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Arcam Alpha 9 Amp - Pay to Repair or Move On !?

Micro44UK

Standard Member
Dear Forum,

My Arcam Alpha 9 integrated amplifier recently died. I can't decide if it's worth repairing. I paid £600 for it in 1997 but it has been lightly used. They currently sell for about £190 on eBay and a full service/repair will cost me £147.

Question is - while Arcam say a full service will return it to 'new like status' and give me a 3 month warranty - is it worth it? I'm willing to spend £350 on a new amp but will a new 2007 Amp for £350 sound better than a 1997 £600 amp?

All comments welcome!

Thanks,
M.
 

kidloco46

Established Member
depends, if they can fix it and give you a warrenty that the same part wont go again then I would say get it fixed. Amps very rarely break so its likely that once its repaired it will give you many more years of service.

I cant see you getting a new amp for £350 that will come close to the Arcam.

You could always get something secondhand, £250 will buy you a very nice amp on ebay. I picked up a Roksan Kandy III for little over £200
 

sibeer

Prominent Member
A full Arcam service / repair will probably make it a safer bet than one for £190 on ebay. It depends really an whether you like were happy with the amp. If you liked it anyway then you may as well let Arcam bring it back to it's best, you definately won't get anything to beat it for £147.

I think a good deal on a amp may get you something similar for £350 new money, you will be pushing it though.
 

mcguiganp

Established Member
On the used side you can pick up an ex-demo A80 for around the £350-£400 mark. As to whether this will be better than your current amp is debatable, I would say not by £350 worth. I would go with the repair to be honest, offers not too bad value.

Out of interest what is the fault?
 

Micro44UK

Standard Member
Thanks for your replies - I decided to mail the Amp back to Arcam today.. It's so old I feel like I've written off the original cost and am paying £147 for a brand new amp!

Issues with amp:
1- Left/Right channel imbalance at low volume (issue with most Alpha 9's but they say they can fix it).
2- A cloud of smoke came out the top / burning smell (I was out of the room) and then fuse blew. New fuse just causes more smoke and fuse blows after 10 seconds.
3- Remote is failing.

From the problems above (especially #2) I think it will be quite a big repair job? Maybe they'll just replace it with a new unit (do you think they still have some in stock?).

I was tempted by a second hand Musical Fidelity on eBay but really like the Arcam's AV bypass for use with front speakers / surround sound amp.
 

mcguiganp

Established Member
Thanks for your replies - I decided to mail the Amp back to Arcam today.. It's so old I feel like I've written off the original cost and am paying £147 for a brand new amp!

Issues with amp:
1- Left/Right channel imbalance at low volume (issue with most Alpha 9's but they say they can fix it).
2- A cloud of smoke came out the top / burning smell (I was out of the room) and then fuse blew. New fuse just causes more smoke and fuse blows after 10 seconds.
3- Remote is failing.

From the problems above (especially #2) I think it will be quite a big repair job? Maybe they'll just replace it with a new unit (do you think they still have some in stock?).

I was tempted by a second hand Musical Fidelity on eBay but really like the Arcam's AV bypass for use with front speakers / surround sound amp.

You'd be surprised. Probably just a diode blown. I'm sure the amp will be up and running in no time. Arcam will replace any iffy components as well so you'll in effect get a brand new amp back :smashin:
 

kidloco46

Established Member
Issues with amp:
1- Left/Right channel imbalance at low volume (issue with most Alpha 9's but they say they can fix it).


Iv noticed that the Arcam ALpha 8 I bought my dad has started showing this trait, any way to fix it ?
 

mcguiganp

Established Member
Issues with amp:
1- Left/Right channel imbalance at low volume (issue with most Alpha 9's but they say they can fix it).


Iv noticed that the Arcam ALpha 8 I bought my dad has started showing this trait, any way to fix it ?


Keep the volume high :D ;)
 

Micro44UK

Standard Member
I'm told that most repair center's can't fix it - so I assume the part has to be replaced by Arcam..

I'm not totally convinced they're going to make my Amp 'better than new' as they promised.. I'll report back which my experiences of Arcam's service.. Just glad they're happy to repair a 10 year old amp!
 

mcguiganp

Established Member
I'm told that most repair center's can't fix it - so I assume the part has to be replaced by Arcam..

I'm not totally convinced they're going to make my Amp 'better than new' as they promised.. I'll report back which my experiences of Arcam's service.. Just glad they're happy to repair a 10 year old amp!

The Arcam guys are very good, I can testify to that. They have rescued my fried A90 and replaced a couple of parts that were quite old, even when the parts were fine. They also tweaked some pots inside to reduce distortion. You will not be disappointed. They gave it a full serviceand back in full working order.
 

T87MAK

Standard Member
You could always replace the fuse, and try using it as a power amp (there's a switch on the main pcb which removes the preamp section), then you can buy a nice preamp (Cyrus PreXvs are good deals just now as they're released the "2" version). The Arcam's (imho) power amp section is better than the preamp section!
 

Crocodile JD

Established Member
If it were another make I'd have been more reluctant to shell out on an old amp, but since it is Arcam and given that they still have alot of electronics know how at their UK HQ (unlike many makes with under resourced UK service centres) I think you made a good decision. Let us know how it goes

Croc
 
C

curry-kid

Guest
Micro44UK,

Did you get the amp sorted ? What was it like ?

I have a slightly rough sounding Alpha 9 integrated that I am considering having serviced/repaired, so I would be interested in your results...

Cheers
Chris
 

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