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Arcam SA20

Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC

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Item # 410SA20

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Overview

Our take on the Arcam SA20

Trust me, 80 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, 80 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:

  • 80 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms
  • 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
  • remote control included
Inputs:
  • 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
Outputs:
  • 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
Reviews
Details

Hands-on research

Features and 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 0.002%
Minimum Impedance 4 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio 106
Digital Music Features
Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) Yes
High-resolution Audio Playback PCM
Bluetooth No
Wi-Fi N/A
Connections
Total Analog Inputs 5
Phono Input Yes
Optical Digital Inputs 1
Coaxial Digital Inputs 2
USB Input No
Preamp Outputs 2
Headphone Output 3.5mm
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

Features

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 designe rated at 90 watts x 2 channel (into 8Ω, @ 20-20kHz, with 0.002% 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).

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

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