Arcam Alpha 10 Amplifiers

Alpha 10

100 watts

User Reviews (19)

Showing 1-10 of 19  
jack667   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 13, 2005]
Strength:

Warm nautral sound, great with vocals. Truly shines with rock, electronical and jazz music.

Weakness:

Treble hardens quickly at high volumes.

Having picked this up cheap on Ebay without hearing in the first place, I was worried about the quality of this amp. After reading other reviews and calming my nerves (ha!) I finally received it. It's a fairly heavy amp, weighing around 13kg's. The plastic front isn't to everyone's taste, and this was one of the few things I didn't like about the Alpha 10. When I got it over a year ago I had B&W 601 S3's and I was amazed by the sound coming from such small monitors, they truly sung at all volumes. Recently I upgraded my speakers to Monitor Audio Golf Ref 20's ($3000), followed by Chord speaker cable upgrade ($500) and I can safely say the Arcam really did shine through this set up. I was able to hear things I never heard in songs I had listened to hundreds of times. Overall, it's a fantastic amp, let down by the the plastic front, but this is a small flaw if you want a great sounding amp on on a budget. Recently upgraded to the Vincent SV238 integrated.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
  Audio Enthusiast [Jan 18, 2004]
Strength:

warmth, bulletproof consistency and strength

Weakness:

weak looking fascia

Fantastic amp... tested a number of amp's in the same and above categories, from Rotel, Denon, Onkyo, and had it narrowed it down to the Rotel and the Arcam. With the main focus on Audio as opposed to HT and the Arcam won out, with the installation of D.A.V.E. Smooth and realistic reproduction of vocals and instrumentals in classical and Jazz music - warmth is the best description a combination I'm realizing more and more with my ML Ascents. I agree with many other posts that the front fascia could be more substantial, especially considering the price, instead of teh cheap plastic. I have not had any problems with the LED's, but then I keep them turned off at all times. Being rated at 100W per channel, was told that it seems to put out more than that.. closer to 110 as I was told. Currently the system consists of the Alpha 10 DAVE, Arcam MCD, Sony DVD, Rotel 1090 (200wx2), 2xRotel 991, Monster HTS 2500, Martin Logan Ascents, ML Cinema, various Monster and other interconnects. Extremely happy with the amp, when purchased at that time, HT was (as it still is I'm sure) going crazy with the various formats - and decided that a solid base of music reproduction will give more than adequate results in movie reproduction - so decided to stay away from the dedicated HT amp's and receivers - a choice I do not regret in the least bit.

Similar Products Used: sony, rotel, onkyo
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Seb Belcher   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 27, 2002]
Strength:

Well built and solid, massive dynamic range, wonderful stereo imaging, huge power.

Weakness:

Plastic facia, I had this item bubble-wrapped and boxed to move it around yet the plastic front cracked, its quite fragile around the edges. One minor gripe, even if you don't have the phono module installed the Aux/Phono input always shows up on the LCD as "Phono", I find this incredibly annoying as its actually by computer that goes through this input, not a turntable! Finally, you may never need to turn your home heating on again! This amp gets so hot I swear you could cook vegetables on it! Arcam claim the thermal cutout cuts in after 45mins at 13w, which worried me, but I've had this baby putting out well over 50 watts for hours without cutting out, did burn to the touch though!

I bought this amp simply on the strength of the Arcam brand name and recommendations from friends, I had never heard it before I bought it, and it didn't dissapoint. The first thing I noticed was its weight, it looks like a very lightweight amp, aluminium chassis etc, not much visible inside, but when you lift it you have to think to yourself "whoa, they make this thing out of lead?!" have another look inside and you realise nearly all of its 10kg (22pound) weight is its huge toroidal transformer, I dread re-wiring my system, it means I have to pick this thing up! The second thing I noticed, even when playing synthesized music is the massive resolution of the amp, every sound in (and probably out) of the audiable range was clear and precise, I was hearing bits of my favourite tracks I had never even noticed before! Then there is its sheer power, driving my Mission M74i speakers I never turn the volume above 3/4 for fear of shaking the house to the ground, the thuds of bass drums are incredible at this volume! I highly recommend this amp, they were discontinued in 2000 so are dirt cheap now but still sound better than brand new amps for 500 to 1000 GPB.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
V S   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 25, 2000]
Strength:

POWERFULL FULLSOME DELIVERY, CLEAN HIGHS

Weakness:

NARROW GAUGE METAL JACKET.

THIS AMPLIFIER IS RATED ONLY 100W PER CH., YET SOUNDS AS POWERFUL IF NOT MORE THAN IT'S HIGHER PRICED NORTHAMERICAN COMPETITORS. THE POWER SUPPLY IS 800VA AS OPPOSED TO 300i WHICH IS 400VA AND CLASSE WHICH HAS A 436VA. MAY BE THIS HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH A HIGHER CURRENT DELIVERY?? I AM PUZZLED BY SOME RATINGS COULD SOMEBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN

Similar Products Used: KAV300i, CLASEE CAP150
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Pierre   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 18, 2000]
Strength:

Clean, crisp, capable, very easy to operate

Weakness:

Unforgiving of poor recordings, pricey, power amps can't be monoblocked

Used with: Marantz 53se CD-player, Energy C6 loudspears, Kemperkable Interconnects and Taralabs speaker cables; Bi-amped with Arcam8 power amp for HF.

A clean and efficient amp, it can be a little too timid when played a low volume. Its full glory comes out when played at high level. Lots of details and very fast, it can be harsh sounding in the high frenquencies when the recording is not of good quality. Will play well anything but will do a fantastic job on well-recorded classical music, especially on small ensembles and jazz where it will be almost life-like (and I do listen to a very wide variety of music). I suspect my speakers and CD-player don't allow my amp to show all its glory, and my review may be, of course, tainted by my other components. My listening room is far from perfect too. Energy C6 speakers are very demanding in power, but rewarding to listen with enough power to push them. Very efficient tweeter may make some synthetized sounds harsher and more agressive than they should be (especially true with older recordings of progressive rock music). Some may object to the looks of the amp (I don't) but seems to be built to last. Warranty and service seem to be quite good.

Sound is seriously improved by bi-amping, even if my second amp is not of the same rated power (50W/channel for arcam 8). Sound is more controled and cleaner. Warning: somewhat sensitive to interferences.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Kieran Moore   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 20, 2001]
Strength:

Power, ease of use, overall sound

Weakness:

Tacky exterior, legends hav faded

Good solid performer. Seems to work OK with all types of music.

Now using Bi-Amped with Alpha 10p; Sounds even better!

As I've recently added the 10p, I've noticed that the control legends on the 10 Integrated have faded since I bought it. - Probably doesn't matter if you use the remote, but I may see what Arcam have to say about it...

I see no reason to get another amplifier for some years yet.

Similar Products Used: Cyrus, Arcam 9's
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bob Mertz   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 24, 1998]

I've been listening to a borrowed Arcam Alpha 10 integrated amp for the past week in place of my Alpha 9 which I've had for 4 months. My source is an Arcam Alpha 7 CD player going through Mirage OM12 speakers. Obviously I am a fan of Arcam. And for good reason, I've found a distinctive difference in all Arcam products that I've owned or auditioned over similar or somewhat higher priced competition. Otherwise I would never have purchased them- and I am very particular about my music. My Alpha 9 wasn't wired up so I wasn't directly A/B testing it against the 10 and at first didn't think there was a difference. They both have an excellent sound. But after listening to some of my favorite CDs I had come to realize that the 10 had a superior, richer sound. It maintained its overall clarity without noticable distortion even at high volume and precise highs followed by a clear mid and tight low lows. I had been in e-mail contact with the Arcam service manager who informed my that the 10 had a superior preamp over the 9. Besides that you get the obvious increase in power from 70 to 100 watts as well as a DVD and turntable connect and a module spot for other features to upgrade later (the likes of which I don't know). Arcam always looks out for the upgrade without having to buy a completely new component. For instance, some day I plan to upgrade my Alpha 7 CD to a 9 with some simple surgery that takes place in your dealer's shop. Arcam already has an excellent transport so the DAC is changed out. As for the Arcam Alpha 10 integrated amp, this is a quality machine with an excellent sound.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
jason   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 25, 1999]
Strength:

fantastic sound

Weakness:

appearance could be better

i upgraded to the alpha 10 from the 8r which is an excellent amp in its own right but the ten is far superior with truely amazing sound quality and plenty of power its also very sensitive to different inter-connects so do try out different brands befor you buy if you can as you will notice a difference especially with speaker cable i currantly use cambridge audio throughout and found their linea 8.4 bi-wire speaker cable gave excellent results and much improvement on the cabletalk 3.1 i was using i also switched from jamo to accoustic energy loudspeakers (ae209) and the sound is great.

Similar Products Used: arcam alpha 8r
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Fredrik Rasmussen   an Audiophile [Aug 28, 1999]

I have owned the Arcam Alpha 10 integrated for about a year now. I have fed it with an Arcam Alpha7 and Alpha9 CD players and have auditioned it with among others Meridians and Copland CD Players, NHT and Definitive and Canton Speakers. The unit has also been upgraded with the DAVE module and connected to an Alpha10 3 channel amp.
What strikes the listener first is it's enourmus lifelike soundquality. Don't be shy when choosing interconnects and speakercables AND powercable for this baby. You will be amazed with the depth coming out of your speakers. The cables I am using with great transparency is Harmonic Technology and Nordost Moonglo digital to the DAVE module. The powercable is also harmonictech. The system reveals what's on the disc, good or bad. If it's a crappy recording you will hear the crappy recording in it's full *glory*. If it's an audiophile recording your jaw will drop to the floor.

Characteristics:
Quietness.
Space.
Dynamics, Fast. watch out for transients! :)
Delicacy.
Clarity.

Rated at 2*100w it's actually 2*115 according to stereophile. To give a sense to what kind of peak power you can get out from it at low ohms, read Stereophiles benchmark, a whopping 470watts. However fun this might be, the true strength of this product is it's soundquality. Give it your best cables and speakers and the Alpha 10 will show you the music.

Review System:
Arcam Alpha10 with 24bit 96khz DAVE, DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 module.
Arcam Alpha10 3*100w poweramp
Arcam Alpha7 CD Player
Arcam Alpha9 CD Player
Sony DVP-S7700 DVD Player
Definitive Technology BP2000 speakers

Cables:
Harmonic Technology
Tara Labs
MIT
Nordost

Note:
Although this review focused on the 2 channel sound. The 5.1 channel DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 performance is equally excellent.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Ren   an Audio Enthusiast [Jun 15, 1998]

I am giving a review of the Arcam Alpha 10 Integrated amplifier from Arcam. I have not yet seen any reviews of this new integrated from Arcam, so I will give one. I was completely impressed with the Arcam line of integrated amps since all the way back to the Alpha 8.. The characteristics that make Arcam so great is probably (1)their easy to use interface(2)modern and simple and British(3)their amazing warm and rich sound they produce(4)(for the Alpha 10 only) their upgradability. With the right cables and speakers this little integrated is an amazing buy. I have coupled the amp with B&W 602's. The sound I get seems so live and real I cannot compare it to any other Integrated that I listened to,, and I listened to so many differant brands before I bought thre Alpha 10. The appearance is typically British with very conservative dials, LCD display and remote. The unit is decieving at first, it seems to be small and light but when picked up it is really quite heavy partly due to the massive transformer inside. One can notice inside that it is filled with audiophile quality parts. The add-in modules that can be bought from Arcam complete this quality product, one can upgrade the Alpha 10 to include a Dolby Digital AC-3 processor, combined with the Arcam Alpha 10p power amp and another plug-in module that adds a third channel to the power amp, you have a fully funtional Home Theater setup. The Arcam Alpha 10 has 100 WPC is enough for any HT setup. This amp will last as there are add-on modules yet to be be made for the unit (Arcam has not said anything yet except for the three modules they currently offer) Also you can bi-amp when you include the power amp giving you even better sound. There is no doubt in my mind that this product is a true quality and constructed piece. You can really hear when you play something through the amp that Arcam was not lying when they say exceptional sound quality and power. I give this integrated ***** five star rating

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 19  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com