Cambridge 840C Azur through a Bryston BDA-1 DAC?

Hi Folks,

I currently have the Cambridge player, and like it very much. I'm running it through a Bryston BP26p pre w/ phono stage and a Bryston 3BSST amp, Acoustic Zen speaker cables and XLR interconnects, and a pair of Daly Euphonia Mk 5 speakers. I do not currently have a DAC in the system, but having been reading all the raves about the new BDA-1, and am wondering if it's worth the investment, given the fairly well-regarded DAC capabilities inherent in the Cambridge. Would this be gilding the lily / a waste of $$$ (minimal ROI), or a great way to go? And if the latter, what does everyone recommend in terms of an optimal interconnect (from DAC to pre)? I've been looking at the Green Hornet SPDIF, but am open to suggestions.

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. BTW, I'm still a few years out from taking the server plunge, but am resigned to integrating one at some point, when I know this DAC would be more of a necessity. For now, I'm mostly interested in getting a sense of how much it will really do to improve CD playback, given my current transport. cheers!
I think it might be different but not necessarily better. I've heard the Cambridge in some very good systems and it was audibly not a weak link. Not the most expensive, exotic or sexiest piece out there, but a very good performer regardless.
agree with mapman--adding a dac to the cambridge (which has great inboard dacs and is actually sought after because of its digital input feature) would be overkill. i'd use the money on something else, like cds or beer--you'll get more discernible pleasure.
I concur with Mapman and Loomis.I have heard the 840c on several systems and it sounded great on all of them.The beer and cd sugguestion is very sound also!!!!
How about some opinions from members who own a Bryston BDA-1.....Did you ever own the Cambridge and what transport are you currently using to feed the Bryston?
I've never owned the Cambridge, but I have owned a bunch of other DAC's and Bryston has been the best in my system.

Can you elaborate on what was better about the Bryston?

I would get the best power cord I could afford now for the Cambridge and think about using it as your DAC when you eventually add a server. I have found the Cambridge CD players to respond especially well to especially to aftermarket cords. Something like an Analysis Plus's Power Oval 2 350IEC/330 or Shunyata's Viper or Python CX.
10-06-09: Macdadtexas
Berkeley was great, very detailed, full sound, not bright at all, and the ARC sounded very much like the Berkeley. A buddy of mine took the Berkeley, and he couldn't be happier, and it does sound stellar in his set up.

But with my gear the Bryston had a bigger soundstage, and was warmer than either. A more coherent sound.

Bel Canto was extremely detailed, with a big soundstage, but was a bit on the bright side. Tube Audio Design PreDac, well I didn't like it. Benchmark and PS Audio were VERY bright in my rig.

MHDT Havana was great, warm, nice soundstage (great price), but I wanted just a bit more detail. I would go back to the Havana before any of the others if I decided to get rid of the Bryston, but I am not going to do that.

That said, it really does depend on your gear. I always look for a little extra warmth since I have Maggies and powerful SS amps. I guess that's why I really like vinyl better than digital, and any digital I use I look for warmth.
Macdadtexas (System | Threads | Answers)