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How to upgrade an old (but great) arcam alpha 10&alpha10P system


Aug 4, 2020
Hi everyone,
I am a (proud) owner of an arcam alpha10&alpha 10P system. It was a 5.1 home cinema in the beginning, but I prefer stereo music and it is BI-ampling a couple of castle acoustics columns today.

The alpha10 has the original arcam Dave module (a 20 bit dac) but it is not working anymore and I am thinking about how to replace it with an external dac or streamer not too expensive (800€). Dave module is actually outdated (no HDMI, just a-vhs, no network or usb inputs at all).

I need to add several digital inputs as a TV, AndroidTV device, a PS4 all of them with digital outputs.
But I would also like to add streaming capabilities as Bluetooth connection , Spotify and FLAC player from my home network hdd.

What of these do you recommend?
- cambridge audio cxn v2: it is a little out of my budget ¿do you know a cheaper alternative?
- bluesound node 2i (just one optical input), I would need an external optical input,s switch
- Audiolab 6000n is into my budget, but it has not digital inputs, I could add an Audiolab m-dac to add digital inputs to my system.

What about just a dac?. As I already have an androidTV with Spotify, Kodi to play my FLAC files, should i upgrade my arcam stereo with just a better dac to get more digital inputs than a streamer has?

I this case, I am thinking about:
- Audiolab mdac plus
- Cambridge audio magicdac plus (really interesting for it price).
- musical fidelity v90 (very good price too)
- Marantz hd-dac1
- arcam irDac-Ii (discontinued, sadly).

I have seen other dac including an amp or preamp that I do not need, as the Sony uda-1, but I would like to avoid to spend money on components I do not need.

What dac or streamer do you recommend? Any other alternative?

Thanks a lot for all your recommendations
Last edited:


Well-known member
May 16, 2008
An external DAC sounds like a very good idea to connect all your devices to your amp. The Cambridge Audio seems a very good option. You get a headphone amp thrown into the bargain.

I wouldn't invest too much anyway. A DAC will be the most cost effective upgrade for all your digital devices. Anything more will give you very marginal gains, if any.
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Aug 4, 2020
Thanks a lot iMark!
I have seen another option to take into consideration because it has up to 6 digital inputs. The pro-ject dac ds2.
the bad thing is that I can not find reviews on internet and it was made in 2016 (a little old maybe).

anyway, your recommendation is really helpful as I was getting crazy increasing the budget without sense. I fully agree with you.



Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
I'm a big fan of the CXN v2, it's versatile and good sounding. If you don't need the streaming bit, check out Denafrips Ares 2 (don't remember the input count, but if it has what you need, it really is one to consider.
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