Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Cambridge Audio 840C...some thoughts and comparisons
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cambridge Audio 840C...some thoughts and comparisons - Page 3

post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdivider View Post
In the end, my Playstation 1 outclassed 840C purely as CDP in my system & there was no reason to go for it (okay okay, you can insert your smart comments "here").
No need for smart comments there. SCPH-1001 or not, "outclassed" is just a ridiculous concept.

WRT the Primare CD31, I agree it's a lovely player and one I auditioned a lot but in the end the differeneces I could hear were closer to colorations (call it the Primare sound) than the (to my ear) less coloured sound of the 840c.
post #32 of 56
I'm wondering how an 840c would compare in my system. I'll have to see if I can acquire one for a shoot out...
post #33 of 56
In the UK here, the Leema Acoustics Stream is getting rave reviews in all publications, and the consensus seems to be it bests the Cambridge. May be worth checking out for this price range.
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Mike View Post
No need for smart comments there. SCPH-1001 or not, "outclassed" is just a ridiculous concept.

WRT the Primare CD31, I agree it's a lovely player and one I auditioned a lot but in the end the differeneces I could hear were closer to colorations (call it the Primare sound) than the (to my ear) less coloured sound of the 840c.
I don't think you read my statement carefully. I said the Playstation outclassed the Cambridge Audio 840C "in my system." Why is that a ridiculous concept? Obviously, we have our personal listening preferences, and as such, one component outclasses the other according to our preference. I don't see why we have to get so PC on even determining which components we personally prefer in our own systems!

Mm... as for liking the PS1 better than 840C, what can I say? It's true. I'm sure in some other systems, the 840C will work with better synergy, but in mine, the PS1 rocks. Through my system, the 840C sounded too processed, and had that sheen... when the PS1 came in, the music became really ballsy, and the sound in my system got warmer, more musically powerful, and less "machined."

I'm hardly alone in my opinion that the PS1 is a kick-ass CDP. John Devore, a few years ago, had the Playstation 1 as a front end for his Devore 3 speakers in his CES show room & everyone was surprised by the sound... some of them were looking around for a separate DAC.
post #35 of 56
Thanks for the input, folks.

I still think the Primare was a better player; but as someone said, we hear things differently. Also different systems for sure.

I think there was more of a tonal warmth with the Primare, but I wouldn't call that colored, at least based on what I heard. The slight glare I heard from the 840C I would classify as more colored. But I AM still wondering if indeed more burn-in was needed.

I may ask the dealer if I could borrow the 840C for some time, as I'm closer to buying. Heck, might also be able to borrow the Primare as well. Be nice to try both in my system. Still a little more $ to save up, though....
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdivider View Post
I don't think you read my statement carefully. I said the Playstation outclassed the Cambridge Audio 840C "in my system." Why is that a ridiculous concept? Obviously, we have our personal listening preferences, and as such, one component outclasses the other according to our preference. I don't see why we have to get so PC on even determining which components we personally prefer in our own systems!

Mm... as for liking the PS1 better than 840C, what can I say? It's true. I'm sure in some other systems, the 840C will work with better synergy, but in mine, the PS1 rocks. Through my system, the 840C sounded too processed, and had that sheen... when the PS1 came in, the music became really ballsy, and the sound in my system got warmer, more musically powerful, and less "machined."

I'm hardly alone in my opinion that the PS1 is a kick-ass CDP. John Devore, a few years ago, had the Playstation 1 as a front end for his Devore 3 speakers in his CES show room & everyone was surprised by the sound... some of them were looking around for a separate DAC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by skullguise View Post
Thanks for the input, folks.

I still think the Primare was a better player; but as someone said, we hear things differently. Also different systems for sure.

I think there was more of a tonal warmth with the Primare, but I wouldn't call that colored, at least based on what I heard. The slight glare I heard from the 840C I would classify as more colored. But I AM still wondering if indeed more burn-in was needed.

I may ask the dealer if I could borrow the 840C for some time, as I'm closer to buying. Heck, might also be able to borrow the Primare as well. Be nice to try both in my system. Still a little more $ to save up, though....

So far as what you say you heard and prefered selfdivider, into your system, S.S. intergrated and one who desires 'that analog sound", a much more coherent sound, I can begin to understand based upon your system and bias, your preferance, I supose. I still have trouble believing the PS1 has the punch in the lower freq. and dynamics vs the 840c, which from my understanding and experience, always has to do with CDPs (or amplifiers too for that matter) power supply, tordial in the latters case. Again, perhaps, as always is dependent upon the tranducer(s) employed.(shrugs) And further, vs our applications here with headphones particularly.

Whereas, sonic signature wise, the analitical highly detailed and what I like to term, slightly spotlighted and highly seperated signal revealed especially here with my headphone system,is quite satisfying in that regard and with punch!

Then too, as always we must recognise quality of the master and mix of the particular material choosen and perhaps prefered, in terms of genres also.

A combination of these factors , such as the well regarded yet still S.S. intergrated amp you are using, may very well be highlighting the lower freq, as well as upper mid bass and lower treble slightly, in terms of spotlighting whatever source signal recieved etc...

Yep, system synergy and personal biases as well as recordings may very well lead one to prefer a PS1, appearently, I guess....


Skullguiese, I would like to know of the tubes employed within the Modwright, as I can tune my Foreplay(said to be biased towards transpearency, sonically), with EIs for hyper transpearency, to the Buggle Boys for a balanced yet touch of tube warmth, or my Mullards for much more warmth relative to the Amprex BuggleBoys, for instance. All while maintaning the punch(throughout the freq spectrum but most noteworthy in the systems bass presentation, clearity and signal seperation which is what the 740c brought and is appreciated here using the Meier and stock K-701s(noted to be balanced and neutral). I am being presented with the most articulate and deep, tuneful quality bass and with attack of bass strings(Mapleshade Records Jazz) I've ever encountered.

Also, burn-in and knowing those hours is all important in this particular CDP, as i've experienced quite a few degrees of difference in terms of its once brightness "out of the box" which, as I said, was removed even then on most recordings by tube changes in my Foreplay; Vs now, @ 200 hrs where I've now sucessfully removed the preamp from the component chain(only as a test, because i like the added 3D soundstaging and ambiance as well as tone it adds, specific tube choice dependent), and only on a few recordings do I find the presentation to be slightly bright in those upper mids and lower treble somewhat the same as with the tubes in line pre this 200 hr burn in...

Just thought i would add these thoughts for readers who may mistake someone saying a PS1 is prefered to something else without important qualifiers or being able to judge degrees of these qualitys written and or heard, and why...
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Finthen View Post
So far as what you say you heard and prefered selfdivider, into your system, S.S. intergrated and one who desires 'that analog sound", a much more coherent sound, I can begin to understand based upon your system and bias, your preferance, I supose. I still have trouble believing the PS1 has the punch in the lower freq. and dynamics vs the 840c, which from my understanding and experience, always has to do with CDPs (or amplifiers too for that matter) power supply, tordial in the latters case.

A combination of these factors , such as the well regarded yet still S.S. intergrated amp you are using, may very well be highlighting the lower freq, as well as upper mid bass and lower treble slightly, in terms of spotlighting whatever source signal recieved etc...

Yep, system synergy and personal biases as well as recordings may very well lead one to prefer a PS1, appearently, I guess....
Thanks for the thoughtful response, Hi-Finthen. I think EVERY component should be considered in the context of synergy & listener's preference, as both you & I have made clear. One thing, though: you seemed to believe that I was talking about the PS1 through my solid-state Plinius, but I was talking about my tube amplifer, Leben CS600. Oddly enough, I happen to prefer PS1 over 840C in BOTH my SS and tube integrateds. (John Devore, in '05 CES show room, was also using Leben CS600 tube amp with PS1 to drive his Gibbon 3 speakers.)

Is PS1 the be-all, end-all solution? No. I'd like to have the Primare CD31 in my system or one of the Consonance linear CDPs, if I could, over the PS1. But not at that cost differential: the performance return isn't significant enough for me to upgrade at that cost differential. And I'd keep the PS1 over the 840C in my system, regardless of cost.

And the bass response of PS1 really was more robust than the 840C. Maybe b/c I wasn't going balanced w/ 840C... but I did the A-B-A-B comparisons, and definitely PS1 came through w/ more resonant bass performance. Again, this wasn't a monetary issue. I have a $10K+ system, and believe me, I don't want to compromise the sound quality of my system by having a weak link in the source department, that would be a dumb waste of that money... I'd already given my dealer the $ for the 840C and was looking forward to it, but PS1 - to me - was clearly the better musical component in my system. Of course the build quality is crap, with suspect drive mechanism, but if it breaks, I'd just toss it out and get another one for 20 bucks. I've other friends who are more experienced & savvy than me, with mega-mega-buck systems, and they also have PS1s as digital front end. Not to mention various gear reviewers & industry pros. But that's not exactly a well-kept secret anymore...
post #38 of 56
LOL...O.K. then, the PS1 ROCKS, the PS1 is a kick-ass CDP and only the 2400 Primare CD31 CDP is preferable to "some", than their $20 PS1... If one assembles a $10,000 consisting of: Amplifier - Leben CS600 tube integrated amp / or a Plinus 8150 driving :
Speakers - Harbeth Super HL5 (30th Anniversary Edition); Got ya

Good on you, and you saved a boatload for your car insurance!

I won't bother to ask what you plugged your 701s into and did or didn't hear-

Good luck with your T.T. source and locating an agreeable DAC for the SB3
post #39 of 56
LOL... didn't mean to sound snooty... if I came across that way, my bad! It's true, some people can't stand the PS1, don't believe in what it does, and some do, and I happen to be one of em, I guess.

Yeah, turntable's a big headache to set up right. I need to think about phono stages now... the AKG-701, I plug into Leben tube integrated; the sound gets relayed directly from the output transformers to head-out, so with a switch, it becomes a headphone amp. Got the AKG-701/Leben idea from Nicola in these forums actually... I think he was one of the first ones to try Leben as headphone amp & recommended AKG-701 as a good match for the Leben. I was using Heed CanAmp before the Leben.
post #40 of 56
Oh Nicola, that explains it then, he's nothing but trouble with his recommendations and I understand he's a caffelatte drinking, Bush Republican, to boot... Just kidding, fully... lol

I sincerely do appreciate your views and sharring what you prefer, as frustrating as that may be to read and understand, how that may be.
Although in summary, I would simply say your taste run far along towards the analog coherent sonic goals, whereas that is not what the C.A. Azure products goals seem at all to be.
Whereas, I definately hear it to be a step up and in the right direction with improvements in resolution and instrument seperation in my system affording me those same clarity improvements when utilized for its DAC imput utility with my SB3.
No doubt there are better sounding hardware configurations to be bought at some other price point which only still then would not have this utility. I do like its sound as an improvement to my listening pleasure at its price point, knowing fully that it is a compromise on some levels and certainly not for all applications or tastes.

I'll admit, it pizzes me off to know someone prefers a $20 PS1 as their CDP, but I'm not convinced I would hear it the same way in my system vs the Azur... (shrugs)

Take Care and best regards~
post #41 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Finthen View Post
I'll admit, it pizzes me off to know someone prefers a $20 PS1 as their CDP, but I'm not convinced I would hear it the same way in my system vs the Azur... (shrugs)
+1 on that.
For me the PS1 thing smacks far too much as an example of Hi-Fi subjectivism/mysticism gone mad. The same 3-4 demos and articles that keep getting brought up in defence of the claim make me suspicious as well.
The PS1 may be a surprisingly musical sounding player but every time someone says it sounds great through a tube amp, or indeed a high end system of any sort, I'm forced to roll my eyes. My Nokia will sound better - that is more musical - through a tube stage, it's what they're best at. Is there anything wrong with that? Not at all.... but I wouldn't use that as a basis to rank it against a good $500 CDP let alone anything above that.

I would also have thought anyone that has put any stock in the attention put into various CDP features - advancements in transports, power supplies, servo stages, output stages, grounding and DACs - would also risk exposing themselves to the claim of hypocrisy if even a quarter of the claims I've heard in favour of the PS1 were true. I'm mean why all the effort then?

To be honest, I have no issue at all with those that prefer the more subjective approach to Hi-Fi, or seek musicality over accuracy. I personally believe a mix of both objective and subjective is the only way to enjoy this game, you have to trust your ears at some point . Unfortunately my pro-audio background is one that has taught me to value (and enjoy) accuracy and clarity above all else. I want to hear it as it was recorded to the disc, for better or worse... and these days an 840C is currently one of the best bang-for-your-buck ways to get that...
post #42 of 56
I hear you, White Mike, on how you should approach audio not only subjectively but objectively as well. Before you think that I'm bashing on 840C, you should know I had 840C in my system for a couple months and if you look in my previous posts, you'll see that I was one of the guys who came to the fore about the 840C and praised it highly in this forum and elsewhere. Then I heard the PS1 in my system, and as I've said, whatever happened happened.

One thing that I don't understand is why it should piss anyone off if someone likes one component or the other. What's up with that? Another thing I don't like is the usual simplistic cliche/stereotyping... if you like certain component, you must be a subjectivist, and if you like the other, you must be an objectivist, that kind of reductive bs. What is this, some audio Bloods vs. Crips or something? Lame. I think White Mike has it exactly right when he says you have to have the right balance of subjective & the objective.

That said, on PS1: rolled eyes or not, many people do like it. Some people will get it. Some people won't. Skullguise and I DEFINITELY hear glare/sheen on Cambridge Audio 840C, some people can't. Based on that, would I roll my eyes at people who don't/can't hear that? No... because as Jay-Z says in "Heart of the City," - "What I eat don't make you sh*t." Who the hell cares?!? We all hear differently, at different times.

And as for the reasoning that PS1 must be crap b/c it's a crap video game machine from the past, and it's all voodoo... I'd say that's faulty logic, too. If you know John Devore at all, in fact, if you know any artisanal speaker makers, they're hard core into science of it all. They have to be, in order to build top-end speakers which sound well, as well as measure well. Which means they approach each component objectively first, with skepticism. When he puts in PS1 confidently at a show & not in his living room, I'm sure he's not doing it on a roll of the dice or voodoo magic. Another example is John Marks of Stereophile who reviewed PS1 in April issue; it was an unfavorable review. He said it wasn't worth the trouble & plans to sell his unit on ebay again (he seems to have gotten one with a tracking problem). But even with the negative review, he still preferred its sound to the $999 Music Hall CDP/receiver. Given the fact that he didn't like the PS1 much, I'd say his opinion was pretty objective.

At the end of it all, I think you have to approach everything with an open mind, w/o prejudice. There's no doubt that 840C represents one of the best bang-for-the-buck, I never questioned that. With the digital-in, it's a killer, and I seriously debated on keeping it, even just to use it with my SB3. I'm still trying to get a CDP with a digital-in, b/c 840C was just too convenient like that... I don't think I can get a traditional CDP anymore, which is one of the reasons why I won't buy the Primare or Consonance players...

But seriously, I don't get why some people have to be so dogmatic about their approach to audio, that they just have to assume the worst about some people's preference or approach - oh he must be a dunce following rumors, etc., it just CAN'T be good. Seems pretty condescending to me. Doesn't seem too objective either. As a matter of fact, it's the exact opposite of objectivity if you think about it. Because that kind of judgment operates out of assumptions and pre-conceived opinions. I'm not saying I'm the de facto objectivist here (I don't even want to be that kind of an objectivist anyways), but at least I tried both approaches with an open mind. I liked 840C a lot, but I just liked PS1 better. That's that.
post #43 of 56
Wow, some great thoughts here. Hats off to all of you - especially selfdivider, you seem quite the gentleman - for keeping it pretty calm, given the way this has gone.

I ended up grabbing fierce_freak's balanced Opus DAC off the FS forums. I think it will serve me very well, at 1/3 the list of the 840C. I already have a couple machines that are good transports.
post #44 of 56
I have been toying with the idea of getting 840C mostly for DACcing my computer. It has balanced outputs and it's warm. Like everything I like in my dac. And a good grade CD player is not harmful either. Would you buy this CDP for very occasional CD rolling and mostly for DAC? It certainly is cheap-ish.
post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by progo View Post
I have been toying with the idea of getting 840C mostly for DACcing my computer. It has balanced outputs and it's warm. Like everything I like in my dac. And a good grade CD player is not harmful either. Would you buy this CDP for very occasional CD rolling and mostly for DAC? It certainly is cheap-ish.
Hi,

I don't think I've ever heard it described as "warm." It is certainly accurate/detailed. Some of us have heard some glare (we are in the minority), others have not.

It certainly is amazing in flexibility and functionality, and the sound IS great. But again, I wouldn't call it warm. All that said, it could be a great addition to the type of system you have, where CD and DAC functionality are both used. By NOT getting it, that is one thing I'll miss.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Cambridge Audio 840C...some thoughts and comparisons