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Cambridge Audio Azur 840C (CD transport and DAC) comparable to which high-end DAC?

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by shawn_low, Aug 19, 2010.
  1. shawn_low
    Hoping to get some opinions.
    I'm after a midrange to high-end DAC in the vein of the Lavry DA10/11, Audio GD Ref 5, Grace M902 etc etc.
    Anyone have any experience with the Cambridge Audio Azur 840C CDP as a DAC? Cab the DAC compete with these other DACs mentioned?
    Anyone done head-to-heads?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. shawn_low
    Surely someone has compared this CDP to a DAC?
  3. kchew
    I've not compared my 840C against the DACs you mentioned, but it's definitely better than my old Stello DA100. As a DAC, the 840C is very clean with great detail and wide soundstaging. It should be quite similar to the Lavry DA10 from what I've read about the Lavry.
  4. shawn_low
    Thanks. Does it sound really clinical or 'digital' like the Dacmagic?
    Anyone else have any experience with the 840C as a DAC against other DACs?
  5. kchew
    The 840C has a very slight bump in the treble, so it might be a little more clinical as compared to other warmer DACs. It's not sharp enough to give me any problems with the HD800 though.But if you're looking for something warm, lush and inviting, it may not be the best choice.
    That being said, I just sent off my 840C for modding by a local enthusiast. He claimed that the mods will make it more analogue sounding as he's putting in an upgraded transformer, two EA Ultima clocks for the transport and DAC, upgraded capacitors/diodes/opamps and Furutech rhodium AC inlet and fuse. If you're interested I can do a brief review when I get it back.
  6. shawn_low


    Yes please. I'm finding the Dacmagic quite clinical, dry. Almost too 'digital'. While an overly warm sound isn't great either, the Dacmagic is too much on the other end.
    I'll PM you as I'm curious about the mod!
  7. ninjapixie
    I run the 840c digital out through the Havana. Beats the digital out of the Mac mini, though that could be due to the background noise from the mini's hard drives.
    As a DAC and Cd player, the 840c is slightly more detailed than the Havana (stock tube), has a larger/wider soundstage, better instrument separation and a more articulate bass.
    Having said that, I actually prefer the sound of the Havana. Just more enjoyable to listen to.
  8. Happy Camper
    Looks like you like the tube presentation. Have you tried a tube amp with the 840 out? I want as clean a signal as possible so I can color it with my tube amp. I'm wondering if the 840 is so digital sounding that it can't be colored enough to make it sound "analog".
  9. ztsen

    When I read your mod and sound so familiar, if not mistaken is Effectiveaudiomod doing the mod for you.  :)

  10. ztsen

    apart from what kchew mentioned, 840C DAC also have a very smooth top and fast. My suggestion is avoid using silver cable on it.


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