CD Players

Cambridge Audio 840 Series CD Player, Stereo Preamplifier, and Stereo Power Amplifier

ARTICLE INDEX

SetUp

I set up all three components in my 12' x 18' listening room and used balanced XLR cables from Bryston for all testing.  Speaker wire was DIY Belden with silver-soldered gold terminations.  I employed three different sets of speakers with this review, including Genesis 750s, KEF 104/2s, and Proac Tablette 2000s.  Each of these speakers has their own sonic personalities and quirks, none are overly expensive, yet they all can sound very pleasing and accurate when properly driven.  The Genesis 750s are far and away the most revealing speakers of this trio so I spent the majority of time with them.

My set-up for this evaluation was pretty much a straight plug-and-play and I was up and running in about 10 minutes. However, based on the advice of others, I let all components burn in for about 150 hours prior to conducting any serious listening. Even though I only utilized the bare essentials of the 840 components, one cannot help but be impressed with the thoughtfulness and versatility incorporated into their design, particularly with respect to their potential for integration into a more complex system. The feature set of each component goes far beyond anything that could be routinely expected at their price points.

I also tried the 840C CD player alone on my reference system comprised of an Anthem AVM30 feeding two Bryston 7B-ST monoblocks that drive Genesis APM-1 speakers.  To my ears, this is a very revealing system that harshly punishes poor components and/or recordings.  It also provides stunning rewards with well recorded music and is quite discriminating and revealing with respect to incorporating any new components.