Official Cambridge CXN & AZUR 851N Thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 47 Old 04-11-2018, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Official Cambridge CXN & AZUR 851N Thread

Now that my Cambridge CXN v2 supports Tidal, here are a few of my thoughts from initial tests..

-Equipment: KEF R900 mains. Marantz MM7025 2ch amp.

1. The Tidal seems basic, like very basic. You cannot go to an album or artist from a song like you can in Spotify
2. It shows you the bitrate at the top! Huge plus.
3. I tried to switch back n forth b/w Tidal HIFI and Spotify Prem and I swear the vocals sound more present with "blacker" backgounds in Tidal over SP. Not sure if this is real or not because the switching process is rather cumbersome.
4. You access Tidal from the Library and you access Spotfy from Inputs which is strange.
5. I don't think the CXN supports MQA yet, but when it does, how will I know I'm streaming at MQA?
6. I cannot get the desktop Tidal app to connect to my CXN. I can ONLY connect to Tidal through the lackluster Cambridge Connect App and as I've mentioned before, the Tidal app is not fully functional through the Connect app.

Thoughts? Updates? Tricks? And have you heard an difference in Spotify Premium vs Tidal HIFI on your system?

My system resolves VERY well, i just wish I could A/B compare a little easier.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 47 Old 04-11-2018, 02:24 PM
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I use an old Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8" tablet to control my 2 channel stereo equipment through a Logitech Harmony hub and their Android app. I obviously use Cambridge's Android app as part of this setup. I can't comment on Spotify Premium, as I'm not a subscriber to that service, but the Cambridge Tidal support is pretty basic. However, I find the sound quality to be good, so I'm happy.

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post #3 of 47 Old 04-12-2018, 06:49 AM
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Considering buying a network streamer and the CXN V2 is up there along with the Bluesound Node 2. But I'm still not convinced spending $900 when I can add streaming using a $35 chromecast and a $105 Apple TV 4K (DirecTV promo). Is the sound quality difference that substantial to justify the price difference? Thoughts? Listen to mostly streaming music on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal. System is KEFQ100 paired with an Outlaw RR2160 amp.
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post #4 of 47 Old 04-12-2018, 08:40 AM
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One of the main reasons I purchased the Cambridge was to play my music via usb and the Wolfson DAC. I'm in the process of converting my CD collection to a usb stick/drive for convience. The internet radio/Tidal support is a bonus to me. I probably wouldn't spend this kind of money for 'just' an internet streaming device.

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post #5 of 47 Old 04-12-2018, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy76 View Post
Considering buying a network streamer and the CXN V2 is up there along with the Bluesound Node 2. But I'm still not convinced spending $900 when I can add streaming using a $35 chromecast and a $105 Apple TV 4K (DirecTV promo). Is the sound quality difference that substantial to justify the price difference? Thoughts? Listen to mostly streaming music on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal. System is KEFQ100 paired with an Outlaw RR2160 amp.
I seriously doubt you'd hear any difference on your system. It would take a very high end system to be able to hear a difference between the CA and the BS I think. I would like to hear someone who is extremely picky discuss whether or not they hear a difference.

One thing that sucks about the CA is the app.. The Cambridge Connect app does NOT utilize Tidal very effectively. It's found in a different section of the app than Spotify and uses a very dumbed down version of the Tidal app.

I'm sure the BS app is much better.
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post #6 of 47 Old 04-12-2018, 07:27 PM
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After a long wait, I must say I am very disappointed with the way Tidal is offered. Super basic interface, no ability to create or edit playlists, browsing for artists is very limited. On top of that, no support for 24- bit MQA (masters)

Terrible job Cambridge, you would be better of not creating this half baked update at all.
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post #7 of 47 Old 04-16-2018, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Apple TV 4k Tidal

Interesting thing happened this weekend....

I downloaded the Tidal app to my AppleTV 4k. Ran an optical cable from tv out to Cambridge CXN input to let the Cambridge act as the preamp and DAC.

The sound from the Apple TV was noticably poor compared to Tidal and Spotify directly through the Cambridge.

First, the volume was way lower and much more compressed feeling.

Was this to be expected? Am I an idiot for being surprised here?
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post #8 of 47 Old 04-17-2018, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Eh forget it. Going back to Spotify. Seems easier to use and sound quality is indiscernible even on $10k worth of equipment. Especially given the Cambridge CXN v2 Connect app realllllyyyy makes Tidal suck.
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post #9 of 47 Old 04-24-2018, 02:23 PM
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So I pulled the trigger and ordered a CXN V2 last week. Have been listening to it the past few days and so far I like it. I have been comparing it with a Yamaha WXC-50 and the CXN sounds more rounded with the bass definitely a step up than the WXC. Its fast and responsive; so far I haven't tried the pre-amp mode (with variable volume control) but will give that a shot later.
One thing that clearly is an issue is the Tidal integration. I haven't been able to play any song and each time I try to play something I get a "Paused" messaged on the screen. I am not sweating on that too much as I mainly listen via Apple Music and Spotify but Cambridge definitely needs to update their firmware pretty soon.
Also the lack of any input trigger is a pain and I am using a Harmony remote to switch everything on. Not prefect but still better than manually doing it.
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post #10 of 47 Old 04-25-2018, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy76 View Post
So I pulled the trigger and ordered a CXN V2 last week. Have been listening to it the past few days and so far I like it. I have been comparing it with a Yamaha WXC-50 and the CXN sounds more rounded with the bass definitely a step up than the WXC. Its fast and responsive; so far I haven't tried the pre-amp mode (with variable volume control) but will give that a shot later.
One thing that clearly is an issue is the Tidal integration. I haven't been able to play any song and each time I try to play something I get a "Paused" messaged on the screen. I am not sweating on that too much as I mainly listen via Apple Music and Spotify but Cambridge definitely needs to update their firmware pretty soon.
Also the lack of any input trigger is a pain and I am using a Harmony remote to switch everything on. Not prefect but still better than manually doing it.
Glad you're liking the CA. I know I do! But, I feel your pain on the Tidal integration. It's terrible and I went back to Spotify as well. When I did get Tidal HIFI to work, I cannot say I heard any upgrade in sound at all. Perhaps a better A/B would help but, to me, I saw zero sound quality improvement with Tidal so Spotify wins again.
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post #11 of 47 Old 04-25-2018, 03:40 PM
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I read somewhere that the CXN needs to be connected to an amp/receiver via RCA or the Balanced connections to take advantage of the DAC installed in the device. The coaxial and optical connection do not allow this. I plan to purchase balanced XLR cables and use these to connect the CXN to my Halo and not use the coaxial connection any longer.

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post #12 of 47 Old 04-28-2018, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtximages View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy76 View Post
One thing that clearly is an issue is the Tidal integration. I haven't been able to play any song and each time I try to play something I get a "Paused" messaged on the screen. I am not sweating on that too much as I mainly listen via Apple Music and Spotify but Cambridge definitely needs to update their firmware pretty soon.
Glad you're liking the CA. I know I do! But, I feel your pain on the Tidal integration. It's terrible and I went back to Spotify as well. When I did get Tidal HIFI to work, I cannot say I heard any upgrade in sound at all. Perhaps a better A/B would help but, to me, I saw zero sound quality improvement with Tidal so Spotify wins again.
The CXN supporting industry standard UPnP/DLNA streaming means that you can use other methods to get it to stream from TIDAL HiFi for lossless CD audio quality, such as the BubbleUPnP Android app. There should be no need to wait for Cambridge Audio to sort their TIDAL integration issues out!
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post #13 of 47 Old 05-01-2018, 12:59 PM
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So I currently use an Oppo BDP-95 for DLNA lossless audio streaming and have been seriously eyeing the 851N as a replacement.

Anyone heard both units? I would think the Cambridge would sound better but you never know with these things. Also how is the 851N streaming DLNA? Any quirks or issues?

I use the UPNP program Asset and have it set to transcode all audio to .wav and have my Oppo and various other devices play back the transcoded .wav audio through DLNA.

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post #14 of 47 Old 05-24-2018, 04:09 PM
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CXN v2 wish list

I’ve had the CXN V2 for a couple of months. Overall, I’m pleased. However, I noticed a few quirks that I’m wondering if other owners have also experienced.

USB HD local music library issues
  • System folders that are supposed to be hidden (eg, $RECYCLE.BIN, System Volume Information) appear alongside my music folders in both the unit display and Connect app. I wish they would hide those folders like most OSs do.
  • Drive contents aren’t indexed, so you can only navigate your library via the folder structure. You can’t search or navigate by tag categories. I wish the CXN indexed the drive upon manual command (initial index and updates) and saved that data in memory, or automatically indexed connected drives in the background upon startup (like the Oppo Sonica).

Other issues
  • I wish the volume control steps were finer. The steps near my sweet spot are too far apart. I usually listen on 12, 13, or 14, depending on my mood, and the volume jumps between those steps are very large. Maybe the volume can be rescaled to decrease the differences in the middle of the dial at the expense of the extremes of the dial.
  • The balance on the unit shows 0, on my iPhone Connect app shows centered, but on my iPad Connect app shows off center. I wish the balance displays were accurate.
  • I wish there was an option to temporarily view all the music tags (like composer, performer, comments, etc.) by selecting a deeper menu command. Even if this were only available on the Connect app, I would really appreciate it.
  • I wish scrobbling to last.fm was supported.

I’ve already submitted some of these things to Cambridge customer support, so I hope they’re addressed in a firmware update soon.

🐼
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post #15 of 47 Old 05-26-2018, 08:41 PM
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Can someone tell me what you are getting in this Cambridge steamer that you would not be getting in the 350 dollar SONOS:Connect running optical in your system?

I'm really trying to find the feature add here. ;-)
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Can someone tell me what you are getting in this Cambridge steamer that you would not be getting in the 350 dollar SONOS:Connect running optical in your system?

I'm really trying to find the feature add here. ;-)
The Connect wouldn’t work for me because I don’t have any other Sonos equipment, 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). However, if you don’t have those needs and you’re already committed to the Sonos system, then the Connect would probably work better for you.

🐼
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post #17 of 47 Old 06-19-2018, 12:02 PM
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Can the CXN V2 Get SiriusXM radio? I know it's not
popular but I have it.
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post #18 of 47 Old 06-21-2018, 12:38 PM
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Can the CXN V2 Get SiriusXM radio? I know it's not
popular but I have it.
No SiriusXM on the CXN. Apple airplay,Tidal,Spotify, and internet radio. It's manufactured in Britain.

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No SiriusXM on the CXN. Apple airplay,Tidal,Spotify, and internet radio. It's manufactured in Britain.
Thanks for the reply. I did not think it did.
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post #20 of 47 Old 10-01-2018, 11:58 AM
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CXN V2 and Tidal

Had my CXN for a few days now and when I can eventually get it playing I’m really happy with the sound quality. Trouble is I’m finding it very hit and miss using Tidal. It seems I need to use 2 apps on my ipad to control it, Cambridge Connect app and the Tidal app, and even then I seem to get music playing from my iPad instead of through the amp connected to the cxn. Also do I need to manually select Tidal on the cxn box itself. I went for Tidal because of the higher bitrates but I’m very confused and frustrated by it. Im sure it’s probably me and there is a quick and simple way to switch on and ‘go’ but, as yet, I haven’t found it. Any help would be much appreciated!
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post #21 of 47 Old 10-15-2018, 10:54 PM
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Official Cambridge CXN & AZUR 851N Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by John.winnington View Post
Had my CXN for a few days now and when I can eventually get it playing I’m really happy with the sound quality. Trouble is I’m finding it very hit and miss using Tidal. It seems I need to use 2 apps on my ipad to control it, Cambridge Connect app and the Tidal app, and even then I seem to get music playing from my iPad instead of through the amp connected to the cxn. Also do I need to manually select Tidal on the cxn box itself. I went for Tidal because of the higher bitrates but I’m very confused and frustrated by it. Im sure it’s probably me and there is a quick and simple way to switch on and ‘go’ but, as yet, I haven’t found it. Any help would be much appreciated!


The CA Connect app only shows your favourites. You can add artists/albums to your library in the Tidal app (or desktop program on any computer as long as you’re logged into your account) using the favourite button. You don’t need to do anything on the CA unit itself if the app is connected.

I am frustrated for a different reason. I changed my Tidal password but the CA app won’t let me “log out” so I can enter it. It’s latched onto my old credentials and can’t access Tidal at all.

edit: reinstalling the CA app fixed it.

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Last edited by AVfile; 10-16-2018 at 08:14 PM.
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post #22 of 47 Old 10-16-2018, 11:16 AM
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For the sake of not repeating myself:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post
The CXN supporting industry standard UPnP/DLNA streaming means that you can use other methods to get it to stream from TIDAL HiFi for lossless CD audio quality, such as the BubbleUPnP Android app. There should be no need to wait for Cambridge Audio to sort their TIDAL integration issues out!

On iOS try the mConnect Player app, free Lite version available.
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I am frustrated for a different reason. The 851N keeps logging me out of Tidal so I can’t play anything. The CA app still shows my username under Tidal and won’t let me “log out” so I can try re-entering it. It’s totally buggy!


Reinstalling the CA app allowed me to reinstate my login to Tidal so everything is back up and running. Thanks to CA tech support for the suggestion.

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Hi all , I had purchased a CXN years ago from our local dealer before they retired . I was using the PlayFi app that goes with Anthems AVM60 pre pro to stream my 44.1 WAV music files off my NAS drive .
I was having a lot of issues wirelessly , so I unboxed the CXN and tried it , but have a Ethernet going directly to it instead of using it wirelessly , and everything is stable as it gets .

Unfortunately, when I used the analog out of the CXN to the AVM60 , I had a lot of hiss in my speakers . I don’t have good quality rca cables on hand, so that my not have helped, but I’m doubtful. Btw , all my gear execept my amplifier and subwoofer are plugged onto monster power conditioner.

So I used the Toslink RCA jack out to my AVM60 and the hiss on my speakers is gone . I’m assuming I’m losing the benefit of the CXNs internal DACs this way? I’m told the DACs in the AVM60 are pretty good though regardless.

Anyways I think it sounds great . The CXN was actually suppose to be dedicated to a future stereo system I want to put in my basements gym , so I’m debating to buy the 851N for my main home theatre where I do my critical listening.
Reviews that people who own both are claiming there hearing better SQ with the 851N , whether it’s phycological I don’t know.

So I’m debating to cough up the cash for a 851n . I have some concerns about buying from third parties at Amazon.ca , as I read a lot of bad reviews there and sometimes wonder if there selling B stock?

Maybe I should find another source .

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MajorTendonitis View Post
Hi all , I had purchased a CXN years ago from our local dealer before they retired . I was using the PlayFi app that goes with Anthems AVM60 pre pro to stream my 44.1 WAV music files off my NAS drive .
I was having a lot of issues wirelessly , so I unboxed the CXN and tried it , but have a Ethernet going directly to it instead of using it wirelessly , and everything is stable as it gets .

Unfortunately, when I used the analog out of the CXN to the AVM60 , I had a lot of hiss in my speakers . I don’t have good quality rca cables on hand, so that my not have helped, but I’m doubtful. Btw , all my gear execept my amplifier and subwoofer are plugged onto monster power conditioner.

So I used the Toslink RCA jack out to my AVM60 and the hiss on my speakers is gone . I’m assuming I’m losing the benefit of the CXNs internal DACs this way? I’m told the DACs in the AVM60 are pretty good though regardless.

Anyways I think it sounds great . The CXN was actually suppose to be dedicated to a future stereo system I want to put in my basements gym , so I’m debating to buy the 851N for my main home theatre where I do my critical listening.
Reviews that people who own both are claiming there hearing better SQ with the 851N , whether it’s phycological I don’t know.

So I’m debating to cough up the cash for a 851n . I have some concerns about buying from third parties at Amazon.ca , as I read a lot of bad reviews there and sometimes wonder if there selling B stock?

Maybe I should find another source .
Apparently, Coaxial and Optical connections bypass the CXN on-board DAC. Need to connect via XLR or RCA to use the CXN's DAC.

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post #26 of 47 Old 11-12-2018, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xpavar View Post
Apparently, Coaxial and Optical connections bypass the CXN on-board DAC. Need to connect via XLR or RCA to use the CXN's DAC.
That’s what I thought . To bad my pre Pro doesn’t have xlr in

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post #27 of 47 Old 11-12-2018, 05:54 PM
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That’s what I thought . To bad my pre Pro doesn’t have xlr in

Don’t obsess over it. Your AVM would have to convert the analog signals to digital in order to use BM, ARC and DSP anyway. I have a Cambridge Audio SM6 (same dacs as CXN) and everything sounds better with ARC on my AVM50v.

However you shouldn’t be getting hiss when using the analog inputs on the AVM. You should contact Anthem tech support in case there’s something wrong with it.

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Don’t obsess over it. Your AVM would have to convert the analog signals to digital in order to use BM, ARC and DSP anyway. I have a Cambridge Audio SM6 (same dacs as CXN) and everything sounds better with ARC on my AVM50v.

However you shouldn’t be getting hiss when using the analog inputs on the AVM. You should contact Anthem tech support in case there’s something wrong with it.
The good news is I never noticed an improvement when it was configured the other way .

I have the Cambridge 80 watt receiver new in the box also , so I could hook it up someday and see if the hiss is absent . I initially bought the CXN for my basements gym , so that I could get some music pounding to get me in the zone .


This is my gym still in progress where the new Cambridge system will be implemented someday .
On the right and left side of the mirrors I will have Paradigm Studio series in wall speakers . A Paradigm subwoofer will be located in the corner to the left of the dumbbell rack where you see that power outlet .
I bought a 12” Paradigm sub that was recently dropped from there line . I wanted it because it had front firing ports , as I’m going to cut a hole in the wall and have the sub sitting in the other room , and have the front flush with the wall inside the gym .
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LG OLED65B7P.
Anthem AVM60 , Anthem MCA525 .
Panasonic DP-UB820 UHD player .
Paradigm Studio CC690 V5 centre channel , Studio 100 V5’s front and rear . Paradigm PW-2200 subwoofer
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post #29 of 47 Old 11-13-2018, 06:11 PM
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In progress? Looks incredible. I’ve got a similar plan for my SM6 and basement workout area. Since I also got an 851N don’t use the SM6 much anymore. Good job I have it though as my 851N is currently out for service.
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post #30 of 47 Old 01-07-2019, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AVfile View Post
In progress? Looks incredible. I’ve got a similar plan for my SM6 and basement workout area. Since I also got an 851N don’t use the SM6 much anymore. Good job I have it though as my 851N is currently out for service.
Hi
Can ask, did you fine much of a difference between the SM6 and 851n when it was in service?
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