Arcam Alpha 9 amp troubleshooting help needed - diyAudio
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Old 30th August 2006, 05:32 PM   #1
sif is offline sif  United Kingdom
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Default Arcam Alpha 9 amp troubleshooting help needed

Hello,

Would be grateful for any help...

The listen knob which selects the input (tuner, phono, CD etc) seems to be faulty on my Arcam Alpha 9 amp. It adds static to the sound and sometimes only causes sound to come through one speaker. Only when push and prod it a bit does the sound improve (relatively).. Was wondering if anyone on this forum knows what is causing the problem and whether I can fix it myself. Here's a pic of the offending knob. May be surplus to requirements, but just in case:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 30th August 2006, 05:35 PM   #2
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Sounds like a classic dodgy switch. Could be dirty or could be broken.
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Old 30th August 2006, 05:36 PM   #3
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Default Alpha 9

You will have to replace the entire input switch. They all go open after some time. There are 42 separate solderjoints that have to desoldered, so unless you are extremely skilled, leave it to the pro`s.
I repair Arcam in Norway, so please take my word for it.
Roar
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Old 31st August 2006, 01:29 PM   #4
sif is offline sif  United Kingdom
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Thanks, I reckon you're right, it's a soldering job too far. I think I have found someone near me who may be able to help. Such a pity Arcam's flat fee for fixing equipmentis so high.
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Old 6th September 2006, 10:34 PM   #5
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This is a very common problem with this particular component unfortunately. I have two Delta 290 amplifiers, which are excellent, but the input controls on both have failed and exhibit the same fault as yours.

This problem can also affect the Alpha 9 amplifier, which is based on the Delta 290.

Some have managed to fix theirs by cleaning with some fluids (isopropyl alcohol?), but you need to open it up. Also, you cannot use, say, switch cleaner recklessly because that may affect the PCB directly below. Also, keep WD40 well away (for anyone who is reading)!

I just use the Tape 2/Processor switch, but only later models had this.

Some have had success at resolving this fault, which is because of a single component, but others I have heard from have had to keep cleaning the part every few months. Others, however, have had to put the amp aside because they would have to pay for it to be serviced.

In fairness to ARCAM in the UK, they will pretty much look at an amplifier as a whole Ė they wonít just fix the switch and then throw the amp back at you. Iíve not used ARCAMís service in the UK yet, but itís said to be very good. I obviously do not know what the service is like abroad.

I would really like to get my two serviced and working long term because they are outstanding amplifiers.

Hope this helps.

Carl
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Old 7th September 2006, 08:19 AM   #6
sif is offline sif  United Kingdom
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Thanks Carl. From my recent investigations this is what I've found out: The input selector moves via remote control using a motor- increasing the likelihood of it going wrong, I guess that's why the problem is common. Most modern amps esp Japanese ones change selection purely electronically. The route I am considering is replacing the component as Roar mentioned (costs £50 inc VAT from ARCAM) and then getting a skilled chap to install it (another £50)..It's a lot of money but i am considering it because the amp works so well with my B&W DM 602 speakers. Also it's £50 less than getting ARCAM to do the job (although they do a Rolls Royce service) and probably less hassle getting the amp to them in Cambridge If anyone wants the details of who I am using to repair my amp in London I can pass it on they seem pretty good.

P.S anyone recommend another (reasonably priced) amp that goes with B&W BM602 speakers?

Cheers,
sif
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Old 7th September 2006, 12:48 PM   #7
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sif,

Have you thought about replacing the input selector with one that isn't motorised (should be much cheaper, last longer and be quieter).

Jon
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Old 7th September 2006, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by JonHarrison
sif,

Have you thought about replacing the input selector with one that isn't motorised (should be much cheaper, last longer and be quieter).

Jon
Sorry to interrupt, but I remember reading somewhere about someone fitting a non-motorised one. Someone on eBay was selling one that had a non-motorised control fitted instead.

After all, the ďRecord Tape 1Ē control is non-motorised, and I have never had any problems with the non-motorised inputs control on any ARCAM amplifier.
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Old 13th October 2008, 10:50 PM   #9
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Default Quick work around solution

You can fix the problem in less than a minute with a phono lead, but you will have to sacrifice both tape loops. Connect "Tape 1 out" to "Tape 2 in" and press the Tape 2 button. You can now use the "Tape 1" switch to select the input you want to listen to (you cannot listen to tape 1 of course).

Unfortunately, the faulty "listen" switch effectively becomes the Tape2 "record selection" switch, so the static now appears on recordings made from "Tape 2 out". Personally, the only analogue recordings I make are from CDs with copy control. The alpha 8 CD player has two sets of analogue outputs. I connect one set to the amp and the other to the record in of my mini disc player, exactly for this purpose.

Hope this stops anyone throwing away a good amplifier. I need mine to last a few more years yet.
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Old 17th May 2009, 03:01 PM   #10
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Talking Al-Toulouse you Gem

My house is now full of music, thanks Al-Toulouse, the phono lead trick works, feels like I have a new amp for a cable costing £2.
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