Arcam power amp advice

gryffe

Active Member
There is a readme and release notes in the zip file of the software download - First readme states you must be on version 323 before upgrading to 521.

Upgrade procedure from the release notes:


To update via USB (recommended):
1. Requires V323_V1.06 or later to be installed on the SA30. If required update to V323_V1.06 via the Manual Update method detailed below.
2. The USB stick should be empty and freshly formatted.
3. Unzip the file “SA30 image.zip” and copy the “image.swu” file onto a memory stick (so it is the only file on the
stick).
4. Turn on the SA30 & wait until fully started.
5. Insert the stick into the USB socket on the rear of the SA30.
6. Navigate to the System Settings > USB Update menu option and select it on the front panel until the front display
shows NET UPDATING.
7. Wait around 10 minutes for the update to complete, do NOT power off during this time.
8. Once the update has finished as indicated by Update Complete on the front panel display perform a Factory Reset
using the System Settings > Net Reset and System Settings > System Reset menu options. *

Hi thanks Salonchi, yeah I had actually stumbled across the instructions which I somehow managed to miss the first time when I downloaded the zip, Doh!!
Upgraded to V323 and then V521, hit a snag after the upgrade to V521 when the remote ceased to work before I could do Net Reset and System Reset. Fluked it by doing this manually on the buttons at front of unit, and when these steps were completed the remote is working again. Jeez should it be this hard?
After all this the upgrade had wiped the Dirac, luckily the saved version was reloaded and got it all configured again within a minute or two. Unfortunately the song I played descended into a loud distorted hiss after several minutes which was what was happening pre amp upgrade, so it looks like some further tweaking on Dirac required yet. Not sure how I'm going to get that to work without any help, so hopefully some kind soul can assist, failing that it's back to Nintronics for some advice from their Dirac guru next time he is in!!
 

LampPost

Banned
Still can't get Firmware upgrade to work. I contacted Nintronics and the guy there said that in their shop they found that Arcam products were notorious for not performing upgrades successfully in the conventional fashion, and they normal used a usb stick to do upgrades. I foolishly never asked him how to do this, thinking how hard can it be lol.? Transferred the upgrade stuff to the USB, attached to USB slot in SA30 but no idea how I get the upgrade to start. The SA30 doc says for USB upgrades go to the Arcam website for details ,but effed if I can find anything there on how to perform firmware upgrades. If anybody knows how to do this would be grateful if they could pass it on, ta
As regards the Dirac issues, and the issues with the hissing after a few mins of playing a song, the guy couldn't help me as he isn't Dirac trained. Asked me to try another day when hopefully their Dirac trained guys are in the shop.

Nintronics!! Nobody with half a brain buys HiFii from those jokers. They sell you an SA30 and then say "Arcam are notorious for not performing upgrades successfully" so why did they recommend it!!! Oh dealer margin that's why!!! Put it back in the box and get a refund it is a piece of crap, Arcam died years ago...

I think a simple amp for a simple person is the way forward, just wondering can you count past 10?
 
Last edited:

DT79

Distinguished Member
Hi thanks Salonchi, yeah I had actually stumbled across the instructions which I somehow managed to miss the first time when I downloaded the zip, Doh!!
Upgraded to V323 and then V521, hit a snag after the upgrade to V521 when the remote ceased to work before I could do Net Reset and System Reset. Fluked it by doing this manually on the buttons at front of unit, and when these steps were completed the remote is working again. Jeez should it be this hard?
After all this the upgrade had wiped the Dirac, luckily the saved version was reloaded and got it all configured again within a minute or two. Unfortunately the song I played descended into a loud distorted hiss after several minutes which was what was happening pre amp upgrade, so it looks like some further tweaking on Dirac required yet. Not sure how I'm going to get that to work without any help, so hopefully some kind soul can assist, failing that it's back to Nintronics for some advice from their Dirac guru next time he is in!!
I hope you get it sorted. I’m not sure if the problem you describe is Dirac per se, or more some kind of software glitch in the amp. Either way your dealer should sort it. You’d be well within your rights to insist on a replacement unit this soon after buying it.

Unfortunately software is a necessity in an increasing number of devices and has to be created and maintained by manufacturers who traditionally never had to do so, with varying results. It doesn’t seem to be Arcam’s forte, but as the SA30 is a very new model, at least you can be assured that they will be providing firmware updates for the foreseeable future.
 

gryffe

Active Member
I've just checked Messageboard Etiquette for Morons website. It says beware of angry posters with who feel the need to emphasise their point with excessive use of exclamation marks. It says they are socially inadequate with underlying Daddy issues, whose girlfriend has just left them for their best friend.
Makes sense now.
 

gryffe

Active Member
I hope you get it sorted. I’m not sure if the problem you describe is Dirac per se, or more some kind of software glitch in the amp. Either way your dealer should sort it. You’d be well within your rights to insist on a replacement unit this soon after buying it.

Unfortunately software is a necessity in an increasing number of devices and has to be created and maintained by manufacturers who traditionally never had to do so, with varying results. It doesn’t seem to be Arcam’s forte, but as the SA30 is a very new model, at least you can be assured that they will be providing firmware updates for the foreseeable future.
Thanks DT79.

Yeah I'm sure I'll get to the bottom of it eventually.Luckily I bought the amp from Nintronics who have always been first class to deal with, even more so during the current climate where it cant be easy for hifi dealers so I'm confident they will help me resolve this to my satisfaction. I am one of those guys who love the sound of hifi more than the intricacies how it all hangs together, and now that software has been added to the equation it makes it a bit more challenging. But every day is a school day I guess. Speaking of which I'll need to get back to my arithmetic lessons :)
 

Douggie

Member
I've just checked Messageboard Etiquette for Morons website. It says beware of angry posters with who feel the need to emphasise their point with excessive use of exclamation marks. It says they are socially inadequate with underlying Daddy issues, whose girlfriend has just left them for their best friend.
Makes sense now.

I think he's wanting to be best buddies with you by going "brutally honest" (honesty is the best policy right?) Lol.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Nintronics!! Nobody with half a brain buys HiFii from those jokers. They sell you an SA30 and then say "Arcam are notorious for not performing upgrades successfully" so why did they recommend it!!! Oh dealer margin that's why!!! Put it back in the box and get a refund it is a piece of crap, Arcam died years ago...

I think a simple amp for a simple person is the way forward, just wondering can you count past 10?
I suggest that you rapidly change your posting style. Any further derogatory posts like this example will result in further action.

Thank you
 

gryffe

Active Member
After leaving the Dirac situation alone for a few days I decided to remove the Chord Go2 as my Roon endpoint and use the SA30 instead and see if this would solve my distortion problem. Re-recorded Dirac and it now seems to be performing properly, eg no distortion on some songs when Dirac setting applied on amp. Would say it certainly sounds different, but not convinced that it's mind blowing as some of the blurb tries to claim.

But...., and there is always a but lol

Now I can't get the bloody Dirac function to switch off if I fancy listening without Dirac.
The doc says "When Analogue Direct is enabled DIRAC room correction cannot be applied"
This is achieved by selecting the "Direct" function on the amp and enabling by switching to "On", and was working for me previously. Now when I select "Direct" it does allow me to switch to "On", however as soon as I start to play music the amp automatically kicks the Dirac setting back on!! I have emailed Arcam but no doubt they will take days to respond, so if anybody has any ideas about how to sort this I'd be grateful, thanks.
 

Salonchi

Active Member
I can’t imagine analogue direct will help because if you’re using sa30 as the end point then it will be receiving digital over RAAT and so already digital, so not possible to pass analogue directly, it will have to go through the dac. I expect analogue direct is only when the amp is receiving analogue from the lineout of a cd player or turntable etc.

When using the amp as an end point and playing music, can you press the dirac button to cycle through available curves, or choose none?
 

DT79

Distinguished Member
That’s right, I think the direct function only applies to analogue inputs. Does on my Arcam AV amp anyway.
 

gryffe

Active Member
Aah, makes sense now. The Analogue Direct function is indeed available when I use a turntable.
Thanks for the rapid response, and be interesting to see what Arcam say, if and when they reply.
 

gryffe

Active Member
I know I'm going against the grain, but I still think I prefer the sound without Dirac. It's sounds livelier without imo
It could well be because I'm not applying it properly and therefore not unleashing it's full potential. Or perhaps I'm just lucky and my listening position needs no real adjustment. Or maybe it's my ears, or my source or speakers. Loads of variables involved here.
It's good that Dirac exists, I'm sure many will benefit from it. Who knows, if ever I change my listening room or move house I might find I need it myself.
 

Salonchi

Active Member
My SA30 has arrived, quickly ran through the two firmware upgrades using usb. Roon found the AMP as Roon Ready with an uncertified asterix, but player without issue, so far.

I quickly ran a 5 point Dirac, but I had some clipping errors. Applied the filter anyway and it was terrible, weird glitches every 10 seconds or so. I'll have another go when I have more than 5 mins.

Dirac filters can be scrolled through just by pressing the Dirac button on the front. Total of three filters can be saved, and each can be applied independently to any of the inputs, including 'Net' which is the input assigned to Roon.

Most importantly it sounds amazing out of the box, and I've just spoken with Peter Tyson who I'm hoping my do me a very nice deal to move from front 606 to 705s2, which should round things off nicely.

I expect Dirac will work, either through me taking more care, or firmware update if it doesn't work. If it really doesn't work then it feels like it might be too much of an extra cost over an SA20 with external streaming device.
 

Douggie

Member
My SA30 has arrived, quickly ran through the two firmware upgrades using usb. Roon found the AMP as Roon Ready with an uncertified asterix, but player without issue, so far.

I quickly ran a 5 point Dirac, but I had some clipping errors. Applied the filter anyway and it was terrible, weird glitches every 10 seconds or so. I'll have another go when I have more than 5 mins.

Dirac filters can be scrolled through just by pressing the Dirac button on the front. Total of three filters can be saved, and each can be applied independently to any of the inputs, including 'Net' which is the input assigned to Roon.

Most importantly it sounds amazing out of the box, and I've just spoken with Peter Tyson who I'm hoping my do me a very nice deal to move from front 606 to 705s2, which should round things off nicely.

I expect Dirac will work, either through me taking more care, or firmware update if it doesn't work. If it really doesn't work then it feels like it might be too much of an extra cost over an SA20 with external streaming device.

Yeah, you are definitely paying a premium for the Dirac feature, but the Arcam amp sound by itself is nice and power is plenty in the SA30. I'm sure it will get better with more tweaking and further firmware updates. Take your time and enjoy the amp.
 

gryffe

Active Member
Well I got an email reply from Arcam regarding the Dirac function overriding Analogue Direct, from his synopsis not really any further forward really. Just as well you guys seemed to have sussed the problem as being the Chord Hugo 2 not being used at the moment.
Amongst the waffle he said "If you want to be 100% satisfied that no dirac processing is taking place, though, I would recommend selecting "no curve" before switching to analogue".
This what I am doing now anyway.

On a happier note I am taking our friend Lampost's advice regarding my Monitor Audio Bronze 6 speakers which he said were "crap" and I should "ditch"
Have a pair of Bowers and Wilkins 603 floorstanders on the way from Peter Tyson. They seem to be a reasonable jump up in quality from the Bronze 6's so looking forward to hearing them with the SA30.
 

madfiddler

Active Member
Slightly off topic I know but for what it’s worth I think with the last SA30 firmware update they seem to have ironed out a few issues with the update process. The previous updates ended up with max volume issues and switching on dark mode, which I suspect is why some might have thought the remote wasn’t working.

anyway, I just used the web interface to my amp to check for updates and apply 521. It did it perfectly, no glitches. So if you have a decent WiFi or wired connection I’d definitely recommend that route. Otherwise install Instructions are inside the update file you can download, not sure why they don’t publish them separately

the Arcam Control app now also supports the SA30 but it’s exactly the same as the control features embedded within MusicLife. Really hoping for MusicLife update next to support a Amazon Music HD and USB playback (only possible through the web client at present). Also would love to be able to rename inputs, e.g. Disable analogue CD input, use my CDP as transport only and rename SAT digital input to CD

i think if you don’t need the power but do want the streaming the CDS50 and SA20 are a really good combo, but i think the SA30 is the only one to be a roon endpoint. I suspect that for most people 120w at 8 ohms is more than sufficient even to feed some relatively insensitive speakers (my Spendor A2 at 85dB sound great), although of course you could still add the power amp (Arcam or other)..the Arcam PA240 is going to give you 2channels of 225w into 8 ohm!
 

gryffe

Active Member
Thanks for the info

Didn't have much luck though. The Arcam control app cannot find my SA30, been "searching for devices" for ages. And I had previously upgraded to 521 and the response from the remote is still sh*t!!
 

The latest video from AVForums

Maverick UK Premiere IMAX Review + Top Gun, Tom Cruise, Tony Scott and 4K + Movie/TV News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom