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Cambridge Audio receiver info.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 42
Registered: 01-2004
In another thread about the infamous NAD hum, someone asked about the new CA receiver, the 540R. Rather than burying the following info in that thread, I started another.

I have been pestering dealers and the distributor about this model here in Canada, where it is just now trickling into stores (although I haven't seen one yet myself). The best information I have received so far is a scanned info sheet. I have put this on the web for the enjoyment of all at http://members.shaw.ca/grayhouse/540R.jpg .
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 43
Registered: 01-2004
Incidentally, the retail price in Canada seems to be $939 (around $700 US). So far the best I have been quoted is $799 (~$600 US) including shipping.
 

tim weller
Unregistered guest
i too have been searching in canada for the 540R. best price i have found has been $749 canadian; again though, no one seems to have the product in store, although i have been assured that the distributor plurison have it in stock now. patience folks!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 44
Registered: 02-2004
Where did you find it for $749? Does that include shipping? I know one store that got two in, with one spoken for already. I have not had a chance to go and see the other, if they still have it.
 

tim weller
Unregistered guest
speak with ed at brian reimer audio in winnipeg (204-256-7724). price did not include shipping. as of today, still no units in stock but that is what they will sell if for. shipping would be minimal as long as you don't require overnight courier.
 

New member
Username: Rob_visscher

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2004
Hi Goose
Thanks for the info. I was the one who asked for the info in the T753 thread. As said, my speaker manufacturer spoke very highly of the brand.
If anyone owns/heard one, I am really interested how this sounds.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 64
Registered: Feb-04
I just noticed that the CA web-site now has information on the 540R and its cousin, the 540V, including some specs.

http://www.cambridge-audio.co.uk/noflash/540r_amp.html

http://www.cambridge-audio.co.uk/noflash/540v_dvd.html
 

Unregistered guest
6 channels discrete amplification; 100 watts per channel. Anybody explain why it only weighs 21 lbs?....Thanks for the info and link.
 

New member
Username: Kosta27

Seattle

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-04
Good question JW.
I have read in www.zero-distortion.com under "Specifications And How To Understand Them"; Weight (Mass) that weight closely equals to quality and performance, less weight means cost cutting and lower quality. I too was waiting to see the 540R specs, now online and was surprised at my findings. Maybe one band-aid would be to use the 640a to drive the main speakers but then we are entering a different price zone.
 

Unregistered guest
KTP,

Must be one of life's mysteries; maybe one of the experts has some input...unless it has the new digital amps which is not implied.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 65
Registered: Feb-04
One thing that troubles me about this is that nowhere does it actually say that there are 6 discrete amplifiers. The actual wording is "six channel on-board discrete amplification", which is rather ambiguous. It could mean a single amplifier on a daughterboard, like the low-end Yamaha/Denon/etc receivers.

I did query the Canadian distributor on this point, and the response I got was that all channel are "fully discrete", but there was no clarification on whether it used discrete transistors or ICs. Frankly, I am still skeptical.

As for digital amplification, the information on the 540V explicitly states exactly that it does use that technology, but the 540R is silent on the subject.
 

Unregistered guest
Likewise, skeptical. Maybe, a misprint.

Even the low end Yamahas scaled in at 27 lbs. or so.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 66
Registered: Feb-04
Let's face it, the thing is tiny, only 12" deep and 4" tall. I would not be surprised if it only weighs 21 lbs. To put this in some sort of perspective, NAD's T750 was about the same size and weight, but with about half the power rating.

Notice that CA's quoted THD is a very low 0.006% at 1kHz. If the power ratings are also at 1kHz, then the "real" power is going to be much lower in practice. I don't care too much if this is the case, although such tactics don't impress me. What I want to know is this: what corners did CA cut, and by how much?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 16
Registered: Feb-04
CA 540R is 430x100x310 = 13.33 dm^3 and weights 9.5kg / 20.9lbs
NAD T743 is 435x132x350 = 20.55 dm^3 and weights 16.35kg / 36.0lbs
Marantz SR4400 is 440x164x365 = 26.34 dm^3 and weights 12.5kg / 27.55lb

540R rated 6*80W, T743 5*50W, SR4400 6*80W...
 

Bronze Member
Username: W9cw

Post Number: 11
Registered: Mar-04
One possibility to consider is the type of power supply design. I've noticed the same thing on the Marantz 6300 vs. the new 6400. The 6400 is 7 lbs. lighter in weight than the 6300. I called the Technical Dept. at Marantz, and they would only offer this: "The 6400 uses a more efficient power supply design."

The majority, if not all, receivers use linear power supply designs. These typically use massive transformers, regulators, pass transistors, et. al. They are heavy and generate substantial heat, but are simple to design, stable, reliable, and generate no RFI (radio frequency interference). Perhaps, some of the manfacturers are moving to switching-mode power supply designs. Switching power supplies, like the ones used in PC's and various other devices, are extremely efficient, offer well regulated outputs for wide swings in AC line voltage, and only weigh a fraction of a linear supply - as the transformer is much smaller. The only "major" gotcha with a switcher is its propensity to generate RFI and hash if not properly filtered at RF frequencies.

I only offer this suggestion as a possiblity . . .
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 67
Registered: Feb-04
I contacted the Canadian distributor again, and the guy I dealt with had this to say:

... we received this model just a few days ago, and have had a chance to try it out in "real-life" conditions, with demanding speakers in a rather large room, .... and it is very impressive. For one thing, the outputs are NOT digital amps, but real discrete amplifiers ... on ALL 6 CHANNELS. And it shows. It is powerful, well controled, and doesn't suffer from the usual inexpensive electronics hard, edgy sound. It's very sweet sounding. ... If you are a serious music lover, but do not want to give away musical acuracy for Home Theater "slam-bang", this is the one to get.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 24
Registered: Feb-04
That's nice to hear. Although no one can be told how a receiver performs, you'll have to hear it for yourself...

The 540R and 540V are surprisingly cheap, even here in Finland. Retail prices for both are 690euro (without remote I believe) wich is a bit less than NAD T743 or about the same as Marantz SR4400.
 

tim weller
Unregistered guest
i was told (before available in stores) that 540R had a/b speaker capabilities. my need right now is for a straight 2 channel application with a/b speaker capacity, expanding later to take advantage of the av functionality of the 540 R. unfortunately upon seeing the unit live in montreal this week i discovered it does not. given my needs for an a/b set-up, can anyone offer a solution that preserves sonic quality (or at least minimizes the loss) at a reasonable price. any specific brand/price suggestions would be greatly appreciated. everything about the 540R seems to fit my bill, and a very reasonable bill the 540 seems to be, except this little issue. help, please!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 32
Registered: Feb-04
The T743 seems to be a good option if you need a/b.
 

tim weller
Unregistered guest
thanks for info on T743; was told by dealer selling both NAD and Cambridge that in order to match sound quality of 540R i'd have to move up to T763 (about $2000 canadian or more than 2 times what this dealer was selling 540R for.

i guess my question really is.....if i stick with the 540R what solutions are there (e.g. switching box or.....). if i can't stay with 540R is there anything in that price range that i can look at? have considered rotel RX1050 and HK 3480 but for price reasons for rotel and sonic quality reasons with HK sought out the Cambridge Audio. any thoughts out there?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 33
Registered: Feb-04
"was told by dealer selling both NAD and Cambridge that in order to match sound quality of 540R i'd have to move up to T763."

What do you mean by sound quality? I believed that different NAD models sounded quite similar, only that the bigger models had more power and features.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 70
Registered: Feb-04
... was told by dealer selling both NAD and Cambridge that in order to match sound quality of 540R i'd have to move up to T763 ...

Perhaps he was referring to power? The T743 is 5x50W, the T753 is 6x70W, and the T763 is 6x100W. The 540R is nominally 6x80W, but I have yet to be convinced that these watts are as "real" as the NAD ones. If you don't need 6.1 then the T743 is probably all that you would need (check www.nadelectronics.com for details).

The MSRPs for the T743 and the 540R are similar in Canada, at $999 and $939, respectively. I have seen the 540R advertised as low as $799 (15% off, and including shipping from www.everestaudio.com), and have heard from others that it can be had for $749 (20% off). Perhaps this could be used as ammunition for haggling on the price on either unit at your local dealer.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 71
Registered: Feb-04
Another option for you, that just occurred to me, is Harman/Kardon. I think the AVR330 is $1299 in Canada, but you should be able to do better at a dealer (don't pay MSRP at FutureShop!). It has 7x55W, with multi-room capability. That is, you can have independent stereo source selection and volume in a second room, not just simple A/B switching.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 72
Registered: Feb-04
Oops, I just noticed that you rejected H/K for "sonic quality reasons". Can you elaborate? H/K is supposed to be good quality, although not the same sound as NAD, which is also not the same as Cambridge Audio. Incidentally, what were your impressions of the sound of the Cambridge Audio unit?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 34
Registered: Feb-04
It is true that H/K sounds a bit undetailed and laid back compared to NAD. I haven't heard the CA so I dont know what it sounds like.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sssand2

Post Number: 14
Registered: Dec-03
I have not heard the CA, but will tell you that, when auditioning Paradigm speakers at a local dealer, I had a chance to hear both the T743 and the T763. I have a T742 so I wanted to hear the speakers using the 743 but it was not set up so they started me on the 763. When they finally got the 743 set up I will say that it sound brighter and thinner than the 763 at similar levels. Both sounded better than a Yamaha 1400 (I believe) that was briefly used with the same speakers (just to add a sub).
 

tim weller
Unregistered guest
540R was pretty impressive sounding, though i did not do a "full audition". thanks for all the input on NAD and HK.

any thoughts on using a switching box to get my a/b set up with the 540R. if so, any brand suggestions or features to consider. any comments on loss of quality with switching box? finally, any other solutions you can think of?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Goose

Post Number: 73
Registered: Feb-04
I know that Monster makes speaker selectors, but I have never seen one, or heard anything much about them.

http://www.monstercable.ca/home_av/audio_cables/speaker_switchers.asp
 

New member
Username: Giulio

Bologna, Italy Italy

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-04
Hi,I'm waiting to hear CA 540R here in Italy,and I have the same problem as you with the a/b speaker switch.
So far I bought a QED switch unit http://www.qed.co.uk/acc/acc.html
that is certenly better than an internal speaker switch. And now I'm waiting to hear and buy that CA AV receiver.
Please excuse my english.
Bye Giulio
 

Bronze Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 38
Registered: Feb-04
Other option is to buy a separate stereo amp for the b-speakers. Basic models are not that expensive, around 100-200euro. Or buy a better used amp for the same price.
 

New member
Username: Giulio

Bologna, Italy Italy

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-04
Hello, I'd like to know how much it will cost in your countries.
Here in Ialy it is arrived rigth now and I'd like to compare prices from different countries.
Tomorrow I'll go to my HiFi "pusher" to listen to it.
Then, if you are interested, I'll post you the price here in Italy.
Bye Giulio
 

John SH
Unregistered guest
"Hello, I'd like to know how much it will cost in your countries"
Richer Sounds who part own CA in the UK have it for £240 or €360. I havent heard it yet but have used their stero amp and have been very happy.
R/sounds are very helpful and should be able to give full details (considering their part ownership)CA on the other hand have a technical division but there nowhere near as helpful
 

maxxy54
Unregistered guest
Anyone know if this can be operated with both voltage levels, 110V and 220V? if bought in the US?
 

Svein
Unregistered guest
Just bought a 540R for my home theater. Just for fun, I tested it in stereo with my Quad ESL63 loudspeakers. The Quads are not an easy load for amps. I have to say that I'm supriced. The 540 drives the Quads realy nice. It's not a 10.000$ amp, but for the money, it is just "WOW".

Also nice to know: It has pre outs on all channels it's possible to upgrade with other power amps when needed.
 

bill
Unregistered guest
i also have 540r.sounds great but am having problems.does not seem to remember large or small speaker settings when powering up and down or changing inputs.anyone having similar problems?
 

avinoam
Unregistered guest
hi to all,
tried to get an answer anywhere, but no luck.
the ca azur 540R :
why, in room/theatre/hall surround modes, there is, in some frequenciese of music, even in low volume, a distortion ,bzzzzz, in the tweeters of the back (surround) speakers?
in all other modes, the sound is so clean and good.
does anybody know the problem and what to do????
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