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Arcam Delta 2 speakers

Discussion in 'classic' started by mega lord, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. mega lord

    mega lord Centre tapped

    Hi there. I am not sure these speakers are classed as classic but here goes. I have been offered for free a pair of very low use examples from the guy i bought my LP12 and Lingo from years ago (£150). He is also giving me a Naim Nait 2 for which i obviously bit his hand off.

    Does anyone have any memories of these ? The internet throws up very little about them. Made in the late eighties i believe and are small bookshelf speakers.

    Thanks, Stu
  2. coltrane

    coltrane pfm Member

    roughly at the same price, I chose the Delta 2s over the Epos ES11s in the early '90s for being a more balanced, spriny and fuller bass speakers with a wider musical genre appeal. for free they're an amazingly good deal - and pretty, they're too :)
  3. Manimal

    Manimal Member

    You may have already seen this:

    I had a pair of these way back when and I recall them being very smooth and refined but not the most exciting.

    I seem to recall that reviews were positive when they came out.

    Of course being free makes them all the better. Let us know what you think when you get them.

  4. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Reviewer Jimmy Hughes spent several years using these in preference to everything else, though he removed all of the internal wadding as was the craze at the time in some circles.

    Never seen a bad word said about them so they should at least be very decent.
  5. mega lord

    mega lord Centre tapped

    Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I was afraid that nobody would remember them but you have come up trumps.

    They sound like a good find especially for free. If Jimmy Hughes used them for a while then they must be good, possibly better than the B&W P4's i currently run. I will have to have a shoot out.

    They guy giving them to me bought them in 1990 i think along with LP12 & lingo, Nait2 and some stands that i can't remember the name of. He then got some SL1200's a couple of years later and the rig never got used again! I bought the Lp12 in 2002 and now he is giving me the rest for free.

    I am quite excited.
  6. madmike

    madmike pfm Member

    Spriny ????
  7. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    I think you'll find that they have the qualities of a Sprine, hence spriny. Simples.

    I'd quite agree with this having heard them when purchasing my very first turntable, they had a nice fast mid which gave a good exciting sound if I remember correctly. Just couldn't afford them at the time & ended up with HB1's a few months later.

    (Think a sprine might have something to do with knives? I seem to remember my uncle calling something in a knife he used for sheep hooves)
  8. SimonB

    SimonB pfm Member

    I think it may be even worse than this as he pointed them away from him and bounced the sound off a window in his split level place. Are you sure they weren't the Alpha model - so even cheaper than the Delta's... Not sure I have kept the Photograph to check.

  9. UKhifiAus

    UKhifiAus New Member

    You might be surprised. I gave mine to a friend along with Axis in 2003 when I migrated to Aus and upgrade to an LP12. I had many enjoyable vinyl miles over 5 years of listening to them paired with an Arcam A60 and made the mistake of assuming that I could buy something better in Aus short of $5000. have since tried a few different options but have yet to find anything with the balance of pace, midrange clarity, speed and bass weight of the Arcams. Mount them on solid stands (I used Linn ku-stones which seemed to work well) and keep them away fro the wall. I think they suit Linn turntables (from my experience) and older amps.

    ps mine are in a mate's loft in Ascot so I'm going to ask hime nicely if he can ship them out to me - i finally realised this is likely to be a cheaper option then finding anything close for similar money here!
  10. Minstrel SE

    Minstrel SE These go to eleven

    Arcam make decent equipment...even the first Alpha stuff is pretty damn good for the price.

    I see the handbook is available for download and someone in Canada is selling the review :)

    They are probably well worth a listen especially for free
  11. hb72

    hb72 New Member

    I have them too, since 1992 (!), now running them with a Naim Nait XS. Since they are quite aged (caps..) I frequently - but as it turns out prematurely - blame them for harsh treble while after tinkering & swapping cables etc, I identfy other sources of harsh treble, e.g. grounding issues, DAC, Power supply, etc. So overall seemingly quite balanced sound for an oldie, if leaning perhaps a bit to the well lit side. Quite deep in bass, and perhaps a bit light on mid/upper bass (though more than compensated if amp and accessories have a certain emphasis on that region). Note use of specific accessories (cables) can change that impression in any arbitrary direction.

    I found speaker stands changed the quality of sound to a very astonishing degree, after I have replaced too tall stands (60cm) with a very massive DIY version of the Linn Kustones in thick steel, top & bottom plates laminated with multiple sheets of wood and centre pillar filled with lots of sand. They would also do a good job as anti tank barriers.

    I can say power helps to drive them: I have run them for some long time with an Arcam Alpha 5+ amp, and was quite happy, but then noticed how much better deep and upper bass were balanced when improving on power cables (i.e. replace cheapo distributor, remove long extension lead to distributor - biggest error to avoid!, and also upgrade power cord between distributor and amp). Now with the NAIT XS power is a different league, I assume the relatively high impedance (min 6.something) suits the XS.

    Speaker cables: run them on old audioquests two runs of AQ Crystals (each ca 4mm^2) for biwiring. Fatter cables on bass help to emphasise mid/bass over treble, but too much of it consistantly reduces transparency, so that it is better to keep them slightly light (& nimble) on bass.

    Bottom line: Since I purchased the Delta 2 Speakers I have replaced every single component in my system at least once, and the only thing that stayed in the chain are the deltas (although I intend to replace them soon, and I feel it shouldn't be too difficult to replace them (given their age) with current, good quality speakers, say Kef R300?).

    One more question: has somebody ever tried to pimp them, replace caps, coils, resistors, etc? Any success? any tips & warnings?? feedback appreciated.
  12. madmike

    madmike pfm Member

    Why replace them if they sound so good ? Any other speakers in their place will sound different and may even appear better but you will never know if you can live with a new pair for as long. If you tinker with the speakers you would be best starting at the caps but if you're already happy with them ....
  13. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles Trade: MGM Audio

    I have always felt Arcam kit was more than 'run of the mill' equipment.
    Somewhere I have an original Alpha amplifier and it's very good.
    When my Quad 34/303 was away for service I linked it up between my
    Naim CD player and little Harbeths.
    The combination sounded very good together.

    I don't know, and have never heard, Arcam speakers
    but I expect they are more than competent given Arcam's reputation.
  14. RustyB

    RustyB Registered Ginga

    The Delta 2 replaced the Arcam 2 Plus, which was great speaker, one of those rarities where the end result comfortably exceeds the sum of the parts.

    From memory, the Delta has a higher quality bass unit.

    Not sure I'd want to drive them with a Nait, though.

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