Cambridge Audio D500 CD Players

D500

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.

User Reviews (102)

Showing 1-10 of 102  
dbargelt   AudioPhile [Jun 18, 2008]
Strength:

Amazing ability to reproduce original recordings ambience and acoustics.
Smooth, natural mids and highs, well-defined bass
Mid-range has a seductive, open, warm quality
Well made with metal case and well-designed remote

Weakness:

Deep bass a bit rolled off
Had to see display in bright light

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!

Similar Products Used: Nad C541, Kyocera D910
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
fourxjake   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 12, 2004]
Strength:

The sound

Weakness:

None really for the price

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.

Similar Products Used: players by sony, rotel, yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
steveinaz   AudioPhile [Dec 12, 2003]
Strength:

- Audiophile grade @ bargain price - Very good at tracking defective discs - Warm side of nuetral sound is wonderful - Very well built - BNC/Toslink/RCA outputs

Weakness:

- Display - Cheesey AC cord

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

Similar Products Used: ADCOM, NAD, Yamaha, Sony, Rotel.....
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Andreas Moller   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 17, 2003]
Strength:

Cheap. Agile. Lots of bass. Probably as close as you can get for the buck.

Weakness:

Lack of bass control, unclear treble. Tends improvise every now and again...

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$)

Similar Products Used: Rotel RCD-2.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Pawel Meszynski   AudioPhile [Aug 19, 2003]
Strength:

sound

Weakness:

too loudly a

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

Similar Products Used: Creek
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Xcetera   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 18, 2003]
Strength:

Good clear and well defined sound. Smart looking too, in a `plain` sort of way.

Weakness:

Transport definitely too loud compared to any machine I have tested. But you do get used to it and the sound quality more than makes up for it.

Having read most of the reviews regarding this player it would appear that people are experiencing problems with the power cord, transport noise and the ability to press play whilst the draw is out. My machine does have a louder than usual transport noise true. But the other problems re power cord/play are fine. (Maybe the cord supplied for markets outside the UK are not of the same quality. This player is definitely the best that I have tested in this price range, and believe me I'm VERY fussy! Excellent clear sound (once broken in) and at £199 good value for money.

Similar Products Used: Technics, Denon, Sony, NAD, Arcam.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Mike Fung   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 05, 2003]
Strength:

Good vocal performance

Weakness:

Bass is not enough

Great at this price range.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Mike Fung   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 05, 2003]
Strength:

Good vocal performance

Weakness:

Bass is not enough

Great at this price range.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
audio_file   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 16, 2003]
Strength:

Handles Vocals and bass very well. Good for acoustic music. Comparatively cheap. Remote provides excellent functionality. All controls are very intuitive.

Weakness:

Mid range is jumbled for complicated orchestra bits. Not very striking looks.

System config: Cambridge Audio D500 (CD Player) NAD C 350 (Amp) B&W DM602 S3 speakers QED Quinex2 Interconnect Qed Silver Anniversary speaker cable(biwired) I recently bought this CD player after readng all the positive reviews on this site. Broke it in by playing it for 3 days non stop. After that I analyzed the sound. It is very striking with female vocals (Eva Cassidy, Tracy Chapman) with a lot of depth and clarity. Bass is very clean and punchy (Boney M, Paul Oakenfold). Acoustic music sounds great with each guitar chord really flowing along(Nirvaa Unplugged in New York) With rock music it is a bit lacking. It finds it hard to seperate the lead vocals and the various guitars. Mid range sounds a bit jumbled. This shortcoming is further highlighted where an orchestra is playing.(Metallica S&M). Perhaps I am asking for too much at a price of 200£. Marantz CD6000 OSE LE is out of stock with Richer Sounds so I didnt have many more options in a 200£ budget. NAD C 521i has only a 20 bit DAC and I cant afford the NAD 541i yet. Still a good buy if you are on a budget like mine. Looks are fine though and remote can be used to program the order of songs etc.

Similar Products Used: Sony SCDXE 670 (cheap thrills)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
madmann   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 11, 2003]
Strength:

Sound and build Quality! Perfect remote

Weakness:

Yea Right!! Ok display is weak. own the silver version, Cool blue display great but not from 3 feet away. Minor complaint.

This review is for the D-500se. Guys this is a hell of a deal for the $$ sounds much more expensive than it really is. I am impressed. Very well made and love the jog/shuttle wheel. (as I produce racing videos All my editing vcrs have them) This is the REAL DEAL! Hey you don't need to spend a fortune to get supurb premium sound.

Similar Products Used: replaced my Adcom GCD-575
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 102  

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