Cambridge Audio D500 CD Players

4.48/5 (102 Reviews) MSRP : $450.00


Product Description

An exceptionally high quality Delta-Sigma DAC from Crystal with a precision voltage reference gives the D500 its stunning level of performance; chosen for nothing less than its highly musical and involving sound, after hundreds of hours of intensive auditioning. The product is further enhanced by regulated power supplies for both digital and analogue circuits, a high stability clock and numerous dual-mono topologies. Our implementation of proprietary jitter reduction circuitry - a major breakthrough - has also allowed us to achieve an incredibly low level of jitter-induced distortion, surpassing many so-called "hi-end" players. Both optical and coaxial digital outputs are also provided, for easy to connection to other digital devices.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (102 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dbargelt a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I purchased the Cambridge Audio D500SE to use with my tube headphone amp. Positive reviews here and at other locations influenced my choice of this player. So far, it has more than satisfied my expectations. Combined with my Antique Sound Labs MG head tube headphone amp, Sennheiser HD600 and Sony MDR-CD3000 headphones, the sound is very smooth, huge amount of air/space around instruments, and a superb soundstage. Deep lows are a bit rolled-off, but the bass is well-defined. Mids are super clear with a wonderful open quality, and highs have that just right quality of natural shimmer and sustain. But what really stands out is the amazing ability this player has of letting all the acoustics and space of the original recording come thru. I have heard ambient details in recordings I’ve never heard before, with recordings I've listened to extensively over the years on a number of decent players. The D500SE has an un-canny ability of opening-up space, reverberation, and separation in recordings. Build seems decent, and the remote is well designed. An excellent budget player. Don’t hesitate to purchase one used, it's a real gem!

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $175.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fourxjake a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This is a fine cd player for the money. It has a few quirks, such as if you press play before the cd is initially scanned, it won't play however I can live with that. Like many others I replaced the power cord but to be honest, I didn't notice too much difference. What I really wanted to comment about were other improvements I made which dramatically enhanced the unit. First off let me say that I am an electronics tech by trade. The analog output driver board in this unit is simple to remove and well labelled as far as left and right channels. First thing to go were the stock interconnect jacks that are soldered directly on the pc board. I replaced them with $25 Vampire jacks, coupled to the PCboard with silver wire. Next I replaced the 4 (2 per channel) op amps in the output driver stage. The standard op amps a dime a dozen garden variety. I installed Analog Device's AD825s. These are great amps for about $5 each. I reassembled a listened. A great improvement in the low end and overall timing of the music. it's hard to explain but because the 825s are so much fasted than the originals, you get a longer diration between musical notes. The music seem slower, more accurate. After a good listening period, I opened it up again and this time replaced the standard coupling capicitors with Blackgate non-polarized electrolytics. I also replaced the tantalium high frequency filter caps on the DC power rails with Blackgates caps. Next I replaced the standard full wave rectifier diodes with Vishay high speed types. A little sound damping material added around the cd transport for good luck and presto... An new CD player for about $75 in parts. This thing really sings. The Blackgate capacitors are amazing in the improvements they bring out in the treble and upper mid-range. I am totally satisfied with the unit and would put it up against any player in the $1000-1500 range.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $399.00

Purchased At:   Audio advisor



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by steveinaz a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Reference D500SE.
I've owned this player for 2 years and have been very satisfied with the cost/performance ratio. Definitely sounds better after burn-in, which usually takes about 72 hrs of play. I too suffered the power cord issue, so I replaced it. The display is difficult to see beyond 3 feet, but not a major issue to me. I will say that three times in the 2 years I've owned this player, it's had an odd "problem." It would sound very distorted (like cone braek-up on speakers). Powering the unit down and turning it back on clears up the problem, and it happens VERY rarely, but it is strange. Almost as though the DAC's get out of sync or something. I never bothered returning the unit as it is rare, and easily fixed when it does this.

Sound quality echo's what you've heard in many reviews; sweet, grainless treble, good mids, and wonderful bass. I use Vibrapods under mine and like the effect.
I haven't experienced any transport noise that some have reported--though the player is a little slow to cue-up.

Associated equipment:

Parasound HCA-1500A Amp
Parasound PHP-850 Preamp
This CD Player
Athena AS-F2 speakers
AQ Ganite speaker cables
AQ Copperhead interconnects

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $349.00

Purchased At:   Audiolab



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Andreas Moller a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 17, 2003

Bottom Line:   
As I am interested in the performance and not in the optical appearance, I wish to mention that the admittedly poor fabrication quality of the cassis and the awkward design did not influence this review.
The player sounds lifely and dynamic, though it tends to be a bit unclear in the treble. Vocals are elaborated in an OK-manner, but my lack some depth. Classical music, like Carmen Phantasies by Anne-Sofie Mutter should not be played on this player. The violine is diffuse, at very impulsive passages you might this there are three first violines, that just lack synchronization. Track 7 on the RainMan sound track revealed a lack of bass control. The membrane was out of control and nasty resonances arose. Though the start of the percussions was sharp, the end lacked definition, whereas the bass itself had just about enough contour ad structure. Techno music had the same problem on this player, but most technoc enthusiasts don't really care about that, I believe.
I returned it to the dealer after a week, as I see no point in saving money on a piece of equipment I am going to live with for a couple of years.
Config:
Cambridge A500
nuWave 3 Speakers
decent cable (appr. 120$)

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   HiFi-Klubben Oslo



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Pawel Meszynski a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Compare with others products at the market this one was building the best stage and sound was much closer to CD's cost 3*more

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $440.00

Purchased At:   Decibel




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