Arcam Alpha 1 CD Players

Alpha 1

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User Reviews (21)

Showing 1-10 of 21  
Jeff   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 09, 2003]
Strength:

Good precision. Nice rending of the tonal colors of the sounds.

Weakness:

Lack of some bass

I've tested Denon, Rotel, Yamaha and NAD cd player before buying and the Arcam was the best on them (in my opinion). The harmonic definition of the sounds as well as the spatial 3D imaging of the musical instruments playing are pretty neat.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Thomas Sorensen   Casual Listener [Jan 14, 2000]
Strength:

None wath so ever

I had the Alpha 1 for approximately 5 years and had nothing but trouble since day of purchase. The build quality needs to be vastly improved. Sound quality however was quite good, but extremely frustrated with unit being returned to arcam for repair to laser.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
David Zamith   Audiophile [May 01, 2001]
Strength:

Low cost - and it sounds great.

Weakness:

After I bought it, I read about service problems. However, no problems yet.

I can't really complain about this player. It sounds better than the Yamaha it replaced. And my friends are very impressed with my system - and so am I.

No complaints. I'll post another review if I run into problems

Similar Products Used: -
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jim   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 09, 2001]
Strength:

Sound

Weakness:

Build

Went from a Rotel $350 to an Alpha 1 several years ago when the 1 first came out. Within 4 months the display buggered up. Sometimes it was fine, sometimes it switched to very very dim mode. Although perhaps this was a power saving feature or "screen saver":) Fixed by Arcam and haven't had any other problems with it since.

Otherwise, totally satisfied with the sound quality and it is definatly an improvement of the Rotel. At the time I auditioned the usual alternatives, highly aclaimed by the hifi press (Marantz, Rotel etc...) but the Arcam was marginally better on all fronts. Just can't pursuade myself to fully put my trust in it cos it gives the impression that even putting a CD in the transport draw will exert enough pressure to break it off. Perhaps that's Sony transports for you. Bit dumb really since it still sounds fine even now when its partnered with far superior quality components.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Rikard   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 13, 2000]
Strength:

none

Weakness:

very bad build quality. no richness, no 3D

Don't ever buy this player. If you do, you must get it almost for free.

I have used this player for almost 5 years and I have only been unhappy with it. It have never played all my cds in my collection. After only one year the laser went mad and refused to read 50% of my cds. I returned it and got one repaired one back after 3 months. The new one still refused to play 10% of my cds and the tray didn't come out without me forcing it by hand if I had no cd in the tray!
I returned it for a second time for about half a year ago and bought a tuner instead. As you can see from this and other reviews here, build quality is so bad that you should stay away from this player. It's a f*ing shame that they even let this crap out on the market. I understand that Arcam needs to target all customer market segments but to what cost? Unhappy customers? I can say nothing about their bigger players but they are fairly better. Both when it comes to sound (of course) and build quality.
They get beaten by others like Linn but they are also cheaper. But I can say that I have no more faith in that company. I don't think Mike (read the review from 2/6/99) has either.

I can say something about the sound also. As some people have described it: earthed and without thrills. I agree on that. Today you get lots of better players and unless you want to risk ending up with a piece of shit, you can find another player.

Similar Products Used: my computer's CD-ROM and Linn Genki...
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Jose Vasquez Mansilla   Casual Listener [Jul 27, 2000]
Strength:

Very good sound, cheap and very reliable

Weakness:

A bit metalic in the top end freqs.

I ve bought this cd player, coz a friend of mine told me it was great. Now after several months I am totally convinced of it. I would recommend this player to anyone who seriously loves music and don t wanna spend too much. For me is a best buy!!!

Similar Products Used: Rotel RCD 945, NAD 312
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Mark   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 13, 2001]
Strength:

Good sound for a budget box

Weakness:

Doesn't track all CDs well

The Alpha One has never successfully tracked *all* of my CDs, but it's only the odd one here and there that doesn't work. Having owned it for six years, contrary to the crass generalisations of one or two other reviews here, the player is working as it did when I bought it.

And the sound quality, in tandem with an Alpha 5+ and Mordaunt-Short MS30 speakers, is really quite good. It's never going to rival high-end systems, as the treble is rolled off and the bass, while articulate and rhythmically correct, does not delve deep enough. But the midrange is very good, the soundstage is solid and it drives music along without drawing too much attention to itself.

By the way, I also own an Arcam 170.3 CD transport (12 years old!!), hooked up to an Arcam Black Box 50 DAC, and the transport is still rock solid, has never had the laser changed, and having been clocked with a Trichord Clock 3, sounds quite excellent. A similar upgrade to the Alpha One could work wonders on timing and dynamic range.

Who says Arcam products don't last?

Similar Products Used: I've listened to many players, from budget Technics CD models to Naim CDS
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Matthew Reading   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 28, 2001]
Strength:

Decent focus, good overall transparency

Weakness:

some high frequency grain

This player isn't the best but I think it represents a good value for the money. I do prefer the sound of the new Alpha 7SE. I will upgrade eventually. The Alpha 1 does have a little more "grain" than the 7SE. I found the Alpha 1 similar in sound to a Rotel that I have tried.

I have heard of problems with these players, but mine seems fine so far. I've been using one for about 3 years

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Thomas Thorsen   an Audio Enthusiast [Jul 31, 1998]

Arcam Alpha One is a very fine player. It's very good at the price but i would rather like to spend a few £100 and buy the Alpha 5 or 6, which give a lot more for your money.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Mike Norman   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 31, 1999]

I have owned this player for almost 3 years and have thourghly enjoyed it.It has a great detailed sound that is not harsh like some cd players I have listened to.For the money the Alpha One with some good interconnects can't be beat.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 21  

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