Oh yes- the power cords and such:
Cardis Quadlink from each NuForce amp
Audience from Adcom preamp
all going into a PS UPC 200, with Wattgate wall recepticle
Pretty much my feeling on it, except I found it to be much more of a 'digital' sound than my rig, a Denon 1560 as transport and an ART DI/O modded DAC by Boulder cable....I keep trying to kick that combo to the curb, but it has staying power!! Good luck
Here's the deal. Firstly, the Cambridge is probably not broken in. Leave it powered up at all times and within a month of use it should much better. I owned this unit and it benefits greatly from an external DAC which fills it out, images better and gives more dynamics. My Audio Sector DAC smoked the onboard. Good luck.
I thought the big deal with this CDP was it's internal Wolfson DAC's...if not, it's not much of a robust transport.
Dump the cambridge, stick with the sony until you can afford the oppo 83SE. Not broken in? Time to read 'Better Sound'.
Celtic 66 - The unit is preowned and had minimum 200 hours on it with the original owner. That was my first "hope" ...maybe it needs more time. Thanks - BTW the Oppo 83SE intrigues me especially because NuForce is doing mods to that unit. $1250 for their modded oppo.
Maybre you can tell - I'm a NuForce kinda guy - the NuForce amps are unlike anything I ever heard before. They are not just "better than"......... they are a revolution.
I'm glad I'm not the only one with this similar situation. In the mid '90's I was going 'crazy' improving my digital. I brought home 4 different dacs; 1 a week ---none did much for me till I brought home a Theta 5.--(The other 4 were each in the same price range as the Gen 5.)
Lwood: the 840 actually uses dual AD1955 dac chips, not Wolfson. Most of the lower Cambridge players, including the DacMagic, use Wolfson dacs.
I owned the 840c for awhile as well, and i
didn't like it all that much either.I put
about 250 hours on it,and it still sounded
very digital to me.Don't get the big fuss
being made over it.I think it's a wee bit
I replaced a Cam 840C with a NAD M5 in one system and I thought the NAD smoked the CAM 840C. I actually tried the thing two different times! I thought maybe I had a bad one or something. Great detail but digititus to the MAX!
Is digititus a word?
Find a used Meridian G 08, any Esoteric used or get some cool tubes for a Raysonic CD-128. You will never look back.
You're dealing with two pretty different presentations to begin with.
Sony's is far more dynamic than either the Oppo or Cambridge's. The reviews on the Cam and Op say as much. owning a couple Oppos, and a few Sony's, and having heard the Cam locally, it's quite eveident to me which is the more demonstrative. Sony. hands down.
Secondly you're used to one sort of sound and now are migrating away from it into a new sort of sound. one not as punchy.
third, the Cam 840 just might not be entirely run in as I've seen here online posts saying it needs upwards of a years use or from 300-400 hrs. Some folks simply won't wait or feel it's not for them prematurely and off the thing without full knowledge of it's final voice.
If I buy a CDP and find I HAVE to add a DAC for it to excel, or have some mod done to it thereafter, I've likely gotten myself the wrong CDP.
Sure, adding a better power cord (mo' $$$) can help improve the punch or slam. Adding a upscale DAC most often will increase the performance level too. ICs as well can assist but not so much as power cable exchanges will in that area of impact. together, PC & IC might fix it for you. I do know they'll help.
Lastly, on balance, your system seems as quite an easy sounding system without the Sony being in it and what you've described here. The Sony was the link that provided you the jump your whole system had... now it's not in there.
Rigs are always a mix... or a stew.
to get it back... go find another Sony with XLR...
Buy a Bel Canto DAC 3...
Add a punchier PC to your 840... and step up in your source IC too. Taipan Helix, Python Alpha, or helix, Kimber Paladium PK 10, MIT S1 or Magnum series ICs.
The cheapest way is simply to get a Sony or likewise more dunamic CDP... SCD 1's are still out there though I'd opt for a more current unit.
The least expensive way is to wait it out some more and maybe, just maybe, change your own perspective on how the music is being rendered is as good... just different.
I had a similar experience years ago. I had a Sony 707ES. It was getting old, I kept reading reviews about the latest digital leapfrogging last months best. I took the Sony into a shop that was selling the latest $1400 Rotel that got rave review in Stereophile. I asked to do an AB with my Sony, the salesman said I shouldn't even bother, theres's no competition. I said I'd like to try, so he hooked it up for me. He was right, the Sony annihilated the Rotel. To get comparable sound to the Sony, we had to go to a $5000 EAD.
I didn't like the six month old 840 I tried out myself. No disrespect to Cambridge Audio in general, I think they are an innovative business.
This thread is a perfect example of how people perceive sound differently.
Hey guys - everyone here is enormously helpful. I'm leaning towards a few other tryouts with power cords and i/c's.
But it seems if things don't change in a few weeks .....well, any one like to try a pristine cam 840 in black ?
I guess I can't resist commenting on this thread. I tend to be more of a lurker on this forum but I have owned 840C for 2 years now and bought a BDP-83 that I then had upgraded to the SE version.
What can I say. For me the 840C has been a STUNNING performer. In my system. (VAC Avatar Integrated amp and Dali Mentor 6 speakers.)
When I first got mine it too needed to break in. I had my dealer break it in for 2 weeks for me. He let me listen to the 740 and the 840. The 740 did nothing for me. but the 840 seem to combine the musicality of players like my Rega but with a much clearer window into the sound.
Still it took a month or 2 more playing time for the sound to stabilize and I then knew what all the hype was about.
Now system integration is everything. The cables made a big difference. I heard it with Analysis Plus oval 9's, Van Den Hul D102, Shunyata Aries and what else I had hanging around here. The Aries sounded great and brought the player to life but were too expensive. The analysis plus just held too much back and I loved that cable up until then. In my search for something better I found the D102. You can pick them up pretty cheap on ebay and it is a great cable for this player as it really opens up the sound.
This was the player that finally got me to listen to CD's as an alternative to vinyl. Up until then I always preferred vinyl.
Anyway, my player displays NO Digitatis. I know what that sounds like. Before I heard this play It seemed to me that you could get rid of the digitatis but at the price of transparency.
Now I will be the first to admit that this is not the MOST dynamic player. It is good. And using the balanced outs does make a sigificant difference. I bought some cardas rca to xlr adpators and was surprise by that difference.
One thing I need to say is that what I have found as you get a better player is the noise goes away. It is a noise that I didn't notice till it was gone. At first I thought I lost all the detail til I realized it is all there but what I thought was the venue it was recorded in was this noise.
So this player in my system is musically detailed, the texture of the instruments comes through, with a wide deep soundstage and imaging that is natural and solid. And the emotion of the player and singers, the real reason I love hi-fi, is clearly heard.
When I first got this player I thought it was on the bright side. Now it is clearly anything but bright. And my mentors are not rolled off speakers, though some of it maybe compensated for by the amp. But the Avatar is know to be a bright tube amp.
Compared to the OPPO, see my comments in the "has anyone heard the OPPO 83SE" thread but basically I like the OPPO alot and it maybe a shade more dynamic than the 840 but when comes to sounding like real people making music, no contest. I listen to my 840c for all cd's. On DVD's (sent to the 840 dac vs OPPO analog out) it is a toss up. If the Dvd lets it be sent out the digital at full resolution (24/96) the 840 will usually sound better. And with SACD's the OPPO SE sounds better on hybrid's than the cd side on the 840.
I am listening the cowboy junkies live album right now. I wish the OP could come hear it in my system. It sounds natural, dynamic (well as dynamic as Margo gets) and natural. and emotion? On a less quality player or system Margo sounds like cardboard. Not here.
I bought two 840c players over the past year to replace both my Meridian 508.24 and Conrad Johnson DV2B players.
I find the 840 to improve over both of these aging players in terms of soundstage, natural analog presentation, dynamic oomph and blacker background. Both of these players are plugged in PS Audio Premier Power Plants in their respective systems. They did take some time to break in each and I have nothing but praise and satisfaction with their performance and musicality.
hey guys - this may belong on another post, but here goes.
blindjim say's " ... the Cam 840 just might not be entirely run in as I've seen here online posts saying it needs upwards of a years use or from 300-400 hr".
Yikes !!! ....which brings me to my point.
why in the name of les paul should anyone wait 300-400 hours to discover if they like the unit ?
my money's been paid, my warrantee's runnin', i'm paying for the current to keep it on and my wife's long been bribed.
you'd think by now manufacturer's would do this at the factory. you see ... the item for all intent and purpose is unusable.
i'm 62 years old ......time is becoming precious....maybe i shoulda started this hobby at an earlier age.
is anyone on my side ??
Dabern, this is why most of us audition already broken in gear in our own systems. I know not always possible, but the oly way to really know what something will really sound like. My CD rig took over 1,000 hours to break in. Now, if not for having heard a broken in one in my own system, I would have long sent it back. Knowing what it was capable of, I stuck with it, and, ultimately, was not dissappointed.
What I said about run in of devices applies to many if not all of the items being produced today, including speakers. Certainly, speakers. or at least, it is my experince so far.
24-7 playing runs you in at 168 hr. per wk., so in just over two weeks you should be right about there and done with break in, if it ain't broke by then. 17 days of round the clock action will do it completely
or by Golly it should.
This spell takes me far longer as I simply will not turn it on and let it run for two weeks plus periods. That just aint happening here. Even if it wasnt my own gear I shudder at the thought of it. Run it in as you will use it is my approach more often than not if it spins or heats up.
Makers aren't going to wind 'em up for that long. they just ain't gonna.
I wonder more so, if this run in period isn't partly due to a preference of sorts. My SCD xa777 following a new sled installation (both lasers and motor) was extremely articulate. Night and day diff from what was going on previously. in many accounts it staged better, and had better tone & impact, but was striden up on top and in the upper mid to treble range. I took 3-4 weeks of on again, off again running to get it sounding easier on the ears, but took it back to the factory service center to have it double checked as I thought something could be wrong. Nope. Nothing was wrong.... it simply needed more spinning.
Right around 300 hrs. or so it began to sound ok... a bit longer for it to sound better than it had prior to the sled instalation. Sheeeshhh.
Finding all was well and it was better than previous, I sold it. Primarily because my PC was equaling andd surpassing it's performance.
I was fooled again with my Silverline speakers, thinking they were run in right at 300 hrs. Nope. Monitor Gold 60's? Same thing.
Now, I play whatever pieces i HAVE EVERY NOW AND THEN, EVEN IF i'M NOT LISTENING TO THEM, JUST TO KEEP THEM USED TO ELECTRICITY OR SIGNALS. I don't think they'll revert to newish, but they do take far, far, longer to wake back up after extended periods of no activity.
Perhaps we should not task the makers of these devices quite so much as we should urge the component makers... those who make the caps, resistors, chips, and wires, to those ends. yeah. Good luck with that one too.
it's just the way of things bought brand spanking new. Always has been and always will be just this way. It adds to it's charm. Running in stuff is as interesting an affair as it is frustrating and a quite integral part of this past time.