Nmf, send an e mail to Kalvin Dahl at ARC -- kdahl@ audioresearch.com He should be able to tell the date of manufacturer from the serial number.
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Nmf_69, IMO, I don't think a 2009 build date automatically means that the unit has seen a better day. The only moving part is the Phillips transport, which is supposed to be pretty hardy. Even if the transport goes, Kalvin recently told me that ARC has a robust supply of replacements.
As far as the electronics are concerned, ARC uses top grade parts. I think it's fair to surmise that 5 years of use is NOT significant.
But why guess?? Call Kal at ARC and have a discussion. I always found ARC to be tops when it comes to customer service. Kal might suggest that you take the CD-8 to a local ARC authorized service center/tech for a check-up.
Having said all that, I have a BIG concern. Your OP mentions that the HiFi shop that sold the CD-8 to you represented that the unit was 1 year old. I find that very curious, especially with a 2009 build date.
On the one hand, if the rep is true, does that permit the inference that the CD-8 sat around unused for the last 4 years?? Seems very unlikely, but if true, a quick start up could damage the unit if the caps dried out. Even if the CD-8 was used in the most recent year, what happened during the other 4 years??
On the other hand, and this is a "big hand," I place a very high premium on honesty and take very unkindly to dishonesty. The shop may have a perfectly plausible explanation, but if not, I would be inclined to take the unit back -- if the shop will refund your money.
Finally, I don't believe you mentioned how much you paid for the CD-8 or whether you are using ARC gear in the rest of your system. My rig is all ARC and IMO there is a wonderful synergy staying "all ARC." If the shop can credibly explain the apparent discrepancy and Kal can give you some comforting advice, you may want to keep the CD-8. I have the CD-8 and I think it's a great CDP. However, if the shop misrepresented age and use, that's a whole different can of worms.
Let us know how you make out.
The hifi shop story perfectly matches Brf's words, Malcolm, is that you? Just kidding...I have sent it back, the shop agreed in writing to fully refund but it might take a few days to see the money; it seems the cdp came from a trusted customer who, apparently was mislead by an ARC dealer.
Bruce, I would very much like to find a young and reliable cd8 just to complete my chain of ARC components - ds450 and LS26.
ARC's advice on the "care and feeding" of the CD-8:
"The CD8 is pretty maintenance free. The main thing is to replace tubes every 2/4000 hours and keep the laser door closed when not in used. I would visibly inspect the laser lens for dust. If needed, lightly brush off with a very soft camel hair brush use for cleaning photographic lens.
"Other than that, no service required.
Hey Nmf ... all's well that ends well.
It's been my fortunate experience that all of the ARC gear I've bought (pre-owned or refurbed) has been in pristine condition. But also, ARC gear just doesn't wear out (in the R&M sense) all that quickly. The bigger "risk" relates to "upgrade-itis." Without exception, every change-out has been a move up the ladder.
Nmf ..., I used to own a CD-7 with the upgraded power supply. I've read comments from folks who said they loved the CD-7. IMO, I think the CD-8 is a better all-around sounding unit.
I appreciate your frustration. On occasion, I see that a pre-owned CD-8 is up for sale on Audiogon. But since you're in the UK, the challenge is even harder because presumably you are looking for a 220 volt unit.
Wish I could tell you to grab the other CD-8 back, but I am not comfortable giving such advice. I place extremely high import on transparent trading. I'm not disputing your sense that the dealer was unaware of the age issue. Even though I don't think age per se is a big negative with ARC products, especially if well treated and loved (:o), the mere fact that there was a undisclosed wrinkle starting with the original seller gives me pause. How could you possibly know whether he or she sincerely loved the CD-8. LOL
I guess the good news is that there are many fine CDPs in the marketplace *with* terrific multi-media capabilities --which the CD-7/8 does *not* have.
Hey Nmf ... take a look at the link below -- CD-8 for sale from an ARC dealer in sunny California. This may not be of much help because it's a 110 volt player.