Arcam Owners...

Looking for some reviews of the FMJ C31 preamp and cd192 player. This would be replacement gear for Rotel 1070 preamp and 1072 player. Has any one done any head to head comparisons with this equipment? Any insight would be appreciated.
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I can't comment directly to your specific question. But I will share my general impressions.

I have a C30 (C31's predecessor) that replaced an Alpha 10 integrated and a CD23 but haven't heard the CD192. I have only compared the Rotel to Arcam in a dealer showroom, not at home, and not those specific components.

I preferred the "Arcam" sound to the "Rotel" sound on everything I heard them on, B&W, Castle, Martin Logan, and Magnepan. A little cleaner and more precise while still "British". (Not startlingly precise like Levinson/Martin Logan, if that makes sense?)

The C30 seems competent, and was an improvement over the Alpha 10 integrated. Better air and darker background. But it is the first pre I have had in my system, and I can't make a direct comparison.

I am sorry if this isn't quite relevant to your question and needs, but I posted to help if you haven't heard the Arcam. For a long time the CD23 was a great bargain player, but as things change, Bob's advice may be more useful.

Regards, Jim S.
Check out,there is the club Arcam subsection.I also own the C-30 preamp and is great sounding SS preamp.Compared to RC-1070,it has much better separation,dynamics and lower noise floor.The newer model,C-31 is said to be even better in the micro-dynamics retreival.If you dont need many inputs and remote,i,ll second the use of Lavry or Benchmark. Good luck.
Like Stilljd, I can't directly comment specifically to your question. I have owned Arcam Alpha 10 integrated amp, Alpha 8 CD and listened to the CD23. The Arcam house sound is very British, refined and polite. In fact, I find it to be too polite and for my tastes especially the amp. Some folks can live with that but for music that requires burst of dynamics and life, there are other units out there that can do much better. However, I like the Arcam players better than the amps.

I would still think Arcam gears are better-sounding than the Rotel. Just like what Stilljd had mentioned, they would be slightly cleaner and precise.

I can't tell about the pre-amp. But for sure, the CD23 is a really good value.
Of course, you could keep the Rotel CD player and use it as a transport. But considering the really low pirces of second hand CD23, I think it is more than worth a thought to get one. Just for your info, the 2 last ones offered on eBay have gone for 600 dollars and browsing around, you can find them for 650 dollars + shipping. YOu'll then have one box less to place on your rack and you'll be the proud owner of a dCS DAC, which is something among the best that have been built. According to all Arcam "fans", the CD33 and CD36 are really good players... but they all have some nostalgia for the CD23.
What's good about the CD23, is that it is a really well balanced player. Soundstage is amazing for the money : as well in width as in depth (keep in mind this won't necessarily apply if you have a huge rack in the middle of your speakers). I love the low dry bass it offers (some other player/amp/speakers combination have a bass that is so present that it litterally eats up the medium range ! Some even the high range...) and the detailed, but yet warm sound it delivers.
It may lack a little of fastness... but isn't that more natural ? And doesn't this allow a fatigue free audition for hours ? I think it does... but of course, everyone might have different thoughts on this.
So my advice would be as follows : try to get someone who can arrange an audition of a CD23 and compare it to your Rotel CD player. Then decide for yourself :-) But I am convinced that you'll hear the improvement provided by the CD23.
Penguin HiFi
This is interesting to hear that someone has just replaced a CD23 with a Benchmark DAC1 as I am in the process of doing just the opposite. Perfect example of how everyone's ears are different and how you really have to plug the gear into your own rig and see what it does for you. I was running a CEC transport into the benchmark via AES, using the exact same interconnects in an A/B I found that the CD23 breathed more life into the music and also was much better on the bottom end. I am finding that the Arcam is more musical overall, more of an "instrument" which plays music as opposed to the DAC1 which is more of an "instrument" in the sense of being like a precise laboratory device.
I had originally gone from a Rotel 951 to the Benchmark and found the Benchmark to be a bit more relaxed and certainly more detailed than the Rotel. I would expect that the Arcam gear would be smoother overall for you. Best of luck, let us know how it turns out for you...