Cambridge Audio Azur 651A or ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-25-2012, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Just ordered Focal 814v speakers and looking for an integrated amp along the lines of the Cambridge. I have an Onkyo TX-NR1008 that I am replacing as I bought it on a whim a find the whole home theatre thing is not what I am looking for.I am in rural Canada so not too much available locally . Reliability and simplicity are important. Like the idea of a USB connection for streaming music from a computer.
Any and all suggestions are appreciated.Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-26-2012, 03:22 AM
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It should be a nice unit. They didn't mention much about the USB input but the spec says:

USB Audio 1.0
16 bit 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz.

You won't be able to stream 24/48, 24/96, or 24/192 "hirez" streams to it. This may not matter to you, but for some it may.

larry

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post #3 of 16 Old 11-26-2012, 09:03 AM
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Why not keep the Onkyo? It has an excellent room correction and bass management built into it. It has plenty of power - probably puts out twice what the Cambridge does - you already have it on hand - AND it will do everything you listed as needing. There seems to be a fallacy when it comes to room correction and 2 channel - that you don't need it. Its true - you don't need it. Its also true that multi-channel doesn't need room correction either. But I don't know anyone who have it that are complaining about what it does - they use it. Because it works. If nothing else it'll integrate a sub to your mains. And it works even if you don't use a sub.

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post #4 of 16 Old 11-26-2012, 10:12 AM
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Since you are asking for suggestions along the lines of the Cambridge you are thinking about, I would take a look at the NAD 356DAC too. Specs & price very similar and should do a good job with the very nice speakers you have recently purchased.

I have had two NAD amps now and can speak for their quality and longevity. I recently sold a NAD 3020 that still looked, functioned and sounded great after 30 years. Further, I got close to half of my original purchase price back. Not many products you can say that about. Good luck in your decision and enjoy the music.

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post #5 of 16 Old 11-26-2012, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I have considered keeping the Onkyo for now and replacing my older Sony disc changer. Would I be missing out on any important features or functions by doing this? I anticipate only using my computer,satellite receiver and a disc player as sources. Would the new CD player make a noticeable difference? If so any recommendations in an under $500 CD player? Thanks again.
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-26-2012, 02:35 PM
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Your Onkyo already has Burr-Brown DACs in it. No need to spend big dollars on a CD player. Get one that is good as a transport and can put out bit for bit digital and let the Onkyo decode it. As I said before - the Onkyo is already yours and it'll do everything you want done. Why not give it a try before running out and spending money? Unless you're flush with cash...

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post #7 of 16 Old 11-26-2012, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Any suggestions on brand & model of cd player that would fit these needs? I will give the Onkyo a try. My only complaint with it is that I find it too complicated for my little brain. My eyes glaze over every time I look at the manual.
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post #8 of 16 Old 11-26-2012, 04:42 PM
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If you think the Onkyo is bad try some of the Denon manuals. You can always ask on the amps and receivers thread about whatever is confusing you.

As for a CD player there are many of them and nearly every one of them are capable of spinning the disc. Find one you like that has optical and/or coax out so you can connect to the receiver. Most if not all of them are a bit for bit digital transport and thats key. I use an Oppo Blu-Ray player with the signal routed to an external Emotiva XDA-1 DAC for 2 channel. I like to buy refurbished or even used some times. Since you are in Canada I'd suggest Canuck Audio Mart or ebay.ca.

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post #9 of 16 Old 11-27-2012, 08:25 AM
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I suggest that you look at the Music Hall A15.2 amplifier.

IMO it is the best-sounding amplifier you can get for under $1000.

It is only $499 at Music Direct, which is a steal!

You will need a separate DAC, but IMO a separate DAC is always best; putting a DAC in an amplifier makes it difficult to keep the noise out of the amplifier circuits, which is just a needless problem to be solved, at extra expense.

The OPPO BDP-103 is only $499, and it is far better for CD and SACD playback than anything else at its price, plus it is also a DVD player.

The OPPO BDP-95 is possibly the best cd player in the world for under $10,000, but it does cost $995. It is an amazing bargain for that price, but $995 is still $995.
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post #10 of 16 Old 11-27-2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paraneer View Post

Since you are asking for suggestions along the lines of the Cambridge you are thinking about, I would take a look at the NAD 356DAC too. Specs & price very similar and should do a good job with the very nice speakers you have recently purchased.
I have had two NAD amps now and can speak for their quality and longevity. I recently sold a NAD 3020 that still looked, functioned and sounded great after 30 years. Further, I got close to half of my original purchase price back. Not many products you can say that about. Good luck in your decision and enjoy the music.

Can pick up the c356 with the dac as a refurb for 699. I really like NAD integrated amps and with the built in dac, the unit is even more flexible.

http://www.spearitsound.com/Integrated_Amplifiers-NAD_C_356_DAC_refurbished.html
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post #11 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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So am I right in thinking along the lines of an Oppo BDP-103 as my CD player matched with the Onkyo TX- NR1008. I presently have an older Sony CDP -CE245 cd changer (not sure if it is bit for bit). The idea of replacing the cd, dvd and gaining a Blu-ray all in one unit sounds appealing. Is this overkill or am I way off track in my thinking. Opinions much appreciated.
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post #12 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 03:03 PM
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Your old CD player is about 3 generations out of date in terms of DAC sound quality.

The BDP-103 will be a huge improvement in sound quality, and you get a free DVD player in the bargain.

The sound quality of that Onkyo, however is not nearly as good IMO as the Music hall A15.2 or the NAD 326BEE.

I thought you indicated that you were not interested in multichannel and were going to return the Onkyo 1008.
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post #13 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Not interested in multi channel but I already own the Onkyo which I would have to sell. Bought it at the time because of the HDMI. I also have my previous receiver a Sony STR-DB930 which seems to have been fairly highly rated in its day. I prefer the simplicity of the Sony over the Onkyo but not sure if this would work. So I could sell one or both and start over. Thanks for the opinion on the Oppo.
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post #14 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCbud View Post

Just ordered Focal 814v speakers and looking for an integrated amp along the lines of the Cambridge. I have an Onkyo TX-NR1008 that I am replacing as I bought it on a whim a find the whole home theatre thing is not what I am looking for.I am in rural Canada so not too much available locally . Reliability and simplicity are important. Like the idea of a USB connection for streaming music from a computer.
Any and all suggestions are appreciated.Thanks in advance.

Keep the Onkyo because if you tell it there are just two large front speakers it configures itself to be a really good stereo receiver.

As others have pointed out your AVR has good converters so there's no reason to spend the big bucks on a music player with great converters since you already have them.

As far as the computer goes, its own internal converters might be just fine. One bugabear with hooking computers to home audio systems is hum, which is probably best circumvented by using a toslink connection from the computer to the AVR. The toslink connection would also make the compyuter's convertors moot. If your computer lacks a toslink audio output an inexpensive USB dongle would do the job of providing one for you:

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA202-Audio-Interface/dp/B000KW2YEI



BTW your computer might also have a HDMI output, or you can add one with an inexpensive HDMI output video card upgrade:

http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-Express-Graphics-01G-P3-1302-LR/dp/B0049MPQA4

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post #15 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so could someone give me an example of an adequate music player. Is my old Sony adequate? I'm confused.
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post #16 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Ok so could someone give me an example of an adequate music player. Is my old Sony adequate? I'm confused.
Especially since you're doing all the decoding in the receiver, anything with a laser in it will be adequate. A new BluRay player won't sound better than the old Sony, but it'll give you added capabilities.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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