Arcam Alpha 7 CD-player

Generally speaking, the strategy of releasing a line of devices based on one simple base model with the possibility of upgrading it "upward" by "dry" replacement of individual blocks (i.e. without soldering) exchanged by dealers with an additional payment of the difference in the price of the old and new block is a cornerstone the cornerstone of Arcam's marketing policy. In accordance with this principle, the newest Alphas with numbers from 7 to 9 are designed. When you purchase Arcam equipment, you receive an owner registration card, by registering which with a regional dealer of the company, you can exercise your "right to upgrade". The first impressions of the simplest version of the CD player in the series are generally very favorable, the design and workmanship of it left the impression of a well-made thing. The CD transport loader moves amazingly smoothly and quietly. As befits an audiophile-swing device, it only has an unregulated analog audio output and a digital electrical output. No you adjustable and optical outputs. To do this to the fullest extent of the English standards of hi-fi sound (we note in passing that the "older" Arcam Alpha 8 model has an adjustable sound output). To connect to the mains, a thick three-wire computer cable with ground is used, although the reciprocal socket on the player has only two terminals - phase and neutral, and the "ground" end is not used. Puzzled buttons "Volume +", "Volume-" and "Mute" on the remote control. However, after reading the instructions, it became clear that they serve to control the volume of Arcam amplifiers. Here are miracles! Usually (and we are already used to it), you can control other audio equipment, including CD players, from the remote control of an amplifier (or receiver), but to control an amplifier from the remote control of a CD player is something new! Although, if you think about it, it is very reasonable and convenient. And, most importantly, it gently pushes the owner of the Arcam CD player to buy another Alpha, this time an amplifier from the same company. When the player was turned on, the player's bright green-yellow display lit up. Its brightness can be adjusted from the remote control or turned off completely. It is traditional and customary. But what is unusual is that after dialing the track number, it (the number) appears on the player's display and blinks, but the player, like a good soldier, is in no hurry to execute the command until it receives confirmation for its execution ( in this case, press the PLAY button on the remote control). But what about the sound quality? It lives up to expectations and doesn't disappoint at all. Alpha number 7 sounds very clean and even, shall we say, piercingly clear and transparent. Perhaps, no other player in the test had such an analytically accurate sound with the transmission of the finest sound texture (except for the Rotel RCD-975). Listening to Alpha 7, you can easily "consider" (in the sense of hearing) all the shades and intonations of the sound. But, as you know, the disadvantages are a continuation of the advantages, so such a high level of detail, from our point of view, may not always be beneficial. The attention of the listener is involuntarily fixed on trifles, distracting him from the development of the main theme of the musical work. But formally it is almost impossible to find fault with Arcam Alpha 7: it sounds bright and free. Its sound does not have that simplification that distinguishes mass players from cool models. In this, he comes close to the line beyond which begins excessive academicism.

Arcam Alpha 7 CD-player photo