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NEWS: Arcam launches SA30 integrated amp

madfiddler

Active Member
Ok. For starters this is probably the most “high end” my setup has been so bear that in mind.

for years I’ve had a technIcs class A integrated amp from the early 90s. Later I went down the AV route with a CA 540R, but then linked it with the technics amp to drive the L/R channels and for stereo listening. Speakers were, well....been lacking there somewhat with Gale 30 series, nothing special, and the two front floorstanders definitely needed the sub to supplement.

in the end I used the AV setup less and less, concentrating on the two channel music (or rather 2.1) so the CA 540R was really acting as my DAC. I’ve also had a CA 540p phono preamp for my Project turntable and an Apple Airport Express, plus Technice CDP but only as a transport. My technics amp though finally gave up, had it repaired for the same fault a couple of times and it happened again, so figured I’d had my monies worth and it was time to treat myself!

so i upgraded speakers first to Spendor A2, then been going back and forth over different integrated amps with digital and streaming options for a while and Arcam is where I ended up. Yes I know specifically the SA30 was a bit of a gamble given it’s so new and I wasn’t able to demo...

first of all the Spendors...even using them with the CA 540R was a significant upgrade from where I was at. Surprising how deep they go and the clarity a sound separation between voices and instruments.

the SA30 though, wow....first of all it’s a much more weighty sound, but then the tones...well I’m a musician and not an audiophile as such, but now I feel I’m properly hearing things as they should be. I first stuck on a D.I.D. All Our Favourite Stories on CD followed by The Black Keys Turn Blue album on vinyl. The most evident things are I feel I’m now not just hearing bass, I’m hearing the bass..if that makes sense...the tone of the instruments.

next up was a CD of Ralph Vaughn Williams, The Lark Ascending (Hugh Bean/New Philarmonia). This is my favourite piece of music of all time. It makes my heart soar. So I was actually nervous to listen to it. I’m not even sure what to say, other than it gave me an emotional response I wasn’t quite expecting!

anyway, sorry for the long post. It’s early days still, yes I haven't owned other gear to make comprehensive comparison (Rega elicit-r, NAD c388 or M10, Audiolab 8300a, Yamaha as-1100+, Cyrus, naim, MF etc etc.) and I’ve got the streaming to sort out, but think it fair to say, I like this amp :)

oh...and ARC seems to work fine from my LG E7 TV
 
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madfiddler

Active Member
So unsure whether to post the question here, but can anyone explain to me how I get this amp to stream itself From an internet service please?

So far I’ve only managed to cast using AirPlay 2 (setting up as new airplay speaker) and ChromeCast (via adding the amp to Google Home). i thought it might stream from Spotify but it only seems to display “casting” from my iPad.

ive used the musicLife app to get to my iTunes library and selecting the amp as a UPNP device it shows as Streaming rather than casting, but the “airable” option where services can be added in the musicLife app says the amp isn’t compatible.

so if I get the tidal app I assume the only thing it will do is “cast” rather than amp stream, so will that restrict the format?

the Arcam Control app doesn’t seem to be compatible with the SA30 either.
 

Sky watsher

Standard Member
So unsure whether to post the question here, but can anyone explain to me how I get this amp to stream itself From an internet service please?

So far I’ve only managed to cast using AirPlay 2 (setting up as new airplay speaker) and ChromeCast (via adding the amp to Google Home). i thought it might stream from Spotify but it only seems to display “casting” from my iPad.

ive used the musicLife app to get to my iTunes library and selecting the amp as a UPNP device it shows as Streaming rather than casting, but the “airable” option where services can be added in the musicLife app says the amp isn’t compatible.

so if I get the tidal app I assume the only thing it will do is “cast” rather than amp stream, so will that restrict the format?

the Arcam Control app doesn’t seem to be compatible with the SA30 either.
There should be A companion app probably for streaming, but the cast/airplay is the standard for casting.

Tye SA30 is a Roon endpoint if you are familiar with it, that would be the easiest way for driving it (Roon is a paid software). It also does MQA if you are into it
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Looks like it has no Airable support or inbuilt streaming services such as Spotify. So your only options are as you've found, DLNA from a local server or Airplay/Chromcast.
 

madfiddler

Active Member
Looks like it has no Airable support or inbuilt streaming services such as Spotify. So your only options are as you've found, DLNA from a local server or Airplay/Chromcast.
Well by all accounts it supposed to have. I wonder if there is an update due to the MusicLife app. I’ll contact their support and see what they have to say. Or possibly I’ll give the dealer a call, they were keen to help and play the middle man, I guess to learn about the amp themselves.
 

madfiddler

Active Member
Well maybe i misunderstand then. You‘re supposed to be able to use MusicLife with it. I suppose then MQA is from NAS only Or the Roon option. then the manual doesn’t really say anything about Roon either. The dealer did however explain to me about setting up Tidal in Music Life app, perhaps he got that wrong.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
You can use MusicLife but only with UPnP/DLNA, my SR250 is the same.

Sounds like your dealer was mistaken. You would need to add the CDS50 to get Airable, or another streamer with inbuilt streaming service support. At least I think the CDS50 uses Airable. Some Arcam products use PlayFi so it all gets a bit confusing!
 
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Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Says it has Googlecast and Airplay which means most music apps on Apple or Android devices should see it from within the apps like Tidal, Spotify etc just start playing on the phone and click to output it to another device surely?!?
 

madfiddler

Active Member
You can use MusicLife but only with UPnP/DLNA, my SR250 is the same.

Sounds like your dealer was mistaken. You would need to add the CDS50 to get Airable, or another streamer with inbuilt streaming service support. At least I think the CDS50 uses Airable. Some Arcam products use PlayFi so it all gets a bit confusing!
yup! Definitely confused by the dealer! To be honest now I think about it makes a lot more sense now alongside the capability that the CDS50 player has

it’s a good job I wasn’t buying it for MQA streaming really....still the CD quality capability of airplay is a convenient thing to have on hand, that’s why I had an airport express previously. Not used for serious listening, but there to just throw something on as I was doing other stuff around the house.

Music Life app says....
F199B486-CB6C-4CE4-B35A-EE691ECC0BC2.jpeg


interesting though the Arcam Control app works with SA10 and SA20 but not the SA30 for some reason. Not that it’s really needed I suppose....
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
You should be able to control the amp from MusicLife. Next to the transport buttons is a cross made up of five dots, I think it’s meant to represent a cursor pad. Tap that & the screen will change to control mode, prompting you to select a device. Tap on you amp & the controls will appear.
 
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madfiddler

Active Member
You should be able to control the amp from MusicLife. Next to the transport buttons is a cross made up of five dots, I think it’s meant to represent a cursor pad. Tap that & the screen will change to control mode, prompting you to select a device. Tap on you amp & the controls will appear.
thanks. I just get this though and it never shows a device...

D7A18F21-B14E-4318-B75F-8121036F2055.jpeg
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
If it's not on already, try enabling Net Standby (p.20 in the manual). If still no joy ping an email to Arcam.
 

madfiddler

Active Member
Nope that didn’t seem to make a difference.

think I need to contact Arcam support anyway, because I can’t seem to be able to register the amp on their site, plus I can’t get the any memory sticks to work in the USB socket. On plus side though, things working well with Asset uPnP on my PC, just need to get some MQA/hires fiels to test with

by the way, did anyone notice a spurious micro usb socket on my pic above? justvto the right of the RS232? No idea what it’s for, not shown in the manual anywhere. Anyone have any idea?
 

madfiddler

Active Member
For anyone who is still following and interested (I promise I will be quiet and just enjoy the music soon!) I tested a bunch of different formats streamed from Asset UPnP server, which I grabbed some Mozart from 2L High Resolution Music .:. free TEST BENCH

the Arcam played all of them 😁

was a bit glitchy on the DSD256 file but that’s to be expected I suppose given the size and I’ve not hardwired it, just using WiFi. I need to give them each some critical listening to see where I can discern a difference between the diffferent resolutions.
 

drummerman

Active Member
For anyone who is still following and interested (I promise I will be quiet and just enjoy the music soon!) I tested a bunch of different formats streamed from Asset UPnP server, which I grabbed some Mozart from 2L High Resolution Music .:. free TEST BENCH

the Arcam played all of them 😁

was a bit glitchy on the DSD256 file but that’s to be expected I suppose given the size and I’ve not hardwired it, just using WiFi. I need to give them each some critical listening to see where I can discern a difference between the diffferent resolutions.
That's usually where madness starts and enjoying music ends ... 🙃
 

madfiddler

Active Member
Thanks can report I have Music Life up and running with Tidal and also tried internet radio although that got stuck....

clearly the app is less clunky than the web client that Arcam support team had directed me to use, but seems like the app has a way to go to complete access to all SA30 features.

Music Life seems to be missing Amazon Music and USB playback support at the moment but you can do that in the web client, as well as switch the Dirac on and off (select different curves) which may or may not be useful!

Music Life seems to get a bit confused when I tried to control the amp remotely and it seemed to interrupt the internet radio stream. The remote control form the amp could have been coincidence, not sure at the mo. I had to restart the amp, then play a different station via the web client to get it unstuck in the app.

also seems like the favourites stored from the web client are not recalled by the app, so I guess are stored in browser cookie settings and not transferable. Not a big deal.

cheers
MF
 

madfiddler

Active Member
Yes, just looks like flakey support for internet radio in Music Life. It will not always play and sometimes report its searching for alternate stream or doesn’t have internet access. Works fine still in web client.
 

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