cambridge audio opinions

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Daryl_hawk, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. Daryl_hawk

    Daryl_hawk Agent

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    Couldn't find anything searching so I was just curious what people thought of cambridge audio? I have not really heard of them before but a friend who has a friend that owns a store is raving about the Cambridge audio 540R receiver and saying that it is comparable to much more expensive ones.

    Does anyone have any experience or comments on the 540R????
     
  2. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    I don't own the 540R, but I do have an A300 integrated in my office that I absolutely love. The detail and air it presents makes it a very involving listening experience.
     
  3. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I spent several hours in a store auditioning CD players and the Cambridge 540R was the receiver driving the various pieces. I was very impressed with its sonics, on a par with my own receiver (which cost me several hundred dollars more) and if I were in the market for a receiver today, I'd give it serious consideration. My receiver has one feature that I consider essential for my multichannel inputs, digital BM/TA, that I would have a hard time giving up without getting a hi-res player with more flexible BM/TA than the one I own. I also appreciate the flexible crossover frequencies of my receiver, though my current set of speakers would mesh well with the 80hz crossover of the Cambridge.

    If your speakers can live with the crossover AND you don't need/want digital bass management/time alignment for the multichannel inputs, then the Cambridge is an excellent option and worth serious consideration.

    If you think you need a higher crossover point for your speakers, I would highly recommend you audition the Cambridge at home (or with identical speakers in store) before buying.

    Hope this helps.

    FWIW, I have the Cambridge Audio 540D and I absolutely love its sonics as a CD player (I bought it for that reason alone, as I'd already chosen a universal player for hi-res and movie duties).
     
  4. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Don't know about the 540R, but I have an A500 stereo integrated amp that's shockingly good.

    Cambridge Audio's current Azur 540/640 series is getting rave reviews, so I don't expect anything less for the 540R.
     
  5. Daryl_hawk

    Daryl_hawk Agent

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    So what exactly is digital bass management / time alignment.....is that just the ability to choose several crossover points??

    Well, my friend is taking me to his friend's store today (who has the 540R) so I will see what it is all about. Checking on the website it seems to have a real lack of options though.
     
  6. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Digital bass management works in the following manner on my receiver (I believe it works similarly with other brands, but there could be variations).

    I set all speakers to LARGE in the player, with SUB set on. I leave all speaker distance settings equal (they don't apply to SACD in most cases anyway, but they normally apply to DVD-A) in the player. With these settings, the player doesn't do any bass management or time alignment. (My player is capable of doing bass management and time alignment with DVD-A, with a fixed 100hz crossover with a 12dB/24dB slope, and doing bass management (no time alignment) with SACD, with a fixed 80hz crossover with a 6dB/12dB slope). My receiver takes the multichannel signal, does an analogue to digital conversion and applies the same bass management and time alignment settings that I've selected for Dolby Digital and DTS--which in my receiver is variable from 40hz to 150hz at a 12/24 slope. The receiver does NOT apply the speaker level settings (set by test tone) for the multichannel inputs, so I have to set those levels in the player.

    Some people have their speakers all equidistant, so could rely on the player or an ICBM from Outlaw Audio for bass management, some don't care about speaker distance and some don't like the extra processing involved with digital bass management. I think the flexibility of the digital BM/TA far outweighs any potential signal degradation owing to the A/D/A.
     

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