• 08-09-2005, 06:09 PM
    illwill
    Cambridge Audio Repair Costs
    My Cambridge Audio Azur 540D dvd player is going to have it's first birthday within a month or two, but already the digital out has basically crapped out on me (after half an hour of play signal is totally lost through the coax and mostly mangled through optical.) Since Cambridge products come with only a 90 day warranty and it's not something my dealer will fix in house I will be having to ship it back to cambridge (through my dealer) for them to fix it.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Could you give me some idea of how long it might take or how much it might cost?

    The main reason i'm asking this is that i'm not sure if i really feel like dropping more than $100 repairing a $300 dvd player which other people seem to have had so many problems with that i worry that as soon as i get it back something else will crop up (this is what really bit me in the ass with my ill-fated onkyo dual-deck cdr.)

    The dealer is also quite a drive from where i live and if my player will be gone for that long i will have to go back to using my toshiba for god knows how long(which is getting on 5 years old and is having trouble reading discs and making layer changes.) Frankly if i bother to make the drive out to my dealer i feel like maybe i should just bite the bullet and buy a knew (and hopefully more dependable) piece of gear.

    thanks for any advice
    will
  • 08-09-2005, 09:37 PM
    RGA
    To be honest I don;t see any reason to send it back to Cambridge Audio. It's out of warranty and so any repair shop should be able to fix it and give you a quote.

    if you feel it is suprior to what is available new from other brands then it may be worth fixing. I don;t know anything about their dvd player but if I had say the Cambridgge CD 4 cd player which was about $500.00Cdn -- and it started acting up - or even my own Cambridge CD6 -- i'd probably just take my loss and get another player of entry level caliber. With cd players this is easier to do because when i buy an external DAC it is the transport that is more likely to break and they are less important.

    With DVD players you are essentially paying for video quality - I can safely say that my Aspire player I paid $50.00 for is as good for DVD watching as my $300.00 Pioneer and my friends better Pioneer model. The Aspire has a better remote, more features takes up less space and looks better to boot.

    DVD players are pretty much disposable items -- like a toaster. Of course I am not nearly as nit-picky about video quality as some - to me I'd probably get a nice Toshiba unit (I've always had good luck with Toshiba for long lasting products as well as Panasonic. My Pioneer DVD player is about 7 years old I suppose and only now is it starting to do some strange things (when i push the eject button the droor comes out and will immediately close -- so I have to try it a few times before it will actually stay open so i can put the disc in. My LD player from them lasted about 7 years before it stiopped being able to read what disc you put in the machine. maybe they have a 7 year self-destruct chip. :(

    I've had my CD 6 for about 8-9 years with heavy use and it still works perfectly (knock on wood). The CD 6 though was an over-built product that essentially put Cambridge Audio on the map -- the replacements have been much cheaper built with cheaper componants - but then they also cost less to buy so that's fair.

    It may be the DVD player could have some really small issue going haywire loose connection or something.
  • 08-10-2005, 10:27 AM
    topspeed
    I like RGA's advice; if it's out of warranty, have a local shop fix it. When I sent in my 540a for a new volume pot last year, it took 6 weeks to get it back because everyone was on vacation (according to AudioPlusServices).

    On a side note, I'm considering the 540D and would like your opinion on it. I'm concerned about the apparent lack of reliability as well as its ability to produce only 480p. What do you think of its audio/video performance and what monitor do you use? Hi-def?

    Thanks for the input.
  • 08-10-2005, 07:55 PM
    illwill
    hrm
    unfortunately i guess i would have to tell you to look at other models.

    to start off i used the 540d with a 4 year old Toshiba 27A50. Even though it's a thoroughly consumer level analog set, it is still a surpringly good monitor, but video has really not been my priority (yet.)

    the first 540d i got i had to return almost as soon as i got it because it also had audio problems. so that's kind of a big deal right there: that i personally have had two units with malfunctioning audio and plenty of people posting online have experience a number of other problems with this same model.

    other than that it is a decent player. all the standard ins & outs (including scart), though as you say only 420p. both pal and ntsc. build quality is farily solid (on the outside at least.) nifty blue led display (though it's actually those old turquoise leds through a blue filter.) the cd playback sounds very good and video looks decent (better, i believe, than the toshiba sd2300 it replaced.) The remote is solidly constructed though not the most ergonomic design (some of the button placements and labels are counterintuitive.) I sort of wish there were a couple more controls on the front panel. I never got a chance to try the dvd-audio.

    Overall: a decent player if the thing would just keep working properly. I guess it's up to you to take the risk; a pretty good value for just over $300, but at the same time you could go for a denon or integra at the same price point with probably a couple fewer features and likely poorer cd playback, but almost certainly more dependable. (and this is exactly what i may now do)
  • 08-11-2005, 10:18 AM
    topspeed
    Thanks for the feedback. I've been a longtime fan of Denon (just check my profile) and your assessment just about puts me over the edge towards the 1920. I'm waiting for a review to be posted, but as of right now either the 1920 or Panny s77 or s97 seem to be the main contenders.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Aside from the volume pot issue, my 540a and 540c have been running flawlessly for 10 hour/day and over a year now.
  • 08-11-2005, 05:23 PM
    Geoffcin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by topspeed
    Thanks for the feedback. I've been a longtime fan of Denon (just check my profile) and your assessment just about puts me over the edge towards the 1920. I'm waiting for a review to be posted, but as of right now either the 1920 or Panny s77 or s97 seem to be the main contenders.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Aside from the volume pot issue, my 540a and 540c have been running flawlessly for 10 hour/day and over a year now.

    Buy the Panny S77. The reviewer who picked it as best-in-class is just about the most anal DVD guy in the business. Some of the parameters he uses I've never even heard of!
  • 08-15-2005, 01:01 AM
    musicman1999
    topspeed

    i have both the 540 d and 540r and have had both in heavy use for about a year and a half
    i am very happy with both units,the dvd has great sound and has a very nice progressive scan picture.i have had zero problems with either unit and could recomend either.
    thanks
    bill
  • 08-16-2005, 06:47 AM
    topspeed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by musicman1999
    topspeed

    i have both the 540 d and 540r and have had both in heavy use for about a year and a half
    i am very happy with both units,the dvd has great sound and has a very nice progressive scan picture.i have had zero problems with either unit and could recomend either.
    thanks
    bill

    Thanks Bill,

    I ended up ordering a Denon 2910. The fact that the 540d only outputs 480p was the clincher for me, even though I realize this is the normal format for dvd's. The more I thought about how long the HD dvd format war was going to last, the more I figured it best to get what I really want now instead of the the stop-gap scenario with the 540d or 1920. I appreciate the input tho and am glad to hear your CA equipment is as reliable as mine.