The Arcam Xeta One Dolby Pro Logic home cinema amplifier was Arcam’s first Home Cinema product. At the time, while others concentrated on feature sets, the Xeta 1 received world wide accolades for its outstanding sound quality in both Dolby Surround and hi-fi stereo modes. To achieve this level of sonic performance in such a compact design, Arcam’s engineers adopted a unique modular approach, with completely independent circuit boards for signal processing and for audio. The latter pcb includes three Alpha 9 style high current VMOSFET main amplifiers, delivering over 60 watts per channel, and a daughter board containing twin 20 watt rear channel amplifiers.
The processor module contains two S-VHS and four composite video inputs/outputs, all of broadcast quality, plus an advanced JRC Dolby Pro Logic decoder and digital delay line. Above this, the audio module carries all the audio circuitry, including inputs/outputs, bypassable tone controls and the MM phono stage. All initial setup is carried out with the remote control, using your TV set to view menu driven on-screen graphics. Every one of the eight audio inputs may be individually configured to optimise performance. They included a pink noise generator and other useful functions including variable rear channel delay.
While the Home Cinema features are now very dated, the Xeta 1 has the same VMOSFET amplifier circuits in the front as the Alpha 9 amp, and thus can be used as the heart of a very musical two or three channel system. At this price it is a true bargain.