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Curious about Cambridge Audio Azur 540R?

 

Bronze Member
Username: Newfie

Post Number: 21
Registered: Mar-04
I would like to pass on some info to anyone interested in the Azur 540R. There are still some issues to be corrected with these units.

I contacted the Canadian Tech Rep because I had heard of some problems and I was considering a purchase. The tech wrote:

"There is no "Watts Rms" rating for 4 ohms because it is not recommended to use 4 ohms speakers with this receiver. You should use a speaker which has no lower than 6 ohms.

Yes, it's true that there is a couple of software issues being currently resolved with Cambridge Audio. These are :

1 - No subwoofer output on DTS Neo:6
2 - RDS System problematic
3 - Speaker size (large and small) doesn't have a memory when you shut
off the receiver.

We should receive an upgrade really soon to correct all these issues."
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 112
Registered: Feb-04
What is actually the RDS System problem?

BTW can Neo:6 be used for 5.1 -> 6.1 processing, ex. playing a non-EX/ES stream with the center surround?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Newfie

Post Number: 22
Registered: Mar-04
Not sure what the details on the RDS problems are, the tech didn't specify.

Pretty sure NEO:6 will do both 5.1, and 6.1 as long as your reciver has the sixth channel for the surround center speaker.
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 114
Registered: Feb-04
That's not exactly what I wanted to know. Naturally the Neo:6 can be use for stereo-to-5.1, but I was interested in if it can "make" the rear center for a natively 5.1 sound like DTS. The same way that PL2x can expand 5.1 to 7.1 as well as 2.0 to 7.1.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 19
Registered: Apr-04
I believe that the RDS system problem is primarily noticed in Europe and not really in North America because RDS is not really used by North American stations to its fullest extent. It is readily used in Europe to display traffic and weather info as well as news headlines, station programming etc. Most stations in NA only provide station identification information and some limited track information.

As for the fix for all 540r's problems, it will involve a swap of 2 chips and should be ready in a few weeks. Don't really know more than that. Hopefully it is sooner rather than later.

As for the New:6, I have no experience with the problem because I only run a 5.1 setup (no room for back center speaker).

Hope that helps.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Smitty

Canada

Post Number: 72
Registered: Dec-03
Markus, certiainly I'd expect to be able to buy one at a bit of a discount, I suspect the Audio Shop has to post the MSRP on their website. I really just wanted to point out that the MSRP on the NAD T743 and CA 540R are very close. In fact, I recall in another thread that you considered both before purchasing the CA? If that's true how would you describe the sound difference between the two?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Smitty

Canada

Post Number: 73
Registered: Dec-03
oops...wrong thread!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Newfie

Post Number: 24
Registered: Mar-04
Landroval,
According to my NAD T763 manual Neo:6 will produce up to 7.1 DTS.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Newfie

Post Number: 25
Registered: Mar-04
Including the rear center.
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 117
Registered: Feb-04
Ok, thanks. So in principle the Neo:6 has done same as PL2x but long time before. Is it so much worse or why is everybody so excited about PL2x?
 

Lester
Unregistered guest
Is there anyway to identify an updated CA Azur 540R with the resolved software issues against the older unit?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 32
Registered: Apr-04
Lester - according to my local distributor, CA is currently manufacturing the appropriate chips to fix the problem. As such, there are no new "fixed" units in circulation as of yet. I'll let you know more once I can.
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 138
Registered: Feb-04
It's interesting that my local distributor said that the units they have have none of those problems mentioned here. Maybe he hadn't even tried, or didn't want to admit it or maybe they really dont have those problems. Weird it is. I'll go try them myself in a couple weeks.
 

Inflamed
Unregistered guest
My local distributor didn't even know about the problems mentioned in this thread until he tested his demo!It confirmed all!He is going to get in touch with his distributor!Why didn't he get a call back notice on the units he had?!Is it always left to the consumer to get redress!?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Trailerparkking

Grand Rapids, MI

Post Number: 36
Registered: Apr-04
Landroval,

I got the same response when i talked to one of the sales people at audio advisor. It makes me nervous... i don't want to end up with a unit that isnt functioning.....
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 35
Registered: Apr-04
Bruce - the problem with the CA 540R so far is its lack of memory for front speaker settings. Specifically, every time you switch inputs, your front speakers will revert back to the large setting. All other setiings are remembered. Also, the RDS radio system has a glitch but the radio works fine. CA is currently manufacturing chips to fix these annoyances. To my knowledge, the units do work though, you just have to put up with the annoyances. There hasn't been any reports of non functioning units like there has been for NAD (not to slam NAD:-)). Are your front speakers large or small bookshelves?
 

Inflamed
Unregistered guest
Markus,my dealer switched inputs and the settings stayed the same.It reverted to large from small when switched off and then on again,as outlined by Viper's May 06 message.
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
Can these replacement chips be installed by owners, or must these receivers be sent in for the chip replacement?

I know there probably isn't an answer available yet, but how likely of a scenario is this? If it's most likely going to require a "mail-in" or "bring in" for repair scenario, then it would be best to hold off on purchasing this receiver for a while, at least until they can get some new fixed ones into the pipeline.
 

Paolo
Unregistered guest
Yes, I think it is better to wait and see. But the Cambridge Audio web site does not help. There is no mention of the interruption of production, no mention of the fixing, no email address, no custumer service, no support, no feedback. That's not a good point for Cambridge Audio!
 

Inflamed
Unregistered guest
My dealer says replacements are a month away.I am tired of bright sounding Japanese receivers.I listened to the 540R and liked what I heard,so much warmer! I am going to wait for the new units.
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
Did he elaborate on how CA is handling the situation? Is your dealer returning their existing stock? What's going to happen exactly?
 

Inflamed
Unregistered guest
He was'nt quite sure whether he was to install the chips himself or that he would receive them fixed.He wasn't too clear on whether he had any units in the store other than the demo!?
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
ok, thanks.

well, I hope it is a month (if not sooner). I'm afraid the time estimates will keep dragging out further as they have once or twice already.

I was really hoping to order one in a week or two.
 

New member
Username: Broadband_man

Birmingham

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-04
got to say guys i,ve just bought one of these from richer sounds in birmingham and have tried all these problems and mine is working fine on everything the rds is fine and 6.1 fine and speaker select works when turned off and on if you can get one then get one there hard to get i had to wait a few days for mine i tried the denon 1804 the sony 790 the pioneer 912 and this is best and hey its only 249.00 and fits under me tosh 32 telly,any thoughts would be greatful,and it looks the part.
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 180
Registered: Feb-04
Yeah, well 250 GBP is very cheap when compared to what it costs outside GB. In most euro-coutries the price is around 500-700 euro and in US it must be near that but in USDs. Why is it so cheap in GB is because CA and it's GB distributor have same owners so they can have very aggressive pricing on some stuff they're selling. Well it's still a great piece of hardware, better than most <1000e/usd AVRs.
 

New member
Username: Broadband_man

Birmingham

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-04
thanks for the reply landroval as we all know cambridge has been around a good many years and the latest azur range is really atractive but as i say mine works fine so maybe some of these problems have already been resolved.
 

Unregistered guest
I'm thinking in buying one azur 540R. Would you please write here when all those problems have been solved, so that we can know that Cambridge has fixed all the problems in the units.

Thank You.

Nuno Amaro
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 186
Registered: Feb-04
It's hard to say. I've been reading also a couple french and finnish audio related forums, and it seems that not all 540Rs have all those same problems. Some say they have a fully functional units with no speaker size memory, or any other problems mentioned here. But yes, some also have those problems.

By the way, how do you owners like the tuner of the 540r? Is it good, or just an ordinary low quality receiver tuner? Have someone compared it to tuners of NAD or Marantz av-receivers?
 

New member
Username: Broadband_man

Birmingham

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-04
the reciever part works well off a small aerial no background hiss locks on stations well can,t say about the nad never liked the looks of them.
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
Is there a way to test the receiver for the small/large speaker setting problem if you do not have a subwoofer?

I want to get this receiver and I'm getting a little antsy. I intend to get a sub, but not till later on. I don't want to buy the receiver and come to find out 6 months later (when I pick up a sub) that I've got a defective unit that I didn't know about since I had no means to test for this error.
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 205
Registered: Feb-04
Here's one more possible problem for 540R:
https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/42732.html

It seems that the mute mutes only the speakers driven by the 540R's own amps, but it does not mute the preouts. This must be a bit annoying, if one is using a separate power amp.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 39
Registered: Apr-04
It is very annoying right now. You have to press the volume button on the remote for quite some time to turn the volume all the way down when the phone rings or when door bell rings etc. We are a busy family with tons of little interruptions and the lack of mute is starting to get on my nerves. It will be a couple of weeks before I get an answer back from Cambridge Audio re: if this problem can be fixed. If it can't, I'll probably return the unit to the distributor.

Also should note that I routinely press mute before switching inputs with my universal remote. If it skips a command, my unit may switch to radio instead of TV (from DVD) and the volume increases tenfold for radio!!!! This is what I now miss the most, especially after scaring my family last Sunday when this happened accidently. Oh well.
 

bill
Unregistered guest
markus
sorry to here about your problem,have not tried that so cant confirm.my 540 has a problem and i would like to see if yours is doing it as well.when watching a dvd,everytime i make a change such as navigating a menu page there is a soft click sound heard through the speakers.but only through the digital inputs,i have tried coax and optical,and different source components,still there.i have my 540d dvd player hooked up for dvd-audio through the multi channel hook up,so i tossed in a movie and set up to use the 540d on board decoder,and the clicks were gone(also sounded better )
any ideas?
maybe when the decoder chip is replaced this will fix it
thanks
bill
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 41
Registered: Apr-04
Bill - my unit doesn't have that problem but I have read about your problem on some of the french forums. Landroval can probably lend you some more details as my french is terrible but it does seem a few members on that forum have complained about the exact same thing.

I just bought the 540d and am really impressed with the picture and CD sound quality. Just to clarify though - you have it hooked up through your 6.1 inputs and are using the player itself to decode the DD and DTS tracks? What are you doing re: bass management?

Thanks,
Markus
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 42
Registered: Apr-04
Bill - one more question. Are you having any problems with DPLII? When I switch it on, I only get sound through my center speaker, despite trying all 3 settings. Nothing plays out from any of my other speakers (for TV use only - haven't tried using it with music).

Thanks,

Markusp
 

bill
Unregistered guest
markus
i have it hooked up both ways as the player has no dts decoder on board,dd only.bass management is very basic(large or small,adjustable trim levels)handled in player.give it a try,see what you think.like to know if my ears are playing tricks on me or not
thanks
bill
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 43
Registered: Apr-04
Bill - I'll try that this weekend when I get a chance. Any info on the DPLII?

Thanks,

Markusp
 

bill
Unregistered guest
matkus
no problem with dpl11.works great in all modes.
i have been told 1-2 more weeks for the new chips,but my dealer does not know yet if the chips are dealer installed or if the units must be sent back.might not be good news.have you purchased yours yet?
thanks
bill
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 44
Registered: Apr-04
Bill - I have owned the Ca540R since mid-April and while I have been impressed with certain aspects of the unit, I keep discovering new problems and I think I might dump it if certain issues can't be addressed. The fact that its 6.1 outputs can't be used properly really bothers me. It seems that any processing that the Ca540R performs is limited only to its internal amps and cannot work on anything attached to the 6.1 outputs. This means no muting, no DPLII etc. (my observations so far). Waiting to hear back from my distributor about these issues some time next week.
 

bill
Unregistered guest
markus
i have had the 540r just as long,but it is still on loan from my dealer.but i am starting to have doubts as well.i emailed the distribtor about the click sound i hear and they told me it was locking on the dolby digital signal,but i hooked my cd player up to the digital input to test,and the sound was there.i still like the sound quality but am starting to wonder this machine long term.maybe its time to look for plan b.thinking about a denon 3805 although its a lot more cash.
thanks
bill
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 46
Registered: Apr-04
Bill - I arranged yesterday for my distributor to buy back my unit. Its a shame since it has a nice enveloping sound but since it doesn't suit my needs, it has to go back. I am now on the hunt for a new receiver, possibly a NAD or H/K. I want to keep that enveloping and warm sound that the CA540R had so I am skipping the Denon and other Japanese units. I know in Europe there have been glowing reviews from forum posters re: the new special edition Marantz SR5400 OSE which is supposed to blow my old SR7300 out of the water but unfortunately I don't think its available in Canada (haven't been able to find it and most of the dealers I talk to haven't heard of it).

Good luck with your hunt and please let me know how you make out.

Markus
 

Inflamed
Unregistered guest
Noooo!Markus,you gave up on the unit?Did your distributor give you no hope at all? The sound seems pretty good! Doesn't anybody believe these issues/concerns can be fixed or are we talking a whole new price bracket here i.e higher end equipment.
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 231
Registered: Feb-04
I believe the problems will be fixed in time, but I have no idea when.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 51
Registered: Apr-04
Inflamed - yup, I gave up on the unit. I think it sounds fantastic and is a great bargain but it just didn't suit my needs. Apparently the fix for the initial problems of speaker setting memory, RDS radio etc. will be ready to be implemented in the next couple of weeks (last word from my distributor). My problems came when I tried hooking up additional amplifiers to the 6.1 outputs. It seems that some functionality such as MUTE, DPLII etc. only apply to the internal amps and do not pass through the 6.1 outputs. Because of this I have decided to try some other products to see what better suits my needs. I should mention that the unit sounds great and will be a terrific solution for most people so I definately recommend a listen. I should also mention that customer service from my distributor and Cambridge Audio in general has been fantastic and I will buy future CA products for this reason.

...and yes, it will cost me MUCH more to find equipment with a comparible sound and functionality.

Good luck.

Markus
 

Inflamed
Unregistered guest
Thanks Markus/Landroval,I live in Winnipeg and any advice you big city boys have is pretty helpful!I will wait for the upgraded unit.Hopefully I won't need the luck!
 

Mave
Unregistered guest
Problem with the AMP.

Goodness! I should have check out this website before buying the 540R amp.
I will like to write about my experience.

When I bought the AMP, i brought it home to run-in straight away. Then I notice something weird abt the AMP. When I play a music CD or a DVD chapter, the first few mini-sec of the disk will be missing. ie, no sound will be coming out from the disk even though there should be. Then I touch the top of the amp to check if the amp has over headed or something. As I touch the amp and pressing on the top slighlty, there is some static noise coming out from the speakers. The weird thing is that, the noise only comes out if I press the top of the deck while playing a disk. Else there is no static noise.

So, I went back to the shop and tell the sales person about it. He demonstrated on his own deck and the problem that I have described, surfaced on his demo deck too.
But he claims that all digital out will have this issues and he told me to bring my deck down to test.
When I did bring my deck down. He tested on it. But the problem of the missing mini-sec of the song is gone. ... I'm not sure what he did.
I still insisted on changing one even though he STRONGLY insisted that there is no problem with the deck.
When I brought the replacement deck home, I set it up and did the run-in again. Other than being a bit bright on the sound, what I have experience with the previous deck are gone.
I thought my problem has gone because I was at the brink of smashing the deck in the shop when the sales man refuse to let me pay another $900 for another brand.
Anyway, the replacement AMP has a good start. No problem during the first few hours. Then, when I tested the unit for almost 12hours straight, problem starts to surface. The missing mini-sec from the disk start to reappear in the replacement deck again.
I tried with different DVD players and CD deck and different good branded Cables and interconnect, all have the same problem except when I connect through the Analogue connection.

Now I really hate myself for dumping money into this AMP. I really wonder how those magazine editor's did their reviews on the Azur.
Not one magazine but a couple of them have review this AZUR well. I really think I should stop subscribing to these rubbish magazines.
 

Inflamed
Unregistered guest
I can't take anymore of these bad vibes lads!I am caving in and buying an "open box"Denon 3803!Cambridge just lost another customer!
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
I'm still holding out though.. the latest blow, i.e., mute problem with external amps, won't be a problem for me.

I would expect that I'd buy a different receiver if I ever get to that stage (of adding amps).

though...

I am troubled about the audio cut-off report. I was going to stay away from the HK's, the NADs and the Marantz's as they all reportedly suffer from this problem (and share the same chip).

Because the CA has a different processing chip, and no reports of the problem prior to this one from Mave, I was interested in getting this CA receiver as it purportedly has the warmer/nicer sound like the other mentioned names are known to have. (Plus, it's not tall.. another desirable trait in my set-up).
 

Mave
Unregistered guest
I must admit, music from CD audio is really good.
DVD-movie or DTS sound from it is mediocre.

However, I really wonder if the system is really stable.
To add another report:

I was repeating the test that I talk about in my previous posting. Because I want to eliminate the possibility that the player could be at fault. So, I start, stop my player many times, to hear the lost of mini-sec of the tracks. I was expecting my player to give way, but instead guess what, the AMP "hang". it just freezes. I cannot change any input. I have to power off and on the AMP again to let it work again.

I am not sure what is the chip in the AMP. But if it is not too difficult to identify, I will open the case and check if the chip set is the one reported in the Spec.

PS: please let me know what to look for on the chip.

 

Mave
Unregistered guest
I must admit, music from CD audio is really good.
DVD-movie or DTS sound from it is mediocre.

However, I really wonder if the system is really stable.
To add another report:

I was repeating the test that I talk about in my previous posting. Because I want to eliminate the possibility that the player could be at fault. So, I start, stop my player many times, to hear the lost of mini-sec of the tracks. I was expecting my player to give way, but instead guess what, the AMP "hang". it just freezes. I cannot change any input. I have to power off and on the AMP again to let it work again.

I am not sure what is the chip in the AMP. But if it is not too difficult to identify, I will open the case and check if the chip set is the one reported in the Spec.

PS: please let me know what to look for on the chip.

 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
Well, it turns out that this CA receiver uses the same Crystal chip that other brands (HK, NAD, Marantz) have and they all have had reports of audio cut-off problems, to one degree or another. It's usually associated with digital inputs/connections. For example, when changing TV channels where one channel has Dolby 2.0 and the next channel has Dolby 5.1, you may experience a delay of up to two seconds, specifically, up to 2 seconds of silence, as the digital connection has to be changed or picked up.

Also, when listening to cds with longer than average gaps between tracks, if you are using the digital interconnects instead of analog, you may experience missing audio for the first second or so of playback.

For some reason, I thought the CA was using a different chip than the others, but I guess its' the same. Just as apparently with the CA 540R, as with the other receivers, some owners aren't bothered by this audio dropout or delay issue, others notice it, but say it's only for very short durations and others say it's too long and it's horrible.

This variation of opinion is probably best explained by how each person is using their receiver, i.e. some ways of using it will result in less problems than others. For example,if all your channels are in Dolby 2.0, or you rarely channel surf, then you won't notice a problem. Another example, if you use the analog connections for your cd player, you won't experience any problems.
 

Mave
Unregistered guest
Yes, I notice that problem is more apparent in the Digital output. Can you imagine my local tech support actually ask me to use analogue for dvd movie? I think he is crazy. What happen to DTS then? Yesterday I did the test again, on the analog output for CD. The problem still exist, but not as frequent as in Digital input.
This is very annoying, because from song to song, a few mini-sec is lost...
I also noticed that if i have switch between inputs, eg, from DVD to CD, then this problem is not there. But once I started playing on the same input for the second song, the problem starts again.
My visiting guests thought I have bought some pirated CD and play on my system. This is so embarassing...

Cruel_invention, Can I conclude that it will be useless to send it to the technical support?

Ok, I think I will let go of this piece of thing for half price.... It is less than 2 months old


 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
I just read this somewhere else, in regard to the HK receivers such as the 630 model, which has these same issues:

"Be aware that there is actually a standard for production of Music CD's, with a 2 second spacing between tracks. Not all CD's produced meet this standard and can actually be longer than 2 seconds. The processor can lose the digital signal if the spacing is even slightly over 2 seconds. You may find the drop out ocurrence varies from disc to disc."

so this would explain why it is sometimes worse on some cds or particular cd tracks on each disc.

As far as tech support, I don't think it would help much as they probably won't either acknowledge the problem or they'll consider it to be normal operation. It couldn't hurt to contact them though. You never know what they may say or do to help. It's a tough call, but it's your call.

If you do dump it, stick with a Pioneer, Yamaha or Denon model for the next one. While they may not sound as good (some may disagree, of course), they all seem to use chips that do not suffer from this problem.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 77
Registered: Apr-04
The H/K is far worse than the Ca540R for audio dropouts, especially for watching HDTV. I would loose signal every few minutes or everytime a commercial come on. It was very frustrating.

Mave - out of curiosity, how much do you want for your CA540R? Send me a PM.

Thanks,
Markus
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 80
Registered: Apr-04
whoa - I really need to have some coffee before I start posting in these forums:-) Sorry for the horrible spelling.

Markus
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
That's good to hear. I was partially enthused about this CA receiver as I once thought it was using a different chip than the problematic one being used in HK, NAD & Marantz. Turns out all use the same one.

Unless, they are all the same Crystal "brand" but using various models or generations of a Crystal chip. Perhaps this is the case here (and thus, explains the variation of results).
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
err.. "that's good to hear" was in reference to your previous post, not your last one.

though I am glad to see that you aren't "loosing" your mind afterall. :P
 

New member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-04
I have contacted the tech support, he said most likely software problem. He said, either way, I am at the mercy of the CA...

Cruel Invention, you may be right about the type of CD. Because I tried out a reference CD, it didn't seem to have this problem. SACD still have this problem. Will do more extensive test in the morning. Can't blast the system now...
 

Anonymous
 
my sister just bought the DVD/receiver version of the 540 from richer sounds in london. tuner good, but CD player making popping noise.
apparently needs to be retuned, so it's back with richer sounds now.
anyone else had this prob?
 

New member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-04
I am not sure about the CD player. But for the 540r, the unit does make a nosie when "locking" and "unlocking" a signal. as long as you use the digital mode, there will be a clicking sound.
 

New member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-04
Hi guys,
I thought I give another update.
Ever since my very initial post about my complain with the digital channel, I only use the analogue owhen playing CD. I have been doing that for quite sometime. Today, I thought I would just try playing CD with the digital Coax again. Then to my surprise, the missing sound that I complained about in my first post is gone. Even the "Unlock" message that I used to see when changing track is gone too.. I am not sure if this is a good sign or what, but now the sound track is more complete.
However, when watching DVD, if you select a particular chapter, the sound will still be missing.

 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
Another update..

word is that the N. American distributor should be receiving two new chips that address some of the problems any time now, by the end of this week perhaps.

They'll test them, and if all goes well, be shipping the new & improved versions in another week or two.

Don't know, and I kinda doubt it, if these chips will address audio delay issues though.

 

reggie7
Unregistered guest
ok i'm curious to your conclusion and wait for it!
Because i'm going to buy this receiver in few weeks so i wait for the new chips.

Reggie
 

endora
Unregistered guest
Did you get any news about the fix for the Cambridge?

Have they received the new chips?
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
Something else has come up, so I've put off calling them. I'll try to do that within the next few days.

If they say "all systems go", then I'll likely be ordering one in the next 7-10 days.
 

Anonymous
 
Hi! I'm from Germany and i'm also very interested in the bugfixes, 'coz my brother will fly to GB in August and therefore i'll have the chance to get an Azure 540R for unbeatable cheap 380 Euro-Bucks ;) But right now the sum of all these issues make the receiver worthless for me :-(
Greetz Mike
 

New member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jun-04
I would recommend taking a back seat for the time being and wait out. Unless you are really in a hurry.
What's the voltage in Germany?
 

Mike667
Unregistered guest
The same as in the UK AFAIK, but the connector is different (should only take 10Euros to buy a compatible one and stick it "on top" of the standard one - and NO i don't mind the "unimaginable loss in sound quality" (hello @voodoo-guys) when using a second connector ;)
Greetz Mike
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 89
Registered: Apr-04
Latest word is that Cambridge Audio confirmed that the chips are now in England and they are going to ship the upgrade kits to North America early next week. It has taken longer than originally anticipated but I would think that the kits should be here in a week's time. Not sure if new CA540R's already have these upgrade kits included yet or not.

Regards,
Markus
 

New member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jun-04
hey Markus, the upgrade chips are meant for current owners? I haven't heard anything from my local guys.

Mike, the reason I ask about the voltage is because I thought of selling off my two months old deck and get a denon.
 

endora
Unregistered guest
I have just received this response from Richer Sounds in the UK regarding the new chips:

"
Having spoken to Cambridge Audio, I have been informed the upgrades for the 540 should be with the stores within the next 2 weeks, though as yet I do not have an exact timescale.
"
 

Mike667
Unregistered guest
So, will the upgraded (and hopefully bug-free)versions available or does this mean you have to buy an extra upgrade "kit" or something alike?
 

ARK
Unregistered guest
Hi,

I am thinking getting the combination of the Azur 540R + 540D. I wonder if you could share some of your experience using and interconnecting those two:
1. I will be connecting it to plasma screen. It has both scart and component inputs. Which is better to use? Is there any benefit connecting it through receiver or shall i connect directly to the plasma screen break out box ( it has component and four scarts)
2. What is the best way to connect to the receiver the dvd player audio? Can I connect simultaneously coax digital line, analogue six outputs, and stereo output and set them to different inputs of the receiver, so that when i want to listen to audio cd i simply switch input to cd, when to dvd -- switch to dvd etc.... although dvd and audio player is the same device
3. Some people mentioned on this thread that the analogue outs from 540R are not mutable. As far as i understand the sub connects to one of those outs and needs its own amplification. Does that mean that when i press mute all speaker connected to the powered outputs will go quiet but the sub will be still making sounds?

Sorry for this sort of primitive questions, but I have never used receiver before and this the first system i am planning to get.

ARK
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 385
Registered: Feb-04
1. Directly from DVD to Plasma with component to get progressive would be best.
2. Yes you can. The 540D has better DACs and DD decoder than the 540R so you might end up using the analog connections.
3. I think it will mute the sub, not sure though.
 

ARK
Unregistered guest
Thanks landroval for your prompt advice.

ARK
 

ARK
Unregistered guest
Hi everyone still inetrested. I have asked richers sounds to find out the following for me:
1 - No subwoofer output on DTS Neo:6-
2 - RDS System has problems updating information
3 - Speaker size (large and small) doesn't remember setting when you
switch source / shut off the receiver.
4 -- Mute does not work on pre-outs. Does this mean that when mute is
pressed the active subwoofer will not be muted ?
5 -- Glitches with digital sounds transfer / cut outs between tracks, also some interference problems.

And this is the response i hve got:
1 This issue has been rectified on every unit since 23rd April, there is an upgrade available for those built before this date
2 RDS can be slow when the signal is poor, upgrading the aerial will normally cure this.
3 The speaker size issue has been corrected on all models built after 23rd April, unit built before this date can be correct via an upgrade
4 Apparently this is still an issue they are looking into, and yes if muted it would not effect the Sub woofer
5 This has been experimented on numerous times and they cannot make it happen with various sources in the office. they can only put it down to possibly poor signal going from the source being used.

Hope someone will find this information useful.

ARK
 

ARK
Unregistered guest
Hi again,
Because of all those problems, i was trying to look for alternative a/v receiver, i.e. Yamaha RX-V1400. It has got many more inputs and much more DSP, however for me those are not so important.
What I wonder is which sounds better for audio cd listening as well as DVD-A? I do not want to make this thread a war between brands, however i have no idea whom else to ask. In case you think Yamaha produce amplified sound better, what price range speakers are required to be able to hear the difference. Also what sort of speakers one would recommend for Azur 540R.

The other question I have regarding Azur 540D. Can someone share experience/pros/cons playing mp3cds with 540D?

Thanks,

ARK
 

endora
Unregistered guest
Thanks for this ARK.

I am just very surprised by your first point as I thought that the 540R did not have DTS Neo:6.

Could you confirm?
 

ARK
Unregistered guest
hi endora, i am not sure if it has neo:6. I have assumed it has based on the very first post on this thread by viper. Can you let me know your expereince (if at all) regarding quality of sound and your view regarding yamaha as well as ecomendation for suitable speakers price range. ARK
 

endora
Unregistered guest
I haven't bought this receiver but I am considering it: I am just waiting to see what the upgrade will fix.

Regarding your other query, I would think that Yamaha is very good in HC but may be poor in Hifi, whereas the Cambridge seems to be pretty good for both use.

It depends on how you intend to use the receiver.

For the speakers, I really can't help you there.
 

EDN
Unregistered guest
I'm using my Azur 540R Bi-amped with the Cambridge P500 power amp and the sound in stereo is as good as any 500 € integrated stereo- amplifier.This receiver has a musicality unchallenged at this price. I'm using the Azur 540R with Acoustic Energy Evo 3 speakers. The sound, both in stereo and HC is amazing, trust me.
As for the bugs-->I'm awaiting a fix.
 

Edd
Unregistered guest
I have seen a few comments stating that the 540r doesnt output a sub signal when the amp is in stereo mode. Can anyone confirm that this is the case as I use M&K K5's (small) main speakers and a V75 sub.

Would apreciate any help before I purchase.

Thanks.

Edd
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
Sounds like the chips are for fixing all the existing (pre-April 23rd) dealer/distributor stock. Therefore, in answer to somebody's questions earlier, there will be no charge for this chip upgrade. For the receivers that haven't been sold yet, they'll retrofit the chips.

If you are an existing pre-april 23rd 540R owner, you can probably contact your dealer and have it sent in for this chip repair, covered under warranty. I doubt they would contact you proactively.. if the customer doesn't notice a problem on his/her own, why bother.. just extra expense and hassle for CA).
 

Mike667
Unregistered guest
So is there an output signal for the sub in stereo mode if you set the front speakers as "small"?
The crossover frequency btw. is set to 80 Hz, right?
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
don't know about the first question, but I thought the crossover was set at 90 Hz. I could be wrong though.
 

bill
Unregistered guest
mike667
the answer to your question is yes,as long as you are not using the left and right inputs of the 6-channel input.
 

Mike667
Unregistered guest
Okay that's good news, thanks bill :-)

I read about the 80 Hz in another (german) board, bit if its 90 it doesn't matter very much
 

alec
Unregistered guest
Mike667 : Here's the answer I got from a Cambridge distributor: "the bass management is fixed at 80Hz, there is an high pass
filter when set to Small. It is a 12db/octave filter set at 80Hz (-3B). The low pass filter for the subwoofer is a 24db/octave filter set at 80Hz (-3dB)"
 

Mike667
Unregistered guest
And another question:

Does the 540R have a Tape-Monitor-Function? To hear what you are recording on the Tape-Out, or to get a blackbox like the RC-L from Canton connected?
 

Roger
Unregistered guest
Hi, EDN,
You mentioned about bi-amping your speaker, are you obtaining signal of the front L & R speakers from the pre-out of your 540R to feed the P500 to power the bass drivers of your EVO3?

Also can anyone tell me if I use digital out of my CD or DVD player to feed into the digital in of the 540R, then the DAC in the CD or DVD player is by-passed, and I may get a better sound. Thank you.
 

EDN
Unregistered guest
Roger,
Indeed, the P500 powers the bass drivers.
(from the 540R L&R pre-outs). I tried different options and found out that it's best to use the P500 for the bass.

 

Mike667
Unregistered guest
Nobody knows if it has a Tape Monitor function?
C'mon :-)
btw. any news from CA 'bout the pre-out muting issue?
 

ukelele
Unregistered guest
some answers to previously asked questions...
the 540r does have DTS Neo 6. When a pcm signal is used you have DTS Neo 6 Music and DTS Neo 6 Cinema options available.
There is a sub output in stereo mode with main speakers set to small.
The back panel of the 540r has Tape Play and Tape Record rca jacks (don't know if this is any help for Mike667) Purchased mine on June 18, i have none of the problems mentioned above
 

Cruel_Inventions
Unregistered guest
where do you live, ukelele?

I would be a lot less surprised if you were in Europe, as I think the turnover in stock is much quicker over there. Like it was said above, most of the issues were addressed back in April.

I think overseas countries are the ones more likely to encounter older stock and those related problems.
 

ukelele
Unregistered guest
I live in New Jersey.

Upon further testing, I do have the missing music when a song starts while playing CDs and using digital inputs (I'm using the optical input), analog connection works fine. But the missing time is literally a split second, I could hardly tell until I started switching between the analog and digital inputs.

The only other problems I haven't fully tested for is the RDS (I haven't used my tuner, I listen to music stations from my digital cable tv provider) and the problems with external amps. Otherwise the receiver is working fine.
 

New member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 6
Registered: Jun-04
Hi Guys,
just wondering what is the temperature of the 540r when it is running.. Mine is pretty hot.. When I removed the top cover and measure the temperature of some of the components, the temperature ranges from 40 degrees C to as high as 80 degree C. Is this consider the operating temperature? Also, I am not sure if it is psychological or what... When I remove the AMP cover, the music sounds a bit different. There seems to be more base... Maybe it is due to the excessive heat when the cover is on?
 

ARK
Unregistered guest
Hi, just purchased the combo (540R + 540D) from richer sounds, UK. All problems gone, except for muting preouts. My one heats up to about 50degrees C, the top of amp above the massive inside heatsink. In the sheet provided it says that to expect high heat levels.

I know this is asside, but does anyone have 540D, and can you hear spinning disk? i can har my one, so i am not sure if it si normal.

ARK
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 93
Registered: Apr-04
ARK - I have the 540D as well and can't hear any spinning at all.

Regards,
Markus
 

ARK
Unregistered guest
Hi Markus,
thank you for your reply.
What speakers are you using with your system and what is your impression so far?

ARK
 

New member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 7
Registered: Jun-04
Hi Ark,

did you measure the temperature of the two smaller heat sinks that are to the right of the Giant HeatSink? The three over there really heats up quite a bit.

I have hooked up my 540R with a Philips 963sa player. The player is connected to my Hitachi Plasma via Supra Trico component cables.
My speakers are Wharfedale Evo 40. Using Van Den Hul cs122 speaker cables.

Now I am testing the JPS Untra Conductor interconnect against the Van Den Hul Jubilee interconnect.

The ultra conductor is a pretty good contentor for the awards held by VDH.
Have any of you guys tried that too?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 94
Registered: Apr-04
Ark,
I am now running a NAD T752 with the Cambridge Audio 540D through Definitive Technology powered speakers. I really like this setup so far and the 540D is quite a nice player. I just discovered the other day that it is a multi region player and played some of my UK dvd's on it (I live in Canada). Sounds pretty good for regular CD playback as well so I am happy.
 

New member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 8
Registered: Jun-04
HI,
anyone thought of changing the power cord to the 540R? Will that improve the sound? like more bass or more definition in the music?
 

ARK
Unregistered guest
Thanks everyone for replies.
I have only checked the temperature of the cover when amp is fully assembled above the big heatsink.
 

endora
Unregistered guest
Alec has posted today on a French forum a reply from Cambridge regarding the 540R (bugs, etc...):

Thank you for the information that you sent us from the forum on the 540R and sorry for the slight delay in getting back to you. It is always useful to be informed about how a product is perceived from a customer level. I shall try to answer your inquiries as they were presented in the original email.

We have been unable to recreate the "popping" effect that some owners have described in their units when we have tested units here. We have to assume that it is due to the source putting an interruption into the signal that the 540R picks up then to a true fault on the 540R. The "unlocking" effect is caused by breaks in the digital signal through a coaxial and as you point out, happens most often when CD's are being played. In the manual (more of which later) we do recommend using an analogue line connection for CD as generally a DVD player (and especially a CD player) will sound better with CD's when connected this way.
Most significantly, the early 540R's demonstrated two issues. The first as you note is that the unit does not remember speaker size settings after it has been switched off. The other is that there is no subwoofer channel through DTS neo 6- this is because the neo 6 specification has no natural subwoofer channel. These are cured by the upgrade you asked about in the email. It is now available to our distributors and through approved Cambridge Service agents. It is a hardware upgrade and involves the fitting of 2 I/C's. New 540R's have these in from the start and should not exhibit these problems.
The minor problems you mention are again not ones we are familiar with. The 540R in our listening room has been tested for these noises between the volume adjustments and it does not seem to show them- how many owners have reported this? I will do some further tests in the coming week. We are also not familiar with the volume adjustment problem on the remote. Again is this a commonly mentioned problem or something only mentioned once?
The remote is directly related to those supplied with the 540/640 A and C. When these units were reviewed, their remotes were very well received and we made the decision then to use a similar remote for the 540R. The feel and look of these remotes is class leading and very much part of the Azur brand and have generally been very well received in most markets. We will certainly review backlighting on future AV products.
The fixed start volume is part of the DSP program. We are changing it for future product but it is not something that can be changed easily in the 540R. There is currently no means to do so. There is no OSD as we tried to make the entire set up clear enough to negate it.The speaker delay settings are being improved for the next unit but will probably have to stay that way in the 540R. The use of these features, once the unit has been set up, generally declines to nothing which is worth baring in mind. A new and much improved manual will be appearing on our website shortly, it should fill the gaps in the current manual and be in all major European languages. The colour of the writing on the newer Azur equipment is now darker than it used to be so you can read it more easily.
I hope this goes some way to answering the questions you have posed. I am available to answer any other user inquiries you may have although sadly my French is very rusty!
Regards
Ed Selley
 

New member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 9
Registered: Jun-04
Hi Endora,

that was an interesting post. At least now we know, there is a Cambridge personnel who is bothered about us the customer.
 

EDN
Unregistered guest
Hi Endora,

Any news about a 640R?

Regards
 

endora
Unregistered guest
Alec has sent a few other questions including the future availability of the 640R.

I will post the reply here when we get it.
 

inquiring mind wants to know
Unregistered guest
can anyone tell me the height of the 540R, inches preferrably (though I can convert cm too).

I know this spec is listed on their website, but I'm not sure what part they are measuring. Does their height measurement include both the feet and the extension in height provided by the front plate or cover? Or, are they only measuring the case behind the front face, with or without the feet added?

 

FrustratedHiFiHunter
Unregistered guest
Quick question for 540R "experts"!
I currently have a Marantz SR4400 which I don't like because it has an audible noise floor which is present at all times when a channel is un-muted. I.e. it goes 'hiss' all the time. My dealer has offered to accept the Marantz part exchange for a 540R. Some of these posts have suggested that the 540R uses many of the same components as the Marantz so I am concerned that the problem will not go away. It is v.difficult to detect problem in store as their demo room is... well, lacking.

P.s. the hissing is independant of source, volume setting, decoder setting, source-direct or not. The only thing that stops it is to mute all channels, or mute individual channels by virtue of using a decoder setting which doesn't use the channel.
 

endora
Unregistered guest
There are a few bugs with the 540R but I have never heard a hissing noise problem.
 

alec
Unregistered guest
"inquiring mind wants to know" : height is 10cm, including the feet and front plate.
 

New member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 10
Registered: Jun-04
FrustratedHiFiHunter,
My 540R does not give out the hiss sound that you talk about...
 

New member
Username: Philrhodes

Southampton

Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-04
I am interested to know whether the CA540R will handle speakers of varied impedance.

I currently have a sad midi system and would want to initially use the same speakers with the 540R until I can upgrade my speakers. The main speakers are 6ohms, the centre is 8ohms and the rears 16ohms.

Is this possible or will it damage the amp if I were to do this. Thanks
 

alec
Unregistered guest
Phil Rhodes : it's possible and there's absolutely no risk of damaging your amp. As your front, central and surround speakers will be of different type, you will have to calibrate the various sound levels. This is quite easy and will take 5 minutes (use the "test tone" button of the remote). The test tone volume should be the same for every speaker in your configuration. Simply have in mind that even with a good amp, poor loudspeakers stay poor loudspeakers...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 11
Registered: Jun-04
hi Phil,

my speakers(ohms) are just like yours.. so far my 540R has not blown up on me yet...
 

inquiring mind wants to know
Unregistered guest
THANKS for the measurement, alec!

I simply cannot believe how small this receiver is (both in height and depth).

are we sure this isn't a digital receiver??!!

;-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 463
Registered: Feb-04
Yes we are, it's a good old fashioned analog amp. A lot less bells and whistles and a small but powerfull toroidial transformer helps it to fit in that small box.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 12
Registered: Jun-04
When you look inside, you will find that no space is wasted. Like landroval said, a good toroidial transformer and a giant heatsink to cool stuff inside. There is also this big internal fan. It is usually not on. I guess it is on when the amp is mega hot....
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 13
Registered: Jun-04
Ticking Noise.
Hi guys,

today I was fiddling with the cables on the 540R in a quiet room and then I notice there is a rapid ticking noise near to the transformer area. Of course the noise is only present when the AMP is on. Anyone else experience this? or am i the only one? Will this impact the sound quality?
 

ARK
Unregistered guest
Hi Mave, yes there is a noise generated by toroidal transformer. I have tried three units and all produce same noise, however to hear that you have to have a quiet room. Since i listen to music not so quietly it does not bother me at all. Just a side the 540D pickup mechanism is a bit noisy as well, but again you only can hear that if you really try to listen to it. Regarding sound quality, i am not sure if it has any negative effect.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 14
Registered: Jun-04
Hi Ark,
thanks for replying.
doesn't the transformer sound like a mini-air pump hidden inside the amp? ;) he..he.
by the way, have you consider earthing the chassis? it is necessary to do so?
 

ARK
Unregistered guest
Hi Mave,
Not sure about earthing. I bought unit in UK and the plug comes with earth pin which i beliee is connected to the unit itself. Hence i think the unit should be earthed already.

For other readers i have to say i am pleased with this unit, cause it is cheap and does the job and looks reasonable. It is not amazing and never will be as good as decently built comercial cinema or imax theatre, or it will never replace the feeling when i am in live concert. I am glad i did not go the route of buying more expensive stuff, and now instead i can spend left cash for other things (e.g. going to cinema or concert). As for sound i rarelly have time sit down to listen to music in perfect position (cause always wonder arround flat) and only use the unit for parties or gatherings, where the loundness and not clarity is important. Of course those are my personal views and others might use equipment differently.
 

alec
Unregistered guest
Mave: the little "rapid ticking noise" that comes from the transformer is normal. It's hard to hear it anyway unless the room is very quiet... and it will disappear after 20-30 hours of runing in ! I would not believe my vendor when he told me that, but it's true !
 

Bartas
Unregistered guest
Hi ppl
i'm interested in this machine as well.But all the probs that you described made me back off.

Now, there's any news about a 640R ??
I have to make a decision till Xmas, so....

tnx
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mave

Post Number: 15
Registered: Jun-04
Hi Alec,
when you say "running in", do you mean after 20-30 hours of non-continuous running, the sound will be gone, or do you mean, after 20-30hours of continuous running, the sound will be gone?
Like what Ark, says, it is not very loud, but I am just wondering what causes the sound mechnically...
 

C bay ho
Unregistered guest
Is there anybody know about azur 640R ? I'm still waiting for this machine to be out in the market.
 

endora
Unregistered guest
I have heard that the 640R would be out in Q1-Q2 2005 and it may not be called 640R (740R ?).
 

Anonymous
 
I have heard that there's this 3D 16.2 DTS ( latest creation )will be ready in a year time. what is 3D 16.2 DTS ?
 

Unregistered guest
Question about operation with Dolby 5.1

When you put in a DVD, eg the lastest Star Wars... (which prompted me to get Surround Sound), I select the Dolby Dixital Ex button, however i am not able to select any options when the signal is not there (I am using optical cable), so pausing to select the mode, or changing whilst in DVD menu cannot be done (annoying), however when it is playing and i select DTS Neo 6: Cinema, i can't be sure i am getting real 5.1 sound. There is no Dolby symbol on the display.

In summary:
Does this mean that i am not getting 5.1 and just some stereo output to all speakers, what buttons should i press to get 5.1 DVD player connected through optical to actually give me 5.1 sound, and how can i see it confirmed on the display?

Thanks
 

B01EDN
Unregistered guest
Dave,

Seems to me you are not getting a 5.1 signal. did you check the settings on your DVD-player?: -->audio options: bitstream or multichannel output.

regards
 

Unregistered guest
I think I am getting 5.1 signal as it sounds like I am... THere is no setting on the DD player, just has a 5.1 optical out port, that i am using.

I guess i am interested to know if the Amp should display anything to indicate it is recieving / playing a 5.1 signal
 

B01EDN
Unregistered guest
Every DVD player has a "menu" for audio. I'm sure your problem lies in that department. Anyway, a 5.1 signal is automaticaly detected and the dolby digital or DTS sign is on the receivers display.
 

Mike Benson
Unregistered guest
3D 16.2 DTS will be ready in 2005. Still working on it to perfect the surround effect.Once patent, we will be the first in the world to release the 3D 16.2 DTS.
 

New member
Username: Harlestone

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-04
Hi
Could anyone let me know if I could use the 540r with my computer. I am running a creative Audigy
5.1 Sound card which has a digital out in the form of what looks like a 3.5mm audio jack. or I can run three stereojacks which start in the 3.5mm format and convert to the phono plug from the back of my soundcard to the 540r, also have an active subwoofer which of course I want to use
any help would be appreciated
thanks
 

Bronze Member
Username: Agimat

Post Number: 28
Registered: Aug-04
Markus,

How would describe the NAD T752 and the CA 540R in terms of sound quality? which is better in your opinion? I'm in Toronto also and could you give me some dealers where I can get the NAD and CA at best price?

Thanks
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 97
Registered: Apr-04
Larz - responded by email as my reponse was far too long to post here.

Markus
 

Skoda
Unregistered guest
Markus - I'm curious as to the comparison between the NAD as well - can you post some quick thoughts?
 

firepica
Unregistered guest
Hi, guys, I've been also wondering if I can buy 540R from richer sounds directly while residing in another European country (NL), so I asked them if they can deliver outside UK, but unfortunately, answer is NO (compare 249 pound (350 euro) from richersound directly and 750 euro from the local distributer - hahaha).

Sad story...

===
Thank you for contacting Richer Sounds
Unfortunately we re not able to send goods outside the mainland UK
My apologies for any inconvenience that this my cause
Yours Sincerely
Chris
Richer Sounds Customer Services
===
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 98
Registered: Apr-04
Skoda - sorry for not getting back to you earlier. I was on vacation. Here are a few excerpts from my email to Larz. I just want to clarify that these are my own opinions based on my own personal testing in my own environment. You might form a different opinion based upon what you like and what your listening environment is. Here goes:


**First of all I just want to say that both the Cambridge and NAD are very nice units. They are both head and shoulders above Yamaha, Marantz, Denon etc. in terms of music reproduction and sound quality. The sound stage that they create is simply amazing in comparison to those other units. This is something I experienced first hand through personal home testing and was literally blown away by first the Cambridge Audio and then the NAD.

In terms of sound quality between the two, they are actually quite similar so it would depend on what you value most from each receiver. The Cambridge Audio is to my ears very detailed and throws a very expansive sound stage. In comparison, the NAD is less detailed but has more mid and low end bass than the Cambridge and also throws an expansive sound stage. When watching movies such as Master & Commander, you will hear more low end grunt during the cannon ball scene in the beginning of the movie with the NAD but hear more of the wood splintering and voices shouting with the Cambridge, but the cannon ball fire will feel like it is just a touch mid bass shy. So to sum up, the Cambridge is more detailed but is a touch shy of mid-bass and the NAD offers a lot of mid bass but is less detailed, even muddy at times. I think this is because the Cambridge uses better dacs but the NAD has a more refined amp section. During music, I find both units to sound superb and would have a hard time trying to decide between the two.

In terms of functionality and design, the Cambridge looks extremely sleek and sculpted while the NAD looks like a brute. Despite this though, the NAD offers better flexibility and is more user friendly. For example, the NAD offers an on screen display for easy setup of each source, offers variable bass cross over levels and you can select source inputs directly as opposed to having to cycle through inputs on the remote. This last point is very important when trying to program a universal remote. By comparison, the Cambridge has a very simplistic manual that takes some guesswork to setup, has no on screen display, needs to cycle through inputs as opposed to jumping directly to a specified input and offers no way to mute the system if you decide to hook up the receiver to an external amp. It also has a fixed crossover point at 80 MHz (I think, some say its 90 MHz) and the remote cannot be programmed to control other devices.

From a customer service perspective, Cambridge Audio is amazing. All customer service is handled through Plurison, their Canadian distributor and I have no problem recommending Cambridge Audio products just based on their service alone. They are simply the best I have ever dealt with and even though I no longer have the 540R, I did go buy their 540D dvd player. NAD on the other hand is very slow to respond and has a rep for being difficult to deal with.

So which one do I prefer? I now have the NAD and love it but I also love the Cambridge. In the end it came down to functionality for me so the NAD won out. It does hiss a touch more than the Cambridge and does look like a brute but I needed to be able to select inputs directly as my harmony remote could never time the cycling of the inputs correctly on the Cambridge. If it could, I would have probably kept the Cambridge and been happy. I do miss the greater detailed sound of the Cambridge though. It also looked far better in my cabinet and my wife actually liked the sound of the Cambridge more. She was sad to see it go until she saw how easy the NAD was to operate***

I just want to add that if buying either of these units new, the Cambridge is a much better deal than the NAD here in Canada. The Cambridge can be had for approx. $850 CDN while the NAD T753 is approx. $1400 CDN. Thats a huge difference in price and given that both units sound great, unless you need all the functionality of the NAD, the Cambridge offers far better value for the dollar.

Cheers.
Markus
 

Bronze Member
Username: Agimat

Post Number: 48
Registered: Aug-04
and the Cambridge used torroidal transformer compare to laminated transformer of T753. Take note that torroidal transformer is available only on Nad's higher model, T763 & T773.

Once again thanks Markus.
 

bill a
Unregistered guest
markus
read your post with interest.did you try any other universal remotes with the 540r while you had it.i am looking for a good one,did you try any sony touch screens?how do you like your harmony?
thanks
bill
 

Bronze Member
Username: Markusp

Toronto, ON Canada

Post Number: 100
Registered: Apr-04
No problem Larz :-)

Bill - I tried a number of universal remotes over the past couple of years and the Harmony remote is without a doubt my favorite. I have owned a Philips Pronto, a Marantz Rc-5000, a Home Theater Master 500 and now the Harmony SST-659. The touchscreen remotes were fun because you could create your own interface and download a ton of files from remotecentral.com but when I purchased a PVR, my wife and I really missed using actual buttons for the PVR functions so I ended up selling both of them (the Marantz was particularily nice becuase it had a charging stand to recharge the battery). Next up was the HTM 500. It was very flexible, had nice buttons and could be programmed with tons of macros. Problem was that since my TV and some of my electronics lacked discreet power functions (on/off), if you moved the remote before all the various remote commands were sent, things would go screwy as some devices failed to turn on etc. If you pressed it again, you would really fubar everything as now the units that were switched on would now turn off while the other units that were previously off would turn on. Also, if I programmed the remote to watch tv, then wanted to switch to dvd, I would have to remember to switch back to tv before shutting everything off. This became pretty confusing for my family so out it went. The Harmony is truly a great remote for my family. It has a simple button structure and is grouped around activities as opposed to invidual devices - examples include "watch tv", "watch a movie" etc. Anyone can come into the room, look at the remote and press the correct button to watch tv etc. The two best features of the remote are that it uses "smart state technology" to determine if the tv is already on etc. This is major!!! As I said before, with the HTM 500 I needed to program in macros to turn on the tv, turn on the receiver, select the correct input and then turn on the sat receiver. If I wanted to watch a dvd, I needed to start the tv macro first and then use another macro that would turn off the sat receiver, turn on the dvd player, switch the receiver to the correct input etc. I also needed to program another macro to return the setup back to tv viewing before shuting down or next time I pressed the view tv macro, it would mix up the inputs. With the Harmony, it remembers if the tv is already on, if the receiver is already on, what input is active etc. Even if you do happen to mess up, there is a help button that quickly walks you through to correct the problem.

The second nice feature is ease of setup. It is all done via the internet and only takes a few minutes to update. No need to program macros or learn remote codes. It really is a nice remote. I should mention though that I had only tried using the Harmony with the Cambridge 540R as I had already sold off all my other remotes.

Hope that helps.
Markus
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