Arcam CD5 CD player cannot do gapless playback (EDIT - software update now available - see post 86)

Page 4 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

WayneKerr

Well-known member
(On one of my CD Players, you entered the length of cassette you were recording to - e.g. C90, then it would programme only the CD tracks whose total time would most perfectly fit 45 minutes of your tape side A...a calculation I'd previously done on paper 🙂).
I think my old Kenwood twin tape deck had this facility and did cross-fade too, great for creating non-stop music tapes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gray

Smokiro

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2021
15
9
1,525
Visit site
Do you remember theirs blu ray player. UDP411
Total junk.
Also dont expect many software updates.
Never owned bigger electronic junk than arcam diy. Nothing really worked as promised and then just broke. When opened to look inside looked like already was soldered by teenager to fix something brand new from store.
Rubber legs just went off and stayed on the rack.
It is a total total junk.
Remote control is a joke.
If you want to lose the money go for those.
 
Do you remember theirs blu ray player. UDP411
Total junk.
Also dont expect many software updates.
Never owned bigger electronic junk than arcam diy. Nothing really worked as promised and then just broke. When opened to look inside looked like already was soldered by teenager to fix something brand new from store.
Rubber legs just went off and stayed on the rack.
It is a total total junk.
Remote control is a joke.
If you want to lose the money go for those.
You have made six posts so far - four of which rubbish Arcam. Whilst it's OK to have an opinion, this is leaning towards using the forum as a place to grind your axe.

FWIW I've owned two Arcam CDPs and three amps, some in use for twenty+ years, and had no trouble with all bar one - the only fault ever was an occasional loading issue with one of the CDPs. But (and it's a worthwhile but) that was after the best part of twenty years. (And as the transport was a bought-in item, that's hardly Arcam's fault.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Al ears

Smokiro

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2021
15
9
1,525
Visit site
You have made six posts so far - four of which rubbish Arcam. Whilst it's OK to have an opinion, this is leaning towards using the forum as a place to grind your axe.

FWIW I've owned two Arcam CDPs and three amps, some in use for twenty+ years, and had no trouble with all bar one - the only fault ever was an occasional loading issue with one of the CDPs. But (and it's a worthwhile but) that was after the best part of twenty years. (And as the transport was a bought-in item, that's hardly Arcam's fault.)
That is why is so important to make reliable products instead using magazines to overhype the junk. It has to be equally represented.
Amp also broke so I must be very unlucky.


Is your money is your call.
 
Do you remember theirs blu ray player. UDP411
Total junk.
Also dont expect many software updates.
Never owned bigger electronic junk than arcam diy. Nothing really worked as promised and then just broke. When opened to look inside looked like already was soldered by teenager to fix something brand new from store.
Rubber legs just went off and stayed on the rack.
It is a total total junk.
Remote control is a joke.
If you want to lose the money go for those.
And? So you didn't do much research?
Please stick to answering the OPs question
 

ScarboroughMark

Active member
Oct 30, 2023
11
22
25
Visit site
I notice that on 7th November WHF wrote another review giving the Arcam CD5 a top recommendation, not mentioning that it was a flawed product and saying it was, "seriously good, seriously capable and seriously fun". "Seriously capable"? Does an Arcam employee write the reviews? It's shameless.
 
  • Like
Reactions: podknocker
That is why is so important to make reliable products instead using magazines to overhype the junk. It has to be equally represented.
Amp also broke so I must be very unlucky.


Is your money is your call.
Exactly, and you've made your point - so please feel free to participate in forum life, but a stream of posts rubbishing one manufacturer won't be allowed as its reliability doesn't seem an issue for the forum's other users. The lack of gapless playback is a major oversight by Arcam and the magazine, but it relates to functionality, not reliability.

(And just so we're clear, the moderators are nothing to do with the magazine or website, we're just ordinary Joes.)
 

matthewpianist

Well-known member
I haven't heard the CD5, but I did listen to the CD-S50 and it was a very nice sounding player - very fluid and musical sounding.

I have owned quite a few Arcam products in the past and, this gapless playback aside, I wouldn't hesitate to have something from them in the future. In fact, the only separate CD player I still own is an original Arcam Alpha. It's very old but works perfectly and sounds superb.
 

Sixtyten

Well-known member
Oct 6, 2015
43
23
18,545
Visit site
I've two Arcam A19 amps which are great. Their technical support less so. I've a Marantz receiver which uses the same RC5 codes for the remote. Cue hilarity. Fortunately, the A19 has an option to switch to an alternate RC5 code, which is easily accessed by pressing a couple of buttons on the front. The down side? While you can change the code on the amp, you can't change the code on the supplied remote, rendering it useless. So I contacted Arcam.

"Do you have a remote which supports the alternative codes on the A19?" "No" was their response. "Okay, can you recommend a universal remote control which will cover these codes?" "No, we can't recommend a remote control from a different manufacturer". "Can you confirm the alternate RC5 codes in the manual?" "No we can't help you with that". Thanks a heap.

Fortunately, as the manual had the alternative command codes so I thought, "I'll see if Logitech can assign them to my Harmony remote". Of course, the codes in the manual were wrong. A manufacturing revision had changed the prefix code, and the manual hadn't been updated. I contacted Arcam again. "These alternative codes aren't working, can you advise what the new ones are? "We don't know what they are, you'll need to bring your amp to a service agent for a firmware downgrade". "Presumably that's free? " As your amp is out of warranty, it's £150".

I ended up downloading a remote control app for my mobile phone, and trying all the combinations of RC5 codes until I found ones which worked. I noted them, passed them across to Logitech Support who, after some backwards and forwards, got them to work on my Harmony remote control.

Arcam technical support? Not recommended. Logitech Harmony support and the two guys I dealt with, Denis V and Lokesh? Wow. Best after sales service I've ever had.
 
Last edited:

jetblack9090

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2022
39
33
570
Visit site
1000003295.png as you can see from the bottom of the second page arcam has officially released The promised update enabling gapless playback.

I would also assume that any new stock of the CD player will have this update from the factory, and so needn't be an issue any longer.

I purchased an A5 integrated and wanted to get the matching CD player but the lack of gapless put me off a bit.

Im glad to see they followed through with the promised update.

Anyway thought id let everyone know and i know they'll be some who will still bemoan this saying "it should have been done from the beginning" ,just be thankful we got it at least, they're some cd players who haven't got gapless play and will never be updated, looking at you yamaha and cayin.
 

jetblack9090

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2022
39
33
570
Visit site
And it looks pretty straightforward too.
Yeah no problem, I'm glad to help the forum and keep information up to date.

You know it seems like I read somewhere that the chips that are used for CD playback and I'm not talking about the DAC, come from one of two vendors. Those vendors do not make these chips solely for CD players, they make them for Blu-ray players and DVD players and computer disk drives and the like.

So I'm of the assumption and again this is just an assumption, that these chips do not have gapless playback enabled as standard, and need to be updated to enable that function.,And to enable that function the company using the chip in its product has to write the code for it themselves, Essentially that is what arcam has done.

It does sort of feel like maybe they rushed it to market without enabling that feature, probably because they wanted to get the new radia line out onto the market before the holidays.

Though as I said it's nice that they said they were going to do it and they did it.

I've always enjoyed Arcam products and will continue to do so..
 

podknocker

Well-known member
It's commendable that Arcam have supplied this update so quickly, but it really shouldn't have been necessary, considering CD players have been able to play CDs without gaps for over 40 years. Many companies are so blasé and don't seem to care about the functionality of their CD players. I suppose they think it's 'just' a CD player and what else is there to know? Quite a lot by the sounds of it. It's Cyrus, Arcam, Audiolab and others. They should give Sony a call.
 
Last edited:

jetblack9090

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2022
39
33
570
Visit site
It's commendable that Arcam have supplied this update so quickly, but it really shouldn't have been necessary, considering CD players have been able to play CDs without gaps for over 40 years.
Again Arcam is not the only one guilty of this offense. All you have to do is go look up Yamaha CD players or cayin CD players, both both of whom have released CD players to the market that do not feature gapless playback.,And in the case of cayin specifically will never be updated to feature gapless play.

Or go look at the Yamaha CDS303, which you can buy right now on Amazon or at your favorite local retailer and when you take it out of the box it does not have gapless playback, and the only way to enable gapless playback is to download the software update from yamaha's website and install it yourself.

As I said this is a problem across the industry, and as I also said it comes down to the fact that the chips that handle the CD information, as I've read, do not have gapless playback as standard. The manufacturer putting the chip into it's CD player has to write custom code to enable that feature on the hardware.

And unless we're talking about a multi $1,000 custom CD player with custom chips, then it's safe to assume that the majority of manufacturers releasing products under the $1,000 mark will be affected by this whether you know it or not.

Arcam had the unfortunate luck to have released a product without enabling that feature, and to continue to bash them when they are doing everything that they can to rectify the situation in my book just goes to show how some people really are on here to just grind an axe and not actually have anything meaningful or worthwhile to say.

Personally I love Arcam products and will continue to buy their products and this commitment they've shown just further strengthens my resolve.
 

ScarboroughMark

Active member
Oct 30, 2023
11
22
25
Visit site
Yes - at least they've rectified this. Although the features are still rather limited for the price, including an apparent lack of a search (<< / >>) facility. Jetblack9090 says, " the majority of manufacturers releasing products under the $1,000 mark will be affected by this whether you know it or not". I disagree. I think most manufacturers at any price will have the know-how to ensure their products can play CDs properly. I think this was probably a big gaffe by Arcam in their product testing before releasing it (and WHF failed to spot it, so there's a question mark over the rigour and reliability of their recommendations as well).
 

jetblack9090

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2022
39
33
570
Visit site
Yes - at least they've rectified this. Although the features are still rather limited for the price, including an apparent lack of a search (<< / >>) facility. Jetblack9090 says, " the majority of manufacturers releasing products under the $1,000 mark will be affected by this whether you know it or not". I disagree. I think most manufacturers at any price will have the know-how to ensure their products can play CDs properly. I think this was probably a big gaffe by Arcam in their product testing before releasing it (and WHF failed to spot it, so there's a question mark over the rigour and reliability of their recommendations as well).
Well as I stated I think it comes down to them prematurely releasing it without addressing the obvious problem. My assumption is they want it to get the new Radia series on the market as quickly as possible, presumably in time for the holiday season when people are going to be purchasing products as gifts or for themselves.

And frankly in my tenure as a Hi-Fi enthusiast I've come to the conclusion that with various products regardless of genre, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

You might go with one company's products and they have superior sound quality to every other brand of similar price but lack features, conversely you could go with a brand who has every feature of available for that particular type of product but it's sound leave something to be desired.

Hi-fi as I've come to know is a matter of what kind of crap you're willing to put up with. Whether that be build quality or sound quality or lack of features or any combination of any of these things, the only way to truly have your cake and eat it too is by spending thousands and thousands of dollars.

Take Marantz for example, I love the sound of their products, as a matter of fact I would go so far as to say they are the closest in what I consider to be the ideal or the perfect sound. However I will no longer buy any of their products because of the atrocious build quality of their products. I'm not even kidding, the last time I bought something of theirs, the NR 1200 stereo receiver, I got three different one sent to me all with various issues and prior to that having owned the pm5005, I'm frankly nervous when taking a new product of theirs out of its box as to whether or not it will actually work properly.
 
Last edited:

Revolutions

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2023
410
417
770
Visit site
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve returned my Arcam membership card over this. It’s a disgrace & I for one will not take outrageous liberties like these from once trustworthy brands.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Smokiro

WayneKerr

Well-known member
Well as I stated I think it comes down to them prematurely releasing it without addressing the obvious problem. My assumption is they want it to get the new Radia series on the market as quickly as possible, presumably in time for the holiday season when people are going to be purchasing products as gifts or for themselves.

And frankly in my tenure as a Hi-Fi enthusiast I've come to the conclusion that with various products regardless of genre, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

You might go with one company's products and they have superior sound quality to every other brand of similar price but lack features, conversely you could go with a brand who has every feature of available for that particular type of product but it's sound leave something to be desired.

Hi-fi as I've come to know is a matter of what kind of crap you're willing to put up with. Whether that be build quality or sound quality or lack of features or any combination of any of these things, the only way to truly have your cake and eat it too is by spending thousands and thousands of dollars.

Take Marantz for example, I love the sound of their products, as a matter of fact I would go so far as to say they are the closest in what I consider to be the ideal or the perfect sound. However I will no longer buy any of their products because of the atrocious build quality of their products. I'm not even kidding, the last time I bought something of theirs, the NR 1200 stereo receiver, I got three different one sent to me all with various issues and prior to that having owned the pm5005, I'm frankly nervous when taking a new product of theirs out of its box as to whether or not it will actually work properly.
Different people, different experiences. I've had loads of Marantz gear and they have all been outstanding quality items without issue.
 

jetblack9090

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2022
39
33
570
Visit site
Different people, different experiences. I've had loads of Marantz gear and they have all been outstanding quality items without issue.
Yeah you guys in the UK truly have the lions share of privilege when it comes to high-fi products, not even in price but also what I perceive to be build quality. Take for example Rega, I purchased a p6 from a local Hi-Fi shop, well sort of local about an hour away. The first one had an issue with the grounding in the tone arm, the sound organization which is rega's US distributor happily replaced it with a second tone arm. The second tone arm had the mounting surface where the cartridge is miscut so that anytime you install the cartridge on it would not sit flat or parallel with the record surface. After that the sound organization decided to replace the whole table under warranty and the second table had the aluminum sub platter mismanufactured so that the glass platter would wobble up and down as it turned. Trust me too it's not the first issue with Rega products I've had.

After that I told my dealer" screw it" and I exchanged the second P6 for a clear audio concept. It cost a little more but I think the bill quality is much better and sounds fantastic, plus I like the speed switch is on the table itself and I just turn the knob to change speeds.

But yeah you uk people are very lucky, because I rarely have heard of build quality problems from Rega out of the UK, I just thought maybe it has something to do with its trip across the pond.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Smokiro

matthewpianist

Well-known member
One of the most interesting experiences I had with a CD player was with a Roksan K3CDi.

It was fine with gapless playback and a nice sounding machine. However, there are a few discs in some of the big classical box sets which breach the 80-minute point, and the Roksan just couldn't play them. It would just skip all over the place wherever in the disc I started.

I contacted the retailer about this, and they contacted Roksan, who said that they use a dedicated audio transport which only supports discs which adhere strictly to the red book standard, but sound better than any off-the-shelf transports.

That does sound reasonable enough, but EVERY other CD player I've owned has played these discs without any trouble, and good though the Roksan was it wasn't appreciably better than players such as the Musical Fidelity M2SCD, Rega Apollo-R, Arcam CD17, Denon DCD1600NE etc. Even my original Arcam Alpha, which uses an old Philips swing-arm transport, has no issue with these discs.
 

James105

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2019
269
186
5,070
Visit site
Yes - at least they've rectified this. Although the features are still rather limited for the price, including an apparent lack of a search (<< / >>) facility. Jetblack9090 says, " the majority of manufacturers releasing products under the $1,000 mark will be affected by this whether you know it or not". I disagree. I think most manufacturers at any price will have the know-how to ensure their products can play CDs properly. I think this was probably a big gaffe by Arcam in their product testing before releasing it (and WHF failed to spot it, so there's a question mark over the rigour and reliability of their recommendations as well).
TBF if these are their playlists for testing how would they notice?

best-test-tracks-to-trial-your-hi-fi-system
 
  • Like
Reactions: Al ears

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts