SA30 remote: some buttons not working, some of the time

Hi all,

I recently purchased an SA30 and have just got it set up. One of a now growing list of frustrations I have with the unit is the fact that the remote control does not seem to be working correctly.

Some buttons work just fine, for example:

  • Pressing the (red) power button to bring the amp out of standby
  • Volume buttons
  • Buttons to switch sources (PHONO, AUX, NET, etc.)

But other buttons don’t seem to work at all, or don’t work under certain circumstances, for example:

  • Pressing the (red) power button to put the amp into standby does nothing
  • The MENU button does nothing

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Have I just missed some step in the setup? Any help would be much appreciated.

N.B. the batteries in the remote are new – I’m using the ones supplied with the unit. I’ve experienced exactly the same issues with v273 (as the amp arrived) and v867 (after I updated it).

One final thing to add – putting the unit into standby using the iOS app does work, but trying to wake it using the iOS app does not. So right now, I have to wake the unit using the remote control and then put it back to sleep using the app – very inconvenient!

Many thanks,

Hi David, welcome to the forum!

Did you try the AMP button before pressing the menu button? Please press the AMP button on the remote first. After you pressed it the menu button should work.

Please enable the following setting on the SA30 front console and retry.

Menu > network settings > net stand by


Hey jvs1,

Thanks so much for such a quick response!

Did you try the AMP button before pressing the menu button? Please press the AMP button on the remote first. After you pressed it the menu button should work.

That’s done the trick – thank you! I had no idea I needed to press the AMP button first. Is there any way I can configure the remote so that I don’t need to remember to press the AMP button before MENU or power? I seem to need to press it after each time I change the input.

Please enable the following setting on the SA30 front console and retry.

Menu > network settings > net stand by

This has also worked - I can now turn the unit on and off using both the remote and the iOS app. Thank you so much for your help, much of this was not obvious to me!

Thanks again,


It’s not obvious to anyone. We have all had to figure it out. You were smart to ask, saved you some time! And thanks to JVS1 for this post and many others!


In the manual for the SA30 you can read this (but not easy to find)…

”The AMP Device Mode button configures the remote to control the SA30.”

Exactly, it’s in the manual.
“Issue” comes from the fact, that it’s universal remote. When you choose input, at the same time you’re changing remote mode, so that it can control device you have connected to that input (I.e. CD player).

You’re welcome. It is good to read your questions have been answered. I know exactly how you felt. In the beginning I had similar questions and the only person I could ask was my dealer (and he didn’t know the answer either), at that time there was no SA30 faq available on the internet. Nowadays this forum is able to help SA30 owners. It is really the best source for your amp :slight_smile:

I’m not aware of a way how to do this. I think Arcam designed it this way and you have to use the AMP button every time before you are going to use any of the other particular remote control buttons. According to the SA30 manual page E-17:


I must admit I experienced the same behaviour as you described. I did read the manual but I must have overlooked it. I think someone on this forum told me how to do it. On the other end the user manual is often regarded as the holy grail with instructions on how to operate a product. Ever wondered why a simple on-off light switch has no manual with the instruction how to operate it? Yes of cause this is a more advanced / complex product compared to a light switch. In my opinion usability engineering is a engineering aspect of product development which often doesn’t receive proper attention. Lack of usability engineering may result in products which are complex to operate and/or huge manuals how to do it.

Tl;dr you’re not alone, join the club :wink:

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I know it’s in the manual. But when my dealer installed and programmed the Dirac for my AVR 390, he stopped and said : now watch, this is important, if the remote is not working push the amp button first… I said: oh sure, like my wife is going to remember that… ugh. Thankfully we never need to use the Arcam remote for the theater as it is set up and we use the Samsung remote to control everything. So when I was first setting up the SA 30 I stumbled on the issue and remembered what my dealer had said and now it is just second nature to hit the amp button first. And I think it is a very archaic set up. For $3K throw in a second remote that just works the amp…I have no use for the universal aspect but I am sure others find it useful. No biggie. The distortion is the biggie…


@Ken I went through exactly the same thought process - as soon as @jvs1 explained the process to put the amp in standby, I immediately sat my partner down and showed her how to do it.

I can’t think of another time when I’ve needed to teach someone else how to turn off some home electronics. I definitely agree with @jvs1 's comments about usability engineering - some aspects of the interface are not the most intuitive, to say the least!

A second remote for operating just the amp would have been great, but I agree that there are bigger problems to address. I’m not noticing much in the way of distortion (yet!) but I am hearing frequent drop-outs of the audio. Rather than talking about that here, though, I’ll create a new topic.


Hmmm, do you know ANY Universal remote, that doesn’t need selecting the device you control? I don’t.
Arcam gave us universal remote, which I think is great. Thanks to this I don’t need bunch of other remotes. And you see it as a problem?
I get the feeling, that people are trying hard to find more flaws in this product now…
Universal remote is great, and it actually works like it should. It just needs some getting used to, as… any remote of this kind.
But you can always get a device with… no remote, like Lyngdorf or NAD.
About manuals, I think despite all the efforts of engineers, UI designers and other people, today devices are becoming so complicated, that reading manual should be a habit.
At least I have such habit, despite the fact I would be able to operate majority of devices without reading manual. But in many cases manual holds info, that is really helpful and it saves time. I’m even reading manuals for the cars…
I’m actually reading manuals of the devices I… plan to buy. This tells me more about the features, than marketing slogans in product brief, or even tests in press or YouTube.
Actually started doing that like 15 years ago, when we lost 2 or 3 hours with a friend, trying to switch on new server built on Intel mobo. In the end it turned out, that jumper that was supposed to be factory fitted, was not there. We lost that time only because we refused to read the manual at the beginning. Come on, we are IT pro’s, we will not read some manual, we know better… Well, we didn’t…

I have a Harmony One. I haven’t bothered to set it up for my hifi to be honest, but it is fairly easy to set up a “listen to music” activity that would turn on the amp and required sources in one go and would have all the necessary functions directed at one device or another without having the faff of selecting the device first.

To be honest though I hardly use the remotes for hifi at all. If I am playing physical media I have to get off my behind to do that in which case I’m stood in front of the amp and press the few buttons I need to and turn the volume knob then sit down :slight_smile: …for streaming, if I’m using an app then that too can remote control if I need to (MusicLife or separate Arcam control app, but note they kind of behave similarly to the physical remote in having to select first what you want to control)