: The integrated amplifier is only equipped with an Ethernet jack to connect to your router, and does not offer built-in WiFi. However, you will need a wireless router with built-in WiFi to communicate with the ARCAM Control app on your smartphone or tablet.

IP & RS-232 Control: The SA20 integrated amplifier is equipped with a Ethernet (RJ45) port and RS-232 port. The RS-232 port allows for remote control from a 3rd-party home automation system or computer, while the Ethernet (RJ45) port provides network (IP) control and is Control 4 certified.

USB Port (Software Upgrades Only): The ARCAM SA20 features a rear-panel USB (type-A) port used for firmware & software updates only.

Auto Standby: This unit is designed to enter a low power standby mode if no user interaction and no audio input signal are detected for an extended period of time (30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, or Off).

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Customer Q&A

11 questions already asked

There exists two versions, 80W one and 90W one. How do you know which you are having? Any information what updates went inside 90W version? There have been a LOT OF complains about the horrible sound 80W produced on moderate to loud volumes making this amp unusable to all but super sensitive speakers.
[ JohnyR  May 20, 2022 ]
1 answer
We have not received any answers from other customers on your question. I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They should be able to help answer your question.
[ Calvin  May 26, 2022 ]  Staff
will this receiver work with a center channel and a powered sub?
[ Pat  Jan 15, 2022 ]
4 answers
This is a 2 channel stereo and has no sub-out. If you use a signal processor then you can use amps how you you want, but I would not.
[ FREDERICK DALE  Jan 17, 2022 ]
[ VINAY  Jan 15, 2022 ]
No this is truly a 2 channel integrated. It has preouts if you wanted another amp but it does not come with sub out or a center channel.
[ Scott  Jan 15, 2022 ]
Definitely a powered sub - I have a Martin-Logan wireless and it works great. Not sure about a center channel; I believe, though, that it's strictly a two-channel amp.
[ James  Jan 15, 2022 ]
How do you connect to a laptop to this amp? Should I purchase a separate DAC?
[ Sean_P  Nov 14, 2021 ]
1 answer
These amps can connect to computers with an audio output. Some external USB DAC's can be used with computers to get even better sound out of them so the output of these amps will sound even better. I recommend contacting an advisor by calling 1-800-324-9695 to get a personal recommendation.
[ Paul  Nov 20, 2021 ]  Staff
Does the remote turn on the unit when powered off?
[ New User  Mar 02, 2021 ]
6 answers
Yes it does. If the unit is on standby mode, hold the power button from your remote for more than two seconds and it will turn back on. Note: Ensure you are pressing the correct power button, the remote has two, one on top for the CD player and one in the middle is the one that works for the amplifier.
[ ERICO  Mar 03, 2021 ]
Yes, but only if it was turned off by the remote. If turned off with the button on the amp the remote will not work.
[ DANIEL  Mar 03, 2021 ]
Yes when the system is in stand-by mode it will turn it on and off. you should not shut the unit down completely. I was talking to them at Arcam about that. Keep the unit in stand-by mode.
[ JASON  Mar 02, 2021 ]
Yes, IF you have the unit in standby mode (little red light on).
[ Steven  Mar 02, 2021 ]
[ Micheal  Mar 02, 2021 ]
Yes, but only if it's in standby mode. Once it's powered on by the big round button on the front of the amp, it can be put into standby mode with the power button on the remote, then the light on the front of the amp will turn red to let you know it's in standby mode.
[ Andrew  Mar 02, 2021 ]
can i connect a subwoofer?
[ Paul  Jan 19, 2021 ]
4 answers
Yes, you can. As you noticed, the SA20 does not have a sub-out connection so, how then do add subwoofers? You need to select subwoofers that have a hot line in, like the Definitive 800 or 1000 that allow you to run your output wire from the amplifier to the sub's and then have a second wire to connect the sub to your speakers.
[ FREDERICK DALE  Jan 23, 2021 ]
I wouldn't see why not. You may need a subwoofer that you can then run speaker wires to the speakers from the sub woofer. Don't hold me to this as it may not be the case but I believe you can. Please verify with an expert.
[ HAROLD  Jan 19, 2021 ]
Yes, most all subs accept the l/r preamp output. I hooked my Klipsch dub up that way. Works great! Hope this helps
[ Micheal  Jan 19, 2021 ]
[ ROBERT  Jan 19, 2021 ]
Owner's manual says USB port is for 'updates only.' So how do I connect my computer to use the DAC?
[ Dan  Nov 11, 2020 ]
2 answers
Never updated mine, don't yet know how.
[ FREDERICK DALE  Jan 17, 2022 ]
optical audio. Toslink will give you a better sound.
[ JASON  Jan 17, 2021 ]
What type of connections do the speakers need to connect to the amplifier ?
[ John  Oct 18, 2020 ]
3 answers
I was advised (and it made a difference to my ears) to use Monster 12 awg wire (if you can find any) using large, angled, gold-plated spade connectors on both ends. The Arcam (and other high-end units/speakers) will accept the spade connectors. Lower priced amps/receivers generally do not have the these speaker connectors so you are left with using either bare wire, pin or banana connectors. Good luck.
[ mike  Mar 11, 2021 ]
I bought Single 14-gauge speaker wire with pre-attached banana plugs (20 feet) from Crutchfield. They are working quite well.
[ VINAY  Oct 19, 2020 ]
This was a makeshift system for home office so I used some older Monster speaker cable with bare ends. I;ll probably upgrade at some point but everything sounds great since I plugged this receiver in.
[ Scott  Oct 19, 2020 ]
Does the Arcam SA20 have bass and treble knobs / control?
[ Gary  May 25, 2020 ]
3 answers
No, it doesn't have knobs for bass and treble. The remote control that the SA 20 comes with does have a left right speaker balance control, as well as volume control, and selection of various inputs (cd, phono, aux, etc.).
[ Jonathan  May 26, 2020 ]
No it doesn't have bass or treble.knobs. It does come with a remote control that allows you to adjust the balance and volume, but not bass or treble.
[ Jonathan  May 25, 2020 ]
No. There is no EQ.
[ Andrew  May 25, 2020 ]
Which input connection would be used for Home Theater bypass ( amp only) function. How is that activated ?
[ John  May 08, 2020 ]
1 answer
Hi John. Any input on the Arcam SA20 can be used for "processor mode," which will allow you to connect a surround receiver and use the SA20 as a power amp. You will need to access the system settings within the SA20 to notate which input will be used in this mode. Please chat with us online or by phone at 1-800-324-9695, we will be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.
[ Jess  Jun 01, 2020 ]  Staff
Does Mini Blink work with the SA20 ?
[ Mark  Mar 08, 2020 ]
2 answers
I have no idea.
[ HAROLD  Jan 19, 2021 ]
Do not know. But SA20 is a great receiver. One reason I bough it was the DAC. I use the receiver with a Cambridge CD transport which greatly improves treble harshness.
[ George  Mar 09, 2020 ]
If i want to use the SA20 with a CD TRANSPORT, where i have to connect the player? On the cd analog input or on the blue ray digital input (coaxial)?
[ Marinho  Jun 27, 2019 ]
4 answers
I own an SA 20, wonderful piece of gear that I bought from another vendor due to a trade in. You can connect the transport to any digital output. The SA 20 has 3: 1 optical, 2 coax. Interestingly, the coax inputs are higher bandwidth. Regardless, any will serve. These are connected to various labels on buttons ... STB for set top box. The labels don't matter except to remember which one is connected to which device. I would prefer they be labeled 1, 2, 3 or optical, coax 1, coax 2. Que sera. I try to remember in old age :-) The SA 20 works extremely well with my Bowers 705's and I value the DSP's from a CD player because the digital input bypasses the player D to A unit. best wishes, C.Enter an answer to this question.
[ L M C  Oct 18, 2019 ]
On the digital input. Explained: The analog input would be used if the signal had already been converted from digital to analog with the player's DAC. In this case, the digital signal goes from the player into the amp, and then it is converted from digital to analog.
[ Jay  Jul 05, 2019 ]
Use the coaxial input. The cd input is for a conventional CD player with on board DAC.
[ V  Jul 03, 2019 ]
If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer.
[ Krissy  Jul 03, 2019 ]  Staff

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