Arcam SA30 Integrated Amplifier
‘It’s a complete stereo system in a box. The Arcam’s streaming abilities may steal the headlines, but it’s the physical inputs that make the SA30 the nucleus of a multi-source system’.
ARCAM SA30 – What Hi-Fi?, May 2020
Arcam joins the ‘all-in-one’ streaming amplifier trend with its flagship integrated. Within the elegant but purposeful casework the SA30 combines the company’s Class G amplification, for both finesse and power, with a raft of digital technologies. It will stream, and you can plug in everything from your TV to a turntable, while DIRAC room correction is offered to optimise the sound, using a computer and the supplied microphone. It’s not just a technical tour de force, it’s also a storming amplifier: Arcam may be streamlining its product range, but hasn’t lost its focus.
The new Arcam SA30 integrated amplifier sports 120 watts of Class G amplification for impeccable sound, control and efficiency.
This latest product from the HDA range has the same new sleek fascia and casework as the rest of the HDA range and houses an extensive feature list. Firstly, there is a dedicated switchable MM/MC phono input befitting a high end performance amplifier. The SA30 also comes supplied with 4x digital inputs (2x co-axial and 2x S/PDIF), plenty to connect all those digital audio devices. The SA30 is equipped with the ESS Sabre ESS9038 32-bit high-end DAC. There are 4x analogue inputs are available for legacy connectivity and even a HDMI ARC enabled input is on hand. There’s also a comprehensive I/P control suite, including Control4 and Crestron compatibility.
Devotees of the latest high resolution digital audio systems will welcome the SA30’s support for MQA as offered by the likes of TIDAL Masters. The SA30 is also ROON ready and its ROON end point status means that it is all set to receive audio from ROON’s digital music player and library system.
Finally, the SA30 comes with full Dirac Live room correction (3 profiles available) to ensure the best possible sonic results.
What is Class G?
There are two frequent problems with hi-fi amplifiers. Class A, the traditional audiophile’s choice, uses a single power supply constantly running at full capacity, even when there’s no signal coming through. Great for reproducing those subtle details at low levels however struggles to provide extreme power when needed.
Class A/B, the most common amp class, switches between the two internal amplifiers, one for each half of the waveform. Far more efficient but often a recipe for crossover distortion, since those low-level details we crave can get lost within any mis-match between the two switching over.
Class G is essentially a hybrid amplifier, utilising Class A specifically for low-level signals, but when required switching in an additional power supply to power those larger sections of the waveform.
120W of power per channel into 8 Ohms, 220W into 4 Ohms
5 analogue inputs including switchable MM/MC PHONO
4 digital inputs
1 ARC input
GoogleCast, Airplay 2, uPnP Streamer
Full I/P control including Control4 and Crestron
3 Dirac EQ profiles (input assignable)