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Arcam Alpha CD Player replacement

wclough

New member
Jul 26, 2014
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Hi. This is my first post but my second attempt. Not sure what I am doing wrong. I want to replace my Arcam Alpha 7SE Cd player which I bought in 2000. It still sounds great in my opinion but it is fussy which CDs it will play especially if I have bought them in the States. I have looked at the What Hifi awards 2013 but these seem pricey. I was hoping for a good quality sound for around £400 - £600. I have access to listening facilities at a Hifi shop in Stockton. I use a Roksan Kandy amp with, would you believe, 25 year old speakers. UK built Missions. I have compared these more than once in listening rooms and keep bringing them home. Any advice on the CD player replacement would be much appreciated
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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18,795
If you were happy with the Arcam I'd suggest the Arcam CD17. Will sound cleaner than the Alpha overall but I think you will still like it. Nice player.
 

JunglistJut

New member
Jul 27, 2014
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Perhaps you could get a better result with an outboard dac ?

arcam themselves often recommend this over a new player.

I have the same player as you and it has played every cd I have ever fed it.
 

wclough

New member
Jul 26, 2014
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Hi. It's interesting that you player accepts all CDS. I spoke to Arcam Technical and they said it can happen with their older players. They suggested I copy the CD to laptop and then make a new disc. I did and it works. I now use the original in the car which accepts it as does my wife's cheapo Hitachi in the kitchen. I'm being offered a used Arcam CD37 for £799 and an ex demo Audiolab 8200 for £600. Seems a lot but I will go and listen first and compare them with mine and others
 

robg1976

New member
Sep 17, 2007
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Hi How are you ? Im No expert, but i had a similar situation to you... It was my Arcam Cd 73 that would not play some Cd's . it was from 2006 so i went for a replacement... So would like to give you me advice in this matter... My 1st thought was to get the latest arcam replacement as i love the Cd 73 so much... Can i start by stating you get a lot more for your money now than you did in 2000. maybe cost have come down not sure... anyway I tryed the arcam cd 17 along with a Nad C516 Bee Note the Nad is only £250 and it sounded better than my old Cd 73. My point is dont judge just on cost i auditioned the marantz 6005 and other players. long story short i bought the Nad C516 Bee. my budget was £600 yet i prefered the Nad C515bee at £250...

I know it personal choice but my point is try and audition as many as you can and dont focus on price hope this helps
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
232
17
18,795
It is disappointing that Arcam players that weren't cheap when new are causing these problems. My Rotel still plays any disc I wish to listen to without problems. Maybe the transport was just better quality in the first place.
 

JunglistJut

New member
Jul 27, 2014
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I kinda see owning Arcam hifi is a little like owning a British sports car, they have their quirks and will require maintenance. But great when they work right.
 

wclough

New member
Jul 26, 2014
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Robg gave good advice that I may be happy with a cheaper CD player. I was wondering already about the Marantz cd6005 but the NAD also looks attractive on price. I have had a NAD CD player years ago but I have upgraded a few times since. Will I be mismatching quality now that I am so pleased with my newish Roksan Kandy amp? As I said earlier I am being offered from my nearest hifi shop an ex demo Audiolab 8200 at around £600 or less. Any views on this? Then I will have to go and listen. Problem is all the ones I want to listen are not available at the same place. I have a Richer Sound nearby as well so maybe more than one lot of listening to do.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
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wclough said:
Robg gave good advice that I may be happy with a cheaper CD player. I was wondering already about the Marantz cd6005 but the NAD also looks attractive on price. I have had a NAD CD player years ago but I have upgraded a few times since. Will I be mismatching quality now that I am so pleased with my newish Roksan Kandy amp? As I said earlier I am being offered from my nearest hifi shop an ex demo Audiolab 8200 at around £600 or less. Any views on this? Then I will have to go and listen. Problem is all the ones I want to listen are not available at the same place. I have a Richer Sound nearby as well so maybe more than one lot of listening to do.
Best to try some out. Good luck with Richer sounds. The Audiolab 8200 is a good player whether is worth £600 is upto you. Others to consider are Rega Apollo, Marantz Pearl Lite if you can find one, Arcam CD17 just discontinued, maybe Richers has that at good price. Exposure also get some good reviews. Musical Fid. M3i also I believe is discontinued. RK of course.
 

wclough

New member
Jul 26, 2014
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All the Players mentioned weren't avialable but my local Richer Sounds had the best range. They close until 1200 noon so that listening appoinments can be made in the morning with the shop closed. Neat I think. The much praised Marantz 6005 I thought a bit ordinary, the Cambridge 651 also a bit safe. The Audilab 8200 was so detailed I was tempted but I had been down this road some years ago when I demoed a Musical Fidelity. They make you sit up at once but would become wearing over longer listening (my opinion). I then listened to an Arcam CD17 which I did not have on my list. This was, I think the best all rounder and I bought it with a modest discount. I would have liked to have auditioned a NAD and possibly an Exposure 1010 but there were none around here. It just shows that advise on items and awards can only give you a starting point and you have to go and listen. As I have said on another thread, I don't listen to loads of tracks as I'd get confused. I use the same part of the same track over and over. About 30 sec worth. I choose a piece which I think as the sound range and instrument/voice range I am interested in. Even though I have been moaning about the fussyness of the 7SE I have realised that I bought it in 2000. 14 years old.

As I had my Mission 77 speakers with me at the demo I thought I'd try yet again (4 times over 30 years) to compare them with the latest speakers. The manager at Richer sounds said he had heard that old Missions were good. He said he had nothing to touch them at the under £200 range and to get as good I would need to spend £350 at least to go home with the same quality. So I took the 77's home again. Thanks for all the help and your opinions which are appreciated
 

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