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Arcam Alpha 9 Integrated and Power Amplifier Service

Arcam makes some nice gear and when a customer asked me to service his dual Arcam Alpha 9 integrated / power setup, I was happy to assist.

The Arcam Alpha 9 amplifier was a mainstay for Arcam for many years. The amplifier is fairly straightforward in design and neat in internal layout. There is nothing really serious about this gear, it is modestly designed and constructed, but well-made if that makes sense. The power supply is again modest, with two fairly small main filter capacitors and a smallish toroidal transformer of good quality. The design features a pair of Sanken output devices per channel.

The intergrated amplifier can be separated into pre and power sections and partnered up with a matching Alpha 9 power amplifier, as the owner has done here, providing a pathway for sonic improvement.

There are not many service adjustments that can be made with the Arcam Alpha 9, but the switches and controls on these examples were dirty and needed cleaning and lubrication. The input and output connectors similarly needed cleaning. Photographs below illustrate the cleaning and service of these two pieces.

Arcam Alpha 9 integrated, with her clothes off..

 

Heatsink for output devices

 

Board-mounted toroidal transformer

 

Close-up of some of the board-level construction and the two main filter capacitors

 

Here they are in close-up, you can see the very modest 10,000uF rating per cap. Really, these should be bigger…

 

A couple of views of the output devices…

 

Cleaning of the chassis and front panel with foaming cleanser…

 

The two finished, serviced and cleaned pieces!