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Ar­cam’s new HDA range

New Toshiba 4K smart 55-incher

IFA 2018 in Berlin: 8K TVs, Yamaha’s full 5000 Se­ries, the EISA Awards gala, Loewe, bey­er­dy­namic, har­man-kar­don, JBL & more! In­te­grate news: Klip­sch, Alexa, Near, TDG HEOS gets Alexa – see p26

Ar­cam’s rep­u­ta­tion was built on its am­pli­fiers, and par­tic­u­larly this breed of high-qual­ity midrange in­te­grated am­pli­fier. They re­main in­stantly recog­nis­able in this new HDA range, which was pre­viewed back at CES in Jan­uary as a re­place­ment for the cur­rent A19 and A29 in­te­grated am­pli­fiers, and is now avail­able in Aus­tralia. The range has had a pleas­ing spruce-up to up­date the aes­thet­ics, along­side the con­ti­nu­ity re­quired for brand recog­ni­tion.

Be­hind the scenes, mean­while, there has been sig­nif­i­cant change, this new range com­ing a year af­ter the com­pany’s ac­qui­si­tion by Har­man, it­self only then re­cently ac­quired by Sam­sung, and un­der Har­man the UK-based Ar­cam brand sits along­side the likes of Mark Levin­son, Revel, and JBL Syn­the­sis. Not that there’s a need here to mourn the in­ter­na­tional own­er­ship of an­other clas­sic UK brand, since Ar­cam was pre­vi­ously owned by the Cana­dian JAM In­dus­tries. And talk­ing re­cently with US-based Har­man staff, they seem de­lighted with the ac­qui­si­tion and the com­ple­men­tar­i­ties, see­ing Ar­cam as not only pro­vid­ing Har­man with a use­ful midrange elec­tron­ics brand be­low the rel­a­tive heights of Lex­i­con and Mark Levin­son, but also bring­ing ac­cess to Ar­cam’s ex­per­tise and tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing the Class-G hy­brid am­pli­fi­ca­tion cham­pi­oned by the com­pany’s John Daw­son.

That Class-G power is used here in the $1995 SA20 in­te­grated am­pli­fier, rated at 2 × 80W into 8 ohms, both chan­nels driven, of which the hy­brid Class G al­lows a lit­tle un­der 20W to be de­liv­ered in pure Class A, be­fore bring­ing in more ef­fi­cient am­pli­fi­ca­tion to pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant power re­serves for peaks and/or the most de­mand­ing of loud­speak­ers.

The $1695 SA10 in­te­grated (pic­tured be­low) goes with more tra­di­tional Class-AB am­pli­fi­ca­tion, for which Ar­cam can be con­sid­ered truly tried-and-tested back to the ‘al­pha’ clas­sics of the 1990s.

The new range in­cludes also the match­ing CDS50 SACD/CD and net­work player ($1495). But Ar­cam does not, like some man­u­fac­tur­ers, use the CD/net­work player as the repos­i­tory of all dig­i­tal in­puts. Per­haps aware that many peo­ple will want just the am­pli­fier, there are dig­i­tal in­puts on both the SA10 and SA20 — op­ti­cal and coax­ial, though no USB-B in­put for your com­puter, even on the CDS50. In ad­di­tion there are five ana­logue in­puts (one is line/mm phono switch­able) on each am­pli­fier, and the SA20 also comes with a brand new learn­ing back­lit in­fra-red hand­set and can be con­trolled over IP by Ar­cam’s iOS app, Mu­si­clife or by RS232.

Ar­cam is dis­trib­uted in Aus­tralia by Ad­vance Au­dio: www.ad­vanceau­dio.com.au

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