Arcam SA30 Roon Ready flagship amp

Finally this seems to be released, one review in from What Hifi which is very favourable but says the Naim Atom beats it on musicality. Not really a fan of WH reviews but its a good start. Going to look at auditioning it to see how it compares to my Atom, as it has more analogue inputs which I want and I’m interested in Dirac and finding my Atom a bit fatiguing these days and I do like Arcams more laid back sound.

@john has this amp been certified yet as they are advertising Roon Ready.

Hello @CrystalGipsy,

Thanks for the heads up. The SA-30 is currently in-house for certification testing, but this process is not yet complete.

-John

Ok fingers crossed it passes soon.

A while back I had an extensive demo at my local dealer and compared the Atom against an Arcam A29 (used PMC and Dynaudio speakers). I kind of agree regarding ‘musicality’. Not sure why or how but the Atom sounded more lively, dynamic, punchy. I ended up owning the Nova for a year actually. Having said that, I almost never have my speakers in ideal placement. I used to seek that ideal placement with stands, distance from back walls etc but these days I prefer a more discreet looking hifi. The cost with that is boomy bass (usually due to placing speakers close to wall) and sometimes harsh midrange due to reflections. This is why I am now valuing highly DSP / EQ. The Nova had a lovely sound but the bass was boomy in my space (due to bad speaker placement). I could fix it using Roon’s DSP (-4db in 70Hz and below) but nothing available for Spotify or TV sound.
Long story short, the Arcam may be a little less ‘musical’ perhaps but Dirac will make it easier to live with. From what I read, different Dirac sound profiles will be assignable to inputs. This will be fantastic as I usually find that TV sound needs a different EQ profile to that for Music. Assuming it all works well (i.e. no bugs / glitches etc) I may need to save for the Arcam :slight_smile:

This is exactly my predicament. My room limits speaker placement and I have being using Roons DSP and filters supplied from HAF to compensate. It really works but then.as you say other sources not so great, as a result my vinyl rig that I did love no sits relatively unused. I have a lot of records that are not available digitally. I could I guess rip them but it looses the ritual of playing vinyl.

I have had an Arcam AV amp for years and this was my main amp for music as well before getting the Atom, the main reason I got it as I wanted an all in one solution for stereo that could still work with my 5.1 system. So Atom powers the front two only. So I know the Arcam sound and it is more laid back presentation, Naim is a bit forward but does get you tapping you foot more. Decisions to be made as I like the idea of more inputs and DSP for all of them.

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Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)
QNAP TS 473
Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)
Using Ethernet connection

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)
Arcam SA30 integrated amp which has Dirac as an inbuilt feature.

Question for support.

I find that when playing songs through Roon using Dirac function on the SA30 that some songs get distorted. This only happens with Roon, can play back fine with Audirvana. Is this because the SA30 is still “uncertified”? Do you have a date for the SA30 being “certified”, and do you envisage the distortion being eradicated when “certified”?

Thanks

Another fault I have noted with the SA30 is that the USB function does not work. Have connected a couple of USB devices but cannot select the USB function as it does not even appear in the menu. Anybody else experiencing this?

Here is some more info on current USB support on SA30. HTH

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Hi,

Appreciate the response, thank you

I had already found this post on the AV Forum which showed me how to navigate to web client and use USB function. See post 185 for details

Thanks again

I do not know to what fault your are referring to. If still applicable then please describe the steps you executed, the actual result and the expected result.

Hi @J_V,

As I said in my last post I have overcome the problem with the workaround of using the Web Client to be able to use the USB function. Previously the USB function could not be accessed from front panel or remote.

Ok. It wasn’t clear to me it, problem solved is always nice :wink:

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Hi support guys,

Anybody going to reply to my post #22 in this thread?

Thanks

Please try latest beta SA30 firmware v592 first.

There is no mention of Dirac problem mentioned in that upgrade. Why would it fix the issue I have?

Because they may have updated the Roon side of things .Until it’s fully Roon certified they will be updating it to fix issues they are finding.

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ok thanks, will try later on

There might be a lot of changes we don’t know about. The changes listed are confirmed fixes reported on that site, the list isn’t a release note.

Ok have upgraded firmware. Will report back later when I can confirm or otherwise that distortion has gone

Next issue I have is with Amazon Music

Has anybody managed to stream Amazon Music on the SA30?

Using the web client I can navigate to a screen which has a login for Amazon but it will not allow me to enter username and password.