Like

Creek vs. Exposure

  Thread Last Poster Posts Last Post
Archive through December 31, 2011Mordecai100
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3631
Registered: Jun-07
lol Nice Mord. Let it get hot man, it likes to play warm. The amp idles in pure class A. The first day or two it will sound good but much more clinical then it does once it relaxes and starts to break in. Ive had it for two weeks or more now and its still getting better every time I turn it on.

How would you describe your speakers? Warm? Not so much? What were you missing with the NAD combo?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15127
Registered: Feb-05
Mine is home and playing. The reviews are right about it being a tight space in the back. Couldn't fit my reference power cord and so I have to use the standard one. I will order Shunyata Venom 3's tomorrow as they will fit.

First few minutes...it sucked and hard...an hour later and OMG. This is one hell of an amp. I forced the power cord on for awhile and it was amazing afer a half an hour...even with the standard cord it's great.

I was really amazed at how much better my wife's setup was after I switched the C326BEE in for the C325BEE. I didn't realize that there was that much difference...there is!

Bass on the Brio is deep and tight. I can't even believe that these are Harbeth P3ESR's as they are shaking the room!
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 450
Registered: Jan-09
Sounds like great synergy Art. Nick, I'm not sure how to describe the Nola's, balanced I guess. I've never heard anything but a NAD so I'm not sure what I'm missing. Better transparency and soundstage is what I'm hoping for.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15129
Registered: Feb-05
Reviews say it takes 1-3 weeks to break in. I'm already in love...I can now banish the memories of the Sonneteer. This is the Naim Nait 5i-2 that I always wanted plus a very nice phono stage (it kicks more like the XS). It's changing character every hour and becoming more fetching with every change. Frick this a great amp!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3632
Registered: Jun-07
Nice Art!!! Sounds like a winner. To think it will only get better. How is the bass control? It sounds controlled by your description. Punchy and tight. I had the Naim XS at my house for about a month and it was fantastic. However, if there was one thing I thought was its downfall was bass control. The bass had a bloom to it, so did the 5i actually. Perhaps a signature of the Naim sound. Very very musical however. Bass control lacked hard though compared to the likes of the Bryston stuff and the CA 840a. If the Brio-R can keep the mid and top end musical while having a nice little bottom end punch and tightness then that sounds like the amp may be a big time winner. How does it handle rock? Does it have an option to put on of the inputs as a unity input so it acts as a power amp to a multichannel amp? The 5i did. You had to hold down the Prog button on the remote until the green label flashed, then press the A/V input to make it the input to the preouts on a AVR.

To add to my questions. Hows the CA CDP combo with it?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15132
Registered: Feb-05
Hmm when I listened to the XS with DeVore and Naim speakers it had bottom end punch galore. I was not listening to he type of music you do so perhaps that's it. I can't compare it to Bryston or CA as I don't have them here in the room. The store I bought it at sells CA and the owner prefers the Brio-R to any CA amp (she's a Naim gal so what do you expect). It is rather spartan, there are no features besides what you see...no AV features whatsoever. That suits me fine. It has a little bit of transformer hum but you have to be within a couple of feet it in a dead quiet room to hear it and it's silent through the speakers. Just to make sure I wasn't being picky I walked into my wife's office and put my ear to the C326BEE and it has just a bit of hum as well...just a tad quieter. My Sonneteer hummed through the speakers and from the transformer...you couldn't hear it from the listening position and oh my did it sound sweet. Though I can already tell you that I prefer the Brio-R to the Sonneteer.

So far it's working great with the CA player. The additional resolution plays right in to the hands of the Brio-R which has a bunch more resolution than the NAD.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 451
Registered: Jan-09
The 840 is playing right now. All I can say is Wow! Everything you guys said about this amp compared to the NAD is true. The Nola's have never sounded better. The bass is tight and controlled and the soundstage is huge. The clarity blows the NAD away. Every instrument has weight that I've not heard before.I think this is the sound I was looking for. I didn't realize how sloppy the NAD lowend was until now. The 840 has a very refined sound. The only minor complaint is the location of the power cord. I can't use my giant power cord and had to use the one that came with it. I'm gonna hookup a crappy five disk cd player I have and let it play for about 32 ours straight.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3633
Registered: Jun-07
Art- Could had been my associated gear, who knows. Sounds to me that the Brio-R is a fantastic amp, and a bargain at that. I love how companies are finding ways to make the price to achieve musical bliss a lot cheaper. I am guessing parts have came down. The inside of the rega pours quality and they havn't taken any short cuts anywhere. To think that it still comes in at around 1K is superb. Keep us posted on how it breaks in.

Mordecai- Yeah the CA has blown me away as well. It keeps getting better and better. The top end smooths out and the sound will become more relaxed but it doesnt lose the grip and detail that it presents. I am hearing stuff in my music that I have never heard before. I had Dian Krall just cranked this morning on the Totems and Danielle was downstairs and she commented, wow is that the CA? I replied, yup, sounds good huh. Even she could hear the difference in the amp only a few weeks has made. Its very good out of the box, but amazing once broken in. The amp does so many things right, but the best IMO is how accurate the timbre is. Instruments sound exactly how I think they should sound. No bloom, or false sense of warmth added to them. Going back and forth on Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip with the Naim presented to everyone just how better the clarity and tone was on the guitar opening up the song. The amp truly has shocked me, and I am very very happy with it. You know me though, it wont stop me for trying different pieces of gear in my system over the next few years as I love the gear as much as the music. I love tinkering with stuff and seeing how certain pieces bring different things to the table. But much like the MSB dac I can see myself sticking with the CA for a very very very long time. Probably longer than I have had any other amp before.

To add, the CA is set on input 7 to my NAD AVR for theater and it presents now a much punchier detailed sound than the NAD AVR was ever capable of. Even watching Baby TV on demand with Ava lastnight was awesome. Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes never sounded so good. LOL!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 452
Registered: Jan-09
Nick, I didn't see how to hookup the 840 to my Denon AVR in the owners guide. Does the center vspeaker voice match with the fronts running them through the 840?

The soundstage with the 840 is outside my speakers. With the NAD the soundstage was within the speakers. This amp makes some old recordings sound really good too. I now understand what PRAT is with this amp.

I really like the sound of the Nola's. I don't think I will be speaker shopping for a while or amp shopping.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15133
Registered: Feb-05
Sound like we have 2 happy new integrated amp owners, or is that 4. 2 of us can't use our old power cords...can't get a hold of MD today. Supposed to be open!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3634
Registered: Jun-07
Art- I think that is 4 so far over the holidays.lol

Mord - The Power cable it comes with is horrid. I am not sure what you mean that you can't put in your power cable? Is it due to how much space is in your rack? It seems there is a lot of space for any sort of power cable. Which power cable do you have?

Here is the back of the unit : http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/assets/documents/840A-V2-Rear.jpg

1.)Press and hold the Mode button to get the Configure options.
2.)Go to "Fixd Inpt" for fixed input
3.) Select which input you want to go to your AVR, and then with the volume knob dial the volume level in to match your AVR's center.
4.) Exit, and to rename the inputs press the input button and hold on the main screen. Use the on screen menu and volume control to rename it.

I have Fixed input on input 7, called NAD AVR and its set to 16db. I then went into my NAD's volume levels and adjusted the center and fronts the rest of the way until they were perfectly matched. Now that the Totems are doing double duty for theater and music I can sell the Paradigm Monitor 7's and make an extra buck. I am also selling the Paradigm Center and will be picking up a matching Totem center. Fun fun.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4514
Registered: May-05
Congrats guys on the new gear. Glad to see everyone's happy with what they bought.

Art and Mord,

If you're going to get the Venom, see if Music Direct still has the Diamondback Platinum. It's $25 more, and a lot better. I haven't heard the Venom 3, but the Diamondback is a big step up from my previous generation Venom. Same house sound, but better everything.

They use the same connectors, just different colors. So if the Venom will fit, so will the Diamondback.

Just be prepared to put a tight twist or two of electrical tape around the amp end connector. Shunyata has a good explanation of why their connectors are a bit looser than most, but I'm too lazy to type it all out.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15137
Registered: Feb-05
How are the Dbacks better, Stu...I mean how do they sound different. Another fella is saying that he likes the Venom 3 better. I'd be interested in your take on it.

BTW MD never did answer the phone so they must have been closed and didn't bother to say so anywhere that I could find. I'll call them on Monday.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4903
Registered: Feb-07
I upgraded the power cord on my 840A with the Grant Fidelity PC-1.5.... one of the best 125 bucks I've spent in a long time.

Support a Canadian business....

http://audioreview.ca/default.aspx?pagename=review&reviewID=21
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15138
Registered: Feb-05
Sorry using my MD account or I would consider it. Ian is a respected member of the AK community and a good guy by all accounts.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15139
Registered: Feb-05
Actually that GF cord wouldn't fit on the Brio-R, I don't think.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4904
Registered: Feb-07
Does the Brio use the same cord type as the Rega DAC?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15140
Registered: Feb-05
No. It's just in a very tight space. That's why my Van den Hul does not fit.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4905
Registered: Feb-07
That sucks man. It's a pretty small form factor. Hard to cram stuff in there.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4515
Registered: May-05
Somewhere on MD's site it said they're closed until Tuesday. Can't remember where. I just spoke to them yesterday and my order won't leave their place till Tuesday, as I missed their last call for shipments by half an hour.

I haven't heard the Venom 3. The Diamondback is better at everything than the Venom I have. Tone, texture, soundstage... everything. Not a jaw-dropping better, but what got me hooked was everything across the board was better, not a single trade-off to my ears.

Is that guy using it a source or amp? That could have something to do with it. But if he says the Venom 3 is better, that question doesn't hold much water I guess.

I haven't heard the Venom 3, so I'm in no position to argue. None of us have the same ears, gear, room, etc. I can only report on what I hear and own.

I don't doubt his claims, I'm just saying the Diamondback is easily worth the extra $25 over the previous Venom.

I wonder what the sonic differences are between the Venom and Venom 3?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 453
Registered: Jan-09
I can probably make it work but it is tight. The plug was on the opposite side on the NAD and there is more room. I will give it another go. I'm not the greatest at cable management but I don't have to worry about the WAF since this is my room. She did come in today and comment on the sound of the new amp. She said she could really hear a difference ( I was listening to Adele 21 which she really likes) she said I wish your system was in the living room. This is quit a complient considering she claims she doesn't understand my audio hobby.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15141
Registered: Feb-05
The Venom 3 is supposedly a lot better than original Venom...we'll see. I'll call them on Tuesday. So much more difficult on a work day.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15143
Registered: Feb-05
Hey guys my wife is home from Seattle and is giving her new setup a listen and so far she really loves it. She said "wow I can hear so much of what's on the disc than I did before" with a big grin on her face! Yippie!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3636
Registered: Jun-07
That is awesome Mord!

Art - The 326bee is a cracking little amp. That said, what differences has the Brio brought to the table? I know its a totally different sound, but how much better is it?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15144
Registered: Feb-05
Oh lord, Nick. First off the C326BEE is a fine amp, to use a cliche, punching way above it's weight. My wife is enjoying it as I type. But the Brio-R is beyond belief IMO. The bang for buck is simply off the scale. I'm listening to it break in now and the phono pre amp is every bit as good as any I've heard for MM cartridges at the 1K and below level....what the phono stage alone! ....yeah.

You may remember me talking about inner resolution...in Jazz in particular, because it is an improvisational art form the dialogue between the artists as the piece plays out is the key to understanding the piece as a whole. With the Unison, NAD, Rega Mira, to differing degrees I heard the piece as a whole but didn't "get" how they reached their musical conclusions. That's OK for casual listening but not for critical listening. With both the Sonneteer and the Brio-R the inner dialogue of the musicians is laid bare and I can hear into the conversation that the artists are having as the piece is created...that is key to understanding the piece and not just hearing it.

Still breaking in and according to the latest review it has almost 3 weeks to go!
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 454
Registered: Jan-09
I was able to get my power cable connected this morning. It took a little rearranging but it's on. My HRT MS2+ showed up yesterday and it is up and running. I can't remember if there is a burn in time for a DAC. I can't say I can hear a clear difference. I may swap them back and forth.

Here is the power cable I have.
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGAC9
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 455
Registered: Jan-09
Thanks Nick for the explanation of configuring the amp. I still understand the connection between the two amps. How does the AVR connect to the 840.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15148
Registered: Feb-05
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGAC9
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 456
Registered: Jan-09
Thanks Art. Do you know anything about this cable? Do you think the Venom is a better cable? Any thoughts on the Totem Beaks anyone?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15152
Registered: Feb-05
I've not heard good things about the Pangea compared to the Shunyata but I had a Pangea adapter that worked fine. I've never heard either the Shunyata or the Pangea so can't really comment.

I'm going to buy 2 of the Shunyata's and use the both with my system then I'm going to try using my VdH for the source and the Shunyata on the amp and if that turns out satisfactory I will have an extra VdH and Shuyata that I can put into my wife's setup.

She listened to hers for hours last and loved all of the changes I made...that felt good!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3637
Registered: Jun-07
Cambridge Input to the AVR right and left Pre Out connections simply using a basic RCA cable. Use any input on the back of the Cambridge from 1 to 7, and just set that input to a fixed setting and it acts like a power amp on that single input. Then the other inputs still act as a regular Integrated Amplifier. It sounds great as an amp as well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 457
Registered: Jan-09
Art, I thought you had the Shunyata. The Pangea is a giant cable compared to the Venom. I was thinking of switching to the Venom mainly because it is a much smaller diameter cable.

Do you use a power conditioner?

Thanks again Nick.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 458
Registered: Jan-09
Any of you 840 owners concerned about the long term performance of the amp considering it is built in China (3 year warranty is not impressive). I hadn't realized where it was manufacured until after I purchased it. I'm in the electronics distribution industry and I don't have a high opinion of Chinese manufacturing quality. Had i known this I. probably would have opted for the Brio R since it is built in the UK or another amp.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15154
Registered: Feb-05
No Mordecai, I have Van den Hul Mainstream power cords (retail at $680 ea, I didn't pay anywhere near that).

I do not have a power conditioner. I have not heard one yet that didn't muck up the sound and I've heard a bunch. I do have a dedicated mains spur and FIM 880 outlets.

Don't worry about where your amp was built. Some companies have great QC even though they manufacture in China. For a good example look into the B&W plant in China. One of the finest in the world and run by B&W folks on site.

Enjoy your amp and speakers for gods sake!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15155
Registered: Feb-05
Oh and Nick and Dave are not concerned about the long term performance...they won't have the amps long enough to worry about...lol!
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 459
Registered: Jan-09
Oh I am enjoying them for sure. This is only my third amp and speakers. I'm not like Nick and Dave lol.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4906
Registered: Feb-07
Yeah man. When I buy something, the last thing I care about is the warranty, since it's never around long enough. Besides that, I almost always buy used, except for this case since the marked down price of the 840A was cheaper than they were on the used market.

That being said, I trust the Chinese manufacturing of the CA a lot... A LOT more than a lot of the Chi-fi stuff I've tried. A lot of that sh!t was broken right out of the box. A Yaqin integrated that arrived with screws rattling around inside... check. Another Chi-fi CDP (which will rename namless) arrives with the torroid transformer unscrewed from the chassis.... check...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15156
Registered: Feb-05
"Another Chi-fi CDP (which will rename namless) arrives with the torroid transformer unscrewed from the chassis.... check..."

Do tell...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15157
Registered: Feb-05
Jolida?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4907
Registered: Feb-07
LOL. That was another issue together. Man, I had a Jolida amp AND CD player stop working in the same week.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15159
Registered: Feb-05
...I'm waiting.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3638
Registered: Jun-07
http://www.pinoydvd.com/index.php?topic=76929.30

Check out the innards of the 840 series. Built with top notch parts and precision. CA has a controlled factory with amazing QC. Built in UK you say? Ask any rega dealer how many Apollo's and Mira 3's they had to return in the last 4 years. lol. No matter where its built there will be problems. I agree that QC is generally a lot better in North America and the UK but I have full trust in CA's QC. My dealer has NEVER, not once, had a return with the 840a since becoming a CA dealer in early 2009. He has sold a ton of their 840 series stuff.

As far as keeping my amps I have only owned a Bryston 3B, a Naim Nait 5i and now the 840a in the last 3 or 4 years.lol Not bad really. When it comes to my HT that is another story. haha. Art is right though, I usually buy used and do not care about warranty. Repairing amps is cheap. Not that I want to have to repair them. I owned a 20 year old 3B that had minor issues that were repaired and a 6 year old 5i that was flawless and still looks like it came out of the box yesterday. I owned the 5i for about 18 months and just sold it for what I payed for it. I can see myself living with the CA for just as long if not longer as its a better sounding amp in almost every area.
 

Silver Member
Username: Unbridled_id

ChicagoUsa

Post Number: 735
Registered: Mar-04
The 840 A is selling at a really nice price right now, nice pickup Nick. Did you get the unit in black or silver ? I think the black looks a bit better but perhaps you have silver components.

I would imagine it's successor would have a built in dac and some other minor modifications. They already have done this with the 650A. http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=893&Title=Summary.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15165
Registered: Feb-05
Just ordered 2 Shunyata Venom 3's. They don't have Diamondbacks other than the ones with the 20 amp termination. Also ordered the Rega white belt...that should be fun!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3639
Registered: Jun-07
Black all the way bud. I much prefer it to the silver. All my stuff is black except for the MSB Dac which is blue, but is hidden behind a door.

The new CA stuff appears to have a more polished look. On their entry level stuff they ditched the cheap plastic feel by the looks of things. They also have a new, higher end DAC as well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 460
Registered: Jan-09
Good stuff Nick. Thanks. I've seen so many reports about counterfeit electronic parts coming out of China I guess I'm a little biased. QC can be bad with any company or country.

I'm gonna pick up a Venom 3 and see if their is a difference between it and the Pangea 9. If anything it is much smaller diameter cable. I can always return it if I can't hear a difference.

I bought the black 840 too. Everything I have is black except for my HRT DAC.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1161
Registered: Dec-06
http://www.tonepublications.com/spotlight/rega-brio-r-worlds-first-review/

High praise, indeed. Sounds like the Brio-R is a big step up for Rega. Weird how they could not make the Ellicit a statement integrated at the $3,000 level (in fact, many say it's poor), but they hit it out of the park with an under $1,000 Brio. I am almost tempted to try a Brio-R with the Rega DAC in my system! Anyways, you guys going to update the pics thread? We all have pretty new gear (plus I moved my system to another location), so I'm going to throw some pics shortly. I may actually put them on AK or AR too, as those forums accept a larger picture size.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4518
Registered: May-05
The pics thread is my favorite.

Art,

Did you get a chance to hear the Rega DAC?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15167
Registered: Feb-05
Yeah Dan I'll probably link my AK pic page once I get it updated.

Hey Mordecai, I was reading someones comments that they had tried the Venom 3 against the Pangea and the Shunyata whipped the Pangea...that's just one persons opinion and of course means nothing.

Stu, it appears that the Venom 3 is quite a step up from the old Venom and has replaced the Diamondback. I didn't get a chance to listen to the DAC. It was a harrowing drive in bad weather and I still had to drive home in the same weather only in the dark so I shot in and got the Brio-R and got out.

I went all black as well. I'm not big on the silver components.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 461
Registered: Jan-09
i ordered one Art. I'll give it a go against the Pangea. I will return the one or sell the other depending on the outcome.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3640
Registered: Jun-07
I too will take some pics.

Dan- Dave had the Elicit for some time and it didn't thrill him by any means (correct me if I am wrong Dave). I believe it had good timing but no b@11s and ran out of steam quickly. Sounds like the Brio-R is a far better sounding product. To be honest, I personally thought the last line of Rega integrated amps sucked. Sounds like they have fully revamped their mindset on them and have came up with a killer unit. Can't wait to hear it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4908
Registered: Feb-07
Yeah Nick, the Elicit was a weird one... in order for it to open up, I had to crank it, but when I cranked it, it ran out of steam really fast. Classic catch 22 if you ask me. For a 3k integrated I expected to be blown away by it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15171
Registered: Feb-05
Probably with you guys music preferences and preferred volume there are very few if any 50 watt integrated amps that will fit the bill, never know though. The Brio-R is probably no exception.

I thought that the Brio-3 was a fine amp for $599 including a nice phono stage. It was musical and engaging, a nice piece. I didn't have a remote and when they bumped the price up to $699 it had more competition. Even the Mira 3 wasn't bad it just wasn't particularly engaging, much like the Elicit.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3641
Registered: Jun-07
Art - I don't listen to music loud, and Dave definitely doesn't like it overly loud. I doubt I hit much more than 10 watts per channel and David maybe 3 or 4. I turn it up once in a blue moon. While my first love of music was Grunge and Metal I now mainly listen to Jazz music these days as I have grown to actually like it, and most of my listening comes while dancing or rocking my daughter to low levels of Jazz music. The 50watt Naim would get the Totems to run for hills, and hide your children levels of loudness.lol. My little 25watt per channel T-Amp will even push the Totems to levels of madness IMO. Plenty of power for my liking.

The old Brio-R was actually pretty good but I didn't think it was better than other amps in its price range. It was the better of the Rega amps though. I listened the Mira 3 on many occasions and never got it. It sounded un-involving and too delicate for my liking.

The new Brio-R I think I would like a lot by the sounds of it. 40-50 watts is plenty for me. I text'd my dealer today with a simple " You guys got that Brio-R setup in shop yet"? He replied back with a very short " Yup, and its awesome" lol. My dealer shares my tastes thus far in amps so I have full confidence I will enjoy it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15174
Registered: Feb-05
I remember some posts of the past where it sure appeared that you guys played loud...most conspicuously Nuck, of course.

The Mira 3 was best played with other Rega gear and once you heard it with in an all Rega system playing vinyl it was easy to understand why folks liked it.

This new system of mine is what Frank used to call lively (which means bordering on bright). It's taking some getting used to going from the darker sound of the all NAD setup to a far more lively and detailed sound. It's not just the Cambridge that tips toward the high frequencies so too does the Brio-R. It's a double whammy change...It's certainly not the kind bright that I've experienced in the past where I went screaming from the room...but its definitely has an emphasis on the upper midrange and low treble.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3643
Registered: Jun-07
lol I think I usually joked about it, but im not a fan of over loud. David especially. I think Dave plays the least loud, then I am somewhere in the middle with Nuck topping the scale.lol

Lively is good. I like lively. Bright no. Lively yup. As Stu use to say, your system is putting you front stage.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4519
Registered: May-05
I think your system should put you in your favorite seat in the venue.

I prefer to be about 1/3 of the way away from the stage in the average sized venue. I like to hear every note of a guitar solo. Too close, and it sounds like a blurry mess. I've been too close to the stage once or twice, and it was overwhelmingly loud noise. I also hate to have my back agsinst the wall.

My system reflects this. It's not in my face pinning my ears back, but it's definitely not laid-back and distant sounding either.

I think most people form preferences in their system's presentation based on this, either consciously or subconsciously.

This is a big reason why I could never warm up to stuff like Marantz. I also can't live with speakers where the music doesn't break the front plane of the cabinets. Even if they get everything else right, it's a disqualified for me. I don't get the illusion that I'm where I'd be at a concert.

I'd be willing to bet David and Nick are along the same lines. I'd add Nuck to that, but his preference for his unfortunately former Mac gear throws me off. Maybe his Gallos and Bryston DAC countered Mac's somewhat recessed soundstage? Then again, I could easily live with Mac gear too. I don't think the soundstage is too recessed.
I think I prefer a more forward presentation and soundstage than the average audiophile. Then again, I don't listen to the same music as "the average audiophile" either.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1163
Registered: Dec-06
Think I'm about the same as you, Stu. I think we listen to the same kind of music, and like Dave and Nick I up the volume but not to levels that hurt right away or over extended listening. Just enough to feel the music when it really pounds and kicks!

I was used to a more forward sounding system. When I put the Castle speakers in my system it became quite laid back, putting me further away from the stage. I grew to like the sound however, I think partly because the system did a lot of other stuff well. I won't lie, at first there was a definite adjustment required. With the PMC's in the system, the sound is definitely more forward, but not overly so. I think I'm enjoying the more vivid presentation, but I'll have to spend more time with them to be sure. I thought the Paradigm Studio 20 was too forward (almost like it was shouting at me) with the grills off. With them on it was much better, but I didn't like what they did to the imaging and focus. Didn't spend enough time with them to play around with things though, so I can't really say more than this.

I agree that it's an important part of the sound and in forming preferences. I guess I'm still trying to determine which seat I like best. I think the PMC gets pretty close but it may be a row or two off!
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 462
Registered: Jan-09
The Venom 3 will be delivered today. I'm curious to see if I can hear a difference.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15175
Registered: Feb-05
Mine will be delivered on Saturday.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4520
Registered: May-05
My iStreamer and cable got here today. Should be interesting.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 463
Registered: Jan-09
Do DACs and power cable have a burn in time? Along with the new 840 I added a new DAC and power cord. I can't say I hear a real difference with either. I plan on replacing each one separately with the previous DAC and power cord to see if I can hear a difference. If i can't I'm sending them back. I just don't want to send them back ahead of any burn in time. I probably should have waited.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4910
Registered: Feb-07
Depends who you ask.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15184
Registered: Feb-05
Yes to power cords and some longer than others. The Van den Hul had a long and painful one. Not sure about DAC's but I'd guess so.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4522
Registered: May-05
I'm not the biggest believer of burn in. DACs need a bit of warmup time IMO, especially if they use Class A outputs. I'd give it a day or two before you're critical of it. What DAC did you get?

For cables, I think you have to truly know the system and the cables you replaced before you can fully appreciate what the new cables are doing. Unless there's something wrong with a cable during a demo, I really struggle to hear the differences in other systems. The differences are subtle IMO, but what's subtle in an unfamiliar system is pretty obvious in a system you've had for a long time.

I usually have to give a new cable a week or so to get used to it. After that, I put the old ones back in, and the differences - if any - show up pretty easily. Just how I go about it. The difference between my Audioquest King Cobras and Kimber Heros was immediately heard though. After a week of getting used to the Heros, the King Cobras sounded pretty bad by comparison.

With a new DAC, I don't think you'll get a good grasp on what's doing what for a little while. If you've got 30 days, use all 30. Get used to what's currently in the system for a week or so. After that, swap out one thing. Give that a day or so, and revert to what you had right before it. Repeat this over the course of the 30 days if you have to.

If you go through all this and still don't hear a difference, send it all back. It'll save you some money.

Also consider room acoustics. If youve got a revealing set of headphones, give them a whirl too. They'll eliminate the room from the equation. You won't be able to truly judge differences in soundstage, imaging, and what row you feel you're sitting in, so to speak, but you should get a very good grasp of tone, texture, cleanliness, etc.

Just some thoughts. I know people will say if you're listening to something for a week, you're burning it in. Can't really disprove that. My theory is its more of burning in your ears that the gear. You're getting used to something new.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3644
Registered: Jun-07
Speakers yes, and certain designs in amplification yes IMO. The first time I really heard burn in was the 840a, and I still don't quit understand it. The manual says the design they use in that amp has to settle. Not sure what that means either.

Dac's IMO, no. But, they do benefit in warming up. If I power down my MSB for a few days it sounds horrid for the first 30 minutes of playing time and then it opens right up, like its a totally different piece. Just warm up though. Some units have to be left on for hours before hitting full warm up. Leave the DAC on overnight crank some tunes in the morning.

Stu is also right in the sense that living with a new part of the systems puzzle is key. Our brains get use to what we hear and sometimes it takes a few days, or weeks even to understand the changes something like a new DAC has brought.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4911
Registered: Feb-07
Things with moving parts, ie: speakers, definitely. I would call it more "break in" rather than "burn in". Sorta like a new car and its engine starts to run smoother after you run it in nicely.

Speaker cables and interconnects I really can't realistically or logically see how running an electrical signal through it could cause it to "break in" and possibly sound better. Sorta like so called directional interconnects - like electrons actually know which direction they flow more efficiently. Its things like that make laypersons look at our hobby with a bit of derision.

That being said, I do believe (as Nick mentioned) that components sound better when warmed up. That makes sense - capacitors perform their function better when they are at capacity.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4912
Registered: Feb-07
"My theory is its more of burning in your ears that the gear. You're getting used to something new."

As Dave Hester would say:

Yuuuuuuuuuuup.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4523
Registered: May-05
Directional interconnects actually have a valid reason, David - many are grounded at one end and not the other (I may be using the wrong terminology); I think it's the shielding is connected at the source end and not at the amp end. Grounding at one spot is along the lines of star grounding.

With interconnects, yes it makes sense the way it's been described to me. Speaker cable directionality is pure nonsense to me.

With all that being said, I haven't tried my interconnects the opposite way, and I don't own directional speaker cables.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15186
Registered: Feb-05
I disagree with most of the last several posts. My ears and familiarity with all of the cables I've owned (and own) say that y'all are wrong. We will agree to disagree.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1474
Registered: Jul-07
I'm a big believer in burn-in periods, just because I've experienced it so dramatically.

Stu, for cables, it's not necessarily the wire that's burning in, but the dielectric. Less dielectric, less burn-in. I also figure that if the designer/manufacturer of the gear says it needs a certain amount of time to sound its best, who am I to argue.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4913
Registered: Feb-07
I also believe if a piece of gear sounds like a bag of shite right out of the box, no amount of burn in will fix it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4525
Registered: May-05
I definitely agree with that one, David.

We all hear what we hear and think what we think. I'm glad we can all (well, just about all of us regulars here)keep it civil.

I don't know if we're truly agreeing to disagree, Art. I mean that in a good way.I think we're hearing the same thing, more or less. I just have a different theory of the why, so I guess that's really where some of us are disagreeing.

Glad this isn't like other places where guys take shots at each other about cables and anything and everything else. Pink Fish has a lot of good info, but it's got far too many guys who think nothing but speakers make a difference taking shots at anyone who disagrees. Not that the other camp is innocent by any means.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4914
Registered: Feb-07
LOL. I hear ya Stu. On another forum I visit the topic of cables is verboten since it almost always degenerates into all out war.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15190
Registered: Feb-05
I disagree again, Dave. The Rega Brio-R sounded awful the first few minutes out of the box. Sounded quite different 30 minutes later.

I'd say that is still agreeing to disagree, Stu. Perhaps not about the fact that change happens but more about why it happens or for you fella's is percieved to happen.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2663
Registered: Oct-07
I like what Art noted: 30 minutes to start sounding right.

I believe it is because of capacitors forming. 'Virgin' caps need some more information which can only be supplied by actual use in the intended circuit. My speakers sounded awful when first fired up...the image wandered L/R and almost broke up. Within a few minutes, most of that went away....then at decreasing frequency for next couple hours....then OK.

Cables are the 'Third Rail' of stereo discussions.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15193
Registered: Feb-05
"Cables are the 'Third Rail' of stereo discussions."

LOL!

That and let's see...

Tubes vs Solid State

Direct Drive vs Belt Drive

...and so on. So funny to see folks get so worked up over it.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 464
Registered: Jan-09
Very spirited discussion boys. I thought there would be a consensus when I asked the questions. How naive of me . I've been running the 840 for about 4-8 hours a day the last week to give it time to settle in. I'm gonna do a DAC and power cable (including the factory cable) switch this weekend. I think I will take Arts advice and try a couple different brands of speaker cables as well.

On another note, I'm considering purchasing a CD player. However, I don't want to spend $800 for the CA. Can any of you recommend an entry level CDP for $200-$400?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 465
Registered: Jan-09
Before Christmas I was looking at the OPPO 95. I can get it from BB for $499 and I have a $100 in gift cards. I have an old Kenwood 5 disc player. I've been using it during the break in for the 840 and it sounds fairly good for a cheap CDP.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3648
Registered: Jun-07
Mord - Would you buy used? Or you looking 2-400 new?

The cable discussion is a tough one. I mean comparing Solid State to Tubes is a fair argument as both are totally different designs. Cables all use the same, basic way of construction. Most use the same cable style, with the same (only) way of making the connection and the majority now using WBT OEM connectors. On paper they should all sound the same. However most audiophiles don't see it that way therefore being as Leo would call it " The third Rail" topic. One thing I DO have an absolute issue with is the ridiculous prices these cable companies charge. I mean....making a 20 amp power cable has got to be the simplest thing in audio today, and some companies are charging up into the 1K mark for a 3 foot cable which probably cost in parts, and man hours, roughly 100 bucks to create. That is including high end IEC connections. Blows my mind. Going from a skinny wire to a thick 20amp rated unit with proper IEC connectors definitely makes a difference. But how much difference is there when comparing two of the exact same products with simply different brand names slapped on them? I know this hobby brings a lot of gear, quality or not, that is overpriced but cables take the cake IMO. Ever talk to a Naim dealer about Naims speaker cable? Lol hilarious. They go on and on about how their cable makes all the difference in the world. Yet they have no idea why it does. Thats just simply what they believe or are told. Ok, let me dissect the cable...ok we have...copper...twisted...banana plug...some heat shrink...ok wow they made this cable for 10 dollars and sell it for 100 dollars a foot. FO!!! Its a good thing their amps sound great. lol.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15194
Registered: Feb-05
Hey Mord, the CA 550C at Spearit or AA is a killer deal. It's a great player. Listening to one right now in my wife's setup. Built to the hilt and will match your amp!
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 466
Registered: Jan-09
Nick, I'm not opposed to used equipment.

Thanks Art. I was thinking CA after my post. I will take a look.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 467
Registered: Jan-09
I'm thinking about returning the HRT II+ ($299) and buy the 550C. I have the HRT II and I can't tell the difference between the tab two. I may return the Venom also and save another $100.

Is the 840C a cable DAC?
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3649
Registered: Jun-07
I like Arts recommendation. For a new CDP, the 550C is a no brainer. A solid performer, and a match with your amp.

What do you mean by cable DAC? It has dual DAC inputs of Optical and Coax on each input. No USB.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 468
Registered: Jan-09
I meant capable. I was thinking I could get rid of my dacs and use the 840 as a cdp and to listen to music on my pc. I have a digital out in my pc.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2664
Registered: Oct-07
Have at, Nick. Trying to peek thru the Cable Curtain is almost a crime. Yep, Even WITH full cryo'd everything, and a proper 'cycle' at that, I don't see how a power cord could run into low 4 digits. The ONLY proviso would be totally custom, 'short runs' of custom made cable. Even then, you've got a shortish menu of materials.
Pangea gets some attention from the budget folks as does Signal Cable. Either would be where I'd start.

The 840c has 2 channels of digitial input.....each channel is either Toslink or Coaxial. It is a very capable DAC, substantially betters the DacMagic and the lower line 6xx and 5xx series players.

I'd personally avoid a USB DAC for now. Firewire? If I could afford it, that is what I'd investigate. A good way to get music from computer to stereo is one of the Apple Wireless products. With my Imac, I also use the available option of the iPod touch as a remote.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 469
Registered: Jan-09
I'm very pleased with the USB add I have. The concern I have is with the quality of the digital out from my pc. I think I will start with the 550c for now.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 470
Registered: Jan-09
Which CDP do you use Art.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15198
Registered: Feb-05
It's all in my profile.

CA 650C and my wife uses the CA 550C.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3650
Registered: Jun-07
The 840's DAC is far better than the DacMagic. Coax is best, optical a second and in my experience Mord USB has sucked. New USB integration is here now, and I have no tried it yet.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4915
Registered: Feb-07
I've experimented between coax and optical connections, and I like coax better too.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 471
Registered: Jan-09
Art, I thought you had the 840C and your proflle wasn't updated. So you don't hear any significant difference between the 550 and the 650?

Guys, I had a DAC that had digital and USB and USB was clearly better in my opinion. I've been listening to lossless audio files through the HRT/USB DAC since 2009. I've never owned a high-end CDP.

I just finished listening to the Pangea 9, Venom, and the factory cable. My son-in-law listend with me. He is not an audiophile in the least and has no bias once so ever. He felt the Venom sounded the best. He words were crisper sound, instruments sounded clear but the bass was in your face. I actually thought the factory cable sounded the best and the Pangea somewhere in between. I think differences were minimal. So, I'm gonna listen to the factory cable for a day and then the Venom to see If I can tell a difference before making a final decision. We also listened to the HRT II and HRT II+ and neither of us could tell a difference between them. I am going to return the II+ and buy either the 550C or possibly the 650C once i understand the difference between the two.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15199
Registered: Feb-05
I don't have the 550C and 650C in the same system and won't I'm afraid. Too much work on top of the other stuff I'm doing at present. I can say this that they are both excellent and that they are of equal build quality. Without hearing them side by side and being familiar with both systems I'd say that the 550C is a bit smoother and more relaxed and the 650C has a bit more resolution and is a hair drier sounding. These are minor differences. In a high resolution setup like you now have that may be enough of a difference to warrant the 650C.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 472
Registered: Jan-09
Good advice as always Art. I'm kinda on the fence. I don't have a large CD collection right now. I don't think I want to make a large investment until I decide that CD's sound better then digital audio files. I'm definetely gonna return the HRT DAC and the 550c is only $100 more. I'm not sure I want to spend another $100 for the 650c. Used is an option to consider.

Decisions, decisions, decisions
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 473
Registered: Jan-09
Nick, why did you ask if I would consider used? Do you have a CDP for sale?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 474
Registered: Jan-09
Are there any file format limitations with the 550C? I've read that it won't play CDR+(-) and some of the newer CDA+ format.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3651
Registered: Jun-07
Mord, I do not, just curious about your price range.

CD's do not sound better than digital files. CD's are digital files. Digital files come from CD's.lol Catch my drift. If your files are in lossless format like WAV of FLAC then it should be the exact same quality that is present on the CD. What is more important is the source equipment. Certain CD players sound better than some DAC's and vise versa. In my opinion, if you do not have a large CD collection but a ton of files then your going about it a little wrong. Sell the power cable, and the HRT, and buy yourself a killer DAC. I dont think you have to spend that much in a DAC to get quality sound. Or if you want to go the cd route, I would opt for the 840C. Used can be had for around 8. I am waiting for it to go on half price with its brother amp.lol.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3652
Registered: Jun-07
http://app.audiogon.com/listings/8210

Arcam R-DAC for 399? Anyone hear this yet? I think Stu has and thought highly of it? I could be wrong.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 475
Registered: Jan-09
Nick, thanks for clearing up the digital/cd issue up for me. I had the same thought you did about the 840c price dropping. I'm in no hurry. I was also considering having the flexibility of having both. Sometiimes I don't want to turn on my pc to listen to music. Having a CDP just adds flexibility to my system. The HRT II has received great reviews.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3653
Registered: Jun-07
If your happy with the HRT 2 at the moment, then I would hold off until the 840C hits the half price clearance price which I believe will be happening shortly. I too like the flexibility it brings. And apparently it sounds fantastic. Also, an obvious match too with your new amp. Dual Wolfson DACs, with a transport. Very cool!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15204
Registered: Feb-05
Don't toss that Venom 3, Mord.

I just got mine about 1/2 hour ago and already it's the best $99 I've spent in this hobby in many a moon. Cold out of the package it's just a marvelous product. Making both the highs and lows more refined while not messing with the midrange at all. It just allows the timbre to shine through. Fantastic buy and great synergy with the Brio-R. I still have a second one for the CD player but I'm going to hold off and listen to this for a while so I can become accustomed to the sound...absolutely marvelous. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

...and Stu, it fits tight as can be, just like the factory cord.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4528
Registered: May-05
Glad you got a perfect fit, Art. Grant from Shunyata said the reason why they can be a bit loose in some gear is because their's a fair bit of variation in IEC jacks from manufacturer to manufacturer. We're talking millimeters here, but that's enough to give some play in the cable connection. They choose the size they did so that their cables fit everything. Your jack is probably on the smaller side, while mine is probably on the larger side. I'm sure the component manufacturers buy the jacks from a supplier rather than making them themselves. Probably different IEC brands between our gear.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 476
Registered: Jan-09
It's not going any where yet Art. I've decided to pause and listen a little longer to the Venom and the II+ for the next week.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1169
Registered: Dec-06
You guys notice a difference with stock cables from one make to another? All I know is that my Simaudio CD player came with a cable way thicker than any other product I've ever owned. Will definitely try a Shunyata cable in my system someday soon.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15212
Registered: Feb-05
I had a Sim piece that came with a Cardas Twinlink power cord, one of the worst power cords I've ever used...boring!!! Only the super bright Signal was worse.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4530
Registered: May-05
The Arcam rDAC is very good for the money. Easily beat everything I heard near its price. If I couldn't afford my Rega DAC, I'd have bought one. I didn't hear the USB input on it as I wasn't interested in USB, but I've read in a couple reviews that USB is it's best sounding input due to asych.

Haven't heard the wireless version either. It wasn't out at the time, and that's not what I need either. I don't want the computer to have to be powered up and/or tied to the system, hence the Apple TV gen 1. If I ever get a dedicated server, it'll be along the lines of what you're running or one of your's. I'd most likely go optical out due to the elimination of electrical noise from the computer.

The Cambridge digital player looks pretty interesting... similar to the Bryston BDP-1 in that you can directly connect an external hard drive. Maybe when I run out of room on my ATV, it dies, or I just have enough money to throw at a new toy.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3655
Registered: Jun-07
Definitely Stu. I find the only time Optical is better than Coax is for PC based boards. However, with solid state design, which is what I am using now, the Coax seems to be back on top. Absolute 0 noise inside the system. Also, have a board right now I am trying that has Balanced in and out. Your Bryston have balanced I think?

Ya the Cambridge player does look intriguing and its not super overpriced like the BDP-1. Its a great unit, but can be built and programmed for about 600 I figure. I could be a bit off, but not by much. The compact flash for the OS portion is smart, I brought home the same CF adapter to sata and have it sitting on a shelf but I havn't found the time to try it yet. Smart idea though. Cheap way of doing it solid state as essentially its the same technology as in the SS hard drives and cheap.

The Arcam is priced very competitively and In true Arcam fashion sure it sounds very good.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3656
Registered: Jun-07
Art- Did you have a Sim Audio piece that was Bright?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 477
Registered: Jan-09
Nick, isn't the 840C already half priced? I saw someone selling one on Audiogon and the original retail price is listed at $1500. Why do you think the price will drop again from $800?
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3657
Registered: Jun-07
I was not aware of it being already half price. I believe the one on A-Gon going for 800 is 2 years old used, and not in mint condition.

New, I thought it was still 1500. I will prop my dealer Monday and ask if it is going half price and if not, when could we expect it to be.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15215
Registered: Feb-05
"Art- Did you have a Sim Audio piece that was Bright?"

Noooo! It was an I3 (I think) integrated amp and it was very smooth. The Cardas power cord it came with worked very nice for it but was terrible on anything else. The bottom plate of the amp bowed from the weight of the transformer and it was so bad that I took the piece back to the dealer. Sim acknowledged the problem with that amp and improved it with later runs of the model.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3658
Registered: Jun-07
Got ya. lol. Funny their case couldn't support their transformer. lol oops.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4532
Registered: May-05
That's actually very surprising about the Sim integrated, Art. Sim's build quality has always been top notch IMO. Not doubting what you came across at all, as pretty much every company has one miss in their lineup at one point or another.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2665
Registered: Oct-07
840c for $800? Real good deal. That's used right? If new, almost a 'must' buy.
Best if used thru the balanced outs......

My BLACK 840c IS in mint shape. Dusted regularly and used mainly for the DAC section.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1170
Registered: Dec-06
Noooo! It was an I3 (I think) integrated amp and it was very smooth.

When I tried the i-1, I also thought it was smooth. A little too smooth for my tastes.

I like the build quality on my CD.5, but Sim went cheap with the CD drawer. Feels like it could snap off pretty easily if you put enough pressure on it. Guess they had to cut costs somewhere on their entry level model.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15218
Registered: Feb-05
Sim build quality is usually pretty good.

Well, I ordered Venom 3 for my wife's amp. Should be here by the end of the week. Probably on Friday, our anniversary. Good thing I'm taking her to the nicest restaurant in town for dinner that evening...
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3659
Registered: Jun-07
lol You buy something nice for yourself Art, you have to buy something nice for you wife, thats the rule. lol j/k

Yeah I agree, SIm stuff is built like a tank. They have entry level stuff which is built well, and then they have their high end line which feels and looks like it could be shot with a gun and then laugh at you. lol.

A gentlemen at Just Hi Fi told me the reasoning and benefits to using a flexible plastic transport tray but I forget now what he had told me. Ah well.

Leo- Agree. I don't buy into reviews in hi fi magazines until I hear a product for myself but almost every one gave the 840C the reference CDP of under 2K. To get it new for 800.....I will literally take a sick day to go get it. haha.

How is it as a DAC? A lot of the reviewers never reviewed it as such. I would be mainly using it as a DAC as well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 478
Registered: Jan-09
Leo, what is your source when using the 840c as a DAC?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 479
Registered: Jan-09
I was at Best Buy doing a return and auditioned the B&W CM1 and 685's. I thought the 685's sounded better. It is a very nice sounding speaker. They used a Pioneer AVR and they sound very clear, large and image nicely. I'm sure they would sound better with a decent amp.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3660
Registered: Jun-07
Mord- I think Dave is currently using the 685's and loves them. He also is using them with your amp, and loves the combo.

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/assets/documents/Hi-FiNewsMay08840Cgrouptest.pdf

Here is a group test done by Hi-Fi News (guy in his basement lol) on CD players..Do not read the whole thing as its all over the place. Scroll to the last page and read the conclusion and then the measurements. I really want to know how the 840 fairs as a DAC compared to its CD playback?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 480
Registered: Jan-09
Sounds like a wunderkind CD player. I would like to know more about the dac too. If it can be used double duty I'm interested.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 481
Registered: Jan-09
I liked the 685's but I don't think they sound better then my Nola's, different maybe. Different isn't better.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2666
Registered: Oct-07
Sources, Mordecai?
Well, I use my small dish receiver for casual music. This way I can have a nice feed while working around the house.
I also will use my OPPO '981 upsampler for CDs. This ain't bad at all.
I have also used my Airport Express with ALAC files streamed from my iMac. However, due to some odd non-compatibility issue, this is the least satisfying connection. CA issued a software update which they apparently will NO LONGER send out so you must go to the dealer for install. I have all the files and even the Null-Modem cable but am simply chicken and don't want to 'brick' my player. I would love to experiment with another wireless receiver.
Last but not least? My Blue Ray player (PS3, actually) connects to stereo thru the CA / DAC. This is killer on BR movies and the single game I own. Maybe I'll get a BR concert disk....Diana Krall or ??? for a further experiment.

The balanced connect from CA to Stereo helps over the RCA thing. The player shipped with the cheapest cable I ever saw. Maybe as thick as an iPod connector cable. This is ok, though, since 99% of the buyers of this player will upgrade cables immediately anyway, and simply toss the 'stock' cable.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3662
Registered: Jun-07
Hey Leo. When listening to music through the 840C DAC board, does it perform as well as when listening to the CD directly on the 840C?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 482
Registered: Jan-09
I wonder why they drop the price of the 840a but not the 840C,W, and E?
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3663
Registered: Jun-07
W and E are dropped big time. As a pair they retail for around 4K, and now can be had for around 2K or under for both. A crazy bargain.

The only one left is the C. My dealer is checking for me tomorrow on whats going on with it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4918
Registered: Feb-07
Let me know what your dealer says about the C Nick. I may be interested in one afterall.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 483
Registered: Jan-09
I didn't realize the price was dropped for the W and E. I didn't realize that the 840C hadn't dropped yet. I am going to wait and see if the 840C drops before buying a CD player.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 484
Registered: Jan-09
Now that I own an amp with balanced inputs, what is their advantage over RCA?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4919
Registered: Feb-07
- noise rejection
- 3db in gain
- you don't need to buy expensive interconnects anymore
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3664
Registered: Jun-07
Dead silent.

Didnt hear back from my dealer today. Hopefully tomorrow.

Mord- After living with the 840a for a week or two, how are you liking it? How would you describe the differences it brings to your system musically compared to the NAD?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17072
Registered: May-04
.

"you don't need to buy expensive interconnects anymore"


I've been watching this conversation from the side and staying out of it as much as possible. But this is something I think I should add my two cents worth to. Whoever tells you a balanced connection's sonic characteristics do not change with cable quality will also tell you "bits is bits" and digital is always better than analog.

There are some people who do not believe in anything they cannot measure. There are some people who only measure what they know to measure. There are some peole who bother neither to measure nor to try anything they do not already believe in. And then there are some people who will ignore even those things that can be measured because it is uncomfortable for them to accept that if "this" makes and improvement, then possibly they would have to admit "that" might also make an improvement. If "that" is what makes the audiophile world seem foolish to outsiders, then I would say it is up to the audiophile to prove what they believe. That it is far easier to call someone names on an audio forum than it is to listen to another person's opinion is proven numerous times daily on multiple audio forums - and political forums and medical/health advice forums and ...



Cable quality is important no matter what connection you are making. That pro audio techs and studios are slow to consider sound quality over reliable mechanical and electrical consistency is merely a reflection of their priorities. Balanced lines have several advantages over single ended connections but eliminating the difference between, say, a Teflon and a PVC dielectric is not one of them. Having a connector which correctly terminates the signal at the correct impedance and without distortions or reflections of the signal back to the source is always important in audio. Those differences are measureable but possibly not a priority to the individual user whose priority is more likely to be turning out a "product" on time and under budget. Those performers, technicians and engineers/producers who listen for sound quality in a more "audiophile" manner either have or are slowly switching to cables which make a sonic improvement. Check a music supply store to see lines of audio cables being sold on their sonic values rather than solely on their indestructability

Ignoring the importance of cables as a component in any system is about the same, IMO, as believing the component you spend the most on is always the speakers.





.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3665
Registered: Jun-07
Hey Jan. Well said. I do not believe anyone here is claiming cables do not make a sonic difference in ones system. I personally feel the price of certain interconnect products is ridiculous. When I put in a new DAC or new AMP into my system, I instantly hear a difference. Cables of course is harder for me. I guess mainly, I do not pay attention to it as much as I have never had, or felt that a cable was causing an issue within my system. I just have an issue with some of the prices companies are charging for their stuff that's all.


Finally talked to my dealer. 840C's went on half price when the rest of the 840 line did. They were sold out within a few days from the Canadian distributor as they are apparently are more desired. He offered me a new B Stock black one for 900 taxes in though. What does B Stock mean to you guys? Scratched? Already had a problem on the line before shipped to production? 900 taxes in is 60 percent off retail. Hmmmmmm
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1486
Registered: Jul-07
B Stock usually means cosmetic issues only. Functionally, it should be perfect. If there was a problem on the line that QC caught, it would normally be fixed and then sold as new.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4920
Registered: Feb-07
I've bought B-stock before with absolutely zero issues. As Chris said, it's usually just slight cosmetic issues.

Sometimes I wonder if internet direct companies (the ones that allow in home auditions) sell off returned items as B-stock.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4921
Registered: Feb-07
Back to Jan's reply re: cables:

"That pro audio techs and studios are slow to consider sound quality over reliable mechanical and electrical consistency is merely a reflection of their priorities."

This makes a lot sense actually. Good point.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4533
Registered: May-05
"Sometimes I wonder if internet direct companies (the ones that allow in home auditions) sell off returned items as B-stock."

I wonder if they test them, clean them up and sell them as new.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4922
Registered: Feb-07
That too...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17079
Registered: May-04
.

"B Stock usually means cosmetic issues only"

"B" stock can mean many things. It can be a cosmetic flaw though that would normally fall under the category of "cosmetically imperfect" or similar language. B stock can often times be equipment which was used for demo or review purposes. High end companies will allow a piece to travel to several shows, then possibly make the rounds at the reviewers and finally be returned to the manufacturer to be sold as B stock. If a dealer fails to meet their contractual agreements, their demo may be sold as B stock. The term can also apply to any item in warranty but returned to the factory due to client dissatisfaction. Say, a customer can't figure out how to make a new HT receiver work or it was more complicated than they wanted to deal with, so they return it. Dealers can request a return to the factory in some cases or possibly the unit showed up at the factory because the user thought it was defective when they simply didn't understand it. Technically, the product can't be sold as "new". The manufacturer might also have some discontinued models which are no longer "new" due to a parts change or a new version of the same product which has supplanted it. Mass market manufacturers especially will contract for "X" number of pieces to be built. If they don't sell all of those units to dealers before or slightly after a model change, those items are likely to show up as "B" stock. Since all manufacturers have some sort of service department, B stock can sometimes be equipment which was essentially DOA which has been repaired and checked for performance by the factory techs. On average, this is good value gear since it has received more individual attention to meeting specs than might the average component where maybe one of one hundred pieces are pulled for inspection. On occasion B stock is the stuff a manufacturer finds in a forgotten room in the warehouse, new in box but several years old.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3667
Registered: Jun-07
hmmmmmm I think you just sold it to me Jan. lol. I will make sure if commission is granted that you are sent a check in the mail. lol.

In that case, I think its a great deal for a cd player many claim was a bargain at its original 2K price tag. I hope its as good as a DAC. I am sure it is. Thanks Jan and everyone for clarifying.

What do you guys make of reviews that claim crazy heights of a products ability? lol Do some reviewers get paid off you think? lol Read this one, I dunno.... :

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/assets/documents/TheAbsoluteSoundUSSept07840Clicen sed.pdf
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 485
Registered: Jan-09
The 840 places me in the first three rows and it keeps sounding better. I have about 40-50 hours on it right now.

I listened to the the Venom for a week then swapped in the factory cable and needless to say the Venom is staying.

I'm not sure about the MS2+ yet. I replaced it with the MS2 this morning and listened to the same song then swapped it back again. I do think it sounds better and I'm leaning toward keeping it unless I decide to purchase the 840C, which i'm considering if I can get a good deal on one. I would still like to hear about the performance of the 840C as a DAC. I'm thinking I can use it as a CD player and a DAC so I can use it to listened to both formats. If not, I will keep the MS2+ and pick up a 550C.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3668
Registered: Jun-07
The 550C and 840C are completely different products Mord. The 840 apparently uses Analog Devices Black FIN dual DAC chips which I have never seen in anything less than 10K. I don't get it...lol. I gotta hear it.

I think I got one heck of a combo right now, with the CA and Totem Staffs. The Staffs are a very laid back, warm speaker but still detailed, if that makes sense. The low level detail, grip and neutrality of the 840 and the Totems are an awesome match.

One thing I plan on doing is getting a good power cable.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 486
Registered: Jan-09
Nick, I can't find an 840c marked down and I can't decide if I want a cd player. The 550 is a cheap entry into cd. It might be a better way to before jumping in head first with the 840.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15246
Registered: Feb-05
Just past 2 wks with my Brio-R and it just keeps getting better and better.

Highs are warm yet detailed. Resolution like you can't believe and in this price bracket it just feels like stealing. Bass is full and detailed with midrange that continues to open up and reveal more of every performance and every recording that I play.

The power cord that comes in the box should be discarded immediately. I wouldn't even sell this piece without the Shunyata Venom 3 power cord. It opens up the amp and allows it to shine. It became immediately better and after a week the combination of pieces in my listening room is stunningly good.

For less than $1000 you can buy a high resolution integrated amp (with the Shunyata Venom 3) that has a fabulous phono stage, not bad. My earliest estimates of the phono stage were a bit hyperbolic but it is no exaggeration that for MM cartridges you will do no better for under $600. That includes, Graham Slee, Creek, Sim, Clearaudio and many more.

High value is back in the high end and make no mistake this piece sounds high end.

I'm a happy camper!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4538
Registered: May-05
Glad it's working out do well for you, Art.

I know you haven't had the chance and your gear budget is probably tapped, but you should hear the Rega DAC with it. I'd be interested in your thoughts on the combo.

Whatever came of stopping by Jeff's place?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15266
Registered: Feb-05
He got busy with CES and we postponed it. He PM'd me yesterday and we're going to talk about the when's again here shortly.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3671
Registered: Jun-07
http://highendaudioexchange.ca/products.shtml?view=16

Home town dealer now selling the Brio-R for 895 out the door.
« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Add Your Message Here

Bold text Italics Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image Add a YouTube Video
Need to Register?
Forgot Password?
Enable HTML code in message
   

Facebook

Shop Related Deals

Directory

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us