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Cambridge 840a v2 or 851a

silky22

Established Member
Hi which one should I go for. Got the chance of a 840v2 for £400 or get the brand new 851a for 1199.95 anyone got any suggestions.
 

shogun

Established Member
I own a CA840A and it is an excellent amp for the sub £1000 price bracket.

Some people say it is a little bright sounding , but my opinion it is a very revealing and powerful amp with good sound separation of the music when matched to the right speakers.

Got my CA840 connected to Audiovector MI3 speakers and the combination sounds sweet.

I would say that £400 is about the going rate second hand for a good condition CA840A.

Not heard the new 851replacement, but I would guess it would be slightly more refined with additional features compared to the older 840A.

What speakers are you thinking of using and can you get a demo of both amps?
 

silky22

Established Member
Thanks for ur opinion I currently have wharfdale 10.4's I could demo the 851a but not the 840v2 has am buying from gumtree so can't demo it?!
 

shogun

Established Member
silky22 said:
Thanks for ur opinion I currently have wharfdale 10.4's I could demo the 851a but not the 840v2 has am buying from gumtree so can't demo it?!

I think the wharfdale speakers have a neutral / warm sounding signature to them, which would be a good match to the CA840.

Unless your going to upgrade your speakers in the near future, i don't think you will notice much benefit spending a £1000 plus on an amp.

Would it be possible for the guy selling the 840 amp on Gumtree to maybe bring the amp to your house (if you are both local) for a quick listen with your wharfdale speakers?
 

shogun

Established Member
silky22 said:
He not local tbh or I wud, am upgrading from a 740a, happy with that sound but hear the 840a his even better?

The 740a is a decent lower mid range amp and I don't think you will see a massive sound performance changing to a 840a using your current wharfedale speakers unless your are thinking of upgrading these speakers in the future too.

You will have more grunt on tap from the 840a for sure and may hear a slightly improved sound quality over the 740a.

It's a shame you could not hear the 840a connected to your wharfedale speakers before deciding if this was a worth while upgrade purchase over your 740a.

What is your front end source you are using with your amp , ie CD player, streaming device ?
 
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shogun

Established Member
silky22 said:
got a dac magic, laptop to dac magic to amplifer his the source for all music

Not sure if you will hear a major improvement over your 740a, unless you are playing high resolution music files from your computer.

I think spending £1200 on the CA851a would be an overkill based on your setup and if i was in your position i would take this amp option out of the equation.

You just need to weigh up if spending £400 on the CA840A would be justifiable.
 
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smokescreen

Established Member
Concur with above - the dacmagic will very quickly become a limiting factor here. I suspect the speakers will too. My money would go on upgrading speakers and source, with the amp later.
 

shogun

Established Member
Sounds like to me that you have got your heart set on buying the CA851A amp.

If this is the case, see if RS can either offer you a free home return demo or they can give you a in store demo connected to the most expensive speakers they have on display in the shop, to give you an idea how good the amp preforms.

Can't comment on the KEF speakers, because I don't no anything about them.

if you are seriously looking at the CA851 amp, then personally I think you need to be looking at £1500 plus for brand new speakers to do the amp justice.

Or you could save some money on the speakers and go down the second hand route somewhere between £500 to £1500.
 

silky22

Established Member
Thanks shogun, happy with my 740a at mo think it better to save a budget of bout 3k first, been offered a 740c was wondering if that worth pursing has a stop gap?
 

shogun

Established Member
silky22 said:
Thanks shogun, happy with my 740a at mo think it better to save a budget of bout 3k first, been offered a 740c was wondering if that worth pursing has a stop gap?

Personally I would keep your Dacmagic, they both use the same Wolfson dacs and should sound similar.

If you are looking for a CD player, then you can connect any old CD/DVD player with a digital output has a transport into your Dacmagic box.
 

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