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Its that time of year..

 

Silver Member
Username: James_the_god

Lancaster, Lancashire England

Post Number: 769
Registered: Jan-05
Marantz pm6003
Rotel RA-1520 (looks beautiful)
Cambridge Audio 650a

I wonder how they stand up to the NAD C326bee!

I've taken note of your advice Frank, a new amp will be the change. One of these four amps will be mine in the coming months!
I dont have much faith in the 650a although I could obviously be suprised but having owned a 540a, I found it bright and clinical.
The Marantz I've been told is an 'old mans amp', which if its anything like the old 6002 (which it probably will be) then I can understand this comment to some extent.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12854
Registered: Dec-04
Wabbit season.
Duck season.
Amp season!
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3687
Registered: Sep-04
JJ, why not wait for your new speakers to arrive and see how you get on before making any decisions?

As for the amplifier choices, I would not discount the CA amp. CA are very good at hitting this price point with competitive products.

The PM6003 leaves me cold. It's got a clean and clear sound, but it just doesn't connect emotionally for me.

The NAD C326BEE is meant to be very capable indeed, and more powerful than its rated 50wpc, but I haven't heard it yet. Note the 'yet' guys, we're giving up on Marantz and going back to NAD - yippee!

If you have a little more in the coffers and want good turntable replay as well, have a look at the Rega Brio (£398 I think). It's a great amplifier.

Still worried about your sources which you haven't mentioned...:-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 154
Registered: Dec-06
The new Cambridge gear sure looks nice. The old look wasn't bad at all but the new is a big improvement.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2756
Registered: Feb-07
I like the look of them too Dan. But I'm a fan of CA anyway. I'd be curious to hear how much better they are than the 40 series (assuming they are better).
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 155
Registered: Dec-06
What HiFi review of the 650a, for what it's worth:
http://www.whathifi.com/Review/Cambridge-Audio-Azur-650A/

They really like it.
 

Silver Member
Username: James_the_god

Lancaster, Lancashire England

Post Number: 775
Registered: Jan-05
Its thats "a hint of treble brightness" which makes that a no for me with CA! Any brightness and its a no go.

I do you agree with you Frank, going back to NAD from Marantz is what I've done twice. Lesson learnt with Marantz, so glad your 6003 opinion cleared that one up.

I shall indeed consider that Rega though. I'll give the c326bee a listen when I can.

I know you're going to kill me Frank, and its not a permanent solution (if at all) but I couldnt resist a bit of vintage again. I bidded and won an old Rotel RA-311. Only 20 watts per channel but I was intrigued and got it dirt cheap in mint condition. If its no good, I'll sell it on!
 

Silver Member
Username: James_the_god

Lancaster, Lancashire England

Post Number: 776
Registered: Jan-05
Almost forgot, my source is primarily from a computer through a 2 channel professional soundcard.
Its an ESI Julia.
Converters:
AKM5385A dual-bit delta-sigma 24-bit/192kHz (ADC), AKM4358 multi-bit 24-bit/192kHz (DAC).

Dynamic range: 114dBA (ADC), 112dBA (DAC).

Not quite sure how to read these graphs but I think it has a flat frequency response!
http://www.pcmoddingmy.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.249.7
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3700
Registered: Sep-04
LOL! JJ, it's your money!! :-) As for the source, I'm glad to see that spec. Looks good, so hopefully your results should be worth the trouble you've been to.

Betting the Rotel won't be as good as the A60 (sorry).

Have fun (silly me, of course you are!).

Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2816
Registered: Feb-07
That's a neat looking piece of Rotel history there JJ. Have you received it yet?
 

Silver Member
Username: James_the_god

Lancaster, Lancashire England

Post Number: 777
Registered: Jan-05
Its the only money I have at the moment! My A60 is up for sale as a result.

I'm hoping the Rotel is as good though/or better. Because it sure looks better.

I've only just paid for it today infact because I've been away at a festival and was waiting for some money to come in.
 

Silver Member
Username: James_the_god

Lancaster, Lancashire England

Post Number: 778
Registered: Jan-05
Today, my vintage Rotel arrived! After an hours solid cleaning (submerging and scrubbing the wooden case then drying with a hairdrier-it was disgustingly sticky!!), hoovering the insides, wiping parts delicately, cleaning the front panel and rear with a toner. Here we have it..

I haven't listened to it yet because I'm waiting on my Kefs.

Like you Frank, out with the old in the new! In one respect or another! If I want my A60 back I'm going to cry!

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Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2832
Registered: Feb-07
Must be killing you not to hook it up JJ.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3730
Registered: Sep-04
My word - a dedicated ceramic cartridge phono stage. That must be the first time I've ever seen one of those.

So c'mon JJ, spill the beans. What's it like?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10293
Registered: Feb-05
The A60's better ain't it...!

Hope it works out.
 

Silver Member
Username: James_the_god

Lancaster, Lancashire England

Post Number: 780
Registered: Jan-05
HIFI HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, a day in the life...
Wake up at 7am
Get train to Birmingham at 8:50am
Have placement job interview at 11:30am
Return at 3:30pm
See A BIG PACKAGE IN HALLWAY(unpack, clean(grr) and hook up.
wow!
Unhook from a60. Hook to Rotel.
WOW WOW WOW!!

Sorry but the a60 is defeated by the rotel.
The bass is far better, filled out and warmer.
The power is endless?? How can 20 watts sound like so much more!!! Nothing is sacrificed as to note yet. The rotel even looks the business.

Music is full and really there, very moving! Best setup I've had so far. Better than the Acoustic Energy Linear 3 floorstanders I had.

My gamble of belief in large drivers, cabinets, faith in old KEF and vintage Rotel (alps controls, elna capacitors) has seriously paid off!!!

I wish I could give you and audition!

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Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10298
Registered: Feb-05
Congrats JJ and good for you. Enjoy!
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 2348
Registered: Nov-05
And another audio nut finds bliss.

Good on you JJ!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12967
Registered: Dec-04
OMG, those Kef are HUGE!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 185
Registered: Dec-06
The Rotel looks kind of cool, the KEF speakers look superb!

It's funny, I guess some guys just love the vintage stuff. Me, I could be looking at buying a CA 640a but once I learn that a new model, the 650a, is on the market that would take the 640 right out of the picture.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10299
Registered: Feb-05
The KEF's really do look cool.
 

Silver Member
Username: James_the_god

Lancaster, Lancashire England

Post Number: 781
Registered: Jan-05
ThankYou.
And bliss it is!
I honestly didnt expect them to be that big.
I still can't believe how musical and solid the bass is either. Really drives all kinds of music, and finally without the feeling I need a subwoofer (which we all know one doesn't really want it possible).

Dan if you do get the 650a, a little review would be nice!
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3744
Registered: Sep-04
Thank God for that! I was really worried you'd be unhappy. Really glad it's working for you.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12975
Registered: Dec-04
How's that one in your right ear there JJ?

 

Silver Member
Username: James_the_god

Lancaster, Lancashire England

Post Number: 782
Registered: Jan-05
Not too bad really Nuck, its more parallel to the side. I dont listen too loud when at my desk.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13004
Registered: Dec-04
Thats a bigass headphone, LOL!

I like big standmounts for some reason.
Those Kef look really good!
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