12 posts / 0 new
Last post
Shanka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 17:44
Posts: 515
Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

Hi,

I posted before that I wanted to upgrade my Alpha 5 amp and came to a conclusion that an Alpha 9 was the way forward as I enjoy the current sound of my system but it just needs a bit more power.

I have been looking out for Alpha 9's and they are looking at over £250 on 'bay and more if I want the inbuilt phono stage which I do.

Would anyone have any suggestions of similar sounding amps that I could investigate, I would go up to £200 but I have a fear of spending too much on secondhand equipment that may just go pop with no recourse.

Thanks for any ideas, your input is appreciated.

plastic penguin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 9 min ago
Joined: 28/04/2008 - 10:56
Posts: 19678
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

Shanka wrote:
Hi, I posted before that I wanted to upgrade my Alpha 5 amp and came to a conclusion that an Alpha 9 was the way forward as I enjoy the current sound of my system but it just needs a bit more power. I have been looking out for Alpha 9's and they are looking at over £250 on 'bay and more if I want the inbuilt phono stage which I do. Would anyone have any suggestions of similar sounding amps that I could investigate, I would go up to £200 but I have a fear of spending too much on secondhand equipment that may just go pop with no recourse. Thanks for any ideas, your input is appreciated.

Depends how loud (or quiet) you play the music. If you only play at low/medium levels then the Alpha 7R is every bit as good. It's only once you start cranking it up does the 7 show its true colours, and starts to lose control.

I've heard both at length (owned the 7 for 8 years, and still have it in the loft). The 9 is far better at bottom end control, once you pass 9 o'clock - or as I call it: " The hi-fi watershed"

Others to seriously look at are Creeks original Evo. Similar tonal quality to Arcam but punchier in the bass; Nad 352 is still a fine amp, likewise Kandy MKIII or LIII.

Leema Tucana MKII; Arcam CD73; PMC TB2i; Pro-ject Xpression with a ClearAudio cart; Denon TU260 MKII

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

The NAD C320BEE amp would be a good one to go for as well as PP's suggestions

 

You'd need an external phono amp though but NAD PP2's can be picked up on eBay for c£30-£50 these days as well; NAD C320BEE amp should set you back around £100 to £130...

 

Maybe if you sold your current Arcam though you could save a bit more £££ and aim for an Arcam Alpha 10 integrated. STUNNING amp still... £1k in it's day!

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

Why not buy an Alpha 7/8 integrated and then get a NAD PP-1 or similar? Should cost you £120 max with the 7 and the PP-1, quite a saving.

Alternatively, there are a few cheap 10's knocking about at £200 or so if you can find them!

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

Monstrous wrote:

Why not buy an Alpha 7/8 integrated and then get a NAD PP-1 or similar? Should cost you £120 max with the 7 and the PP-1, quite a saving.

Alternatively, there are a few cheap 10's knocking about at £200 or so if you can find them!

 

Having owned all the Arcam Alpha amps and most of their matching power amps; I dont think the Alpha 7 or 8 integrated amps would be much of an improvement on the soundstage whereas the Alpha 9 and 10 were when Arcam started to get it VERY right...

 

And then along came the DiVA range Frown

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

One of my first amp's was a arcam aplha 8r, it was fantastic, very rich sounding leaning toward's slightly warm, the 8 or 9 alpha would be a fine upgrade, i think the alpha 9 is a great amp, i was looking at a mint one on ebay a couple of week's back for 280 pound's, i dont think there is much on the new market to touch it for that price.

eggontoast's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 23/02/2011 - 15:21
Posts: 1599
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

Have you considered a Delta 290, they can be had for just under £200. The Alpha 9 was based on this unit.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

hifilover1979 wrote:

Monstrous wrote:

Why not buy an Alpha 7/8 integrated and then get a NAD PP-1 or similar? Should cost you £120 max with the 7 and the PP-1, quite a saving.

Alternatively, there are a few cheap 10's knocking about at £200 or so if you can find them!

 

Having owned all the Arcam Alpha amps and most of their matching power amps; I dont think the Alpha 7 or 8 integrated amps would be much of an improvement on the soundstage whereas the Alpha 9 and 10 were when Arcam started to get it VERY right...

 

And then along came the DiVA range Frown

The DiVA range was funny... The A75/P75 weren't good by any means. The A85/P85 were both really, very good.

I'd probably agree though, real upgrades come from going up the series, not just to a new one.

plastic penguin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 9 min ago
Joined: 28/04/2008 - 10:56
Posts: 19678
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

hifilover1979 wrote:

Monstrous wrote:

Why not buy an Alpha 7/8 integrated and then get a NAD PP-1 or similar? Should cost you £120 max with the 7 and the PP-1, quite a saving.

Alternatively, there are a few cheap 10's knocking about at £200 or so if you can find them!

 

Having owned all the Arcam Alpha amps and most of their matching power amps; I dont think the Alpha 7 or 8 integrated amps would be much of an improvement on the soundstage whereas the Alpha 9 and 10 were when Arcam started to get it VERY right...

 

And then along came the DiVA range Frown

In my experience with Arcam amps (both Alpha and DIVA) which is pretty comprehensive, the biggest problem was Arcam saturated the market. Like any product or manufactuer, if they release an awful lot of different models they are going to produce the odd "plum".

I'm still a huge fan of the A65+, and the difference between the entry-level models and the midrange ones are minimal. Only when you get to the A85 or Alpha 10 that there is a real noticable difference.

ORP approx: A65+ - £370.00; A75+ - £450.00; A80 - £640.00. Now, with only 270 quid difference you can't expect huge upgrades.

My advice to the OP is keep the Alpha 5 and buy 7 power amp. That should give the extra control to satisfy.

Leema Tucana MKII; Arcam CD73; PMC TB2i; Pro-ject Xpression with a ClearAudio cart; Denon TU260 MKII

eggontoast's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 23/02/2011 - 15:21
Posts: 1599
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

Shanka wrote:
Hi, I posted before that I wanted to upgrade my Alpha 5 amp and came to a conclusion that an Alpha 9 was the way forward as I enjoy the current sound of my system but it just needs a bit more power. I have been looking out for Alpha 9's and they are looking at over £250 on 'bay and more if I want the inbuilt phono stage which I do. Would anyone have any suggestions of similar sounding amps that I could investigate, I would go up to £200 but I have a fear of spending too much on secondhand equipment that may just go pop with no recourse. Thanks for any ideas, your input is appreciated.
There is a Arcam Delta 290 amplifier with the optional phono stage on the flea bay at the moment for just under £200, it also says it has had the input selector thoroughly cleaned. The item number is 150641666569 might be of interest to you.
Shanka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 17:44
Posts: 515
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

Hi,

Thanks for all your comments, sorry it has taken so long to respond.
Having heard Creek's I don't think they really suit my ears always found them a little to dry, I have not really listened to the better NAD amps just entry models so may be worth a listen, I have a used hifi shop nearby that also suggested these so I could get a demo.

I don't have pre outs on my 5 so power amp was suggested here and elsewhere but that is not an option and I don't really want an external phono stage.

I like the sound of the Delta, has anyone had experience of these, I have only heard they are a little fragile, is this true or no more so than any other similarly aged amp.

The reason was after the 9 originally and not the 7 or 8 was I believe this amp is a good step up in performance from my 5 whereas the 7 or 8 are more sideways, is this a reasonable assumption ?

Talking of sideways I have just got my Mission 720's back refurbed and sounding fabulous, I have them hooked up to my Caspian at present and they sound fantastic, they seem to make my new set up sound analoguey, maybe its just I have nostalgic ears.

Willcheck out the Delta on ebay, thanks again, much appreciated.

eggontoast's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 23/02/2011 - 15:21
Posts: 1599
RE: Arcam Alpha 9 or..........

Shanka wrote:
Hi, I like the sound of the Delta, has anyone had experience of these, I have only heard they are a little fragile, is this true or no more so than any other similarly aged amp.
I have had both the Alpha 9 and the Delta 290, I personally prefer the Delta over the Alpha 9 for sound and aesthetics, the Delta has an aluminium front panel and knobs whereas the Alpha is all plastic. With regards to reliability they are both pretty good as the circuit design, chassis design and choice of components are very similar, the Alpha 9 was heavily based on the Delta 290. The only achilles heel with both units is the input selectors go intermittent so get one that has been sorted out other than that they are pretty bullet proof.
Log in or register to post comments