The Cambridgeshire manufacturer that is now part of Harman, announced the SA30, a new flagship integrated amplifier from its HDA product range. Designed around Class G amplification, the new Arcam models its maker’s latest casework and fascia (somewhat reminiscent of Mark Levinson’s designs), housing an extensive features list, including AirPlay 2 wireless support and custom install-friendly technologies. The inclusion of Dirac Live, the state-of-the-art room correction technology, helps ensure the SA30 will always offer the very best performance, individually optimized to its acoustic surroundings.
Arcam engineers continue to apply Class G technology to its amplifier designs, and the SA30 benefits from its team’s experience in the topology, offering 120W of power per channel 8Ω and 220W into 4Ω. Essentially a hybrid amplifier, the SA30 utilises Class A – and its single power supply at full capacity approach – amplification, switching in when required, an additional power supply to drive those larger sections of the waveform.
For those less familiar with the approach, Class G implements multiple power supplies rather than just a single supply. If a dynamic signal is received that goes beyond the capability of this first power supply, the secondary supply is gradually brought it up to full rated power output as required. This gives a very efficient design as additional power is only used when required, much like a turbocharger. Modern high-speed silicon allows Arcam the make this switch faster that would ever be required, even way beyond the audio bandwidth. The first power supply is of lower power and within this region, it runs in pure Class A, with no crossover distortion. As the secondary supply is only used when required, extreme levels of power are possible because very little energy is wasted in the amplifier as heat when it is not being used.
With this level of audio amplification on tap, the new Arcam is ready to be used with as many sources as possible, the reason why the SA30 is extremely well connected. Its five analogue inputs include a switchable MM/MC phono input, making the SA30 ready to take vinyl for a spin, while its four digital inputs help illustrate that this is an integrated for the ages – past, present and future.
Devotees of the latest hi-resolution digital audio systems will welcome the SA30’s digital to analog converter stage, equipped with ESS Technology’s 32-bit ESS Sabre ESS9038, and the support for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), as offered by the likes of TIDAL Masters. Its Roon Endpoint status means that it is all set to receive audio from Roon’s digital music player and library system.
Wireless support is also thorough, supporting seamless operation with AirPlay 2, UPnP streamer set-ups and Chromecast-enabled equipment, while the HDMI ARC (audio return channel) makes the SR30 the ideal machine with which to receive an ARC audio feed from a TV. As well as ARC support, custom install professionals will no doubt value the amplifier’s comprehensive I/P control suite, including Control4 and Crestron compatibility.
Dirac Live completes the SA30 technology and helps ensure the best possible results in any environment. Dirac Live is a cutting-edge room correction technology software that employs a sophisticated analysis of the connected loudspeakers and the listening room to optimize overall audio performance, removing colorations introduced by the room. Empowering the end user, the Dirac Live-equipped SA30 enables professional level room correction for the home.
The Arcam SA30 was introduced at the 2019 High-End show in Munich and is scheduled to go on sale in Autumn 2019 with pricing to be confirmed before its retail launch.