IanCD

Arcam Delta 60 amp upgrade

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Super Wammer

I also feel that bi-wire is an unnecessary expense, though I would advocate removing the invariably poor quality links between the pairs of binding posts and replacing with a short length of speaker cable. As I believe the removal of the supplied links from the equation is where most of the sonic benefits, if any, have come from. 

If your current cable is a bit long for your needs then simple chop 6" of the end, and maybe add a pair of spades + another pair of bananas to the main cable (or simply use the chopped length as bare wire jumpers). 

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14 minutes ago, hifinutt said:

I was looking at your lovely leema pulse on here , I would think that would have similar presentation to arcam. I had one for several years and loved it 

Flatterer. :$:)

I've only heard the A39 once, briefly, and it seems to be very similar in presentation to the Pulse.

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I have a Delta 290 as my back-up amp, and for what I paid (around £200 on eBay), it was excellent value.

My amp is the line-only version, so I can’t say how good the phono stage is. I use a separate phono preamp with the 290.

My amp is also the earlier version with a mono switch (handy for some old mono vinyl or rubbish discrete stereo with vocals on one channel only and backing on the other), plus a need to lift the lid in order to use either the pre or power stage separately.

It has had selector switch issues, but a professional clean-up fixed this.

The general presentation is quite warm and musical plus it offers good ambient detail. It also has plenty of power under the bonnet plus the ability to drive four speakers, plus tone controls with a bypass facility. A great package of features. If your budget is limited, then a good example of this amp will serve well IMHO.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Ian,

Where abouts are you located?

There are many kind wammers on here and opportunities to hear stuff.

As you like Arcam - if you want to hear newer Arcam kit - then I’ll kick off with... if you’re anywhere near me (Bristol) you’re welcome to come and have a listen to my FMJ A29 which is Class G and pretty recent - it’s not the top of the range model (which was A49 before recent overhaul), but its very respectable indeed. Equally if you’re not to far away and wanted to hear it in your own room on your speakers, bribe me with some good coffee and might be pos.

I’ve had older Arcam stuff and imo it’s not a patch on their newer kit.

Edited by Amormusic
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I used a 290, until I got bored with the switch issue. I think the cleaning is almost the same price as a whole used amp! I miss it, as I found it to be very open sounding. It’s still in the loft, in case I want to use it as a power amp, but in view of the combined buying/ getting the pot sorted price, I’d look elsewhere

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17 hours ago, Amormusic said:

Hi Ian,

Where abouts are you located?

There are many kind wammers on here and opportunities to hear stuff.

As you like Arcam - if you want to hear newer Arcam kit - then I’ll kick off with... if you’re anywhere near me (Bristol) you’re welcome to come and have a listen to my FMJ A29 which is Class G and pretty recent - it’s not the top of the range model (which was A49 before recent overhaul), but its very respectable indeed. Equally if you’re not to far away and wanted to hear it in your own room on your speakers, bribe me with some good coffee and might be pos.

I’ve had older Arcam stuff and imo it’s not a patch on their newer kit.

Wow, thanks Amor... that's a really generous offer..!  We're not too far south of Bristol so, yes, if I can bribe you that'd be great.. the coffee is very good: fresh ground bean to cup :)
I'll PM you

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Posted (edited)

Personal view is without a change of speakers the amp upgrade will not make a significant step change upwards in sound quality.   Before rushing into any amp change I would do as suggested and visit dealers and wammers and shows to get an idea of possibiliies.

In the meantime sit down and write down all the things you love about the sound you have now and all the things you do not like.  Once you have done that you will have a better idea as to what needs changing (if anything).

We all hanker after a change when we have lived with a bit of kit for a long time - but be careful in rushing into any change without fully evaluating and understanding exactly what you want to achieve and then knowing that the changes you make will take you along the road to achieving it all.

Edited by uzzy
spelling

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Thanks for all the helpful feedback folks.
As it happens, I'm putting this amp upgrade on hold for a while... other priorities..!
Ian

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On 30/05/2019 at 18:26, plasticpenguin said:

Flatterer. :$:)

I've only heard the A39 once, briefly, and it seems to be very similar in presentation to the Pulse.

Spot on! Leema is very overlooked but shouldn't be, there presentation is warm and very similar to Arcam with a much better build quality. 

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22 hours ago, IanCD said:

Thanks for all the helpful feedback folks.
As it happens, I'm putting this amp upgrade on hold for a while... other priorities..!
Ian

No worries.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Stifmeister said:

Spot on! Leema is very overlooked but shouldn't be, there presentation is warm and very similar to Arcam with a much better build quality. 

Actually I always found Arcam DIVA and FMJ ranges to be fairly neutral, with a creamy midrange (based on the RS6s and PMCs)... the Alpha range was a little on the warm side

I always described Leema as being Arcam on steroids; similar in tonal qualities but with more attack and focus to the bottom end. The A39, being a G class amplification, sounded scarily familiar with LF grip.

Edited by plasticpenguin

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12 hours ago, The Stifmeister said:

Spot on! Leema is very overlooked but shouldn't be, there presentation is warm and very similar to Arcam with a much better build quality. 

maybe better with the amp itself but i think the arcam remote wins over the leema one . real solid quality bit of kit 

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1 hour ago, hifinutt said:

maybe better with the amp itself but i think the arcam remote wins over the leema one . real solid quality bit of kit 

Leema's remote is on the penny pinching side.

The best remote I've ever used/felt is the ones used on Creek Evo2 amp. They almost feel like brass buttons.

Actually a Creek would be another great alternative to earlier Arcam amps. 

Clickety

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funnily enough that gent in spain has an creek 100a new which was of interest . however as i cant seem to sell any kit , new kit is out of the window currently 

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Future Plans and Getting the Best out of the current system

Having said I was postponing the upgrade, an FMJ A19 came up on eBay in immaculate condition and with a low reserve starting price.  So I was tempted to go for it... there was a lot of interest - 72 people watching - and, unsurprisingly, the price went up quite quickly. I checked out what A19s have been selling for, here: https://www.hifishark.com/model/arcam-a-19.  So, it seems £250 is unusually low, mostly around £300..?  I took my max. bid to £250 and looked like I was getting it... until £255 came in 5 seconds from the end of the auction..!  A bit disappointing, but really just as well for now.

I think that auction, and the feedback here, has helped clarify what I might do when I eventually go for the upgrade...

The FMJ models look like the best if I stick with Arcam: either an A19 (What Hi-Fi Product of the Year in 2013 and 2014 and several other very good reviews, including one in Stereophile) or if I wait longer go up to an A29 or even an A39...  Am I right thinking those were the last FMJ models, superceding the A18, etc..? Where and when did the A32 fit into the range..?

I could put together a list of amps to hear, including those FMJ models but maybe also others like the Leema, Creek and Cyrus One, but I've got the idea that I'd have to hear them with my own setup - my own sources, speakers and room - to know how they'll sound here... and in an ideal world I'd maybe even live with them for a while to really appreciate the differences...

Also, as we're still renovating there are things that I haven't done to get the best out of the system as it is. There are no dedicated shelves - the amp and CD player are on a window seat - and the turntable is still tucked away in a box. The speakers aren't secured to their stands. I've used blu-tack in the past... I can't remember what the advice used to be, but I'm guessing that's probably not the best thing to do..?!  Also the stands themselves are filled with sand, but they aren't spiked to the floorboards... I've got the spikes, and I do remember that's better than just resting them on the floor... I was also going to buy a bulk load of lead shot to mix with the sand at one time, but I'm not sure the floor here could take the weight..!).  The other thing is that I haven't used really good quality speaker cables. They're Chord Ley Line 2, which look like fairly ordinary - albeit not copper - electrical cable to me.  They don't look as good as the QED 79 which I think I've still got somewhere, but there's probably something better I could use as long as the price isn't astronomical. What's reasonable?  They'll be running 4m across the full width of the room, plus say a metre at each end dropping down from the amp through the floor (for tidiness, but also not running in front of a woodburning stove) and back up to the speakers.

(Turntable is a Thorens TD160S with Rega RB300 arm and Goldring 1042 cartridge. It's probably going for repair / service when I'm close to getting the shelves sorted... arm raising/lowering lever is 'tight' so it jogs the arm when I use it, the motor 'knocks', and the speed change has never worked properly..!  I'm thinking of taking it to these guys: https://www.hifihangar.co.uk/.  Has anyone here used them?)

Further advice about any of this would be very welcome.

I appreciate there are a lot of issues and questions here, and I did think of starting another thread or two, but decided to keep it together...

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