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Arcam Alpha 9 or Musical Fidelity A3CD?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys,

I got 2 good deals waiting for me to respond to them. I can get both the Alpha 9 and the A3CD at the same price. However, I will only be getting one cd player only. Which one offers better sound? I know Arcam sounds pretty good as my friend have the Alpha 8 and 7Se, but I've never heard Musical Fidelity. Musical Fidelity does have a visual advantage over the Arcam which looks pretty darn ugly IMHO. But well, you can't really have the best of both worlds.

post #2 of 16
I don't know about the Arcam, but the A3CD has been universally acclaimed as a phenomenal player. Many reviewers have called it easily the best player at its price point.
post #3 of 16
Hmm, I think they're both great players.

Let's say...I'd gladly buy the one you won't be taking (given I had the money )

So what price are we talking about here?


post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
LOL, write me an email jaskin@hotmail.com

I think I'm going for the Alpha 9. It has the same processor as the newer CD 92, and it should sound quite good. What HiFi gave it 4 stars as oppose to A3CD's 5 stars plus 'Award winner' catagory.
post #5 of 16
So you're going for the *worse* player? (according to what hifi? which doesn't really mean anything, but still)
post #6 of 16
Some people get to make the best decisions...
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Redwoood
So you're going for the *worse* player? (according to what hifi? which doesn't really mean anything, but still)
It's not neccessarily the worse player loL! I think I would prefer the Arcam sound as I have friend who already have them. From the review I've read the MF A3 seems to be less forgiving and 'cold'. But the finish is so much nicer

post #8 of 16
I didn't really mean to imply the A3CD was worse.
I just thought that your argumentation was kind of strange.

But beware. The Arcam is known to be very detailed - don't know whether it is 'cold' or not though (never heard any of these, just know them from reviews)

Anyway, I think they are both excellent players. And if your friend has the Arcam and likes it, that's definitely an important point

Have fun!


post #9 of 16
Jaskin, which ever CD player you decide on please give us a review of the player. i sure would like to know how either ones of thoughs players perform...
post #10 of 16
I've heard them both, well I actually heard the Arcam CD92 which should be close enough..
IMO they're both fantastic players. The sonic differences are not that big. Perhaps the MF player has a bit more forward sound but just a bit. MF A3 is also better built than the older apha9, I'd go with it if I was you.
post #11 of 16
The Arcam cd players allow for internal upgrades(which to me is better than external dacs. Not sure if the MF has that ability but something to consider.

Both are considered excellent but I've only heard the 9 and it is truly exceptional...In fact I can't see spending more on a player for sonic difference because I seriously doubt that there is one. I compared the 9 with the Linn Sondek(at 20K US) and I dunno. Maybe in very long term listening the Linn might win, but in the hour or so I spent the Arcam was every bit the player(pardon the pun.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I heard the Linn Genki is quite good also. I'm going the way of the Arcam. Just confirmed it. The Arcam Alpha 9 has no upgrade routes I guess unless you change the housing to the CD92. The Alpha 7 and 8's can be upgraded to the Alpha 9.
post #13 of 16

I remember somewhere (either Audio Asylum or HeadWize) where some people were saying the Linn (and I think it was the Genki, but it could have been another model) had a slightly echoey quality (not in a favorable sense either, if I remember correctly). Search both Audio Asylum and HeadWize for it if you're interested.

I'd use keywords: Linn, Ikemi, Genki, echo, reverb
post #14 of 16
Word of advice:-

Just because a cd player got five out of five it still may not be right for "you"! Take the Musical fidelity. That may sound great with classical/acoustic but sound cr*p with rock/dance more energetic stuff (I am assuming here but..)

Also a lot of it will come down to Synergy as well. Which particular cd player will fit in the best with the current system that you have as well as not be outclassed by any particular upgrades that you may make in the future
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

I know well enough not to trust what HiFi's reviews too much. They're sometimes baised against some brands. It's entertaining though to know that you own a 5 star cd player or amp. Right now I'm starting from scratch. So I'd have to buy an amp to go with it. Maybe a headphone amp first as I'm pretty broke now. I'm thinking of the MG Head DT with my Etys. Should be a nice setup. I could audition for the amplifier as the place is only about minutes away from my place.

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