Cambridge Audio Azur 540C CD Players

Azur 540C

Wolfson WM8716 24-bit/192kHz DAC, 100dB S/N ratio -88dB THD, low jitter clock with data reclocking, custom Cambridge Audio servo solution, co-axial and optical digital outputs, proven Sony laser optics, custom Cambridge Audio transport, low-resonance and acoustically damped chassis, all-metal casework with a solid aluminium front panel, slim-line Azur remote control with aluminium top panel

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
SDB   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 13, 2013]

Bad machine! Don't buy!
I bought two 540C. They both started rotating between all sorts of problems from Tray getting stuck, Tray not closing, Not being able to read a perfectly healthy disc etc. In fact a third one was tested and showed the same symptoms.

This is a machine that is in reality no where near where its supposed to be. These things should be more reliable than cheap mainstream stuff, Not the other way around.

If you are considering a cambridge audio machine, they are no good. They may have a few advantages in terms of specs. But they are not worth the hassle.

I still have one of those things and enjoy giving it a hard knock to make the tray do what it's supposed to.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
DAVID YORKE   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 14, 2011]

The Cambridge Audio 540C might be dissapointing if you dont do the following things-

-Let it play for about 200 hours before making assessment

-Use really good interconnects.I bought some $200 osborne cables and the sound improved %200.IN particular bass became much more defined and powerful.

-When turning off with no cd in it wait about 5 secs with empty tray before turning off.Some thing goes awry otherwise .i had to get it repaired when I did not do this.Hey-an eccentricity in a low mid player!HIgh end credibility?!

Great bass with a really engaging sound and solid build.


OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Stubobb   Audio Enthusiast [May 27, 2010]

I bought a used 540C on Ebay for $102.00, shipped, back in early '09.
It was mated to an old Arcam AVR100 and Monitor Audio RS-6 speakers, Straightwire MusicCable IC's and AQ Jade Hyperlitz speaker cables.

I wasn't happy with the CD performance of my BluRay player, a Pany BD35, so I figured I'd try a dedicated CD player aimed a little higher than the Best Buy crowd. The CA 540C was the first candidate that popped up on 'the bay' at the right price for experimenting.

I liked the the 540C immediately, it was a great improvement on the BluRay player and my old $39 DVD player, not that that says much, LOL!
I'm not up on all the lingo, but here we go!
I noticed an immediate improvement in clarity, imaging and soundstage. The first CD was some Nightwish (with the new singer). Her voice can be pretty harsh but the 540C didn't do anything to make matters worse. As a matter of fact I found myself cranking up the volume pretty darn loud on the track 'Eva', very nice indeed.
Next was some old Bela Fleck, the UFO TOFU CD. It was terrific, like the first time I heard it. Here's where I started noticing how the deep bass rolls off with this player. It wasn't actually unpleasant, but things just didn't seem as full as they could be.
Next was The Bad Plus' 'These are the vistas' CD. This CD has a really nice 3D sound stage and the 540C did pretty well I think, especially for a hundred bucks. The acoustic bass on track two sounded great! I think the somewhat light bottom of the 540C worked well on this whole CD, at least in my mostly Ebay sourced system.
Next up was Saint Saens 3rd symphony. I loved the way all the layers of the orchestra were crearly represented, and I was really surprised by the piano flourishes during the first movement, I could barely hear them before. The 540C also handled the deep bass notes of the organ in a, um...tasteful way. I think the light bass response actually sounded kinda nice since my speakers start rolling off south of 38 Hz anyway. But WTF, one likes this bit of music for the HUGE organ of the final movement, so if you have a system that can do that kind of extension ($$$), you're probably not looking at this CD player anyway.

So while I'm well aware of the issue of a somewhat lite bottom end on the 540C, everything that is there in that region is very nice and tight. I like the thing anyway. Like a great looking girl with a skinny little butt.
I still have the 540C, it's in a secondary system with bass challenged 'lifestyle' speakers. Sounds great while listening to Jazz with dinner.
Even though it was replaced and outclassed in every possible way by an Arcam DV-79, I still genuinely like the 540C. I like it so much that when it died a month ago, I blew a hundred bucks for a new transport.

Nice player if you get it cheap and don't need to rumble.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
oldbamboo   Casual Listener [Jun 20, 2007]
Strength:

Nice design and build, very quality feel. Good remote.

Weakness:

Highs are far too detailed and aggresive, to the point where there is a clicking / whispering quality to high notes, strings, voices. Mediums are unremarkable, no better than my £30 dvd player from Philips. Lows are non existent, just not there. Nothing I play has any bass to speak of.

Paired with NAD T741 Amplifier and Q-Acoustic 1050 3 way floorstanders.

This player does not do low frequencies. After 1.5 years of trying to like it, and only recently enjoying it by turning the bass on my Nad t741 amp up to 8, I've decided I've had enough. It sold on ebay last night, and I'm getting a Nad T542 today.
I muddled through, pretending to like it for a year, convinced that I was just being nooby, and that I had to re-adjust to this more refined player. The penny dropped when I bought a £150 dvd player from Cambridge Audio last week, which was just rubbish on every front, and utterly, utterly outclased by a philips cd player I had bought for £30 but which had broken due to wear and tear from kids.

Customer Service

Richer are normally pretty good. But they were a bit devious when i tried to take back the dvd player mentioned. Sales guy was disengenuous on a number of fronts.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
wfbal   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 29, 2007]
Strength:

Build quality, design, nice remote.

Weakness:

Agressive medium-high frequency

I purchase this CD player to replace an aging 18 year old carver TL-3300. My system is made of a pair of Vandersteen 2CE, an Audio Refinement Pre-5 and a Bryston 3B amp. I wanted to replace this carver CD player which was the weak link of my system. I did a research on the web and this CD player appears to be the best performance/price performer.
I bought it and gess what, my CD player is still the week link of my system!
Build quality if fine, so is the design and functionality. The sound definition and imaging are pretty good but the medium-high frequency way to agressive, it make listening to music at high volume a painfull experience.
What hurts is that I recently bought a budget DVD player (LG LGD435) which compared avantagely to this Cambridge Audio 540C!
I try to tweak my system and play with different interconnect cables to try to improve things but so far, I'm not impressed.

Similar Products Used: Carver TL-3300, LG LGD435
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
ginafly   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 08, 2006]
Strength:

pretty looking, nice display

Weakness:

Does not automatically start playing when a CD is inserted--you have to push play.

Completely stopped working after four months.

This CD player just quit working, completely, mid-CD, after four months of light use. I have to say that this is a dealbreaker for me. I hope others are not having similar problems. I am quite incredulous about this occurance, given that it is supposed to be a fancy audiophile CD player. I could have gone out and bought a Sony for half the price (if it weren't so difficult to find a single disc player these days).

So, unless you enjoy seeking out warranty service, I recommend staying away from this one.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
HT BUFF   Audio Enthusiast [May 14, 2006]
Strength:

Everything so far

Weakness:

None

Excellent product @ a great price, dynamics & imaging that I have never heard from my CD collection prior to this.
For a person that is in the market for a great CD/DVD player also look @ the 540D @ $259 a real steal as well.

Customer Service

Audio Advisor actually has online Customer live chat

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
accastil   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 20, 2006]
Strength:

very good sounding CDP

Weakness:

no dimmer.

very dynamic sound. balanced from the lowes to the highest frequencies. all subtle nuances are brought into the open.

Similar Products Used: pioneer 575A
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
lrstevens421   AudioPhile [Mar 10, 2006]
Strength:

Great Price.
Great sound when mated with right gear.
Excellent build quality.

Weakness:

Front panel light is unusually bright.

Let me first start by saying that this is an excellent cd player when mated with the correct gear. I got this cd player about a week ago and I let it burn for about 100 hours before I did any critical listening. This cd player beforms best with warm sounding laid back speakers. There are a lot of speakers out there which are known for their warm mild mannered temperament such as B&W, Energy & Boston Acoustics. For example I have two pairs of bookshelf speakers that I often use when evaluating music, A pair of NHT SB3's and a Pair of Boston Acoustics VRB's. Mated with the SB3's the sound seemed to overly bright in the upper frequencies making cymbals sound harsh a little too much in your face which almost collapses the soundstage, with the VRB's everything just seemed to snap into placed, I was rewarded with smooth spacious sound that put me directly in the center of the soundstage. The Boston Acoustics were just great in the mid and upper frequences. Now I'm not saying that the VRB's are better than the SB3's because I honestly feel that they are not, but the character of the VRB's mate extremely well with the 540C. Not only does it sound good but the build quality is excellent, another reviewer stated that after further review the Nad 521 had a better build, well I guess if you're a fan of plastic then the Nad wins hands down. Don't be foolded by self proclaimed Audiophiles who praise or dismiss a product without a true thorough evaluation, this cd player is a GREAT value but it's only 1 compoenent, you're system is only as good as it's weekest link so make sure you're other components are carefully chosen and up to the task. Cd players cause subtle differences in sound quality, I take that back, GOOD cd players cause subtle differences in sound qualtiy, the most drastic change you can make to the sound of your system is your spealers. Some electronics just work better with some than others. The remote control of this cd player is well built and seems to be very responsive although I've only used it once (I copied the functions to my MX-800 remote). I have a very warm sounding system so this cd player is right at home, this cd player isn't man's greatest achievement but it's a wonderful bargain. Happy listening!

By the way Audio Advisor's service is top notch (No I don't work for them)!

My System:
Denon AVR-3806
Denon DVD-2910
Boston Acoustics VRB
Boston Acoustics VRC
Boston Acoustics VRX
2 Mirage S12's
Cambridge AZUR 540C
Belkin Pureav PF31 Power Center
Tripplie Battery Backup
50" Panasonic LCD RPTV
Monster Reference & Impact Acoustics Interconnects
Home Theater Master MX-800

Customer Service

Audioadvisor is a first rate company (www.audioadvisor.com)

Similar Products Used: Music Hall CD25
Music Hall CD25.2
Denon DVD-2910 (Excellent rebook player)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Levike   AudioPhile [May 09, 2005]
Strength:

Excellent decoding of Redbook CD's Very Very Clean 24-bit 192 KHz DAC's

Weakness:

None so far It made my B&W show their flaws which is a little sad, that a $349 cd player can do that to your speakers

Here I am again with a new product, the Cambridge Audio Azur 540C CD Player. It's been 1 week since I got it, and all I can say is that I am still shocked on how well it makes my cd's sound. I think it's the best in value for money terms. Before this cd player I was using the Denon DCM 380 which was very nice for the price, but this Azur 540C just kills it in decoding cd's. This 540C is so good, that it has changed my mind to change my speakers which are B&W. I am not sure what I will buy as far as speakers, but I have a few options. Don't get me wrong, I love B&W, but I need to move on to something even better. For $349 brand new nobody can complain about this cd player.

Similar Products Used: Denon DCM-380 Harman Kardon Sony (Junk) Rotel
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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