Cambridge Audio T500 Tuners

T500

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
Frank Hardly   AudioPhile [Feb 18, 2003]
Strength:

None that I could find.

Weakness:

Sound quality, build quality and factory QC. Also the Cambridge is not a very intuitive design - took some fiddling to program and figure out while the Rotel unit took seconds - Rotel also looks better.

I went through two units of this tuner - both bought new from dealers. Both units were defective. First one had no signal whatsoever, while the second worked at first and then the display went blank and then when trying to change tuning also went dead. Left alone, it would work again. I gave up on Cambridge and bought a Rotel RT-02 and am glad I did, as it sounds much better than the Cambridge.

Similar Products Used: Rotel RT-02
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
AngeloAdam   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 07, 2002]
Strength:

Sounds great with strong signals. Rotary tuning dial. Price.

Weakness:

Lack of a mono mode switch.

This is a great tuner and a real value for the money. When paired with a good antenna and a strong signal the music sounds marvelously clear, open and rich. Keep in mind the limits of FM radio require strong signals and good antennas, without which you are listening to crap. I compared it to a pre-2000 Rega Radio and it blew it away in it's ability to pick up signals. Anything received in stereo by the Rega sounded very "mushy" so I could only listen to broadcasts in mono. In general, the Cambridge does a great job of picking up signals in stereo and presenting them well. If the signal is not so strong it's stereo/mono blending mode creates a good-sounding compromise. I also like the rotary tuning dial, it's electronic, but helps bring me back to the feel of spinning my old analog tuner's pully-controlled dial. Other tuners in this price range have only small, wimpy- looking tuning buttons. The only drawback is it's lack of a mono switch. There are a couple of stations whose semi-weak, multi-pathed signals would be better listened to in mono since the blend mode often produces annoying static. But I think this problem will be solved when I finally mount my Fanfare antenna outside my house as recommended. This tuner was designed by Michael Creek which makes me want to check out more of his products. Good stuff indeed!

Similar Products Used: Rega Radio
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
S Nolan   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 07, 2002]
Strength:

Good sound. Clean dynamic sound in stereo, no frills ,solid performance, great value.

Weakness:

No LW,MW and SW on US model. When using a Terk Q booster, the single gets too high and bass response gets lost. I think it is more of a problem with indoor antenna and recommend using an outdoor bi-polar.

The Cambridge Audio T500 is probably the best FM tuner for the money. It is worth much more than what I paid for it if you are to judge price for quality. I highly recommend this tuner. This is the same equipment as the Creek t43 that costs about $600, but was re-packaged for Cambridge.

Similar Products Used: Bob Carver HR-895 receiver, Luxman Tuner.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
MIYAZAKI   AudioPhile [Mar 26, 2002]
Strength:

very transparent and detailed.

Weakness:

poor remote control

have just replaced my Cambridge A500 with a Hartley S150 (french hybride integrated amplifier tub-solid state). The sound of this tuner is now fabulous. Compare with similare tuner in the other "audiophile" manufacter and you will find that the T500 is a real bargain

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike C   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 05, 2000]
Strength:

Good sound for the money.

Weakness:

No manual override for the tuning.

Well Andrew, the tuner worked fine with an amplified antenna at the store, but not at your house. Did you connect an antenna to it at all??? No tuner will pick up much if anything at all without one connected. And unless you live in an area with lots of stations and great reception you'll need an amplified antenna or a big one on your roof. Silicon "Valley" is over an hour from San Francisco where most of the better stations are, so I am not surprised you could not pick up anything.
I agree that the US Importer Audioplus is not very good at customer service. I have had problems with them to.
I have the Creek T43. The Cambridge is a clone designed for Cambridge by Michael Creek. Has the same FM Chipset. I've heard both, they sound very similar with good signals, the Creek doing slightly better with weaker ones due partially to the manual override one the tuning and also because the quality of some of the inner capacitors are better. Bass a little better with the Creek.
The Creek is 5 Stars, so I'll give the Cambridge 4.

Similar Products Used: Onkyo Integra
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Frank Kelly   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 08, 1999]
Strength:

Great clarity. May be too much if the signal is not pure.

Weakness:

Great clarity.

For example my wife likes to watch a football game and listen to the local play by play people. THe sound was so good that you could hear the wind in the broadcast booth. Now that is good!!! It pulls out stations with an indoor Terk antenna which is amazing. Great product would highly recommend. By the way play is through a NAD C340 to a set of B&W 602 S speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Pascal Darasse   Audiophile [Jan 04, 2002]
Strength:

very good clarity

Weakness:

poor remote control / no RDS

I only listen the FM-band. I connect the tuner to the radio-distribution of my city. I obtain very nice result, specialy with some classical music. It's very amazing to listen to music for which I don't have any CD.

My configuration :

Cambridge CD D500SE - qed qnect II
Amplifier A500
Tuner T500 - qed qnect I
Speakers : Tannoy mx3 - qed original

I will probably upgrade my cables soon (qed silver bi-wiring for instance)

This tuner is not cheap and I cannot compare with other similair producten but I have to say I don't regret the price paid.

3 stars for the value rating but a 5* for the overal rating

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Andrew   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 02, 2000]
Strength:

Light weight

Weakness:

Sensitivity, slectivity, audio quality, bandwidth, controls

After reading these reviews, I decided to purchase a T500.

Boy, was I in for a major disappointment. First of all,
finding a Cambridge Audio retailer was a painful process via
email with their US distributor Filtronic/Audio Plus
Services, since they are uninterested in producing a useful
web site nor providing customer service. So four days
later, I found a retailer, went there, auditioned the tuner
with an amplified antenna (that should have been a hint).
It sounded fine - as long as the signal from the powered
antenna was strong. So I buy it; on the way out I notice
that it has no remote control. It turns out that is about
another $100 for the el-cheapo remote. I say "Forget this,
I'll bring my Pilot back here and train OmniRemote with the
remote." After getting home, I set the tuner up with my
Pioneer receiver (to be replaced with a Rotel RSP 980 which
is why I need a tuner) and Adcom 7300 amp. After getting it
set up, I found that its FM RF front end was absolutely the
worst I have ever seen: it needs an external RF amplifier
because it has very low gain. The audio was only acceptable
from the strongest stations - anything less than maxing out
the signal strength gauge was hissy with clicks. But the
selectivity is so poor, that the few strong stations walk
all over adjacent stations - it almost seems like a first
order RC filter was used to replace the entire IF strip.
Looking at the specs, the AF bandwith is only good to 12KHz
anyway, which is something I wish I had noticed earlier - it
would have saved me a lot of time.

Several more annoying quirks: OmniRemote didn't work with
it. It seems to have no remote turn on/off (I could be
wrong here). And here's the killer: the local oscillator
is so poorly shielded that it bled all over the VHF band,
putting significant crap all over my channel 7 TV reception
while on. Finally, the front panel interface seems like an
afterthought - no direct access to presets, a mode button to
determine whether the knob tunes by frequency or preset -
which carries over to the $100 remote.

This piece of junk is going back tomorrow. And, yes, I am
an electrical engineer.

I much prefer my old Pioneer or my HK TU-911 (sans remote).

Similar Products Used: Pioneer, Harmon/Kardon
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
James   an Audiophile [Mar 29, 1999]

According to my dealer, this is actually a £400 Creek tuner (What Hifi? 5 star product) reboxed and sold by Cambridge Audio. This tuner is good enough for me to believe it. It has no RDS, so if your after convenience look elsewhere. This is a purists radio. Sound quality is very good, and it is especially revealing. If i could pick a fault, it would be the harshness of the sound from many pop orientated FM stations. Not that the tuner is to blame, it is only guilty of being ruthlessly revealing of the harsh, compressed sound that these stations produce.
Not a tuner for casual, background listening.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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