Arcam CD9

At the workshop came to me, a CD player Arcam Alpha 9 (CD). You can say it is quite a famous player due to the „mythical” DAC – RingDAC. The player and the same element was created in the late 90s (1997-1998r). On the contemporary market there were three models 7/8 and said of No. 9. In the converter RingDAC was equipped only with model No. 9. Others were models of „neutered”. Interestingly model 9 is really the model No. 7 (9), however with built-in D / A converter RingDAC.


The player on their board has a fully functional circuit D/A and output of the original model, but it is disconnected on the jumpers.
The following photograph motherboard mentioned jumper to disable the internal sensor indicated a red rectangle, and the entire section of the transducer with output circuits blue rectangle.


Unfortunately, however RingDAC and the internal transmitter will not work together. After closing jumpers yes RingDAC working properly but no internal section.
On the board we see the main transformer and power section. Unfortunately, the disadvantage of the player is underdeveloped power section, radiator stabilizer 5V heats up mercilessly causing the housing after at least warm. And as we put the player in a closed shelf player becomes unbearably hot. Unfortunately, it is the disease a significant amount of equipment Arcam, someone who works there and designs systems do not really coping with designing systems under the account temperature components.


As we mentioned, stabilizer heat up to significant temperatures in excess of 100C decided to modify these cooling. Firstly, I am given a different bit larger heat sink as a second housing is made of aluminum sheet decided result of the heat sink in contact with the upper plate leads to better heat management. Of course, it did not reduce the temperature of the player, but it provided a better heat dissipation from the stabilizer.


Unfortunately, as we all continue to warmed (frankly mercilessly) decided to replace the stabilizer line on converters, inverters used a OKI78SR-5 / 1.5-W36C.
After that I replaced the capacitors in the power supply section. Unfortunately, the prevailing heat there were not too good condition.

NOISE – Gargantuan? 🙂

Another disadvantage of the model, at least the transmitter Ring DAC. There is a very high level of noise. Frankly the value of this noise is there incredible. Please look at the video below.

Comparison of the two CD SONY vs ARCAM the amount of noise generated by the ARCAM-and leave it to its own assessment.
Interestingly spectrum measurement parameters and does not indicate that the noise was so high.
The dynamics of the device reaches 90dB THD + N is 0.0032%
Maybe at the end of the answer to the rectangle on the output.



The player is quite nice it could be said neutrally. In any frequency range does not display the band. Stereo headphones is good but certainly not any outstanding. Location instruments also is good. Unfortunately, the noise generated by the player slightly disqualify him for listening to classical music where the „concert” listen to songs we have more overclocked amplifier.


One can ask whether it is good CD (within the meaning of the historical), it is worth looking at the history of all models of the system RingDAC. Arcam all the models considered top (which is also reflected in the price), but it should be mentioned that finally abandoned this construction even though the technology itself has survived and is in a sense further developed RingDAC.

Personally, I think looking at all the pros and cons and the price of the player model fairly average, but not bad. Of course, the model presented 9 CD was the first and could have drawbacks. I do not know and have not tested other models (92 CD, 23). I do not know how they are presented in relation to this model.

The fact is, however, one that continues to this model is considered in wide circles audiophiles as a good model. But I think that for similar money can buy better CD. Is it a matter of advertising and marketing? Maybe.

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