I am a noob and interested in buying Arcam SA30. I auditioned SA20 with KEF LS50 Meta and was blown away with the sound quality, punch and dynamics. Thought SA30 will be even better as an one box solution with streaming and will sound better with extra power. The class G is too good. I had purchased nad c388 initially but returned after comparing with arcam.
Now after reading many forums on the distortion issues and other software issues i am confused.
My usage will be streaming music from mobile phone through upnp software like poweramp, etc. And connect tv through optical or hdmi.
Is Arcam addressing the software issues? Is SA30 worth buying?
The SA30 is a very good amplifier, delivering a wonderful musical experience… when it works as expected. Until a few months ago, the software of the unit was totally anihilating the experience by causing sound drops, distrortion, unfunctionnal CEC, and a lot of weird behaviours…
But recently things eventually evolved in the right direction. Firmware release after firmware release, the amplifier is now to me nearly bug free, finally.
I think you show interest at a right moment
Thank you! That is very encouraging. Any suggestions for a matching pair of bookshelves. I am in US now and my budget for speakers is around $1500
Hi siva, welcome to the forum!
I’m a SA30 owner of the first hour and I understand your scepticism. About 1.5 years ago the firmware contained a lot issues, you can read all about it on this forum. Nowadays Arcam has put a lot of effort in improving the firmware. You might get the impression that some issues reported are still open whist they are actually solved by Arcam. I’ll find some time and mark issues as solved if they are really solved.
Is Arcam addressing the software issues?
Yes, Arcam is definitely addressing issues. A lot has improved on communication: next to formal support through email there is a possibility to post here. Most of the time you’ll find a promptly response here.
Is SA30 worth buying?
I would say yes, they are even backed up by an active user community. For the adventurous people over here they arranged a beta program. They are really engaging and listening to end users, a feature request suggested here got implemented.
Maybe convince yourself and buy the product, if it doesn’t fit your expectations then agree on a return period?
Do not forget to listen to a pair of floor-stand speakers too. I listened to a pair of bookshelf (KEF LS50) and floor-stand speakers. It is a huge difference.
And the latest firmware (hopefully) fixes many of the legacy issues such as distortion.
To be fair to Arcam I’m sure they have been hindered like many of us have by COVID workplace restrictions in the last year.
Thank you @jvs1 for the inputs. I am only considering bookshelves as i have eventually planned to take the speakers to India when i leave may be in a year or 2. Is kef R3 better than LS50? Any idea if it pairs well with SA30?
I currently have a wharfedale evo 4.2 which i bought with nad c388 and still within return period… so weighing in other options as well.
It’s a matter of taste really.
R3 is better than LS50, but also more expensive.
I’m having SA30 paired with Monitor Audio Gold 100 5G, and it’s really nice combination, at least for me.
Best way is to visit a shop, where you could compare several speakers and make your own opinion.
You should check out Steve Guttenberg’s YouTube channel
Just to start you off Audiophiliac Speakers of the Year 2020! - YouTube
Thanks everyone for the inputs. I just ordered a b stock SA30 from musicdirect.com. I will try it with evo 4.2 i have first. And then go from there