BD/SACD player: Cambridge Audio AZUR 650BD - Page 5 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #121 of 206 Old 02-18-2010, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Smarty-pants View Post

HDMI and SPDIF?
Should have just got a OPPO BDP-80 and saved some money.
Suspicions are that the players are virtually identical outside of the analog audio performance.

Hi
I agree, it seems the two are very similar in just about everything. My problem is I'm a bit impulsive! Love the pics of your cinema - where have you got it? is it a room in the house or converted garage?

Has anyone looked at d-box motion? would it make you feel sick? You should put one in your cinema.

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post #122 of 206 Old 02-18-2010, 04:57 PM
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Grasey: How is it that the tray is loud? When it opens and closes? And please be a little more specific about the on screen menus. What's wrong with them, in your opinion? I'm seriously considering this player and for the moment, you the only reviewer! Thanks!

Hi William,

The tray is no louder really then anything else I have had but it just seems something the critics have latched on to. The actual menus are very good on the setup etc (i was referring to the front panel). Again nothing special about the setup. The USB ports are useful. MP3 files easy to play (if you want it).

I'm going to fit a gaming wireless converter to it so I can connect to my wifi hub - not a major thing (ok for software updates) and BD live if you can be arsed.

All the new HDMI cables have probably cost me more than the player!

Has anyone tried setting sound up in a 5.2 format? I have bi-wired my KEF floor standing and used the woofers on both spread the base, so effectively creating the .2! correct? It sounds really good, and i've convinced myself that it all sounds even better now with the CA supplying the sound.

I don't think my neighbours agree!

I'm quite new to all this and do not get into th real detail regarding performance of particular elements v other machines. All I know is that the hairs on the back of my neck stand up everytime I switch on! I wish it came in silver to match my Denon.

Ta
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post #123 of 206 Old 02-18-2010, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasey View Post

Hi
I agree, it seems the two are very similar in just about everything. My problem is I'm a bit impulsive! Love the pics of your cinema - where have you got it? is it a room in the house or converted garage?

Has anyone looked at d-box motion? would it make you feel sick? You should put one in your cinema.

graeme

Well, they are more than similar. For those of us who know, it is obvious that the platform is identical to the BDP-80.
Just as well though, it appears that CA has made changes to it, especially in the analog audio department.
It's very doubtful that any other changes were made, other than labels, menus, ect...
It will be interesting to hopefully find out soon just how similar and/or different they are.

Thanks for the compliments on the theater. It is a finished room in the lower level of my house.
Bought the house about a year and a half ago, and the lower level was basically a blank slate and we finished out the whole thing.
Other than carpet, it's all DIY.

I've heard the name D-box, but I'm not really familiar with it.
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post #124 of 206 Old 02-26-2010, 12:50 AM
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How flexable is the bass management ? what are the crosover settings ? can you run a subwoofer with 2 channel sacd play back? Thanks
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post #125 of 206 Old 03-01-2010, 07:28 PM
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Hey everyone,

I just wanted to share with you our review of the Cambridge Audio Azur 650BD universal player. I believe that this is the first one on the net!

http://canadahifi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59&page=2

I'm still waiting for the Cambridge Audio to respond to a couple of questions, so the review will be updated as soon as they send us a reply.

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post #126 of 206 Old 03-01-2010, 11:35 PM
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Good review and I agree with you that this 650BD is an exceptional player. Please add something about the audio processing choices in the player's menu. It is possible to choose whether SACD is processed by the player or a compatible AV receiver via HDMI. That makes a difference in sound! Also please note that the CD signal is processed with the player's DACs when using HDMI and is sent to the receiver as PCM. There's no difference in CD sound using HDMI or analog outputs!
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post #127 of 206 Old 03-02-2010, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creaturex View Post

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to share with you our review of the Cambridge Audio Azur 650BD universal player. I believe that this is the first one on the net!

http://canadahifi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59&page=2

I'm still waiting for the Cambridge Audio to respond to a couple of questions, so the review will be updated as soon as they send us a reply.

A review such as this might gain some additional credibility if you mention that the 650BD is based on the Oppo BDP-80 platform, and then go on to detail what changes that Cambridge has made.
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post #128 of 206 Old 03-02-2010, 12:45 PM
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Freewheeler - thank you for the constructive feedback. I will certainly add this to the review!

rdgrimes - I have communicated with the Canadian distributor for Cambridge Audio (who in turn contacted the manufacturer) and was told that the 650BD is not based on the Oppo player, but that it rather uses the same Mediatek architecture. Based on the info that I'm getting from the distributor and manufacturer it would be incorrect to say that the CA is based on the Oppo.

I did ask what differentiates the CA from the Oppo but the distributor could not provide me with any details on this. He did however say that special attention was paid to the design of the audio section.

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post #129 of 206 Old 03-02-2010, 01:15 PM
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There was some discussion of the similarities between the 650BD and the BDP-80 (not the BDP-83 or 83SE). I've got some internal pictures of the BDP-80 in my review if you are interested in them. Also, the rear panel layout of the two players is uncanny.

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post #130 of 206 Old 03-02-2010, 03:06 PM
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They are related not doubt. CA put a new upgraded power supply but it has yet to be determined if they made any tweaks to the analog audio board. Then is would be like a BDP-80SE.

Still lame it is only available in black.

Edit: creaturex, your review only mentions comparing it to the BDP-83 ($499), which it does not. It is suppose to be an upgraded BDP-80($289)
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post #131 of 206 Old 03-03-2010, 08:22 AM
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Thanks for the correction gonk and TommyV! I've corrected 83 to 80 in my review.

There seems to be some confusion in regards to this in this thread, some compare the 650BD to the BDP-80 and some to the BPD-83...

When I sent the review for fact-checking to the Canadian distributor, they didn't comment on this. But they did respond with a an image that compares the insides of both players (although now I'm not sure which Oppo model is shown in this pic, below).
LL

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post #132 of 206 Old 03-03-2010, 08:37 AM
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Those two pictures are comparing the 650BD to the stock BDP-83, which has a more robust analog section than the 650BD (higher grade of Cirrus DAC) and the ABT2010 processor. The BDP-83 pictured there also has the RS232 port added, which is an option for the stock unit and standard on the BDP-83SE. The distributor is quite correct that the two players pictured there are very different.

If you compare the 650BD picture to the BDP-80 picture in my review, you will find that the differences are much less significant. The 650BD has an extra small daughter board a bit to the left of the drive (for the IR port that the 650BD has but the BDP-80 lacks) and a ground wire to the bottom of the chassis. The bottom plate of the chassis for the 650BD is different than the BDP-80's, although you have to look kind of closely at the stampings to tell. Beyond that, however, the differences are much smaller and the main boards look extremely similar. It would take a more detailed study to identify what changes Cambridge made to individual parts on the boards.

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post #133 of 206 Old 03-03-2010, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creaturex View Post

Thanks for the correction gonk and TommyV! I've corrected 83 to 80 in my review.

There seems to be some confusion in regards to this in this thread, some compare the 650BD to the BDP-80 and some to the BPD-83...

When I sent the review for fact-checking to the Canadian distributor, they didn't comment on this. But they did respond with a an image that compares the insides of both players (although now I'm not sure which Oppo model is shown in this pic, below).

That really just adds confusion, since it's apples and oranges. The BDP-80 and the 650BD are the only things that should be compared here. The only open question is in the analog board, and whether Cambridge has made changes there. Apart from that the only differences would be in the power board and the addition of the IR input. The 650BD has every appearance of having been spec-built by Oppo for Cambridge, but only Cambridge can answer that question.
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post #134 of 206 Old 03-03-2010, 11:16 AM
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Yea we have already been down this road one page ago in this thread.
Oppo BDP-80


C.A.:


I wish someone would provide super close ups on the audio board for new info.
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post #135 of 206 Old 03-03-2010, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

The 650BD has every appearance of having been spec-built by Oppo for Cambridge, but only Cambridge can answer that question.

We've been down that road too - see post #18 in this thread.

Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology: There's always one more bug.
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post #136 of 206 Old 03-03-2010, 10:04 PM
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Exactly. Of course you'd expect a lot of similarities between the two interiors when both use the same Mediatek platform. There's a difference between Mediatek-Oppo and Mediatek-CA with each doing its own thing and modifying an Oppo which is the case in Lexicon. It's one thing to be curious about what are the differences between the two but for some Oppo supporters to keep pointing the finger at CA for modifying the Oppo is futile and frankly disrespectful when its CEO has made it clear here that they are not related apart from Mediatek chip.

What I'm most interested to know in CA reviews are:
1. stereo CD analogue performance compared to others;
2. any pops or clicks when playing SACDs and DVD-A as noticed in Oppo.
3. any first track truncation when playing SACDs and DVD-A as noticed in Oppo.
4. any output filter peak above 20kHz with all speakers set to "large", as noticed in audioholics.com's Oppo 83/83SE review.
5. any bass crossover frequencies other than 80Hz as noticed in audioholics.com's Oppo 83/83SE review.

Bear in mind also that when talking about value for money the considerations are somewhat different when you're in the UK where the CA is priced halfway between the Oppo 80 and 83 so the increase going from the Oppo 80 to the CA (£116 incl. VAT) is much less than in the US ($410) or Canada (CDN494) before tax.

RRP and MSRP:
Oppo 80 Region A £283 incl. VAT, USD289, CDN305
Oppo 83 Region A £503 incl. VAT, USD499, CDN530

CA Region A USD699, CDN799
CA Region B £399 incl.VAT

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 #137 of 206 Old 03-04-2010, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

Exactly. Of course you'd expect a lot of similarities between the two interiors when both use the same Mediatek platform.

The Mediatek chip that they're using is just the SoC. It is the reason that the players' menus look so similar. Mediatek, however, doesn't design whole players - and the similarities noted in the pictures cover the entire main board design. That is why it is difficult for some of us to accept the suggestion that the two players have no relationship.

I'm not saying that such a partnership is bad. Cambridge is building a somewhat different player - tweaked power supply, aluminum faceplate, IR port - and it is entirely possible that they have taken the basic architecture and upgraded parts on it (op-amps, etc.) in places. And, as you point out, the price difference involved isn't necessarily that large. I just find it implausible that two players could be so similar (rear panel layout and internal board layout) due solely to the fact that they share a single chip vendor in common.

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post #138 of 206 Old 03-04-2010, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

Exactly. Of course you'd expect a lot of similarities between the two interiors when both use the same Mediatek platform. There's a difference between Mediatek-Oppo and Mediatek-CA with each doing its own thing and modifying an Oppo which is the case in Lexicon. It's one thing to be curious about what are the differences between the two but for some Oppo supporters to keep pointing the finger at CA for modifying the Oppo is futile and frankly disrespectful when its CEO has made it clear here that they are not related apart from Mediatek chip.

What I'm most interested to know in CA reviews are:
1. stereo CD analogue performance compared to others;
2. any pops or clicks when playing SACDs and DVD-A as noticed in Oppo.
3. any first track truncation when playing SACDs and DVD-A as noticed in Oppo.
4. any output filter peak above 20kHz with all speakers set to "large", as noticed in audioholics.com's Oppo 83/83SE review.
5. any bass crossover frequencies other than 80Hz as noticed in audioholics.com's Oppo 83/83SE review.

Bear in mind also that when talking about value for money the considerations are somewhat different when you're in the UK where the CA is priced halfway between the Oppo 80 and 83 so the increase going from the Oppo 80 to the CA (£116 incl. VAT) is much less than in the US ($410) or Canada (CDN494) before tax.

RRP and MSRP:
Oppo 80 Region A £283 incl. VAT, USD289, CDN305
Oppo 83 Region A £503 incl. VAT, USD499, CDN530

CA Region A USD699, CDN799
CA Region B £399 incl.VAT

Just looking at both players, it is emphatically obvious that the CA player is based from the same platform and specs as the BDP-80.
In that fact, there is zero deniability IMHO.

However, as Gonk has so eloquently put it, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
If your going to start with pre-existing hardware/firmware, it may as well be from an already fantastic player, which the BDP-80 is.

Any differences that exist, are being sought out by others to see just how good the CA player is, not necessarily to throw CA under the bus as some might think.
It is also clear that CA has made some significant changes to the player that sets it apart from the BDP-80, and most likely ads value to the player, thus possibly justifying the asking price.

What I and others may be curious about, are the same things that you are curious about as well. Wondering what features differentiate the player from the BDP-80, and how those differences are perceived in real world performance.
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post #139 of 206 Old 03-04-2010, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

. It's one thing to be curious about what are the differences between the two but for some Oppo supporters to keep pointing the finger at CA for modifying the Oppo is futile and frankly disrespectful when its CEO has made it clear here that they are not related apart from Mediatek chip.

The "CEO" has made no such statement here. What he did is dance around the question at a time long before the BDP-80 was announced. He only stated the two companies have no relationship. Nobody was comparing it with the BDP-80 because it didn't publicly exist at that time.

One only needs to look at the 2 players to know the truth, to deny it is just silly. Cambridge did the same thing with the Oppo 980 platform.

None of that is to say that there's not any real value in the 650BD, although the extent of that value is unknown until someone takes an objective look at the analog board and compares the 2 players in action.
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post #140 of 206 Old 03-05-2010, 09:06 PM
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Hello all ,
I just picked up the Azur 650 and I think it's an outstanding all around player. I have played a few cd's , SACD's and a few Blu rays. First off it's turn on speed is very fast. It's on par with my Ps3. The Eject opens the door in just a few seconds. I love that. Sound quality picture quality setup all very nice.
One of the coolest things I noticed is that it displays SACD Info onscreen. I played Al Di Meola and the song title and Album info as there. Thats a first. I wonder if the Oppo does this???

I was going to buy the Oppo but I have Installed a few of these with excellent results.

I few things I don't like about it so far. No discrete codes released yet. Sucks as I use Universal remote and I'm switching to Control 4 soon. I'm hoping Cambridge releases codes I don't like the way you have to control it. You have to use the Eject as it's discrete on. Kinda sucks I had to build a Macro to turn it off discrete using the eject and such. Also I don't see a way to dim the display. It does however have a Pure Audio but that's not useful for movies or DVD audio. I also don't like the USB cover , kinda looks cheap. They should have had a better way.

I will report back after a full review. I want to spend some quality time with it.
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post #141 of 206 Old 03-05-2010, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mantis10 View Post

Hello all ,
I just picked up the Azur 650 and I think it's an outstanding all around player. I have played a few cd's , SACD's and a few Blu rays. First off it's turn on speed is very fast. It's on par with my Ps3. The Eject opens the door in just a few seconds. I love that. Sound quality picture quality setup all very nice.
One of the coolest things I noticed is that it displays SACD Info onscreen. I played Al Di Meola and the song title and Album info as there. Thats a first. I wonder if the Oppo does this???

I was going to buy the Oppo but I have Installed a few of these with excellent results.

I few things I don't like about it so far. No discrete codes released yet. Sucks as I use Universal remote and I'm switching to Control 4 soon. I'm hoping Cambridge releases codes I don't like the way you have to control it. You have to use the Eject as it's discrete on. Kinda sucks I had to build a Macro to turn it off discrete using the eject and such. Also I don't see a way to dim the display. It does however have a Pure Audio but that's not useful for movies or DVD audio. I also don't like the USB cover , kinda looks cheap. They should have had a better way.

I will report back after a full review. I want to spend some quality time with it.

What are the Bass Management settings? Do they differ from the Oppo's? Looking foward to your review...
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post #142 of 206 Old 03-05-2010, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mantis10 View Post

I few things I don't like about it so far. No discrete codes released yet. Sucks as I use Universal remote and I'm switching to Control 4 soon. I'm hoping Cambridge releases codes I don't like the way you have to control it. You have to use the Eject as it's discrete on. Kinda sucks I had to build a Macro to turn it off discrete using the eject and such. Also I don't see a way to dim the display.

Go to:

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/assets...D_IR_Codes.pdf

You can dim the display at the setup menu. But there is a bug: the player doesn't remember the display setting if you are connected to ethernet.

It is usually very useful to study the manual

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/assets...nual-01Eng.pdf
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post #143 of 206 Old 03-06-2010, 01:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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man I did not know this thread was still going the only thread I have open that is still around. How is the player.
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post #144 of 206 Old 03-06-2010, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himey View Post

What are the Bass Management settings? Do they differ from the Oppo's? Looking foward to your review...

Right now I'm only wired HDMI. I will probably play around with 6 channel out and check out the bass management. Look here in a week or 2.
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post #145 of 206 Old 03-06-2010, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himey View Post

What are the Bass Management settings? Do they differ from the Oppo's? Looking foward to your review...

Page 27: http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/assets...nual-01Eng.pdf
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post #146 of 206 Old 03-06-2010, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonk View Post

The Mediatek chip that they're using is just the SoC. It is the reason that the players' menus look so similar. Mediatek, however, doesn't design whole players - and the similarities noted in the pictures cover the entire main board design. That is why it is difficult for some of us to accept the suggestion that the two players have no relationship... I just find it implausible that two players could be so similar (rear panel layout and internal board layout) due solely to the fact that they share a single chip vendor in common.

SoC suppliers do provide a complete turn-key solution to the player manufacturers which they can modify as they see fit. One can usually tell what SoC vendor is used by just looking at the back panel. In many cases, the design is also tied to a specific drive/loader since there is usually optimized firmware for each one.
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post #147 of 206 Old 03-07-2010, 08:58 AM
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Has anybody heard clicks during SACD playback like is happening with some Oppo players?
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post #148 of 206 Old 03-08-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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I wonder why none of the main HT rags have reviewed the Cambridge Blu player yet, while the Oppo has had so many reviews I've lost count? C'mon Sound & Vision, Home Theatre magazine or Widescreen Review!
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post #149 of 206 Old 03-08-2010, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Moore View Post

I wonder why none of the main HT rags have reviewed the Cambridge Blu player yet, while the Oppo has had so many reviews I've lost count? C'mon Sound & Vision, Home Theatre magazine or Widescreen Review!

They were not as prompt in shipping them as was Oppo. I have one now and I suspect you will see reviews from many sources soon.

Kal Rubinson

"Music in the Round"
Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #150 of 206 Old 03-08-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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Thanks, Kal. I'm looking forward to seeing some reviews on this piece. Given Cambridge's record of producing good sounding (and looking) equipment for not very much moolah, I am hoping for great things from their Blu player. BTW, I enjoy your reviews in Stereophile. So might your review appear soon in SGHT on line? Also, do you still have your Maggie 3.6's? I own a pair of 3.5's which I just recently had updated at the factory with all new drivers. WOW!




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