Official Cambridge CXN & AZUR 851N Thread - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 54 Old 01-07-2019, 07:50 PM
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Official Cambridge CXN & AZUR 851N Thread

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Originally Posted by dwys1960 View Post
Hi

Can ask, did you fine much of a difference between the SM6 and 851n when it was in service?


Both sound gorgeous. I think the SM6 is a bit warmer, more “compatible” sound - say for music lovers.

The 851 is more revealing and honest - say for audiophiles. Build quality is very high - world class even.

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post #32 of 54 Old 01-09-2019, 01:46 AM
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Hi

been reading this thread and have some questions. I was using an old Denon DVD-A1 using Burr Brown PCM1704 DACs as my DAC which fed into my integrated amp (Myryad, running Dynaudio Audience speakers).

The Denon is dead, unfortunately. And I am taking this opportunity to add a network player. The role would be two fold - act as a network player plus as a DAC as well (I intend to route my TV through the DAC using optical and then into amp/speakers for watching movies).

Some questions for you knowledgeable folks

1. How much better is the performance of the 851n over the CXN V2? For me the CXN is half the price of the 851 and I don't want to spend money if not needed. I personally feel I wont be able to tell much in my setup given it's basic level

2. I am confused by someone who said that you would need to use the balanced output to bring the DAC into the picture. Why would that be the case? If I am throwing digital signals (whether Spotify or my TV) at the CXN, wouldn't the DAC HAVE to come in before outputting analog? If I intend to use this as a pre-amp, I could do that right?

3. Is the BT-100 adaptor any use?

Any other products you folks think I should look at?

Budget is ~1k USD.

thank you
Puneet
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post #33 of 54 Old 01-09-2019, 09:52 AM
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puneets0901

1. My comments above about the SM6 (vs. 851N) apply to the CXN. The DACs have not changed with the v2.

2. Yes you can absolutely use RCA (vs. XLR).

3. BT is substandard and not needed if all your devices are on he same wifi network.

The CXN v2 is still a currently supported product and within your price range.

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post #34 of 54 Old 01-09-2019, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVfile View Post
puneets0901

1. My comments above about the SM6 (vs. 851N) apply to the CXN. The DACs have not changed with the v2.

2. Yes you can absolutely use RCA (vs. XLR).

3. BT is substandard and not needed if all your devices are on he same wifi network.

The CXN v2 is still a currently supported product and within your price range.
Thank you very much. You just solved a 4 week long riddle for me!
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post #35 of 54 Old 01-27-2019, 10:50 AM
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SM6 CXN Lumin D1 Linn Majek DS

Just bought a 851n to replace the Lumin D1 (£1895) As I needed more inputs for demo's
We have had the SM6 replaced by a very dull Linn Majek DS and then bought the CXN when they were very first launched.
The CXN was almost as good as the Lumin, but this 851n is superb. Build quality is stunning its heavy and everything just feels nice.

Sound quality is superb imaging is big and the space around instruments is very good. I have to say its one best bit of kit I've bought.

Next up we use Sparkos discrete Voltage regulators in our products so when I get time its lid off and change them. Might see if we can upgrade the op amps also to discrete ones, should sound awesome.
But in the mean time I will enjoy.
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post #36 of 54 Old 04-12-2019, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVfile View Post
puneets0901

1. My comments above about the SM6 (vs. 851N) apply to the CXN. The DACs have not changed with the v2.

2. Yes you can absolutely use RCA (vs. XLR).

3. BT is substandard and not needed if all your devices are on he same wifi network.

The CXN v2 is still a currently supported product and within your price range.
Hello Sir...trying to decide if I buy an 851N or not...my question is: Is there a decent control app like say Roon for the 851? What do IOS users use? I’d like to create playlists etc from my Nas using my iPad as the control unit for the 851?

Thanks

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post #37 of 54 Old 04-12-2019, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asharma View Post
Hello Sir...trying to decide if I buy an 851N or not...my question is: Is there a decent control app like say Roon for the 851? What do IOS users use? I’d like to create playlists etc from my Nas using my iPad as the control unit for the 851?



Thanks


The CA Connect app is the worst thing about it. Check the reviews on the App Store (I just submitted one). It’s fine for casual use but the streamer doesn’t keep anything in memory when you turn it off. So I don’t think it will recall your playlist.
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post #38 of 54 Old 04-12-2019, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVfile View Post
The CA Connect app is the worst thing about it. Check the reviews on the App Store (I just submitted one). It’s fine for casual use but the streamer doesn’t keep anything in memory when you turn it off. So I don’t think it will recall your playlist.
Thanks, it sounds to me like they really need to somehow integrate a Roon type functionality...I find it hard to believe there is nothing more substantial as an interface into the unit then their clunky control app...thanks again...

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post #39 of 54 Old 04-14-2019, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asharma View Post
Thanks, it sounds to me like they really need to somehow integrate a Roon type functionality...I find it hard to believe there is nothing more substantial as an interface into the unit then their clunky control app...thanks again...
I agree the app is the weakest link but the sound of the unit is phenomenal. Hopefully one day the app will become better or there will be a third party solution
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post #40 of 54 Old 04-14-2019, 02:49 PM
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Hi,

Purchase recently the 851N, connected it by RCA to my Arcam AVR-550, the sound is really amazing, 3D and really great detail.

But... my ears seems to fatigue rapidly..
Then, i tried to connect the 851N with a digital cable to my Arcam, the sound is less detail, a little different but very good, and i don’t have fatigue like the other way..

So, do i loose all the benefit of the Cambridge by digital? if i understand, i use the DAC of the Arcam?

Finally, i useTidal hifi and i airplay, will i lost the high resolution if the unit is connected by digital?

Thanks

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post #41 of 54 Old 04-15-2019, 09:28 AM
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Official Cambridge CXN & AZUR 851N Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by vampat View Post
Hi,

Purchase recently the 851N, connected it by RCA to my Arcam AVR-550, the sound is really amazing, 3D and really great detail.

But... my ears seems to fatigue rapidly..
Then, i tried to connect the 851N with a digital cable to my Arcam, the sound is less detail, a little different but very good, and i don’t have fatigue like the other way..

So, do i loose all the benefit of the Cambridge by digital? if i understand, i use the DAC of the Arcam?

Finally, i useTidal hifi and i airplay, will i lost the high resolution if the unit is connected by digital?

Thanks

Sort of. You are using the Cirrus CS42528 “audiophile DAC” in the ARCAM instead of the Cambridge DAC and analog output stage. You are still using the Cambridge streaming engine which does a good job converting streaming formats to linear PCM (max 16-bit unless you are playing 24-bit files directly off a drive).

Don’t forget the Cambridge can be set to fixed output level bypassing the digital volume control.

When you use the analog connection are all settings in the Arcam including DIRAC room EQ being applied the same? If using an “analog direct” mode in one case and not the other it is not a straight comparison.

Airplay is lossless but maxes out at 16/44k. If you have high-res files the Cambridge can play them directly off a USB or network drive and output 24/96k or 192k PCM without downsampling. To play DSD files you need to use analog.

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Last edited by AVfile; 04-15-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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post #42 of 54 Old 04-15-2019, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVfile View Post
Sort of. You are using the Cirrus CS42528 “audiophile DAC” in the ARCAM instead of the Cambridge DAC and analog output stage. You are still using the Cambridge streaming engine which does a good job converting streaming formats to linear PCM (max 16-bit unless you are playing 24-bit files directly off a drive).

Don’t forget the Cambridge can be set to fixed output level bypassing the digital volume control.

When you use the analog connection are all settings in the Arcam including DIRAC room EQ being applied the same? If using an “analog direct” mode in one case and not the other it is not a straight comparison.

Airplay is lossless but maxes out at 16/44k. If you have high-res files the Cambridge can play them directly off a USB or network drive and output 24/96k or 192k PCM without downsampling. To play DSD files you need to use analog.
For the paramaters, i think it is the same for the analog and digital, Dirac is OFF for now, only EQ for movies for the moment.

If i play High Resolution music from Tidal Master by airplay from my IPhone, I only obtain 16/44K?

I tried with the Cambridge apps and only 16/44K appear...

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post #43 of 54 Old 04-15-2019, 03:52 PM
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Official Cambridge CXN & AZUR 851N Thread

That’s correct. Cambridge doesn’t do MQA so you won’t get anything higher than 16/44 from Tidal with the app/native streamer. Using Airplay from your device to the Cambridge is a roundabout way, no help and may result in worse sound!

You can connect a PC/MAC running Tidal desktop via USB to input D5 and do a partial/software MQA decode to feed the Cambridge 24/96 (but not supposed to be as good as a hardware MQA DAC).

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Last edited by AVfile; 04-15-2019 at 03:57 PM.
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post #44 of 54 Old 04-16-2019, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVfile View Post
That’s correct. Cambridge doesn’t do MQA so you won’t get anything higher than 16/44 from Tidal with the app/native streamer. Using Airplay from your device to the Cambridge is a roundabout way, no help and may result in worse sound!

You can connect a PC/MAC running Tidal desktop via USB to input D5 and do a partial/software MQA decode to feed the Cambridge 24/96 (but not supposed to be as good as a hardware MQA DAC).
Ok thanks!

Do you think another Streamer, say the Arcal rPlay would give equivalent quality vs the cambridge as i use the Dac in the Arcam AVR-550?

I'm Under the impression the Cambridge is maybee too much and overkill?

But i really like what I ear now connected by Digital to my Arcam...

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post #45 of 54 Old 04-16-2019, 11:18 PM
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Probably. If I was buying now I would probably get a Bluesound Node 2i or Simaudio Mind 2.

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post #46 of 54 Old 06-11-2019, 07:12 PM
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Cambridge Audio Azur 851n

Is this a good unit? I like it because it’s a Dac, PreAmp & streams. Is the DAC a good one? Any opinions on this?


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post #47 of 54 Old 06-12-2019, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarBear71 View Post
Is this a good unit? I like it because it’s a Dac, PreAmp & streams. Is the DAC a good one? Any opinions on this?


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I’ve been very happy with the unit and are using it paired with a Marantz av8805. Much better sounding compared to my last streaming set up which was a squeezebox and better then Heos which I have in the Marantz and use in my vintage 2 channel system.. The app isn’t the greatest but the sound is fantastic.

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post #48 of 54 Old 08-15-2019, 11:45 PM
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I bought a 851N to sit between a McIntosh C48 preamp and MC501 monoblocks (connected via XLR to C48). I am very happy with the sound, using Tidal Hifi. Too bad about no MQA but sound is till great. Also the Tidal App still leaves very much to be desired. Are there no updates for this very simplistic app any longer??

But to my question....I also would like to have my Oppo BDP-203 sound go through the 851N DAC rather than the player internal DAC. Is this possible? I tried digital koax and optical connections from the Oppo and set it to "Bitstrream" but this only gives "no signal" on the 851N.

.
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post #49 of 54 Old 08-16-2019, 08:42 AM
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No signal when playing a CD? What are you trying to play on the Oppo? It should be set to output STEREO PCM. You can’t send DD/DTS to the DAC.

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post #50 of 54 Old 08-17-2019, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
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No signal when playing a CD? What are you trying to play on the Oppo? It should be set to output STEREO PCM. You can’t send DD/DTS to the DAC.
I might be misinformed as to how this works. I thought setting the oppo to bitstream out would force the 851 to decode the signal? And I thought that setting oppo to PCM would make the oppo use its own DAC?

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post #51 of 54 Old 08-17-2019, 03:38 PM
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Official Cambridge CXN & AZUR 851N Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drem View Post
I might be misinformed as to how this works. I thought setting the oppo to bitstream out would force the 851 to decode the signal? And I thought that setting oppo to PCM would make the oppo use its own DAC?

The 851 is a 2-ch DAC and has no surround decoder, so it can’t decode a bitstream. But if you’re playing a regular CD there is no bitstream to be sent, only stereo PCM.

The DAC (digital-analog converter) in the Oppo is never involved when using any form of digital output. It is only used for its analog outputs.

The bitstream vs. PCM option is only relevant when playing movies (DVD/BD) or SACD. The setting only determines if the player’s internal decoder is to be used or not. The decoder comes before the DAC.
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post #52 of 54 Old 08-17-2019, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVfile View Post
The 851 is a 2-ch DAC and has no surround decoder, so it can’t decode a bitstream. But if you’re playing a regular CD there is no bitstream to be sent, only stereo PCM.

The DAC (digital-analog converter) in the Oppo is never involved when using any form of digital output. It is only used for its analog outputs.

The bitstream vs. PCM option is only relevant when playing movies (DVD/BD) or SACD. The setting only determines if the player’s internal decoder is to be used or not. The decoder comes before the DAC.
Thank you for the clarification.

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post #53 of 54 Old 10-10-2019, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polecrab View Post
I need another set of line outs for my sub, and I need to connect a USB HDD that contains my music library. There are many other differences as well (the display, connectivity).
I want to use this as a single preamp streamer directly to two monoblock amps via balanced XLR and simultaneously use the unbalanced RCA preamp output connectors to drive subwoofers (that accept full range input and have adjustable crossovers).

Can anyone confirm this configuration will work?

Other option is to use a NAD C658 ($500 more, no chromecast) or a Yamaha WXA-50 ($500 less +native DSD but no XLR) but both of those have dedicated subwoofer RCA output (proper 2.1).

Edit: response from Cambridge Audio support request:
Quote:
Thank you for contacting Cambridge Audio.

I can confirm that this setup will work, as the CXN v2 will send a signal from both the XLR and RCA outputs simultaneously.

We are working to integrate Amazon Music HD on our network streamers (CXN v2, 851N, and Edge NQ) by early 2020.

Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions.
I placed my order!

Last edited by maglito; 10-16-2019 at 04:39 AM.
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post #54 of 54 Old 10-20-2019, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maglito View Post
I want to use this as a single preamp streamer directly to two monoblock amps via balanced XLR and simultaneously use the unbalanced RCA preamp output connectors to drive subwoofers (that accept full range input and have adjustable crossovers).

Can anyone confirm this configuration will work?

Other option is to use a NAD C658 ($500 more, no chromecast) or a Yamaha WXA-50 ($500 less +native DSD but no XLR) but both of those have dedicated subwoofer RCA output (proper 2.1).

Edit: response from Cambridge Audio support request:


I placed my order!
I’m looking forward to the Amazon Music intergration myself

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