„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.

SAE manufacturing

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.

Protection Circuits

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 Am­pli­fiersPream­pli­fiers / Pro­ces­sors
AT1800 Se­riesAT­P6500
AT2000 Se­ries
AT3000 Se­ries


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
Ana­log Audio In­puts• 10 Ste­reo Pairs of RCA Type Jacks
• 2 Ba­lan­ced XLR For Di­rect
Ana­log By­pass
Di­gi­tal Audio In­puts• 4 Co­axi­al
• 2 Tos­link Op­ti­cal
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
trigger outputs.
• 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
connections.Chassis Dimensions

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)


The ATP7500
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 Pro­ces­singDolby Di­gi­tal
Dolby EX; Dolby Pro Logic II; Dolby Pro Logic; DTS; DTS ES; DTS NEO6
  • Dis­creet on/off

  • re­mo­te trig­gers

  • rs232 dis­creet com­man­ds

  • down­load/upload set­tings from flop­py

  • 2nd zone

  • 2nd zone de­di­ca­ted input

  • i/r input on back panel

  • down­mix “s” to com­po­si­te

  • buf­fe­red video out­puts for long runs on main and re­cord

  • 7.1 Ana­log in­puts w/ base ma­nage­ment and by­pass

  • am/fm tuner

Chas­sis Di­men­si­onsWidth, Height and Depth 17 x5.25 x 14 in­ches
17 x5.25 x 14 in­ches ( Rack Panel con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on)
WeightNet 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 AT2000Pure 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
” ® 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.


The AT6012
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.

In Con­clu­si­on

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