Question Arcam Alpha 8R (90s) or Marantz PM6006 UK Edition

sferg410

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When I was a teenager in the 90's I wanted an Arcam Alpha 8R amplifier so much, then who knows an 8P Power Amp also... Anyway, I couldn't afford such a great amp back then but now I could get one for about £150. Question is, how does this compare to the modern best amps for £300 or less... I refer to the Marantz PM6006 UK edition.
Would you buy the Arcam or the Marantz and why?

Also lets talk the matching CD player, Arcam 7SE or Marantz CD6006 UK Edition?
Thanks
 

insider9

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Funny enough in was talking about Arcam 8R with a friend yesterday. I did have one and I would not have the Marant. They are very different amps and not just because of one being vintage and one modern. It really does down to where you priorities lie. If you really want a modern amp you want have the Arcam whatever anyone says. I think 8R is the better of the two even if Marantz might dig out more detail being more modern. 8R is an exciting amp for Arcam. It will be down to your taste.

When it comes to CD players there's no comparison. It's Arcam all the way. Even if you like Marantz you should prefer the Arcam. Had one paired with Arcam 7. Amp went first. From memory, it's based on a vintage PCM chip and these were killer DACs. Even if this wasn't their top spec DAC.

One more advantage of going all Arcam in this case is that Arcam should match any speakers. Marantz simply won't. Demo if you can. If you go with Arcam make sure it's properly working. Particularly the mech on a CD player.
 

Kameron K

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Jan 10, 2020
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Do some homework on the Marantz amp as there seems to be odd issues with them losing channels etc.
Not sure if Marantz are sending out odd dud units but it’s something that I’ve noticed on doing some homework looking at various reviews on various retailer sites.
There seems to be too many reports of issues for me to to throw 300 notes towards buying one as have been looking at getting one myself.
My current amp is doing what it says on the tin still and so is the CD player so I’m not under pressure to buy yet and the CD player only gets fired up 5-6 times a year as normally vinyl that plays, as would have gone for the Marantz amp and CD player set you speak about also.
 

scene

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Sep 25, 2008
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See what my HiFi system is in my sig... It may not be the 8R - I preferred the A85 and I've had it since new. No plans to replace after 18 years :)
And I agree on Arcam CD players too.
 

chris_bates1974

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I had an Arcam CD player for well over 10 years - a CD72. It was a very good player, and not exactly cheap at £400 in 2001. I'd really recommend one if you're looking for a budget CD player.

When I bought it, I actually preferred the sound using a Cyrus 5 integrated instead of an Arcam amp - so I bought the Cyrus... Don't know if that helps?!?!
 

gasolin

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I really don't see any post about marantz losing channels.

In Denmark where i live there's 3 years warranty, you could get a cheap CD5003,5004,6003,6004, they all look the same as the PM6006 amp and then connect it to the dac in the amp to get the best sound or just use the analog output, there might not be that big a diffrence between CD5003 - CD5005 and CD 6003 - CD6005/6006 but you will save some money.
 

plastic penguin

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Can I just reign in the notion of Arcam Alphas? The range was very good in its day but there are better out there if you are on a tight budget. I still have the Alpha 7R which still works fine. However, the elephant in the room for all Alphas is they suffer from faulty selector switches, and given they are now over 20 years old I would look at newer models.

For the price of a new Marantz 6006 you can get a well sorted A85, Arcam FMJ A18, Roksan Kandy LIII... that said, I would certainly *** down to Richer Sounds and have a good demo. All Marantz gear isn't too far away tonally to earlier Arcam stuff.
 
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gasolin

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Can I just reign in the notion of Arcam Alphas? The range was very good in its day but there are better out there if you are on a tight budget. I still have the Alpha 7R which still works fine. However, the elephant in the room for all Alphas is they suffer from faulty selector switches, and given they are now over 20 years old I would look at newer models.

For the price of a new Marantz 6006 you can get a well sorted A85, Arcam FMJ A18, Roksan Kandy LIII... that said, I would certainly *** down to Richer Sounds and have a good demo. All Marantz gear isn't too far away tonally to earlier Arcam stuff.
Warranty and return policy is nice to have, in case you don't like the sound
 

plastic penguin

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Warranty and return policy is nice to have, in case you don't like the sound
Indeed. But in the case of RS you purchase the item with the proviso that it comes with a month returns policy.

IME I would be more concerned about buying old CDPs off auction sites, as transports, lasers can/will fail at some point, whereas amps have very few moving parts.
 

insider9

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Can I just reign in the notion of Arcam Alphas? The range was very good in its day but there are better out there if you are on a tight budget. I still have the Alpha 7R which still works fine. However, the elephant in the room for all Alphas is they suffer from faulty selector switches, and given they are now over 20 years old I would look at newer models.

For the price of a new Marantz 6006 you can get a well sorted A85, Arcam FMJ A18, Roksan Kandy LIII... that said, I would certainly *** down to Richer Sounds and have a good demo. All Marantz gear isn't too far away tonally to earlier Arcam stuff.
I'd definitely have Roksan Kandy LIII over anything mentioned in this thread.

I appreciate 20 year old amp can have its issues. Mine is 33 and is going strong.
 
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sferg410

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I'd definitely have Roksan Kandy LIII over anything mentioned in this thread.

I appreciate 20 year old amp can have its issues. Mine is 33 and is going strong.
I suppose the reason for considering the alpha is nostalgia, as they are what I always wanted back in my teenage days...
 

insider9

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I like the looks,power of a Pioneer A-91D, that it's a heavy and big but that doesn't mean i should buy one if i had the money

Lol, this would murder PM6006 in terms of performance. If you could get it at similar price. Likely Pioneer would cost more after 33 years 😂🤣🤣

And yes you definitely should even though I know you never would.
 

plastic penguin

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I'd definitely have Roksan Kandy LIII over anything mentioned in this thread.

I appreciate 20 year old amp can have its issues. Mine is 33 and is going strong.
I think your amp might be the exception rather than the rule. I guess you've had it from nearly new. However, a lot of these old amps have had several owners -- you never know how they've been looked after. I'm not the sort to throw caution to the wind.

My Alpha 7R I've had from new (Richer Sounds in 1997), and still works perfectly. Because of the Leema Pulse it's collecting dust in the attic.
 

sferg410

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I think going for an 8R and an 8P and then bi-amping the speakers with them them would be pretty cool.

By the way what are people opinions on paying more than a few ££££ per metre for speaker cable and inter-connects. I often hear that expensive cables really make very little difference.

I am not an audiophile and music source is currently laptop with CDs ripped to FLAC. I would like to get an Alpha 7SE CD player play the real CDs though. Speakers are Audio Acoustics floor standers but cant remember what model of the top of my head.
 

scene

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Sep 25, 2008
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Can I just reign in the notion of Arcam Alphas? The range was very good in its day but there are better out there if you are on a tight budget. I still have the Alpha 7R which still works fine. However, the elephant in the room for all Alphas is they suffer from faulty selector switches, and given they are now over 20 years old I would look at newer models.

For the price of a new Marantz 6006 you can get a well sorted A85, Arcam FMJ A18, Roksan Kandy LIII... that said, I would certainly *** down to Richer Sounds and have a good demo. All Marantz gear isn't too far away tonally to earlier Arcam stuff.
Or you can have an A85 carefully looked after since new by its original and only owner... As I said earlier :)
 

gasolin

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Pioneer A-91D

BJC Ten White (5T00UP) (White jacket, 10 AWG) is a very good cable, it's not 2x 10 awg it's total 10 awg, i there bought by mistake the 12 awg version since i thought its was 2x 12 awg like QED XT40 and had no banana plugs for 2x10 awg (2x4 mm²) thick speaker cable
 

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