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Question Does this look like a good combination deal ?

YankTank

Well-known Member
I would be grateful of opinion please....

Cambridge CXA60, CXN & Q Acoustics 3050 | Hi-Fi Separates System | Richer Sounds

I enjoyed hifi separates a few years back but long since now gone - I now have a converted garage space and looking for a decent set up again - staring from scratch (apart from some BT3's which I will margate into lounge).

I began looking at Cambridge cxn and saw this combo - looks ok to me - I'm more interested in detail and clarity over volume. I will hook up to 50" inch tv and feed Spotify/tidal.

opinions please ! Anything else better for £1500 budget?

Thanks
 

pixelpidgeon

Distinguished Member
I would think that at least some thought had gone into Richard sounds pairing of the Cambridge gear with the speakers. I have had bookshelf q acoustic concepts and are great speakers particularly when ran in. The only thing I'd suggest is seeing if you could get a better deal on price but doubt by much if any due to the discount already applied. Going by my previous experience with the acoustic speakers, they didn't lack in detail.
 

pixelpidgeon

Distinguished Member
As for other deals/combinations you could try looking here Creative Audio

Also, if you sign up to there newsletter you can get mailed even better deals than currently on there website.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Canterbury hifi often have ex demo and deals.

Clearance

Currently they have rotel t14 tuner/streamer plus rb1552 MkII stereo power amp and B&w cm1's that would be just in budget and a comparable system by the looks of it. No idea what it would sound like but must be worth an audition. MRP is around £2200 but on sale for £1500 but you may need cables and possibly stands on top of that.
 

YankTank

Well-known Member
This is all very helpful - thank you all

I guess I'm just really womdering about the CXN cost - it's seems quite a bit compared to other streamers, but you cant argue with the reviews ?!
 

dollag

Well-known Member
The streamer's price is eating into a big part of that bundles total and for just streaming spotify/tidal, I feel your money is better spent elsewhere.

Peter Tyson has some nice ex demo bits available.

Onkyo Amplifier/Streamer (can be had brand new from RS £550

Onkyo from Richer sounds (an older model but have heard great things)

MA Silver 6

Total of £1300

I think the 3050 are great but if detail and separation is what your looking for than the MA Silver 6 for me would be a better choice as the 3050's are comparable to MA's lower bronze range.

Haven't listened to the Onkyo personally but heard great things and is an all in one box solution.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Sevenoaks Sound and Vision got some Good Clarence deals;

Marantz NA6005 £250 (half price)

Monitor Audio Gold 50

Marantz NA8005 Is the model up from the 6005.

Tbh the more i look, the more I feel you can do a lot better for your money.

For detail and separation, I've struggled to find anything that sounds as good as KEF LS50's (to my ears) at their price range. I'd go and listen to a few demos.

You could always buy a streamer and pair it with a set of actives. JBl's LSR's are getting very positive reviews and as they are already powered, you can pick up a pair with the CA streamer for £1000. just another option.
 
Last edited:

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I would be grateful of opinion please....

Cambridge CXA60, CXN & Q Acoustics 3050 | Hi-Fi Separates System | Richer Sounds

...

I began looking at Cambridge cxn and saw this combo - looks ok to me - I'm more interested in detail and clarity over volume. I will hook up to 50" inch tv and feed Spotify/tidal.

opinions please ! Anything else better for £1500 budget?

Thanks

Let's break the system down so we have some perspective on the components -

£350 - Cambridge CXC CD Transport
£580 - Cambridge CXA60, 60w/ch Integrated Amp with DAC
£419 - Q Acoustic 3050 Floorstanding speakers (2x6.5") (PAIR)
------------------------------
£1350 = Total = Alt = £1480


The package cost for these THREE Components is £1499. I'm not sure what the extra $150 if for, perhaps assorted cables.

Though the Q Acoustic 3050 seem to be more money in the less common Colors - £550 vs £420/pr. In the more expensive finishes, that add about £130 for a new total of £1480

Richer Sounds - Search - Q Acoustic 3050

I've had the 3050 in my home while I auditioned them. Very good perceived bass, though the rated bass is modest. Though the modest rated bass would make it possible to integrate a Subwoofer into a Stereo system, so it is not all bad. Very smooth, detailed, clear, and well balanced; very impressive.

So, no problem there, though, right now SuperFi has the considerable Wharfedale Diamonds 240 Floorstanding speakers for under $500/pair, which is a deal considering the going price on these speakers is closer to £700/pr. I suspect you will soon see a lot of the Diamond speakers on sale, as Wharfedale is about to release the Diamond 11 Series.

Wharfedale Diamond 240 Floor Standing Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Also the KEF Q700 are on close-out now that the new 750 models have been released. Also £999/pr speakers discounted under £500/pr.

KEF Q700 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Those are the two absolute best values in speakers right now.

While I can't fault the Cambridge Amp and CD Transport, you can get more for your money -

Yamaha AS701 Integrated, 100w/ch, DAC (1xOptical, 1xCoaxial), Phono-In, Sub-Out - £399 -

YAMAHA AS701Black Stereo Amplifier

Yamaha CDS700 CD Player - £349 -


YAMAHA AS701Black Stereo Amplifier

So, that system breaks down like this -

£350 = Yamaha CDS700 CD Player
£400 = Yamaha AS701 Integrated with DAC
£500 = Diamond 240 or Kef Q700 (PAIR)
---------------------------
£1250 = Total


I would say the Cambridge are probably better but they are also considerably less power, and the Yamaha CD is not a transport, but a full CD Player.

If we go with the Cambidge Amp/CD but add different speakers, we have this -

£350 - Cambridge CXC CD Transport
£580 - Cambridge CXA60, 60w/ch Integrated Amp with DAC
£500 = Diamond 240 or Kef Q700 (PAIR)
------------------------------
£1430 = Total

So. overall, these are some pretty nice systems, anyone one of which would be very pleasing to the eye and the ear.

Steve/bluewizard

 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
SORRY!!!

I just realized that that package come with the Cambridge CXN Network Player, in that case, we have a whole new ball game -

£800 = Cambridge CXN Network Player
£580 = Cambridge CXA60 Integrated Amp (60w/ch, DAC)
£420 to £550 = Q Acoustic 3050, Diamond 240, Kef Q700 (your choice)
---------------------------------
£1800 to £1930 = TOTAL


NOW the package price tag of £1499 seems like a much better deal. That's about a savings of £380. SWEET!

The Q Acoustic 3050, as I said, don't go very deep considering what they are, but they sound VERY good - good perceived bass, very detailed, smooth fatigue free, very clear. For the amount of money you save by choosing the 3050, you would have enough to add a good Subwoofer and still break even relative to the suggested prices on the equipment. Though I really don't think you will need a Subwoofer, at least not to start with.


I was very impressed with the speakers.

Steve/bluewizard
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
This is all very helpful - thank you all

I guess I'm just really womdering about the CXN cost - it's seems quite a bit compared to other streamers, but you cant argue with the reviews ?!

The Cambridge CXN is not a Streaming Device, it is a Network Player. Network Players, for some reason tend to be more expensive. The CXN is more than a Streaming Device like the Bluesound Node, but typically less cost than a Network Player. Though for most, Streaming Device vs Network Player is really splitting hairs.

Cambridge, prior to the CXN has had several top rated Streaming/Network Players, they seem to know what they are doing. So, I would expect good results from the CXN.

However, the Bluesound NODE-2 is also very well rated, and costs about £300 less -

Bluesound NODE 2 Hi-Res Wireless Music Streamer

Another Network Player would be the Marantz NA6005 at £499 or the Marantz NA8005 at £530 (£699 retail)-

Marantz NA6005 Networked Audio Player - Superfi

Marantz NA8005 Networked Audio Player - Superfi

Some people seem to think the Pioneer is pretty good fro the price - Pioneer N30AE (£399) or the Pioneer N50A (£499) - (also Pioneer N70A = £999) -

Pioneer N30AE Network Audio Player - Superfi

Pioneer N-50A (N50A) Network Streamer

And several others.

But we have to consider the Package Deal. You are saving nearly £400 on the Cambridge/Q Acoustic Package. You can perhaps put together another package on your own at a similar price, but not with that £800 Network Player.

There are Receivers that have Network Capability built in, and that could save you some money -
(Yamaha RN602 = £380, Pioneer SX-N30 = £370, Pioneer SX-N30DAB = £499) -

Yamaha RN602 Networked Stereo Receiver - Superfi

Pioneer SXN30 Network Receiver - Superfi

Pioneer SXN30DAB Network Receiver - Superfi

So, again, the point is, you can come up with similar system for similar money, you just can't come up with that system for that modest amount of money.

For example -

£500 = Bluesound Node-2
£400= Yamaha AS701 Amp with DAC
£500 to $600 = You choice of Diamond 240 or Kef Q700 or other at similar price (PAIR)
-----------------------
£1400 to $1500 = Total


Steve/bluewizard
 

YankTank

Well-known Member
Thanks bluewizard - very helpful

I had chance to pop into richer sounds today a briefly demo'd ..

QA 3050's and Zensor 5's

I found the QA's very 'full' in sound - also, the are quite sizeable units. I preferred the zensor's as they seemed to be a tad more 'zingy' - which I think suits my preference and room space (long room, garage conversion).

The chap also recommended the monitor bronze 5'a but I had to time to sample today

The set up was run off cxn and cxa80

I've worked out I'm really looking for top end, clarity and punch, over low and deep base notes

Any experimce of the Zensors anyone??..... to 'live' with ? ....I liked them alot
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The Zenor 5 and the Monitor Audio Bronze 5 both have 2x5" bass drivers, and they run in roughly the £550/pr price range. Both very well regarded speakers in their price range.

But, do you still get the package price if you deviate from the Package?


Another speaker to consider in that price range is the Monitor Audio Silver 1 bookshelf speaker, which though it may not seem obvious has about the same cone area as 2x5" bass drivers. That SILVER is a higher quality speaker.

Monitor Audio Silver 1 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Monitor Audio Silver 2 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Silver 1 are 6", Silver 2 are 8".

If found the QA-3050 to be very smooth and well balanced, and they were plenty crisp for me, but for some who want a more crisp Mid/High presentations, I can see why you would not prefer the speakers. The 3050 do have a bit of bass emphasis, and that makes the just a bit more difficult to place.

I would also give a look and listen at the Tannoy Mercury. Also a more crisp Mid/High presentation. If you can raise your budget, consider the Tannoy Revolution. The Revolution are going to take up near £1000/pr, but the Tannoy Mercury are on par price-wise with the Dali Zenor, Q Acoustic, Monitor Audio Bronze, and Monitor Audio Silver 1 bookshelf. I would speculate, given what you have said, you would not prefer the Wharfedale speakers.

Tannoy Mercury 7.4 Speakers - Superfi

The Monitor Audio also tend to be more crisp with more high end detail. So, those are speaker to consider.

Though pushing your budget, there is a Monitor Audio Bronze 6 with 2x6.5" (165mm) Bass driver and the addition of a Midrange driver, but the price jumps to about £700/pr -

MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 6Walnut Speakers Per Pair

However, if you want smaller floorstanding with 2x5" bass drivers, the KEF Q500 (and Q700) are on deep discounts right now because they have just introduced the Kef Q550 series -

Kef Q500 Floorstanding - 2x5" - £350/pr (£700/pr retail) -

KEF Q500 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Kef Q700 Foorstanding -2x6.5" - £495/pr (£999/pr retail) -

KEF Q700 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

However, you save nearly £400 on that Cambridge Package. If they will give you a package price with different speakers, then certainly consider different speakers. But if the package price goes away, then perhaps you might want to re-think.

What was your overall impression of the Cambridge Amps?

Steve/bluewizard
 

Southern soul

Active Member
Sevenoaks Sound and Vision got some Good Clarence deals;

Marantz NA6005 £250 (half price)

Monitor Audio Gold 50

Marantz NA8005 Is the model up from the 6005.

Tbh the more i look, the more I feel you can do a lot better for your money.

For detail and separation, I've struggled to find anything that sounds as good as KEF LS50's (to my ears) at their price range. I'd go and listen to a few demos.

You could always buy a streamer and pair it with a set of actives. JBl's LSR's are getting very positive reviews and as they are already powered, you can pick up a pair with the CA streamer for £1000. just another option.

The Kef LS50's would be top of my list as well, seing as the OP wants clarity these tick all the boxes, save some cash and buy used this will give you more money to enhance the equipment to pair with them.
 

YankTank

Well-known Member
Thanks southern Soul - I never really noticed these but have done some reading - as you say, bass isn't my primary concern so perhaps I should audition - what should I look to pair these with? As earlier stated im after streamer and amp - possibly combo ?

Given the very narrow room these need to go in perhaps I should look at stand mounts as opposed to floorstanders....

Not sure about look of the ls50's though ! Are they nicer in flesh ?

Thanks for the comments everyone
 

muljao

Well-known Member
The CXN is a streamer with inputs and a preamp, the cxa60 doubles up on a lot of these features. You could skip the amp and buy a powered set of speakers. I am not sure if this suits, but if it does, ask about pairing the cxn with speakers in the active speakers spot in the speaker section
 

Southern soul

Active Member
They are very well built speakers and IMO the best stand-mount speaker under a grand, the aesthetics are not to everyones tastes but do look better in the flesh (and sound incredible), you will need to be careful when partnering equipment with these speakers as they can drop to 3.2 ohms and will require an amp with good power/current, this has been discussed on many sites and now KEF have released the wireless version it seconds what we have all been saying regards powering these little beauty's.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Just to expand on above, say you go with the amp and speakers, you could simply add a Raumfeld connector to do all your streaming stuff if you have a smartphone or tablet. A Chromecast audio attached to the amps digital input would also do a lot of what you are looking for.

I suppose the point is you are paying for a very good dac in your amp, you are also paying for a very good dac in the streamer, it may be possible to get better value for money if you only pay for one dac

i do wonder how much the premium of the Cambridge audio cxa60 is worth it over the Marantz pm6006, simply from what I read and most comparisons on the interwebz, the differences seem almost negligable, this amp with the q acoustics 3050 and a bluesound node might be another runner
 

YankTank

Well-known Member
@mulajo I already have some powered BT3's but I was after a more purist system this time round so I'm reluctant to go for the powered option

@ southern soul - do you have any suggestions for partnering - would the Cambridge cxa60 work ?
 

muljao

Well-known Member
I understand the powered option is an acquired taste, you should see the arguments that go between these and passive users sometimes :)

Kef Ls50s mmm..
Cyrus One?
 

Southern soul

Active Member
It's not an amp I have listened to so I can't comment on that, Leema/arcam/rega/naim & musical fidelity all sound very good with the kefs and would be my preference.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
I understand the powered option is an acquired taste, you should see the arguments that go between these and passive users sometimes :)

Kef Ls50s mmm..
Cyrus One?

I heard the Cyrus 8 with the LS50's. I could see me getting fatigued listening for longer periods but still worth a demo for the OP

I'd try and audition the below amps with the LS50's

Arcam A29
Creek Evolution 50a
Rega Elex-R
Roksan Kandy K3
musical fidelity m3i

something like the Arcam Rdac coupled with any of the above amplifiers could sort out all your streaming needs.

or maybe the new Rplay recently reviewed here
 

Southern soul

Active Member

dollag

Well-known Member
If i were in your position i would probably be looking at something like this:
Naim Unitilite Uniti Lite with Bluetooth, DAB / FM, Spotify and Tidal | eBay

obviously a little over budget, but they do come up cheaper from time to time. or you could try a cheeky bid (i'm not anyway associated with his seller).

I wouldn't suggest buying Naim gear unless you have heard it first, especially paired with the LS50's.

Naim was on my shortlist when looking to pair an amplifier with mine; however, after a few reviews regarding the Naim Nait 5i (I should of trusted my own ears I know), I didn't even bother demoing.

The general consensuses about the LS50's is that it needs a lot of power to drive them.

The Naim would be a great all in one box solution; I just would be mindful as to what you pair it with.
 

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