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Cambridge 740c -vs- Cambridge 840c, sonically?

post #1 of 220
Thread Starter 
Hello,
I have been reading alot of rave reviews lately on the Cambridge Audio Azur 740c and on the Cambridge Audio Azur 840c.
I noticed they both use upsampling, dual dac's, etc.,...the 840c uses dual Analog Devices DAC's and the 740c uses dual Wolfson DAC's.
Has anyone out there owned both, or compared the new Cambridge 740c with the Cambridge 840c, sonically?
If so, how did they compare, and what were the differences in their sound?
Thanks!
post #2 of 220
Thread Starter 

AMAZING WHAT A POSITIVE REVIEW CAN DO!

Ever since the very positive review of the Cambridge Azur 840c in the September 2007 issue of The Absolute Sound, the 840c has been on back order at The Audio Advisor, and is now among their top 3 best sellers as far as cd players goes. I ordered one Saturday, and was told today that they are back order, so I don't know how long it will be before I get mine.
post #3 of 220
^ ^
What happened to your Saturn?
post #4 of 220
post #5 of 220
Lol, holy crap man, you've gotta slow down! At the rate you're going you'll be going through all the new CDPs released this year and last by the end of the year!

I took a look at the tech spec PDFs that Cambridge has on the 740C and 840C and both look extremely similar. The 840C has better specs in various aspects of course, including THD, crosstalk, and digital output sampling frequencies. Don't forget either that the 840C also includes analog balanced XLR output and likely has been partially designed for that.

The WM8740 in the 740C is a strong DAC chip indeed, it's been used in a lot of CDPs (not just CA but Arcam and many other brands), but that doesn't necessarily mean it's inferior to the AD1955 in the 840C - it's all in the implementation.

Personally I wouldn't buy either CDP if I was theoretically in a situation where I'd be looking to buy. The 740C's SRP is too high for a machine with those specs (and doesn't look that much better than the 640C V2 on paper, DAC features aside), and the 840C at $375 more for a mere DAC change and XLR output is not worth it IMO. And no offense, but 1 good review from a major publication shouldn't influence your opinion.

If you're looking to try a different CDP there are many others I'd have to recommend even without hearing them, as they have a lot more interesting specs & price tags and potentially more interesting and unique sounds. If you do some research you'll find a number of other brands who released new or updated CDPs last year (and this year) that have since flown under the radar due to lack of reviews - NAD M5, Creek Destiny and Evolution, CEC CD5300 and TL-51XR, Cayin CDT-23, Raysonic CD128. Lots more to find, just have to look around.

Keep up what you're doing though, I like that you've been trying out new CDPs and posting your impressions here for us, it's extremely helpful for us folk who don't have so much money. If only there were more people like you, then we'd have impressions on all those CDPs and more!
post #6 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
If you're looking to try a different CDP there are many others I'd have to recommend even without hearing them
C'mon ASR... recommending equipment without hearing it?

If you're looking for a new cd player, the best advice is to audition it and let your own ears decide. Everyone's setup is different. Synergy is not something to overlook, and my own experience in this hobby has led me to believe that people tend to hear differently a bit too. Your ears are the best judge.

There's no harm in suggesting alternative sources, but it doesn't help anyone to recommend gear which you haven't heard. Please recognize the distinction.

Out of curiosity ASR, have you listened to the 740 or 840 from the Cambridge line? I'm curious to hear more user's actual experiences.
post #7 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by 909 View Post
$1,175 brand new. that's a very good deal.
post #8 of 220
Thread Starter 
Guys,
I still have the Saturn, I am just very curious on how well the Cambridge 840c stacks up against it.
I ordered one from Audio Advisor, which has a 30 day return policy, so I figure there is nothing to loose, except shipping. Unfortunately, its on back order at the moment.
I enjoy comparing the various cd players out there, and I do hope some of my findings help others out.
Thanks for your kind words, ASR, I appreciate them.
post #9 of 220
your service to this community is greatly appreciated
post #10 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim_the_gamer View Post
C'mon ASR... recommending equipment without hearing it?

If you're looking for a new cd player, the best advice is to audition it and let your own ears decide. Everyone's setup is different. Synergy is not something to overlook, and my own experience in this hobby has led me to believe that people tend to hear differently a bit too. Your ears are the best judge.

There's no harm in suggesting alternative sources, but it doesn't help anyone to recommend gear which you haven't heard. Please recognize the distinction.

Out of curiosity ASR, have you listened to the 740 or 840 from the Cambridge line? I'm curious to hear more user's actual experiences.
Well I was recommending based on price and tech specs only, not sound quality. The two CA players are ones I'd personally avoid if I were CDP shopping right now - as I said, their prices are too high for what you get. And I've heard the 640C V2 which the 740C is nearly identical to on specs alone, so the sound signatures are likely very close. I never liked the 640C V2's sound that much. And if the 640C V2 is supposed to be representative of CA's entire line of digital sources (it was their flagship model until last year when the 840C and 740C came out), then I'll never be buying a CDP from them. Maybe if I find a local dealer for CA, I'll go spend some listening time with them just for the experience, but neither is a machine that I'd buy - again, the 740C just seems overpriced for what it is, and the 840C doesn't look like it's been optimized in the balanced output stage. It does fulfill the dual differential DAC requirement necessary to achieve true balanced, but none of the other designs and technologies that I've seen in other balanced CDPs.
post #11 of 220
Thread Starter 
Specs, features, design, or price don't matter to me at all ... its how the unit sounds in my system, and to my ears, that matters most and is the most important to me.
Guess I will find out in a few weeks how good the 840c really is, and how it compares sonically with the Rega Saturn, and the Marantz SA8001 in my system, and with my ears.
You never know, the "Cambridge sound" could possibly be the ultimate sound that I am searching for?
From everything that I read: The reviews, their different design philosophies, technical details, price differences, etc., I really thought that I would absolutely love the "Rega sound" over the much less expensive "Marantz sound", but so far that is not the case.
In audio ... you just never know until you try a component out in your own system how it will sound, regardless of what other people or reviews may tell you.
I guess its: Live and learn, and empty your wallet in the process! LOL.
Thanks again, guys.
post #12 of 220
there's a little note in this months Stereophile with a good review of the 740c. It's in the article about visiting cambridge. read it if you're looking at these players
post #13 of 220
Is $822 a good price for the 740c? What really attracts me to the Cambridge Audio line is their ability to act as a DAC. The 840c I can get for $1259 but that is already over budget The Rega Saturn I also found for $874. Good price? The Rega Apollo should be similarly priced vs 740c, but doesn't upsample and uses only one of the WM8740 vs 740c's duo.
post #14 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post
Is $822 a good price for the 740c? What really attracts me to the Cambridge Audio line is their ability to act as a DAC. The 840c I can get for $1259 but that is already over budget The Rega Saturn I also found for $874. Good price? The Rega Apollo should be similarly priced vs 740c, but doesn't upsample and uses only one of the WM8740 vs 740c's duo.
are you sure you found a saturn for $874?

you probably meant the apollo, which could be had around $675 delivered.
post #15 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by 909 View Post
are you sure you found a saturn for $874?

you probably meant the apollo, which could be had around $675 delivered.
It sure doesn't make any sense... I will have to go back and check, but I am 100% sure it wasn't the Apollo. Must've been the Planet! You nearly made me jump out of my chair, ring up the cab company and race to the store before anyone made it there first
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