SA30 build 867, version 1.41

Perhaps they should not have released this amp to dealers to sell. If I was a dealer there is no way I would put the SA30 on the showroom floor for sale. My dealer does not have it out. I asked them to order it for me. Maybe they knew something but wanted to accommodate me. They ordered it for me last March. They received it in August. So during that long wait I was praying the software was sorted as I had heard there were glitches. Now the months are marching on with the SA30 now the center piece of my system as I sold my Cat Ultimate tube preamp. It was a simple beast, but I never ever once heard distortion! Just tube noise. HA. So crap it seems I have gone all in with Arcam. Arcam, if you read this: when its right, it sounds wonderful! Don’t throw in the towel, but instead work overtime to sort out this complex animal. You can do it!


Where is the Max volume option: is it in Roon? I just looked for it and did not see it.


AFIAK 521 is the version that the amp shipped with, although TBF I don’t know if that is the case for the very latest devices. I was a pretty early adopter in the UK (early January 2020)

I went to 705 only to then get the streaming distortions, and the audio gaps on other inputs (CDS50). I might have lived with these but for the apparent change to the sound which seemed “thin”

Someone on the forum I think supplied me the old 521 as it disappeared off the Arcam site, but not sure if it is still there somewhere? Sorry I am having trouble with my PC at the mo (latest Windows 10 update issues) so can’t put my hand on it for you.

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interested to know what effect the filter has in the sound. I have to say I did try these before and obviously can read the official description, but I struggled to tie this together with changes in what I heard. Maybe that’s reason enough just to change? :man_shrugging:t2:

On the thing about the max volume, I don’t disagree it seems something rather simple to get wrong given how there are more complicated things that need work or have already been resolved. But it’s so simple I can appreciate it being overlooked in coding (just simply referring to the wrong variable relating to the max value in the code of the apps rather than the firmware of the amp, in fact it could be the amp was wrong and it’s been fixed and that’s exposed a workaround the app developers previously put in, not sure how closely together they are working!)…but it shouldn’t certainly be missed in testing.

By the way, did I dream that I read Arcam were ditching MusicLife and instead were to us use a third party to develop a brand new app from scratch?

Is there anyone that has the V521 on they’re computer that can assist me and maybe send it to me? That would be so nice.

@Ken ax volume option in amps sound settings.

@madfiddler filters have very little effect on sound, although there are slight differences. For example one of them (can’t remember which one) makes top end a little harsh, with very audible sibilants. Try the one in using. For me it sounds best i think, and have lowest delay, which might help with sync.
As for volume, it’s definitely firmware, as all sources with own volume control are affected, including ARC.
I think they made it overly complicated, as usually it’s the easiest part to make. Made couple of amps myself, using PGA2310 chip (same as 2311 used in Arcam, just using higher voltage), so i know a thing or two about it. Although to be fair none of my amps had net functions :wink:

Arcam has it, but you have to sign up for the 10.00 dollars ( 5 Pounds ) a month firmware update subscription . This subscription gives you access to all back firmware and future firmware with extras, such as wake to distortion, auto switching to AC/DC High way to hell at 2AM with appropriate subscriptions to Tidal, Spotify etc… ugh. I need more coffee. Its early here in Colorado. :slight_smile:

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OK, my PM volume is *30 , Max On volume is *30 , My Max Volume is *99 . Max Net volume is *99, TV audio is off. Should I make some changes? I think these were reset when I reset the system.


I hope they’re not binning MusicLife. I’m one of the few people that like it. I only use it to stream from my NAS and it works perfectly for that

@Ken no, do not change it. Just wanted to make sure why it’s working fine for you. If you change max volume (like i do, się to kids), volume control in any app gets messed up.

OK, big thanks. I understand now. I sort of remember when I first got the amp, I had to fiddle with that setting because it would max out on volume before it was loud enough . But on the second day I had it, it updated to 705 when I flipped it on, so I never really got a chance to play with it with the original firmware, and it reset the settings.


Hi all. Well I’m very happy with the latest update. I didn’t do a net reset. I switched the amp off/ then on again after a while and it fully updated itself and told me do. I’ve never seen that before. No audio drop outs from my CD player/ Cambridge transport connected with digital coaxial cable. And the lip sync issue has been fixed. I have changed my digital filter to Minimum phase slow roll off, and set lip sync to 50 ms. So far so good. Phew.
Ps I also stream Spotify but this has never been an issue

Starting to wonder if there is something wrong with net platform hardware.
Seems it’s kind of random if something work or not after upgrade.
Reading AVRs thread on AVForums, seems that in some cases it takes several upgrade attempts to get rid of the issues. Using same firmware.
Maybe we have similar issue with SA30?
For @And everything went smoothly. In my case after upgrade amp kept rebooting every 10 or so minutes, when left on. It stopped happening after full reset.

I did the system and net reset and changing DAC filter harldy makes a difference. Maby 4-5ms which is not realy an improvement.

Ok, sorry to hear that. Was expecting more to be honest, based on ESS graphs.
I have no more ideas for you, sorry.

I think I have discovered another glitch with 867. When I go to an analog input, the Dirac is not kicking in. I have tried switching from direct mode and back, then apply Dirac but as I switch between the filters I hear no change. And in the past when I changed filters there was a delay in the music for a second , then the filter kicked in. Now nothing. To get Dirac working I must switch to Roon, then select a Dirac filter, then switch back to an analog source and the Dirac filter will be implemented . Geez, 2 steps forward, one step back.


I have encountered another problem. I have my Arcam AVR390 connected to the SA30 and drive the fronts when I watch movies via the SA30. I now get distortion via PM, which I have never received before. The only way to get rid of it is to put that input directly on. This in itself is not a problem as the AVR390 handles the sound in the fronts when I watch movies, but still a bit boring as this has not been a problem before. I now have access to software 1.21, is it an idea to downgrade to this do you think? what problems did that software cause you?

I only got that delay when in the previous software version I went from no Dirac to a curve, but never when I switched between different curves. Do you hear any difference between the curves or is there no difference at all?

When in Roon, I hear the change between filters. Its easy to tell because I have the bass pumped up for rock drunk nights in one filter. :slight_smile: I somehow think its related to the switching from Roon or Net input to an analog input, which will be muted until I switch to direct mode and back. I need to fiddle with it some more and really dial in the problem. The good news is it seem to be working perfectly with Roon. And with Roon it sounds wonderful. But I did notice some distortion on a MQA track that was mastered very loud and compressed. But other than that, its been great. In my case, I think one more firmware update might get the rest sorted. It seems it all depends on how one is using the SA30.


It’s the same for me. If I go from Roon to Phono MM, Dirac does not turn on for me. Tested with an external RIAA in another input and then it worked. However, do not get the little silence between not having Dirac and having that on.