[quote user="chiefbrody"][quote user="Fraziel"][quote user="matthewpiano"]Arcam amps do tend to be very pedestrian sounding. I had an A65+ that absolutely ruined my enjoyment of music for a long time because it sapped the life out of everything. Some people are happy to lose the speed and attack to gain the things that the Arcams are very good at - detail resolution, soundstage, and tonal reproduction. Others are happy to lose quite a lot of those features and opt for the Cambridge Audio sound - fast, exciting, but not terribly good tonally. This is why I love NAD amps so much. They walk a very well judged line and combine all the best attributes of Arcam with the excitement and punch of Cambridge.
I would completely agree that, in the context of your current system, the CD player is not the weak point. The CD73 is a highly capable, detailed and involving player that, at present, will be getting pedestrianised by the A80. I've auditioned the A80 and liked a great deal of what it did in hi-fi terms but it completely lacked any sense of atmosphere or excitement. I would be inclined to try the CD73 with a Naim Nait 5i or, if you want to spend a bit less, a NAD C352 or C372. All three will provide much greater excitement without losing the hi-fi attributes of the A80. Alternatively look at a second hand Musical Fidelity amp.
I am tempted to go down the nad route myself. i heard a nad system last night hooked up to a set of mon Audio S1's and it sounded superb with dnm reson speaker cable and interconnects.It has plenty of punch and detail but also has a slight richness of tone which made a lot of really poorly produced cd's sound quite listenable. That could be the way for chief brody to go.[/quote]
I do appreciate your input. I have had NAD gear before but feel that i would not really be "upgrading" but just swapping one sound for another. The NAD is about half the price of the A80 and although i have never heard it (C352) i can't imagine it sounds as sonically good as the A80. I appreciate it may add a bit more excitement and attack, but will it lose too much clarity and soundstage etc?[/quote]
I don't think price is really the issue because NAD gear has always punched well above its weight and I think Arcam gear tends to be a little over-priced for what it does. Put it this way, I could have bought an A80 and chose the C325BEE as a superior all-round amplifier. I would have liked a Nait 5i (Which I also auditioned and thought was fabulous) but that was a bit above my budget. What I think you need to do now is audition some of these things within the context of your system Try different amplifiers with your CD player, and vice versa, to see what gives you the best improvement. Then report back to us so that we can all learn from your experience. I'm now contemplating going further up the NAD range and will, equally, share my experiences as and when I audition the kit.