Newfound respect for Cambridge Audio

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Ben LG, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. Ben LG

    Ben LG Stunt Coordinator

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    Ive always considered CA just a notch below Marantz/Rotel, that is until I got the Azur 340a integrated. Found a coupon online and picked it up for a sweet $199 shipped. Been messing around with it for only 3 days but so far I am very impressed. Separation of instruments and vocals are amazing, at times beating my old (more expensive - HCA-1000A amp and P/HP-850 pre amp) Parasound system in clarity and detail. On the low end the bass is punchy and very dynamic. The only negative is the midrange sounds a bit thin to me, well not really a negative but more of a preference. Overall the amp is a joy to listen to especially with slower more vocal oriented music. IMO its a steal at this price range. Im curious as to why there is no talk on these forums about the Azur line, especially since I see so many positive reviews just from googling.
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I keep hoping they'll someday do an upscale pre/pro or DVD player. Maybe it's the English mystique, but both these guys and Arcam have reputations for truly excellent sound quality, no matter what the component is.
     
  3. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I have the 540D DVD player (which I bought as my CD player, it's that good with redbook playback). Their integrateds are quite nice amps, though I wish they made some straight power amps. I have my fingers crossed that they'll put out a nice 5 or 7 channel 125w/ch amp. If so, it will find an immediate home in my system (wallet allowing, of course [​IMG] ).
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I saw that coupon too, and though I don't really need one, I was thinking about picking one up too at that price...
     
  5. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    What coupon?
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  7. Ben LG

    Ben LG Stunt Coordinator

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    Similar reputations but a huge difference in price tag [​IMG] I havent listened to any Arcam amps yet, cant make any comparisons but Cambridge imo deserves a lot of credit for bringing this level of performance at such an affordable price. For 200 bucks the build is solid too, built better than Marantz stuff and similar to Rotel if not better and the blue leds looks wicked cool (ooo ahh [​IMG]).

    Danny, just tried checking out on audioadvisor.com and does seem like the coupon has expired. Keep your eyes open though, I used the coupon for April 5th and the one before that was March 19th so there might be more in the future.
     
  8. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Does anyone have 1st hand knowledge of how the Cambridge Azur 340a compares with the NAD c320BEE?
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Amen, brother. [​IMG]
     
  10. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    If memory serves, the 540A would be the closest analogous integrated amp to the NAD C320BEE. The difference should only be a matter of watts/ch between the 340 and 540 (and, of course, price).
     
  11. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    I just ordered both the intergrated and the CD player and they did honor the coupon. I couldn't get the web site order to take it either, so I called them up at the 800 #. He double checked the thread on the coupon page here at HTF and then honored it.

    I didn't really absolutely need them on a have to have basis, but I can use them, and for that price I couldn't resist.
     
  12. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

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    Good point. I stumbled upon the Azur line a while back and it looks like a new CA Azur reciever is going to be mine in the next month or so, it doesn't have much competition at its price point as far as I'm concerned. I think that people with a HT focus rather than music are not as interested in the Azur line and therefore it gets less airtime around here.

    When I do my final demo before I purchase I'll be sure to post my findings. I want better music ability and I'm willing to trade in some HT features to get it. My salesguy says they use the Azur reciever for entry level 2 channel setups.

    I've also heard the the 540D DVD player that PaulDA is running is comparable to an Arcam player (for way less $$). Someone posted that the picture is a little soft but the audio is outstanding for the pricepoint.

    Good to hear the positive reviews on the integrated. Gets me more excited to bring their reciever home.
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Oh, another British manufacturer I'm always keeping my eye on: Naim.
     
  14. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Thanks, John and Ben, for your reply on the coupon.

    I currently own the Cambridge Audio A500 integrated amp, which was their previous top-of-the-line amp. When the Azur line came out, Audio Advisor dropped the A500's price to $250.00 and it was a no-brainer for my 2 channel system. Cambridge Audio has always received good reviews....its A500 integrated amp and D500 CD player were Goodsound.com's "Great Buy" recepients.

    While this is the receiver/amp forum, it's been rumored that Cambridge may come out with an universal player by end of the year.
     
  15. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Danny, your link is very interesting to me because I will be using this Cambridge set up I just ordered to drive a pair of Polk RT25i in a small 10 x 9 x 10 room.
     
  16. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Mark,

    My opinion is that the RT25i was better than the RT35i....but that's another thread. [​IMG]
     
  17. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Say Danny, if memory serves me correctly, didn't you have an Onkyo tx-8511 2 channel receiver too that you replaced with the CA integrated? If so, how much of an upgrade in sound quality was the CA integrated over the Onk receiver?
     
  18. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    If you are the same Mark Russ from the Triangle, NC area give me an email or PM.
     
  19. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Mark,

    Yeah, I did have an Onkyo TX8511 stereo receiver. Both cost me $250.00 shipped. Which is the better deal? In terms of sound quality, the CA is slightly better....more transparent and slightly better bass response. The Onkyo is very smooth-sounding up top and it does have a lot of power reserves. What I found is that I gave up a lot on convenience features....CA's remote only controls the volume. And, of course, no tuner or phono pre-amp with the CA. But yes, the CA does have a slight advantage on the Onkyo in overall sound quality.
     

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