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Argon SA1 Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 31 11.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 161 61.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 66 25.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%

  • Total voters
    260

Marijnvp

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2022
Messages
11
Likes
1
I've gone out to check this Amp at my local HIFI Klubben store. I listened to some pop and dance music on the B&W 607 S2 connected to the Argon Audio SA1, NAD C328 and Sonos AMP. For me personally the NAD C328 was by far the best at driving the B&W 607's. The difference got especially big when turning the volume up and during bass-heavy parts of songs. The Sonos AMP seemed more on pair with the Argon Audio SA1. When turning the volume up on these 2 amplifiers you could cleary hear distortion coming in pretty quickly. What I mean by that is, the Sonos and Argon Audio seemed to have a difficult time keeping the lows, mids and highs under control and audibile at higher volumes. The NAD kept a very clean and full sound throughout the spectrum even at high volumes, keeping every instrument clearly audible.

The Argon Audio SA1 clearly wins on esthetics (leaving Sonos out of the equation) even though the build material is 100% plastic vs metal for the NAD. I really like the small footprint of the SA1. Eventually I decided to buy the NAD C328 as the listening experience felt way cleaner and 'pleasent' on my ears. But having said that, the Argon Audio SA1 is definetly a great buy considering the current €259 price tag vs the €500 for de NAD (I got a discount, it currently retails for €550). Also the NAD has a sub out, which is a nice extra for me since I own a REL Quake.
 

ThsM

Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
32
Likes
30
Location
Germany
Got mine last week. I'm torn and can't say if I'll keep it. On one hand, it's a very good looking little amplifier, that has the inputs (two optical) I need/want. On the other hand, I did not get the Samsung smart remote to control the volume of the SA1, which was one of the main reason I ordered it.

Soundwise I have the impression, that my Focal Chora 806 have slightly more base than with the Loxjie A30 (w/o tone control involved). Unfortunately, I don't want that extra oomph, as my speakers sit very close to the wall (due to kids and a puppy dog). The first time I really want some sort of tone control :)

In general, I don't think I did a step ahead in sound quality. I need to get back to the Loxjie for comparison, but out of memory I think the Loxjie was sounding "better". At least more details on the upper end.

So negative (for me):
- Volume not adjustable with the TV remote
- Slight "thump" to the speakers, when turning the amp off
- No tone control (which I knew upfront)
- No sound improvement over the Loxjie (at least at my low listening levels)

Positive
- Good looking
- Auto on/off
- Second digital in
- ?
 

damirj79

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
46
Likes
24
I've gone out to check this Amp at my local HIFI Klubben store. I listened to some pop and dance music on the B&W 607 S2 connected to the Argon Audio SA1, NAD C328 and Sonos AMP. For me personally the NAD C328 was by far the best at driving the B&W 607's. The difference got especially big when turning the volume up and during bass-heavy parts of songs. The Sonos AMP seemed more on pair with the Argon Audio SA1. When turning the volume up on these 2 amplifiers you could cleary hear distortion coming in pretty quickly. What I mean by that is, the Sonos and Argon Audio seemed to have a difficult time keeping the lows, mids and highs under control and audibile at higher volumes. The NAD kept a very clean and full sound throughout the spectrum even at high volumes, keeping every instrument clearly audible.

The Argon Audio SA1 clearly wins on esthetics (leaving Sonos out of the equation) even though the build material is 100% plastic vs metal for the NAD. I really like the small footprint of the SA1. Eventually I decided to buy the NAD C328 as the listening experience felt way cleaner and 'pleasent' on my ears. But having said that, the Argon Audio SA1 is definetly a great buy considering the current €259 price tag vs the €500 for de NAD (I got a discount, it currently retails for €550). Also the NAD has a sub out, which is a nice extra for me since I own a REL Quake.

I considered also NAD C328 vs Argon SA1. I decided for SA1, mainly because of price drop due to black friday deals. The amp will be used as secondary system. Now after some days of listening to it I can not complain at all, it is a lot better than TPA3255... Having said that, the normal price of 369€ is not worth it and in that case I would choose NAD C328 also and agree with your observations, but mostly due to the power difference that is almost two times higher on NAD.
 
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