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Cambridge Azur 840C CD Player, Black

3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • Adaptive Time Filtering (ATF) asynchronous up-sampling technology converting 16-bit 44.1 kHz CD data
  • 32-bit Analog Devices Black Fin DSP
  • Dual differential DAC configuration using high-end Analog Devices AD1955 DACs
  • Two digital inputs allowing up-sampling and playback of other sources
  • Digital outputs allow recording of up-sampled audio
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Product Description

The 840C marks the zenith of Cambridge Audio's critically acclaimed Azur line up. Like all Azur products, the 840C promises unseen levels of performance and engineering excellence to the price points in question. But rather than redefining expectations in the entry-level market, the arena most often associated with Cambridge Audio, the company will reinvigorate the mid-end price sector. The 840C embraces a raft of proprietary technologies including ATFTM (Adaptive Time Filtering) asynchronous up-sampling technology which has been developed in conjunction with Anagram Technologies of Switzerland. This system intelligently interpolates 16-bit/44.1kHz CD data to 24-bit/384kHz data, through the use of a 32-bit Analog Devices Black Fin DSP (digital signal processor). This in turn feeds two 24-bit/384kHz DACs from the same company in dual differential formation. Each DAC handles just one channel for excellent stereo imaging, operating fully in differential mode for exceptionally low distortion and noise. Both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR outputs are fitted. Two digital inputs are also provided which even allow the up-sampling and playback of other sources such as a DVD player via the Azur 840C. In addition, a recording digital output can even allow bit-for-bit data or upsampled data at 48, 96 or 192 kHz to be recorded by a suitable device. A Control Bus In/Out, an IR emitter in connection and an RS232 port are provided for easy multi-room connectivity. The RS232 protocol enables a two-way interface with third party home automation touchscreens. As with all Azur products, the foundation of the 840C's excellence is a bespoke chassis. This comprises an incredibly thick 7mm front panel and extruded side panels, both fashioned from aluminium, which combines with a 2mm formed steel base plate and specially designed vibration absorbing feet. The result is an ultra rigid, low resonance, acoustically dampened platform for the electronics to sit in.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 23.8 x 19.5 x 9.5 inches
Item Weight 25.1 pounds
Shipping Weight 25.1 pounds
Manufacturer Cambridge SoundWorks
ASIN B0014NLK1U
Customer Reviews
3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #370 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater > Stereo System Components > CD & Tape Players > CD Players
Date first available at Amazon.com February 24, 2008

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

It seem unusual to assert a CD player at this cost point ought to be considered an "outstanding value." In my younger years before my present career path I worked as a professional live performance sound engineer. Basically the guy in the back mixing sound for the show. I have a fair knowledge of acoustic theory, engineering, and high performance audio and sound reinforcement equipment where price point was not a consideration. I can say in my experience the Cambridge 840C is an outstanding value.

I have never added a piece of equipment to my system which instantly made so much difference with regard to sound quality. The sound of the Cambridge 840C (and my unit is still in the break-in phase) is clear, transparent and neutral. The soundstage (the placement of the sound image in space) is outstanding. Each instrument stands out clearly. The detail of the sound and the timber/tonal qualities - especially in the upper range (cimbals, etc) are outstanding. Finally, and to me this is most important, this player has the best musicality I have ever come across. The sound flows so effortlessly, so freely that it draws you in to the point where you want to revisit CDs you may not have played for quite some time so you can discover and explore the way they sound anew. Easy, very easy to listen to this player for hours and hours on end with any sense of fatigue.

If you have a descent system with a quality amp - receiver, quality speakers then this is the CD player for you. As many of the review articles have noted this player is amoung the best out there in the audiophile world and you would have to spend $5,000 or more to match much less improve upon the quality of sound you get from this unit.

Mike
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This is a no-brainer! I am amazed to see this product for sale on Amazon - it is a bonafide "High-end Audio" product and there is NO way you can go wrong for the price! (I am not sure about these sellers however - make sure they are at least as reputable at Audio Advisor, a well-known high-end audio mail-order company that also sells this unit (NO - I do not work for them - just have bought from them & know they sell good stuff).

Read Bob Harley's Review in TAS (The Absolute Sound) magazine - the title above is from that review.

Just make sure you break it in for at least 200 hours before any critical listening - AND, more importantly, make sure you are using it in a High-end system that can take advantage of it's sound quality. If your system is not a high-end system (lets say your speakers cost 2K or more, with the other components up to similar quality); then consider the Cambridge Audio 640C instead.
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The good:

1) Superb build quality, it's built like a battle tank.
2) The disc tray is quiet & smooth, unlike the disc trays found in most DVD players.
3) Analogue Devices AD1955 24bit DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) with 384K over sampling. Too much DAC for 16bit 44.1Khz CD playback.
4) Can also be used as an external DAC with other devices with digital audio out.
5) Available in black & aluminium grey. At least some color choice when compared to other brands.
6) 115V / 230V selector switch at the back. Can be used any where on earth. Lol.

The bad:

1) As huge & heavy as an a/v receiver.
2) Cannot turn off over sampling in the DAC.
3) No 12V trigger, no sleep timer & no auto off.
4) Aluminium grey is dated. Brushed Aluminium like the one in their new 650C CD player would have been a better choice for the money.
5) Does not play MP3s.
6) At USD1600, it's very expensive for a CD player that can only play CDs.

Background:

Last year, when I visited, Sharaf DG, Time Square, Dubai, I saw the Cambridge Audio 840C on sale for a mere USD700. I wanted a dedicated CD Player (CDP) & I would have bought this CDP, had it not been for the above mentioned negatives. Being the budget stereophile that I'am, even for USD700, I c'd not live with any the above mentioned negatives that makes this an imperfect CDP.

In my search for the ultimate budget CD / stereo playback, I have had the opportunity to listen to quiet a few decent setups that actually does not have a dedicated CDP. It all comes down to what stage in the hobby U are in. If U are serious about buying a dedicated CDP, U may also consider the Emotiva ERC-1.
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Verified Purchase
This is marketed as the poor man's Roll's Royce: great at a good price. The Rover of CD players. As far as I am concerned it is shrill, bright, and indistinguishable from whatever Costco has on offer for $65. I would try the benchmark DAC coupled with a $65 player as transport. Benchmark has made pro stuff for years; Cambridge relies on bought and paid for reviews in Stereophile and the Absolute Sound, the 2 US audio bibles. This is just a poor performer; I am sorry I bought it.
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