Question Arcam SA30 irregular static noise, sound going on and off - bad capacitors?

nonolet

Well-known member
May 3, 2021
3
2
1,525
Hello everyone.

I have been using Arcam's SA30 with great pleasure ever since.

The sound is very detailed, open and airy, also rythmical and speedy.
At the same time it does not lose musical texture and warmth(not that it's sound is warm and heavy).

Coupled with so many features(DIRAC Live, Tidal connect, HDMI ARC, DLNA... you name it), I have really enjoyed it connected to a TV in the living room.

However, after a couple of months I began to notice subtle static noise from the left channel(and later very rarely from the right channel too).
And then it became more frequent, even randomly left channel went off and on..
It was during the last spring.
I have changed left and right speakers, tried different cable, differenct source, tried earth... but no use.

But then, during summer, the noise was somehow magically gone!
That's when I wondered it is from the main power line, as I am living in an old building(I am a Korean living in Korea).
So the summer has passed peacefully(at least for hifi-wise).

And it is back again.
The noise was back again in September.
This time I tried SA30's pre-out and connected another power amp to it.
Then it works perfect.

So... Here is my theory.
One of those 4 large capacitors has gone bad, so DC current from the main power line is causing the noise.
During cold seasons, DC current goes up so during summer, no problem.


If there are some people with knowledge, please hand me some hints...
(I had an engineer looked into it before, but he found no poblem, the noise did not appear in his workshop,
but he said some of the capacitors are very slightly swollen. - and He told me that fancy all-in-one amplifiers like NAD M10, M33, and SA30 tend to have very many reliability issues these days)
(I also contacted Arcam service in Korea, but they told me it would cost a lot of money as they will just order a whole board from ARCAM UK )
 
Hello everyone.

I have been using Arcam's SA30 with great pleasure ever since.

The sound is very detailed, open and airy, also rythmical and speedy.
At the same time it does not lose musical texture and warmth(not that it's sound is warm and heavy).

Coupled with so many features(DIRAC Live, Tidal connect, HDMI ARC, DLNA... you name it), I have really enjoyed it connected to a TV in the living room.

However, after a couple of months I began to notice subtle static noise from the left channel(and later very rarely from the right channel too).
And then it became more frequent, even randomly left channel went off and on..
It was during the last spring.
I have changed left and right speakers, tried different cable, differenct source, tried earth... but no use.

But then, during summer, the noise was somehow magically gone!
That's when I wondered it is from the main power line, as I am living in an old building(I am a Korean living in Korea).
So the summer has passed peacefully(at least for hifi-wise).

And it is back again.
The noise was back again in September.
This time I tried SA30's pre-out and connected another power amp to it.
Then it works perfect.

So... Here is my theory.
One of those 4 large capacitors has gone bad, so DC current from the main power line is causing the noise.
During cold seasons, DC current goes up so during summer, no problem.


If there are some people with knowledge, please hand me some hints...
(I had an engineer looked into it before, but he found no poblem, the noise did not appear in his workshop,
but he said some of the capacitors are very slightly swollen. - and He told me that fancy all-in-one amplifiers like NAD M10, M33, and SA30 tend to have very many reliability issues these days)
(I also contacted Arcam service in Korea, but they told me it would cost a lot of money as they will just order a whole board from ARCAM UK )
Did you buy the Arcam from a dealer or private? If it's the former get them to look into it.
 

Gray

Well-known member
...and if you did buy it from a retailer, the crucial questions are; how long was your guarantee and how long have you owned it.

You noticed the problem early enough - but the above determines whether it will cost you.
 
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nonolet

Well-known member
May 3, 2021
3
2
1,525
Did you buy the Arcam from a dealer or private? If it's the former get them to look into it.

Private.
...and if you did buy it from a retailer, the crucial questions are; how long was your guarantee and how long have you owned it.

You noticed the problem early enough - but the above determines whether it will cost you.

I bought it second hand, and the warranty was over when I contacted Arcam service provider in Korea...
 
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nonolet

Well-known member
May 3, 2021
3
2
1,525
And when did the SA30 come out??
That said I guess any modern amp could be built with a bad set of capacitors....

About 4-5 years.
Mine, I believe the previous owner had it for a couple of years, then I bought it last year.

If it's still under warranty, speak to Arcam. They are obliged to rectify any fault

Unfortuantely in Korea, the warranty only goes to the original customer and lasts only for one year.
 
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Covenanter

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2012
82
27
18,570
It's impossible from a distance to know what this might be. However, any competent electronic engineer can change capacitors in a few minutes. Electrolytic capacitors do have a finite life but they are "off the shelf" components so why not just get them changed.
 
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