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-   -   Opinions on the Cambridge Audio Azur 751BD (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/149-blu-ray-players/1355943-opinions-cambridge-audio-azur-751bd.html)

airman23 08-24-2011 03:02 AM

I'm looking for the opinions regarding the Cambridge Audio Azur 751BD. http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=776 I've been researching it and the Oppo BDP-95 for about 3 weeks now trying to get all of the opinions on it from this fourm and others. The consensus seems to favorable of the 95 regarding its features particularly it's ESS Saber32 Reference 9018 DAC's however the Azur 751BD is no slouch either. it uses 5 x Wolfson WM8740 DAC's, the same that is used in the DacMagic and it's fearture set appears simular to the 95 for the most part. I'm looking for the comparisions regarding performace and sound quality between these two excellent universal players. The 95 goes for about $999.00 and the Azur 751BD goes for about $1149.00. So what does the extra $149 get you with the Azur 751BD? The 751BD has Anagram Technologies Q5 192 kHZ upsampling. Will this give better sound quality to 16bit redbook CD's, some of us still have a few of them left over from the 80's and 90's. And what about the 751's Choice of digital filters - linear phase/minimum phase/steep filter. I must confess ignorance of this feature so I'll be extactic to have some one explains this to me and why I need to have or not. I'm thinking of hooking the the 95 or the 751BD to my Yammy RX-A2000 Reciever, yes it's not a Arcam or Krell but all of us don't have the money for those toys. Just from a patriotic standpoint I'd be inclined to get the Oppo as it's an American company "Made in China" as opposed to the British Cambridge Audio Azur 751BD "Made in China" but our British allies have a tradition and reputation for engineering some of the finist audio gear in the world. I'm thinking of getting a pair of Bowers & Wilkins CM1 speakers and I'm inclined to think the the 751BD will give the 95 a run for the money and maybe best it on some points such as performance. the 751BD does not support streaming media such as netflix but I already have that in my PS3. I like the fact the the Oppo is modable which seems to give you some future proofing. So what is your perpective regarding the Oppo BDP-95 vs the Cambridge Audio 751BD?

tenthplanet 08-24-2011 03:48 AM

Oppo is not American, it is Chinese. They have a U.S. division but they are not an American company. Cambridge Audio roots are in audio and they fine tune their designs by listening. If sound is a priority the Cambridge Audio gets the nod and judging by your considering B and W speakers if would seem that a audition at good dealer would be in order. As far as future proofing goes, you already have the PS-3.
Blu ray specs are locked in, future change will come on the streaming front and is better done not in a disc player but in stand alone units. Yes the PS-3 plays discs but it's basically a powerful dedicated computer that just happens to play discs also so I would consider that a stand alone device when it's comes to streaming.

rdgrimes 08-24-2011 05:37 AM

Quote:


I'm thinking of hooking the the 95 or the 751BD to my Yammy RX-A2000 Reciever,

With a current HDMI-capable AVR there's really no compelling reason to spend the extra money on either one of these players. Get the Oppo BDP-93 and use the money saved to further upgrade the rest of the system, room treatments, etc.

greenskya 08-25-2011 11:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenthplanet View Post

Oppo is not American, it is Chinese.

So, is it make sense to pick up this item? Or, it's reliable?

wmcclain 08-26-2011 05:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenskya View Post

So, is it make sense to pick up this item? Or, it's reliable?

The OPPO? Each model has big threads here:

BDP-95: https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1311806

BDP-93: https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1291855

-Bill

yxvolpe 08-28-2011 05:18 AM

Does it play 24 bits Flac file?

jake51 03-20-2012 06:02 AM

Hi
I have tried several players with subtitle shift for my 2,35:1 screen, but none of them have been as good as my Denon 2500BT
I have tried the Oppo 83/93 (judder and mediocre movie sound... at least in my setup)
I liked the movie sound from the Cambridge Audio BD650, but not the picture
I would love to hear from people who has experienced both the Cambridge Audio BD651 and BD751: Would I be able to see a difference between the two PQ wise?
Maybe the BD751 is overkill as I will be using it for movies only
Thanks in advance
Jakob

Mr.SoftDome 04-02-2012 08:04 PM

60 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake51 View Post

Hi
I have tried several players with subtitle shift for my 2,35:1 screen, but none of them have been as good as my Denon 2500BT
I have tried the Oppo 83/93 (judder and mediocre movie sound... at least in my setup)
I liked the movie sound from the Cambridge Audio BD650, but not the picture
I would love to hear from people who has experienced both the Cambridge Audio BD651 and BD751: Would I be able to see a difference between the two PQ wise?
Maybe the BD751 is overkill as I will be using it for movies only
Thanks in advance
Jakob

Hi Jakob,

Love the speakers in your neck of the woods.

What didn't you like about the 651 picture quality? Are you referring to blu-ray or up-conversion?

I just made a post over the weekend about firmware updates and current crop of players. I have Arcam. I discovered a new player is to be announced in two to three months. I get my first 3D display this Saturday and did not buy it for that but I will never make it to August without trying 3D and a player that supports it now.

I research to death the best I can but I am also a bit different as well. The Oppo reviews etc. are all so great and I should take that plunge but I like trying a different road sometimes. I ordered the BD751 tonight. Looking forward to comparing to my Arcam but of course I will get 3D right away. I run the path of REL subs when all my friends run to JL Audio so hey it's fun to try something a bit different.

Out of all the on-line info I could find in regards to the 751 today this one best sounded to me what I am looking for. A pretty fair compare between the Oppo 95 and the CA 751.

http://hometheaterreview.com/cambrid...ayer-reviewed/

Maybe I can provide some feedback when I get set-up in a couple of weeks.
I knew I would cave and buy before the next Arcam came out

Cheers
Rick

Kilian.ca 04-03-2012 01:17 AM

The Arcam doesn't have 7.1 analogue outputs so I presume you are using HDMI/SPDIF for audio, in that case the 751's audio and video digital section is the same as Oppo's. If you're using MCH analogue bear in mind Paul Miller from HiFiNews found bass management issues.

Mr.SoftDome 04-03-2012 05:41 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

The Arcam doesn't have 7.1 analogue outputs so I presume you are using HDMI/SPDIF for audio, in that case the 751's audio and video digital section is the same as Oppo's. If you're using MCH analogue bear in mind Paul Miller from HiFiNews found bass management issues.

Yes-I use HDMI for audio. I do have a dedicated CDP I have invested in and continue to use over a multi-disk player. I will not get into they all sound the same debate but I prefer it over my Arcam (Rega Saturn).

I have a headphone amp that I run directly into my Arcam that I use mostly for late night listening for both CDs and blu-ray concerts. I have a pretty good set of cans and this is where stereo performance is important to me. I also have a small stack of SACDs laying around and wouldn't mind picking up few more to try.

Of course blu-ray is my primary gig for this player but other usage for my late night listening habits is critical as well.

Rick

damienbuckley 04-07-2012 05:02 PM

The major feature the Cambridge unit has over others is the upsampling but you will only get the benefit of this if you connect to your receiver using the multi-chanel analogue outputs - otherwise it will bitstream to your amp the same as the rest.

I can vouch for the Cambridge upsampling advantage - I have the CD-740C cd player and it is significantly superior over analogue to my amp than over the digital connection - sounds larger, airier, deeper bass, better focused. I have the SC-LX90 which shares very similar Wolfson DAC's as the CD player so the only difference is the upsampling when switching between digital/analogue connections.

I cant wait to get my hands on the 751BD and will be using it with the analogue outputs for sure - it upsamples all channels. As a CD, SACD player, the 751 is supposed to be superb and its cleaned up awards with both what HiFi and Home Cinema Choice.

But, others are entirely correct, kf you are using audio over HDMI You may as well save the $$$'s and go with the 651BD.

The 751BD looks similar to the Oppo 95 as they are the same platform and share almost all of the same video curcuitry. PQ is likely to be almost identical.

Kilian.ca 04-08-2012 02:27 AM

For 2CH CD upsampling you might just as well stick with the CD player esp. when you have the 740 or 840 (I have an upsampling 24/192 Arcam CDP among others and an upsampling DAC). For MCH BD movies (48kHz) and any MCH audio (96kHz) it's hardly worth it. With the bass management issues on the 751 I don't think it's a good idea to use its MCH analogue outs.

I have reservations with the SACD upsampling, because (like all Oppo players) DSD is first decimated to PCM 88.2kHz, then presumably upsampled to 192kHz (an uneven multiple of 88.2), whereas other players just decimate straight to 176.4kHz, a simpler and better approach. The receiver does the rest including room correction.

The 751 is based on the same platform as Oppo 93, not 95. In Australia the Oppos are imported EU versions and cost twice as the US models so there is a price advantage in the 751 over there, but not in the US where the CA751 costs more than the Oppo 95. I'm not an Oppo fan (I never own one but I have an old CA CDP), just saying I don't see the added value in NA for the 751.

Talk2Me 04-08-2012 08:56 AM

After a lot of research I bought a Sony S590 ti hold me over till I decide which top tier player to get. I read fantastic reviews about the Ayre DX-5. But, I have a Wadia CDP/DAC to take care of the audio. The DX-5 is suppose to have SOTA pq, but at $10K, no way. I did read where Ayre modifies eveything in the Oppo 83 except the video board and transport. I found a man in Korea, who loves great pq also. He studied the DX-5 ( Dr.Lee has a Phd in engineering, wrote 4 tech. books, and over 30 years experience in broadcasting) and has a ps upgrade like Ayre by replacing and upgrading all power supplies. So, I am replacing the switch mode power supply in the Oppo 93 with a linear power supply, and be able to use a 3 prong high end power cable. Will it work? I will find out very soon. And I have to get another Oppo 93, as Fed-Ex lost the new one I ordered from Oppo. Cambridge also upgrades the Oppo power supply, but only for the audio, and not the video. The 751 is made along side the Oppo.

Mr.SoftDome 04-08-2012 01:58 PM

60 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talk2Me View Post

After a lot of research I bought a Sony S590 ti hold me over till I decide which top tier player to get. I read fantastic reviews about the Ayre DX-5. But, I have a Wadia CDP/DAC to take care of the audio. The DX-5 is suppose to have SOTA pq, but at $10K, no way. I did read where Ayre modifies eveything in the Oppo 83 except the video board and transport. I found a man in Korea, who loves great pq also. He studied the DX-5 ( Dr.Lee has a Phd in engineering, wrote 4 tech. books, and over 30 years experience in broadcasting) and has a ps upgrade like Ayre by replacing and upgrading all power supplies. So, I am replacing the switch mode power supply in the Oppo 93 with a linear power supply, and be able to use a 3 prong high end power cable. Will it work? I will find out very soon. And I have to get another Oppo 93, as Fed-Ex lost the new one I ordered from Oppo. Cambridge also upgrades the Oppo power supply, but only for the audio, and not the video. The 751 is made along side the Oppo.

If you are interested in the higher end and sounds like you are, there is also a player made by Primare that is half of the Ayre. I would have loved to try it out but not this go around as I just did the Sharp Elite display upgrade.

You may try a google on Primare. They make really great sounding gear.

Rick

Talk2Me 04-08-2012 02:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

If you are interested in the higher end and sounds like you are, there is also a player made by Primare that is half of the Ayre. I would have loved to try it out but not this go around as I just did the Sharp Elite display upgrade.

You may try a google on Primare. They make really great sounding gear.

Rick

Thanks, but I am getting the quality of the $10k Ayre for $500 (Oppo 93) and $300 ( power supply mod)= $800.

Mr.SoftDome 04-15-2012 07:38 PM

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Hi, I have had this player for a few days now and a ways to go in running it thru the paces but so far it's been outstanding.

I was worried about giving up the Arcam for a new unit with 3D but those worries were not justified as of yet. The load time is so much better than the Arcam (and I thought it was pretty good) and the picture and sound have been excellent.I have not tried 3D or SACD yet but I have ran the CD for several spins via analog and it has been very good! I am not ready to say too much here yet as I haven't had the time but I am trying to do a fair compare against my stand alone CDP. More to come here when I get some time.

The picture quality is outstanding and the load times are much improved over the Arcam that is just a year old. I hope this one holds me for a bit!

Glad I found this player thus far. A couple of pics of the video quality Very nice indeed.

Rick


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riv359 04-21-2012 12:26 PM

Mr.SoftDome
How the BD751 applies the Q5 Anagram audio up-sampling to mp3's. Is it via USB or the transport. Also do you think going with a standalone DAC is the way to go in your opinion.

dreaux 04-25-2012 07:41 AM

Hmm not a very active thread, hope that does not reflect on the Cambridge quality. I just bought the 651 BD and am looking forward iin seeing it's PQ. I am coming from an Oppo 93 player and it had problems with 'handshakes' with my AVR. However when it got through all its strange screens in start up, the PQ was beautiful.
I am hoping the PQ is as good or better than the Oppo, but both sharing much DNA I imagine it will be quite similar.
But from what I read the audio quality will improve.

kpodolski 04-30-2012 03:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaux View Post

Hmm not a very active thread, hope that does not reflect on the Cambridge quality. I just bought the 651 BD and am looking forward iin seeing it's PQ. I am coming from an Oppo 93 player and it had problems with 'handshakes' with my AVR. However when it got through all its strange screens in start up, the PQ was beautiful.
I am hoping the PQ is as good or better than the Oppo, but both sharing much DNA I imagine it will be quite similar.
But from what I read the audio quality will improve.


Any updates? Are you happy with the 651?

I've been thinking about buying the 751......

dreaux 05-01-2012 05:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpodolski View Post

Any updates? Are you happy with the 651?

I've been thinking about buying the 751......

The audio is out of this world. Watched Lord of the Rings the other night and heard sounds I never heard before and deep rich music.
The PQ is outstanding. It looks the same as the Oppo 93 I sold. It was having handshake problems with my AVR.

The PQ is excellent just like the Oppo was but better sound quality.

From what I understand the 751 has the same PQ as the 651 but more audio options and it comes with a Wifi dongle.

kpodolski 05-01-2012 03:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaux View Post

The audio is out of this world. Watched Lord of the Rings the other night and heard sounds I never heard before and deep rich music.
The PQ is outstanding. It looks the same as the Oppo 93 I sold. It was having handshake problems with my AVR.

The PQ is excellent just like the Oppo was but better sound quality.

From what I understand the 751 has the same PQ as the 651 but more audio options and it comes with a Wifi dongle.

I noticed you are using HDMI to pass audio to your receiver. Have you used the internal decoder? Is the sound quality of the Cambridge decoder as good as your receiver decoder?

dreaux 05-01-2012 07:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpodolski View Post

I noticed you are using HDMI to pass audio to your receiver. Have you used the internal decoder? Is the sound quality of the Cambridge decoder as good as your receiver decoder?

The Cambridge is better.

kpodolski 05-03-2012 11:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaux View Post

The Cambridge is better.

That's good to know. I have a Classe pre/pro that does not have HDMI so I would be using the multi-channel input. I was originally looking at the Oppo 95 but descided against it because of the "fan". The 751 looks like it would fit the bill nicely.

dreaux 05-03-2012 04:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpodolski View Post

That's good to know. I have a Classe pre/pro that does not have HDMI so I would be using the multi-channel input. I was originally looking at the Oppo 95 but descided against it because of the "fan". The 751 looks like it would fit the bill nicely.

Yes I think you would be quite happy with the 751. It costs a little more but it has been getting excellent reviews which I am sure you have seen.

Jeffhdz 05-03-2012 08:39 PM

Found a review of several players including the 751. The article says that the 751 uses Oppo's OP8531 decoder chip. How can it decode audio better than the Oppo player then?

http://www.boa.hk/banner/oppo_95/Dig...42_TEST_EN.pdf

Another review in French:

http://translate.google.com/translat...tTabs_ul_24734

dreaux 05-03-2012 09:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffhdz View Post

Found a review of several players including the 751. The article says that the 751 uses Oppo's OP8531 decoder chip. How can it decode audio better than the Oppo player then?

http://www.boa.hk/banner/oppo_95/Dig...42_TEST_EN.pdf

Another review in French:

http://translate.google.com/translat...tTabs_ul_24734

I believe they have some extra mods.

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/blu-r...r.html?start=1

fatjulio 05-04-2012 01:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffhdz View Post

The article says that the 751 uses Oppo's OP8531 decoder chip. How can it decode audio better than the Oppo player then?

That's the video chip. The audio dacs are completely different. The 751 uses Wolfson dacs, and the Oppo uses Sabre.

Smackrabbit 05-04-2012 09:38 AM

The Oppo and the Cambridge both use a MediaTek chipset, but the power supplies, drives, analog audio boards, firmware, and almost everything else is different. The interface on them is similar, but that's the interface that comes with the Mediatek chipset with a slightly different skin on it for each company, as they chose to invest resources in parts of the player that actually make a performance difference.

The players looks similar, and some key components are the same, but they aren't identical by any means.

Nerd 05-05-2012 03:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smackrabbit View Post

The Oppo and the Cambridge both use a MediaTek chipset, but the power supplies, drives, analog audio boards, firmware, and almost everything else is different. The interface on them is similar, but that's the interface that comes with the Mediatek chipset with a slightly different skin on it for each company, as they chose to invest resources in parts of the player that actually make a performance difference.

The players looks similar, and some key components are the same, but they aren't identical by any means.


The Oppo and the Cambridge both use a MediaTek 8531 chipset, isnt it this chip is to for audio only instead of video (as oppose to what Fatjulio mentioned above)? I heard that this is a very low cost china/taiwanese chip to decode HDs, will this ruin the hope for 751BD being able to provide awesome 7.1multi-ch analog out surround sound quality?

dreaux 05-07-2012 07:54 AM

I own the Cambridge 651BD and I seem to be having 'handshake' problems. The 651 has the latest firmware.
When I put in a Blu-ray there seems to be difficulty in going to the menu.
I am using a Yamaha RX-A810 1.4 AVR.

First I get 'no signal' then I get a purple flash and then snow and this goes on for a few seconds and eventually it syncs up.
My Oppo 93 did the exact same thing, however my older Sony and Panasonic blu-ray players did not do this.

Not sure if its the player or AVR since it doesn't do it with all players

Smackrabbit 05-07-2012 08:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerd View Post

The Oppo and the Cambridge both use a MediaTek 8531 chipset, isnt it this chip is to for audio only instead of video (as oppose to what Fatjulio mentioned above)? I heard that this is a very low cost china/taiwanese chip to decode HDs, will this ruin the hope for 751BD being able to provide awesome 7.1multi-ch analog out surround sound quality?

The Mediatek handles a lot of things, but the Oppo uses Sabre DACs for the audio conversion, and the Cambridge uses Wolfson DACs. The Qdeo scaler handles lots of the scaling and noise reduction, and the Mediatek handles more basic features I believe, like 4:2:0 colorspace conversion and SACD data. I'm not sure on this, though.

Nerd 05-07-2012 10:56 AM

Hi Chris Heinonen,

I have read your review on 751BD, have you come across with what Paul Millers mentioned about the anamolies in bass management which shared by all Oppo-based players, he wrote this ...... http://www.primare.net/assets/_manag...2HFN212web.pdf

When set all speakers to LARGE, there is still quite active LFE comes out from the SUB in audible extent of course.

Will anyone be able to confirm the anamolies with Cambridge audio and see if they are aware and provide fix soon?

Nerd 05-07-2012 11:03 AM

For all 751BD users, I suppose you may know by hints in its manual if you ever noticed, let me just emphasize how important is it for you to TURN ON the QDEO processor by tweaking the SHARPNESS to +1 or above, it is night and day for the PQ, it is so crispy and bring your bluray experience to whole new level. We all shared this trick in Hong Kong and most of us consider 751BD can achieve 20% better picture you can ever get in Oppo 95.

Smackrabbit 05-07-2012 11:08 AM

Just a quick note: The Oppo 95 puts out what is on a Blu-ray, pixel for pixel, perfectly. You fundamentally can't improve upon that. The 751BD does the same. They are identical as far as Blu-ray playback is concerned. With the settings you can adjust that output, but any adjustments that move it away from bit-for-bit perfect also inherently introduce downsides that can't be fixed.

Nerd 05-07-2012 11:47 AM

By saying "but any adjustments that move it away from bit-for-bit perfect also inherently introduce downsides that can't be fixed." I bet you have not tried it, I don't see any downside at all, tell me about it if you had.

Smackrabbit 05-07-2012 11:53 AM

The Cambridge 751BD went away, but with everything at default it passed the tests perfectly and passes exactly what is on the disc. If you adjust the controls (I'll do it with the Oppo later this week) this is what happens:

Contrast and Brightness: Shift the Luma, reducing dynamic range. It's not possible to adjust them in the player without affecting dynamic range.

Color and Tint: Adjust the output of the colors, causing shifts in the Cb/Cr data, which when converted to RGB will lead to color errors compared to what they were originally supposed to be. There's no way around this.

Sharpeness/Noise Reduction: Will apply enhancement, or reduce block/mosquito noise, but at the expense of other details. It's impossible to add detail that isn't there without adding some other enhancement, usually ringing. You can reduce noise, but that often is also at the expense of fine detail. With noisy sources (like DVD) you might wind up with a better image than you started with, as there wasn't much fine detail to begin with, but with a Blu-ray, these issues are typically accounted for at the mastering stage.

The reason I don't play with those is because if they image is already perfect coming off, all I can do is take away from one area of it to add to another area. I'll see if I can test some of these on the Oppo and see what the adjustments do.

Nerd 05-07-2012 12:12 PM

See? I was right, you have not tried.

It passes out of the box are the video processing tests, not the clarity of image. It is far from what it can achieve for the out of box setting.

I wonder why you mention the effect on tweaking contract/brightness/color/tint etc., it was on one thing to tweak, SET THE SHARPNESS TO +1, and THATS IT!!! This will cause the QDEO starts to run its engine, give the picture a night and day difference in terms of clarity.

Anyway, I will leave this to CA 751BD users, they will see how it works out and benefit from it, CA tried to tell us to do this in the manual, but in a way quite obscure. Unbfortunately they didnt take the liberty to set it to +1 in factory, I almost trade the unit away the next day when it first came aboard.

I am talking about CA 751BD. Wonder why you will try that on Oppo 95, it may not need it, its a different manufacturer implementation anyway, isn't it?? - actually it might be worst if you do this, like you mentioned.

Nerd 05-07-2012 12:28 PM

Here you go, manual Pg.34 -

Sharpness – To set the sharpness of the video output (Detail/Edge
Enhancement), this a video processing function that can control the
image sharpness but if overdone may cause unwanted artifacts.
For HDMI 1, the sophisticated QDEO video scaler is used sharpness level
can be set between -16 and +16. The default is level 0, which turns off
sharpness enhancement. The negative levels may be used to reduce or
eliminate overly sharpened video, the picture being progressively
softened.
The positive levels increase the sharpness. At level 1, the player applies
low level Detail Enhancement, during which the video processor isolates
the detailed parts from the original image, processes them separately
and integrates back before the final output. At level 2, the player
increases Detail Enhancement to a higher level. Generally, to make an
image “sharper”, we recommend using level 1 and 2. At level 3 and
above, the player adds Luminance Transition Improvement (LTI) and
Chroma Transition Improvement (CTI), which further sharpen the
luminance transition and chroma transition. However, we do not
recommend using level 3 and above unless the source content is from a
poor source.

audiofan1 05-07-2012 12:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerd View Post

For all 751BD users, I suppose you may know by hints in its manual if you ever noticed, let me just emphasize how important is it for you to TURN ON the QDEO processor by tweaking the SHARPNESS to +1 or above, it is night and day for the PQ, it is so crispy and bring your bluray experience to whole new level. We all shared this trick in Hong Kong and most of us consider 751BD can achieve 20% better picture you can ever get in Oppo 95.

The +1 or +2 setting works well on the 95 as well producing a crispier picture and I use them on my personally tweaked settings with one setting set to default, cool thing is the side effects are minimal if none

audiofan1 05-07-2012 12:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smackrabbit View Post

The Cambridge 751BD went away, but with everything at default it passed the tests perfectly and passes exactly what is on the disc. If you adjust the controls (I'll do it with the Oppo later this week) this is what happens:

Contrast and Brightness: Shift the Luma, reducing dynamic range. It's not possible to adjust them in the player without affecting dynamic range.

Color and Tint: Adjust the output of the colors, causing shifts in the Cb/Cr data, which when converted to RGB will lead to color errors compared to what they were originally supposed to be. There's no way around this.

Sharpeness/Noise Reduction: Will apply enhancement, or reduce block/mosquito noise, but at the expense of other details. It's impossible to add detail that isn't there without adding some other enhancement, usually ringing. You can reduce noise, but that often is also at the expense of fine detail. With noisy sources (like DVD) you might wind up with a better image than you started with, as there wasn't much fine detail to begin with, but with a Blu-ray, these issues are typically accounted for at the mastering stage.

The reason I don't play with those is because if they image is already perfect coming off, all I can do is take away from one area of it to add to another area. I'll see if I can test some of these on the Oppo and see what the adjustments do.

Mabe it depends on the chip doing the post processing, in which the Marvel chip is no slouch, I've played around with the Contrast enhancement(+1) as well as sharpness and dialed in a picture at least to the naked eye very pleasing of course you have to dial back some of the display's settings, In some cases ( I use the term loosely) the altered signal from my 95 yeilds the better result even if Bluray. If you decide to check these out I did notice once the settings are pass the +2 on the above mentioned settings +3 in the sharpness pattern via Spears & Munsil produced less ringing than +1 or +2

Smackrabbit 05-07-2012 01:21 PM

Going back to my review, with the sharpness control set even at 0, there was extra edge enhancement being applied that could be noticed on resolution wedge patterns. I could set it all down to -16 and still have it pass a sharpness pattern but also reduce the amount of noise in the resolution wedge, which shows higher resolution than with it at 0.

Increasing any sharpness control is going to make certain objects stand out more, but to do that it has to adjust the pixels around those objects, which them removes detail from those. Perhaps you like how it looks more than without it, but adding detail to something is going to remove detail from something else, since there aren't extra pixels to use. In certain scenes the effect won't have as many negative impacts as others, but if you put up some really high resolution test patterns, it becomes easy to see what the sharpness control actually affects.

Smackrabbit 05-07-2012 01:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

I've played around with the Contrast enhancement(+1) as well as sharpness and dialed in a picture at least to the naked eye very pleasing of course you have to dial back some of the display's settings,

In this case, you're reducing the dynamic range available on the Blu-ray (you only have bits 16-235 to use, and adjusting the contrast from the player requires losing some of those bits to adjust the contrast) and trying to compensate with the display. Fine if you prefer it, but the image will not be able to be as dynamic, because those bits have been lost.

audiofan1 05-07-2012 03:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smackrabbit View Post

In this case, you're reducing the dynamic range available on the Blu-ray (you only have bits 16-235 to use, and adjusting the contrast from the player requires losing some of those bits to adjust the contrast) and trying to compensate with the display. Fine if you prefer it, but the image will not be able to be as dynamic, because those bits have been lost.

I do keep the default reference settings for primary use so you'll get no argument from me there! and that even includes the defeat of EE in my Mitsu/73738 dlp as well. There are very noticeable effects when the enhanced settings in the player are on, it can of course be overkill but when applied tastefully in can seem its for the better when the source or disc encoding is less than reference in terms of picture softening

damienbuckley 05-08-2012 11:01 PM

How are the comparisons to other players faring now people have had a while to live with the 751BD? I'm pretty keen on the Cambridge unit but interested in opinions before plunging in. Also is anyone using all analogue out and how is it? Seems pointless buying this unit to use HDMI for audio.

dreaux 05-09-2012 05:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

How are the comparisons to other players faring now people have had a while to live with the 751BD? I'm pretty keen on the Cambridge unit but interested in opinions before plunging in. Also is anyone using all analogue out and how is it? Seems pointless buying this unit to use HDMI for audio.

5 Stars from Whathifi.

http://www.whathifi.com/review/cambr...dio-azur-751bd

Smackrabbit 05-09-2012 06:35 AM

It was the best player, for audio and video, I'd tested since the Oppo 93 and 95. If you prefer the audio to those two, I'd suggest going to listen as it was better than the 93, and since I no longer had the 95 on hand, I could only compare it to the 83SE. They were a little different from each other, but both were fantastic.

dreaux 05-09-2012 07:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smackrabbit View Post

It was the best player, for audio and video, I'd tested since the Oppo 93 and 95. If you prefer the audio to those two, I'd suggest going to listen as it was better than the 93, and since I no longer had the 95 on hand, I could only compare it to the 83SE. They were a little different from each other, but both were fantastic.

Did you happen to test the 651 as well? How does that stack up against the 751?

Smackrabbit 05-09-2012 07:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaux View Post

Did you happen to test the 651 as well? How does that stack up against the 751?

Haven't used the 651 at all.

damienbuckley 05-09-2012 08:59 PM

Thanks folks. My main concern is audio as I dont think there is much in it video-wise between any of the decent players. Did you test using the analogue outputs?

dreaux 05-10-2012 05:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

Thanks folks. My main concern is audio as I dont think there is much in it video-wise between any of the decent players. Did you test using the analogue outputs?

Reference Audio performance

http://www.avforums.com/review/Cambr...sc-Player.html

Smackrabbit 05-10-2012 07:12 AM

My full review is up here:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/blu-r...ay-player.html

The audio was very, very good.

damienbuckley 05-11-2012 02:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smackrabbit View Post

My full review is up here:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/blu-r...ay-player.html

The audio was very, very good.

Sweet. Waiting for a price from my dealer. Its surprising how much difference the upsampling makes on these players. I was skeptical until I tried my 740C over both analogue and digital. My amp (LX90) shares very similar Wolfson DAC's as the 740C & 751BD so the upsampling is the only real variable. Over analogue, the 740 sounds MUCH bigger, wider soundstage, deeper, sharper bass etc. I keep a digital connection hooked up so that I can switch over if I fancy using surround modes for music (pointless decoding to analogue, back to digital then back again...) but for 2ch sound, analogue is king with the 740 so I cant wait to hear this kindof effect over 7 channels...

Smackrabbit 05-11-2012 07:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

Sweet. Waiting for a price from my dealer. Its surprising how much difference the upsampling makes on these players. I was skeptical until I tried my 740C over both analogue and digital. My amp (LX90) shares very similar Wolfson DAC's as the 740C & 751BD so the upsampling is the only real variable. Over analogue, the 740 sounds MUCH bigger, wider soundstage, deeper, sharper bass etc. I keep a digital connection hooked up so that I can switch over if I fancy using surround modes for music (pointless decoding to analogue, back to digital then back again...) but for 2ch sound, analogue is king with the 740 so I cant wait to hear this kindof effect over 7 channels...

Using the same parts really doesn't mean anything I've found over the years now. You can have totally different implementations, and much different circuitry after them, with higher or lower quality components and design, that lead to a totally different sound. I've had Blu-ray players come in with the same chipsets, and where one passes every single benchmark I throw at it, another one failed over half the tests because the implementation was different.

The DAC is just the most recognized component in the audio chain, but there are far more parts than just that, and they're all going to have some effect on the sound, good or bad.

damienbuckley 05-11-2012 06:07 PM

Any Aussies here can offer an opinion on whether theres much value in ordering the multi-region version of the 751BD? I've looked online and prices of BluRays dont seem to be hugely different overseas, especially when factoring in shipping.

Kilian.ca 05-12-2012 01:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smackrabbit View Post

It was the best player, for audio and video, I'd tested since the Oppo 93 and 95. If you prefer the audio to those two, I'd suggest going to listen as it was better than the 93, and since I no longer had the 95 on hand, I could only compare it to the 83SE. They were a little different from each other, but both were fantastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smackrabbit View Post

The audio was very, very good.

Your audio benchmarks for THD+N and IMD show the Oppo 83NE, 93, 93NE, 95 and CA751 all have very similar figures in the region or a hundredth of a percent or less on the digital output which isn't surprising and the differences are very likely inaudible. Your impression of how it sounds which also involves the upsampling, DAC and analogue stages remain purely subjective. You haven't addressed what contributes to the difference in sound and there is no measurement - no FR at the very least - to support your impression. If it sounds very good to you does it matter what measurements it shows on the digital output? You base your video assessment precisely on objective digital output measurements and test patterns but in audio you are back to relying on subjective impression in your brief comment for the analogue output. There is a dichotomy of standards between your video and audio review.

I say this because on AVS there is a very vocal and aggressive 'audio sceptic' group that dominates various forums and try to preach all DACs measure flat, all SS amps have flat FR and sound the same before clipping, all CD players sound the same etc., any measurement differences are so small to be inaudible, you can't tell them apart in double-blind tests and so on. This causes a great deal of argument over time.

I'm not an audio sceptic but there is a great big hole between subjective impression and objective measurement. There is a need to fill this hole to bring audio review to the level of the video, otherwise the argument won't settle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

Its surprising how much difference the upsampling makes on these players. ... but for 2ch sound, analogue is king with the 740 so I cant wait to hear this kindof effect over 7 channels...

Don't assume the 751 will sound the same or necessarily as good as the CDP for 2CH.
740 & 840 CDP: 24/384 upsampling, 2 DACs for 2 ch;
751BD: 24/192 upsampling, 5 DACs for 10 channels

In any case upsampling isn't anything special as oversampling (to 192kHz or higher) commonly occurs inside modern DACs. If audio is upsampled before going to the DAC it is oversampled less to achieve the same high sample rate.

damienbuckley 05-12-2012 05:51 AM

I'm keeping my 740C. Although I'm excited to hear the 751BD, I dont expect it to beat the dedicated player for 2 ch audio

damienbuckley 05-12-2012 05:30 PM

Worth cashing out for the upgraded multi-region 751BD?

dreaux 05-21-2012 11:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

Worth cashing out for the upgraded multi-region 751BD?

Yes I think so. I just exchanged my 651 to the 751BD. Looking to use the analog outputs this time, although the HDMI sounding very nice.

Not a lot of activity on this thread is there.

jake51 05-21-2012 11:24 PM

dreaux: Have you noticed a difference in PQ going from the 651 to the 751?
I'm maybe buying a 651 today, so any impressions would be appreciated

dreaux 05-22-2012 05:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jake51 View Post

dreaux: Have you noticed a difference in PQ going from the 651 to the 751?
I'm maybe buying a 651 today, so any impressions would be appreciated

I believe there is no difference in PQ form the 751 to the 651, at least from what I have read. The real difference is the 751 analog audio outputs, and the 751 comes with a Wifi dongle. If you are using HDMI for video and audio there should be no noticeable difference. I am not expecting to see a difference in the PQ.

I am getting it today so I will know more and report back.

The first thing you will notice with the 651 is the incredible audio quality.
I sent back my Denon 2012 to exchange for the 751. Denon had a beautiful picture but not AQ of a Cambridge.

dreaux 05-22-2012 05:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jake51 View Post

dreaux: Have you noticed a difference in PQ going from the 651 to the 751?
I'm maybe buying a 651 today, so any impressions would be appreciated

Should mention as well, the 651 has great picture controls, much more than the Denon 2012. You can set up PQ any way you want.
Although I found leaving all at 0 works better for me.

damienbuckley 05-22-2012 04:38 PM

Just got my 751 hooked up last night so havent had chance to do much yet. Its odd getting used to setting speaker distances etc in the player when I've been used to doing everything in the amp.

Here's some unboxing photos to keep everyone going

Typical MA quality packing - following the Apple example...

Attachment 247319


Attachment 247320


Attachment 247321

4 sets Chord Cobra to hook up the analogue multi-channel outputs

Attachment 247322

Not quite organised in the rack but sitting comfortably under its 740C stable-mate. I have a Humax PVR just arrived to fit in here too so a bit of tidying up to do.

Attachment 247323

LOTS of connections. I'm using a Wireworld Chroma 6 for HDMI (switched to video only), 8 Chord Chroma analogue interconnects plus Ethernet. I also hooked up a spare set of Chord Chameleon Silver Plus to the dedicated stereo outputs.

Attachment 247324
LL
LL
LL
LL
LL
LL

damienbuckley 05-22-2012 04:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaux View Post


I believe there is no difference in PQ form the 751 to the 651, at least from what I have read. The real difference is the 751 analog audio outputs, and the 751 comes with a Wifi dongle. If you are using HDMI for video and audio there should be no noticeable difference. I am not expecting to see a difference in the PQ.

I am getting it today so I will know more and report back.

The first thing you will notice with the 651 is the incredible audio quality.
I sent back my Denon 2012 to exchange for the 751. Denon had a beautiful picture but not AQ of a Cambridge.

Sorry to hear you were the guinea pig but pleased to hear you tried and swapped out the 2012 as it reaffirms my decision to go with the 751

damienbuckley 05-22-2012 04:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaux View Post


Yes I think so. I just exchanged my 651 to the 751BD. Looking to use the analog outputs this time, although the HDMI sounding very nice.

Not a lot of activity on this thread is there.

I think its about to get a LOT busier... I received my 751 last night. Also using the analogue outputs. I see a lot of settings/setup-discussion going on here hahahaha.

damienbuckley 05-22-2012 04:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaux View Post


Yes I think so. I just exchanged my 651 to the 751BD. Looking to use the analog outputs this time, although the HDMI sounding very nice.

Not a lot of activity on this thread is there.

Sorry I didnt answer this - I didnt bother with the multi-region player in the end. I opted to spend a bit more on the analogue interconnects - I got a GREAT deal on soe, Chord Cobra - I'd been looking at Chord Crimson but these are a fair step-up and at not much more momey.

I dont buy a lot of BluRays - just my favourites and a couple music concert discs, plus I noticed that for one we are in the same region as Europe & UK and also a lot of BD's arent region-coded anyways.

dreaux 05-22-2012 06:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

I think its about to get a LOT busier... I received my 751 last night. Also using the analogue outputs. I see a lot of settings/setup-discussion going on here hahahaha.

Are you going analog for Blu-ray viewing? Maybe you can explain to me the advantage of using analog. I did finally go with the 751BD and got it today.

I admit I am somewhat new to the audio part of Blu-ray players but I thought the reason people went to the analog was to pick up a richness that is not found with digital sound. That the 'audiophiles' prefered analog.
Perhaps I misunderstood what all the fuss was about with analog listening.

If HDMI is as rich and pure I will go with that. I heard the 751BD over HDMI and the sound was much deeper and better than on a Denon 2012 I was listening to.

The Cambridge 751BD claims let the 751 do the decoding...its better than most AVR's.

I have a mid range AVR ...a Yamaha AX800. For blu-ray viewing should i go with HDMI or analog audio?

damienbuckley 05-23-2012 02:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreaux View Post


Are you going analog for Blu-ray viewing? Maybe you can explain to me the advantage of using analog. I did finally go with the 751BD and got it today.

I admit I am somewhat new to the audio part of Blu-ray players but I thought the reason people went to the analog was to pick up a richness that is not found with digital sound. That the 'audiophiles' prefered analog.
Perhaps I misunderstood what all the fuss was about with analog listening.

If HDMI is as rich and pure I will go with that. I heard the 751BD over HDMI and the sound was much deeper and better than on a Denon 2012 I was listening to.

The Cambridge 751BD claims let the 751 do the decoding...its better than most AVR's.

I have a mid range AVR ...a Yamaha AX800. For blu-ray viewing should i go with HDMI or analog audio?

Definitely go analogue. Either way, you are decoding digital data on the disc (BluRay/CD etc) to analogue audio. What you hear will be determined by the quality and nature of this conversion. I think the comparison to analogue audio you're confused with is with that of true analogue source material such as vinyl rather than CD etc which stores audio digitally. A lot of people do prefer this sound but the discussion is not really relevant when we are discussing BluRay etc as this is all-digital media.

The difference between HDMI/analogue on your player is that if you send audio to the receiver by HDMI, the receiver will do the digital to analogue conversion. If you use the analogue outputs, the player (751) does the D-A conversion and sends the analogue audio to the receiver for amplification.

The main features of the the 751 are the Wolfson Digital to Analogue converters and also the Sharc upsampling DSP. The 751 upsamples the data (all channels) prior to D-A conversion.

I am able to do a fairly direct comparison as my receiver - Pioneer SC-LX90 - has the same series of Wolfson DAC's as the 751 and also my 740C cd player. The main difference is that whereas my CD player upsamples the audio to 24bit, 382kHz prior to DA conversion, the amp does not. If I switch between digital and analogue connections with my CD player, the difference is quite significant - it sounds a lot larger with a better soundstage. Bass is also lower and cleaner. Although I havent had much chance to experiment yet, a couple disc spins last night gave me a lot better sound than my current Panasonic BluRay/PVR combo which I have connected just HDMI.

With your AVR, you should have an improvement as the Burr Brown DAC's in the Yamaha arent on the same level as the Wolfsons in the 751. I'm pretty sure the Denon 2012 also has Burr Brown DAC's but as discussed it would depend how it was set up as to whether you were listening to the player's DAC's or the receivers...

Once I've got the 751 set up properly and had chance to do some extended listening I'll report back.

If you werent going analogue (ie just HDMI & letting your receiver decode) you may as well get the 651 as the results would be much the same.

Hope this helps

damienbuckley 05-23-2012 02:03 AM

Just another point - if you're mot sure or unconvinced, swap between audio over HDMI and analogue and see what you prefer.

dreaux 05-23-2012 05:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

Definitely go analogue. Either way, you are decoding digital data on the disc (BluRay/CD etc) to analogue audio. What you hear will be determined by the quality and nature of this conversion. I think the comparison to analogue audio you're confused with is with that of true analogue source material such as vinyl rather than CD etc which stores audio digitally. A lot of people do prefer this sound but the discussion is not really relevant when we are discussing BluRay etc as this is all-digital media.

The difference between HDMI/analogue on your player is that if you send audio to the receiver by HDMI, the receiver will do the digital to analogue conversion. If you use the analogue outputs, the player (751) does the D-A conversion and sends the analogue audio to the receiver for amplification.

The main features of the the 751 are the Wolfson Digital to Analogue converters and also the Sharc upsampling DSP. The 751 upsamples the data (all channels) prior to D-A conversion.

I am able to do a fairly direct comparison as my receiver - Pioneer SC-LX90 - has the same series of Wolfson DAC's as the 751 and also my 740C cd player. The main difference is that whereas my CD player upsamples the audio to 24bit, 382kHz prior to DA conversion, the amp does not. If I switch between digital and analogue connections with my CD player, the difference is quite significant - it sounds a lot larger with a better soundstage. Bass is also lower and cleaner. Although I havent had much chance to experiment yet, a couple disc spins last night gave me a lot better sound than my current Panasonic BluRay/PVR combo which I have connected just HDMI.

With your AVR, you should have an improvement as the Burr Brown DAC's in the Yamaha arent on the same level as the Wolfsons in the 751. I'm pretty sure the Denon 2012 also has Burr Brown DAC's but as discussed it would depend how it was set up as to whether you were listening to the player's DAC's or the receivers...

Once I've got the 751 set up properly and had chance to do some extended listening I'll report back.

If you werent going analogue (ie just HDMI & letting your receiver decode) you may as well get the 651 as the results would be much the same.

Hope this helps

Thanks much for those insights. I see I have much to learn on the audio side of this. I did get the 751 to go analog so I will try it and see how it sounds.

Can you recommend some good audio cables or does that make a difference?

If I go analog will my Yamaha let it(audio from the 751) pass through without effecting the sound quality? Is it like a source direct mode where as you say the AVR is just an amp? Just trying to understand the process.

Don't have any audio RCA cables yet so can't do the ear test until I buy some.

damienbuckley 05-23-2012 04:36 PM

Depends on your budget for cables. I was going to get Chord Crimson which are a reasonable price yet highly regarded but my dealer offered me a great price on some Chord Cobra she had in stock so I got those. Cambridge Audio naturally recommend their own cables but I've never seen them in Australia.

You should put your amp into Analogue Direct or Pure mode or whatever similar setting you have - sorry, I'm not familiar with it.

damienbuckley 05-23-2012 04:38 PM

Just on the cables - asking whether or not they make a difference is an age-old master debate I'm not getting into. In my setup I've definitely benefited from investing in quality cables so in my opinion, its definitely worth it, yes. Of course with 4 sets to buy, I didnt go as upmarket as I have for say 2 channel connections. Its a compromise but I got lucky with the Chord Cobra which are a good mid-range cable and match in well as I have Chord speaker cable too.

dreaux 05-23-2012 06:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

Depends on your budget for cables. I was going to get Chord Crimson which are a reasonable price yet highly regarded but my dealer offered me a great price on some Chord Cobra she had in stock so I got those. Cambridge Audio naturally recommend their own cables but I've never seen them in Australia.

You should put your amp into Analogue Direct or Pure mode or whatever similar setting you have - sorry, I'm not familiar with it.

Got it, thanks. I ordered some cables from Crutchfield.
Anxious to try analog out.

Cambridge_Audio 05-24-2012 06:10 AM

Hello there- good to see people getting on well with the 751BD.

The general consensus in the office is that for DVD-A and SACD material in particular is that unless your AV Receiver has seriously good audio decoding, we generally advocate the analogue connections for multichannel audio. DSD decoding is a bit of dark art and while there are some exceptional products out there, the 751 can keep pace with most products at or near the price.

Film material is a slightly different case because there is a stronger argument that this is what AV Receivers are really built to do. On a personal level, I generally let the AV amp handle my DTS-Master HD and legacy film audio formats. As ever, it never hurts to experiment.
Regards
Cambridge Audio

dreaux 05-24-2012 01:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambridge_Audio View Post

Hello there- good to see people getting on well with the 751BD.

The general consensus in the office is that for DVD-A and SACD material in particular is that unless your AV Receiver has seriously good audio decoding, we generally advocate the analogue connections for multichannel audio. DSD decoding is a bit of dark art and while there are some exceptional products out there, the 751 can keep pace with most products at or near the price.

Film material is a slightly different case because there is a stronger argument that this is what AV Receivers are really built to do. On a personal level, I generally let the AV amp handle my DTS-Master HD and legacy film audio formats. As ever, it never hurts to experiment.
Regards
Cambridge Audio

Good to have you here.

Thanks for info. I am going to experiment and see what I like best.

Is it my imagination or does the 751BD have better PQ than the 651?
I had a 651 and have since upgraded to the 751BD and it looks as if the PQ is better. But on the specs of the two, both appear to have the same chips.

fuzzybk 05-24-2012 07:27 PM

Does the 751BD downgrade DSD to PCM for SACD via the analog outputs? My ARCAM DV139 does this but it still sounds pretty good.

Kilian.ca 05-25-2012 01:34 AM

It has to decimate (not itself a downgrade) to PCM because the Wolfson 8740 DACs aren't DSD capable.

CA: DSD > PCM 88.2kHz > upsampled 192kHz

Arcam (and Sony): DSD > PCM 176.4kHz
MUCH better way than down- and upsampled and 176.4 is a whole integer multiple of 44.1 so it's simpler and less artefact prone

fuzzybk 05-26-2012 08:30 AM

Thanks Killian.

smaragd 06-07-2012 10:27 AM

Any CA 751BD users here who upgraded from an Oppo BDP83?
I'm using analog outputs from the Oppo BDP-83 into the analog ins on a Marantz SR7005.
Seriously considering upgrading to the CA 751BD for the sake of further improving the analog audio quality...

damienbuckley 06-09-2012 08:27 PM

Been living with the 751 for a couple weeks now and really enjoying it. I've had the chance to listen to a couple SACD's & a DVD-A (Brothers in Arms Anniversary Ed, Claire Martin - He Never Mentioned Love & The Beatles 'Love' album) I've had a while but never been able to play and the sound is superb, really enjoyable.

I watched Aliens on Friday from the BluRay anthology and the sound was staggering. I watched Alien prior to getting the 751 and that was great but there is a definite step-up in sound over my previous player and letting the amp handle the sound. I have a Pioneer LX90 which is no slouch I can tell you but running the 751 into the multi-channel analogue inputs has revealed greater detail, a bigger soundstage and an all-round more engaging experience.

I bought Adele, Live at the Royal Albert Hall on BluRay a month or so ago and watched it with my old player and throughly enjoyed it but playing it again through the 751 was great, al,ost like going from an average to an audiophile CD player in terms of the difference; really crisp vocals, more detail and separation of instruments. If you enjoy music and want to give your system a work-out, particularly a music-focussed player like the 751 I can hoghly recommend this disc.

I havent tried it with straight CD yet as I already have a 740C so CD playing wasnt the main priority for buying the 751. I'll definitely be looking around for more SACD and audio BluRay from now on.

I auditioned the 651 a while ago and wasnt impressed enough to buy it, thankfully given the 751's arrival. Picture on bothnplayers is excellent but the 751 is in an entirely different league for audio when running through its analogue outputs,

dreaux 06-11-2012 10:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

Been living with the 751 for a couple weeks now and really enjoying it. I've had the chance to listen to a couple SACD's & a DVD-A (Brothers in Arms Anniversary Ed, Claire Martin - He Never Mentioned Love & The Beatles 'Love' album) I've had a while but never been able to play and the sound is superb, really enjoyable.
I watched Aliens on Friday from the BluRay anthology and the sound was staggering. I watched Alien prior to getting the 751 and that was great but there is a definite step-up in sound over my previous player and letting the amp handle the sound. I have a Pioneer LX90 which is no slouch I can tell you but running the 751 into the multi-channel analogue inputs has revealed greater detail, a bigger soundstage and an all-round more engaging experience.
I bought Adele, Live at the Royal Albert Hall on BluRay a month or so ago and watched it with my old player and throughly enjoyed it but playing it again through the 751 was great, al,ost like going from an average to an audiophile CD player in terms of the difference; really crisp vocals, more detail and separation of instruments. If you enjoy music and want to give your system a work-out, particularly a music-focussed player like the 751 I can hoghly recommend this disc.
I havent tried it with straight CD yet as I already have a 740C so CD playing wasnt the main priority for buying the 751. I'll definitely be looking around for more SACD and audio BluRay from now on.
I auditioned the 651 a while ago and wasnt impressed enough to buy it, thankfully given the 751's arrival. Picture on bothnplayers is excellent but the 751 is in an entirely different league for audio when running through its analogue outputs,

You prefered the analog audio over the HDMI audio on the Aliens Blu-ray? Were you doing 7.1 or 5.1?

I was under the impression that for Home Theater, Blu-ray DVD viewing HDMI was a better choice. Perhaps not I see.

damienbuckley 06-14-2012 02:17 AM

The sound was better over analogue. Whether or not something is going to be better over HDMI or from the players analogue outputs isnt something you can apply a general rule to. If your players audio decoding is superior to your amp's then ok, if not, use HD,I & let your amp do the work. IMO few people are going to buy the 751 to use sound over HDMI. If you aren't going to use the analogue outputs on the 751 you ,ay as well buy the 651 and sabe the money.

I have a 7.1 setup. I'm not sure whether the Aliens BluRay is 5.1 or 7.1

dreaux 06-14-2012 10:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

The sound was better over analogue. Whether or not something is going to be better over HDMI or from the players analogue outputs isnt something you can apply a general rule to. If your players audio decoding is superior to your amp's then ok, if not, use HD,I & let your amp do the work. IMO few people are going to buy the 751 to use sound over HDMI. If you aren't going to use the analogue outputs on the 751 you ,ay as well buy the 651 and sabe the money.
I have a 7.1 setup. I'm not sure whether the Aliens BluRay is 5.1 or 7.1

Yes I thought so. I bought the 751 to do analog with my AVR, a Yamaha RX-A810 only to find it does not have multi analog 7.1 inputs. Well that clearly was an oversight on my part to assume. So I really haven't had a chance to try out the analog.
I am in the process of selling my Yamaha and have bought the Onkyo TX-NR3009 which was marked down in price.
Hope to get it today and set it up. It can be used where the Onkyo does not do any processing just the 751. I have been using HDMI over the past few years and the analog option is new to me.

kpodolski 06-18-2012 07:40 AM

Been thinking about buying the 751BD but one thing is clawing at the back of my brain.

According to Cambridge, "The 751BD uses 5 separate Wolfson WM8740 D/A converters, to ensure that every audio channel is decoded in the highest possible quality". I'm curious about the DAC assignment. Being a 7.1 plus 2ch unit, which channels get how many DAC's? Do the 2ch outs use more DAC's in 2ch mode when not using the mutli-channel out?

damienbuckley 06-23-2012 05:54 PM

The 751 has dedicated 2ch ouputs which I imagine would use one DAC per channel when operating that way. As for 7.1 I doubt splitting two DAC's for 4 rear channels makes a great deal of difference. I think most receivers work this way too.

Kilian.ca 06-23-2012 11:57 PM

No, one channel of each DAC for each discrete output channel.
Resons:
1. Don't think it's possible to have a 2CH DAC for 4 discrete channels.
2. CA never claims otherwise for the 751 whereas they do clearly for the CDPs.
3. No separate audio specs for the dedicated stereo outputs are published to show they are different or superior.
4. A review with pictures of the internals doesn't reveal (as far as one can tell) more than one DAC for the stereo output.

I know of no player/receiver in which DAC channels can be dynamically assigned and shared (manually or automatically) depending on number of active channels.

The only differences in the dedicated stereo outputs that I can tell are:
1. gold plated connectors;
2. no BM.

kpodolski 07-04-2012 06:09 AM

Thanks for the review, Kilian. I missed that one.

According to the reviewer, there was no audio output from SACD/DVD-A if the HDMI cable was not connected to a display. Does anyone have experience with this? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of using this as a music player only without having to have the display tuned on?

dond2 07-06-2012 11:08 AM

Hi, I'm new to computer audio. I recently got a refurbished 751bd (at a decently reduced price from Richer Sounds, the sole CA supplier in uk, via their ebay outlet) and I'm using it purely as a 'universal' audio source so far. I'm very pleased with its handling of CDs and SACDs in my mid-fi setup and I have begun to download hi-res audio files from Linn and other sites. To date I've burned these to DVD-A discs but now I want to try to send them wirelessly to the 751 which connects perfectly to my home network via the supplied dongle. According to http://www.digitalaudioblog.com/2011/06/cambridge-audio-751bd-blu-ray-universal.html

Using the supplied wireless dongle and any UpNP server, (PC w/Media 7, Apple with Twonky, EyE Connect, or NAS Drive) you can stream your entire music library into the Azur 751BD using exclusive Anagram Q5 up-sampling to get REAL 24-bit native performance without any wires.

My first problem is that the 751 only seems to recognise my wife's Windows computer on the 'my network' screen of the home page and not my Linux (Ubuntu 12.04) laptop where all my music files are stored. I think I've read somewhere that the software in the 751 is Linux based so, if true, that is ironic. Or I may (not for the first time) have missed something important. I have contacted CA Support but, as yet, not had a suggested solution. Has anyone out there had the same problem and found a solution?

rdgrimes 07-06-2012 11:47 AM

^^^
You must have a DNLA server running on a PC for the player to see it. Windows Media Player offers a crude DNLA function that sometimes works, sometimes not. Consult the various appropriate threads in the streaming forum for topics related to DNLA software, but Servio and Twonky are popular.

dond2 07-07-2012 08:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

^^^
You must have a DNLA server running on a PC for the player to see it. Windows Media Player offers a crude DNLA function that sometimes works, sometimes not. Consult the various appropriate threads in the streaming forum for topics related to DNLA software, but Servio and Twonky are popular.

Thanks for that advice. Today I installed Twonky on my linux laptop (via Wine for simpliciy of installation) and also on my wife's windows7 machine. Installation was straightforward and the ca751 'saw' both machines and was able to 'pull' music from them, using the controls on the 'my network' screen of the 751. But neither machine was able to 'push' successfully from Twonky. The Twonky 'settings' screen did say music was streaming but the sounds came through the laptop speakers and not the 751. Still it counts as progress.smile.gif

I'll follow up your suggestion and look in a different forum.

rdgrimes 07-07-2012 10:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dond2 View Post


Thanks for that advice. Today I installed Twonky on my linux laptop (via Wine for simpliciy of installation) and also on my wife's windows7 machine. Installation was straightforward and the ca751 'saw' both machines and was able to 'pull' music from them, using the controls on the 'my network' screen of the 751. But neither machine was able to 'push' successfully from Twonky. The Twonky 'settings' screen did say music was streaming but the sounds came through the laptop speakers and not the 751. Still it counts as progress.smile.gif

I'll follow up your suggestion and look in a different forum.

You cannot "push" content to the player, only "pull" from the player.

dond2 07-08-2012 04:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

You cannot "push" content to the player, only "pull" from the player.

Wow, that's a major drawback for me. I don't have a tv in my listening room and, even if I did, the ca751 'my network' screen just doesn't seem adequate somehow for browsing large numbers of audio files.

Tank_PD 07-08-2012 01:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dond2 View Post

Wow, that's a major drawback for me. I don't have a tv in my listening room and, even if I did, the ca751 'my network' screen just doesn't seem adequate somehow for browsing large numbers of audio files.

Twonky is a DLNA compatible media server. I do not think this player is a DLNA compatible device. It seems to just play files directly from USB / SATA. Though, this is the right idea. DLNA or Airplay should allow you to use any number of remote apps on your phone / tablet to choose which content to stream without needing any sort of TV output.

dond2 07-10-2012 04:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tank_PD View Post

I do not think this player is a DLNA compatible device. It seems to just play files directly from USB / SATA.

Its 'My Network' facility does allow the 751 to 'see' media servers, interrogate their content and 'pull' content to itself. But the server cannot push content to the player. The user manual is not completely clear on this. It says 'My Network option enables the player to receive streaming audio, video and photo from upnp media servers on the network'. Cambridge Audio Support have confirmed to me that 'The UPnP section of the 751 is an adjunct to the blu ray section so it is designed with a view that an on screen interface is available. As such it does not support control via web browser or UPnP remote.'

Quote:
Though, this is the right idea.

Could you expand a bit on that please?

My android phone has an app (MediaHouse) which streams media on my wireless network from any source device to any target device which is compatible with dnla/upnp. My 'dream' target device would be about phone-size, plug into the usb port of the 751 and appear to it exactly like a memory stick. It wouldn't need dacs or display and would, ideally, cost £5. smile.gif

Tank_PD 07-10-2012 11:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dond2 View Post

Its 'My Network' facility does allow the 751 to 'see' media servers, interrogate their content and 'pull' content to itself. But the server cannot push content to the player. The user manual is not completely clear on this. It says 'My Network option enables the player to receive streaming audio, video and photo from upnp media servers on the network'. Cambridge Audio Support have confirmed to me that 'The UPnP section of the 751 is an adjunct to the blu ray section so it is designed with a view that an on screen interface is available. As such it does not support control via web browser or UPnP remote.'
Could you expand a bit on that please?
My android phone has an app (MediaHouse) which streams media on my wireless network from any source device to any target device which is compatible with dnla/upnp. My 'dream' target device would be about phone-size, plug into the usb port of the 751 and appear to it exactly like a memory stick. It wouldn't need dacs or display and would, ideally, cost £5. smile.gif

I do not own the player --am just interested in it, so I can't say for sure. It sounds like the upnp section of the 751 is not as feature rich in this area as some other players / devices. Cambridge's website doesn't seem to mention the streaming features in much detail and does not advertise the player as DLNA certified.

I am saying I have seen AirPlay / DLNA certified devices that supports both on screen navigation from a media server to select items to play, and Android / iOS apps that can control the media server and push content to the player without the need for the on screen navigation or any screen at all.

For example I used both JRiver Media Center and iTunes to push content to a Marantz NA7004 network player that is in a two channel system with no screen. I can push the content directly from the PC, or from a remote application running on an Android / iOS device. (The iTunes remote only works on iOS.)

com5984 08-07-2012 08:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerd View Post

For all 751BD users, I suppose you may know by hints in its manual if you ever noticed, let me just emphasize how important is it for you to TURN ON the QDEO processor by tweaking the SHARPNESS to +1 or above, it is night and day for the PQ, it is so crispy and bring your bluray experience to whole new level. We all shared this trick in Hong Kong and most of us consider 751BD can achieve 20% better picture you can ever get in Oppo 95.

Thanks for the tip

com5984 08-07-2012 08:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by damienbuckley View Post

Any Aussies here can offer an opinion on whether theres much value in ordering the multi-region version of the 751BD? I've looked online and prices of BluRays dont seem to be hugely different overseas, especially when factoring in shipping.

If I lived in the states Iwouldn't bother

com5984 08-16-2012 03:45 AM

I finally got my 751 back after it's tune up from JLTI including a Terra Firma clock, all the multi channel 5532 ic's replaced with LM4562's noise reduction on all dacs. I'm very happy with the results.

Tank_PD 11-21-2012 07:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight7m View Post

Hi Folks,
I would like to have your opinion choosing blu ray player, I have Arcam 137 DVD player and happy with its AQ, now I want to buy Blu ray player but I want AQ at least good as Arcam. Would you recommend Cambridge 651 or 751? or which model/brand you recommend?
Please note, I'm using only coaxial digital bitstream output for the sound, so high grade analog 7.1 outputs are useless, better save money and get high end transport player.
Anyone like to answer. Many thanks to all.

I would not buy either of these players right now as the chipset they are based on is old at this point and many other manufactures have just refreshed their Blu-ray players to newer tech. i.e. with much faster disc loading, many have dropped the need for fans if they had them. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a product refresh from Cambridge Audio soon. If not, I'd say these are behind the current designs of Oppo / Marantz, etc.

Also, if the player is not doing the decoding, the audio quality will be determined by your receiver or wherever you are sending the HDMI signal.

kelseyhorne 11-22-2012 03:15 AM

I wouldnt buy a 751 right now. Too close to CES 2013 I am sure they will announce a new version with 4k and other features

Tank_PD 11-22-2012 02:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight7m View Post

Thank you Tank PD for reply, its very helpful. So is it better as general role I keep using Arcam for a while until new tech or go a head with Marantz/oppo?
Also may i ask is Marantz blu ray players video and audio performance are high end? I don't see reviews about them, if they are can someone please recommend a model.
Just let you know, I have been advised Sony S790 which have good reviews and its best buy, but i feel its entry level, it may have good PQ but i suspet AQ is good enough when using RCA digital output.
As for digital output, i'm using only Coaxial output because i don't have HDMI receiver input. As far i learned in the past the clock and power supply make different even the player is transport (streaming signal only from RCA digital output), if this changed now i mean any cheap player perform as high end please let me know. Also i compare Sony DVD player with Arcam 137 using RCA coaxial digital output bitstreem and i found big different as Arcam: warm, realistic and rich. Sony player price tag was $950 in 2003.
By the way im using Krell gear.

Does your Krell gear not have HDMI or multichannel analog in?

Coaxial or optical digital connections will only carry the older Dolby Digital or DTS formats. Both of these formats are lossy. You will experience a much larger gain in audio quality by using HDMI or a player that can decode the Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD formats and output via multichannel analog outputs. Going from a mid-level entry level player to a high-end player will not make as big of a difference as using the latest loseless codecs.

Players I've heard great things about:

Panasonic DMP-BDT500
Marantz UD5007 / UD7007
Oppo BDP-103 / BDP-105
Pioneer Elite BDP-62FD
Sony S790 (Yes, the drive mechanism may seem cheap, but it is a fantastic player.)

These players are fairly new. Anything else, like from Cambridge, whose players are older than all of these listed, I would wait on as mentioned CES 2013 is around the corner. Not that these players are bad, they are just behind the most recent players and are likely due for a refresh.

You may have better luck in the choosing a blu-ray player thread:
https://www.avsforum.com/t/959985/official-help-me-choose-a-player-thread-cant-decide-start-here/14250


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