Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1
Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1
Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1

Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1: Network audio player with built-in amplifier 

The Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1 wireless receiver is very compact, but at the same time very heavy. But the considerable weight is not due to the huge radiators for cooling the output stages operating in class A, or the powerful toroidal power transformer (the power supply here is generally external and resembles that of a laptop). The amplification here is implemented in class D, which has not bothered lovers of good sound for a long time and is used in very high-end audio equipment. Such cascades have high efficiency, which makes it possible to do without heavy-duty power supplies and huge cooling radiators, which cause large dimensions and considerable weight of components. The elegant body of the model with rounded corners is made of aluminum, and the top glossy panel is made of acrylic. It contains three color-changing LEDs that indicate the status of the device, and a minimal set of touch controls – the receiver’s power key and two volume keys.

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In fact, the Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1 combines the digital platform of the Tana SL-1 speakers and amplifiers operating in class D. To get a complete stereo system, you just need to connect your existing speakers. As with other Electrocompaniet EC Living series wireless products, configuration and control of the Rena SA-1 is entirely concentrated in the proprietary Electrocompaniet EC Remote application for mobile devices, available in the AppStore and Google Play.

Using the receiver together with a smartphone or tablet computer even means that the Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1 does not come with a remote control, and the controls on the device’s body are limited to three touch keys on the glossy black acrylic top panel. The smooth contours of the sides of the receiver body are made of polished aluminum and can be had in three finishes – copper, light and blackened aluminum. The Norwegians ignored the Bluetooth interface – the existing computer network is used to broadcast streaming music – either in a wired Ethernet version or wireless Wi-Fi. Such a solution not only implies more stable operation compared to Bluetooth, but also allows you to organize multi-room wireless installations with centralized control from one gadget.

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All switching is concentrated in a small niche on the rear wall of the case. In addition to the Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port for integrating the device into a home computer network, there are optical and coaxial digital inputs, a coaxial digital output, an analog output on the minijack connector, and a USB port for connecting external drives.

To connect speakers, two pairs of spring-loaded acoustic terminals are provided. Despite the abundance of switching, the Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1 is primarily a wireless device, which in most cases will play music from the network without any cables other than power and acoustic ones. Moreover, in principle, nothing prevents you from doing without the use of speaker wires by choosing Tana L-1 wireless speakers for your stereo system. True, in this case, the receiver’s amplifiers will remain unclaimed, and it would be more advisable to prefer the Electrocompaniet Rena S-1 digital streamer. If necessary, you can organize a triphonic by adding a Sira L-1 wireless subwoofer to the system.

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To configure the system, you need to install the free proprietary Electrocompaniet EC Remote application on your smartphone or tablet computer, available on both Google Play and the AppStore. With its help, you can configure the receiver to work on a home computer network, stream music from a gadget to it, control playback of tracks from DLNA servers, select the active input and adjust the volume, and also use network services such as Internet radio or TIDAL. It’s a pleasure to navigate through your music library and control playback!

The network setup procedure is provided with detailed comments and does not cause difficulties. In addition to mobile devices, streaming services and DLNA servers on the network, an external hard drive with a USB interface can serve as a source of content for the Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1. The range of supported audio file formats will satisfy the most picky music lover. The receiver is capable of playing literally everything – from MP3 to DSD128.

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The sound of the receiver when working with high-quality bookshelf monitors surprises with stunning detail, plenty of air and the ability to create a three-dimensional and large-scale stage. These qualities are especially evident when playing high-resolution material – be it PCM with 24-bit / 192 kHz parameters or DSD. The power reserve of the Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1 is quite sufficient for sounding a room of up to 30 square meters. The system exhibits fast and elastic bass that reaches impressive depths. But the most impressive thing was the receiver’s ability to maintain the separation of instruments and vocals in the most dynamic moments of musical works, when another component would have long ago mixed everything into mush.

Characteristics of Electrocompaniet Rena SA-1

Type – network audio player with built-in amplifier
Network interfaces – Gigabit Ethernet RJ45, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth – no
NFC – no
USB – Host type A
Supported audio codecs – MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, APE, DSD64, DSD128 (5.6 MHz)
Maximum digital signal resolution – 24 bit / 192 kHz | DSP – 32 bit Output power, W – 75 x 2
Audio inputs – digital coaxial, digital optical
Audio outputs – digital coaxial, analog minijack 3.5 mm Additionally – SMB, NFS, UPnP, AirPlay, Internet Radio, support for streaming music services TIDAL, Qobuz, Spotify , WiMP
Finish options – copper, light or blackened aluminum
Dimensions: 52 x 177 x 177 mm
Weight: 1.6 kg

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