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Official Cambridge CXN & AZUR 851N Thread

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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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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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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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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Probably. If I was buying now I would probably get a Bluesound Node 2i or Simaudio Mind 2.
 

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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?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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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?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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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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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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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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?

Skickat från min SM-G973F via Tapatalk
 

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Official Cambridge CXN & AZUR 851N Thread

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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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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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:
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!
 

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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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Just picked up a 851N, connecting to my DenonX8500H. Would it be better to connect via RCA or digital?
 

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Just picked up a 851N, connecting to my DenonX8500H. Would it be better to connect via RCA or digital?
Only connect via RCA if you're certain that the 851N's DAC is better than the DAC of Denon's 2018 flagship AVR, the X8500H and you aren't using the X8500H's room correction or any of its other DSP features.


Which begs the question - if your answer to that means you'll connect via the X8500H's digital input, why did you bother picking up the 851N streamer in the first place, given that the X8500H is a very capable streamer in its own right (HEOS, UPnP/DLNA renderer, Spotify Connect, AirPlay2, internet radio, etc)?
 

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I recently bought a CA CXA81. I must say, it's truly wonderful. I love it, and can't praise it enough. Now I'm considering purchasing the CXN V2 and the CXC separates.

Can anyone tell me what benefit I'd receive from the CXN V2, exactly? I listen to a lot of vinyl (also using a newly purchased CA phono stage, and I love it), and also listen to streaming music via Amazon Prime Music. So right now, I just use USB C-to-B linked from my Google Pixel phone directly into the integrated amp, and stream on Amazon that way. I have CDs that haven't seen the light of day in years, but the CXC is more self explanatory. My concern is really in the CXN V2.

So, again, what do I stand to gain using the CXN V2? What is its purpose, exactly? I understand it has a superior DAC, would that be it? I want to pull the trigger and buy it, but I'm just having a hard time figuring out what it is I would even use it for. What other sort of functionality does this have that I might use, other than as a DAC through my phone (something I can currently do directly into the CXA81)? How does the internet radio work? Do I need a subscription with some other service, or is it free with purchase of the box? I can't seem to find an explanation on how this works anywhere.

Thanks in advance.
 

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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.
Newbie questions here but If I am using the AES/EBU output of the 851N to my Cary Cinema 11a pre/pro, I'm assuming that the Cary is handling the DAC duties? If I went RCA out of the 851N then the Cambridge is the DAC?

I just signed up for Quboz and when I stream higher resolution 192khz files to the Cinema 11a via digital, how come the display on the 11a still says PCM 44.1khz? According to the manual for the 11a, all the digital inputs should go up to 192khz. Is this because the the files are DSD from Quboz and the Cary is limited to 48khz (according to the manual) for the analog input?

Thanks in advance for any help here.
 

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Newbie questions here but If I am using the AES/EBU output of the 851N to my Cary Cinema 11a pre/pro, I'm assuming that the Cary is handling the DAC duties? If I went RCA out of the 851N then the Cambridge is the DAC?
Correct.

I just signed up for Quboz and when I stream higher resolution 192khz files to the Cinema 11a via digital, how come the display on the 11a still says PCM 44.1khz? According to the manual for the 11a, all the digital inputs should go up to 192khz. Is this because the the files are DSD from Quboz and the Cary is limited to 48khz (according to the manual) for the analog input?
I don`t know how Qobuz works but this guy gets it:


You may be missing a setting in the Qobuz app.
 
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