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NAD C320 BEE or Cambridge audio 640A

 

narizotas
Unregistered guest
Hi everybody
The offer of good quality budget integrated amplifiers is huge and I begin to get lost. I had already decided to buy the NAD c320 bee and then I read that the Cambridge 640 A was even better (not to talk about others like rotel, roskan etc). Does anybody know which would be the best one and which speakers to match with? What do you think of these possibilities?
Cambridge 640A or NAD C320 bee + Tannoy mx2 or Monitor audio bronze B2 or Quad 11L

Thank you very much
 

RS
Unregistered guest
Wow, i came onto these boards looking for the answer to EXACTLY the same question heh, they stand out as the 'best of the budgets'.

Both the Nad and the CA are given great reviews in What Hi-Fi, im going to demo them both next week, so will let you know!

 

Anonymous
 
Ditto. Cambridge and NAD are battling it out for me presently. Biggest trouble is that no store here (Australia) seems to stock both for a side-by-side comparison.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 383
Registered: 12-2003
Anon:

I often recommend both integrated amps as I do believe they are both very good. However, they both have their own unique sound, and the choice really comes down to the speakers you either have or want to pair with the amp.

Cambridge amps are very warm and somewhat laid back. This amp is smooth and just a bit slow, but this works well with many speakers. Speakers that are bright or forward sounding, such as Klipsch, JMlabs, Monitor Audio, and Canton, to name a few, work really well with that amp.

The NAD, on the other hand is faster and more forward sounding, although not in an objectionable way, at all, and it is every bit as warm sounding. It is also a more dynamic amp, best driving speakers like Paradigm, PSB, NHT, B+W CDM series, and Dynaudio, again just to name a few that work well with the NAD.

Narizotas asked about the amps with several speakers--I have only heard the Quad 11Ls of that group, and if that is the speaker I had, I would get the Cambridge as I know they make a good match. That Quad can be a little bright and blary sounding if paired with the wrong electronics. Conversely, with something a little less forward, the Quad shines with excellent detail and its quick response. I also heard the larger Quad, the 12Ls, and they sound completely different and are best suited to the NAD (go figure!).

So I don't think you are going to make a mistake with either amp--just be sure to pick one with knowledge of your speakers. If you need to, carry your speakers in to the dealer when he isn't particularly busy and listen to the amp you are considering. I have done this and it can make up for not having a dealer that carries both brands you are considering.

Good luck!
 

Beta
Unregistered guest
As I read from the sites of both NAD and Cambridge Audio, I think I will still go to choose the NAD C320BEE (actualy I am now using it with my B&W DM602 S3, it sound really clear and good and powerful that cannot turn over the 9 o'clock position of the volume nearly)
As the power rating of the NAD C320BEE, although is about 50W per channel, but this is the power rating that is meausre under worest situation. So the actual power of the amp of NAD is really do much more as what is said to be.
One more point of choosing NAD C320BEE is the outputs for conecting the speakers are supporting both screw and banana plug, which the banana plug wil give more contact surface to speaker cables, thus the loss and noise wil be reduce. But in my experience, the Cambridge Audio seems already give up to support use banana plug, so I do think and believe NAD will be the better choice.
(I am not sure the new Cambridge Audio 640A support banana plug or not)
 

Unregistered guest
I've just bought the Cambridge Audio 640a, to work with my TDL RTL3s. This was to replace my 25yr old Sansui B77/C77 power/pre amp combo, with 100wpc.

I was actually disapointed at first, but I'm warming to it now. It doesn't have as much drive as the old set-up, but the bass is good and clean, with nice definition mid-range. It isn't really run in yet, so I'll keep you posted.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Sun_king

Leeds, West Yorkshire UK

Post Number: 23
Registered: Mar-04
The Azur 640A does support banana plugs. When you buy a new one you will find some grommets in the back of the speaker connectors that you need to prise-out with a penknife or thin screwdriver. You can then push your banana plugs in.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sun_king

Leeds, West Yorkshire UK

Post Number: 24
Registered: Mar-04
Beta,

Banana plugs don't actually make for a sonic improvement over bare wires, they're just convenient if you unplug your speaker cables regularly for swapping equipment etc.....or if you're one of those particularly 'tidy' people. Think about it, your bare wires still have to attach to something, in this case the banana plus before they attach to the amp. They're really handy in hi-fi shops where the sales staff are constantly swapping equipment around, bare wires would be a pain in this instance.
 

Arturo
Unregistered guest
It is interesting how people are looking for the same information. I ended up buying the Cambridge. The reason was that I liked the sound with my JMLab Chorus a lot better. But now I am looking for a CD and I would like to know if you have a recommendation
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sun_king

Leeds, West Yorkshire UK

Post Number: 63
Registered: Mar-04
I'd get the matching Azur 640c cd player if I were you, it's a good one and will obviously compliment your amp - plus you'll have the convenience of being able to use the amp remote to control the cd player, thus losing a remote!
 

Sun
Unregistered guest
My wife askes me to buy 640a with 640c both. She loves the warm and solf sound, more better than the Japan product. I am now using the KEF Q4 speaker. Does KEF fit to them?
 

beatnic
Unregistered guest
Should be fine pairing the Q4 with the Azurs.. however the Kef Q series are a bit weak on the bass.. and based on some reports on this forums the Azur also is a little bit weak with bass.. just my oppinion though.. but they are a good match for soft and easy listening musics..
 

BeerBudget
Unregistered guest
I am in the same conundrum.

I have an Arcam Alpha CD Player and Totem Mites with Paradigm PDR 8 Subwoofer.

The weakest link in the chain is my little Teac Integrated Amp which I want to ditch for something better sounding.

I am down to 3 choices:

Azur 640A

NAD 320BEE

and if I held off and saved up for it the Creek 5350SE.

I know the Creek would be the best, but if I had to go with one of the less expensive amps for an interim solution which would match better with the Mites? They are warm and very musical for a moderate priced mini monitor and will do me for a while longer.

Eventually I want to buy possibly a pair of the Paradigm S2's.

So the question boils down to best long term upgrade strategy?

Anyone got any suggestions or comments? Please?
 

Jeffrey
Unregistered guest
I don't know which to decide between the Cambridge 640A and Nad C320BEE, I have Athena ASF1 speakers. Both seems to be pretty good.
 

Silver Member
Username: Sun_king

Leeds, West Yorkshire UK

Post Number: 129
Registered: Mar-04
I'd go for the Nad every time. All Nad amps sound good. The Azur is ok but a little undetailed for my liking and the bass is poor.
 

New member
Username: Brijesh

BudapestHungary

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-04
Try the Audio Analogue Puccini ... you will love the full, sweet sound ... very close to a tube amp. It has amazing ability to recreate a wide soundstage, without trying to add special effects of its own. I heard the NAD and the puccini together - alternating between the two for nearly 4 hours - I had my decision to buy the puccini within the first hour itself .... but i spent the rest of the 3 hours trying to find out how much better the puccini is compared to the NAD... and its miles ahead.
 

CARLITO
Unregistered guest
Looking for some advice, bit bewildered by the number of amps and speakers on the market and due to lack of knowledge fingng it hard to seperate the good from the bad,

Looking to buy some speakers to go with my recently purchased amp, ive recently aquired the ''Marantz PM7000'' , read some reviews bout it being fairly average amp but did only pay £120 for it so was a bargin and can upgrade if it really is bad,

Was advised to buy the 'Mordaunt Short 908's £500' any comments on these?

really love my music and want a very good system, into dance music so needin capable system

HELP someone! Cheers, Carl
 

Antonio
Unregistered guest
Hello,
I just purchased the NAD C320BEE intergrated amp and the C521BEE CD player. I am going to use in my living room 12x12 ft area. I was wondering if the new Bose 301's (with Bose stands) were a good choice to purchase..I listen to classical,rock,jazz,pop and big band music.. thanks for the help!!
 

Anonymous
 
Dear Antonio... with the money for bose, you can buy a very much better speakers... ex. B&W, Tannoy f9or british sound... Paradigm for american sound etc...
 

New member
Username: Brijesh

BudapestHungary

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jul-04
Antonio

Dont waste ur money on the bose ... u will really be doing ur money a great injustice.

I have mentioned upstream in this message thread that i favored the audio analogue puccini against the NAD. THe main reason was that i found the NAD to be too dry and un-involving ... but all this is compared to the puccini. Having said that i still believe, the NAD 320BEE is a very good amplifier. U will need some speakers that can complement the dryness of the NAD .. speakers that are slightly warm ... There is an English company called Castle, try them... U maight also want to try the MAgnepan speakers ... THey have just introduced an entry level range in the range of 500-600 USD. That shuold be a very good match.

Will be interested to hear ur views if u get to audition these speakers with the NAD
 

Rene
Unregistered guest
Hi guys,

i live in Australia and have also had the decision between the Cambridge Audio 540 A, 640 A and the NAD C320BEE amplifiers.

I plan to match the amp with the corresponding CD player from its brand and pair them with these DIY Speakers.

http://www.theloudspeakerkit.com/index.php?page=cinema&kitid=M6

Do you guys have an amp suggestion to go with these speakers?

Thanks
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