Arcam Alpha 9 CD replacement


New member
Aug 10, 2019
My hi-fi system comprises of a 30+ year old Quad 303 amplifier and homemade Hi-Fi Answers transmission line speakers ( Chris Roger's design using KEF tweeter, mid-range and bass speakers) plus an 11 year old Arcam Alpha 9 CD player. My CD collection is primarily of classical music.

The Arcam CD drive recently gave up the ghost and no spares are available to repair it.

Looking at this year's award winning CD players it seems the Marantz 6004CD (£300) and Audiolab 8200CD (£730) are replacement contenders. However, I feel that the Marantz may not be as good as the Arcam and with the Audiolab I would be paying for the DAC I wouldn't be using.

I would like to have the views of other forum members on the suitability of the above CD players and who might suggest other contenders in the £300 - £750 price range.
Hi mikebclarke

The 8200CD would make an excellent replacement for the already impressive Alpha 9 regardless of whether you use the DAC or not. Anyway if you are prepared to wait a month or so then Rega's new Apollo-R @ £548 is also worth serious consideration.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft


Rick, Thanks for confirming that the 8200CD would make an excellent replacement for the Alpha 9.

Not sure I have the patience to wait for Rega's new Apollo-R.

Regards, Mike


Well-known member
Mar 3, 2008
How about the latest CD player from Quad. Not sure what it's called but I think it's around the £750 mark. I also listen exclusively to classical and am only to aware that you don't want to get an overly bright/analytical sound as it completely ruins violin sonatas and string quartets, making the sound too shrill to listen to. I have a Densen, but wouldn't recommend it.


Well-known member
Jan 10, 2011

Just over a year ago i was looking for cd and amp to replace my old alpha 5 boxes and in my mind was going to get the new Audiolab 8200's but thought best to do a demo first.I also listened to the Kandy and Leema equivalent pairs.

The Audiolab pulled up so much detail but when I listened to some classical, Holst's Venus, the audiolab didn't sound at all right, like it was playing another piece off the album.

I tried the cd with different amps but it just didn't sound right to me , it seemed to have lost the essence of the music but the detail was all there ( nearly playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order !!), It would suggest to me it didn't sound that 'musical' with everything it played, but immensley detailed.

To get to the point it is a very impressive player, and with the dac built in, but would strongly advise a demo before buying, I did and it made me change my mind which was certainly not what I hoped to do.

Good Luck and have fun.


I would audition and choose the one you like the best. They all have a DAC after all, the only difference may be that one or more has digital inputs to allow other equipment to utilise it. That wouldn't really make a huge difference to it's cost to manufacture, and you never know, you may end up using it?


New member
Jul 25, 2011
The Arcam CD 9 can indeed be repaired and parts are available. The drive is a Sony KSS240a and the laser for it is readily available on ebay. You'll also find that a company in Israel has provided details on main PCB and DAC PCB repair.

Mind you, you'd need to be handy with a soldering iron to start playing on the PCBs. The reason I know this is I just picked one up for a handful of pounds and will be attempting the laser replacement myself.


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