Recently purchased a new Cambridge 740c cd player to add to my Exposure 2010s integrated amp and Castle Richmond 3i's. After about 3 weeks of break in it is sounding good but vocals have an annoying quality. I am relatively ignorant when it comes to technical terms to describe sound qualities.The best way i can describe the problem is the highs sound like shouting instead of singing.The problem occurs even at moderate volume.Needless to say it's unpleasant to listen to. Could speaker wire be causing the problem. I am using Monster THX off the spool which is a combination of copper and silver. I have some good Ecosse wiring coming soon, but i am not sure if that's the problem. The problem seems to have manifested recently with the break in of the cd player, which is ironic. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
I think you've stumbled upon one of the caveats mentioned about this amp. You have to be careful with source components as you've got a passive preamp section in the Exposure 2010. Cambridge cd players sound a bit analytical and lean in my opinion. Combine this with a passive pre and you've got a potential for sound not to everyone's taste. Be careful about using your interconnects and speaker wire as tone controls. If you don't like the basic sound of a component, you're unlikely to change that with new wire. I've not heard the silver and copper Monster THX, but I'm actually using the copper Monster "off the spool" speaker wire right now. My power amp is in the shop at the moment and I'm using a Luxman amp temporarily that won't let me use my normal speaker wire. I went down to Best Buy and bought a $20.00 spool of the Monster and was shocked at how competent it is for $20.00. It definitely does not add any harshness to the sound of my system. You could try gambling $20.00 on copper only speaker wire to see if the silver in the Monster THX is adding any unwanted harshness.
Avoiding shouting is a question of balancing components. It should be relatively simple to solve the problem with the right interconnects and or speaker cable.What you need is warm sounding cables.Good Luck.
Blazen69 - A bit more of an investment than new wire but you might consider the Musical Fidelity tube buffer. This might take some of the edge off vocals. I think it is especially worth considering for solid state. Don't know if it is a proper "fix" or simply a band aid.
I had an earlier model Cambridge (D500SE) in my system. It was a great step up sonically from the entry level, inexpensive Sony CD/DVD player I had been using. After a time however I became unhappy with some harshness in female vocals as well as a lack of coherency in the sound stage. I think "coherency" is the appropriate word since, rather than continuous imaging left to right, CD playback seemed to present disconnected panels of sound ranging across the stage (vinyl didn't seem to do this). In my integrated tube amp-based system, the tube buffer took the edge off female vocals, provided a bit of a boost to bass and interestingly enough seemed to improve soundstage fill. My 2 cents. Good luck.
Do you have another player you can swap out for the Cambridge? I've experienced what you're describing in the past. It wasn't the wire or the the room. It was a combination of the other equipment and the CD player. Mainly the CD player though.
The speakers at that time seemed to highlight this as well. If you didn't have the shout before the CD player..well you know..time for a different CD player.
"The best way i can describe the problem is the highs sound like shouting instead of singing".
Blazen69 ... Is it possible you could mean the PEAKS (not the HIGHS) "sound like shouting instead of singing"
The PEAKS would be the loud passages ... the HIGHS would be the Upper Frequencies
I bet your high frequency response is probably alright or very acceptable even without any room treatments
I think your problem with the shout-y-ness occurs when there is a PEAK or DEMAND in the music for a brief second ... once this demand passes shout-y-ness stops and everything returns to normal and sounds fine.
If you had issuses with the HIGHs ... I sure you would be complaining about an edgy or fatiguing sound, all the time ... but your not
You problem is shout-y-ness and only momentary
If my description of the problems sounds correct to you and it's the PEAKs not HIGHs that sound shouty ... I pretty sure I know the problem and the fix
I really am not a technical guy, but it sounds like standard digital fatigue. I have noticed this quality even on players costing upward of $10,000, but not always if everything locks in just right. This is where you might need professional opinions who can suggest new elements you could try at home (read a good dealer and home demo). Hard to find!
It sounds to me like a source problem, not cables. Shouting means very aggressive. I'm not sure the Cambridge 740c has adjustable filter like their big brother 840C. I thought the 840C sounds smooth and musical. The problem may reside in the Exposure solid state amp.
Blazen69's problem of brief shouty-ness is probably caused by the OPAMPs in the CD player's SS output stage loosing their linearity momentarily when placed under the high demand for current during Loud passages
When the music becomes demanding, the OPAMPs will loose their linearity for a brief moment, distorting and that distortion then causes the Negative Feedback loop, to oscillate and ring
The ringing which is very brief, and only on the peaks of demanding passages is perceived as "Shouty-ness" and seems to be pretty common with CD players that use SS output stages with OPAMPS
If you really like the sound of your player you can add an external buffer either SS or Tube
The Buffer's higher current capabilities will take the responsibility of driving the ICs and the OPAMPS see an easy to drive load in the Buffer and don't go into distortion causing the ringing and shouty-ness
You could also sell the player and buy a player with an all tube analog output stage and no OPAMPS or a player that uses OPAMPS, but has a Tube Buffered output
Another neat player is the Consonance CD120 Linear which uses a discrete J-FET SS output stage instead of Chips and OPAMPS or Tubes and is a Nonover Sampling Filterless style Dac
Many cost effective SS CD players (under $1000 or so) using OPAMP output without this annoyance effect that Blazen69 reported. It sounds like a poor design from Cambridge based on your assessment? If not, there is definitely a mismatch between Exposure and Cambridge.
Thanks for all your responses everyone. Sorry i took so long to respond. My internet has been down all day. I think that bob hit the nail on the head.I'm thinking the Cambridge sound is not for me.Might sound good with some tubes, but it doesn't partner well with the Exposure.I had the matching cd player and it sounded warm and smooth unfortunately i had many reliability issues with it.I borrowed some cabling today to see if that was the problem, and it didn't help. I guess the Cambridge is going up for sale.I don't think it's a bad player it just needs to be mated with the wright amp.The Exposure ain't it.
Before you dump the Cambridge, you may want to try what Philjolet suggests above. I have a Cambridge 640C which has the same DACs as the 740C, and it took MUCH LONGER than one month for the player to settle down. One suggestion would be to set the player on repeat night and day for about 30 days straight (whether or not it is driving the amp), and see if that changes the sound significantly. With that said, the Cambridge will never be "laid back" no matter how long it is played. But you might find that you do not have to choose between living with significant artifacts such as the shouty or harsh vocal peaks or getting another machine.
One last question: what kind of power cord are you using? A good or even decent power cord designed for digital gear may help preserve the detail Cambridge players are known for while softening some tendencies towards being overly forward.
Well, yes but in Blazen69 case he did not have this problem with his older CDP. Yes, killing first reflections and some treatment behind speakers will definitely help but it won't change CDP characteristics.
"I have been married for almost 11years - I think breaking- in is important period to be sure....but it is not true that it will always sound better afterwards. Most of the time, it is just the DENIAL. If it does not sound good in the first two or three days - it never will. Trade it !!!!"
Most of the time? Maybe. I say sometimes yes, sometimes no for break in making a difference. I have been to De Nile by the way and it is a nice place. At least you are consistent in your opinions. Wives like that to be sure - as long as it is the same opinion as theirs... LOL
04-10-08: Mrjstark said: "Well, yes but in Blazen69 case he did not have this problem with his older CDP. Yes, killing first reflections and some treatment behind speakers will definitely help but it won't change CDP characteristics."
Yes, but you can't evaluate a CDP or any other component with the speakers in the wrong position. Placement of the speakers has way more impact on perceived harshness and loudness than any other component, IME.
Yes, but if you set up your system in the "Turkish Bath" with microscopic precision then "Bakshish" you get no matter what. However, lowering the temperature to around 150 degrees will help the first timers get prepared for De Nile that they dreamed about.
In this case it's Cambrishish that is responsible for Bakishish.
Not even Freeshish VDshish will change the edginess.