SA30 build 705 version 1.33

seems all of the firmware updates have been beta… I have to cycle my SA30 a few times a day to stop distortion. I sure hope that is sorted in the next update, beta or whatever. I wonder if they passed Roon Ready certification?

the link died. But I got it downloaded before something changed. But I can’t open the swu file. I just wanted to read the update text. I won’t load it until its “ready”.


I have been in regular contact with one of Arcam’s field engineers and he tells me the firmware for the ST60 streamer has many of the same features as the SA30 and that there should be an update soon that addresses joint issues with both devices. One of them being the distortion issue.

I also get the distortion issue occasionally when streaming. Initially I also was rebooting but I have found by chance that if you switch from the NET input to another input and then back again that also resolves it (until the next time of course).

I’m fine and dandy having “downgraded” to 521 still. The sound to me still seems richer/fuller

One interesting thing given the quirks of streaming and musiclife, I see that Tidal now has a Connect feature so their app connects to compatible devices like the MusicLife app does to the SA30 therefore acting as a controller.

I wish Arcam partnered in the way others have done (Cambridge Audio,blue sound, lyngdorf, NAD for example) then I could probably ditch the MusicLife app altogether and just use the web client for internet radio!

Have you heard any more about a firmware update to v 705? I am getting tired of the distortion problem. I have also noticed that when listening to analog sources, it does not switch between different Dirac filters. I have to go to Roon, and switch filters while streaming , then switch back to my turntable. I am starting to second guess buying this SA 30…


I am thinking the same as you, why did I buy this one :-/ I have contacted the support and the answer I got 3,5 weeks ago (November 20) was that it should come that week or the week after or when it is ready. And that is not an answer that is satisfying me at all.

“There is currently a beta that we are testing to see if it resolves the issues of which you speak. This will be released when the development team are satisfied that it does resolve at least the majority of issues being reported. This may be this week, or the week after, but ideally when it is ready and fit for release. Rushing updates out rarely improves the situation.”

But NO it hasn’t come. And they also told me that I should contact the dealer instead of connecting them because

“We primarily work as support for the dealer and so replies to end users will be slower as we need to be on available at any time to offer immediate support to our dealers (who are in turn supporting you, their customer).”

I am actually getting tired of this evading of the problem. I have also told them that I could be a beta tester if they don’t have enaiuge of them, but no answer to that yet. I am NOT a satisfied costumer.

I haven’t heard I’m afraid. I was hoping it would get rolled out before Christmas.

In my case it sometimes distorts streaming from my NAS. The only positive is that I have found I don’t have to reboot to get it back to normal. I just select another input then go back to the NET input.

To be fair, apart from this issue I am happy with the SA30 but I did comment to the Arcam field engineer I communicate with that the firmware issues across the Arcam range do no good to the brand reputation. He seemed to be in agreement and said their hands were tied by the pressure to get products released from above.

I think the Arcam engineers themselves in the UK are as dedicated and professional as they have always been but since being part of the Harman Kardon group they have less control on how things are done.

Got shot of my SA30 a few months ago, no regrets - the cons outweighed the pros for me I’m afraid. Had been an “Arcam man” for more years than I care to remember, but for the first time ever since starting to buy “serious” hifi I am now Arcam free. Doubt I’ll buy from them again in the future unless I read of serious improvements to their operations, and it saddens me to say that.
Hope you guys get some resolution to your problems soon.

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I really hoped that Arcam would solve these issues but in the end (after nine months of continuos problems for me) it was just too much - so I have now returned my SA30 to the dealer. I often found myself not listening to the music anymore but just listening for new bugs…distortion etc. which took away much of the joy I think…;( Maybe the new update will be a good one but I have left the Arcam-train for this time…

Potential SA30 buyer here, it ticks a lot of boxes, but can anyone recommend it with all these software issues?? I guess I’d be crazy to buy now when there’s an update which may or may not fix some pretty serious issues, I definitely want to stream MQA files. Two posts above are saying they returned or sold the sa30!

When you look at it’s capabilities and compare with what else is in the market I think it is good. I upgraded from an older Arcam amp and CD streamer and this meant I could get rid of the CD streamer.

I think it has a really good sound and for me i am mostly happy. In my case I use it to stream music from my NAS and I use the PVR (processor) mode in conjunction with my AV amp for the front channels when listing to surround. Occasionally I will play a CD on my Oppo and listen via a digital input. The only issue I have is occasionally when streaming music it will start distorting and I have to select another input then go back to the NET input to correct it. This is a firmware related issue and I know it will get resolved soon.

I know many people on here use the device in other ways and have picked up other issues and some are less tolerant which is fair enough.

Summing up, the SA30 ticks enough boxes to make me more than happy and I have confidence the issues will be resolved.

A post was split to a new topic: SA30 build 867, version 1.41

Hi Gryff and Floyd,

Sad to read the SA30 didn’t work out as expected. I can imaging at some point you’re done with it and return it. I hope you’re all happy with the replacement amplifier you bought (if any of cause). I’m very curious what amp you bought and if you’re happy with it.

Could you please elaborate a bit on:

  1. its sound (is it comparable to the SA30?)
  2. connectivity (e.g. ARC support, streaming flac files from nas)
  3. and probably most important aspect its quality (did you find any issues?).

Thank you.

Hi Nic, welcome to the forum!

The reason I bought the SA30 was primary its sound, next I was looking for an all-in-one-box-solution for streaming flac files and listening to TV. I do not use any other analogue or digital input. The sound has always been superb for me. I have to admit in the beginning there were lots of software issues, most of them are resolved now. I’m happy with it. It depends if it will work in your situation, if your use case equals mine then I think most issues are resolved now and it is safe to assume it will work in your situation without any hassle.

I think instead of feature tick boxes on paper the most important aspect of an amplifier is its sound, next the other desired features. The best advice I got during the time I was buying an amplifier was: go to a hifi dealer, listen and compare different devices. In this way you can hear and see the various offerings and compare them on multiple aspects, e.g. sound and (software) usability. It will cost some time but the advantage is it is your experience (instead of some marketing leaflet with fancy feature tickboxes).

I hope this helps in decision making and I’m curious about the decisions you make and the reason behind it. Good luck!

Everything depends on what one is looking for.
Assuming it’s all-in-one with ARC there are quite many devices available. But if room correction is a must (as is for me), there are only 3 devices in this price range:
Lyngdorf TDAI-1120

Tested NAD and I have SA30.
Arcam sounds better for me, but NAD has much better native app (BlueOS) and more stable firmware (although also not perfect as far as I know). Also NAD is quite much more expensive and doesn’t have remote in the box.
Tempted to try Lyngdorf one day, as it ticks all the boxes, and heard many good things about them. And supposedly Room Perfect is superior to Dirac Live for music. Although I’m pretty happy with DL :slight_smile:
If room correction is not a must, then choice is much wider. There’s very good NAIM Unity Atom, Linn Majik DSM (it has DSP, but it’s not real room correction, that would measure room response), Moon Neo Ace, Cyrus One Cast (ok, it’s much cheaper device, so in a way not direct competitor).
Chose SA30 due to sound, features, price (got very good price…) and WAF (my better half didn’t like M10 at all). Pretty happy, despite minor bugs, which are annoying, but not really deal breakers.

Thanks for the input.

So I decided to go ahead and buy a sa30, I got offered an ok discount off rrp and it arrives next week. *

  • My main use case is hi-fi and MQA streaming, some streaming from Soundcloud and Mixcloud so Chromecast is a plus there.
  • I own a fair bit of vinyl so the MC/MM input was also a selling point for me.
  • My mobile devices are IOS (iPhone and iPad).
  • I won’t be using the ARC feature at the moment as I have a Marantz AVR which I’m pretty happy with.

Another selling point for me was the extra power, I’m running some Revel stand-mount speakers which are rated 50 - 120w but like to run at the upper end of that.

I looked at all the other options in particular the Majik DSM, M10 and Neo Ace but all are lower powered and in the case of the Neo Ace at least a lot more expensive. Non-UK built equipment prices have been pushed up too, Naim Uniti Atom is now 400 pounds more expensive, for example.

Will be interesting to see how well Dirac works, I do have low ceilings so it could be quite useful if it works, I like that there’s the option to quickly bypass.

I’m also expecting a firmware update to fix the MQA issue in particular. Hoping the sound will make up for any software shortfall, if not I will be returning it, I’ll keep you updated on how I get on.

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Nic, welcome aboard on the Arcam train. I hope it will meet your expectations, if not then we sure want to know about it. Last but not least to mention the SA30 has a helpful nice user community with an Arcam hotline :wink:

This got my curious. Somewhere along the road I felt there was a decline in the sound of my SA30. When was the next update released? It would be interesting to see if it seems plausible that it coincided.

Let me add to that - if I would want to “downgrade”, do I simply use the 521 file like I would with a regular (new) update?

My comment is pretty old and about 705 not performing as well for me so I stuck with 521 at the time. The latest release is great. I really can’t see any reason to be using an older version

Sorry about that, I read “Dec '20” as being December 20 last year so thought it was current…