Arcam CD player history

I have noticed many Arcam CD players for sale lately. No, I am not asking why. I was looking for some insight on the lineage of them. I was thinking of picking one up to use primarily as a transport or a player to have around in a second system. Can anyone enlighten me as to which models might make good transports or just how all these different model numbers unfold in age and technology.

Thank you,
Starting with the Alpha 9 (97-98), Arcam was using a simplified DCS FIFO DAC under license. Sony Transport.

The CD23 was next (00-01). Same DAC, different chassis and transformer. Not sure about transport.

Shortly after came the CD23T with text. Only difference that I know of was the text capability.

CD33 in 03-04 used dual Burr-Browns for the DAC.

CD36 in 05-06 was an upgrade with the Burr-Brown DAC. I don't know what else changed or what the transport is.

All decode HDCD. A nice feature. The Arcam website used to catalogue all of the older models. More specifics might be available there.

FWIW - I have an Alpha 9 and CD23. Like them very much, but I have limited exposure to other players. I didn't like the CD33 as much. Haven't heard the 36.

I think the used Arcam 9 and 23 are a good value player. I think it is a relatively mass market entry level item and available at a lot of Audio & HT stores. People start there and move up. JMO

Jim S.
Arcam Diva CD73....very musical.I just upgraded to a tube cd.So my beloved CD73 will be available and for sale soon to finance my other purchased.Let me know if interested.
Sorry, the 33 & 36 DACs were/are dual channel 24/192 upsampling Wolfson.

Although I vaguely remember reading that the DCS chips upsampled. I don't know to what speed and word length.

Also, the Diva's are the less costly cousins. I am not familiar with the Diva lineage.

Jim S.
Thank you Stilljd, that is the sort of info I was looking for. The FMJ lines seem to be amongst there better players, is that right? Also, it seems the players that used a version of the DCS Ring DAC seem to be strong units as well....which were those?

I could not find this kind of geneaology on the Arcam website which is why I asked this question. Again thanks to anyone who can offer info on this topic,
I believe the Alpha 9 used the ring dac and I know for sure the FMJ 23 uses it.

Shoe is right. The DCS "FIFO" DAC and "Ring" DAC are the same. It was also used in at least 1 of the DIVA players. Hopefully these links will work.

Jim S.
Very helpful links. Thank you,
I believe the Arcam cd players that used the excellent dcs ring DAC were the Alpha 9, the Diva CD92, and the FMJ 23. The CD93, I believe, uses the Wolfson DAC which, many believe, does not sound as good as the ring dac machines.

Each player as I've listed them increase in cost, with the FMJ 23 being the most expensive of the three. I had previously owned the Diva CD92, and it's an excellent player. I would add a high quality cd mat such as the one made by 'de mat' (if you can find's exceptional) or one of the many cd mats available from Music Direct. The difference in sound quality with the mat is night and day!

The above models are the one's I'd be looking for primarily because of the DAC converter.

Also there is the models with text cd92t and 23t,total of 5 models with the ring dac