Arcam CD17 CD-player

Arcam currently offers two regular CD players, the CD37 and the cheaper CD17. The latter, however, manages to offer attributes and rather lots of the looks of the more cherished model, feel, and usually makes a good first impression with the normal Arcam all- nicely screen that is legible and metal case.

Inside, it is a typical Arcam occupation: neat and tidy having a minimum of fuss, but decent components where it counts. The power supply uses a good size toroidal transformer and there's plenty of local regulation of power railings for the various stages and functions within the circuit.

Arcam has applied its 'Mask of Silence' measures to areas of the circuit, which in practice takes the shape of small ferrite slabs pasted at the top of integrated circuits that were crucial so as to consume electromagnetic noise preventing it from contaminating other parts of the circuit.

This, of course, makes it impossible to determine the part numbers on the processor, but nothing is being hidden by Arcam and declares that the DAC processor is the latest component the WM8741 from Wolfson Micro Electronics,.

This processor has a powerful-striking specification for basic operation and also offers many added attributes that Arcam has chosen to not implement, such as volume control and selectable filters. One feature that people definitely approve of, is anti-cutting processing.

Digital mastering of CDs today rather often allows slight overload to occur, which may in some cases sound distinctly rough. Giving a CD player some analogue headroom over the notional' level that is total' is very much a thing that is good and makes such discs more pleasant to hear, though sadly few such recordings will actually qualify as audiophile.

Sound quality

This player's sound appears to involve some tonal character to it which makes it something of a question of flavor. Most significantly in this regard, bass is not unusually absent, which for some listeners clearly spoiled the overall effect, especially as this bass didn't seem to be as well-incorporated with all the midrange and treble as one might wish for.

On the flip side, the general effect of this player is rhythmic and lively, which for many listeners could ensure it is an attractive proposition. One might believe there's something of a conflict between lively demonstration and overfull bass, but the bass is fairly well- managed and higher frequencies are taut and exact.

As frequently occurs in cases like this, and because of this, the reaction of each listener will be based to a considerable extent on the music playing as well as the taste of the listener. Music without very much apparent low frequency content gains from solo voice and the dynamic feel with guitar, for instance, is very persuasive. In fact, this player well serves voice in general, so long as the bass does not start to hide it as can occur at times.

What our listeners did concur on is that the very highest treble reaches are a touch and lacking atmosphere.

Detail is good also, though it requires perhaps a bit more concentration to hear all of it.

Overall there's a good deal to advise this player, if simply to see how you are grabbed by the bassy balance, but we'd certainly recommend an audition.

Arcam CD17 CD-player photo