Arcam CD23 worth saving?

Hi Guys, apologies if this has been asked before but wondered what your thoughts are on whether the CD23 is worth repairing... It's already had a genuine sony laser optic fitted but has now started making a grating noise half way through a cd so I'm a bit disillusioned with it now. I love the sound of it but things have moved on in the DAC world in the last 10 years so I'm not sure if it's worth shelling out again to get it fixed. It's currently on its' way to a high end audio shop in the UK for an estimate but I'm thinking perhaps it's time to just give up the ghost and buy a transport and DAC combo...


No it can't be used as a DAC unfortunately as it only has digital out otherwise I'd ignore the transport side of it. That was one of my first thoughts but it's just too old.

I had the ARCAM CD23T a dozen years ago in a prior system, so I know it’s strengths and warts very well.

Decision tree:

(1) IF YOU LIKE THE ARCAM bespoke signature sound , ( a fine but important distinction and thus first consideration ,,,,) then it is worth the repair cost, it was a great DAC for spinners of ITS era, ( emphasis added)

(2) Not insignificant current repair costs are not assurance of future proofing against continued new repair costs, This needs to be first assessed as a deterrent and high risk investment. Be aware that the laser unit replacement part may prove difficult in a 20+ year old spinner.

it was for this reason I upgraded 10 years ago to a REGA ISIS VALVE cdp/ DAC who has two matched serial number laser units reserved for each owner stored for you back at REGA. ( the ISIS is also a very big step up in performance comparatively)



I would look into the Cambridge CXC or the Audiolab 6000 transport to use with your DAC.  THere are better transportsd at much higher prices but either one of these  preforms very well.

Yes I was looking at the audiolab 6000 transport. Its a little pricey at 400GBP but has very good reviews. The DAC is another question entirely though. I quite like the burr brown DAC in the Ifi signature but not sure if it's as good as the cd23 ring dac. I received word that Deco Audio has received the Arcam cd23 today so we'll see if it's repairable at a sensible price. If not I'll be going down the transport route and Ifi signature for start or possibly Cambridge audio if it's not up to scratch. It sounds pretty damn good with my phone connected via usb so it might be the way forward, who knows.

I say if you can't get it repaired for less than the cost of a new DAC + transport / streamer, then it's time to let it go.


I used to like spinning discs, but since moving to a streaming-oriented setup, I barely touch them except to rip them to FLAC.


IMO, a good Burr-Brown or Sabre DAC is going to sound every bit the equal to the Ring DAC in the Arcam. Try to do a blind test if you can.