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Digital Man

AV Advice Needed

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Hi Guys, I have just come into possession of a Cambridge 752BD, I have never explored the AV world until now, so I am now looking for a AV unit that will go nicely with the Cambridge 752bd, I can either buy a Cambridge 551R, Cambridge 650R, NAD T757, and a Arcam AVR500, I like the fact that with the NAD, I can swap out boards when and if required, the Arcam seems to be the better of all, but looks a bit beat up, these are all secondhand units by the way, I would like to stick with Cambridge and I am drawn to the Cambridge 551R, my requirements are correct playback of SACD stereo and 5.1, Bluray Audio, DVD-A, CD and HDCD as well as bluray and dvd's, music being the highest priority, I don't really understand all of the different ways of decoding movies sounds so I am keen not to make a mistake here as far as future proofing goes and having said that I do not really know if I need all of those bells and whistles either, same goes with 5.1 compared to 7.1, do i really need 7.1 ? I don't rightly know as yet, 3D will be a nice feature, again future proofing , I don't want a phono stage nor fm/am, but if they come with, then they come with, same with 7.1 option, prefer 5.1 but if unit has 7.1 fine, I think that's all, hope you all can point me in the right direction. Thanks.

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Hi mate, some musical options in that group for sure but avoid that arcam IMO, the 500 was riddled with issues back in the day so buyer beware. The CA650 also had some issues but at the right price might be worth a risk and it wasn't across all units. 

With more power the 650 would have more grunt over the 551r but will depend on your speakers, don't have any experience with the nad.

 

Ive been toying with a 751r for a while and the sound of this smoked the arcam avr360 I own, not only because of the extra power but the surround processing is far superior so if it was me I'd be grabbing the 551r (its next gen compared to 650r) to start and then if you think you need more power add a 2ch power amp to power the fronts.

 

that and the 752bd would make a nice pair with scope to power up if you wanted.

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LT few things to watch out for the 551r was an early device with some compatibility issues etc all forgotten I believe with the v2 released subsequently...not sure what happened with people with v1 maybe this is one of them ?

 

the nads their plug in things were atrociously priced ! the 757 was its very affordably priced entry level if I remember cant remember if it could do 3D

 

the arcam would be the pick for grunt...pity its been beat up...why do people beat up  on their hifi or av....? I can never understand that...but to watch out for early versions of these didnt come with 3D boards...not sure yours has it, also watch the bug factor early on arcams were a bother ! 

 

the cambridge 650 would be the gruntiest of this pack like the arcam. though I dont believe supported 3D early cambridge units like many of the non japanese brands in early days of blu-ray and hdmi were quite bothersome so worth being careful about.

 

7.1 ? if can fit it in definitely do it. have you got 1-2m behind you to fit some rears in along with the side surrounds either side of listening position ? if can do it well worth it with the amount of native 7.1 material these days. also most avrs do a great upsample to use the rears and have done some 10+ years so worth it :)

 

with your new cambridge 752 you want a unit that can do 3D and if can do that will support id suggest everything else. a lot of these units are around same vintage and need some checking on versions etc. otherwise they are likely selling at the price they are ... 

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8 minutes ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

Hi mate, some musical options in that group for sure but avoid that arcam IMO, the 500 was riddled with issues back in the day so buyer beware. The CA650 also had some issues but at the right price might be worth a risk and it wasn't across all units. 

With more power the 650 would have more grunt over the 551r but will depend on your speakers, don't have any experience with the nad.

 

Ive been toying with a 751r for a while and the sound of this smoked the arcam avr360 I own, not only because of the extra power but the surround processing is far superior so if it was me I'd be grabbing the 551r (its next gen compared to 650r) to start and then if you think you need more power add a 2ch power amp to power the fronts.

 

that and the 752bd would make a nice pair with scope to power up if you wanted.

 

agree most definitely if can pick up a 751r it would be one serious AVR. and also being a much much later release should be pretty bug free ! the 751 had one massive power stage about 1500w power consumption if i remember and would rival many stand alone power amps...

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Hi, The Cambridge 551R is the non V2, I can get it for $595 or less if I bargain, maybe consider the Arcam still as well and it is around the $680 mark, with 7.1 I think it is best to go with that, I can always at least bi-amp until I stretch it to full 7.1 speakers wise, 551R is 3D what about HDCD ? or you don't need a HDCD capable amp to natively play it as long as the transport can ? 751R 1500 watts ?! what would that do to the power bill ?

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4 hours ago, LinearTracker said:

Hi, The Cambridge 551R is the non V2, I can get it for $595 or less if I bargain, maybe consider the Arcam still as well and it is around the $680 mark, with 7.1 I think it is best to go with that, I can always at least bi-amp until I stretch it to full 7.1 speakers wise, 551R is 3D what about HDCD ? or you don't need a HDCD capable amp to natively play it as long as the transport can ? 751R 1500 watts ?! what would that do to the power bill ?

How important is 3d switching ? The NAD and the Azur 551 are the only hdmi1.4 avr;s for this  https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/content/azur-551r

The older generation hdmi1.3 650 has more watts per channel to control your speakers - are they low impedance and need some current ? Its curious that none of the options have any room eq to use ; only db and distance mainly so if you have a room that needs it ;its another factor..

 

The Cambridge like an oppo can decode hdcd into lpcm itself or bitstream to an external decoder ie in the avr if it has it , sometimes there are ramifications so consider digital or analog outputs  ;

 

Quote

 

Why is the HDCD light on my receiver flickering on and off?

This is normal. The problem is not in the OPPO nor in your receiver, but rather in the design of HDCD itself, which assumed the output of a decoding player would be via ANALOG audio cabling.

HDCD is a format that encodes 20 bits worth of dynamic range into 16 bits worth of data (at the expense of raising the noise floor a bit). The PROBLEM is that when "decoded" into a digital output signal (i.e., HDMI) there's enough of the original encoding matrix left that a SECOND decoder can get confused into thinking the HDCD still needs to be decoded. So if you set the OPPO to decode for HDMI output, your receiver will periodically see enough of the original HDCD that it kicks in its own decoder, with the consequences you describe.

 

 

 

 

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Hi cwt, 3D is not an issue nor is room eq, I don't have speakers at present but I am considering elac's, hdcd is more important here this point is what I don't know as this is my first ever surround sound system as well as my first foray into hdcd, dvd-a and sacd. Thanks

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Having said that the Cambridge 551R is looking pretty good atm

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The Cambridge range is superb just as long as you don't need a simple feature that all avr's have now which is HDMI pass thru when unit is off.

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Hi, I'm pretty sure it does, but I will double check

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Wasn't there on my 651 as it is an important feature for me.

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Hi, Okay, just to recap, the 551R has pass through ? which means that I can still play music without the tv switched ? is that right ? if so, before I make an offer on it, is there anything else that comes to mind that I may need ? considering that I intend to play all of my music disc's through it, both 2 channel and 5.1 and it may not have all of the latest movie surround sound offerings ( if it does all the major ones, then I'm good ) pass through so tv is not on when playing music and I can play music with my usb/ssd drives attached, having said that, with my cambridge 572bd I can send any music source signal from it to the amp ? if I can't go directly through the amp itself ?! Thanks

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Hi, I have read since yesterday that Cambridge Audio does suffer from reliability and longevity issues, especially with the avr's, I would consider other brands, I guess it all coms down to features one wants with these avr's, any thoughts on a Arcam AV9 ? 

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21 hours ago, LinearTracker said:

Hi, Okay, just to recap, the 551R has pass through ? which means that I can still play music without the tv switched ? is that right ? if so, before I make an offer on it, is there anything else that comes to mind that I may need ? considering that I intend to play all of my music disc's through it, both 2 channel and 5.1 and it may not have all of the latest movie surround sound offerings ( if it does all the major ones, then I'm good ) pass through so tv is not on when playing music and I can play music with my usb/ssd drives attached, having said that, with my cambridge 572bd I can send any music source signal from it to the amp ? if I can't go directly through the amp itself ?! Thanks

 

hi LT the 551r as I mentioned would be essential to be a v2 atleast the original was too buggy. re pass through its a non event. in some ways you down want ti as it just keeps the video section hdmi board etc all powered up and in many units its the first things to go. if wanting pass through on a unit without its really easy to do in anycase... a simple hdmi splitter $20-$49 even a quality unit from office woks will do that for you. e.g. sending one signal from the stb to the telly one to AVR.

 

from your basic needs of an avr just about anything out there would do i would suspect features wise I think you are more looking at budget something more akin to on the quality side. yes these avrs should play music e.g. 2ch or 5.1 with telly switched off. 

 

15 minutes ago, LinearTracker said:

Hi, I have read since yesterday that Cambridge Audio does suffer from reliability and longevity issues, especially with the avr's, I would consider other brands, I guess it all coms down to features one wants with these avr's, any thoughts on a Arcam AV9 ? 

 

am not sure their reliability issues is any different to any other brands as get older. they really dont make them like they used, avrs keep in mind are turned over some 2 years at most in model lines where possible its an annual event !  arcam av9 is an antique and you are really going back to the very early days of hdmi now nad be loathed to suggest anything bar say a denon 4308 or something from that era which should be able to pick up for $350-$500-$750 rather amazingly even though it was some over $5k device coming with beautiful discrete dac stage, 7 power supplies ! really well implemented processing.

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Hi Al, So, you recommend to pas on the Cambridge 551 R then ? if so, I will look for a Cambridge 551R V2, the issued that I read about in other forums from users/buyers was failure and issues that occurred in either a short period or just after warranty, I did not find the same with similar avr's  of same vintage as the 551r, in what way would you consider the Arcam AV9 antique ? Thanks.

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LT if its gone so long, likely teething issues non concern but given vintage it is 2nds hand, basically anything can be a gamble. I would not buy a 551r unless a v2. they brought the v2 out for a reason ! 

 

I explained why the av9 is an antique it was released on the brink of hdmi and all brands bar the japanese brands,  had issues and took some releases to sort out. and particularly if wanting to hook up a relatively modern 752 bd to it, just asking for hdmi incompatibility problems. 

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Hi Al, Okay, got it, upon your sound advice I will pass on the 551r and look for the v2 version or greater, same with arcam av9 , anything good about the Yamaha Avantage range ? Thanks.

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Hi Al, I am trying to find photos of the Cambridge audio 551r v2, every photo that I find of it just has 551R on the front, how can one tell a 551r to a 551r v2 ? Thanks

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I own a 752bd, 551r V2 and a Denon AVR4520.

I preferred running the 752bd directly into a 5 channel power amp, basically using the 752 as a pre/pro. Worked well for everything (TV, movies) and very well for music and I would say far better than the Denon for music and a little better than the 551r.

Feel free to ask any questions if you like.

Sent from my JAZZ using Tapatalk

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Hi Bunno77, Interesting, would you say that doing it this way would be a benefit regardless of make/model ? What I am trying to get my head around is this, how relevant are the new movie soundtrack codec's ? are they used generally on all movie releases ? I mean, it ain't that important, not as much as music playback, I am really excited to play sacd/dvd-a and bluray audio surround sound and I assume one only needs 5.1 for this ? or is 7.1 still desirable / needed ? and , again, does this also apply to movies 5.1 as most blurays are released with 5.1 as well and some still find analogue is/can still be better than hdmi. Thanks.

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3 hours ago, LinearTracker said:

, in what way would you consider the Arcam AV9 antique ? Thanks.

Skip the AV9 LT ; its a pre pro so means forking out for a power amp as well :cool: Seriously consider Bunno's suggestion as the 752 has very nice wolfsohn dacs and a good analog stage which feeds its multichannel analog outputs . The only reason for a separate avr   in your case is switching multiple sources [ as these models have no room eq to speak off] and possibly better bass management  and you seem happy with discs atm . It also has hdmi and spdif inputs if you want to feed it tv sound from a dvr or stb or even more..

 

The 752 has all the decoders you need for lossless as well as lossy codecs . You don't need to worry about dolby atmos and dts-x codecs with a 5.1 or 7.1 system :) There are many 7.1 movie discs out there but sacd and dvd audio are 5.1 . I appreciate the extra immersion and panning qualities of 7.1 but if you have a small room 5.1 may suit better ..

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Hi cwt, It does sound like a good idea, if I do go down that road, will I still be getting 5.1 surround sound, I mean, I will still need 5 speakers ? same as if I buy and use the Cambridge 551r v2 ? and if so, which power amp would you guys recommend ? Thanks

Edited by LinearTracker
incorrect spelling

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1 hour ago, LinearTracker said:

Hi cwt, It does sound like a good idea, if I do go down that road, will I still be getting 5.1 surround sound, I mean, I will still need 5 speakers ? same as if I buy and use the Cambridge 551r v2 ? and if so, which power amp would you guys recommend ? Thanks

Yes LT ; just buy some good quality multi analog cables [ stereo pairs or an all in one snake type with them bundled together] and feed them to a 5 or 7ch power amp then run your speakers of this  . The sub out lfe run to your sub if you want one :) All the Cambridge does in your case is give more component switching [ which you don't seem to need] and a better bass management possibly ;though the 752 has better than many cheaper bd players ..

 

The amp depends on how efficient and what sort of load they present to the power amp so narrow down your preference and you will get some recommendations :cool: This route helps because the less components in the signal chain the better ; and if you do get a subwoofer you can get one with a built in auto room eq ;  look for brands like sbs and velodyne for built in peqs ..

Edited by cwt

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Hi cwt, Sorry about all of these questions it just that I have no experience with multi channel as I was always doing two channel, until now, okay, just to recap, my cambridge 752bd will correctly decode all signals, be they sacd 5.1 or two channel, dvd-a 5.1 bluray audio 5.1 ? all movie soundtracks whether pro logic, dolby dts hd dts ? which are the main ones, 3d as well ? and last, hdcd, I don't think that I left anything out and the power amp, which will be a 5 channel power amp will correctly play back these aforementioned signals ? and is there a multi channel power amp that accepts optical ? and is that abetter way to go ? Thanks

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