NAD T754, Cambridge 640A V2 or 540A V2? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-24-2009, 01:16 PM
Anyone have any exprience with two or more of these three? Which would you say is the better deal, (as far as 2 channel sound)? The NAD T754 (refurb) for $500, the CA 640A (new) for $400, or the CA 540A (new) for $300? Thanks!

02-24-2009, 03:39 PM
Erm, you're kind of comparing apples to oranges here.

On one hand, you have an AVR built for multichannel hi rez or HT applications. Unfortunately, it is already outdated and supports neither HDMI interconnectivity nor decodes current MC lossless formats such as DTS-Master or Dolby True-HD. That said, those formats are so new, it may not matter to you and at least the NAD affords more flexibility towards future growth.

The CA's are dedicated, two channel integrated amps. They don't do MC, they don't have decoders, they just play music. Really, it depends on your priorities. If you're a purist and prefer two channel, the decision is simple. Fair warning: I'm biased, not only towards two channel but also towards CA (which I chose over NAD and Rotel) as I have the 540 in my office rig. If it matters, the CA has pushed 4 ohm speakers for 10+ hours a day, 5 days a week, for 3 or 4 years now. There was a hiccup with the attenuator 6 months in, but since then nada.

02-24-2009, 04:05 PM
Top, I always considered NAD, Rotel and CA to have a similar sound. What made you decide to go with CA?

02-24-2009, 04:32 PM
Better microdynamics and low level retrieval. It was for my office, so it was important for the amp to provide a lot of detail at relatively modest output. Some amps, like the NAD, need you to open the taps before the music properly coalesces. For my application, the CA was a better fit.

In comparing the three, I found the Rotel to be cooler sounding than either the CA or NAD, not to mention Rotel charged $100 extra for the remote! The NAD had the ballsiest bottom end but...and I admit this is incredibly has looks only a mother could love. Is it grey? Green? Camo? Whatever, it ain't good! Besides the traits I've mentioned, the CA also had the sweetest top end, an important quality as the Mission's are tipped hot.

02-24-2009, 06:49 PM
Thank you Topspeed for your input. You called it right, the newer formats don't matter much to me, nor does any video connections, since I've always thought the less connections the better if not needed. I listen to 2 channel about 90% of the time. I have read good things about both the NAD and Cambridge Audio. As far as the HT stuff goes, I do enjoy it, but to me nothing compares to music. I'm not a purist, but in my own opinion for what it's worth, HT, for the most part, you're striving more for effect (some real, some not so real), I think, whereas music strives more for realism.
Does anyone know what the 640 buys me vs the 540 besides 15 watts?

02-24-2009, 09:18 PM
I believe the 640 has a bigger transformer as well. Check the website, it should tell you.