Cambridge Audio Azur 540D


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Feb 24, 2004
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This is my first post so be gentle with me!

I am on the lookout for a decent quality DVD video + audio player with a certain amount of future-proofing built in. I've had my eye on the Pioneer 565A for a while and watched its price drop a fair amount. The only thing stopping me taking the plunge is the lack of PAL Prog Scan (don't need it ... yet!).

Looking on RS web page and noticed the Cambridge Audio Azur 540D for £250 ( It has DVD-A and PAL Prog Scan. (I also quite like the look of it - nice blue display!)

Anybody have any experience of this? I've read mixed reviews of previous CA products (DVD57/59).

Another option - of course - is the Limit DVDA900SE but I've missed the discount on that one. :rolleyes:

You aren't going to find much feedback from the 540D as it went on sale last Tuesday. I have a pre-production sample in the bedroom (Cambridge Audio is a sister company) and I have to say that the interlaced Scart picture is very good and the build quality and control interface is radically better than the old 50 Series stuff. I understand that it has a much more stable progressive output than its forbears as well but I have not checked this out personally.
I think Richer's would exchange it if it didn't live up to your expectations, so it might be worth a try.

On the other hand...

I have a CA DVD55, and to be honest it's pants. Not quite junk, but getting there. There's just so much about it that stinks of cheapness. The remote's awful, the build quality is poor, the menus are confusing and laggy, but the worst part is the progressive scan capability. It's completely un-usable. It produces a soft, blurred image with ghosting and tons of de-interlacing artefacts (stutter, feathering, scan-lines). Whenever the source fades to a white or high-brighness image (explosions, some of the white scene transitions in Donnie Darko, for example), it completely craps out and sends a nice white image to my projector for about 5 seconds before it sorts itself out.

After my bad experience with CA I'll be avoiding their stuff for the forseeable future. But like I said, if you get it from Richer's they should let you return it. And I'd be interested to hear if they've improved things :)
The Azur 540D gets a top rated 5 star review in issue 31 of Essential Home Cinema (out now). It's CD stablemate the 640C has also had top reviews.

Looks like a good piece of kit.
I have bought one of these players and have been reasonably impressed.

However, I bought it specifically for the PAL prog-scan....and my model doesn't have it!!, it switches back to NTSC and down converts.

Today though I contacted Cambridge Audio (via Richer Sounds) to ask about this and was told that certain units that should have been shipped to Canada with PAL prog-scan disabled have been put into circulation in the UK. A firmware upgrade disk can sort this problem out and Richer Sounds stores will be receiving these shortly. The guy was very helpful though and guessed straight away what I was about to ask...

So, If you do buy one of these be sure to check that the unit is definately doing PAL rather than converting to NTSC (to check : turn on Prog Scan with the 'P-Scan' button on the remote whilst the disc is playing, then press the 'PAL/NTSC' button, the TV or whatever should display 'PAL (P-Scan)' if it is working correctly...

Hope this helps in some way....
ianfretwell you have a PM :)
Got this player on Friday after taking back a Pioneer 565 due to the NTSC scrolling lines problem.

Build quality of the 540D is great. Quite a heavy unit with thick metal fascia, and the metal faced remote is very appealing.

Picture wise the scart output starts off in composite, which was totally crap - the menu was well fuzzy with awful colours. Thankfully interlaced RGB looked much better. I can't decide if colours are still a bit muted however, yellow especially, but I haven't got anything to directly compare with (just what I remember of the Pioneer). It has picture adjustment for contrast, brightness, hue and saturation. Haven't tried progressive scan.

CD replay is MUCH better than the Pioneer. Wouldn't exactly say it's as good as my Cyrus CD player but very listenable.

Not tried DVDA yet but looking for a decent disc to buy :confused:
Originally posted by andyh41
I can't decide if colours are still a bit muted however, yellow especially, but I haven't got anything to directly compare with (just what I remember of the Pioneer).

As stated I have a PP one of these and a DV656. The palate is very neutral compared to the Pioneer. This gives some interesting if erratic results- Band Of Brothers looks fantastic and utterly real whilst more vibrant efforts (Amelie is the last one I thought about) look less exciting- I am afraid I don't know if this is accuracy or a dull setting. There is a colour adjustment in the picture menu though. I will 'fess up at this point that I wrote the manual as well as the Cambridge chap had the rest of the Azur range to deal with. *stands back awaits barrage :rolleyes: *
I took the plunge and bought both the Azur DVD and the Azur processor.

I have keep reminding myself the whole lot cost under £500 for the two. The picture through an ancient Sony Vega (RGB interlaced, region free out of the box!) is excellent.

The menu is fine, no real complaints, but check out the excellently daft 'spectrum analyser'!

There are lots of adjustments for the audio if you want to use the internal processors and say hello to MLP! (Meridian Lossless Packaging).

The processor includes five separate PLII modes, DTS-ES, DTS Neo, DD EX with 80W x 6 amplification.

Build is excellent, the remote is certainly different, nice aluminium affair with easy to reach buttons.

The only down side is the two remotes look almost identical but dont share any functions.

But at this price level, any flaws are immidiately forgiven. It is used as a second system in a fairly small room and with its matt finish makes an ideal alternative to anything from Japan.

I would thoroughly recommend as a starter system, it has wife friendly looks and is releively easy to use and set-up.

Originally posted by roversd1
The menu is fine, no real complaints, but check out the excellently daft 'spectrum analyser'!

I too have pondered this charmingly irrelevant addtion to the 540D's equipment spec. Glad you like it on the whole though :smashin:

Good to see you back as well- you've been absent awhile :).
I've been away having my bits furtled.

Any reason why the 540R gets hotter than a hot thing thats a bit hot?
I had a CA dvd57 which to be honest wasn't great - the picture quality was inconsistent and the build quality wasn't upt to much. I've just swoped it for a azur 540D and I'm very impressed! The build quality is much better (the remote is particulalry nice) and it looks a much classier bit of kit. The picture quality is a marked improvment, although for me the biggest difference is the sound quality (using the electrical digital output to my yamaha 640), which is much better than the dvd57.
I have just bought a 540D from RS.

It is excellent appart from the following:

RS said it will play VCD, mine wont.

Also, does anyone know how to get the player to resume disc play when you have turned the power off, it just resets.

If you cant resume, why would CA have left this feature off?

The up side is that i think the picture is excellent, sound and build quality.

Any help with the above would be great

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