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Rega Saturn vs. Cambridge Audio BD650

 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 507
Registered: Dec-06
I'm going to compare the Saturn to the 650BD over the next few days. The 650BD is not the Oppo BDP-83 or anything, but I am still intrigued about comments that Blu Ray players may have some inherent advantage when it comes to sound quality. It would probably be interesting to compare the CA player to the Oppo, but I'm not going to buy a BDP-83. I'm sure many comparisons of these two players will eventually be made, however.

I've read about the 650BD, some people compared the innards to the Oppo player and found that they were similar but unlike the Lexicon there are indeed differences in Cambridge's unit. Anyhow, the system will be:

Speakers: Quad 12L2
Amp: Exposure 2010s2
Spkr Cable: Atlas Hyper 2.0
Interconnects: Atlas Equator Superior for the Saturn and van den Hul The Wave for the 650BD

Not sure yet if I will move the interconnect so as to keep it a constant.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 528
Registered: Dec-06
Did a little listening to both players tonight. The 650BD sounds remarkably good, and certainly much better than other universals that I've heard (Arcam and Marantz), although those were in radically different systems that I suspect had issues of their own.

The Saturn sounds like it plays higher and lower than the CA, it just feels like there's a bit more energy in the highs and definitely more oomph in the bass. This is what struck me first when listening. In the midrange however the CA is very musical, there is a very nice sense of pace and resolving of detail and overall it sounds very composed.

The Rega is smoother, I guess more analogue sounding as they say. It's a fuller sound, while the CA is a little leaner and edgier, which is probably the expectation when it comes to CA and to CD audio in general. There is more focus around each note and thus a bit more crispness and openness than with the Saturn. Frankly for a lot of my music this is probably not the worst thing. I've kind of suspected this of the Saturn, that it might be a little too refined for my tastes. Despite the focus offered by the 650BD, I think the Saturn is better able to dig up detail and create separation around different instruments. Perhaps it's just the better separation around instruments that give the illusion of a bit more detail.

This is not a scientific review by any means, just my own personal impression. I think the CA, like it's Oppo counterpart, more than holds it's own. I guess there are trade offs - the sound has a different character compared to the Saturn, and if you like the Saturn's presentation then that's good because ultimately I think that it does most things better. But I don't think it embarrasses the 650BD.

One niggling thing about the CA. When first starting a disc, I often jump to a certain track. Let's say it's track 9. I like to just hit 9 and then have the laser go to that part of the disc, then hit Play. With this player I cannot do that for some reason. I hit 9 but nothing happens. The display just continues to say "CD". I have to hit Play first, it starts reading track 1, and then I can hit 9 and have track 9 play. It's a little annoying, though perhaps there is a setting that will alter this.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3644
Registered: Feb-07
Interesting. You watched any movies on it yet?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3645
Registered: Feb-07
BTW, your description of the CA CDP "house sound" is pretty accurate!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 530
Registered: Dec-06
Nope, no movies yet. I have no high def TV monitor right now. Perhaps later this year. For now the CA is pulling SACD and DVD-A duty.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3647
Registered: Feb-07
I'd be curious to hear how fast it loads up a Blu-ray disc.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 531
Registered: Dec-06
Your guess is as good as mine! It's reported to be very quick though, I'd assume about as quick as the Oppo, but that's just a guess.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2942
Registered: Nov-05
It virtually is an Oppo BD-83 with a few changes.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14591
Registered: Dec-04
The 83 loaded a bluray for me in about 30 seconds.

The MC is 12-20 seconds.

Anything under 45 secons is fast, the last one I ripped was 50GIG
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3654
Registered: Feb-07
How long does it take to rip a BR disc?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14593
Registered: Dec-04
It took that one "It Might Get Loud" about 37 mins, I think.

GREAT DISC!!!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 874
Registered: Dec-06
I'm considering trading in my 650BD for the new Denon DBP-1611UD, which looks impressive and retails for only $399. It uses a Burr Brown PCM 1781 DAC. I might be able to sell the 650BD and get $400-$500, making the switch just about cost free. Hoping to be able to do a comparison between the two for audio and video quality.

Unfortunately, the 650BD is based on the Oppo BD-80, not the BD-83. Reading the thread, a few of you guys wondered how quickly the 650BD loads BR discs. I'll try it out tonight and let you know. I've so far only listened to audio (CD and SACD), and watched some DVD movies. The upscaling for DVD looks pretty good to my eyes. If the Denon looks and sounds better I will make the change, depending on how painless it is. Or maybe I should save up for the BDP-2011UD, which has the Anchor Bay video processor, which is supposed to be sweet.

http://ca.denon.com/DocumentMaster/US/DBP-1611UD_Lit122.pdf
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 875
Registered: Dec-06
In case anyone still cares (I know it's been a while since asked), the 650BD has pretty quick load times.

Booted up No Country for Old Men on Blu-Ray. It didn't feel like it took any longer than it does for DVD. In 20 seconds a message popped up regarding load times. 10 seconds after that the Miramax logo appeared and some sort of promo about Blu-Ray started playing. I hit the menu button and in about 18 seconds the menu for the movie appeared.

It did take longer than DVD does, but it was short enough that it didn't feel that way. I think I would have guessed the load times were shorter than they actually were.
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