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DVD-A. Cambridge Audio azur 540D, NAD T533, or...?

 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 358
Registered: Dec-03
Any views or experiences concerning DVD-A players?

I am thinking of the Cambridge Audio azur 540D and the NAD T533.

From the specifications (see links), the Cambridge Audio has six 12-bit/54MHz video DACs, while the NAD has one 4 x 10 bit Video DAC running at 54MHz. Does this matter? I know little about video.

For audio, the Cambridge Audio has a Crystal CS4360 24-bit/192kHz six channel DAC, while the NAD has "Audiophile Quality 24 bit/192kHz DACs". NAD used to specify Crystal DACs, but not here. Does this matter?

My current NAD T532 DVD-V-CD player has "Audiophile quality 96kHz/24 bit Crystal DAC and Burr-Brown Op-amps". It is just great, both for audio and video. I shall be sorry to see it go. But I do want DVD-A.

Is there anything else as good as these for audio, in a similar price range?

Two too many questions: should one consider DVI or HDMI? If so, which is more "future-proof"? I can't handle either at present, but live in hopes.

This posted under Home Video/DVD players, too.

With thanks.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 33
Registered: Feb-04
John A,

I'm also considering the CA 540D. The specs look outstanding for a player in that price range. I plan on checking it out first hand in the near future (hurry up tax return). Have you considered the Denon 2200? Its picture quality is excellent, but I haven't had a chance to do any critical listening. If it matters to you, the Denon also plays SACD in addition to DVD-A.

I haven't found any DVD-A/V players with DVI or HDMI connections with good audio performance in that price range. The Philips 563 only plays SACD. There should be several more DVI/HDMI players coming out this year. It's hard to say which is more future-proof at this time. There are a lot of threads in the AVS Forum on this topic.

If you're interested in the latest DVD technology, I'm not sure if NAD is the right brand. They seem to be behind on video technology compared to some other brands. But if you were happy with your T532 and listen to a lot of music on it, then I don't see how you could go wrong with the T533.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 360
Registered: Dec-03
Two Cents,

Thanks. The Denon 2200 certainly looks good "on paper". However, in my location it is more than twice the price of either the Cambridge Audio azur 540D or the NAD T533.

At the lower price a "universal" player is the Pioneer DV-565A. Like the Denon, it has its own Dolby AC-3, DTS, and DVD-A processing and set-ups (channel delay etc.). The NAD has that only for AC-3 and DVD-A, and no SACD at all.

If SACD came at no extra cost I would not object, but I think it is a bit of a carve-up by Sony and Philips. They own the format, and charge other makers for the licence, which could contribute to the higher cost of the Denon 2200. It also explains why the Philips is SACD-only. If I had to choose between SACD and DVD-A, I would certainly opt for DVD-A.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 34
Registered: Feb-04
Yes, SACD is a cynical, consumer-unfriendly instrument to line the pockets of Sony and Philips. Is the now-discontinued Denon 1600 available where you are? It supports DVD-A but not SACD and costs less than the 2200.

The Pioneer 565A (I believe the same as the 563 here in the US) has received very good reviews, but personally I'm looking for better picture quality than it offers. The audio may be okay and the features-for-the-money ratio can't be beat.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 362
Registered: Dec-03
Two Cents,

Thanks again. I can find a Denon 1400, but not a 1600. The Denon 1400 does both DVD-A and SACD. It is still more expensive than the T533 (66% more) or the CA azure (50% more).

I am not bothered about SACD. I have one SACD disc, bought by my wife, and by mistake. I agree with your summary of SACD, and have said so myself, on other threads. I'd rather buy an LP. However, all the DVD-A discs I have sound wonderful, even in DTS.

Here, the Pioneer 565A seems to have progressive scan with NTSC, but not with PAL, which is the region 2 standard, mostly. Apart from that, the Pioneer 565A gets excellent reviews.

I cannot find fault with the video quality of the NAD T532. Mine is tweaked to be region-free - essential.

The Pioneer is advertised here as "region free", but that means even more of the retail price goes to lawyers and middle-men, in return for changing a software code, not making a better player (they wouldn't know how, of course). What a scam.

My first objective is to be able to hear true DVD-A.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 480
Registered: Dec-03
Now I can. I got the NAD T533. I am boring anyone who stops to read on other threads.

I have heard the future, and it works.
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