Arcam A90 to replace my Alpha 9?

Pascal

Active member
Dec 21, 2021
16
1
25
Hello all,

Just a question, if I may. My Arcam Alpha 9 amp is having its usual selector switch issue. It is still in working condition if I do not change sources too often and I position the selector just so as to avoid cracking and speaker switch-off.
It is paired with an Arcam Alpha 9P power amp.
I have seen an Arcam A90 on ebay. Would it be ok to pair the A90 with the Alpha 9P for bi-amping?

Cheers,

Pascal DANIELS
 

Pascal

Active member
Dec 21, 2021
16
1
25
Yes, it has. Which techspecs should I be looking at, specifically. The Alpha 9 has 70W output, whereas the A90 has 90W.
 

Pascal

Active member
Dec 21, 2021
16
1
25
The Alpha 9? No one in Belgium feels up to it. I have contacted a number of people who politely declined. The only person able to do it is an ex-BBC chap in a company called ARC. But he does not deal with Continental Europe customers.
 

12th Monkey

Moderator
Yes, it has. Which techspecs should I be looking at, specifically. The Alpha 9 has 70W output, whereas the A90 has 90W.
My understanding is that power gives the amp the capacity to control the speakers' drivers better, and that gain is what determines how much 'louder' a given amp makes a given input signal - so the latter is important. Gain needs to be the same in both parts of a bi-amped setup, or when you increase the volume, the different drivers in the speaker will get differing increases - that will sound awful. FWIW, I think most manufacturers tend to stick with one level of gain for this reason - but you should find out.

The difference in power won't stop them being compatible.
 

Pascal

Active member
Dec 21, 2021
16
1
25
Grand! I really like the sound of the Alpha 9 amps. Pity I cannot get the integrated amp repaired in Belgium. And Brexit caused the UK engineers to stop dealings with continental Europe customers. I am just stating a fact and do not want to start a discussion on the pro and cons of Brexit, or who is to blame what what happens.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Like what? I have never done this before?
Why do you feel the need for two boxes? Modern integrated amps are of very high quality. Something in the region of the FMJ A39..
Having owned Arcams from the Alpha & DIVA ranges, adding a power amp gives very little improvement over a standalone integrated. Something like a more up to date Arcam, Creek Evo 50, Roksan Kandy K2 or even a Leema... these can all be purchased for not much more than a A90
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
The gains might have been with twin power amps. The only slight improvement I heard with Arcam integrated/power amp was a little more detail & solidity in the midrange.

More benefits are gained from a much better integrated
 

Gray

Well-known member
Pity I cannot get the integrated amp repaired in Belgium.
I guarantee you will easily be able to 'repair' it yourself Pascal.
Buy yourself a can of Servisol Super 10 switch cleaning spray.
With the mains power removed, open up the amp and spray inside the metal body of the selector switch. Then move it fully through the selections a couple of times - which will wipe the contacts clean. While you're in there, spray inside all other rotary controls and the rec switch.
Your fault symptom will be a thing of the past.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Overall I'd agree, but separating pre- and power- did add something. Up to the OP to consider.
Too true. I only mentioned it because a number of people like to cut down on the box count.
Naim have always been great at selling their pre/power over integrated. When I heard their entry-level pre/power, there was no sonic benefits over the original XS integrated.
 

12th Monkey

Moderator
To me separating pre and power by employing one half of an integrated amp seems economic nonsense, no offence meant....
Can't argue with that - I did it because I already had the integrated - it probably would have made more economic sense to use that as a power and add a dedicated pre- but it would have looked 'wrong' to me!
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
When I first thought of upgrading the Arcam A65 Plus, initially looked at a P80 or P85. When I heard the combo, other than the power amp giving a little extra oomph, little more interesting midrange, the sound didn't justify the cost.
 
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Gray

Well-known member
it's amazing what a good shot of Servisol can revive.
Never fails. Cheap, easy and highly satisfying.
One of the little Chinese class D amps I bought had quite a bad crackle from new, presumably due to residue from manufacturing.
Gave it a Servisol blast....so often squirters claim "good as new", but in this case it was actually better than new (they sent a replacement, so I ended up with 2 amps for unplanned bi-amping).
 
Last edited:
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Never fails. Cheap, easy and highly satisfying.
One of the little Chinese class D amps I bought had quite a bad crackle from new, presumably due to residue from manufacturing.
Gave it a Servisol blast....so often squirters claim "good as new", but in this case it was actually better than new (they sent a replacement, so I ended up with 2 amps for unplanned bi-amping).
certainly cheaper than sending it off to a repair man who is probably going to do exactly the same thing initially....
 
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Edbostan

Well-known member
Aug 5, 2021
210
101
970
Grand! I really like the sound of the Alpha 9 amps. Pity I cannot get the integrated amp repaired in Belgium. And Brexit caused the UK engineers to stop dealings with continental Europe customers. I am just stating a fact and do not want to start a discussion on the pro and cons of Brexit, or who is to blame what what happens.
Usually needs a spray of switch cleaner to stop the crackling. My original Cyrus One had the same problem a few years ago with the selector switch. I took of the casing and sprayed through the selector switch casing and turned the switch a few times. It has been OK for years now.
 

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