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Cardiiiii

Cambridge Audio CXN V2

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Hello All,

 

I am seriously considering getting one of these. Currently playing music from my iMac connected to the DAC via the path on my signature. iMac also has a HDD and not an SSD. Am I right in assuming the sound quality from the CXN should be a step up from my iMac? Another reason for the upgrade is, I mirror the iMac from my MacBook to control the music and would prefer a more straight forward control because sometimes the connection is laggy and have the odd connection issue which is solved by a re-start, I will also be able to play music via my phone and not always depend on the MacBook. Although a streamer isn't an absolute necessity right now, I will eventually have to get one when I move into my own place anyway, so I thought I'd see what's out there and was leaning towards the CXN.

 

For those who have owned one, have you compared it to the usual suspects like the Auralic Aries (any version), SoTM 200, microRendu, etc? All the reviews I've read are positive, and if anyone would like to share their experience either with the V2 or even the V1, it would be much appreciated. 

 

If anyone has any alternatives, I'd be open to consider other models. I really want a colour display (I like the look of it-I know, I'm a bit vain!), preferably under $2k new or used, doesn't have to be super audiophile quality-the rest of my system won't do it justice anyway, a decent step up from my PC would be sufficient.

 

Thank you!

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Hi All,

 

Will be interested in this also as I am looking at one of these for my system....

 

JJ

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9 hours ago, Cardiiiii said:

Hello All,

 

I am seriously considering getting one of these. Currently playing music from my iMac connected to the DAC via the path on my signature. iMac also has a HDD and not an SSD. Am I right in assuming the sound quality from the CXN should be a step up from my iMac? Another reason for the upgrade is, I mirror the iMac from my MacBook to control the music and would prefer a more straight forward control because sometimes the connection is laggy and have the odd connection issue which is solved by a re-start, I will also be able to play music via my phone and not always depend on the MacBook. Although a streamer isn't an absolute necessity right now, I will eventually have to get one when I move into my own place anyway, so I thought I'd see what's out there and was leaning towards the CXN.

 

For those who have owned one, have you compared it to the usual suspects like the Auralic Aries (any version), SoTM 200, microRendu, etc? All the reviews I've read are positive, and if anyone would like to share their experience either with the V2 or even the V1, it would be much appreciated. 

 

If anyone has any alternatives, I'd be open to consider other models. I really want a colour display (I like the look of it-I know, I'm a bit vain!), preferably under $2k new or used, doesn't have to be super audiophile quality-the rest of my system won't do it justice anyway, a decent step up from my PC would be sufficient.

 

Thank you!

6

I've been using the CXN V1 for nearly two years and really love it. In case you don't already know the V2 has a faster processor but the sound quality is the same when compared to the V1. I have 1.2 TB of mainly FLAC files stored on a portable HDD connected to the CXN which has no trouble caching that amount of data - I figure the V2 would do it a bit quicker.

 

The Dual Wolfson 24-bit DACs produce a lovely natural sound and the streaming capabilities are also more than adequate. The only thing that I don't like is the lack of a USB output for when I eventually upgrade to a better stand-alone external DAC. At that point, I will sell the CXN and be on the lookout for a used Auralic Mini which also has a great reputation and a USB output. Hope this helps.

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I have had one of these for these for the past year, and have been very happy with it. I would add that the internet radio on it is excellent, with great sound- there are some great stations out there. The sound quality is good, though if you are the type with upgraditis, as mentioned above, the lack of a USB output is limiting. I listened to it alongside the 851n Cambridge streamer, and the SQ  differences were very very  subtle, and despite having the  money to get the more expensive model, I went for the more recent CXN v2. 

If you are connecting a drive to it, or running from and NAS or computer server, you can stream in native hi res, though it doesn’t do more than basic level DSD, which for many of us is academic! I have my collection on an old Mac mini, which I have permanently running in the background, connected to our router via Ethernet with another Ethernet connection from the wifi extender at the other end of the house. A NAS works just as well if you are just using the CXNs native app, though if you do this, I found the Ethernet connection to the router/access point made for a more stable connection, though I have two kids battling for bandwidth, so YMMV.

I run Roon to control my music, and have Tidal within this, though the machine does Spotify through its own app as well as Tidal. If you use Roon, the CXN is limited to 24/48 through its internal chromecast or 16/44 through AirPlay. Again, if most of your collection is ripped CDs, then this won’t be a limiting factor.

I would investigate one of the software options like Roon, Plex , Audirvana, etc., as whilst the CXN cambridge connect app is fine, it is relatively basic.

In summary, whilst this machine is not 100% perfect for what I do, it is close, and short of spending $$$ more, it is hard to beat as a one box solution.

 

 

Edited by Juzbear

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@PeteD @Juzbear

 

Thank you for your thoughts. I feel I should provide some additional information. My listening will be mostly through Tidal and a little bit of my ripped files from iTunes. So I could use the Chromecast feature on my phone or the Airplay from my MacBook. I don't need the DAC or the pre-amp features, I'm looking purely for a streamer with a colour display that looks nice ( a little vain I know). I plan on using the coax/SPDIF out to connect it to the DAC. 

 

I have no intention of spending large sums of money on streamers that cost anything higher, that money is better spent elsewhere.

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8 minutes ago, Cardiiiii said:

@PeteD @Juzbear

 

Thank you for your thoughts. I feel I should provide some additional information. My listening will be mostly through Tidal and a little bit of my ripped files from iTunes. So I could use the Chromecast feature on my phone or the Airplay from my MacBook. I don't need the DAC or the pre-amp features, I'm looking purely for a streamer with a colour display that looks nice ( a little vain I know). I plan on using the coax/SPDIF out to connect it to the DAC. 

 

I have no intention of spending large sums of money on streamers that cost anything higher, that money is better spent elsewhere.

I am not familiar with all of the brands/models in your signature. What DAC are you using?

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12 minutes ago, PeteD said:

I am not familiar with all of the brands/models in your signature. What DAC are you using?

I will be using a Holo Audio Spring DAC.

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Thanks for the clarification. I would  still recommend the CXN- it looks the business, and works well as a streamer. The integrated Tidal works well.

I would be very interested to hear of your experience using an outboard DAC, as this is one of the things that I often think may be worth doing at some stage. 

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42 minutes ago, Juzbear said:

Thanks for the clarification. I would  still recommend the CXN- it looks the business, and works well as a streamer. The integrated Tidal works well.

I would be very interested to hear of your experience using an outboard DAC, as this is one of the things that I often think may be worth doing at some stage. 

Do you use the native Tidal app on your phone/laptop or the Cambridge Audio app?

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45 minutes ago, Cardiiiii said:

Do you use the native Tidal app on your phone/laptop or the Cambridge Audio app?

I mostly access tidal through Roon, and then directly on my mobile- for some reason when I use Roon I do not get metadata and images displayed, whereas with the tidal app I do, and searching for music is better through the Tidal app.  Both are running through chromecast. I do use the Cambridge app from time to time and it is solid, though doesn’t have as nice an interface as the others. You can easily to and fro between them at will without mucking things up, as using controls in any of the above or on the remote works. The CXN is nice like that.  

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