SA30 to arrive today. What setup should I do first? And how?

New SA30 incoming to replace Rotel A14mkii. Not positive this is the correct move, but most of my listening is streaming tidal via Roon, playing some cds via Rotel a11… wanted a) more network functionality, and b) more low volume presence, and c) a bit more full and musical presentation than the Rotel provides.

I am concerned about the software of course, and so asking if any of you have suggestions about what you have learned and what you wished you’d have done when you first got yours.

Thanks for any feedback. I’m hoping it sounds amazing with my m106s.

Welcome, jbird!

The Rotel is a fine amp, so in order to get the SA30’s full potential, the first thing I would advise you to do is set up Dirac Live. Make sure you download the mic’s calibration file from the Arcam website, do your measurements (IME the minimum nine will do just fine), and design your curves. The first one can be the one DL proposes based on your speakers’ in room response. The other two I’ve set up as loudness (Fletcher Munson) curves based on the first one. This will give you the low volume presence you’re after.

Then a simple tweak for the Arcam to turn on quickly is Menu > Network Settings > Net Standby > ON.

The Arcam with the Revels should make a great couple seeing they’re stablemates in the Harman Luxury Group. I hope you enjoy the pairing!

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My experience with Arcam is to try after market power cables(not crazy expensive, I made mine from canare and mogami Japanese cables.). First I did not like the sound with the stock cable. When I change it a revelation comes in my system

Good luck

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Hey eyebee,

Thanks for the tips. Working my way through Dirac setup now, lotta steps. Without Dirac sounds good, powerful, but lacks the clarity and spatial information (less width and depth of soundstage) that the Rotel provided with no room correction. Odd. Sound with the m106s is also quite warm for my taste. Low volume feels like there is a lot of potential there, but hasn’t coalesced yet. Easier to listen to than the Rotel though, less demanding. Will update once Dirac in place.

Thanks again!

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Hey PeterParker,

Very interesting. What was lacking with the original power cord? Curious if that’s having an impact on initial impressions.

Thanks!

Midrange was very laid back and so the highs, sometimes where very in the back of the music, hard to describe. I was thinking why people says this amp sound good but not for me. The first try was the speakers cables and was an improvements, then the power cable and crazy change!!!, I could not believe my old power cable was so bad… Everything in place after that, all my family told me same thing… good luck

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I would let it run stock out of the box for awhile before making any changes. I run my Roon with DSP disabled and let the Arcam SA30 do all of the work. It sounds vey good without any modifications. Connect with Music Life and listen to your music before making any changes. Don’t be in any hurry.

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Could it be you just reversed the ac phase, if you are living in europe with Schucko socket. Amp sound different if you reverse ac plug in socket, no magic though.

Agreed, This amp does not sound good at the beginning, this is my experience. You have to tune it to find your sound. What you describe …happens to me

Without Dirac sounds good, powerful, but lacks the clarity and spatial information

Good luck

Regards

I am still think Arcam could sound better from Stock if some compromises in the design are improved. In my opinion for the prince should be better. The amp of this model is almost identical to the arcam fmj a29. The addition in the SA 30 is the digital part and some more things of course. The SA 30 has more power and use a parralel transistors to fill the gap.

Check the tread…

Arcam SA30 with Lulon and Jamicon Capacitors
You have a very good set of speakers, will sound better with Dirac for sure and some tweaks.

Regards

Just another honest opinion that changing the power cable brings a positive change that can be heard. Of course cables and cables, but using a good one should do it. Speaking about Dirac, I prefer cut on 500 Hz, this is also where most correction is expected- that
Preservers the original
Speaker’s sound

Power is nice. Detail is good, better with power. But. Using both tidal and Apple Music, I’m getting crackling in some of the music. Specifically knocking on heavens door, Guns N’ Roses version, tidal or Apple Music. I have it with both Dirac and no Dirac. It’s uh, not great.