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  1. #1
    it's about the music
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    I have the chance to grab an Cambride Audio Azur 540a for 199 Euros (240$). Should I?

    Which is a HUGE discout from the 350euro MSRP over here in europe.
    Being a compulsive buyer this morning i had a VERY tough time not jumping on it straight ahead. Instead i restrained my anxiety and decided to come here and pop a few questions about it.
    Downside is since the deal is in a department store i can't audition it. I could just take it home and listen to it, and if i don't like it return it for a refund, but that's just not cool.
    Its going for roughly half the retail of a Rotel RA-01, plus it has a remote. the crappy binding posts don't bother me all that much, and apparently the reviews around here are great. I also like the fact that it has very good low-level resolution since i can't exactly rock out in my room without my parents storming in and executing me.
    SO! someone give me powerful reasons why i shouldn't jump on this deal, or why i sould choose the Nad or the Rotel over this.
    Also, i know this question is kind of a joke, but i'm currently running a T-amp. Will it better that?
    Cheers!
    I remember the days when I thought 128kbps sounded great and had never spent more than 10 bucks on cables...

  2. #2
    It's just a hobby
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    It will certainly give more flexibility with respect to the loudspeaker choice , since it has a lot power on tap.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I have been very pleased with my A640. I bought it to replace an aging Rotel RA970BX. It certainly sounds better than I had any right to expect for the money. I would say grab it. Mine has been running non-stop without the first glitch. Yes the low level resolution is good.
    JohnMichael

    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Audio Technica F7, Moon 110LP w/PSU

    Digital Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001

    Int. Amp Krell S-300i

    Speakers JBL Studio 530's / Sanus SF22 stands

    Cables AQ Rocket 44's, Diamondback XLR's & IC's

  4. #4
    Just passing thru topspeed's Avatar
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    Buy it. That's an excellent price and the amp will give you a lot more flexibility & headroom than the T-amp. Its sound quality is at least the equal of the RA01 and as you noted, you get their excellent remote (which also controls other CA products such as their well respected cd players). It's $240 bux, what have you got to lose??

  5. #5
    it's about the music
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    i have 240 bucks to lose!
    In fact, i already got it. and i got the CD player as well. It was also DEEPLY discounted down to 199€ from 329, the same as the amplifier.
    I am BLOWN away by the amp. It kicks ass. Perhaps its not as detailed as the Rotel, but i really can't complain for the price. The bass it kicks out is amazing, and the highs are WAY smoother than on the T-amp. It just also has more presence than the T-amp, it fills the room with more sound. It also has a wider soundstage, and less importantly but still nice, it FEELS and LOOKS like propper equipment. I'm not that much into aesthetics, but its nice owning quality equipment. The T-amp REALLY doesnt give you that.
    On the other hand, the binding posts suck REALLY hard, but that gives me an excuse for a mod...
    The CDplayer, however, failed to impress me as much as the amp. Yeah, it sounds nice, but it isnt such a huge breakthrough from my very crappy Sony. Perhaps i'll just have to let it burn in.
    HOWEVER here's where the best part comes. I got it from this department store. Its not so much a department store, think home depot but selling everything from washing machines to computers to home cinemas to mobile phones.
    Well apparently they bought a few Cambridge Audio components and obviously they were having a VERY hard time selling them because no one going to that place is going to pay 400 bucks for a stereo amplifier (who the **** is stupid enough to pay 400 for a STEREO amp when you can get a Best Buy 5.1 reciever with a DVD player and speakers for 90?) so they had to give them huge discounts in order to get the stocks moving. That's how I got both the CD player and the Amp. You would think "well that's a good price but you didn't get to listen before you buy". Well as it turns out now i have FIFTEEN DAYS to audition the components IN MY OWN HOUSE with MY OWN EQUIPMENT!!!! if i dont like them for whatever reason, i just take it back for a no-questions-asked replacement or refund... what kind of HiFi shop gives you this kind of service???
    So basically i'm very happy because today i saved 300€, and now i have 15 days to decide whether the CD player stays or goes back.
    Cheers!
    I remember the days when I thought 128kbps sounded great and had never spent more than 10 bucks on cables...

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaboom
    i have 240 bucks to lose!
    In fact, i already got it. and i got the CD player as well. It was also DEEPLY discounted down to 199€ from 329, the same as the amplifier.
    I am BLOWN away by the amp. It kicks ass. Perhaps its not as detailed as the Rotel, but i really can't complain for the price. The bass it kicks out is amazing, and the highs are WAY smoother than on the T-amp. It just also has more presence than the T-amp, it fills the room with more sound. It also has a wider soundstage, and less importantly but still nice, it FEELS and LOOKS like propper equipment. I'm not that much into aesthetics, but its nice owning quality equipment. The T-amp REALLY doesnt give you that.
    On the other hand, the binding posts suck REALLY hard, but that gives me an excuse for a mod...
    The CDplayer, however, failed to impress me as much as the amp. Yeah, it sounds nice, but it isnt such a huge breakthrough from my very crappy Sony. Perhaps i'll just have to let it burn in.
    HOWEVER here's where the best part comes. I got it from this department store. Its not so much a department store, think home depot but selling everything from washing machines to computers to home cinemas to mobile phones.
    Well apparently they bought a few Cambridge Audio components and obviously they were having a VERY hard time selling them because no one going to that place is going to pay 400 bucks for a stereo amplifier (who the **** is stupid enough to pay 400 for a STEREO amp when you can get a Best Buy 5.1 reciever with a DVD player and speakers for 90?) so they had to give them huge discounts in order to get the stocks moving. That's how I got both the CD player and the Amp. You would think "well that's a good price but you didn't get to listen before you buy". Well as it turns out now i have FIFTEEN DAYS to audition the components IN MY OWN HOUSE with MY OWN EQUIPMENT!!!! if i dont like them for whatever reason, i just take it back for a no-questions-asked replacement or refund... what kind of HiFi shop gives you this kind of service???
    So basically i'm very happy because today i saved 300€, and now i have 15 days to decide whether the CD player stays or goes back.
    Cheers!
    Congratulations, isn't it great when you find something that sounds that good for that little money.
    JohnMichael

    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, Funk Firm Achroplat, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Audio Technica F7, Moon 110LP w/PSU

    Digital Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd, Marantz SA 8001

    Int. Amp Krell S-300i

    Speakers JBL Studio 530's / Sanus SF22 stands

    Cables AQ Rocket 44's, Diamondback XLR's & IC's

  7. #7
    Just passing thru topspeed's Avatar
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    Congrats! Give the integrated time to break-in and you'll be amazed at the increase in extension at both ends of the spectrum. If you like the bass now, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised after about 100 hours on the clock.

    I'm guessing you got the 540c as well. I'm surprised you can't hear much of a difference between the CA's Wolfson dacs and the Sony's dac's. Personally, I've always hated the way Sony processes rbcd's. Way to tinny and sterile for my taste. Still, if you can't hear the difference, save yourself some money, return the player, and buy more music !

    Enjoy you new toys!

  8. #8
    it's about the music
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    I'm gonna give the 540c a more detailed listen this afternoon, when i get some time. in fact i'm gonna do a side by side comparison with my sony with two copies of the same CD playing at the same time. However the really week link in my system are the 30-year-old Saba speakers with the weird | · (dot and line) style crappy connectors. That's the next upgrade!
    I remember the days when I thought 128kbps sounded great and had never spent more than 10 bucks on cables...

  9. #9
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Buy it!

    ...oh, wait. To late. Nice find!

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