The handles front and aft serve as — er, youthful reminders that these 38kg are best man-handled by two. Unlike incoming RCA signal, XLR data are processed symmetrical until they hit the familiar motorized blue Alps stereo pot. Aside from the usual features of volume control, input selection, mute and display off there’s also absolute polarity inversion. Only my Yamamura-Churchill M6000 finally accomplished the terminal handshake with these otherwise first-rate posts.
The Plinius M8 preamp requires no such respectful distance. But even without this unique wrinkle the SA-103 cuts a very proper figure for a power amp – a squarish beast of occasionally finger-thick aluminium plates whose looks alone should have your lower back spasm in anticipation. Because my wife fancied it too, I better not go testosterone now and call this the essential he-man amp. The discrete gain stage exploits so-called dual Jfets. Outputs are on twin RCA and single XLR. The power amp also offers RCA and XLR inputs.
About class A bias I also ought to mention a long-term fling with two Omtec CA 25. And it got hotter still. I even owned the mono class A Small One from Green Wall. But seeing how already years ago she settled down peacefully with my Geithain 901 speakers, her WAF compliance no longer qualifies as normal. Any quick glance at my equipment list with its valve amps shows it.