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Arcam Alpha 8
46 Reviews
rating  4.37 of 5
MSRP  995.00
Description: 


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Reviews 1 - 5 (46 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by eddie a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 23, 2014

Bottom Line:   
i bought this secondhand for about $250. at the audition this player sound a bit dull, but the system and speaker used wasn't the best as well.
i have always though that this alpha is the entry level as compared to the delta. hence, i never really paid much attention to it, it was stored aside for spare incase one of my main cd players broke.
i used meridian 506 24 and marantz cd65 as my main cd player currently.
i like the smoothness of meridian, however i much prefer the cd65 because you could hear drums and cymbal so clear. while drums and cymbal on meridian is like being covered up with silk. it sound smooth but i feel no 'kick'.
one day, i though i would give this alpha 8 a second try on my current system (amp: belcanto evo2i speaker: dynaudio 52). HOLLEY >+&$%#@$!, i could not believed it, this alpha 8 sound way better than my marantz cd65. the sound is darker, precise and very musical. this cd player is soo good that even the song that i don't like (you know you just want to skip the track) is very listenable that i just listen to every songs on the cd.
i am no super-duper-high-end-audiophile, but i believe this cd player needs a decent amp, speaker and cabling to show its true potential. listening to this cd player on an entry-level onkyo integrated amp (no offence to onkyo fans out there) on my first audition really does not do this cd player justice.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by stovie_14472@yahoo.com a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 26, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Fantastic cd player. does everything right and is a joy to listen to.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $325.00

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sylvain a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2003

Bottom Line:   
The Alpha 8SE is a very good player. I recently bought a Wadia 830 and I did some blind tests with my wife (using a pair of Sennheiser HD-600 on a Audiolab 8000A mkIII as headphone amp). Although the Wadia came more often as the prefered player, the Arcam did win on quite a few albums. And on at least one occasion it bettered the Wadia by a wide margin, to my complete surprise (it was on a Mylene Farmer album). So much that aksed this test to be redone with this album and the results were confirmed! Note that on classical (symphony) music though the Wadia wined easily and the Arcam was no match.

Differences in character from one CD player to an other is much smaller than, say speakers. You won't loose much on going with the Alpha 8SE instead of an esoteric player at maybe 5 times the price.

I consider the 8SE to be an EXCELLENT value, especially at current going prices on the used market (it can be had for even less than what I paid).

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Price Paid:    $325.00

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bronson Trevor III a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I find the Alpha 8 (I own the Alpha 8, not the 8se, so there is no HDCD decoding) to be a very reliable CD player. It performs consistantly well and the sound is great. My system is a bit weak when it comes to reproducing music played on the piano, I think that this is at least in part due to the CD player. In all other areas the sound is just great. I listen to jazz/classical/classic rock etc. and it handles all of it with ease.

It does not like alot of CD-R's, especially the blue ones, which is kind of a pain for me seeing as how I have alot of them. It will usually play them eventually-- if you can get them to load; it just won't always read them in to begin with.

The actual CD mechanism is made by Sony.

It does pretty well on the Digital Test CD from disques Pierre Verany (A two CD set- the second disc is a special CD that tests the CD players ability to deal with various types of CD's- scratched, poorly pressed, or what have you). For those who have the CD it sucessfully gets through tracks 1-33, 40-41, 44-47. The most important thing that this test disc reveals is that the CD player starts to skip/click when it encounters a scratch bigger than 1.25mm. This is above average performance and good for any CD player. I think I once read that the Linn Sondek CD12 (approx. US$20,000) only got to track 31, but I could be mistaken.

I am very happy with the Alpha 8 in general. The remote is a bit cheap but it is not a big deal. I don't think that they are selling the straight up Alpha 8 anymore, but the comments on the CD mechanism probably hold for the other players in the Alpha series seeing as how they all use the Sony mechanism.

Oh yeah, the fact that Arcam sells upgrades if a great policy IMHO.

System:
Arcam Alpha 9 Int Amp
Arcam Alpha 8 CD
Sony WA7-ESA Tape
Yamaha TX-492 Tuner
Phillips 212 Phono
B&W 602s2 w/Audioquest Cables
SIlver Audio Interconnects

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Hunter a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 1, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Bought my Alpha 8 online used, and it was the best electronics purchase I've made to date. It replaced a mid-fi carousel changer (still doing duty for dinner parties), and the difference is quite noticeable to me (although I can't understand how my girlfriend doesn't seem to get why anyone would pay over $400 for a CD player).

I really like the level of detail that the Arcam brings to music I've heard hundreds of times before. It's like a breath of new life to old favorites.

But after testing other Arcam players, I'm not sure if I should upgrade to the SE or even 9. I've heard the 9 is night and day to the 8. If anyone has any thoughts on the upgrade route, I'd appreciate an email.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999




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