The Arcam DiVA CD73t Review
post-776266
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 22

xaipemw

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Messages
424
Reaction score
10
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Posts
424
Likes
10
It was a dark and stormy night....

No, seriously, it was. Last night, anyways. I was listening to my headphones when it started raining. I live in the basement of my parents house (no jokes, please... I'm still in college!) and I usually can't hear any weather outside. But this was different: this thunder was LOUD. And I could hear it clearly through my Sennheiser HD650's. I stopped listening to my music (it was Damien Rice), and paused my Arcam DiVA CD73t. I could hear the thunder as it climaxed, and then rolled off into silence. This went on for over thirty minutes, and then it stopped altogether. I put my Senn's back on, and resumed listening to "O", Damien Rice's album. And I started to really listen. When I say that, I mean actively pay attention to the sound, not just the feel or the emotion of the music. I became fascinated.

I auditioned some big contenders in the sub-$1K pricerange, all Redbook-only players. I tried the Rega Planet 2000, the Rotel RCD-1072, the Music Hall MMF-CD25, the Audio Refinement CD Complete, and the Arcam. I tried to be as objective as I could be when I was evaluating their performance: but as any true music lover can attest, there can't only be an objective evaluation. I wanted to feel the music: to let it move me.

And that's why I chose the Arcam. To me, of all the choices it was the one that "sang". I'll be more specific: the music wasn't bass-heavy, midrange-heavy or treble-heavy. The music wasn't boring and neutral, either: it simply sounded how I believe music is supposed to sound. Whether it's the power source, the DAC, or something else, I don't know. I'm not a techno-guy when it comes to this sort of thing. Of course, I read all of the specs I could on all of the players. And I read what reviews I could read, although for the Arcam there weren't that many. And then I went out and tried the ones I could reach in my city.

The CD73 is so great because it isn't harsh, yet it's very detailed. It isn't bass-heavy, yet it produces the lowest of lows I have yet heard from a CDP. It doesn't have a midrange hump that I could hear, yet the midrange was solid and gorgeous. Don't get me wrong, it's not what I could call a "neutral" player, because that to me implies a boring one. No, it is certainly not a boring player. It just lets the music be , without shouting a statement of its own. And I like that, a lot.

It also works wonderfully with my other components: My HD650's, my Perreaux SXH1, even my old-school version Accoustimass speaker setup. In fact, the CD73 sounds so much better than my old CDP, a Sony CDP-211, that I have decided to return my Zu Mobius cable and just use the stock one for now. (Read my thread about the Zu and classical music to understand more.)

This player is highly underrepresented in Head-Fi, and that's a big shame. I could go into more details about the sonics of this player: but for now, all I will say is that the Arcam DiVA CD73t puts a big smile on my face everytime I listen to it. And that's all a music lover could ever ask for.
 
     Share This Post       
post-776384
Post #2 of 22

Ticky

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
1,098
Reaction score
11
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Posts
1,098
Likes
11
Xaipemw,

where did you purchase your Arcam? I was interested in this CDP during my research for a new CDP, but i've since given up on it due to a lack of nearby dealers and on-line tailers.

pity.
 
     Share This Post       
post-776436
Post #3 of 22

xaipemw

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Messages
424
Reaction score
10
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Posts
424
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ticky
Xaipemw,

where did you purchase your Arcam? I was interested in this CDP during my research for a new CDP, but i've since given up on it due to a lack of nearby dealers and on-line tailers.

pity.



Ticky,

I bought it from a local audio/video store that carries the complete Arcam line: they're the only Arcam dealer in my area (Milwaukee). And you're right, Arcam doesn't allow internet sales (a real shame, and probably the reason they aren't more popular).
 
     Share This Post       
post-776844
Post #4 of 22

Ticky

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
1,098
Reaction score
11
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Posts
1,098
Likes
11
Luck is on my side!

after some diligent searches on the internet, I've stumbled upon an audio dealer not too far in Maryland that carries - get this - NAD, Rotel, Cambridge Audio, Arcam and Toshiba. Just about all the brand's I've been eyeing for my source upgrade!!!! < and I might be able to finally check out all the hype on that Toshia 3930>

Finally I'm getting somewhere..
 
     Share This Post       
post-777078
Post #5 of 22

lant5

New Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Posts
17
Likes
0
This is a timely review from my perspective. I am in the market for a new source unit and the 73T is on my map. I recently returned the Cambridge 640C. It was a touch forward sounding but I found the noisy transport just too much to bear. How is the Arcam in respect to noise, and basic transport function ? It uses a Sony mechanism as does the Cambridge. I am going to try the Jupiter this weekend. Currently using the Philips 727 which I have found to be surprisingly good for $60 !
 
     Share This Post       
post-777110
Post #6 of 22

xaipemw

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Messages
424
Reaction score
10
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Posts
424
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by lant5
This is a timely review from my perspective. I am in the market for a new source unit and the 73T is on my map. I recently returned the Cambridge 640C. It was a touch forward sounding but I found the noisy transport just too much to bear. How is the Arcam in respect to noise, and basic transport function ? It uses a Sony mechanism as does the Cambridge. I am going to try the Jupiter this weekend. Currently using the Philips 727 which I have found to be surprisingly good for $60 !



The Arcam has a transport that, when on pause, I could hear from a few inches away. But it was by no means a noisy one. I think that if anything, the Rega's would be noisier with the "hockey puck" rotating outside of the enclosure. It's something that only you could determine to be "noisy" or not, though in the end.
 
     Share This Post       
post-777164
Post #7 of 22

lant5

New Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Posts
17
Likes
0
Thanks for the response. The Cambridge transport was clearly audible from 10 feet away during quiet passages. Also the transport would make a solid clicking noise when skipping a track.
 
     Share This Post       
post-777176
Post #8 of 22

TMC

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 27, 2002
Messages
1,031
Reaction score
10
Joined
Dec 27, 2002
Posts
1,031
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by lant5
Thanks for the response. The Cambridge transport was clearly audible from 10 feet away during quiet passages. Also the transport would make a solid clicking noise when skipping a track.


Your 640C is a lot louder than mine then. At 10ft away in a totally quiet environment I have to strain to pick up any noise during playback without wearing headphones.
 
     Share This Post       
post-777187
Post #9 of 22

Xeno7651

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 5, 2002
Messages
829
Reaction score
10
Joined
Oct 5, 2002
Posts
829
Likes
10
I own the Arcam CD92 and so far, this player got the tightest bass and bass extension of all the sources I have tried. The transport is also very quiet and tracking was extremely fast. The arcam line is quite good for the price.
 
     Share This Post       
post-777190
Post #10 of 22

elnero

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Messages
6,082
Reaction score
489
Location
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Location
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Posts
6,082
Likes
489
Quote:

Originally Posted by TMC
Your 640C is a lot louder than mine then. At 10ft away in a totally quiet environment I have to strain to pick up any noise during playback without wearing headphones.


I think it really depends where your sitting and what headphones your using. I sit right next to my 640C and I'm never distracted by the noise from it with the W100's on but since I got the HD600's I do tend to notice it on occasion.
 
     Share This Post       
post-777206
Post #11 of 22

TMC

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 27, 2002
Messages
1,031
Reaction score
10
Joined
Dec 27, 2002
Posts
1,031
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by elnero
I think it really depends where your sitting and what headphones your using. I sit right next to my 640C and I'm never distracted by the noise from it with the W100's on but since I got the HD600's I do tend to notice it on occasion.


I usually sit 3-4ft away from the player while using it without it being an issue even with the MS-1, so I don't think a couple of ft further away would change that
I always play albums from start to finish with the occasional skip, so if playing songs at random (that will produce the clicking sound between tracks) is preferred it would be a bigger issue.
 
     Share This Post       
post-777235
Post #12 of 22

Jasper994

Organizer for Can Jam '09
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
Messages
6,114
Reaction score
13
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
Posts
6,114
Likes
13
How much does the CD73t run?
 
     Share This Post       
post-777273
Post #13 of 22

Ticky

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
1,098
Reaction score
11
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Posts
1,098
Likes
11
A touch more than the 542 and Azur 640c. The US Arcam website stated a MSRP of $700. Without competition from on-line tailers, I suspect most dealers will charge around this price for the CD73T.
 
     Share This Post       
post-777319
Post #14 of 22

eyeteeth

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 22, 2003
Messages
4,617
Reaction score
12
Joined
Sep 22, 2003
Posts
4,617
Likes
12
Funny how we all hear differently. I considered my CD73T to be a warm player with a full rich sound and really good bass. But not a very detailed player. I considered the loss of the finest details a fair trade.

Oddly enough I'm into the 75th hour of burn-in of an after market power cord (Signal) and my Arcam is no longer my Arcam. It's voice has been dramatically changed. It is no longer a warm player. It's much more dynamic and detailed with a bigger, deeper soundstage but this is a mixed blessing with so many recordings being on the bright side. I'll have to wait for my ears/brain to adjust before I can decide if I like it better now or before or maybe another cord will have it somewhere between.
 
     Share This Post       
post-777339
Post #15 of 22

pbirkett

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
3,238
Reaction score
47
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Posts
3,238
Likes
47
You should have tried an Arcam Alpha 9, second hand. These players are VERY good for the money. The Alpha 9 is basically the same DAC as the newer CD92, but for much less money.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top