I no longer own an Arcam CD player, but did in the past and it was very reliable. I also have a friend who owns a much older Arcam CD player who has had no problems. Cambridge would be one to avoid in my experience.
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That line is as old as time: drop a subtle or unsubtle line that the brand a potential customer has mentioned is prone to problems. A corollary is to say: "Oh, I used to carry that line, but I dropped it". That usually means he couldn't sell any or else was screwing the distributor. I would ditch the dealer. I have owned an Arcam CD23 for about 14 months with no problem. I remember having to return an NEC and a Sony years ago. My late brother, eleven years my senior, always told me if I needed to judge a person's intent on anything in life, I should ask myself what exactly the person was selling. Still holds true today.
I previously owned an Arcam Alpha 9 CD player. I sold it via AudiogoN when I decided to buy a CD player with a built in volume control.
A couple of months after I sold the unit (BTW, I bought it used via AudiogoN), the new owner posted a question on AudioAsylum concerning her "broken" Arcam Alpha 9. I contacted her to offer my assistance. I contacted Audiophile Systems Limited (ASL Group) in Indianapolis since they were the US distributor. They suggested that the new owner send the unit in for repair.
To make this short, ASL Group repaired the unit at no charge even though the warranty was expired and void because she was the third owned.
WOW, that was excellent service and the folks at ASL Group are GREAT. I have previously owned other Arcam products and would gladly recommend them to someone that enjoyed the sound of the Arcam product.
BTW, no relationship to Arcam or ASL Group. I'm just a satisfied customer.
I live in Canada. The Arcam distributor for Canada is Emerald Audio in Toronto. I own an 8SE CDP that developed a spontaneous electrical discharge "pop" 6 months beyond the warrantee period.
Emerald Audio honored the warrantee and went out of their way to isolate a problem which was very difficult to recreate and isolate. The problem reoccurred a year later and this time Emerald no only honored the warrantee again, but resoldered every connection and upgraded every conceivable part that may have caused the problem. I have a superior machine to that which I sent in for repair.
I have had no further problems and enjoy this product a lot. I have the highest regard for Arcam and their distributors for backing up their products.
Yea, i just want to second what was said about dealers' using that line about reliability being an issue. you only hear it when you mention the name of a product that they don't sell. I just recently had a dealer tell me that arcam was good but, didn't i know that they're prone to lot's of problems? of course he didn't sell arcam - and i bet he wishes he did. arcam is the market leader in the UK and quite an easy sell, he could probably move truckloads of their gear and put alot of money in the bank. These guys are salesmen first no question.