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RE Designs Audio SCPA 1 Preamp Review

by July 23, 2004
RE Designs Audio SCPA 1

RE Designs Audio SCPA 1

  • Product Name: SCPA 1
  • Manufacturer: RE Designs Audio
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStar
  • Review Date: July 23, 2004 19:00
  • MSRP: $ 2700

Input Impedance: 20K Ohms nominal
Output Impedance: 100 Ohms nominal
Distortion: <.002% referred to 1 volt
Signal to Noise Ratio: -100dbv; power supply harmonics typically less than-92dbv
Channel Trim Range : 6db to 18db gain
Tracking Error: 0.1db max
Stereo Separation: 104 db at 1khz
Output Drive: 12 volts peak
Frequency Response
R = 10k ohms; less than 0.1db deviation from 20hz to 20khz. For 10k ohms in parallel with 10,000 picofarads of capacitance, 0.1db down at 20khz. The above measurement represents the unit driving 50' to 100' of cable.         
Dimensions: 16.75" wide x 12" deep x 3.5" high (Rack mount handles available upon request)
Power Consumption: Approx. 8 watts

The SCPA 1 is warranted to be free of defects for a period of 5 years from the date of purchase. Repairs will be performed without charge for parts and labor provided the unit is returned freight prepaid to R.E.Designs. Units that are in warranty that have manufacturer's defects will have the shipping cost reimbursed. Units which have been modified or subjected to gross abuse are excluded from warranty protection.


  • Phenomenal audio reproduction
  • Ultra accurate channel trim balance (.025dB) and tracking (.1dB max, 0.05db typical)
  • Simple operation


  • No remote control capability
  • Low product appeal
  • Requires separate switcher to connect multiple audio sources
  • No bass management
  • No balanced connections


RE Designs Audio SCPA 1 Introduction

A couple of years ago I received a phone call from Dan Banquer (Chief Designer for RE Designs Audio) about the series of articles I have written on the format implementation issues with DVD-A and SACD for consumer audio. I was expecting to hear complaints about my articles like I have heard from a few manufacturers, but instead Dan complimented me and agreed with my recognitions regarding the shortcomings such as:

  • Lack of independent channel trims for Preamp EXT inputs.

  • No bass management or time delay compensation.

  • Format incompatibilities with standard 5.1 systems (IE. DVD-A/SACD is a 6 channel format, not 5.1, thus many recordings use that extra channel as an overhead, NOT subwoofer channel).

  • Lack of a standardized digital interface.

  • Lack of software and at the time mostly remasters 1980s 44kHz/16bit two channel one hit wonders was all that was available.

Luckily many of these items have since then been resolved by manufacturers and we are now starting to enjoy these formats in all their glory. In fact some of the recent hardware reviewed by Audioholics incorporated an i.Link connection for digital transmission of all of these formats over a signal cable allowing the preamp/receiver to handle all of the decoding, bass management and digital delay compensation.

About the author:
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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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