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Owners Thread Cambridge Audio 651r/751r - Page 2

post #31 of 605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryder125 View Post

Yeah I'm torn between the Cambridge 551R but no Dolby volume, on screen display and room corrections is a bummer, the Anthem MRX 300 or Arcam 360, be good to hear your review on it.

If speaker, OPPS! I mean ROOM correction is important to you then both Arcam and CA will be VERY disappointing. Both either do NOT have speaker...., I mean - ROOM correction EQ'ing, or if it does (like Arcam or CA 751r & 651r) it is either ineffective or actually negative to the SQ and you won't use it anyway. IMO.

However, there are many speaker brands where basic speaker (or room ) correction (like Arcam & CA) can help. And these often VERY popular speakers can have boomy bass and rather muted upper frequencies. Which is, ironically, why most Anthem people think ARC (Anthem RC and probably the best) is sooooo great. From what I've read, most of them SHOULD, because it helps get bass under control and often helps clear up the center channel a little, for MANY of them.
post #32 of 605
so why did you go Anthem over Arcam? do you think you'll be taking the Cambridge over the Anthem?
post #33 of 605
I'm back. And the 751r is back at the dealer. I had it for two weeks. But don't assume I didn't like it LOL!

Let me start by saying....WOW!.... Nothing else like it. I'm NOT saying that it is "necessarily" BETTER SQ than all the others, BUT just about everything about it is oddly different than any other receiver. It IS a major standout for BOTH good AND bad reasons. If you start to think all receivers (and such) are all about the same - I disagree, but CAN understand how you can start to think so - - Then this is a receiver to try out just to experience it. Review coming soon....
post #34 of 605
Looking forward to the review!
post #35 of 605
Cambridge Audio Azur 751r Review.
Cambridge Audio AV Receiver 751r REVIEW.
Review of Cambridge Audio CA Azur 751r.

REMOVED BY POSTER.

You can find the long detailed excellent review at AVForums. I have deleted the review from this website. tongue.gif
Edited by dean-l - 11/8/13 at 8:41am
post #36 of 605
So your buying a 651 to replace the the MRX 700? Or is this 651 just to test out?
post #37 of 605
Yup, trading in the MRX700 for a 651r.

Usually I can fall pretty easily for the "higher" model, but, for my needs, CA just didn't differentiate the two models enough for me.

Sad, too, because my dealer offered a really good price for the 751r.
post #38 of 605
Did you try any of the NAD receivers? Just wondering since I have a NAD T775HD but have not tried any of the other receivers that you have tried.
post #39 of 605
Whoa - awesome, detailed review! Thanks for the effort. I'm looking forward to hearing about the 651r.
post #40 of 605
Quote:
Originally Posted by bommai View Post

Did you try any of the NAD receivers? Just wondering since I have a NAD T775HD but have not tried any of the other receivers that you have tried.

The only two brands I didn't check out were NAD and Rotel.

I'm confortable skipping Rotel, however. Too many basic problems for me --- like, class D amps, CODEC pops, people complaining about issues that never get resolved generation after generation, no headphone jack, class D amps (oh, did I mention that already LOL!) and chintzy stickers to cover a TOO BRIGHT and un-dimming power button light. Rotel seems stuck in neutral and just update HDMI versions with each generation. A great name and history, just sliding into irrelevancy. Sad.

Even though Cambridge Audio is behind the times in many ways, they do a VERY good job with what they do DO and are moving forward. They tend to disappoint (like Audyssey 2EQ) and yet turn around and implement something else better than anyone (like Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Volume / Video Processing). Like I said they are HOT and COLD. For me the HOT were the RIGHT things and the COLD, not so important. Others might disagree. In fact, I can EASILY understand why.

As far as NAD, well, THAT really IS the only "boutique" brand I wish I had tried that I didn't. Nad is an odd name for me. They make TONS of AVR's, update them all the time, yet RARELY ever get "five star" (for audio) type reviews on them, or make "Top Pick" lists. One exception, sort of, is the 787. Home Theater.com put the 787 on it's "top picks" list after bumping off the Arcam AVR600. Basically, calling it the best sounding AVR! But, OTOH, WhatHiFi, gave the 787 a pretty stinker review. SO, overall (from what I've seen) the "review" industry tends to be pretty regularly "luke-warm" to them, as a whole. BUT, that being said, you need to try one to really know for sure, and I just happened not to, unfortunately.
post #41 of 605
It is hard for me to compare CA since I have never had one. I have had a couple of different NAD ones though. I used to have a HK AVR 745 - their flagship from 2006. I bought a used NAD T763 from craigslist and was very impressed and ended up getting the T775HD with the AM200 and VM150 MDC cards. I have been extremely happy with mine and use the Audyssey MultiEQ XT and Dynamic EQ. I don't use Dynamic Volume since I don't like the range compression. NAD also used a custom developed target response curve from Audyssey and I like it better than the regular Audyssey curve. I had a couple of bugs in the software and I reported them to NAD and they released firmware updates over time that took care of them. Very happy with the customer service. I have had mine for almost 2 years and it is still going strong. I love it for SACD, CD, and Bluray. I also hooked up my iMac using an external DVI to HDMI connector and all HDMI handshakes are flawless. I also like it that the video is pure pass through and no scaler. However, OSD is fully available for volume up/down, audio mode, etc. The remote is backlit and is universal and learning. I had the opportunity to buy a CA 640R at one point in time but backed out and got the T763 since I only paid $240 for it. I might just hang on to my NAD and invest in some acoustic treatment instead.
post #42 of 605
NAD supposedly has the best remote out there. People who own them seem REALLY happy with them.

A lot more NAD AVR owners out there than CA. A small number vs. a REALLY small number.smile.gif

CA gets good and bad reviews too. Just a lot LESS of them since they tend to have had less AVR's. But now that they have 4 AVR's out at the same time maybe CA will get a little more attention.
post #43 of 605
Dean why go with the 651 over the 551? Looks like they use a lot of the same hardware and should sound the same, seems like its mostly features and power?
post #44 of 605
The 551 has no room correction at all vs the 2EQ in the other models.
post #45 of 605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryder125 View Post

Dean why go with the 651 over the 551? Looks like they use a lot of the same hardware and should sound the same, seems like its mostly features and power?


551r..

A LOT less power

90 watts into 2 channels vs. 140 watts (8 ohms)
60 watts into 7 channels vs 100 watts (8 ohms)

no 2EQ
no Dynamic EQ
no Dynamic Volume
only ONE HDMI out
less functional remote
Less sophisticated(cheaper) video scaler
smaller front display panel
No Trigger outs

551r is a largely different design

The 651r and 751r are pretty much design twins.

751r just has extra HDMI in's, a digital audio upscaler with USB, and pushes a little more power into the amps.
post #46 of 605
Quote:
Originally Posted by dean-l View Post

551r..

A LOT less power

90 watts into 2 channels vs. 140 watts (8 ohms)
60 watts into 7 channels vs 100 watts (8 ohms)

no 2EQ
no Dynamic EQ
no Dynamic Volume
only ONE HDMI out
less functional remote
Less sophisticated(cheaper) video scaler
smaller front display panel
No Trigger outs

551r is a largely different design

The 651r and 751r are pretty much design twins.

751r just has extra HDMI in's, a digital audio upscaler with USB, and pushes a little more power into the amps.

We know the 751R/651R development team in China very well.. 😳
They are very experienced and capable, as they have been designing/building the NAD products for over 12 years... Though some users may want different power and features, the 751 & 651 stand up well against the competition..
Another interesting fact about the factory source is that they design/assemble the Wi-Fi/USB/Air-Play/Internet Radio modules used by the major AVR brands including Onkyo, Denon, Marantz, Harman/Kardon and Yamaha...

Just my $0.02... 👍😉
post #47 of 605
Thread Starter 
Great writeup on the 751r!

Nice to see someone take the time to contribute reviews on three popular receivers. I'm an arcam fella myself, but only because CA was too slow to the draw with release dates.

My experiences with CA and Arcam closely align with yours I think. Here's what I percieved with music tests (HT is a cakewalk if music is handled well IMO):

CA has a forward sound that is powerful and punchy. Some may consider it aggressive, or just strong and forward. The bass is prominent and the midrange is powerful and full.

Arcam has a more laid back midrange with a very airy and detailed high end. It edges out the CA for detail and resolution-- but only when matched with complimentary speakers. There is more 'finesse' if you want to call it that.

My perference after experiencing many speaker's tonal frequency characteristics is towards the 'british' sound. Airy top end with lots of extention and sparkle. Sweetness in the treble. The Arcam is the more capable receiver when it comes to this. If you are more into raw power and slam, then the CA products may be more your thing. At this level the differences become subtle and will be more influenced by speaker pairings.

Both Arcam and CA are great, and I've considered both the CA 651a and Arcam a19 integrated amplifiers too. Once again, the arcam won out and is on order.

From my dealer and personal experience:

Popular and excellent pairing for CA are with Mordaunt Short speakers. ( I own Mezzo 6s paired with AVR360 and have demoed CA 651a with MS Mezzo 2s)

Popular and excellent pairing for Arcam are Tannoy speakers. ( Brother owns Tannoy precision 7.1 setup paired with Arcam AVR360)
post #48 of 605
Thanks. Was up ALL NIGHT writing it up. Literally.

I really liked the Arcam. But...... I kept getting a strange digital-ish "chirp" from the right rear area. From BOTH units I tried. It was quite regular and often a little out of control. Major FAIL. I found out later that some people think it comes from having Dolby Volume ON. It's an odd thing and I kinda just moved on.

The Anthem MRX700's, I keep getting channel noise. Not just typical low amp static. The first 700 was a gurgling noise out the left rear surround. The last two have been a RF type noise out the front right. You can REALLY hear it with headphones. Also the last two sometimes, "ACT UP" ( I call it.) -- The noise goes to ALL channels and I start getting CODEC lock POPs. I also feel, occasionally, (all three 700's) have something of a "soundfield" collapse. Like WAY too much sound starts to focus on the center channel.

The second 700, the noise was ALL THE TIME. But the third 700 it actually can come and go. really odd.

I tried different outlets, cables, inputs. Even took one to the store. No diff.
post #49 of 605
There is a review of the 751R in the latest issue of Home Theater Magazine..
post #50 of 605
I just went through the review.

It was kinda lackluster review, even by Home Theater standards. I don't disagree with anything. Just THIN. Little depth.

Glad I wrote a review for the more serious and informed shopper.
post #51 of 605
Just go my 651r today.

Anyone think it's time to start a Cambridge Audio 651r 751r Owners Thread??

We small handful of folks need somewhere to go.
post #52 of 605
Yes I think we need an owners thread. Seems like not too many owners but would still be nice. I have the 751R that seems to be working great. Just bought some B and W CM5's, CM2 Centre and 686's for surrounds. Sounds nice, too bad they didn't put a higher level Audyssey in it but no big deal.
post #53 of 605
Thread Starter 
Changed Thread name. Ready set go!smile.gif
post #54 of 605
I can't find home theatres review on their site? What did they have to say about the Cambridge?
post #55 of 605
It's only available in the magazine. But it'll be on the site eventually.

I bought the mag, cause I couldn't wait. Now that I HAVE it, I could've waited. rolleyes.gif

Some basic highlights....

It'll be a Top Pick

Audio - 5 stars
Video - 4 1/2
Features - 3 1/2
Ergonomics - 3 1/2
Value - 4

Likes the physical design - heavy metal, plenty inputs, etc

Audyssey 2EQ - Didn't say it was "bad" just mentions it's the "lowest filter quality" of the four available Audyssey versions. (wimpy way of saying -- expensive AVR - but shockingly cheap old outdated RC)

Remote - "...while simple and narrow, has a nice heft. Layout is unorthodox..." (in other words - remote is physically OK - but the button choice is odd/crap/poor)

Likes digital DAC/ATF/upsampling deal

Mentions the things it doesn't have - networking/iOS USB/Airplay, etc. (no surprise to us)

Superior sound, only weakness is Audyssey 2EQ.

I listened to this, I watched that -- BLAH BLAH -- they sounded great. Like every other review you ever read.

AND a full page color ad for CA AVR's on the back cover. tongue.gif
post #56 of 605
Thread Starter 
Killer measurements. What a power monster for the price.
post #57 of 605
Nice review - and really honest smile.gifsmile.gif!

considering to order 751bd and 651r.

Now one huge (for me) disappointing question: Any advice what small speaker system to go for?

Have no spacefor full size speakers, forced to make such decision - too many furniture, too much of different equipment I work on, and weird architecture with lots of different angles in it...


thnx for help in advance

OK-decision made and equipment just came:
751 BD
651r
Minx 325
Edited by NeshaS - 5/29/13 at 10:49am
post #58 of 605
impression after first listenning:

Minx 325

deacent spaker system, clear high and low, a bit lacking of mid range. Good quallity but a bit over priced for quallity of sound-who can go for Monitor Audio full size speaker system it will be very impressed.

651r

works fine, only thing that I didnt like are display options:
-once choosing Sorround Modes, due to small in line display, takes ages to understand what option was selected. For me, sometimes very dissopointing
-no back function in choose of Sorround Modes-forced to go to the end of list and to watch carefully what to select
with proper speakers it gets warm sounds and better mid range, clear and full of details.

on the other hand, it has very nice feature-you can setup 4 modes of screen light, including totaly off!! smile.gif

Overall, AVR has clear sound & picture quallity, lots of power and (probbably) enough power to push far more serrious 7.1 + in second zone 2.1 speaker systems
Great option for 2 subs, lots of HDMIs but..,lack of that USB for PC connectivity on the back panel might be dissopointing.
No LAN ports-this means no updates available.. frown.gif

Awoid Audyssey - did far more better speaker ajustment by myself, something that suits my taste and got more quallity from those small Minx-es smile.gif

751bd

great player, fast in loading (<10sec) on startup, fast in loading DVD (~6-7 seconds), BD in loading was faster than other players.Fast in loading USB files ( <5seconds from plug in of USB memory)
Playing anything, even scratched CDs from the car..great in picture quallity, sound and overall its one of the best sounds besides Oppo, almost nothing can be close (my impression) to it.
Great touch of processors and DAC so usually bad recodings become something like totaly new experience and this is great!

Lacking of that nice feature of 651 to change modes of light on display..

Internet works fine via provided USB dongle, it supports Youtube and Picassa. Quallity vise, it does termendous job on low quallity videos from Youtube and makes this experience as nicely discovered feature!!
I was shocked with quallity of video / sound that was delivered!!

And there is HUGE BUT arround 751bd:

-Youtube, for example can freeze player! what happens? once you drill down in listed videos till the end of the lists from suggested searches, it can get stucked for a momment and after, if there is loss of connectivity with Internet, it freezezes it self totaly. Only power off helps! frown.gif
-if there is happening allready described scenario of freeze during surfing, you can not use front USB port for example to plug in USB stick into it, only few power offs can help.
-generally, it freezes on Youtube from time to time, only power off helps-no go back or top many can help to get out, sometime helps HOME button

the worst ever thing arround 751 BD
-if it is connected via USB dongle to Internet, it can not play USB from front panel-either Internet, either USB external connectivity!!!!! mad.gifmad.gif
after, to get USB recognition, only power off helps. Will try to update SW version and see if it helps.

seems like USB and its split is lousy done, or my device is mallfuncitonning!!

didnt test ESATA but have some doubts arround it am I going to face the same problem as with pairing USB dongle for Internet and USB flash.
Edited by NeshaS - 5/29/13 at 2:13pm
post #59 of 605
"the worst ever thing arround 751 BD
-if it is connected via USB dongle to Internet, it can not play USB from front panel-either Internet, either USB external connectivity!!!!!
after, to get USB recognition, only power off helps. Will try to update SW version and see if it helps.

seems like USB and its split is lousy done, or my device is mallfuncitonning!!"

tried few different USB flash drives-and with different brands it was not having problems-tested 10 different memories, had same problems on 2. Tried different formats NTFS / FAT and problem stayed.
Conclusion is that it requires not just any USB flash. And that there is something wrong there..

ESATA tested, so far works fine with no problems at all. Didnt experience problems with subs, freeze or something a like.

Update of firmware is last dated on May 2012, stating out that " Fix YouTube playback after YouTube changed their service" -seems like they didnt work it out till the end.
Regarding firmware updates, there is an interesting thing-list of prior updates is limmeted not only to 751, it reffers to 651 also.
In history of updates, you can see that prior to the latest one, it was

"Firmware version 751BD(CU)-11-0923 was released in September 2011. Features of this update included;
- Improves UPnP performance and USB browsing"
this gets me into conclusion that there is a problem with USB after all.

Based on dates of firmware updates, Cambridge Audio is having updates once in a year ( September 2011, May 2012)

Also, very interesting thing arround video transfer: it is supported for zone 2 on the 651R and 751R-only via analog video
http://support.cambridgeaudio.com/faqs/view?QuestionID=378
Edited by NeshaS - 5/29/13 at 2:04pm
post #60 of 605
651r and 751r AVR's are SW update capable through the RS-232 port. I was told it has to be done at the dealer, however. But, then again, there really might not be anything to update.

Returned my 651r today. Train wreck.

Remote was jammed together. Wheel button squeaks like an old bicycle. Screw stripped, out of alignment bottom panel.
Dynamic EQ offset doesn't work right.
AVR dumps audio constantly. Have to turn AVR OFF and ON, 10 - 25 times to get audio back.
HDMI goes crayon-like color crazy until I go back and forth with inputs.
Sound was wrong right from the beginning. Was too laid back for a CA. Center channel seemed to change volume, or was weak --odd.

New one on order.

It never seems to END for me.
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