Arcam Alpha 7 Amplifiers

Alpha 7

40 watts

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
Dolphin Overton   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 02, 2002]
Strength:

For the price it is very detailed. It is also warm, which calms down my Z2 bi-wire.

Weakness:

Could use a bit more power. Soundstage is a bit narrow... might be the B&W's too though.

I have listened to just about everything at this point.(still not a self proclaimed "audiophile") I really like this amp... for the price. It needs good cables to truly get the best performance out of it. It also needs to be left on. Sounds very very shrill when it is cold. I am using it with a cambridge audio 350SE CD player and B&W 602 S2's. Cables are Monster Cable Z2 biwire and Audoquest topaz interconnect. I am a firm believer that certain components go well together and my set-up seems to be working very well. The Amp handles all types of music very well. Oh yeah... I'm only 20 years old THis is the best I can do right now.

Similar Products Used: Listen to just about everything in the stores...
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Erik   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 06, 2002]
Strength:

Sound is clear, well defined. The bass is accurate, not enhanced. Mids and highs are like I said very clear. This amp gives real sound, no coloration.

Weakness:

Honestly, the remote looks cheap with only three buttons but I didn't buy the amp for the remote

This review is for the 7r, I picked up this amp a couple months ago for $500, which I thought was a good deal. I have read various reviews by British Hi Fi magazines which claim this amp is out dated and "decent". I would whole-heartedly disagree. I tested this against Arcam's critically aclaimed flagship the A85, and the difference was not a $1000 one. This amp is crystal clear and when paired with effecient speakers, more than adaquetly powered. I think you would have to spend a great deal to get anything significantly better and I'm sure this amp can be gotten for a lot less second hand.

Similar Products Used: I can't afford better. My System: Boston Acoustic VR950's Arcam Alpha 7r NAD C325i Like I said, I like accurate sound
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
RubberDuck   Audio Enthusiast [May 09, 2002]
Strength:

Excellent clarity and ample power Understated styling Built quality (Except see below)

Weakness:

Remote control - does the job perfectly well, but would look more at home on a sub £100 1980''s stereo. Face plate - Looks ok, but the plastic finish is a little dissapointing

OK, first off Richer Sounds ''palmed'' me off with the Cambridge Audio A5 (albeit in silver). Hooking this up to my Marantz CD6000 OSE LE, the sound was rather dissapointing to say the least. Now I''m no audiophile, but i would describe it as muffled with a very limited top end. After a lot of hassle (!) I eventually got hold of the Alpha 7R for £150. The difference was instantly noticable. I listen to a wide range of Music (from Metallica and John Spencer Blues Explosion through to Dire Straights and The Corrs). There are pieces on the Money for Nothing album that I had never even heard before! Coupled with my Kef Coda 8''s, I am now totally content with the sound that can be achieved by my setup! Buy one now!

Similar Products Used: Cambridge Audio A5 (System: Arcam Alpha 7R, Marantz CD6000 OSE LE, Kef Coda 8''s (on stands))
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
allen   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 27, 2000]
Strength:

performance for the money , detailed sound,good bass

Weakness:

needs to be biamped to ROCK N ROLL

Biamping the 7R with the 8p power amp and using the 8p for
the highs is a BAD ASS SETUP the sound is so good I have
not found anything better. Im using B+W dm602 speakers.
monster cables M1000i interconnects, and biwired with monster cables M1.2s speaker cable

Similar Products Used: rotel nad creek
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jefferson   Audiophile [Mar 08, 2001]
Strength:

The smoothest, sweetest sound that one could ever possibly dream of. Great soundstage for class, tight bass.

Weakness:

none for its class

This ampliphier is the greastest thing I could have possibly added to my system. I am so happy with it. The arcam has the ability to bring out a clear and consice sound from all my cd's and records. At first I was skeptical about the modest power rating (VERY conservative), and its ability to play music styles such as rock and hip-hop. It does play them very well, even back when I used Klipsh towers I was amazed at how the amp brought them to life. Now that I have switched to Paradigm Monitor 5's (towers also) I couldn't be happier. Because this is the Alpha 7 (not the 7R) I was able to get it at a steal. I HIGHLY recommend this product for anyone who wishes to get out of the commercially overly available products and into something quality. Also I recommend it to people who like to brag to their friend, because it certainly will allow you to do that.

Similar Products Used: Rotel, creek, NAD, Sony ES, Linn
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
James   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 31, 2000]
Strength:

Smooth, Bouncy , Clear Sound; Enough Power (40W) for most speakers; Good Features (2 speakers, MM input, Headphones, matched gain for Arcam power amps); Good Quality Control/fit & finish

Weakness:

Current Model (7R) seems somewhat overpriced. Lacks the drive/boogie for more demanding speakers. Doesn't look sexy. Matching tuner is overpriced.

I think Robert Harley's review of this amp some time ago was pretty spot on. Nice little amp for the $. Smoother, cleaner sound than the Creek, NAD or Rotel, but not as much firepower/$. Works very well with budget British speakers like Linn Kan, Kef, Mission, AE, etc.. (synegy is the key). More flexible/ better facilities than the Rega and Creek amps.

In general, makes errors of omission versus commission (my personnel preference). Doesn't get in the way of enjoying the music. Doesn't offend with hard treble (must be broken-in for at least 2-3 weeks), but if want to scare the neighbors with amazing dynamics and slam, it won't happen. The Bi-Amping upgrade is great. It adds the dynamics and drive that a lot of peaple want, but it puts the combo into a $ league with gear like Naim or Linn.

The main thing that bugs me is the input selector knob. Its too small and too hard to see what is selected unless your looking straight on (they got it right on the Arcam 10). I prefer big simple buttons like Naim uses. But I really like the big volume control. Can't stand the little buttons and electronic controls selection of the Linn gear.

Must audition if you are trying to put together a refined (more quality, less quantity) budget system, you have a turntable and don't want to buy a seperate MM phone, and would like to use Headphones without having to buy a seperate unit.

I'm giving 5 stars because of overall relative product quality (in class), but I'm only going to give 4 stars to value because I think that the current US$ retail price is too high.

Similar Products Used: Arcam 8R, NAD C340, NAD Receiver, Creek 4330, Rotel 971, Linn Majik
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
wavephorm   Casual Listener [Jul 02, 2000]
Strength:

powerful for 40W, looks sharp, a slightly warm refined sound, direct tone control passthough

Weakness:

overpriced, sounds very similar to less expensive more feature filled recievers, no remote

I picked up a used Alpha 7 (not the R version) for a decent price and for what I paid I've got myself a wonderful amplifier. I primarily use this to power PSB Image 1 speakers with a PSB Alpha SubZero subwoofer in a bedroom stereo, but have tested it briefly against my HT stereo (Yamaha RXV595, Paradigm Studio 100).

Comparing my Yamaha reciever to this integrated amp actually made me appreciate the Yamaha unit a little more. The average price of the Yamaha reciever is about the same as the Alpha 7, but it has more features, DD 5.1, 5x75W amps, tuner etc. So for the money a reciever does pack a lot more stuff into the same budget.

But when it comes to sound quality the Arcam without question has it beat. It sounds a warmer, and the bass is very well controlled - "smooth" is a good description. I was quite surprized how much power the 40Watt amps can provide, I can put the volume to 9 o'clock and it's already at my average listening volume on either the PSB Image 1's and Paradigm 100's. However both those speakers are efficient 8ohm speakers and I'm not sure how well the Arcam would fair with less efficient speakers, but my intuition tells me that it would be adequate.

I don't find the "Direct" mode (tone control bypass) does a whole lot to improve the sound. In fact the bass/treble controls are quite subtle.

The unit looks very nice, much better than most receivers and other integrated amps. It's fairly compact and well built except that the knobs have a bit of light and cheap feel to them.

All in all, it's a good little unit and glad I got it. However I feel it is a bit overpriced and not worth the MSRP of $550. If you can find a good deal on it then it is definately a good unit.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha, NAD
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Bernard Rojas   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 22, 2000]
Strength:

Clarity, smooth detailed sound, value for money

Weakness:

Does not really rock, dynamics


I was happy with my first budget hifi amp which was the Rotel RA-921. It sounded BIG even for a modestly powered amp and made decent hifi music. When I upgraded to a better amp, I auditioned the NAD C340 and the Arcam Alpha 7R. The NAD sounded bigger and more powerful but it could not match the clarity and detail of the Arcam. I prefered the smooth sound of the Arcam. Personally, I felt the NAD was comparable to my Rotel but the Arcam was one step ahead.

Although it lacked the dynamics of the very best amp, upon hearing it bi-amped with an 8P, it sure does sound right. I can't wait to get my hands on an 8P, once I get to save enough.

My system:

Arcam Alpha 7R
Sony CDP-X3000
KEF Cresta 2
Soniclink AST200 cables

Similar Products Used: Rotel RA-921, NAD C340
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Marc-Andre   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 22, 2000]
Strength:

Clear and balanced, honest and natural sound, this amp delivers true, brilliant sound reproduction

Weakness:

Might lack the punch and edge required to drive heavier, more raunchy styles of music

The Alpha 7 I own has been impressive in reproducing Jazz and acoustic-style recordings, however, would greatly benefit from additional power when rock or alternative recordings are concerned. Biamping using the Alpha 8p would most definately correct the problem. Overall, Arcam makes a great product with slick looks and fabulous sound.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
owen Dan   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 23, 2001]
Strength:

sound quality, the best you can get for this kind of money.
has a phono input.

Weakness:

looses its sound a bit when you get to high volume.

I was dreaming about a hi fi qulity system for ages.
my problam is that I am listening to a wide range of music, which my old set failed to obtain. I was looking for a amp that will match my record collection. and finally i found the ALPHA 7R, I allmost took the NAD C 320 which is pathetic next to the ARCAM amp. anyway I combined the ALPHA 7R with HEYBROOK HB2 speakers, and it sounds GREAT, clear natural sound, what more can i ask for? (a better cd player prahaps).
this is the best system i could aford and i recomend it for
all.

Similar Products Used: none.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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