„We ’re an engineering company“ – That’s where it all begins.
At SAE, a product is born in engineering, not marketing. It starts as an idea about sound. A way to do something that has never been done before. Something that will furter the art of sonic reproduction.
That’s why we made the first fully complementary amplifier, which inherently reduces distortion.
That’s why we introduced the digital readout tuner to audio, also recognizing its inherent advantages and expanding upon them.
That’s why we developed the graphic equalizer for consumer use. And later the parametric equalizer.
That’s why we invented the Impulse Noise Reduction System, the first device of its kind to go beyond surface noise elimination and into more complex dimensions.
But we didn’t just develop these products. We developed a way to manufacture them.
We’ve always felt it was okay to design audio with one eye on the stars, as long as you’ve got the other on the punch press. In other words, you have to be able to manufacture what you imagine.
So we integrated the entire assembly process right here. In our new plant. Chassis construction, parts inspection, testing, everything.
It’s the ideal marriage of technology and skill. Our workers are better because our product is better. There’s something at the end of the line to be proud of. The chassis is taken from raw material to its MIL-SPEC black anodized finish. Every front panel is hand polished. It’s meticulous, one-of-a-kind type of job. But there isn’t a better way to do it.
Inside an SAE product you’ll find a staggering array of the best parts in the world. We have an entire staff of professionals that spend each and every day searching the globe for that better transistor. Or capacitor. Or switch.
And when they’ve found it, our Quality Assurance department tests it. And re-tests it. You see, it has more than its own specifications to meet. It has ours.
When we make a circuit, we use materials like Fr4 glass epoxy boards, metal film resistors, and computer grade connectors.(We’ve minimized the amount of hand wiring because it’s not as consistent or repeatable as circuit boards.)
After completion the board is run through a gamut of tests and inspections to ensure that it meets a long list of strictly defined parameters.
And ultimately, final assembly.
Trained hands carefully place all components in position. Dimensions are checked. By tool. And by eye.
Then it gets tough. We call it “burn-in”. Every component must operate under actual working conditions for up to 24 hours. (Power amps are operated at full music power.)
And if there are no inadequacies, if every part of every assembly of every unit measures up, it’s readied for the final and most difficult test: the human ear. Quality Control listens. They check every input and output. Every switch and slider. When they’re satisfied – and only then – the component is placed in a carefully designed SAE container and sent to you.
And that’s when the magic begins. That’s when you unpack the box. Connect the cables. And discover some thing new. Something you never thought could be done with sound. We are an engineering company. But it is for that moment of discovery, that small bit of wonderment, the we do everything
We at SAE Electronics Inc. are proud of the products we manufacture and of our dedication to providing you with only the best service and support.
We want you to enjoy your SAE product and to obtain the maximum warranty. To ensure your satisfaction and protection, we urge you to purchase your SAE product from authorized SAE dealers only.
Any SAE product purchased from a non-authorized dealer will be considered used and will not qualify for a warranty. Please exercise caution when making your buying decision.
If you are in any doubt as to a dealer’s authorization status, please call us and we will be pleased to help you.
Interview with Morris Kessler
An Interview with Morris Kessler,
SAE Founder and Chief Engineer
Is there an overall philosophy in the way you design and build products?
In all the products I’ve designed —even going back 30 years ago —the focus is on value and performance. SAE products aren’t inexpensive, but you always get your money ’s worth. You ’re not buying a boxful of air.
What ’s filling all that space?
Big heat sinks, for one thing —we could save space by using fans, but that creates a lot of noise. Big transformers, and separate power supplies for each channel. We also ground all of our amplifiers at a single, central point, instead of grounding them in the transformer. That improves the grounding and lowers noise, but it means we have to have extra rectifiers in the power supply. As a result, we create a weight issue, too. Heat sinks and big transformers are heavy, so you need an extremely sturdy chassis to support them. We could save some cost by, for example, using cooling fans, but the end product wouldn ’t be as good as I want it to be.
You seem to take your design cues from Henry Ford –all of your products come in whatever colour you want, as long as it ’s black.
People should get what they pay for. Using a faceplate that costs as much as the rest of the amp costs doesn ’t make sense to me. An amp ’s chassis should be sturdy and have a nice design, and that ’s it.
How do you assure that all of your products achieve the quality standards you set?
Well, we manufacture or assemble everything right here in our own factory. I do have an office in the factory, but my real office is out on the production line. I spend a lot of time there making sure everything ’s running right.
How has SAE evolved over the years?
I ’ve been manufacturing amplifiers for decades. Around ’93,I got interested in computer-aided design [CAD ], and built a stereo amp just for fun. I got the bug again, and brought the amp to the 1993 Consumer Electronics Show to see if we could drum up any interest. I ended up getting requests to build amps for other companies, and we ’ve since built amps for at least a half-dozen companies whose names you would definitely recognize. In between those jobs, we started building SAE amps. The first SAE amps were very successful, and we ’ve expanded the line greatly from there.
no shortcuts, no compromises
Open most multi-channel power amplifiers and you will see a “rat ’s nest ”—dozens of wires running haphazardly through the chassis. Open up an SAE amplifier, though, and you will see a clean layout, with wires wrapped neatly in a fiberglass cloth tubing originally developed for the aerospace industry. The tubing protects the wire from both heat and accidental damage.
Chassis-Mounted RCA Jacks
The gold-plated RCA input jacks on our amplifiers are mounted directly to the rear panel, instead of to a circuit board. While this technique complicates assembly, it results in a more robust connection, and the jack cannot be accidentally broken off by the tight-gripping RCA plugs used on many audiophile interconnect cables. In addition, our AT2000 and AT3000 Series power amplifiers use XLR-type connectors to make connections with the balanced audio output from a preamplifier such as our ATP8500.1 with balanced audio outputs.
Trouble-Free Circuit Breakers
Our higher power multi-channel amplifiers use magnetic circuit breakers to protect against AC overloads. If the breaker trips, it ’s a simple matter to reset it. Most amplifiers, however, use fuses for overload protection; if a fuse blows, you must have the proper one available to restore power to your amplifier.
SAE amplifiers employ lightning-fast optically-coupled protection circuits that are completely removed from the signal path so they cannot affect the sound quality. These protection circuits are designed to detect electrical “shorts ” in speakers or speaker wires and to sense electrical “spikes.” If triggered, the circuit will disengage the output. The protection circuit will sample the affected circuit every 10 seconds and will restore output automatically when safe to do so. This special feature minimizes the chance of your amplifier going out of service just when you ’ve filled your home theatre with expectant guests.
|Power Amplifiers||Preamplifiers / Processors|
The ATP8500Audio Video Preamp Processor is a truly unique product. More than
just a preamplifier, the ATP8500 is a complete control center. The ATP8500
allows the casual user or the most experienced custom installer the ability
to customize even the most complex installations. SAE has successfully
combined the purest sonic capabilities with the most advanced set of features/functions
in the industry. SAE is the first to incorporate a 5-inch color monitor
on the front panel to facilitate initial setup and future programming.
This onboard monitor previews most video sources including menus from
DSS systems. The ATP8500 also features balanced outputs and an AES/EBU
Digital Input for devices such as DAT players.
The ATP 8500 decodes Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic and DVD audio.
The ATP8500.1 adds Dolby EX, Dolby PL II, DTS
ES, DTS NEO6. Naturally, the ATP 8500 can also function as a high-end
stereo preamplifier, and the digital signal processing and conversion
can be bypassed. The 7.1 channel input is provided with comprehensive
volume control facitlities. This ensures that the ATP 8500 will remain
compatible with new multi-channel formats to appear in the future. Music
Surround Modes include: Natural; Jazz Club; Stadium and Party.
|8500 Surround Decoding||• Dolby Digital
• Dolby Pro Logic
• DVD audio
|8500.1 Surround Decoding|
(in addition to above)
|• Dolby EX
• Dolby PL II
• DTS ES
• DTS NEO6
|Analog Audio Inputs||• 10 Stereo Pairs of RCA Type Jacks
• 2 Balanced XLR For Direct
|Digital Audio Inputs||• 4 Coaxial
• 2 Toslink Optical
• 1 EAS/EBU
|Analog Audio Outputs||• 8 Balanced XLR and 8 Single-ended RCA Type Jacks
• 1 Pair Second
Zone RCA Type Jacks
|Digital Audio Outputs||• 1 Toslink Optical|
|Video Inputs||• 6 Composite RCA Type Jacks
• 6 S-Video Jacks
• 3 Sets of
Component Video Pb, Pr, and Y Jacks with Full Component Video Switching Capability
|Video Outputs||• 1 Composite Monitor RCA Type Jack with On-Screen Display
• 1 Composite Monitor RCA Type Jack (No On-Screen Display)
• 1 S-Video
Monitor Jack with On-Screen Display
• 1 S-Video Monitor Jack (No On-Screen Display)
• 1 Set of Component Video Pb, Pr, and Y Jacks
|Other Special Features||• Second zone audio and video operation.
• Headphone jack with independent volume control.
• Input search selector that automatically identifies which sources are connected and the last to be activated.
• 2 jacks for external IR receivers.
• 3 programmable remote
• RS-232 jack for configuring and connection
to external systems.
• All circuit boards are 4-layer, glass-epoxy.
This extra attention to detail guarantees low-noise and prevents the
possibility of “cold” solder joints.
• All connectors in the audio
and video paths are gold-plated to ensure reliable, tight and corroision-resistant
Width, Height and Depth 17 x 7 x 15.5 inches
(431.8 x 177.8 x 393.7 mm)
Net Weight 24 lbs (10.91 kg)
Shipping Weight 32 lbs (14.55 kg)
is a surround sound preamp-processor with the ability to process virtually
all current digital and analog processes. Performance attributes and features
considered essential by SAE are:
- Outstanding sound quality, the result of a wide-bandwidth, low-distortion
- 2 component video inputs, 6 composite video inputs, 6 SVHS inputs,
and 1 component video out, 2 each composite and SVHS video outputs (with
on-screen display and without).
- 7.1 audio inputs for DVD audio.
- Zone 2 operation for both video and audio.
- Premium component parts, selected for performance and reliability
- Rugged construction, with extra-heavy gauge steel chassis, stainless
steel fasteners, and powder coated finishes
|Surround Sound Processing||Dolby Digital
Dolby EX; Dolby Pro Logic II; Dolby Pro Logic; DTS; DTS ES; DTS NEO6
|Chassis Dimensions||Width, Height and Depth 17 x5.25 x 14 inches
17 x5.25 x 14 inches ( Rack Panel configuration)
|Weight||Net Weight 24 lbs (10.91 kg)
Shipping Weight 32 lbs (14.55 kg)
The AT602 is a 2-channel power amplifier that combines rugged design attributes with audiophile-grade performance. AT602The AT602 delivers 60WRMS into 8 Ohms from 20Hz to 20kHz with no more than 0.03% THD and I.M. distortion with
both channels driven. Of significant importance to the custom installer
is the AT602’s stability with complex capacitive and reactive loads. Most
notably, the AT602 is designed with clip limiters that will prevent damage
to speakers and in-room volume controls due to over-driven situations.
Gain controls are provided for each channel.
The AT1202 is a 2-channel power amplifier that combines rugged design attributes
with audiophile-grade performance. The AT1202 delivers 120WRMS into 8
Ohms from 20Hz to 20kHz with no more than 0.03% THD and I.M. distortion
with both channels driven. Of significant importance to the custom installer
is the AT1202’s stability with complex capacitive and reactive loads.
Most notably, the AT1202 is designed with clip limiters that will prevent
damage to speakers and in-room volume controls due to over-driven situations.
Gain controls are provided for each channel.
The AT1800 series is the direct outgrowth of the award winning AT1505 5-channel amplifier that led the home theater industry in audiophile-grade sound and performance at a value price. The AT1800 is available in 6 configurations from the AT1802 2-channel model to the
AT1807 7-channel version. Power is 180WRMS/channel into 8 Ohms from 20Hz
to 20kHz with no more than 0.03% THD and I.M. distortion. Each model comes
equipped with two toroidal transformers making upgradeability easy via
the addition of a plug-in module. Other features making it installer-friendly
are: a detachable IEC power cord, optically coupled protection circuits,
soft-start circuit and convection cooling eliminating the need for fans.
AT2000 & AT3000
The AT2000 “ Pure Balance
”® series feature ALL the same design elements of the AT3000 except that
the power output is 200WRMS/channel into 8 Ohms. Configurations are available
from 2 to 7 channels. Additional modules are available.
With the AT3000 SAE’s “Pure
Balance” ® technology introduces a range of models that feature
true differential design; balanced from input to output. This design allows
the quietest and purest reproduction of the audio signal. Power output
is 300WRMS/ channel into 8 Ohms from 20Hz to 20kHz with no more than 0.03%
THD and I.M. distortion. The AT3000 is available in 2 to 7 channel configurations
and is upgradeable by adding 300W power modules. Each model comes standard
with 2 massive toroidal transformers with quick connect plugs.
is the perfect solution for those multi-room sound installations requiring
the utmost in flexibility, reliability and audiophilequality sound. This
12-channel, 6-zone power amplifier incorporates the same legendary sound
and design criteria as our other award winning amplifiers–without exception.
The AT6012 consists of six 2-channel modules and each zone’s volume (gain)
can be remotely adjusted. While elegant in concept and design, the AT6012
is rugged and will withstand the rigors of even the most demanding requirements.
Critical components such as toroid transformers and circuit boards are
manufactured and assembled in our own factory, guaranteeing consistent
quality control. Features including DMC (Detachable Modular Component),
Remote-Power-On and our Isolated Optical Protection Circuit are but a
few of the advanced design concepts that add up to make SAE amplifiers
the best value in the industry. Circuitry in the AT6012 is totally complementary
from input to output using dual-differential input stages. Pre-drivers
then drive the full-complementary output stage.
The SAE ATP 8500 is a component of tremendous flexibility with several features that make it particularly attractive to my way of thinking. In particular I refer to the great number and variety of inputs [but in particular]:
– a digital XLR [AES EBU] input, used in professional applications and found on the finest consumer products;
– a balanced analog input that can be configured so as to bypass the encode/decode section (i.e., the AD – DA circuits);
– 7.1 channel outputs in both RCA and balanced XLR configurations.
The XLR inputs offer connection to a completely balanced circuit, which means a duplication of all components. Such an approach is normally found only in professional products and at a considerably higher cost.
We could say that this product seems to have been born with all the right answers, and with the aim in mind of inducing even the most demanding audiophile to consider home theatre.
Within the chassis it is evident that much effort went into separating the audio circuitry from video. We can see that the unbalanced output section is completely independent of the main output. This is another clear sign of healthy architecture without easy savings. In all sincerity I have rarely seen a product manufactured so well.
From the point of view of ergonomics, ease of use, and functionality, the SAE 8500 is very reminiscent of a home theatre preamplifier as I would have designed it.
After the initial setup was completed, the ATP 8500 offered extraordinary versatility. It is true that with my Lexicon MC-1 this is something sadly lacking, but in this case [and now] it is a thing of the past.
Audio Review, 8/04
SAE ATP 8500 & AT 3000
In the realm of amplification, the 5-channel SAE AT 3000 (5x300W) operates in rarefied air. It strikes a delicate balance between brute force and elegance. In many ways it is the consummate arbiter of detail while harboring huge amounts of reserve power. It is capable of resolving the most delicate inner detail yet delivering the grandest fortissimo with complete command and authority. This is all accomplished in the staggeringly difficult, and usually compromised, world of 5.1 audio.
SAE (Scientific Audio Electronics) is a name not without memories. To those whose personal affection for music goes back to the seventies and eighties, SAE as a company represents a commitment to excellence, remembered but not forgotten. For all those audiophiles of that great time, the name SAE evokes more than nostalgia; it talks to things such as quality of manufacture, attention to detail-things that inspire confidence.
SAE is also remembered for graphic and parametric equalizers. They were beautifully manufactured, well conceived, and examples of reliability. They found their way not only into the homes of the discerning, but the laboratories, test facilities, and studios of professionals around the world.
With new and current products, all conceived in the United States, SAE oversees and orchestrates a sophisticated manufacturing facility to ensure product consistency and reliability on a large scale basis. Quality of manufacture is exemplary; very much true to the SAE tradition of excellence. SAE products are designed and built to the exacting standards usually reserved only for the professional market.
The five channel AT 3000 is a true case in point. With modular construction, this amplifier employs two very substantial toroidal transformers (18.5 cm in diameter) and five modules of 300 Watts of pure balanced power. Each module is equipped with its own dedicated rectification circuit, power filtering, and an output stage made up of 12 transistors.
Listening critically in two channel stereo, a familiar benchmark for us all, the impression of power and purity was unmistakeable. Critics have tested and listeners have commented, but whether high efficiency monitor loudspeakers, or difficult to drive low efficiency electrostatics the criterion, the result was phenomenal energy, musicality, and a sense of vivid realism.
The SAE promise proved alluring, but most importantly it was delivered in the case of the AT 3000. The amplifier demonstrated an ability to beautifully resolve the delicacy of timbre. Admitting to a certain expectation because of the mechanical construction and the overall look of the product, we were expecting an artificially mechanical sonic presentation, virile and muscular, but not one necessarily ideal in terms of its ability to resolve subtle and delicate nuances. However, the story was quite different.
Low level detail was exceptional. It is rare that such a powerful amplifier could prove capable of such a measure of control and balance at low volumes. There was no sense of lethargy—no feeling of “sample and hold”-to balance the bottom registers with the highest frequencies. As to performance at low levels, harmonic integrity was excellent; bass was deep and well defined. Emotion was very much present. This amplifier displayed remarkable musicality.
In the 5.1 cinema mode, the sonic resolution of the SAE ATP 8500 unit was quite simply fabulous.
The vibrant and natural character of the ATP 8500 plus AT 3000 was truly pleasurable. Our „cinema in the home“ sessions acquired a realistic dimension that practically imposed the presence of a large screen image. Indeed, the sound and the image must be coherent, proportioned; and the sound of the SAE system was so „magnificent“ that it begged for an image the height and width of a large screen.
Similarly in terms of its dynamics, or in what we would describe in image terms as motion-a sense of movement-where sound describes trajectories precisely identical to what is observed on the screen, movement was executed in a smooth and progressive manner, without the effects of sudden jumps from one speaker to the other. The sound effects were of a seizing realism; we completely forgot the electronics and the speakers.
Having just been introduced, the SAE units have instantly positioned themselves as one of the most powerful home cinema systems on the market. Although one could perhaps regret a little of the absence of THX homologation, there was nothing missing in this amplifier otherwise to prevent it from being added to the short list of the three or four multichannel products of true „audiophile“ quality on the market. All in all what we have here is a very impressive amplifier –powerful, exacting, and very musical –and one which will no doubt garner much ink. We urge you to discover what we mean without delay.
Audio Video Prestige, 12/03