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  #1  
Old 12-26-2008, 11:40 PM
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Cambridge vs. Marantz

How does the Marantz CD5001 & CD5003 compare to the Cambridge Audio Azur 340c & 540c CD players? They're going to be hooked up to a pair of Large Original Advents & a Kenwood KA-9100 amp.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:09 PM
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I recently went from a CD8001 to a 840C in my main rig.

In comparison I found the 8001 slightly veiled up top and too dark for my tastes. The 840C is detailed without being bright or harsh IMO. I have also tried a 540C in my rig and found it sounded similar to the 840C.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:18 PM
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I love both Marantz and Cambridge but I give the edge to Cambridge. You should seriously consider the 640c V.2. Prices have been cut in half at Audio Advisor and Wild West etc to the point that they are a serious steal. I have had the 640c V.1 and V.2 and have loved them both. I really don't think you can go wrong. I think though that if you can take some of your favorite cd's and go to a dealer or dealers and listen to both, let your ears guide you.

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Old 01-03-2009, 10:42 PM
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I auditioned a 540c ($299 on sale) for a month a wasn't all that impressed with the sound, even after hours of break in. It had lots of high and mid frequency detail-but it was almost to the point of being artificial, even painful I must say. The low frequency response in comparasion was average, making it seem top heavy. I really wanted to like this player, but I couldn't take the listening fatigue!
It's built like a tank, huge transformer (that has a low level buzz) and circuitry laid out thoughtfully.
I do think it's a classic case of not being matched well to my system. Klipsch speakers are notorious for finding differences with components, and can be difficult to match up well with some componets. I think it would match up well to Wharfdale's, etc with that laid back/slightly veiled British sound.
I took it back and tried a Marantz CD5001 ( built almost as well), and found it to be a much better match. It has all the mid and high details- but not so overly emphasized, and well matched with the bass response, and filled out nicely after break-in.
As a bonus the Marantz was being discontinued (for the CD5003), so it was a steal at $199, plus a full 3 year warranty.
I'm not saying the 540c is bad-or better than the Marantz, but I do think it needs to be auditioned with your system- and thus would recommend buying either of these from a local dealer so you can return them and try something else.
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2009, 10:38 AM
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There you go, depends on your system and speaks.
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automojo View Post
I really wanted to like this player, but I couldn't take the listening fatigue!
You have a Sun(or is it Jenday) Conure in your avatar, you must be used to ear fatigue.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:11 AM
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I'd be using this player with a double Advent system, delivering what could be considered by some (including me) as a little too overly bass balanced. In my case, it sounds as if the Cambridge, as described, might be just the ticket.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:10 AM
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I have both Marantz players and I like them both. I also use double Large Advents (see signature). I am not familiar with the Cambridge players though.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:32 PM
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I have the 640c. Fantastic player. In my system it bested all my
Stand-alone players and I'm even considering selling off 1-2 of my external DACs for a Cambridge DacMagic (same guts as the 640c).

I found the stellar models to be the 640 and the 840c.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:52 PM
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Cambridge CD players have sounded very good to me-I own a Marantz. If your system tends to be "revealing" , "bright" , "forward" , etc. , I would go Marantz. Otherwise , Cambridge is VERY good.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:17 PM
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Alaric- I was surprised how well the Cambridge sounded with my Thiels- a potentiaally bright, harsh speaker. The Cambridge bested the others in warmth and smoothness- the others sporting a bit of top-end "digititis" and fatigue.

To clarify my system though, along with the potentially bright thiels and lively room issues, I do run warm B&K amps...
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Face View Post
You have a Sun(or is it Jenday) Conure in your avatar, you must be used to ear fatigue.
It's a Jenday-suprisingly you get used to it for the most part- but somedays sheesh.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedelihaus View Post
Alaric- I was surprised how well the Cambridge sounded with my Thiels- a potentiaally bright, harsh speaker. The Cambridge bested the others in warmth and smoothness- the others sporting a bit of top-end "digititis" and fatigue.

To clarify my system though, along with the potentially bright thiels and lively room issues, I do run warm B&K amps...
I use a H/K PA2400 to drive the Klipsch, along with a Citation 21. Both are warm sounding, and are a excellent match for the Klipsch. The PA 2400 is very similiar to the Citation 12 in the bass department, but with much more reserve.
The mids and highs aren't veiled like the Citation 12, warm but very detailed, amazingly so-so it's a much better balanced amp.
I was suprised as well, thinking the Cambridge would Be an excellent match.
Perhaps I got a bad one, the transformer had a low level buzz, but I was informed this was normal, I didn't try another one opting for the Marantz, since I did have a CC4300 (changer)hooked up to it before, and it sounded very good.
The CC5100 is more much detailed and balanced than the CC4300, a more realistic 'sound stage' if you will-perhaps the Cirus Logic D/A chips.
I always felt like the CC4300, albiet with nice overall sound, was being held back a bit, again maybe the D/A chips, better jitter performance?
They both needed some break in-the 540c improved with break in, but not enough, the bass improved, and the top mellowed abit, but it was still too 'top heavy'.
Maybe I should have tried the next evolution the 840c, but it was more than I wanted to spend.
While I enjoy used audio equipment, I'm not to up on used cd palyers. Call me lazy, but I'm not interested in replacing belts, laser pickups, or worn out servo's.
Also, it's hard to ignore the leaps and bounds CD players have taken in the last few years, especially in the areas of signal processing, attention to circuit layout and signal paths, etc.
And truth be told, I didn't really want to spend more than $300 if I could avoid it. I looked at the CC5300 at $349, but thought I'd give the 5100 a shot at $199, and was sold. The 5300 apparenetly uses SDRAM chips(i.e not generic?!) in certain areas- but the overall circuit layout is the same. It would have been an interesting listen, but I was satified with the 5100.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:09 PM
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On these Cambridge units. What kind of burn in time are we talking about? Plus what is burning in? The dac's, transformer, etc. I have a 540c v2 on the way and I will be running it through a Decware tube buffer, that greatly improved the Sherwood changer I have now. I hope the combo works. It has to be better than what I have. But it ain't bad.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimfet View Post
On these Cambridge units. What kind of burn in time are we talking about? Plus what is burning in? The dac's, transformer, etc. I have a 540c v2 on the way and I will be running it through a Decware tube buffer, that greatly improved the Sherwood changer I have now. I hope the combo works. It has to be better than what I have. But it ain't bad.
I know some claim it's some sort of weird 'elimination of residual magnetism', or 'parastictic capacitence'(what ever that is?!)-but I personally thinks it's more of a thermal heating and cooling-stabilization process. And quite possibly this is becasue when they were designing-testing-measuring these products, they were running them at operating temps, and thus maxiumized their performance not only on 'warm units'-but ones that have had a lot of heating and cooling done on them through out the building and design.
I usually let cd players play on repeat during the day, let them cool off, and repeat for a day or two.
I know many think this is hog wash, me included earlier in my years, but I have noticed, particularly on higher end/higher resolution equipment it makes a difference. Perhaps this is because they have more discrete componentry than lower line products, I'm not sure.
As for interconnects, IMHO I don't buy it.
I have noticed this 'break in' more in amplifiers, and preamps to a lesser extent. Perhaps because of their wider temprature variences (i.e cold-off-hot driving hard).
Interesting the tube buffer, I wish I had one of those when I was auditioning the 540c. It might have tamed the high end.
I hope the 540c works for you-keep me informed if you will-very interested in your experiences. It's a finely built player, and as others have found, it works extremely well in their setups.
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