Arcam CD players


Standard Member
Hello everyone

I'm a new poster; I've found the threads here very informative, but as a relative novice I have a rather basic question to ask. I'll start at the beginning:

I recently bought a very pretty A75 amp (which I have paired with some Linn Index Pluses), and have been looking for a used Arcam CD player to add to them. Having looked at various sites, I've seen the Arcam 5s, 6s, 7s, CD17s CD23s etc - but what exactly is the difference between them? (I'm thinking particularly of the 5s, 6s, 7s etc). It would really help me to come to a decision.

Are there any factors I should consider when making the choice? I'd like it to match the look of the amp ideally, but obviously that's a very minor point really.

Thanks in advance for any feedback, and also for the many hours of reading that all your contributions have given me to date :thumbsup:
Last edited:


Active Member
When looking within a specific range (Alpha, Delta, FMJ etc) the higher the number, the better a DAC it has.

When buying second hand more recent models should usually have better support for spares/repairs - you mentioned '5' and I'm assuming Alpha 5. I probably wouldn't recommend this model as if I recall the Phillips mech is no longer available.
The later Alphas were great. The 7se was fantastic for the money and should be pretty cheap today, even the 8se and 9's too.
72 and 73s good too and shouldn't cost the earth.
It all come down to what you want to spend...


Standard Member
...probably about £150, maybe £200 if it's worth an extra £50 (for most of you this is probably a pittance!). I was always under the impression that, being 'digital', there's not *too* much difference between CD players really; I'm beginning to suspect that this isn't true after all.

Which leads to another aspect of the general confusion under which I toil - that of 'transports', and using other players as such. Is this similar to the pre- and power amp relationship?

Interesting about the Alpha 5s mechs not being available any more - I was considering one of them because of the upgrade kits available.
Last edited:


Active Member
Always be careful of the upgrade path of the players... As good as Arcam are, stocks are finite and we are talking about some pretty old players. If memory serves, they no longer have stock of the Alpha 9 board.

It's unlikely you'd pick up boards second hand and would most likely come from dealers with any old stock. Probably be overpriced too so you'd be better just spending the extra off the bat on a better player. I've seen 9s go for less than £200 and 7ses for even less than £100! It's not too much more for the likes of a 72 or 73 at around the £150 mark. I'd be looking in those ranges rather than 5s or 6s.

I wouldn't worry about 2 box designs. Players have been built well enough for some time to be in 1 box. It's just now at the stage where looking at a separate DAC is more about updating and getting more out of players that people already own or adding extra functionality such as USB for their computers.


Well-known Member
The earliest Arcam CD players will be from the late 1980's to mid 1990's - I know precious little about the Alpha One - 6 & Delta 70 players from this period.

The Alpha 7SE, 8SE or 9 will be from around 1997-2000, the DIVA series (model 62 / 72 / 73 / 82 / 92 / 93 / 192) would be from around 2000-2008, with the 192 being the most recent. The FMJ models (23, 33, 36) are from 2001 onwards, but will be too expensive for your budget.

My pick for you would be a DIVA model 92, 93 or 192, as these will visually match your amp, or an Alpha 9 if you can find one within budget and don't mind that it doesn't match visually.

Good luck.
Last edited:


Standard Member
I'd have to agree with the other replies, I had an Alpha 8SE and absolutely loved the sound but found the build quality a little flimsy with the plastic fascia etc. The Divas do look to be more substantially built and I'm sure that a CD72 or 73 which was designed to complement your amplifier or a CD82 would be an good buy and within your budget. The other thing to consider is that unlike your amp there are moving parts that do wear and most people, regardless of what they put on ebay ads, do use them quite heavily. For that reason I'd probably avoid anything as old as the Alphas.


Active Member
IMHO the best value for money is a used CD192 or even better the CD36. These models are not too old and a used CD192 should be within your budget. The CD192 is not that common on the used market which might tell you a thing or to.

The CD23 is a nice player but is too old... the dac is not repairable should it go wrong. Anything before that... nah..... Shop around.. .there are a lot of CD17 and CD37 available used.. humm...

The latest video from AVForums

Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED TV Review
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom