The little silver disc still has plenty of life left in it as a format – be it for music as CD, or video with DVD and BlueRay not to mention a plethora of minor digital formats all of which can be carried. There are vast numbers of discs in existence and if stored and handled with a little care they will last in a similar way to analogue vinyl records. And like analogue records there are still some companies interested not just in maintaining play back capabilities, but also extending the sound quality and performance of these formats.
The UK based company Cambridge Audio design and manufacture a range of 4 players, each with a distinct application, and in the case of the 3 new CX series models, class leading performance.
The CXU – now at just NZ$1595 – is the most comprehensively featured option and will do duty in systems where both high quality video and audio playback is required, in surround and stereo formats and with full analogue and digital capabilities – it is as the name suggests, the ultimate universal player. It can be used in a multitude of ways and playback virtually any type of disc. Read our take on this player here.
The CXC – NZ$795 – is the best option for music only systems in tandem with the new generation of digitally capable amplifiers such as NuPrime. It does one thing only but at a very high level – taking an absolutely clean data stream off music CDs for transmission via digital optical or coax to a separate DAC or capable amplifier. Through the CXC you’ll enjoy more detail and fidelity, with end performance that will exceed the levels of all but the most insanely costly recent CD playing systems. More.
The CXUHD – NZ$1595 – is the newest model and can be thought of as the videophile equivalent of the CXC above. With UHD 4K capabilities on the picture front it goes further than the similarly priced CXU universal player and makes more sense in systems that already have full surround abilities as the inputs and outputs are digital only. If you enjoy a new big screen TV – this is your player! Read the new Cambridge page here.
The Topaz series CD-10 at NZ$400 may be the most affordable player by a good margin and while it doesn’t lay claims to the stellar performance of the CX series, it is never the less a very tidy unit and does set the standard in value for money – as a replacement for a failing existing player it makes a lot of sense – often better simply because of the rate of improvement on the digital front, even if lower in cost than the original. In fact it costs less than most repairs of older units would and of course is new and warrantied!
It’s also perfect for new budget conscious systems, including all of the Tivoli radios. And it should be noted, not only has quite a capable Wolfson DAC section but also features a digital output making it perfect for use with any AVR, the many little NuForce amplifiers out there and a multitude of DACs where the use is more casual and the precision of the CXC is not quite as critical.
Read a review from The Absolute Sound here.
And the Cambridge product pages….