Hi All,

I was wondering if any one has done a direct comparison of the Arcam CD players (Alpha 9, DIVA CD92, and the FMJ CD23). I am upgrading my 7se, but I have only had the chance to extensively audition the Alpha 9. Thanks for your help.
I kind of have the other side of the equation.
I auditioned the FMJCD23 about a year or so ago,I had an Arcam 7 cd player a few years back but have never heard the 9 or the new Diva's.
You'll probably know that the CD23 is really a modified 9,same DAC (DCS ring dac),this model is still Arcam's premier model.
I thought it was a good detailed player but maybe a little too laid back,hard to tell it was in a quite different system from mine.
I never really pursued it since I was little bit disappointed in the player.
If you are based in the UK,the old 9's are going quite cheap and possibly if money is a concern this may give better overall value than the CD23,which still sell pretty much list.
The other thing to consider if your arespending around £1k as the CD23 is,then there are further options now available than when the CD23 was first released.
The overall field at this price is pretty competitive.
Based on what I've read on this site-I would consider the likes of the Sony ES555 SACD player,you may find that this gives a normal CD performance close to the CD23 plus the benefit of being a SACD player.
Take your time and trust your own ears more than the reviews you might read,including this one.
Hope this helps.
Hi, Xmore and others.

First, let me state my bias. I love my CD92. It is very detailed and handles all areas of the audio spectrum well. It has helped to make the speakers disappear. Don't have a personal comparison with other models, but from my reading of reviews and talk around the net, including Audio Asylum (which you might want to check), the CD92 seems to be a definite step up from the 9. Some people are of the opinion that the FM CD 23 doesn't offer enough improvement over the CD92 to warrant the extra expenditure.

I had a Rotel CD-855, which was considered a very special cdp in its day, and the sound from it was excellent. However, when the CD92 was put it the system, it was a significant step up. Definitely greater detail, a wider - and much to my surprise - and higher soundstage. E-mail me if you want the dealer's name who recommended it to me. I bought it solely on his suggestion and haven't regretted it for a second. He may be able to answer some questions and give a good price.

What are your other components? That would also be helpful.

In any case, good luck. I'd be interested if you get it. Let us know, won't you?
I had an Alpha 9 (upgraded from an 8) which I enjoyed very much. I haven't heard the new DiVas, but I have heard the FMJ CD23 and the Sony mentioned above.

The 9 or the FMJ are a BIG step up from the 7SE, which is a very nice budget player. However, the 9 and FMJ are true high end players, with greater depth/width of soundstage, detail, dynamics, frequency extension and refinement. They are much better at sorting out large-scale, complex music than the Alpha 7. (BTW, I too much preferred the 8 AND the 9/FMJ to comparable Rotels.)

Contrary to the above post, I would not charactarize the sound of these players as laid back. While not forward or "in-yer-face", the Arcams were quite dynamic and rhythmic. I spin a wide variety of discs, classical, jazz, rock, world, and the Arcams did well on all types of music. If you like your Alpha 7, there is a definite family resemblence, a house sound. My sytem when I had the Alpha 9 was pretty revealing, with a combination tube preamp/ss amp and Nordost cabling.

Certain criticisms of the Alpha series - lightweight chassis and some clocking issues - seem to have been addressed in the DiVa 92, so I would definitely audition a 92 if I were looking to buy new. The comments here and at Audio Asylum have been very favorable on the DiVas.

The Sony player, which sounds wonderful on SACD, is not as good on Redbook CDs as any of the Arcams you are considering.
Used Arcam cd92,outstanding,very good sound.