The Naim is in my opinion much better than the Arcam. You might consider the Sonneteer Byron which is close to the Naim for $2,000 and still better than the alpha 7.
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Disclaimer: My Naim CD5 is currently for sale as we are in the midst of six month renovation of our house so I've disassembled the second system and am selling to pay some bill$.
I can't speak about the Arcam as I've never heard it, but I have owned the Naim for a year in my second system and love it. I'd say you are right on in characterizing the sound as a bit on the softer side, though I wouldn't call it a 'warm' sound. It is most certainly very revealing. Built like a tank. Has a musical "rightness" to it, for lack of a better word. The High-Cap does improve the detail and low-end in my system. If you do get a Naim player, make sure it is a current model or has the PIC upgrade that allows it to play copyright protected CD's. Upgrading an older player costs $75 for the kit which can be ordered from any Naim dealer and is a plug-and-play as easily installed as a computer memory chip. Ad another hours (half hour if they charge actual time) labor at the shop if you are not comfortable doing that.
Nitpicking complaints about the Naim: Minimal information in the display. Magnetic puck takes a bit of getting used to and is a bit of a pain sometimes. DIN connector means you have to get your favorite cables adapted to the connection...either that or try some of the higher end Chord cables that are made for that connection. Naim USA will convert the output to RCA's but I'm not sure what the cost is.
Overall, the virtues far outweigh the nitpicking so I'd highly recommend the player.
Another player/DAC series I'd consider in your price range is Muse.
People do like the Naim gear.I havent heard any Naim but did try out a Arcam 72,not the 73,All I can say is dont even bother with the lower Arcam stuff.As you can see I have wrote before about the cd 92 which is outstanding,night and day difference between it and the lower Arcam,probably due to the Ring DAC,which they dont make anymore,in my opin I would look for a used cd 92.They are plain and simple outstanding.