SA30 build 705 version 1.33

Interesting! Did he have any comments about the distortion that has come with v705?

No he asked me about it. I told him that in my case it was doing it after several hours of constant streaming of music from my NAS. I told him that all my music was in FLAC format at various resolutions from 44.1 to 192. It didn’t matter what sample rate but that the only way to resolve it was to power off and back on again. I told him that others on this forum have mentioned it did it with Tidal and MQA files as well and that it definitely doesn’t do it on V521 as I have been using that version for over a week now and not heard any distortion.

I saw now that I also got a response from Arcam support, and he says that the distortion-issue with MQA/hi-res tracks was detected by the software team as it was releasing (V705) and they are working on a fix for it…

Good to hear this is being fixed - it’s getting irritating.

Yes its very frustrating. They couldn’t say when the fix will be released though…Probably a good idea that everyone who experience distortion or other issues w 705 report this to Arcam support to maybe speed it up a bit…since v705 apparantly is regarded a mandatory update there is (according to the support) no other way to avoid the SA30 from updating than to disconnect the amp entirely from the internet…

Yes there is, DNS blocking or simply deny all internet access to the SA30. Refer to next topic.

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Good! Didn’t see that…just referred to my answer from Arcam…

Why is V705 a mandatory update out of interest. I’ve rolled back to V521 over a week ago and much prefer it to V705 for a number of reasons. Unless a newer update comes out that fixes all the issues and puts the life back into the sound that V521 gives I was intending to stay on that for ever.

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They didn’t say, have actually sent a reply to Arcam and asked them to clarify if/why v705 is regarded as a necessary/mandatory update - (maybe I misunderstood their answer to my question on how to roll back and maintain v521 where this was mentioned)

If you manage to identify a CEO please let me know. I wrote a letter to the MD only to find that he left three years ago.

Since my interest in SA30, been following the threads here before pulling the trigger. I have never seen a product released with so many bugs… and seems updates that fixes some issues upsets other working specs… not encouraging to stay positive for short term results.

Hi Gokce, welcome to the forum! At the time I was about to buy an amp, almost a year ago, I was also uncertain about what to buy. The reason I bought the SA30 was its stunning superb sound. The best advice I got at that time was: Go to a professional audio dealer, arrange some listening sessions and play the music you know best. Perception of audio is very personal and in this setting you are able to compare different brands and types of amplifiers. You decide what fits your liking. Don’t get stuck on specs. A Dutch audio reviewer always ends his review with the words ‘what ever you do, don’t forget to enjoy the music’ comes to my mind (and this is really true).

Please also note that this forum is a little biased. Most postings are problem minded, almost non posting describes the superb sound the SA30 is able to reproduce (which is a shame, I’m sure there are lots of people like me which enjoy the SA30). The positive side is all issues are triaged by Arcam and the product gets better and better.

This also depends on your point of reference in your comparison, e.g. what other product are you referring to and how do you quantify many? How do you know that other products contain less issues? (really no issues or are no issues described in public?) In order to get a more objective comparison you would have to repeat the same tests with the other product. I have no experience with other products, so I don’t know. Sure the SA30 contains issues, I think other products have issues too.

What other products are on your short list? Did you already have a listening session?

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The problem with higher end hi fi made by smaller manufacturers is that they don’t have the luxury of thousands of registered beta testers like the bigger companies. Microsoft or Apple have luxuries like that. The big Japanese companies probably do as well.

For that reason I don’t mind to a degree helping them solve problems that are not so obvious when firmware is released as long as i am listened to and the bugs Are genuinely investigated and solved.

I personally have seen some bugs resolved in the amp and in the Music life app.

I’ve always thought that Arcam themselves are as invested in their products as they’ve always been but I wonder if pressure from Harman might be forcing products to be released earlier than the engineers might like. The reason I say that is because some of the issues when the products are first released should definitely have been picked up in the testing stages pre release.

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I echo the thoughts of @paulguk.

I’m reasonably happy with the SA30 and it pretty much does all I ask of it. The one thing that really bugs me though, is the bloomin’ slow response from the remote, and that’s assuming it even does what I ask it to do. It is absolutely terrible, how hard can it be for a company such as Arcam to produce a functional remote?

(It’s not just me who is having problems with the remote I hope lol?)

I only have issues with the remote if I put the SA30 in standby. If I put it all off my remote function properly. But I struggle with the gap problem and I hope that it will come some updates soon resolving that. But over all I am very happy with the purchase of the SA30.

Hi jvs1, thanks for your response. I am not sure on your relation with Arcam but to my understanding you are volunteering to be a bridge between the brand and the users who are experiencing issues and sharing in this platform and I really appreciate the effort you put into.

However, your response seems a bit biased toward the brand. For days I am following issues from Dirac distortions to sound degradations with new update, remote control issues to sync issues via HDMİ, screen issues to volume behavior issues. Not to mention issues with web client and application issues and list goes on.

Other products from Naim and NAD also on my radar and I have personally used products from Marantz with similar networking features. Sure came across small bugs but never experienced such broad of issues effecting the basic features of a product. I demoed SA30 and CDS50 and remote was not even performing basic functions. Can you confirm me you experienced similar or worse scenarios from other well known brands ? Even if you had, personally, should that justify it to be acceptable. I also see there are many issues with AVR products as well and online reviews warn specifically to wait for issues to be resolved before buying. How does that help with the reputation of Arcam brand with Harman support ? Such all in one units might be sounding great, but software usability and reliability makes or breaks a product these days as they become more complicated with new features etc… And there is broad range of user profile purchasing this products and not everybody is capable of dealing with workarounds to issues as described here on some topics.

Product is nice sounding with competitive price. I will still follow the forum, and remain positive for next firmware update (hope will be released soon ) to resolve many issues. If not, life is too short to wait further… I’ll be moving over.


I agree, that Arcam should not release product in nearly beta state. Did you know, that they were demoing SA30 on different audio shows without working Dirac and other features? There was enough time for them to fix most of things before release, which was anyway delayed.
On the other hand I think some issues and device status in general is a bit exaggerated. For me it was perfectly usable as a daily driver since the moment I got it (June). Of course there are some minor issues and glitches, but nothing that would make me regret the purchase.
Have some minor issues with roon (mostly volume control scale, as I’m using “max volume” setting due to small kids at home), “too sensitive” HDMI ARC, auto standby not working (due to ARC), same issue with volume scaling on ARC.
Once i have experienced distortion using Roon+Dirac.
No issues with remote, and most importantly amp sounds really good.
So again - for me it’s perfectly usable as it is, but I’m using roon, not Musiclife app. I’m sure those minor issues will be sorted sooner or later.
Unfortunately in this class of devices, in this price range there’s not much choice.
SA30, NAD M10, Naim Atom, Moon Neo Ace, maybe Linn Majik DSM (now on sale due to new model).
Now all of them, except for NAD and SA30 miss good room correction (which is a real game-changer). Linn has one, but not really good, and not for all (depends if your speakers are in their database). And for me that was one of the requirements.
There will also be Lyngdorf TDAI-1120 which might be really good, but I think it’s still not available.
Out of those for me it was really a choice between SA30 and Lyngdorf. NAD is much more expensive, and doesn’t really sound better (maybe even worse). Only advantage over Arcam is display and form factor (which my wife didn’t actually like :slight_smile:), so wasn’t worth price difference. And it also has own issues, and like SA30 still is not roon certified (being on the market much longer…). And Lyngdorf was not available.
So I’m happy SA30 owner now, not regretting the purchase.
Issue with such small / niche manufacturers is, that they do not have enough resources and in some cases expertise (i think Arcam is outsourcing software development). Besides SA30 is built on a completely new platform, so in a way they started from scratch.
On the other hand big ones like Denon/Marantz have much more resources and expertise with software, but there’s also one more thing. They are building the same devices since long time, just changing minor details, or adding new features mostly in firmware. So “development” cycle is much shorter and easier.
I’m just glad I haven’t got new AVR. Those are actually real disaster, due to amount of different formats and speaker configurations they must support + fighting with Dirac bass control (which is also new to Dirac itself). But here NAD for example has exactly same issues. Only the ones that release new/old model each year are relatively bug-free. But they do not sound nearly as good :slight_smile:

@Felix - I see from your post you are a Roon user. As you know the SA30 is uncertified within Roon, and as such Roon have classed it as not “Roon Ready”, no matter what Arcam claim. Do you know that after tomorrow you run the risk of not being able to use the SA30 with Roon unless you have already requested Roon to allow you to become a “developer” - or unless Arcam produce a firmware update before tomorrow to enable the SA30 to become genuinely “Roon Ready”?

All the info you (or anybody else) needs is in this post from Roon Community

I also notice from your post that your remote seems to function properly. Mine is almost unusable at times, can I ask what version of firmware you are using?

Yes, I know about this issue with Roon and already applied for “developer” status. Haven’t got any reply yet.
In the worst case scenario SA30 can be used with Roon as Chromecast or Airplay device. It’s of course far from ideal, as there’s no hi-res and MQA support. But as a temporary workaround till device is certified it should do.
I’m actually wondering if Roon certification process is the real issue here. There’s quite some devices, that are not certified (like mentioned M10), and as far as I know, TDAI-1120 been delayed already 4 or so months, due to some certification process. And I think Roon certification is the only one it will have.
As for remote, I’m using 705 firmware now, and before was using 521. But I must admit I’m not heavy remote user. Mostly using apps and home automation. But even so, when using remote never had issues.

I rarely if ever use my SA30 with Roon. I have a Chord 2Go streamer for use with Roon, but that is also uncertified lol!! Nonetheless I have applied for “developer” status for both units. I haven’t had a reply either, and going by comments on Roon Community I don’t think anybody has yet. Perhaps Roon are waiting as long as they can to allow the manufacturers to supply the FW fixes meaning they wouldn’t have to give users “developer” status. From the comments some products that were uncertified have since become Roon Ready in the last week or so.

A poster over on AVForums has suggested that some remotes might be faulty so I have requested a replacement from Arcam.