Cambridge Audio's Azur 752BD - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 312 Old 02-21-2013, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Any reviews yet on this player? It's just been released and now available at amazon.com.
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post #2 of 312 Old 02-21-2013, 05:12 AM
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Not much in the way of reviews for it at the moment. I have searched for them. It appears to be pretty much similar to the 751 (with a few improvements..DAC chips are the same if that matters) which earned good reviews. I was deciding between it and the Oppo 105 and decided on the 105 based up on the overwhelming number of positive reviews both professional and user. The 105 arrived Tuesday replacing a DVD player. I like what the 752 has to offer but didn't want to wait for weeks and months for reviews to trickle in.
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post #3 of 312 Old 02-23-2013, 04:47 AM
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Hello there,
What HiFi? Magazine in the UK will be reviewing the 752BD in the next few weeks. Thanks to wonders of the internet, the review will be available to read online not too long afterwards. Reviews from other publications will follow in due course.

The 752BD is actually quite a bit step forward over the 751BD. The same basic architecture is retained (it still performs all the things we need it to do) but it is fair to say we are doing a lot more with it.

- Playback of audio and video files from UPnP/DLNA servers. Can be controlled by an app such as PlugPlayer.

- Mobile High-definition Link
The front panel HDMI input also supports MHL.
Mobile High-definition Link (MHL) can be used to connect to a mobile device is such as a cell phone or a digital camcorder, so play high quality audio and video content back through the 752BD.

- 2D to 3D scaling and 4K scaling
The twin HDMI outputs can be separately configured to send 4K or 3D video from one output to a compatible display, and HD audio to an AV Receiver from the other output.

- Inputs. As digital hub, there are 11 different audio and video sources that can be played through the 752BD
1. Disc playback
2. HDMI input 1/MHL
3. HDMI input 2
4. Network connection (playback from UPnP/DLNA servers)
5. S/P DIF audio input
6. Optical audio input
7. USB input 1
8. USB input 2
9. USB input 3
10. ARC from TV (HDMI 1)
11. ARC from TV (HDMI 2)
Of course, all digital audio inputs are upsampled to 24/192 by ATF, and video inputs are scaled up to 1080p (and/or 3D/4K) by the Marvell processor

- ARC. For extra convenience, Audio Return Channel (ARC) allows the audio signal from a connected TV to be sent to the 752BD – rather than having to use a separate audio output from the TV.
- Backlit remote control
- Internal volume control. The 752BD has an optional internal volume control. When this handy feature is enabled, the analogue outputs (7.1 and 2.0) become variable and can be controlled using the 752BD remote control. This means that the 752BD can be connected directly to a power amplifier or active speakers for a simple and highly versatile system.

We are putting the finishing touches on final approval with the Roku Streaming stick as well for some useful extra functionality.

I hope this helps
Ed Selley
Cambridge Audio
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post #4 of 312 Old 02-23-2013, 06:40 AM
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Looks like the same price as the Oppo 105. What are the advantages of one over the other, considering the 752 is based on the 105?
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post #5 of 312 Old 02-25-2013, 12:51 AM
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One thing not clear from the documentation that I would like to know is if the 752BD also functions as a DAC the way the Oppo 105 does...
If so... Are files played through the asynchronous USB input also unconverted to 24/192?
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post #6 of 312 Old 02-25-2013, 03:50 AM
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Hmm... No asynchronous USB input on the Cambridge :/.
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post #7 of 312 Old 03-01-2013, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillP View Post

Looks like the same price as the Oppo 105. What are the advantages of one over the other, considering the 752 is based on the 105?

I think Oppo's support is likely to be the biggest difference.

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post #8 of 312 Old 03-01-2013, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smaragd View Post

One thing not clear from the documentation that I would like to know is if the 752BD also functions as a DAC the way the Oppo 105 does...
If so... Are files played through the asynchronous USB input also unconverted to 24/192?

The USB input isn't an async DAC input but we do fit this to the matching 751R. The differences between the 752BD and Oppo effectively come down to whether you prefer a Wolfson based decoding system or an ESS one.
Regards
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post #9 of 312 Old 03-02-2013, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehlarson View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillP View Post

Looks like the same price as the Oppo 105. What are the advantages of one over the other, considering the 752 is based on the 105?

I think Oppo's support is likely to be the biggest difference.

The Oppo 105 uses Sabre DAC while the 752BD uses Wolfson DAC. I will be using the analog outputs to connect to the analog 7.1 inputs on my Marantz SR7005. The 752 up-converts all formats to 192 kHz. Unsure if the Oppo does that too. On the other hand the 105 comes with a headphone amp and asynchronous USB input (digital audio convertor /DAC) which neither the CA 752 nor the Marantz UD7007 have. Being all at the same retail price here in Hongkong price isn't the deciding factor.


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post #10 of 312 Old 03-02-2013, 07:04 PM
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I've yet to figure out the logic behind the 192kHz upsampling for SACDs.

Assuming the player internally decimates DSD to PCM at 88.2kHz, as Oppo players do, upsampling to 192kHz involves non-integer multiple interpolation. Surely it'd be MUCH better off doing the decimation at 176.4kHz at the outset and just leave it at that, like what some other players are doing. Signal at 176.4kHz can still go into the Wolfson DAC. Even if the player does 176.4kHz there's little point upsampling to 192kHz before the DAC as most likely it will undergo another round of upsampling to higher sample rates.

When you consider the fact that many SACDs are derived from native 24/96 PCM recordings it makes sense to decimate to PCM at HIGHER THAN the native sample rate, not lower.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #11 of 312 Old 03-03-2013, 03:47 PM
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Maybe they don't do it for SACD.

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post #12 of 312 Old 03-04-2013, 09:25 AM
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I wonder if the What HiFi review will get into these kind of details. Seems everything is not rosy with the QDEO output on HDMI1 or the Mediatek output on HDMI2. This from the Oppo 103 thread (I hope CA's implementation is somehow better):
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsinger View Post

Bob: I reached the same conclusion using HDMI 2 Source Direct. I bought the 103 primarily as a transport to a Lumagen Radiance video processor. The 103 replaced an 83. I tried HDMI 2 after I found out that the QDEO chip is still doing noise reduction on HDMI 1 source direct. I find sharpness, fine detail and perceived depth much improved with HDMI 2 source direct.

However, I also found a problem with chroma up sampling on the HDMI 2 output. The Mediatek chip fails the Spears & Munsil chroma multiburst high frequency horizontal test for all color spaces and bit rates. With 422 the colors are very muted and green (green shouldn't appear) is as prominent as red and blue. With 444 blue's prominence is greatly increased. For RGB I got a high luminance hot pink with blue barely visible from a foot away. Note that HDMI 1 passes all the tests. Contacted Oppo on 1/20 by email thinking I had a defective player. Customer support had me bypass the Radiance and go directly to my Elite 70X5. The Elite failed the 422 test on HDMI 1 (note is passes with Radiance) and passed 444 and RGB 8 & 10 bit. RGB 12 bit caused a noticeable increase in luminance of red on the vertical test. The Elite failed all the tests on HDMI 2 showing the hot pink for all 3 with more of a magenta hue. After sending those results back to Oppo they replied saying they were passing it on to engineering for further study. I haven't heard anything from them which leads me to believe they could duplicate the problem. While I am only really interested in Source Direct, I also checked 1080p24 (not source direct) and 1080p60 from HDMI 2 thru the Radiance. They failed the tests in the same way as Source Direct.

I checked what this means in the real non test pattern world on my setup. My guess is that if other people's displays handle 422 as the Radiance did that most people would not notice the difference unless they were doing an A vs. B comparison of familiar reference material. However, on very familiar reference material (S&M Montage) HDMI 2 422 output acts like a thin blanket of fog over the whole picture being most apparent in high luminance scenes. 444 is more visible and reduces saturation and luminance of reds and greens just what I would expect based upon my calibration experience. RGB's pinks seem to wash out the colors of the picture by increasing luminance.

Hopefully Oppo can and will fix these problems including the noise reduction on Source Direct from HDMI 1.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsinger View Post

I have reverted back to HDMI 1 Source Direct. Having seem the effects on color and luminance from HDMI 2 I couldn't continue using it. Once seen I couldn't forget it. Like silk screen effect on rear projection. The Radiance has 6 settings that can enhance sharpness and texture. I increased those by 2 to 3x over what I used with the 83 Source Direct. This seems to result in PQ equal to what I saw out of HDMI 2 Source Direct sharpness/detail/depth wise with a small increase in ringing on the S&M sharpness pattern. The increase is basically the same as I see with HDMI 1 1080p output with sharpness set to +1.

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post #13 of 312 Old 03-05-2013, 09:31 AM
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Upsampling has been found to produce a smoother sound, and most audiophile players for
the past 10-15 years have used it (since dCS pioneered it in their ultra-expensive gear).
In my auditioning of the CA 752, I found its audio to be far more refined and smooth sounding
than the somewhat coarse and grainy sounding Oppo 105 (which does not upsample).

I think the CA 752 may be the best sounding universal player for the money, and its video performance
is as good as the Oppo. Doesn't quite have the fan club that the Oppo has, unfortunately.
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post #14 of 312 Old 03-05-2013, 02:39 PM
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Nice about the audio, I knew CA would nail it. Where do you live? (You might want to put that in your profile.)

As for the video, I sure hope CA did BETTER than Oppo! The good thing about this, Oppo beating them to market and the very technical fanclub, is CA now has a good opportunity to shine and win over some customers.

Are you listening Cambridge_Audio?

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post #15 of 312 Old 03-05-2013, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalidvd View Post

Upsampling has been found to produce a smoother sound, and most audiophile players for the past 10-15 years have used it.

Upsampling, oversampling: the main difference is in the marketing. Modern DACs oversample internally to 192kHz or higher. The Sabre sigma-delta DAC in the Oppo internally converts to different bits in MHz range. The Sony SCD-XA5400ES also has a sigma-delta DAC.

CA chooses to use an external upsampling scheme before the DAC so the signal enters the DAC already at a high sample rate and presumably it won't be further upsampled inside the DAC (we don't know for sure). External solution may do it differently (whether it's better again we don't know) but it's not as if CA is the only one to do it. Don't forget some higher end Denon receivers upsample too. Some DACs upsample and now the Dolby TrueHD encoder is also upsampling to 96kHz.

Ideally I'd like to have the choice to choose the incoming sample rate from no change to 192kHz rather than just one solution for all blanket approach.

However good the analogue sound is in the player this has to be weighed against the disadvantage of the lack of other digital processing and room correction usually carried out in the receiver. The market for MCH analogue players is getting smaller and smaller when more people move to digital for the right reasons.

The previous model 751 had bass management issues too: it'd be interesting to know if the 752 has rectified this.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #16 of 312 Old 03-07-2013, 07:04 AM
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Folks, anybody have idea if the picture and sound quality of 752 is better than 751 ? And are both players better than Arcam diva 137 when playing DVD ? And thank you.
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post #17 of 312 Old 03-07-2013, 02:38 PM
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Has anybody compared the 752 to the Oppo 105?
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post #18 of 312 Old 03-10-2013, 08:26 AM
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I have listened both to the 105 and the CA 752. The biggest difference is in the audio. The 752 produces a more mellow smooth refined sound because it upsamples everythng to 24/192. The 105 sounds more neutral and cool. The 105 offers reliable streaming of Netflix. The 752 does not offer Netflix streaming.
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post #19 of 312 Old 03-10-2013, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalidvd View Post

I have listened both to the 105 and the CA 752. The biggest difference is in the audio. The 752 produces a more mellow smooth refined sound because it upsamples everythng to 24/192. The 105 sounds more neutral and cool. The 105 offers reliable streaming of Netflix. The 752 does not offer Netflix streaming.

Is this with the analogue outputs? Also, were both the 752BD and BDP105 run in or did they come straight out of the box? I've heard that many users of the 105 found it grainy at first but after a week it opened up and became more smooth...
I do tend to lean more towards the 752BD sound though....

Both latest magazines of what hifi and hifi news have reviews out of the CA 752BD. I tend to disagree with what hifi though... They're not clear as to which outputs they were auditioning from...


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post #20 of 312 Old 03-11-2013, 09:27 AM
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My review of the 752B is getting turned in this week. Look for it soon. Direct comparisons to the BDP-105 with both players broken in.

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post #21 of 312 Old 03-11-2013, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post

My review of the 752B is getting turned in this week. Look for it soon. Direct comparisons to the BDP-105 with both players broken in.
Please let us know when it's up (maybe with a link and/or a summary posted here, after it's up). Thanks!
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post #22 of 312 Old 03-11-2013, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post

My review of the 752B is getting turned in this week. Look for it soon. Direct comparisons to the BDP-105 with both players broken in.

Kris, did you compare for analog audio in addition to video?
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post #23 of 312 Old 03-11-2013, 10:22 AM
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Oppo 105 weighs 17 lbs while CA 752 is around 11 lbs. Looks like it is based on 103 with improved DACs.
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post #24 of 312 Old 03-11-2013, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakenergy View Post

Oppo 105 weighs 17 lbs while CA 752 is around 11 lbs. Looks like it is based on 103 with improved DACs.
Although Cambridge does things a bit different with internal layout, from a external view, yes the Azur-752BD looks a lot like the rear of the lower priced BDP-103. The BDP-105 is a lot larger player with analog connectors spread out across the rear, as well as balanced analog outputs. Cambridge and Oppo don't share board technology per say, however the chassis is manufactured by same plant in China.

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post #25 of 312 Old 03-12-2013, 07:43 AM
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The 752 manual says correlated jitter is 50PS, I will be glad to know what the affect will be on both video and audio output including coaxial S/PDIF.
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post #26 of 312 Old 03-12-2013, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillP View Post

Kris, did you compare for analog audio in addition to video?

Of course, as that is really where the most difference is with these two players. Both use identical video sections (absolutely identical in fact). The BDP-105 adds differential balanced outputs, the Asynchronous DAC and the headphone amp to the feature set along with some streaming features not found on the 752. Obviously the analog audio sections are completely different so I wanted to spend lots of time comparing the two with various material. Both were level matched and compared in a full analog system (using an analog pre and feeding amps directly). You can see the system used in my sig.

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post #27 of 312 Old 03-13-2013, 11:23 AM
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Just read a review in Widescreen Review issue 175 where both the Oppo BDP-105 and Cambridge Audio Azur 752 BD were compared by Doug Blackburn.

Allow me to quote a paragraph from the 752BD review regarding the analog audio compared with the Oppo 105...

Quote:
The analog sound from the multi-channel and stereo outputs [sic in the 752BD] is identical in every way I could identify. Not surprising, considering the same high-quality DACs are used for both. The 752BD has the best analog sound quality I've heard from a Blu-ray Disc player so far... there, I said it. The high-end Blu-ray Disc player getting the most attention these days is OPPO's recently introduced BDP-105. But the 752BD sounds better. The main difference is that the BDP-105's sound is more forward and has less depth. The BDP-105's stereo sound appears to emanate from a plane slightly forward of the loudspeakers. The 752BD places the main plain of the sound just behind the loudspeakers, and there's a greater sense of depth going back behind the loudspeakers and more sense of width to the sides. The other difference I heard was that the 752BD's sound puts just a bit more silence between the notes. This is a difficult thing to describe in words, but it essentially makes each note more distinct without really sounding particularly different from other high-end disc players...
Unquote.




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post #28 of 312 Old 03-13-2013, 11:36 AM
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I think Doug was a bit off base there. The BDP-105 and the Azur 752B used a COMPLETELY different analog audio section. The DACs are not even remotely the same, the Oppo uses the SABRE32 Reference DAC where the Azur uses Wolfson. The Oppo is a 32-bit DAC with significantly more dynamic range, the Wolfson is a 24-bit DAC. Now whether this translates into any audible differences is up for debate, but they are anything but the same. The Azur also upsamples all digital signals to 192/24 and applies a filter for anti-aliasing (similar to what Anthem does in its Statement processor).

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post #29 of 312 Old 03-13-2013, 11:49 AM
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Perhaps I should clarify that he was comparing the stereo and multi-channel outputs from the 752BD, stating that they where identical due to the same DAC used for the stereo analog out and the multi-channel out....
This was quoted from his review of the 752BD...




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post #30 of 312 Old 03-13-2013, 11:57 AM
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Ah, that makes more sense. I thought you were referring to comparing the Azur to the Oppo.

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