Considering Arcam sa20

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robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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I think we are getting cross wires. The A29 is, I was referring to the A39 being to deep for my unit.

One last thing I'll say, is the vocals seem very natural with Arcam almost like they are in the room, it all sounds very natural to me anyway.
Realism of and engaging quality of vocals is probably the most important element for me in a sound system. But this is where, I believe, synergy plays such a big part. Denon and Triangle give it in spades for these ears and brain. Audiolab didn't give me that particular fix. Wondering about Arcam ....
 

bristollinnet

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Dec 21, 2014
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I’ve had the Arcam SA20 for a number of years, and as a mid-range ‘old-fashioned’ hi-fi amplifier just playing music from good sources it is very good. However it doesn‘t have HDMI ARC or eARC input for a TV/monitor which in my view today is pretty unforgivable. If you connect a TV via its toslink input it is horrendously glitchy, effectively unusable as a result and overall the firmware updating experience and general support is appalling. I explored changing it for the SA30, but thats even more glitchy. I’ll never buy Arcam again.Shame.
 

WayneKerr

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Jan 21, 2022
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I’ve had the Arcam SA20 for a number of years, and as a mid-range ‘old-fashioned’ hi-fi amplifier just playing music from good sources it is very good. However it doesn‘t have HDMI ARC or eARC input for a TV/monitor which in my view today is pretty unforgivable. If you connect a TV via its toslink input it is horrendously glitchy, effectively unusable as a result and overall the firmware updating experience and general support is appalling. I explored changing it for the SA30, but thats even more glitchy. I’ll never buy Arcam again.Shame.
Why would you expect HDMI on a 2-channel stereo amp? Horses for courses. I tend to keep my audio and AV requirements separate, also my analogue from digital too, any digital feed duties are handled by the DAC in my CDP. Keep things simple.
 
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robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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I’ve had the Arcam SA20 for a number of years, and as a mid-range ‘old-fashioned’ hi-fi amplifier just playing music from good sources it is very good. However it doesn‘t have HDMI ARC or eARC input for a TV/monitor which in my view today is pretty unforgivable. If you connect a TV via its toslink input it is horrendously glitchy, effectively unusable as a result and overall the firmware updating experience and general support is appalling. I explored changing it for the SA30, but thats even more glitchy. I’ll never buy Arcam again.Shame.
When you say glitchy, how do you mean? Does it work? I have no interest whatsoever in home theatre or surround sound, I don't have the speakers and don't care about recreating the cinema experience in my living room. Having said that, I do enjoy music videos/ concerts on telly in stereo so I would want the optical input to at least be reliable.
 

RoA

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Feb 11, 2021
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I’ve had the Arcam SA20 for a number of years, and as a mid-range ‘old-fashioned’ hi-fi amplifier just playing music from good sources it is very good. However it doesn‘t have HDMI ARC or eARC input for a TV/monitor which in my view today is pretty unforgivable. If you connect a TV via its toslink input it is horrendously glitchy, effectively unusable as a result and overall the firmware updating experience and general support is appalling. I explored changing it for the SA30, but thats even more glitchy. I’ll never buy Arcam again.Shame.
I am, as I write this, using the SA20 listening to TV through it's Toslink. No issues.
 
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robdmarsh

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Jun 28, 2015
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Cyrus ONE Cast
Nope. Ugly as ****, and yes I'm that shallow, it does matter.
Oh sorry, you meant it has an hdmi! Well, that is neither here not there for me, but on second thoughts it would probably count against it, as why would I pay for a feature on a stereo amp that I would probably never use?

Also, suddenly half price?!:confused: How would you feel if you'd paid full price?
 

RoA

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Feb 11, 2021
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Nope. Ugly as ****, and yes I'm that shallow, it does matter.
Oh sorry, you meant it has an hdmi! Well, that is neither here not there for me, but on second thoughts it would probably count against it, as why would I pay for a feature on a stereo amp that I would probably never use?

Also, suddenly half price?!:confused: How would you feel if you'd paid full price?
It's a lovely amplifier but if you don't like the look then it doesn't matter. Yes, it has HDMI.

As for price, had I bought it when it came out at full retail ... I probably would feel the same as I do now but at its current price it is an absolute bargain imo.
 

bristollinnet

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Dec 21, 2014
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I am, as I write this, using the SA20 listening to TV through it's Toslink. No issues.
I am, as I write this, using the SA20 listening to TV through it's Toslink. No issues.
Well all I can say is that either you were lucky and/or I’m unlucky. Google around and you’ll find plenty of similar adverse comments specifically with Arcam, but also more widely in matching TV toslink into a stereo amplifier. I contacted Arcam who told me to update firmware (which I did) but it made little difference. But if you are wanting just a basic stereo music system, the Arcam performs very well.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Nope. Ugly as ****, and yes I'm that shallow, it does matter.
Oh sorry, you meant it has an hdmi! Well, that is neither here not there for me, but on second thoughts it would probably count against it, as why would I pay for a feature on a stereo amp that I would probably never use?

Also, suddenly half price?!:confused: How would you feel if you'd paid full price?
Any closer to deciding?
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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Most new NAD Bluos amps have HDMI. The Naim Uniti series each have HDMI. To ask why is to have been sitting under a rock. It's the increasingly in demand convenience of hooking your TV to your hifi, where your TVs remote will automatically control the volume of said amp. But you can just use optical I hear - well from my experience volume control through optical often still requires the hifi remote to control it. Depends on the equipment, and it's not consistent.

That's one of the reasons I'm considering the LSX2, for example. Or a Mission LX Connect.

Which is also why I think the Sonos Ray is a fail. I don't want to risk removing my heavy TV from the wall just to access the optical port. LG rectified this atrocity with the C2, but I'll keep my C1 thanks.

HDMI on integrated amps is becoming increasingly common. It's a feature that's here to stay.
 

robdmarsh

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2015
710
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Most new NAD Bluos amps have HDMI. The Naim Uniti series each have HDMI. To ask why is to have been sitting under a rock. It's the increasingly in demand convenience of hooking your TV to your hifi, where your TVs remote will automatically control the volume of said amp. But you can just use optical I hear - well from my experience volume control through optical often still requires the hifi remote to control it. Depends on the equipment, and it's not consistent.

That's one of the reasons I'm considering the LSX2, for example. Or a Mission LX Connect.

Which is also why I think the Sonos Ray is a fail. I don't want to risk removing my heavy TV from the wall just to access the optical port. LG rectified this atrocity with the C2, but I'll keep my C1 thanks.

HDMI on integrated amps is becoming increasingly common. It's a feature that's here to stay.
What's the sound advantage of it over optical if it's just a stereo amp?
 

manicm

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May 1, 2008
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What's the sound advantage of it over optical if it's just a stereo amp?
Mostly the convenience, not sound quality. Don't know if anyone remembers, but Arcam was the first to launch a stereo AV receiver, about 10 years ago. Marantz offer the NR1200, and the Model 40 includes an HDMI port too.

It's for those who want to connect a TV to hifi without needing surround sound. And in that respect HDMI is more convenient and superior to optical. Someone like me in fact.
 
Most new NAD Bluos amps have HDMI. The Naim Uniti series each have HDMI. To ask why is to have been sitting under a rock. It's the increasingly in demand convenience of hooking your TV to your hifi, where your TVs remote will automatically control the volume of said amp. But you can just use optical I hear - well from my experience volume control through optical often still requires the hifi remote to control it. Depends on the equipment, and it's not consistent.

That's one of the reasons I'm considering the LSX2, for example. Or a Mission LX Connect.

Which is also why I think the Sonos Ray is a fail. I don't want to risk removing my heavy TV from the wall just to access the optical port. LG rectified this atrocity with the C2, but I'll keep my C1 thanks.

HDMI on integrated amps is becoming increasingly common. It's a feature that's here to stay.
So the only reason they use HDMI is to enable the use of only one remote?
I am aware TV'S have output HDMI sockets as well as input but decent ones have more than one way of connecting audio only.
 
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manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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So the only reason they use HDMI is to enable the use of only one remote?
I am aware TV'S have output HDMI sockets as well as input but decent ones have more than one way of connecting audio only.
For TV duty optical is generally a monumental pain in the a**e. If a new amp has an HDMI save the BDSM for the bedroom and use it. Also, many TVs like mine have the optical port located at the rear. For those who've wall mounted it like I have accessing it is pain.
 

Witterings

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2020
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I’ve had the Arcam SA20 for a number of years, and as a mid-range ‘old-fashioned’ hi-fi amplifier just playing music from good sources it is very good. However it doesn‘t have HDMI ARC or eARC input for a TV/monitor which in my view today is pretty unforgivable. If you connect a TV via its toslink input it is horrendously glitchy, effectively unusable as a result and overall the firmware updating experience and general support is appalling. I explored changing it for the SA30, but thats even more glitchy. I’ll never buy Arcam again.Shame.
I'm constantly using a streamer plugged into one of the optical In's without any issues on my SA30 and can't see why there should be any difference with a TV plugged in instead as it'll either work or it won't.
I get if you said there was lip sync as there's a delay with the DAC but that's obviously different to glitchy.

Makes you wonder if it's the TV not the Arcam, have you got another TV you can test on that optical or a CD player / streamer with optical out?
 

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