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Cambridge Audio and Monitor Audio upgrade

Norbs

Standard Member
Hello all
the time has finally come to upgrade my current system:
Cambridge Audio 640A + 640C + 340T with
Monitor Audio RS1's

The above will go into a smaller bedroom, and I have my sights set on:
Cambridge Audio 840A + 840C + 640T with
Monitor Audio GS20's or 60's or even the PL100's (although with stand they stretch the budget)

As you can see I really enjoy the CA and MA combination (or just the acronym combination:)).The current system has great crisp detail, is crystal clear and has good dynamics, but lacks oomph in the larger room. I hope the new system to bring considerable energy and weight to the music.

I would like to know if there is anyone out there with a similar setup to what I'm looking to buy and their opinions on the results and sound they get from their system. Also is the 840 CD player that much better than the 640? And will the PL100's be that much better then the GS 20's or 60's and will the 840 amp be good enough for the PL100's. I've heard the PL100's with a Chinese amp (200wpc) and they sounded delicious, just brilliant.

Thanks heaps!
 

Cable Monkey

Novice Member
Try and get a listen to your options first. The 840A is a very different beast to its smaller siblings and I don't know if the 640 signature carries on up to the 840A. I suspect not and my 840A required some care matching with suitable speakers.
 

Norbs

Standard Member
Damn your really burst my bubble :)
I guess I assumed that if a speakers/amp/cd package works well at a lower level than it should also work at a higher level - only better!

The problem is I, I live in Perth now where I could audition this no probs, but very soon I am moving to Poland (where my purchase will be) where I am not aware if I will be able to audition this, but I saw online retailers giving great prices for the 840C+840A combo.

I guess I will have to source some shops out where I can do some listening.

Anyone has the 840A + 840C? What speakers are you using? What are the results?

Thanks heaps!:)
 

Jay1002

Standard Member
I'm interested in your post because I'm thinking of buying the 840A+C and am
about to head off to Richer Sounds to audition them......can you give me the
links to the online retailer mentioned who is offering the great price on this combo?

Thanks!
Jay
 

russraff

Well-known Member
I can offer some insight into this.

Firstly, the gold GS10 speakers you are planning to upgrade to are not nearly as forward as the silver range and present a lot more bass. As a result, the Gold range tends to sound comparatively subdued - they aren't; just more neutral than the silvers, but they present another system building issue. Anyway...

I had the 640 amp and CD player (later versions) and upgraded to the 740 range. The 740 was not as forward as the 640 and there was a slight laid back quality. Not as "bad" as Arcam, but it was there. At the time I had KEF Q7 speakers that, in themselves, aren't particularly detailed or up front in their presentation. In short I was not impressed.

However, I suspected the speakers to be the weaker link (I bought the three as a £1k system, the speakers billed as "free") so sold them and got some Epos m15.2's. This made a difference in the bass region (less bloat than the KEF's), but there was still a significant lack of sparkle. The actual soundstage was larger and somehow more accurate but the 740 range just didn't engage. What was really annoying me was that I got the 740 system system blind, this being only the second time I have bought hifi in such a way, thinking that having the previous model down would make the upgrade a no brainer. I was wrong.

I wound up selling the lot, luckily with the free KEF speakers I got my money back, but aiming for the 840 range, as you are, is a fair bit more of an investment. I actually got an amp and CD player on Friday gone and, having learnt my lesson, had some some pretty long demonstrations at my trusted dealer (I was there three hours). I listened to Cyrus, Musical fidelity and Naim kit all listened via some MA GS20's. The MF was a way too soft, the Cyrus 6 cd/amp was a something of a letdown but the 8CD/amp was a lot better. However, the Naim stuff was just the sort of thing I was looking for and quite a lot better than the others I listened to; pacey, fast, detailed... So I bought the Naim Nait5i and CD5i. A lesson learnt, methinks - especially considering the £1600 budget.

There is nothing more disappointing than getting something and not being satisfied by either: Not knowing if brand A would have been better, or because the sound is now so different it no longer makes your music enjoyable. With the sort of money in question, as Cable Monkey said, you owe it to yourself to demo more than just CA 840, just in case...

Russell
 

Norbs

Standard Member
Jay,
although the 840A+C is a good deal in Poland it is still more expensive than the Richer Sounds package:rolleyes:. I checked Richer Sounds and the Polish website, and after the currency conversion the package costs around 1,586 pounds. But for me in Poland, it is a great deal. I often look at different websites from around Europe and compare with the Polish prices and find they are always more expensive(Polish). I often contemplate importing from another country, but after importing costs it starts to equal out, and I might have to deal with customs, so then it gets frustrating.
Anyway, about a month ago, the package cost another 500 pounds on top of the current price. That's why I'm so hot on this package right now, and would like to see it work with some speakers.
Cables are probably worth getting from the UK for me, since they're light and freight costs will be minimal.
Here is the link anyway:
http://www.kino-domowe.pl/go/_info/?user_id=1568&lang=pl
So, when you go to Richer Sounds, give us some feedback on what speakers you listened to with the CA combo, and what were your impressions:thumbsup:.

Russell,
thanks so much for the fantastic and very informative post. I appreciate your reasoning. It makes obvious sense. It is (for me) a lot of cash, so I will do my best to source out some stores which will allow me to audition my preffered items and also others.
It's just that I'm unfamiliar with the hi-fi stores in Poland which will allow me to do that. But again, that's just someting I'll have to get into once there.
I will still want to pair something to the MA gear, since it really suits my budget and at this price it is at least 2/3 of any basic Naim/MF/Primare Amp/CD price.

I'll post my final purchase when it all happens in about 2 months:clap:.

Thanks Again.
Norbs
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
The current system has great crisp detail, is crystal clear and has good dynamics, but lacks oomph in the larger room. I hope the new system to bring considerable energy and weight to the music.

If you're after some energy and weight to the music, have you considered adding a sub to your current or future stereo setup? It's near impossible to go back to plain stereo once you hear/feel the benefits of a 'real' sub.
 

Norbs

Standard Member
In Poland (I move back and forth a lot recently), I also have a JBL Northridge E90 (with E30, EC35 and E150 sub) with an Onkyo receiver. Pretty good for movies but, but damn crappy for music - zero midrange, bloated bass and none of that crisp fine detail, as from my RS1 with the CA setup. I enjoy the 'large' (I often crank it up considerably:D) sound of the JBL, but would like it to be quality sound, thus my pursuit for a new quality 2-ch system. I will also be getting rid of the JBL system as soon as I return to Europe. The current CA and MA system will be shipped to Europe and take place in the (small) bedroom so a sub won't be needed. At this time I have a bit of money to play with, my wife is not yet needy and lax with my spending, so I want to take the opportunity and get something decent before work/bills/kids and whatever else takes over.

I guess it was silly for me to think that I would get a response I wanted:"Hey Norbs, yes the CA840 and MA GS combo is awesome! Get it!. (and please don't write that:))

Russell is right in his response, I need some proper time auditioning. It's the only way to do it right. Damn.

Have Fun!
Norbs
 

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