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New Arcam FMJ CD Player and Stereo Preamplifier

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by Crustyloafer, May 31, 2005.

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  1. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Had a very nice visit from a chap Arcam today. He brought us some pre production samples of the new Arcam FMJ CD36 flagship cd player and the new Arcam FMJ C31 stereo preamplifier.

    The CD36 is the successor to the CD33T and offers quite a number of improvements over its predecessor. I can't remember them all but the following are the main points talked about.

    1. New output stage base on an improved version of the DACs in the CD192
    2. New 4 layer PCBS allowing better layout and higher noise rejection.
    3. New power supply layout allowing output stages to be further away from transformers.
    4. New material (apparently derived from stealth bomber technology) used in casework above output stages to absorb electromagnetic radiation and other nasties.
    5. New transport based on one used in CD192 and mounted on a much solid metal base.
    6. Ouput stage board fitted to casework with better fitting clips to reduce vibration

    The C31 has replaced the C30 and there are a number of changes under the hood.

    1. Totally new 4 layer PCB and circuitry layout allowing shorter signal path
    2. Multi channel options no longer available allowing better placement of components due to not have to leave room for multi channel board.
    3. Tone controls have also been dropped from the feature list to keep the signal path as short and clean as possible.
    4. New material (apparently derived from stealth bomber technology) used in casework above output stages to absorb electromagnetic radiation and other nasties.
    5.Phono stage no longer supplied as standard, but still available as dealer fitted upgrade.
    6. Hugely improved speed and transparency with far more attack and detail.

    These units are available to order now and are expected to be shipped towards the end of this week. Needless to say my name is first on the list for the new CD36 to replace my now sold CD33. The CD36 will retail for £1400, £50 up from the CD33 and the C31 will remain at the same cost of £1200 as its predecessor.
     
  2. mrkeeling

    mrkeeling
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    Great news!
    But, I must say that I am quite disappointed that there is no more multichannel option for new preamp. :(
     
  3. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    When you hear the improvement in two channel performance that's been achieved you'll realise why they dropped this option.
     
  4. ruben20

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    Are there no plans on a stereo integrated amp? How good are the improvements?
     
  5. mrkeeling

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    I am not sure I want to hear it ;) It may shatter my dream home theatre setup.

    In other words, if I do not get C30 (while there still are some left – and I can’t financially handle that right now) I won’t be able to get a pure analog multichannel preamp from Arcam in the future?
     
  6. JH1

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    I've just managed to capitalise on the launch of the new CD36 by buying a new CD33 with 5 year warranty and free £110 Atlas interconnect all for £799!
    A cracking deal for a great player. :clap:
    By the way, anyone know how long the CD33 is likely to take to run in as it is still sounding a little bright at the moment?
    (That means the CD73's available if anyones interested...PM me!)
     
  7. ruben20

    ruben20
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    Nice deal...
    I really love this player. Mine took several weeks te really open up. I also really benefits from a decent power cord.
     
  8. batleys

    batleys
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    I left mine on repeat disc for about a week, and it got to sound really sweet.
    By the way I found a shielded mains lead and siting the 33 at least 20 cm away from anything else seemed to help. Its hard to describe, but when I had done this certain CDs just got clearer and more natural and even over processed rock/pop CD became insightful - with often what can sound like compressed mush becoming relatively clear. Interesting to hear of how you get on with the 33 - I just love mine - and I can't fault it!!

    Simon
     
  9. JH1

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    Thanks for the advice on running in time guys. Interesting to hear that a sheilded mains cable helps. I'm using an Isotek Premium mains cable at the moment but from reviews I read about it, it wasn't supposed to be great, so I may try something different in the future. I will soon be looking to invest in a new rack aswell, as all units are sat on top of each other....not ideal, but I have used the 'ole squash balls in between to give a little help towards isolation in the meantime!
    The player already sounds very sweet but just a little bright compared to the demonstration player I trialled at home, so I can't wait for it to run in properly. :smashin:
     
  10. sticker

    sticker
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    Thanks for the update Chris. Arcam certainly seem to be full steam ahead with new products.

    Do you know if they are likely to release a new multi channel audio only pre?

    Regards
    John
     
  11. Jeff

    Jeff
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    The multi channel C30 is a unique and much needed product, by the sound of it the C31 is just another stereo preamp. It's a big step backwards IMO. :(
     
  12. Hifi addict

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  13. Hifi addict

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    If you want a multichannel pre-amp you have the choice to go for the AV8 or the new AVP700
     
  14. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I beg to differ, I'm glad to see them paying more attention to two channel users and making sure there are no compromises in that area.
     
  15. Mr Pumpkinhead

    Mr Pumpkinhead
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    Makes the 192 sound quite good.
    How does a 192 compare to the CD33 ?
     
  16. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    The CD192 is smoother sounding than the CD33 but lack focus and sounds a bit laid back. The CD36 has the speed and snappyness of the CD33 but is smoother at the higher frequencies and has better imaging.
     
  17. ruben20

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    Crusty, you're right about the laidbackness(nice word ;)). The smoother sound I think is not that clear in my ears. I sounded more blurred when I compared it with my cd33. Also the staging was smaller.

    The cd 36 has better imaging than the cd 33? Wow, I already think it is jaw dropping. I think it would be better for my bankaccount if I'm not going to listen to it then...
     
  18. Jeff

    Jeff
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    They are AV processors not pre-amps.
     
  19. Ambient Fish

    Ambient Fish
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    Hi all, I have owned my CD23T for over 18 Months and I don't think I have heard the best it can do yet it keeps getting better all the time, funny thing, at the time of purchase I decided against the CD33T because I could not hear the improvements the salesman was pointing out to me, they both sounded exactly the same to me so the CD23T won on price.
     
  20. mrkeeling

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    Exactly!

    I do not want to pay for video switching, DD/DTS decoding, DAC’s, DSP’s and all the other crap that does nothing for me but crates noise and compromises analog, when all I want is multichannel analog pre-amp. :suicide:
     
  21. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Here are the full official specification lists for both the Pream and the CD player.
     
  22. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    FMJ C31 Reference Quality Audiophile 2-Channel Pre-Amp

    Price: £1200.00

    Pre-amplifier section

    - All new audiophile pre-amplifier design with very low noise and distortion
    - Very short audio signal path for cleanest possible sound
    - No tone controls for lowest distortion and noise
    - DC coupled using servo to remove any DC from input signals
    - New improved Burr Brown volume control
    - High quality Burr Brown op-amps in signal path
    - Hermetically sealed reed relay input switching with immeasurable distortion and noise **
    - Four-layer printed circuit boards allow control of power supply reduction of electrical noise
    - Processor mode option for seamless integration with AV surround decoders
    - Audiophile grade Stargate and Rubicon capacitors for signal transparency
    - Optional single stage MM/MC phono pre-amp

    ** Note:- Because the contacts in reed relays are hermetically sealed, they can switch low-level signals as low as fempto amps and nano volts. Electromechanical relays cannot do this because they are not hermetically sealed and have polymer film build up on their contacts that require a voltage arc to break through this layer before conduction can take place. Similarly, semiconductors have capacitance, leakage currents and semiconductor offsets to deal with
    that introduce distortion and limit the switching and detection of low voltages and currents. The reed relay has no moving parts, giving it an astonishing fault-free life of over 100 million operations.

    Output stage

    - Buffered balanced and unbalanced audio outputs
    - Directly connected unbalanced outputs
    - Independently buffered tape paths
    - Front panel headphones socket driven by dedicated headphone driver circuit

    Construction

    - Acousteel critically damped chassis to reduce microphony
    - 8mm extruded aluminium faceplate for mechanical integrity and electrical shielding
    - Additional aluminium casework and unique electrical shielding materials
    - Clear easy-to-read front panel display

    Power supply

    - Large core low flux density toroidal based power supply
    - Massive 2 x 10,000uF bulk decoupling capacitors to reduce voltage variation on input to audio regulators
    - Dual regulated system for analogue power supplies

    General

    - Power consumption (max) 30VA
    - Size 430W x 370D x 110H mm inc. feet
    - Weight (net) 9.3kg
     
  23. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    FMJ CD36 Reference Quality Audiophile CD Player

    Price: £1400.00

    - All new power supply using dual toroidal transformers gives exceptionally low noise floor
    - Quad Wolfson DACs per channel for superb linearity
    - Upsampling to 192kHz at 24-bit resolution for best DAC / filter performance
    - Ultra low jitter 3rd overtone clock for precise soundstage and imaging
    - Mechanically shielded construction dramatically reduces induced interference
    - 10 separate power supplies minimise interaction between circuit blocks
    - Critically damped Accousteel chassis to ensure rejection of mechanical vibration

    Key features of the CD36 DAC design

    - Quad Wolfson WM8740 Dacs on a four-layer fibreglass board using analogue averaging greatly increases linearity and reduce distortion
    - Upsampling technology to 192kHz at 24-bit resolution allows the use of very high frequency analogue output filtering for improved phase and frequency response giving superb detail and sonic reality
    - High stability 3rd overtone clock oscillator for ultra low jitter, improving stereo image and soundstage
    - High quality ceramic capacitors improve decoupling of high frequency signals, reducing electrical noise within the player’s circuitry

    Mechanical design

    - Four-layer main board & display board using extra layers to ensure very low digital noise
    and eliminate most of the degradation caused by interference
    - RF screening greatly reduces the Radio Frequency Inference (RFI) within the sensitive circuit paths, giving refined and controlled playback at all times
    - Chassis treated with Acousteel damping, which eradicates mechanical interaction with the
    listening room or CD drive mechanism

    Power supply design

    - Dual toroidal mains transformers supplying DAC circuitry and controller sections
    - Complete separation of transport electrical noise from the sensitive DAC electronics
    - Further power regulation using 10 separate regulated power supplies powering different sections of the CD36
    - Mechanical shielding protects susceptible circuits from any residual magnetic fields the transformers may emit

    General

    - Power consumption (max) 32VA
    - Size 430W x 290D x 85H mm inc. feet
    - Weight (net) 6.5kg
     
  24. wcvb

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    I'd like more detailed information on the sound of the new CD36.

    Is it an incremental or dramatic improvement over the CD23 and CD33?

    What are the key differences?

    What are the overall listening impressions?

    How does it compare with other players - Audio Aero Capitol, Shanling CDT100, Classe, Ayre CX-7, etc.?
     
  25. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    It is not something that should be described by any one person, everyone has different ears so I would say go and listen for yourself.
     
  26. Hifi addict

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    The arcam website has now been updated with the new CD36 and C31 info !!! go check it out ;)
     
  27. SMCC

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    er... not quite. When I click on the CD36 or C31 in the product range, I get taken to the old C30/CD33 pages.
     
  28. Hifi addict

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    you should click on the word "info", not on the picture
     
  29. Designer

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    Ooops! Slight slip of the webmaster's fiingers. Clicking on the picture of the C31 should take you to the C31. Same for the CD36. We're getting that sorted out shortly.....

    As Hifi addict said, just click on the words for now. Sorry folks.
     
  30. Palu

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    :thumbsdow But its done not correct. If you click FMJ C31 detaisl you see the specs of the C30!!!

    :oops:
     

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