The Nad is better in my opinion, it sounds better and is built better. I've heard a few reports of the Cambridge cd players' loading mechanisms going faulty. Sound-wise the 640C is nice and warm with a fair punch to it but the C542 packs more punch and is a very detailed cd player. I'm perhaps biased as I own one! For the small difference in price I'd say go with the Nad. What amp do you have though? If you have a Cambridge amp you may want to keep the cd player 'in house' so you can use the same remote etc. In my opinion the Nad can't be beaten unless you spend a fair bit more.
thanks for the response. i've got an Adcom 5400 amp. i've been listening to the NAD and to me its sounded great but unfortunately i can only compare it to an old marantz player. i'm supposed to have the 640c delivered to me next week but i'm having second thoughts. from what i've read, the NAD has a bit more punch.
The 640C is a great little cdp, don't get me wrong. I doubt you'd be disappointed with it and if you're going to encounter hassle changing the order etc then maybe it's not worth the bother. However, if it were up to me and the tills were clear I'd take the Nad. How come you've listened to the Nad but then ordered the Azur without hearing it? Did somebody tell you it was better?
its a bit of commando research project on my part and i based my decision to order both based on my cursory investigation over the internet. believe it or not, its nearly impossible to listen to the 640c in nyc, there are literally three sellers of CA and not one of them has it 'on display' so i had to resort to ordering both in order to do a comparison. canceling the 640c order won't create any issues at all and i am tempted to do so unless someone pops up and says that the 640c sounds better.
The Azur 640C is a good player and certainly one of the very best sonically at its price point but the C542 is so damn good I'd have to take it in preference. Both are similar tonally with a British kind of warmth to inject onto proceedings but the Nad has better bass punch and better build. OK the Nad isn't anything to write home about on the build front but beneath the attractive exterior of the Cambridge lies a cheap(er) attitude to construction in my opinion. It's a shame you can't hear them both in your own system but if you weren't totally bowled-over by the Nad then maybe the Cambridge will be for you?
The NAD C542 is an amazing buy and to my ears sounds better than the Cambridge which is also a good product. Stereotypes in Portland carries both brands and I own the C542. I chose the NAD. Denon is not in the same league.
Hey, I have a different question. Is there a significant difference between the c541i and the c542? I purchased the 541i in april of 03, and nad came out with the c542 in the winter of 03. In hindsight I wish I had waited but perhaps the difference is slight so it is not a real issue.
Good news then king, you know the next in a series usually isn't all that much of a jump over the previous. I remember your comparing the c370 and the c372 and not really thinking the newer model was superior to the older one (actually I remember you said each has their advantages).. I dig the 541i anyway, perhaps I have come down with hi-fi insanity, needed the newest model... On a different not king, have you ever seen the speakers I own out by you... THe polk rti-10's? I know they may not be common out your way but if you have seen/heard them I was wondering what you think of them.. I like them ..
Agreed mr king, speakers are subjective, and it is hard to go into a store and re-create your listening environment (dare I say impossible!).. They got a write up in stereophile (the little bookshelf version), and the reviewer said they had a little bit of warmth in their presentation. The nad gear is also known to be a little warm, and the combo is one I like, smooth and warm. My denon was thinner and brighter... Really, the speakers "came to life" when I hooked up the C272, what a larger tower needs is a large amount of power... When I was looking at the rti-10's on the web I saw that they were sold in a couple of places in your neck of the woods so I thought you may have heard them.. I respect the opinions of others like martin, but to say they are really bad: a. does not correspond to any professional or personal owner reviews I have read b. doesn't take into account any other variables in the overall presentation. I am satisfied, it is just that insatiable urge to have all the gear of the world at my disposal to tinker with, I've caught the disease I suppose.. But to distill my ranting, I am very satisfied with my current set-up.
Exactly. Nobody can recreate another listener's sound even if they have the same equipment because the room plays a huge part in the sound. Upgrading is a disease though, if it isn't hifi it would be something else. Find a hobby/drain for your funds and stick with it. A greater problem arises when you have more than one expensive hobby!
Well sunking I was collecting books for awhile but that isn't really expensive. Then there is the bicycle riding, not expensive... You know I do know why I had the upgrade urge, there are so many choices... What I tried to do with my set-up is get a marked improvement over what I had before, which was a stereo receiver and large bookshelfs.. By getting the amp, passive pre, with the large towers I have done what I set out to do, assemble a good sounding budget system... So I think I will live vicariously through the big spenders when my upgraditius flares up. I always love reading this board. I have learned alot from you and many of the other open minded and not too quick to judge folks.
I saw Ian Brown live several weeks ago and he dispensed with his usual backing band and played a whole set of Stone Roses numbers using a famous SR tribute as his backing band! How cool was that? I've heard that they'll never get back together and that Brown hasn't spoken to Squire for over 8 years. Here's a link to an interview with Brown last year, seems he did the same tribute band thing then too!
No kidding, I bet that was a good show.. That first album, jeez, good stuff. Their second was good not as good as the first, but good.. You guys over there in England (Great Britain) make some damn fine music... I am a big my blxxdy valentine, and house of love fan... But I could go on and on with the good music from your neck of the woods: portishead, massive attack, the cure, depeche mode, new order, swervedriver, catherine wheel... etc etc beatles, led zeppelin, clapton, roxy music..... on and on and on...
Yes, I love(d) the 'Roses. Ian Brown's solo stuff isn't too bad, completely different but has its place. I played SR1 on cd the other day and it sounds so flat and uninspiring compared to the original vinyl pressing! Which copy have you got?
I have the cd too, since it was pressed in about 1990 or so, it may be time for a remastered version. I always wonder what they do to remaster a cd, is it just the remixing process or do they actually add to the cd... I try to buy only remastered cds.. For the most part I just go to my public library and order the cds I want and copy them, costs about 10 cents a cd... I don't really know if there is a drop off from a copied cd to the original.... I also try to get hdcds when I can. The hdcd does work, I have a couple of hdcds and the soundstage is large and lush, but they are not producing them in quantity anymore.... Seems the sacd thing is sonys response to their patent on the cd running out in 2000... Such garbage really, now they expect people to repurchase their cd collections for better sound? Sounds fishy to me, and the concept of 5 in one sound seems silly too. You go to a concert and they don't have speakers on your left and right and behind you, the accoustics of the place do all of that I suppose...
Depends who is doing the remastering. If it is somebody who was connected with the original recording, ie the producer or a band member, then the remaster usually sounds very similar to the vinyl. However I have a lot of remasters that actually sound worse than the first cd pressing! It's a gamble. Often the mix is messed about with like the Led Zeppelin remasters where JPJ's bass is much lower in the mix than it used to be. I spent a wad on getting all the remastered Zep stuff but it doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the vinyl so it annoyed me greatly. That's the one exception to my rule above as Jimmy Page, guitarist and producer par excellence, was at the mastering desk! Remastering is basically trying to eliminate the mess-ups that occurred with the first cd's. When digital media first came about the record companies made a hash of lots of albums when they transferred them onto cd. The analogue to digital conversion left a lot to be desired. Now the software available to do it is much better and also people have generally learned their lessons and become more experienced. It's still a complicated process though and if the person doing the remaster isn't careful the end result can sound rubbish. I agree with you re HDCD's - I have a few and the quality is great. It's a shame they don't make far more of them.
Thanks for the heads up the the zep remasters... I have 1 and 3 (my fav) and was thinking of getting those remastered... I also have the 3rd cd off their 1990 comp, and a mix cd from house all the way through in thru the out door, I just love tea for one !! I also read about the sacd of derek and the dominos laya and other assorted love songs (one of my fav cds of all time. Seems as if most say the sacd sounds better, I burned me a copy of the the 1990 remaster and it sounds ok.... I do not claim to have a golden ear but that is another story. I agree with you about some early cds, the cds of today sound good and I just don't see the need for getting the sacd player... Sony screwed themselves with sacd in the beginning by making the cds only 1 layer sacd, now they have the hybrid cds, too little too late? I just don't want to make the jump, I like hdcd, that sounds good enough I mean after awhile it seems a bit silly... Hdcd came out in the mid 90's and microsoft owns them now. Hdcd has a website but it doesn't seem as if they are producing that many..... blame microsoft... The cool thing also about hdcd is when you burn a hdcd it records all 20 bits.... I have burned pet sounds by the beach boys and van halen II and the hdcd light comes on, yea!!
Yeah, I'm a big fan of Derek & The Dominos. Live At The Fillmore East/In Concert is my fave live cd when I'm in a late night listening mood. As for SACD & DVD-A etc, I've got 1000+ cd's so there's no way in hell I'm rebuying my collection on another format! I hate it when the electronics firms do that. It took me ages to finally embrace the CD and now I've built up a sizeable collection they want to change everything. Wish I'd just stuck with vinyl now! I still buy vinyl actually as it tends to sound better than cd but 85% of my purchases are on cd. Is Pet Sounds an HDCD? I didn't realise that, must see if my light illuminates next time I play it!
You know that live derek album doesn't have duane allman on it.... I am wondering what his not being there takes away from the overall songs; not that e.c can't carry the waterbucket, the first three songs on the album are just with e.c. I totally agree with you on the lack of motivation to move to another format, it took me longer than most to get into cds, 1998 !! I was stubborn and had my decent tape player and felt I was doing well, ha ! Strange it took me so long, I can remember when I saw my first cd it was 1988 while me and some friends were drinking at a friends place. I can still remember picking up a cd in a drunken haze and thinking "a little record how nice"... I have no doubts the sacd thing is a money grab by sony and I for one hope it fails... Vinyl huh, yea there is a used cd store I frequent that sells vinyl, really inexpensive way to get a music library... It's just cds are soooo damn convenient despite the dropoff in fidelity.. Concerning the pet sounds hdcd, it is the 2000 Hdcd Remaster of the Original Mono Mixes. Does Not Include the Bonus Tracks that were on Previous Issues. It has all the tracks in mono, then the tracks in stereo. Do you burn alot of cds? I try to burn cds and if I really like what I hear I eventually buy the original... Seems like a safe way to "test the water" so to speak... Don't mean to digress but isn't it a crying shame the the dominos didn't make another cd... Duane allman died not long after the first cd came out... What a fantastic guitar combo, really I haven't heard a better one yet..
The Dominos live are spot-on mate. I bought "In Concert" on vinyl and loved it, then paid big money years later to buy a double gold cd of the same album. I then bought "Live At The Fillmore East" on double cd which has a few cuts from the same concert but most are from a different night. You get a lot more songs but some of the versions aren't quite so good as on the previous cd. It's worth it though because it's still A1 and you get a few more songs, different ones. I love 'em both. Don't be worried about the guitar work, Clapton is on fire at these concerts! They're without doubt my favourite Clapton recordings. I liked Cream and some of his earlier solo work but nothing for me comes anywhere near his playing on these two live albums - he's funky, rocky and bluesy all in one. They're both out of print I think but try and hunt them down man! You sure won't regret it. I'm with you 100% and I really wish they'd done more albums together, even without Allman. I read an interview with Eric a few years back and he said one of his regrets was disbanding the Dominos early. Saw him live last year and he opened with "Let it Rain" - which was great, went downhill a bit after that to be honest..... I used to burn lots of cd's, one of my ex's had a ton of decent music and I copied loads of her collection. Since then I've not met anyone who has much I'd want to copy and to be fair I can't be arsed with the hassle - I'm a bit of an Amazon freak now! Spend far too much money on this damned computer, too easy to click on the "Yes, I want this - sod the cost" button....especially after a few beers.
Hey king, i forgot to add the 20th anniversary edition of layla has two additional cds.. One cd has some jams (i burned that one) and the other has some alternate takes (did not burn that one). I recently found the dominos, I mean everyone is acquainted with laya, but I never really LISTENED to the song, makes a big difference.. I had the cd cream of Clapton, and besides noting how the quality dropped starting in the late 70's, I alsoi noted that the dominos songs were the best... Digging thru my cd's I remembered I burned layla and once I gave it a spin I was like, holy cow this is great.... I agree with you about amazon, I have purchased cd's from them... On a slightly different note, is your nad gear in gray or that titanium.. I for one love the grey and am not too crazy about the titanium... I have to say the understated look of nad I prefer over all the lights and shiny stuff. I saw a nad tuner and receiver in a pawn shop window and really dug how unique and simple it looked. Speaking of music do you think the state of rock music today is as good as it was say 20 years ago... I belive rock music here in the states at least on the fm radio is poor.. The rap/rock marriage in the 90's has resulted in really weak material... It is soulless, without harmony or melody. Just some dude shouting and the same droning guitar... If that was the only exposure to the guitar a person had they wouldn't know how sweet it could sound... I know it's all about the bottom line but I wish the quality would catch up to the marketing.. I am on a guns n roses watch, been waiting for that loon axl rose to put out the album...
I've got the dull grey colour Nad equipment, much prefer it to plastic-looking titanium. I think rock music today is pretty lame. Even Mr Slash's Velvet Revolver isn't exactly great but it's about the only thing going at the moment with any credibility in my eyes. Appetite is one of my all-time fave albums! I'll sure buy Axl's "Chinese Democracy" when/if it finally appears but it won't be the same without good ole Slash.
Hey I see you answered in the other post about the c370 having more bass than the c372. I will defer to your experience on this as I have never heard the c370 or c372. You did say in another post that the c272 has plenty of bass didn't you? I know it has much more bass all around as compared to my old receiver but do I recall your comments correctly? I agree with you on the nad gray, I quite like it, it's distinctive and really handsome... You know velvet revolver is a bit of a letdown, I mean compared to alot of what is out there its really good but still... Perhaps its mr weiland, he is good with stp yet his voice isn't very distinctive and his lyrics are good but not really great... Now the new g&r is an interesting proposition.. The question is will the whole be as good as the sum of its parts? On paper the new g&r simply better than the old g&r... Stinson (former replacement) is a better bass player and lyricist and backup singer than duff. Buckethead is a guitar wizard, I mean he is amazing, sorry slash bucket smokes you... Brain is the best drummer g&r has ever had... They have 2 other guitarists so that makes up for izzy... The only thing lacking is izzy's songwriting and he sings afew songs on uyi 1 and they sound like the faces/stones which is a good thing. It could be great, a buddy of mine saw them in 2002 and said the show was fantastic, really entertaining, so.... Rock needs a savior, it could be axl rose and the new g&r...
Yeah the new G'n'R may be good musicians mate but the chemistry of the old Guns hasn't been achieved anywhere else. Appetite rocked the world because it was so darned good, even though it came at a time when hard rock was maybe a little "uncool" - it takes an amazing album to do that. It crossed boundaries so even the pop lovers have a copy in their collection. Nothing anywhere near as kick butt has come along since from anybody in the music business. I doubt whether Buckethead & Co. could do anything to match Appetite. It's one thing being a good musician and another being a good composer - just look at Steve Vai! He could smoke practically any guitarist out there but he can't write to save his life. I think Izzy's contribution is largely overlooked too. OK so he's an average rhythm guitarist but he could write tunes. Nothing Slash, Izzy, Axl or the others do in the future is ever going to match A.F.D I don't think. I'm sure Axl's record, if it ever reaches the public, will be good and I'm sure the guitar playing will be good but is Axl the man to write the whole thing? He needs Izzy, Duff and Slash just like they need him. By the way, hasn't Buckethead left Axl now? You're right, Velvet Revolver is disappointing. A good concept, good personnel but lame songs. Two or three on the album are good, a few ok and the rest lousy in my opinion. I don't think Weiland was the right choice for them. Slash doesn't really write songs and if Contraband is Weiland's best effort then I think they messed-up. Slash, Sorum and Duff deserve better material. I sure hope they spend more time on their second LP and get some better tunes on it. As for the Nad gear mate, the C372/272 is a sweet sounding amp and I just love the warmth of it but the bass is a smidgeon weak in my opinion. If you put on a kicking cd then yeah, it's going to rock but it doesn't have the most prominent bass in the world. Neither has the C370/270, don't get me wrong - there isn't much in it but because of the older Nad's airier mid section the bass is allowed its own place in the soundstage so thus becomes more prominent. With the C372/272 the midrange and bass blend a lot as it has a rather full upper mid bass which tends to make the deeper bass sound a little weaker in the mix. All in my own opinion of course! I love those amps, I just wish they could make the bass a bit better then it would be my favourite amp of all time! I guess that's why the need to spend big bucks for high end gear is apparent. Trouble is, you can get the bass right and lose out elsewhere. I'd 100% for sure rather have the C372/272 than a bass freak with a dire midrange and piercing treble. Compromises, compromises. I just love the Nad midrange and treble - for me to move to a different brand it'll have to sound just like the Nad but with better bass. I haven't heard that sound yet. Here's hoping Nad themselves might supply it over the next couple of years.
Totally agree with the chemistry aspect of a group and the old guns had it in spades.. Appetite came out and separated itself from what rock was at the time, which was either glam or heavy metal. Guns was bloozy and sleezy and mean, like old aerosmith but with more attitude. What is interesting is that the new guns is better "on paper", and if they have chemistry then that will be a good thing for fans like us.. I agree about weiland, you know the singer from skid row tried out for the band and he has a great voice. I think slash and co were trying to stay "current" and weiland fit the bill. I don't know about the chinese democracy album compared to appetite, they will sound different... I think after all this time and axl being so uptight I truly think the album will be excellent.. I made a mix tape with what I felt were the best songs of the two illusions albums. I think if guns paired down those two albums into one with the best songs it would have topped appetite. What is the music scene out by you like, what is big in rock and roll... You guys had your shoegaze movement in the early 90's (loved that).. Then your britpop in the mid 90's (liked it but not like shoegaze). What is big now? Hope it isn't rap rock like here in the staes, blah, do not like that... Maybe the next upgrade in the classic series (c273?) will provide that missing bass... The good thing for me is I can't compare it too it's predecessor, so I don't know it's missing ;)... But as we know nad's price to performance ratio is tough to beat. But to recap, I am really hoping for a "rebirth" of rock and roll. I want the emphasis on talented musicians, good lyrics, and singers with the ability to sing... Is that asking too much?
Hey sunking, I read in that other thread that one guy likes the c319 over the c372 and c370.... You know I could have got the c270 for a song and a dance last summer.. Actually it would have been about $380 as opposed to the $531 I paid for the c272... Oh wheel, its good not to second guess and since I don't know the exact sound of the others (it should be close) I will not internalize this information. By the way one of the reasons I purchased the c272 is because I wanted to use that sense circuit on it, to flip the thing on from my cd remote... Buuuuut... my passive pre does something that doesn't allow the sense circuit to function properly.... I was told what it was but I don't quite remember. Initally I thought the unit was defective and had it back in it's box to ship back.... I am pleased I didn't ship it back and worked out the situation over the phone. If I emailed the passive dealer he would have told me this straight away, of course I didn't and clung to the idea the amp was defective.... Oh well, by the way do you keep your units in standby all the time, I do...
Hey. The C272 sensing circuit isn't all that sensitive, that's why it has a problem with your passive pre. It really needs a boatload of current whizzing through it to trigger the switch - even an active pre at low volumes isn't sufficient to turn the amp on. Ah well. I don't leave my stuff on standby so that wouldn't bother me so much. I like to turn everything off, just habit. I agree about the two Illusion albums, could have made one killer LP. Always thought that at the time. The music scene here is cack - it's all poppy r'n'b with a bit of rap thrown in for bad measure. On the rock side, just the usual nu metal rubbish. I'm off to see Queen with Paul Rodgers next week. Wish it was 20 years ago and with Freddie but should still be a good night. Always loved Queen, they aren't my favourite band of all time but they're up there.
Actually king there was an issue with that circuit, it was mentioned in a review of the amp/pre combo. Nad went about chaning/fixing the circuit, the thing is with a passive pre even with the circuit being "corrected" it still does not work correctly. Really doesn't matter, just hit the on button. I just thought the circuit was not fixed and I made an issue of it to nad and the online dealer I purchased it from... I suppose "cack" means bad in your neck of the woods huh... Yea, sales are driven by the youth it seems and they can be conditioned by the record companies to buy good music but that isn't in vogue now. I mean this hip-hop attitute, anti social, primitive, simple, is that what we want the youth to embrace... I listened to rap back in the early 90's for about a year, liked the f#ck off attitude (i was 19-20 at the time), after a short while I realized most of it was crapola... I do dig some r & b especially from the 60's but even some of todays r & b is good.. It's just the rap, I mean that 50 cent guy, mumbles like he has a mouth full of pudding and he's famous, and why, ohhh because he was shot 9 times... great... I hope these things are cyclical but the tides, in the form of mtv, the media, and movies seem to be pushing for the "hip-hop" attitude... I really like the term "hip hop culture"... Kind of like the culture of hellenistic Greece huh... can you mention both using the word culture? I don't know about that one.. Queen and bad company fused.... Sounds good, we know Rogers doesn't have the pipes of freddie but he is smooth..
Yeah, apparently they're doing 60% Queen songs and the rest Free & Bad Company. Should be good. I like Snoop Dogg's "Doggystyle" but the rest of the rap thing leaves me cold. Snoop's stuff since the first album is lame too. It all sounds the same now, the same rap lines about guns, crack and weed. Heard it all before, it's all to limp beats too. At least Doggystyle had proper instruments and some actual melodies and tunes. I even liked the Beastie Boys first album "Licensed to Ill" but like you say, I was younger then too! Seems we're about the same age - I'm 34 in August.
Yea, I'm 34 in nov, where has the time gone..??? I was at a bookstore tonight and flipped through some of the audio mags and what hi-fi gave the c372 only two stars! They say the bass was flabby (confirming what you have said), and it's dynamics were muffled... The best integrated was the rotel ra-03... Ok, so now my concern, Iown the c272 and it is the amp in the c372... Soooooooo, I am concerned, but it could be the pre.... I can tell you this if the bass was loose on the c372 it was invisible on my denon stereo. The nad c272 gives me much bass and from what I can discern strong midbass... My speakers are 3 way, with three woofers and the bass coming from the midbass woofer is clear and firm.... Snoop doggy dog huh, I remember I bought the single deep cover, his first song with dr. dre, that song was cool then and if I heard it now I would still thing the same thing.. So mr king what do you think, am I cursed by owning the c272, does it share the same issues as the c372 or could it be the pre in the integrated that is causing the problems (which is why I went passive)...
I wouldn't bother too much with what you read in so called professional reviews. Let your own ears decide mate. If you're happy with the sound that's all that matters! We both know that we prefer the Nad sound to that of Rotel so if they have the RA-03 coming out as best....
The C372 has the same power amp as the C272. You are probably running a better pre though with your amp. The problems with the integrated are nothing to do with the pre amp - the C352 has exactly the same pre, as do most Nad integrateds in the same range. I think the C372 is almost the perfect amp as I've said before, it's just the bass that lets it down. The bass isn't rubbish but it's letting the side down of an otherwise damned fine amp. As you said yourself, the C272 beats the bass of your old amp hands down. It's just that when we're talking perfection, as the rest of the amp so very nearly is, then the bass is lacking. If I bought the Rotel RA-03 I'm sure I'd find more than the bass problematic. The C270 and C160 pairing that I've ended up with doesn't have the best bass in the world but it's better than the newer equipment - only by a bit though! I'd stick with it mate and when the time comes to upgrade several years down the line, see what Nad has to offer. Maybe everything will be A1 then.
Your right king, a voice of reason in the audio sea of chaos.... You know what hi-fi gave 3 stars to polks top of the line lsi speaker (lsi-15, one I really wanted to get) and everyone on this side of the pond says they are amazing for their price, or 2x their price... I also remember that you said though the last series in nad has better bass, the newer range has more warmth and a better midrange. Life is a series of trade-offs I suppose. With the passive pre not adding any flavor of it's own it is up to the amp and speakers to do this. Both my amp and speakers are known to be on the warm side which results into smooth and easy listening experience. In addition, the bass is much better than my denon, I don't know king the more I read into this the more I get off track. I like what I own, I know it sounds good, so I can live with it.
Whoever was reviewing the amps that day obviously preferred in your face music and not the warmer Nad-style offerings. I've lost count of the amount of times I've bought something based on reviews and then not rated it. The reviewers are only human and they have ears just like ours - they don't have better ears. One man's meat is another's poison etc. The bass in my system is detailed and fast but it isn't amazingly prominent unless the source is very bass heavy. I'd like it more so because my speakers are capable of muchos bass yet my system fails to deliver unless the volume is really cranked. It's the ONLY area that I'm not 100% happy with. I've had bassier amps but then the rest of the sound wasn't to my liking. As you say, trade-offs and compromises. I think even with $5000 in our pockets the amps still wouldn't be everything we dream of.
Joseph Cebelinski 05-01-2005 20:55 what hi-fi review... Hello, I was at a bookstore and flipped through the recent what hi-fi edition. The issue slammed the c372 as having sloppy bass and muffled highs.... I was wondering what you guys think of this? I have heard some owners of the 372 say the bass is not as good as the 370, but what hi-fi really slammed the unit. What is interesting is what hi-fi heaped praise on the c352.... ARe the units that different and have others complained about the c372. I own the 272 and wonder if there is a deficiency in the unit or is it merely one reviewers opinion, because it was a harsh one... Karen Pritchard 05-03-2005 13:27 re: what hi-fi review... Thank you for your recent request via the NAD Electronics web-site.
The C372 is an improved version of the C370. It is based on a C352 with more power. Different reviewers have different opinions, and we simply chalk up the C372's less favourable review in HiFi Choice as the opinion of that particular reviewer. As you pointed out the same publication awarded the C352 with a Critic's Choice Award.
Hello: Just thought I'd chime in on the original question. I owned the NAD 541i (haven't heard the 542, though it is supposedly very similar in sound) for several months just over a year ago and I agree it is an excellent player for the money, but the treble was a little rough for my tastes. I had just come off of an older Yamaha player that I expected the NAD to blow away. It was clearly better, but I was disappoionted with the highs and frankly, was not as impressed as I thought I would be.
After several months, I decided to give the 640C a try and ordered it without hearing. The minute I heard it I knew it was better for my tastes. After an extended burn-in, I did an a/b comparison and felt that the Cambridge just had a higher level of detail, texture, and nuance. The highs were much smoother and vocals sounded more natural and open. The NAD does have slightly more "kick," but the Cambridge can hold its own and actually has a more dramatic sound on passages that call for it. Someone else may prefer the more rugged and punchy sound of the NAD, but to my ear, the Cambridge has more class and makes my whole collection sound great, not just the "chest-thumpers."
Build quality is not excellent on either unit due to their price point, but I do have to give the NAD a very slight edge here. Also, my 541i would not tolerate any kind of CD Mat or other product sitting on top of the disc. The clearance is so small that it will catch and grate your disc across the tray. I didn't use any CD Mats in my comparison though.
Anyway, this thread seems to be pro-NAD so far, but I'm afraid I'll have to disagree.