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Cambridge Audio v Rotel
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I am in the market for a budget CD player/Amp combo and am torn between Cambridge's Azur 640A and 640C, version 2 and Rotel's RA-04 (or -05) and RCD-06.  I am based in Hong Kong and have been unable to get hold of What HiFi's recently published Ultimate Guide to HiFi, despite my best efforts (still trying!), as I know that would help me greatly.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether the Cambridge duo beats the Rotel duo or whether it is better to mix and match?  Or is there something else out there I have overlooked but should be considering before I take the plunge and upgrade my beloved, but now ancient old NAD CD/Amp combo (15 years of service, so an old friend)?

Any advice/thoughts much appreciated.

sdp

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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

The CD player from Cambridge Audio is certainly better - according to all hifi press including What HiFi. As for the amplifier, What HiFi definitely sems to be in love with the Rotel one, but my impression is the Cambridge Audio is more praised by the hifi press in general... Given also that I prefer the electronics to come from the same company - I would personally chose an all Cambridge Audio system - but that's just me.

I remember What HiFi recommended a system made up from the CA CD player + the Rotel amplifier and a pair of B&W's 602 S3's speakers - so you could try going that road, if you like Rotel as a brand...

Good luck. Smile 

Anonymous
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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

Rather embarrassingly perhaps I am replying to my own post.

So, after a bit more research today, it turns out that neither the RA-04 or RA-05 are available in Hong Kong, but the RA-06 is, as is the 1062 at a price which makes it an interesting proposition.  Trouble is I don't know too much about how these amps stack up against the RA-04/05 - yes, they are more expensive, but are they as good/better?

 Looks like my choices are therefore between:

1. the 640 version 2 combo from Cambridge;

2. a RA-06 or 1062 paired with the RCD-06; or

3. some sort of combination between the two.

Still appreciate anyone's input, if they have the time/energy.

Ta.

sdp 

Anonymous
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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

Razz - appreciate your input; your reply crossed with mine.  And I see you are right, in their August edition What HiFi recommended the CA 640 version 2 paired with the Rotel RA-04.

So, I guess my question (to the What HiFi folks; are you out there?) is this - say (like me, here in Hong Kong) you couldn't get your hands on the Rotel RA-04 for your perfect CD/Amp combination, would you replace it with the Rotel RA-06 or with the CA 640, version 2.

Please help - I have some money burning a hole in my pocket over here!

Cheers.

sdp

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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

SDP, how much is an -06 'round your way? I wouldn't spend a whole lot more than -04 money pairing the 640Cv2... you'll have seen from the July issue that the 640A/640C combo is an exciting listen even if it ain't perfect.

Anonymous
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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

I not long bought my first system and i decided on getting both Cambridge 640 v2 of the amp and cd player and all i can say is Wow. Very good!

But i personally i would wait because CA are releasing Version 3s of them soon so id hold on for something newer and it will probably be the same price and maybe a better product.

 
Deano 

Anonymous
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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

Simon - thanks.  The Rotel RA-06 is HK$5,300, which is pounds 335.  So, if I couple that with the Rotel RCD-06 (HK$4,600/pounds 290), my system (Rotel 06) is HK$9,900 or pounds 625.

By contrast, I am quoted a discounted price for the CA combo of HK$7,500, or pounds 475.  If I want one but not both CA units the individual price is HK$4,050 or pounds 257 each (so they'll give me a 7.5% discount if I buy the two units together).

Deano - was pretty much all set to go with the CA combo this weekend after your and Simon's input.  Then you hit me with the last sentence.  Gaaah - do I wait?

One more question then - anyone know when CA will bring out the version 3?  Depending on how imminent that is, I may wait a little longer (or I may lose patience and go version 2).  Can anyone help with this?

Thanks again for all your input.  All very helpful

sdp

Anonymous
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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

I tested the Cambridge Audio Azur 640A, Rotel RA-1062, Arcam A70 and Roksan Kandy L3 MKIII last night at Mongkok. The Cambridge Audio was the worst of the lot, but to be fair, it was also the cheapest and not in the same league as the others.

I got the Roksan in the end because the sound was so outstanding compared to the rest. It could cover a wider spectrum of music, and the musical fidelity was awesome. Although the Rotel was cheaper by HK$1500, the Roksan blew my socks off when it came to female vocals and I succumbed.

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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

SDP - I think it's safe to assume that if you're considering Rotel and Cambridge equipment, you don't necessarily want to hear about how good Roksan and Arcam equipment is at twice the price. And given the price differentials you've outlined, I'd be inclined to point you at the two Cambridge bits. £475 isn't bad at all for the level of fidelity you'll be enjoying. Finally, I've heard nowt from Cambridge Audio or its parent company about imminent version 3s. Perhaps Deano has friends in high places...

Anonymous
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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

Simon:

Great advice, which is very much appreciated.  You're right, I am looking for a reasonably priced cd/amp combination, which is just fine for my purposes.  It sounds like CA are a right fit for me, which is great as I also like the way they look. I'll set up a demo at Radar Audio and see how it goes. 

And if the version 3's come out shortly after, no sweat - I'll give then a miss and upgrade when version 4 comes out ...

All the best.

sdp  

Anonymous
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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

Just some quick feedback on this post that I started a couple of week's back.

I went to Radar Audio last weekend and ended up walking out with the Cambridge Audio 640 version 2 CD and Amp.  Went home fixed it up with my Bose Acoustimass Speakers (with Subwoofer, for Clare) and turned up the volume.

And it sounded just great.  Better, I think, than in the testing room at Radar (so not sure which speakers they had it attached to, should've asked I guess).

So, this is just a note of many thanks to all those who contributed to this thread, and helped me decide on the system I will probably end up using for the next 5 to 10 years.

Much appreciated.

sdp 

Anonymous
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Re: Cambridge Audio v Rotel

 Hi I'm too waiting for the version 3's to come out .Just received email from CA and they have stated that they will be out before Christmas.Prices are a little more than V2's and if you go to there web site and look at there 07/08 catalog it will show you them all in there glory plus it also shows there spec. i hope this helps any body else who reads this thread

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