Category Arcam sa20 vs sa30

Arcam sa20 vs sa30

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Blue-sky scenario? For the spec sheet on a streaming amplifier coming to market inthe Golden Triangle for this end-user is as follows: 1 Roon, 2 Spotify Connect and 3 Google Chromecast Built-in.

That Naim implements the Golden Triangle of Roon, Spotify Connect and Chromecast Built-in in their streaming platform — and with automatic input switching — is one reason I keep coming back to their Uniti Atom streaming amplifier review hereits diminutive dimensions adding a crucial layer of Kallax-Fi to the scene. In the intervening four years, other manufacturers have begun to pick up on what Naim have been putting down.

Not a criticism but an observation. However, the Arcam unit is augmented by a wholly different feature set. Mobile-friendly headphone enthusiasts can listen via a front-panel 3. Room correcting software is a potent tool for anyone unable or unwilling to hang acoustic panels or place bass traps in their listening space; such DSP can have a pronounced effect on overall sound quality and the resulting listening experience.

And yet for the Music-First Audiophileit might not be as crucial as finding Google Chromecast Built-in sitting alongside Spotify Connect and Roon Readiness inside our streaming amplifier. With the Naim Uniti box, we find ourselves well inside the Golden Triangle but strike out on room correction. With the Lyngdorf and the Arcam, we endure no such feature set compromise.

Further information: Lyngdorf Arcam Naim. John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko. Follow John on YouTube or Instagram. Switch skin. Search Search for: Search. Audio is a member of EISA.Not everything is desperate to be seen for what it really is.

Based on its appearance, the SA30 could well slip into a line-up of Arcam amplifiers from the past few years. But while there are few aesthetic clues, this Arcam is actually a fully-fledged streaming system; a just-add-speakers product in the same vein as the Naim Uniti Atom.

Providing it is hooked up to a network via ethernet or wi-fi once you have screwed in the supplied antennaeAirPlay allows music to be streamed directly from iOS devices, while Google Chromecast functionality caters for similarly straightforward, one-touch streaming from compatible apps such as SpotifyTidalQobuzDeezer and TuneIn Radio.

Roon subscribers will see the Arcam as an endpoint option in the Roon app, too. Turning to analogue it has three pairs of RCAs plus compatibility with both moving magnet and moving coil cartridges. We think that list ensures that pretty much any audio component or TV can be connected to it. A front-panel 3. Plug in a pair of speakers or headphones and away you go All you, or your dealer, have to do is download the Dirac Live desktop application Windows or Mac onto your computer, follow the procedure which includes connecting the supplied mic, using it to measure 13 positions around your living room and the software calculates and corrects the colourations.

Naturally, in order to apply such room correction across inputs, the SA30 converts any analogue signals into a digital signal with its analogue-to-digital architecture, allowing it to be digitally processed before being converted back with its DAC.

While the SA30 has embraced the modern world of streaming, the aesthetics are in line with traditional hi-fi. Even the array of buttons that runs below the small LED screen sticks to standard functions such as menu, input switching, mute and balance.

As we revel in its versatility — we stream our hi-res library from our Naim server, play Tidal and Spotify streams over Chromecast, and give our reference turntable a spin — we are thrown into the most consistently pleasant of easy listening states. That pleasing clarity and subtlety is presented on a big, spacious and tonally even canvas — one that puts space between the melodic electric strings and the acoustic strums they sit on top of, without sacrificing their intended interplay.

Colours in Space sounds fittingly cosmic, the Arcam capturing the dimension and dynamic scope of the striking soundscape. Of the seven digital filters available, we prefer the default Apodizing, although the others, which include Brick Wall, Minimum Phase Fast Roll Off and Linear Phase Slow Roll off, all offer subtle differences and are worth experimenting with.

The Arcam SA30 is a fine example of how well music streaming can be implemented into traditional hi-fi, and just how discretely too.

It goes without some of the luxuries often adopted by modern streaming products — a fancy display, touch controls and fleshed-out dedicated app, for example — and ultimately, is outclassed by the class-leading competition when it comes to rhythmic ability. Best music streamers Read our Naim Uniti Atom review. Read our Arcam Solo Music review. What Hi-Fi? Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer.

Home Reviews. Our Verdict A superb combination of Arcam amplification and modern-day music streaming. Against Dedicated app is basic Naim rival more rhythmically talented. Arcam SA30 tech specs. Image credit: Arcam. See all comments What version firmware was the SA30 running? Back panel picture is wrong.

No HDMI connector shown. I bought an SA30 in Jan Issues: 1.

Inside the Golden Triangle with Naim, Lyngdorf & Arcam

Remote will turn unit off but NOT on, even in standby mode. Sometimes digital input will stutter, or "motorboat" when signal applied. Arcam is aware of 1. SW update supposedly coming sooner or later.Arcam is still headquartered in Cambridge, from where it took its original name, but the audiophile marque is now part of Samsung's global consumer electronics empire, through the latter's acquisition of Harman International, which had added Arcam to its portfolio in And amid these management-level changes, Arcam's product line has also undergone a refresh.

The brand has withdrawn, for the time being, from the peripherals market, jettisoning its R series of docks and DACs. Its current commitment is to traditional hi-fi, with a new 'HDA' series of disc players, power and integrated amps. But it's also considerably more advanced… Digital Diva From the outside at least, this full-width stereo integrated looks conventional. Available only in a matt grey finish, it's styled to be an aesthetic match for Arcam's other HDA components, all of which freshen up the designs of the outgoing FMJ range, adding features such as a chrome trim ring around the LCD display, and a flush-fit oversized power button.

Owners of the era FMJ A39 will still find it visually familiar however, and on the surface it appears little different than the SA20, only a touch larger. Yet Arcam has endowed the SA30 with new technologies that place it firmly in the streaming amplifier category.

The SA30's back panel shows Arcam has been busy since releasing the A Additionally, there's a five-strong bank of stereo RCA inputs, with options for both MM and MC phono, plus a stereo pre-out to use the SA30 with alternate amplification.

This expanded feature set naturally makes the SA30 more complicated to operate, but Arcam has decided against adopting a touchscreen control, or full-colour display to present album artwork. Navigation around its menus is via the bundled IR remote, with a simplistic tiered hierarchy allowing access to network settings, digital filter selection Apodising is the defaultinput management, and so on.

Thankfully the largescale nature of the display makes this text-heavy UI easy to read, while the remote has a touch-sensitive backlight that's useful if you like to listen with the lights low. Class G technology, first used by the company in its AVR home cinema receiver [ HFN Jul '09], aims to improve power efficiency over Class AB designs, aping the low consumption of Class D without introducing the latter's 'engineering foibles'.

Whereas the output transistors of Class D technologies are fully on or off, Class G employs a conventional output stage fed from two or more power supplies, the secondary ones held in reserve according to signal demand, switching in once the audio output rises above a certain level. At low levels it operates in an enriched Class AB mode. Selecting the amp's Direct mode bypasses the ADC, and the user menu allows for inputs to be assigned accordingly. This is an amplifier that combines power when needed with a pleasing delicacy and precision.

It demonstrates control of the rhythmic parts of a track, revelling in complex percussions and basslines, while at the same time giving impressive body and clarity to vocals and midrange details. Not Cancelled! A personal message from editor Paul Miller: Share your storiesArcam has thrown its hat firmly back into the two- channel ring with the arrival of its new HDA Series.

Adam Smith takes the plunge with the SA From my point of view it has always been a reliable go-to, with products that never fail to perform admirably. This is the first selection of two-channel components announced since the acquisition of the company in by Harman International. As always when such an event occurs, a certain amount of uncertainty over the future of the name ensues, but the new lineup underlines the firm commitment that both Arcam and its new owners have to the resurgence in two-channel audio.

You know — one of those things we were all assured would be dying out any day now! The SA20, however, is somewhat more unusual, despite being essentially an 80W-per-channel integrated amplifier. The headline is its use of a Class G topology in its output stage, which is a rather clever method that builds on basic Class A technology. The result is more power when required, but without the concomitant downside of unwanted heat when things are playing more quietly.

More details can be found in the In Sight boxout overleaf but, briefly, the amplifier has two power rails for its output stage — one for normal, low-level listening and a second that is brought into play when more volume is demanded.

Essentially, you can think of it as being a bit like a turbocharger on a car engine, albeit without the bangs and flames from the rear when the demand drops off once more…. The Arcam DNA is still there, but the units are sleeker, more stylish and definitely more feature packed than before.

A comprehensive control menu structure is accessible through both the remote. Overall, the SA20 is neatly laid out and easy to operate.

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Three digital inputs are available — one optical and two coaxial — plus three line inputs and an MM phono stage. Other socketry at the rear includes RS and Ethernet connections to link the unit to a home automation network, for which a more than comprehensive programming guide document is available on the Arcam website.

A USB socket can also be found on the rear panel, but this is for software upgrades only and is not a dedicated input as such.

Arcam SA30 review

Those wishing to connect a personal audio player will need to do so via the front panel AUX input, which is a standard 3. Beside this, an additional 3. I generally find Arcam products to have something of a house sound and I am pleased to note that the SA20 has continued this tradition, as it is very much a good thing. The SA20 strikes a very well-judged balance between pulling you into the music with its fine level of detail, but never throwing absolutely everything at you in a bit of a jumble.

It is generally composed, yet ebullient. The first thing that strikes me about it, and which is something that takes me back to a more recent Arcam favourite in the form of the FMJ A28 HFCis the delightful midrange performance. The SA20 has a remarkable sense of image depth and is able to deftly paint surprisingly expansive sonic pictures between the loudspeakers.

As a result, the Arcam really helps to bring music alive before your ears in a way that belies its price tag. Vocalists, in particular, stand firmly centre stage, locked into pin-sharp focus and with just the right amount of fine detail that makes intakes of breath easy to pick out, but not distracting. Furthermore, the sense of scale of the location is surprisingly easy to discern. The delightful midrange is aided in its endeavours by a sweet and open treble performance.

Top-end detail is most impressive and the SA20 does a fine job of pulling the subtleties that are buried in the back of recordings neatly to the fore. The caveat here is that this sense of poise and clarity is only guaranteed at normal volume and slightly above, but once you start. Increasing the budget slightly brings the Exposure S2D HFC into view, and this is a fine design that takes a lot of beating. Even the mighty Yamaha A-S is not out of reach.

The really big problem the SA20 faces, however, is the Naim Nait 5si. Comparatively bereft of features it may be, sonically it is the one to beat. In a normal Class A amplifier, the output transistor s are switched fully on all the time so that the power supply runs at full capacity even when no signal is passing.This site requires JavaScript for certain functions and interactions to work. Please turn on JavaScript for the best possible experience.

The SA30 is an intelligent integrated amplifier offering an impressive W of Class G amplification for impeccable sound, control and efficiency. The SA30 is designed with all the latest cutting-edge features - Class G is expertly implemented and, the highest resolution of audio support is presented.

Simple streaming is available with a mobile device using the native app of choice via Apple AirPlay2 or Google Chromecast. The SA30 features a full MQA decoder, which enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording in the highest possible sound quality. At this level of playback you are hearing what was created in the studio — with precise file and platform-specific DAC compensation and management.

To make the most of your investment in one of our systems, we'd advise you to talk to one of our specialist dealers.

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Please view our cookie details page for more information on the cookies we use. Chrome Firefox Safari IE. Find a dealer. SA30 The SA30 is designed with all the latest cutting-edge features - Class G is expertly implemented and, the highest resolution of audio support is presented.

More details. Visit mqa. Downloads Software V Our dealers To make the most of your investment in one of our systems, we'd advise you to talk to one of our specialist dealers. Subscribe to receive a copy of our newsletter.Are there times of day that you use your phone more. Are there other things you could be doing instead.

The more you understand your smartphone use, the easier it will be to curb your habits and regain control of your time. Recognize the triggers that make you reach for your phone. If you are struggling with depression, stress, or anxiety, for example, your excessive smartphone use might be a way to self-soothe rocky moods. Understand the difference between interacting in-person and online.

Human beings are social creatures. The inner ear, face, and heart are wired together in the brain, so socially interacting with another person face-to-facemaking eye contact, responding to body language, listening, talkingcan make you feel calm, safe, and understood, and quickly put the brakes on stress. Interacting through text, email or messaging may feel important but it bypasses these nonverbal cues so can never have the same effect on your emotional well-being.

Besides, online friends can't hug you when a crisis hits, visit you when you're sick, or celebrate a happy occasion with you. Strengthen your support network.

Set aside dedicated time each week for friends and family. If you are shy, there are ways to overcome social awkwardness and make lasting friends without relying on social media or the Internet. To find people with similar interests, try reaching out to colleagues at work, joining a sports team or book club, enrolling in an education class, or volunteering for a good cause.

Build your coping skills. Perhaps tweeting, texting or blogging is your way of coping with stress or angry feelings. Or maybe you have trouble relating to others, or are excessively shy with people in real life and find it easier to communicate with people online.

Building skills in these areas will help you weather the stresses and strains of daily life without relying on your smartphone. Recognize any underlying problems that may support your compulsive behavior.

Have you had problems with alcohol or drugs in the past. Does anything about your smartphone use remind you of how you used to drink or use drugs to numb or distract yourself. Recognize if you need to address treatment in these areas or return to group support meetings. Think of it more like going on a diet. Just as you still need to eat, you probably still need to use your phone for work, school or to stay in touch with friends.

Your goal should be to cut back to more healthy levels of use. Therapy can give you a tremendous boost in controlling smartphone and Internet use. Cognitive-behavioral therapy provides step-by-step ways to stop compulsive behaviors and change your perceptions about your smartphone. Therapy can also help you learn healthier ways of coping with uncomfortable emotions, such as stress, anxiety, or depression.

If your smartphone or Internet use is affecting your partner directly, as with excessive use of Internet pornography or online affairs, marriage counseling can help you work through these challenging issues.Support is highly responsive.

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ARCAM SA20 Review – G whizz

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