You'll need a demo to find out which you prefer. Actually you'll be doing a lot of people here a favour - I haven't heard anything about the 540R and haven't seen any reviews either. The 540A has been getting good reviews lately, maybe the receiver is a good'un too?
I have the NAD T752 and I must say it's really good. Stereo sound is better than you'd get with most surround amps at double the price. Surround sound is just stunning and it has plenty of power. My vote would be NAD. I got mine for £399 ex dem, should be able to get some good deals.
roversd1, do I take this to mean that you have a 540R? Tell us more! The information available from the CA website is pitiful. I would love to get my hands on a manual, but nothing has been made available to me, either by CA or their Canadian distributor.
The big question that is lingering in my mind is the size and weight versus the claimed power. How does CA fit 6x80W into a 17"x12"x4" box? Are the amplifiers fully discrete transistors, or something else? Does anyone know for sure?
All I can tell you about the amplification side is that the 540R gets hot, very hot! Whether this has a bearing on how it gets 80w x 6 , I'm not technicaly equiped to say but it runs my speakers very well and is more than enough for the room.
roversd1, thanks for your prompt reply. Since you ask, yes, there is a lot more I would like to know. What is the bass management like? Can you assign digital inputs, or are they fixed? Is there an analog stereo bypass mode? More importantly, does the unit come with more complete specs than are available on the website? 80W x 6 is a lot of power; is it measured over the full audio band, and to what level of distortion?
I can probably dream up more questions without trying too hard, but I will limit myself for now! And I second the motion for a picture of the innards, if you feel up to it. Thanks for taking the time ...
sorry, no pictures as my home PC is not working and the works PC has run out of elastic bands. All I can add is that there are a lot of 'Cambridge Audio' badged chips.
I will try to copy some stuff off the (very thin) instruction manual.
I can confirm there is a 6.1 analalog bypass, a 'bypass' mode which seems to send everything full range to all five (or six) main speakers bit like a 'party' mode.
There is also an unfettled stereo mode which allegedly gives 100W into 8 Ohms
Digital inputs are fixed.
Even in the manual, there are no real figures given, I cant find the overall s/n ratio.
Regarding availability, Richer Sounds has exlusive distribution of most Cambridge Audio products as the two companies are closely tied. Incidently, I get much better service from Richer shops than I have from many other stores.
The 540R is a budget reciever and at £249, I have no complaints despite some of the obvious shortcuts. It has far more options than my first surround processor could ever dream of at a price that is easily attainable for most.
It would be unfair to compare it directly with other manufacturer's more expensive products. Think of it as a stepping stone from an all in one system to separates and you cant go wrong.
(Please note: this is a second system and it is (somewhat unafairly) compared to a certain DVD32R, AV32R DP and 100x5R.)
I freely admit - I BOUGHT ON LOOKS ALONE - Ha ha ha ha!!! My other half wouldnt have it any other way!
Thanks, roversd1. While the 540R is indeed a budget receiver, its MSRP here in Canada is dangerously close to that of the NAD T743, so it has some stiff competition. One major issue in my mind is that the 540R claims to have substantially more power than the T743, but weighs a lot less. The power supplies and heat sinks needed for high power operation are heavy, so something does not add up in the 540R specs.
What I really want to know is
(a) what is the true power, measured over the full audio band to a sensible THD figure (i.e., not to 10% at 1kHz, as I have seen some cheap receivers rated). The only numbers I can get from the published specs are 80W x 6, and 0.006% THD at 1kHz. Is that power measured at 1kHz too?
(b) how does it sound? The CA integrated amps get decent reviews, how does this compare?
I don't necessrily expect you to know the answers, but if anyone catches wind of them I would be grateful to hear of it.
By the way, I had to laugh at your comments about buying based on looks and your "other half". One of the reasons I am investigating the 540R is that it comes in silver, as requested by the wife. Otherwise I would have just bought NAD (which does not offer its silver finish over here).
I contacted the Canadian distributor and the guy I dealt with had this to say:
... we received this model just a few days ago, and have had a chance to try it out in "real-life" conditions, with demanding speakers in a rather large room, .... and it is very impressive. For one thing, the outputs are NOT digital amps, but real discrete amplifiers... on ALL 6 CHANNELS. And it shows. It is powerful, well controled, and doesn't suffer from the usual inexpensive electronics hard, edgy sound. It's very sweet sounding. ... If you are a serious music lover, but do not want to give away musical acuracy for Home Theater "slam-bang", this is the one to get.
So, boss, what's the statute of limitations on replying to a thread. My last post was deleted for being "irrelevant" . Well geez thanks. Im glad i took the time to try to contribute to your forum.I always thought information can come out on a product over a long period of time. I can see I may not be long for these types of critics.