TIDAL and strange noise, ref#102

This is a known issue that Arcam knows about and is looking for a solution to. It seems that there may be an update of the software this week that can solve this and other problems.

Hi Pierre, thanks for your reply. In this case (not the hardware problem), I will not return it. It produces fantastic sound. And you really calm down me.

Hi Gotgelf, welcome to the forum! I cannot confirm the issue you’re facing because I do not use TIDAL. However I can ask Arcam if this is a known issue and what the status is. I’ll ask for an update at a later moment, I’ll keep you posted.

Hi @jvs1 , that would be awesome. I want to know should I return Arcam to the dealer in case if this is a particular problem with my device (hardware issue). Or this just problem with software which would be resolved with the next updates. Really appreciate your help. Thanks in advance!

I understand your concern. No problem, you’re welcome. I added your particular question if it it hardware related to the ticket. As soon as I have a response I’ll let you know.

I got a response. You’re advised to open a formal support ticket at arcam.support@harman.com and refer to your post here. It might have to do with a software bug in the MQA decoding, but this is a premature statement. Please send the email and keep us posted about the outcome. Thank you.

Should I just send an email to the arcam.support@harman.com and mention the link to the current page TIDAL and strange noise, ref#102 ?

@jvs1, done will keep you updated.

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Yes, something like that. I would send them an email and tell them you bought a new SA30 and found out an issue with MQA deconding, state your worries (is it hardware or software related) and finally refer to this conversation. That would be enough information.

I have exactly the same problem and have been in contact with Arcam’s support about this and received the answer that it is a software problem that they are working on and fix in a new software version that may come out this week. There are a large number of other people who have reported that error as well and received the answer that it is a software problem.

And I think it’s related only to MQA decoding, just make few tests:

  • Select on TIdal MQA playlist and not MQA
  • Starts to play tracks, and often switch between
  • The issue appears only on MQA tracks, when I hear it, I just switch to not MQA track - everything is ok

Sometimes the noise is horrible, like in the video which I posted, sometimes it’s level is very low and I can hear it only with high volume.

Very interesting.
I was listening to a song called Corcovado from Kenny G on Saturday evening and suddenly I heard a strange sound.
My source is QOBUZ and I though it is related to a pb with the source file or the streaming.
I was more thinking about a problem with my Pylon speakers which are only a couple of months old.
But by reading this tread I have the feeling it is more related to the SA30.
But why only with certain songs ???

Does someone know, can I install a previous software version where this issue was not present?
And how to disable auto-update via the internet after,

It does it with regular streaming as well. I stream FLAC files from my NAS and it will do it as well. It’s more prone at higher sample rates. In my case I have found I don’t need to re power the amp just select a different input then go back to NET and all will be ok.

Hi @jvs1, do you know approximately how much time Arcam team takes for the reply? And is there any possibility to connect with them via phone?

From my personal experience I can tell a reply from formal Arcam support will take about a week. I didn’t have any contact by phone yet. So I don’t know if this is possible.

How to block firmware update…

Thanks for the info, @bvm. But how can I get an old firmware on my device to test if the issue is present there?

I have spoken several time with ARCAM field engineers.
you can call +44 (0)1223 203200.
I must say that they are really nice on the phone.


So, first of all, @hoffmap7 thanks a lot. I was able to talk to their tech team, As you said, they are very nice and provide great support on the phone. They said that my issue is a software issue. They also mentioned that the new version will be available in a week or in 4 weeks. Also, they answered other questions that I have. I have a large experience with different companies support on the phone. I would say Arcam is really great in this. And from my point of view in spite of some issues with the software, Arcam SA 30 is a part of the art as hardware. Any comments from the members?