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Audio GD SA-31 head amp/ preamp . A powerfull Head Amp with Diamond Difference design . - Page 16

post #226 of 362

Great to see some activity in this thread again - the SA-31 deserves more attention than it's been getting IMHO. I've had mine for three months now and couldn't be happier. I first bought it without the remote, and thought the volume control felt awkward, but once I got the remote I was very happy even with that aspect of the amp. It's great to have the volume control right next to my keyboard - and if I ever upgrade to something that lacks a remote I'm sure I'll miss it. I'm running the SA-31 with Beyerdynamic T1, a combination that gives a very clear and very spacious sound - actually probably a little on the bright side even on the Warm 2 setting, but it could also just be that it's very revealing of poor source material. 


Edited by Utopia - 5/27/13 at 3:49pm

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #227 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWahl View Post

 

 

And also, the Audio-GD gear doesn't have knobs, not because of sound quality.  He previously integrated that type of volume control with knobs.  The knobs were removed because his customers were complaining about the knobs breaking during shipment, so he stopped putting knobs on them.  

They still use knobs at their cost sensitive gear (up to Compass 2, which is same size as SA-31). It could be that they improved their packaging / design at some point and knob breaking during shipment has become scarse - if so a sound quality reason might justify the volume buttons.

post #228 of 362

Just read the descriptions on Audio-GD, there are your answers.... :

 

Volume control:
     
SA-31 with remote control, the volume control applied resistors components, can avoid channel imbalance and improve on sound quality than normal potentiometer.
        The volume control is also different from conventional technology. Conventional volume control technology is the volume control implement in the analog amp input stage through a volume pot to reduce the signal  . The volume pots quality effect the sound quality direct , the low quality volume pot cause lost the detail and channels imbalance cause the soundstage distortion  . Even the high performance volume pot still cause the detail lose. Whatever quality volume pots, must cause the S/N worst .
        In SA-31, the volume applied parallel connection control technology, the audio signal had not through the volume pot feed to the amp . So its quality have not effect by the volume pot quality .
         SA-31 applied two channels digital control relays based volume control. The volume board  through changing the DALE resistors to control the volume for avoid channels imbalanced ,achieve the best performance and sound quality of the gear.
        SA-31 have 80 steps volume level control in both high gain  and low gain mode. The total 160-step volume control ensures smooth control of the volume level.

post #229 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by AManAnd88Keys View Post

Just read the descriptions on Audio-GD, there are your answers.... :

 

Volume control:
     
SA-31 with remote control, the volume control applied resistors components, can avoid channel imbalance and improve on sound quality than normal potentiometer.
        The volume control is also different from conventional technology. Conventional volume control technology is the volume control implement in the analog amp input stage through a volume pot to reduce the signal  . The volume pots quality effect the sound quality direct , the low quality volume pot cause lost the detail and channels imbalance cause the soundstage distortion  . Even the high performance volume pot still cause the detail lose. Whatever quality volume pots, must cause the S/N worst .
        In SA-31, the volume applied parallel connection control technology, the audio signal had not through the volume pot feed to the amp . So its quality have not effect by the volume pot quality .
         SA-31 applied two channels digital control relays based volume control. The volume board  through changing the DALE resistors to control the volume for avoid channels imbalanced ,achieve the best performance and sound quality of the gear.
        SA-31 have 80 steps volume level control in both high gain  and low gain mode. The total 160-step volume control ensures smooth control of the volume level.

 

You can still use volume knob to achieve this (rotary coder or the likes) ;)

The feel might be different than a regular pot, though. I really like the feeling of the pot on the cheap  NFB-15.32.

post #230 of 362

its a shame (for me) that their is not more he-6 owners out there that have tried this amp.

for this money would a used speaker amp and he-adapter not perform better?

post #231 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldson View Post

its a shame (for me) that their is not more he-6 owners out there that have tried this amp.

for this money would a used speaker amp and he-adapter not perform better?

 

I used to own the SA-1/SA-31 stack and was able to get good listening volume on the HE-6 between 20-35 on high gain depending on the loudness level of the track. However, I also had the SA-1 set to high gain as well (2.5 V). 

post #232 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by i019791 View Post

They still use knobs at their cost sensitive gear (up to Compass 2, which is same size as SA-31). It could be that they improved their packaging / design at some point and knob breaking during shipment has become scarse - if so a sound quality reason might justify the volume buttons.

Actually, the Compass 2 is about 2/3 of the depth, but same width and height. The SA-31 is looong.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 5/31/13 at 8:54pm
post #233 of 362

I got mine today and I have to say, it pairs quite well with the K702. The warmth of the amp compliments the K702 (non Annie) beautifully.

 

EDIT: JWahl's suggestion to me was correct; definitely use a DAC with an output impedance of over 2V with this amp. My Gamma2's output voltage is 1.4V while the iDAC I have beside me has an output voltage of 3.3V. While the iDAC is inferior to the Gamma2 with my other amplifiers, the iDAC almost removes a veil from the midrange when compared to the Gamma2.


Edited by Ishcabible - 6/4/13 at 11:53am
post #234 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishcabible View Post

I got mine today and I have to say, it pairs quite well with the K702. The warmth of the amp compliments the K702 (non Annie) beautifully.

 

EDIT: JWahl's suggestion to me was correct; definitely use a DAC with an output impedance of over 2V with this amp. My Gamma2's output voltage is 1.4V while the iDAC I have beside me has an output voltage of 3.3V. While the iDAC is inferior to the Gamma2 with my other amplifiers, the iDAC almost removes a veil from the midrange when compared to the Gamma2.

Glad to hear your enjoying it smily_headphones1.gif  And also confirming my suspicion about the input voltage.  The amp must have a lower input sensitivity than other similar amps.  probably to match most Audio-GD DAC's output voltage of 2.5v.

post #235 of 362

With my Gamma2, I have to turn up my Yamaha HP3 to 79 on high gain, which is incredibly disconcerting...It's a pretty significant upgrade to the amps I have now though. biggrin.gif

post #236 of 362

Well, I've got the SA-1.32 DAC here now to pair with the SA-31. 

 

While I've only had it a few days, the initial reaction is pretty good! After I get some more listening time in I'll post more including comparisons to the DACmini's DAC section. My main worry was that the SA-1/SA-31 combo may be too dark for the LCD-2... pairing the "musical" DAC and 'musical" amp may be too much for the LCD-2.2. Well, I can say that is not a worry at all. At least for my tastes. The combo sounds great. Not too dark or too muddy at all. Very natural. Currently I have the SA-31 on "warm 1".

 

I had some email exchanges with Kingwa to decide on which DAC would be best for my setup and actually decided on the SA-2. Kingwa says that it is actually a bit more neutral than the SA-1 and that would be a better overall setup to have a more neutral DAC and let the amp add any color. So I still am set on getting the SA-2 as soon as possible but picked up a used SA-1 to use in the meantime. 

 

So the SA-1.32 appears to be pretty promising! It will keep me busy until I can get the SA-2...More impressions to follow. 

post #237 of 362

I sold thegrobe my SA-1 after realizing that I prefer a colder sound. Since I use no warmth jumpers with the HE-6 and prefer the thinner and faster sounding Arete with the HD 800, I replaced my SA-1/SA-31 with a Reference 8/Master 8 from the sale forums. The new stack is balanced and does the little things better (quicker transient speed and more detailed instrument separation with slightly more bass impact) but diminishing returns is very noticeable at this price point.

 

Good to see that you're enjoying the dac and have managed to get the USB32 installed. Let us know how the SA-1 stacks up against the DACmini and if you end up buying it, the SA-2.

post #238 of 362

10000 MW /  40 ohm 

8000 MW /  50 ohm 

 4000 MW  /  100 ohm

1400 MW / 300 ohm

700 MW / 600 ohm

 

these output figures, taken from the website, do they refer to the balanced or single ended outputs?

post #239 of 362
The SA-31 is single ended ONLY, despite it having the output jack typically associated with balanced output.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 6/9/13 at 1:45am
post #240 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

The SA-31 is single ended ONLY, despite it having the output jack typically associated with balanced output.

yeah sorry i just read that further back in the thread , thanks redface.gif

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