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be honest Cambridge Audio Azur 540R

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by systemsdead, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. systemsdead

    systemsdead
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    nearly gone for one of these at the minute,but a few things niggling at me 1st the price 250 notes is it worth that,secondly is it a quite old machine seems to have been out quite awhile now,is there anything for that price that will perform better which is new on the market,and would you go for the amp again at that price,i was looking at the pioner vsx 915 seems to have loads going for it and is available 30 quid cheaper,thing that puts me off with other amps is the size,the azur would be only thing that would fit under tv without any moderations.also could anyone recomend some 5.1 speakers to go with this dont really want to spend more that 200 on them.
     
  2. snow-munki

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    don't know a great deal about this... but i believe the new cambridge audio kit wil be out sept ish time. 640 i believe.

    Also I'm planning on getting tjhe Canton CD-1 for my home cinema at around £240. Originally over my budget of £150 but thought it is worth spending the extra.

    hope that helps...
     
  3. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    honestly? its FANTASTIC i keep wanting to upgrade my system and first thing i look at is the CA azur but i always end up upgrading something else, due to advice on this forum, advice from other people etc.

    i nearly spent £400 on a new av amp and i quote:

    it is a great deal at £250, dont be put off by richer sounds not listing it as discounted, its because they are the only authorised re-sellers for CA gear, so whatever they sell it out is the TSP or RRP etc.

    In europe i think it sells for close on £400.

    get it!
     
  4. systemsdead

    systemsdead
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  5. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    i would think so, around £350 would be my guess. i dont think its a replacement of the 540 rather the next one up.
     
  6. Sniper

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    As was said the new models will be released soon including a "540r rev 2" which should sell at the same (or very close) price point. Hell of an amp IMO - but i don't know what it's like to live with cos' i've only heard it in a demo, surely sounds more expensive (was running MA Bronze).

    As for speakers for £200 - do you mean a 5.0/5.1 setup or just the fronts? If you do mean for the whole 5.0/5.1 then TBH you should be looking for a cheaper amp & spend more on the speakers cos' £200 will get you nowhere close to what the 540r should be driving. A WAYYY better solution is to get the 540r & a pair of floor standers - then get the rest when you can afford it!
     
  7. DavidPeat

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    I was 'forced' to upgrade to one when my wife decided she wanted new furniture and we couldn't agree on a TV cabinet with spaces big enough for a conventional receiver. The only other ones slim enough were a new digital model from Panasonic (I think - which didn't get glowing reviews especially for grunt) and much lower powered all-in-one type setups.

    I am quite impressed. It's powerful enough (my original concern since it is a digitial amp and quite slim). I had a Pioneer VSX-709 which I bought for more (a good few years ago though) and I think it is a definite improvement for both movies and music. The effects channel steering seems a lot more precise and the center channel is clear and easy to hear (I was always turning it up on the Pioneer). The bass handling to my floorstanders is particularly impressive considering its diminutive size.

    Down sides? The volume defaults to -50dB when you turn it on instead of what you were last listening to, but with me that's actually a bit of a blessing in disguise :)
    It might be a bit quieter that the old Pioneer, dB for dB, but that's no real concern since I never get up past -20dB anyway.
    The manual is a bit on the sparse side and between that and the limited user interface and remote (well - compared with the remotes that comes with some of them) it can feel as though it's a bit limited in terms of features, but then how many do you actually use?
    Oh - and it can get quite hot - I would be a bit concerned about having any other kit on top of it.
     
  8. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    im not sure it is a digital amp, i thought that but was told otherwise by more experienced people. as you say it gets very hot and digital amps are meant to be very efficient.
     
  9. DavidPeat

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    chedmaster - I've just had a quick look on the web site and through the manual and I think you are right! I wonder where I picked up the idea that it was a digital amp? Maybe because all the other reasonably high powered slim ones are?

    I might be even more impressed then, for its size it can certainly drive my speakers :D
     
  10. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    It isn't a digital amp hence the toasty operating temperature.

    No prices on 640R just yet but expect them to be competitive.
     
  11. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    it does pack a mighty punch and has a classy transformer (toroidial) usually seen in higher priced amps.

    also its 100W x 2, and even 100W x 5. The output only drops to 80W when all 6 channels are driven IIRC.
     
  12. DavidPeat

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    Aha - I knew I had read it somewhere and hadn't dreamt it! Look at the Factfile section at the end of the review in WV&WTV

    540R review

    - "6 x 80W all digitial amplification"

    That's where I got it from. Still - explains why it sounds so good I suppose :)
     
  13. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    prob where i read it as well :)
    i think tons of fun would know though, im gonna go with analogue still :D
     
  14. systemsdead

    systemsdead
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    ok should i wait a month for the updated 540 or just go for it now,as regards speakers floorstanders look real ugly to me ,and not that much space as tv is set in corner with limited room its a tosh 36zp48,how abuot the canton cd1 system would that give enough punch with the azur,if so i could get them now and order azur in over a month.will they work straight away with tosh sorry bout this crap with this connection stuff at min but getting there.
     
  15. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    The review 'tis wrong. They are Class AB amps in there.
     
  16. snow-munki

    snow-munki
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    hm what's the differences from digital and umm not-digital ( analog ? ) amps then ?

    as this is analog, is that a good or bad thing ?

    As going to get this in a couple of weeks, just waiting for my next pay check :D :)
     
  17. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    digital amps are quite new and are yet to be proven really. analogue amps have been around for ages.

    basically the signal is amplified in the digital domain and then converted to analogue before being sent to the speakers. it doesnt guarantee a straight digital path though as some amps convert digital>analogue>digital>amp>analogue>speakers. id say at the moment its a good thing, but digital amps could take over in the future (sony use them in top end amps "s-master", but sony like buzz words and acronyms!)

    Put it this way, as far as i know Linn, Rotel, Naim, Arcam etc aren't using digital amps yet. when they do, you know its good enough! Its certainly a good prospect for the smaller amps (eg pioneer vsx-c502 etc)
     
  18. snow-munki

    snow-munki
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    thanks, and lol, haven't heard of any of those names you mentioned :p

    oh one quick question before I put this on my wish list...

    I'm assuming plugging this into my PC media centre, that it doesn't matter what soundcard my PC has as it will be using the digital coax cable so digital is digital no quality there, all the work is being done by the amp...

    is that correct ?? Or do i need to invest in say a £150+ soundcard for my PC aswell ??
     
  19. Sniper

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    Heheh - i'm correcting myself now (note to self: go see doctor!!)

    You could actually get the "Wharfedale Diamond 8 Screen 3 AV Speaker Package" for £230, but you'de have to live with the floorstanders, and add a sub later in life:

    http://www.hifibitz.co.uk/product.asp?id=1038&lastid=30

    If you really cannot stand the fronts you could build up a system (for the same money) with 4 Diamond 8.2s and a Diamond 8 center - BUT this system will need a sub earlier than it freestanding cousin!

    As for the Canton CD1 - i've not heard it so can't say but (correct me if i'm wrong) it does exceed the £200 budget you mentioned !!!
     
  20. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    spdif out will be pretty much identical if not identical on all cards :thumbsup:
     
  21. alphabet

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    Just my pennies worth!

    If I had to buy an AV Receiver in the same price range(or even 50% more), I would still buy the CA!

    I have had two Yamaha receivers before the CA, the RX-V450 and RX-V650, and exspecially in musical terms they cannot touch the CA. I also feel that the CA is in fact more powerful than the Yammies, but that is my opinion.

    As far as heat is concerned, I did a test yesterday to determine how hot(warm!) the unit really gets when worked hard. I listened to some DVD music at relatively high volume(-20dB you can't have a normal conversation at that level) for about two hours and then measured the temperature at the warmest area on the receiver. The temperature was 33 degrees celsius(92 degrees F). At that stage the room temperature was 19 degrees Celsius(66 degrees F). Now is that hot considering the small form factor and power that this receiver delivers? I don't really think so.
     
  22. eviljohn2

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    Digital Amplifiers described here:
    http://www.multimediamanufacturer.com/articles/BelnapMM905.pdf

    Many of the very high-end manufacturers have been using digital amplification in some of their range for years. They have many benefits over traditional solid-state technology when done right but are harder to design correctly over the full frequency range. They can certainly have more power on tap in far less space and far more efficiently, I'll try and edit this post with more info later. :)
     
  23. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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  24. brookesboy

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    Sorry to gatecrash this thread but becoming an owner of an Azur 540R quite recently I wonder if someone could shed some light on getting the correct balance across my 5.1 set up. I'm new to home cinema and am a little unsure what I should be looking for in terms of power from each speaker and whether I have hooked everything to make the best of my system as I do seem to be getting a lot of power from the centre but less so from the front and rears. I've played around with the speaker set up but it has made minimal difference so far and I wonder whether I'm missing a trick or whether the set I have is 'correct' for 5.1.

    My system is:
    Cambridge Audio 540R
    Sony DVPNS305 DVD
    Eltax Monitor III Fronts
    Eltax Monitor Centre
    Gale 3060 Bipolar Rears.

    Some advice on this would be much appreciated - apologies again for gatecrashing!

    Thanks

    David


    Cambridge Audio
     
  25. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    my system was very similar when i first started, what levels have you got the speakers at? ideally you should get an SPL meter to get the right levels, but with a budget system the money can often be better spent. I used to use a monitor centre years ago and it didn't need any extra or less power, and i had liberty 5+ fronts which were also fine with no gain. i turn the gale rears down by 2db, this could make a huge difference on your setup, but may be minimal.
     
  26. brookesboy

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    Thanks Chedmaster - I think I'm gonna have to spend some more time playing around with the levels and see how I get on. Cheers!
     
  27. brookesboy

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    Right got home last night and a fiddle with the speaker set up, levels etc - but to be honest it made no difference to the balance other than when I switched off a speaker entirely which then caused the left and right fronts to be more prominent.
    I'm not sure whether I'm being completely dense and missing something very simple / not understanding instructions etc. To be honest this being my first AV experience I'm not sure what sort of balance of output per speaker I should be looking for - should all of the speakers generally bet set to the same level??

    A couple of forum members have suggested getting a sound level tester but I want to be totally sure that I'm not missing something really obvious before splashing out.

    Advice appreciated - sorry to take this thread on a tangent.

    Loving the Azur 540r for music in stereo though - it is immense.

    Cheers
    David
     
  28. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    well when you turn the centre channel off, all the centre channel information will be sent to the left and rights so that would make them sound more prominent. The left and right speakers don't do as much as you might expect, until big action scenes. The centre channel does about 65% of the soundtrack I think, but try an action scene of anything (start of saving private ryan for example) and see if you like it then. I think the weak point is your centre, i used to use it back in the days when i was disappointed with surround sound, but when i upgraded my centre they became more enjoyable.

    My levels are (and were with my eltax):

    L: 0db
    R: 0db
    C:+2db
    LS:-2db
    RS:-2db
    (BS:-3db)
     
  29. brookesboy

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    Thanks - I'll persevere and see how I get on. I'm interested to learn that the centre channel does so much of the soundtrack - perhaps because I'm used to just using the left and right in stereo, I was expecting the left and right to be more prominent in surround.

    To be honest I was a bit of a cheapskate on the centre front, picked it up for a tenner on ebay and will be looking to upgrade by three fronts at some point anyhow.

    Thanks for your help once more.

    David
     
  30. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    three years ago your last post could of been me talking :D
     

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