Arcam SA-20 Upgrade

wstn

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May 10, 2024
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Hey, would like to get some opinions on a potential amp upgrade. Over the last few months I've upgraded my entire system to:

Arcam SA-20
Monitor Audio Gold 200 5g
Rega p3 anniversary or Tidal (via a sonos port) as the main sources.

It sounds great, but the amp has always bothered me a bit - it's maybe a tad safe and lacks a bit of punch (I got it for a good price and it could be moved to my office if replaced, so not a total waste) and it's left me wondering if it's worth swapping out/upgrading for:

A Rega (Elicit Mk5 or Elex Mk4)
Or even the newer Arcam (Radia A25) which seems (based on reviews) like it could address some of what I notice.

Would love any thoughts from anyone or other suggestions on amps I should take a look at, or anyone telling me I really don't need it and I'm imagining the flaws of the SA-20 based on reading things on the internet...

Thanks!
 

Integralista

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Feb 9, 2024
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Hey, would like to get some opinions on a potential amp upgrade. Over the last few months I've upgraded my entire system to:

Arcam SA-20
Monitor Audio Gold 200 5g
Rega p3 anniversary or Tidal (via a sonos port) as the main sources.

It sounds great, but the amp has always bothered me a bit - it's maybe a tad safe and lacks a bit of punch (I got it for a good price and it could be moved to my office if replaced, so not a total waste) and it's left me wondering if it's worth swapping out/upgrading for:

A Rega (Elicit Mk5 or Elex Mk4)
Or even the newer Arcam (Radia A25) which seems (based on reviews) like it could address some of what I notice.

Would love any thoughts from anyone or other suggestions on amps I should take a look at, or anyone telling me I really don't need it and I'm imagining the flaws of the SA-20 based on reading things on the internet...

Thanks!
Hi,

Monitor Audio Gold 200 5G are very good speakers. For sure cheap Arcam is not matching such speakers. Those speakers deserve better amp tham Arcam A25 or Rega Elicit 5g (both very good but Elicit is better). I recommend Rega Aethos. Or wait for new Arcam A35, or better A45. This will be a milestone in Arcam's history. And probably a nightmare for Naim Audio.😂
 

Gray

Well-known member
This is a very popular misconception in the audiophile world. In fact, a modern (transistor) amplifier does not have any audible effect on the sound
No audible effect on the sound?
I have to wonder if you've ever really compared different transistor amps.

And yes, with the same source, same speakers in the same room.

The theory of "all well designed amps sound the same" is a good one....but have a listen and see how long you stick with the theory 👍
 
Hey, would like to get some opinions on a potential amp upgrade. Over the last few months I've upgraded my entire system to:

Arcam SA-20
Monitor Audio Gold 200 5g
Rega p3 anniversary or Tidal (via a sonos port) as the main sources.

It sounds great, but the amp has always bothered me a bit - it's maybe a tad safe and lacks a bit of punch (I got it for a good price and it could be moved to my office if replaced, so not a total waste) and it's left me wondering if it's worth swapping out/upgrading for:

A Rega (Elicit Mk5 or Elex Mk4)
Or even the newer Arcam (Radia A25) which seems (based on reviews) like it could address some of what I notice.

Would love any thoughts from anyone or other suggestions on amps I should take a look at, or anyone telling me I really don't need it and I'm imagining the flaws of the SA-20 based on reading things on the internet...

Thanks!
All Arcams err on the safe side. I quite like that as the sound grows on you and lack any fatiguing nature of some brands. If you genuinely can't live with the Arc presentation, demo the following:

Leema Pulse MK4
Roksan K3
Exposure 2510
Older Creek Evo 50, although you have to add a separate phono stage.
 
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Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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I have a roskan k3 and Arcam sa30 (amongst others) which took a lot of demoing and even further box shifting through a few different amps on top to find a punchy musically outgoing amp for my main hifi when modernising to add the edition of streaming etc etc.
It would be quicker to list what it hasn't got than what it has as there's so much included 🙂

It's afterall designed as a "one box solution" but a great award winning amp at heart in which I still use connected to other anciliries using its large catalogue of connections.
The inclusive es-saber DAC is a nice addition to have even further opening out ones options for connectivity.

The sa30 also comes with "Dirac" so one can further adjust the amps characteristics not just "correct the room acoustics" to further highlight your preferences in listening.
(However I still miss the function of an onboard treble, bass and balance controls)

I also heard the radia and a few others again whilst demoing new speakers but still went back to the sa30.
(I'd took it with me to the demo room to avoid the obvious blunders of demoing speakers without your own/same amp) as it's befitting within my preference of preferring the punch you describe amongst other things.

I was surprised and found the radia too layed back for my preferences.
I've always preferred the music thrown at me rather than just played.

The power of the arcam sa30 is it's party piece far in excess of the roskans claimed 140w which further aids the openness and clarity it's also reviewed for having.

It marries up with fyne audio f502s very well and viscerally stirrs your stomach.

Furthermore worth considering the long since solved teething issues of the arcam sa30 means a much higher priced amp can be snapped up for bargain prices.
 

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oxidising

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Apr 16, 2024
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Hi,

Monitor Audio Gold 200 5G are very good speakers. For sure cheap Arcam is not matching such speakers. Those speakers deserve better amp tham Arcam A25 or Rega Elicit 5g (both very good but Elicit is better). I recommend Rega Aethos. Or wait for new Arcam A35, or better A45. This will be a milestone in Arcam's history. And probably a nightmare for Naim Audio.😂
I'm not sure if you're joking or not. But the idea that you must spend £3000 on an amplifier to power some speakers is a bit ridiculous. I know people like to think spending huge amounts on amps is worthwhile, but this is not new technology. Take your amp to a HiFi shop and do a blind A/B test, see if you can tell the difference.
 
I'm not sure if you're joking or not. But the idea that you must spend £3000 on an amplifier to power some speakers is a bit ridiculous. I know people like to think spending huge amounts on amps is worthwhile, but this is not new technology. Take your amp to a HiFi shop and do a blind A/B test, see if you can tell the difference.
The amplifier is, or was, in the same price bracket as the speakers.
If it has all the functions you require why shouldn't you pay this much?
What would you consider to be the top end of the budget for an amplifier?
 

wstn

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May 10, 2024
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While I'd have loved to spend over 3k on an amp, it wasn't in my budget! I demoed a couple and found myself drawn to the Rega Elicit Mk5 so went for that. Seems like a good purchase so far!
 
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