Azur 340 vrs nad c bee


New member
Username: Rossbhoy

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-05
I am setting up my first hifi system and at the moment the two main contenders are:

1. The NAD c521 BEE CD player
with the NAD C320 BEE amp.
2. Cambridge audio Azur 340 C
With the Azur 340A amp

Can any one give me advice as my local hifi dealer no longer has a listening room or facilities for me to compare them in store.

I have found plenty of reviews on both the NAD products but have found very little on the Cambridge Audio Azurs so any advice would be helpful.

And I will be using TDL nucleus KV1 speakers

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 301
Registered: Sep-04

I've said this before and I hate to sound biased - but I have found Cambridge Audio products wanting in the face of NAD - and I'm talking low powered, ancient 25 year old NADs out performing a brand new CA amp.

I've also seen more than one person say they've taken CA back and exchanged it for the NAD.

Try and find another dealer who will let you listen. My feeling is that Cambridge are very poor products sonically. They just look nice and sound okay for the price, I suppose. They are clear and open, but not very gutsy.

Let's put it this way - their entry level A1 is absolutely emaciated when it comes to bass. I have a NAD entry level amp from the 1970s and it's still performing beautifully with relatively well-extended lows with modern speakers.


Unregistered guest
i strongly disagree with you there Varney.
the CA product are renowned by EVERY major magazine, website or whatever to have amazing sound that rivals hifi costing twice as much. this is after reading about 20 reveiws of the Azur series, i have demo'd the NAD and CA and marantz and i have to say i agree, the CA in every case blows the other out of the water!

Silver Member
Username: Ca_convert


Post Number: 157
Registered: Jan-05
So Jim, why are you asking for an opinion when its so clear to your own ears??

Just to set the record straight: both CA and NAD gear is very well reviewed. Bear in mind soinds as good as twice the price means it is better than the average stuff at twice the price. It is ultimately a pretty poor description if you actually think about the meaning. Secondly, there are very very few reviews of the azur 340 series - plenty on the 540 and 640.


Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 405
Registered: Sep-04

You can read reviews until the cows come home - but the real and personal truth is in the listening.

When people read or hear that one amp is better than another, they will naturally want to enquire: "Why?". This is because many reviews, where dedicated to one unit, do not always make a direct comparison between two products. On a one to one basis, you can say amp 'x' was an excellent buy and outshone it's rivals, but if a review of amp 'y' says pretty much the same, we are still largely in the dark on a direct x,y comparison.

If you have done this personally, then that is commendable and your opinion is then charged with your own knowledge. To say simply that one 'blows the other out of the water' does not really tell us very much about how these amps perform in comparison to each other; it just tells us which you prefer.

I was probably a little unfair to Cambridge Audio when I described them as 'sonically poor'. When I heard the CA/Gale setup in my holiday flat, I got a real feel for the unit and decided it was a very detailed little amp, with a good degree of control in most areas. But being a NAD owner and then buying suddenly into Cambridge gave me the opportunity for that rare side/side comparrison in the home, where all critical listening takes place. The results to my ears (and with exactly the same speakers, I might add) told me what I needed to know - the NAD outshone the Cambridge in almost every area, but does this make the Cambridge a pile of crap? I think not. If I'd never heard NAD, or they didn't exist, I might have been quite satisfied with the sound of the Cambridge Audio. But then, who knows? I might well have searched for something better, since it's a very easy amp to get bored with.

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