Cambridge 840C vs. Oppo BDP-95

Between the Cambridge Audio Azur 840C and Oppo BDP-95, which sound better for music? I know the Oppo can play SACD, but is the difference significant? I have a Sunfire 200Wpc amp and Von Schweikert VR-4 Generation III speakers.

Pender Linwood

Well, the first thing to be aware of is that the 840C can play only CDs, while the BDP-95 can play CDs, SACDs, DVD-Audio discs, and Blu-rays (including 3D), making it much more flexible. On the other hand, the Cambridge upsamples CD audio to 24-bit/384kHz before converting it to analog, while the Oppo does not upsample CD audio. The only way to determine which sounds better on CDs is to conduct a direct side-by-side comparison, which we haven't done.

I find SACDs to sound significantly better than CDs, but I haven't compared SACD playback with upconverted CD playback, so I don't know if that narrows the difference. (I admit to a philosophical bias against upsampling—I'd rather not have a machine introduce data into the signal that wasn't there to begin with.) I do know that the 840C is almost twice as expensive as the BDP-95 ($1800 vs. $999), and given that the Oppo can play all the other disc formats, I would definitely choose the BDP-95, which has garnered glowing reviews from many audiophile publications.

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hugo's picture

Comparing those 2 products is like comparing orange to apple. You should compare the Cambridge Audio BD751 to the Oppo BDP95. . They are both universal players (CD, SACD, DVD-Audio, DVD-Video and Blu-ray). The BD751 retail for $1,149. It can upsample everything to 24-96 or 24-192 or leave all data in its native form. It can pass SACD in its DSD form or convert it to PCM. It even has a choice of 3 filters: steep, listen or low. Believe me, the set-up that you do has a considerable effect on sound. I personnally choosed to upsample everything to 24bit-192 with filter set at low.
The result is sensational, my Arcam cd-73 CD player outperformed my Integra universal player on hybrid SACD. The BD751 vastly outperform the Arcam, even on standard CD. It also improve my dvd. on Sarah Machlalan afterglow live show, the bass notes are more detailed, the highs are smoother, i hear more detail, more anbience. Dont make a judgement on oversampling without listening first. I am using the BD751 7.1 analog . I dont know how good is the Oppo, i would like to see a comparo

mailiang's picture

It seems like they will be discontinuing the CD by the end of next year. I wouldn't be surprised if this includes the demise of SACD as well. The masses are going for MP3 devices like the ipod for the convenience of downloading music on-line which unfortunately will end an era of superior sound quality.

FarmerBob's picture

And going back to Vinyl the original superior sound quality source.

mailiang's picture

But with CD's, I can also play them in my car. Lol.

bluewizard's picture

The Universal Player seems to be becoming more popular, and at least, Oppo, Cambridge, and Marantz make a range of them. It would be nice to see a side by side comparison, evaluated for both Audio and Video Playback.

While it is true that music is moving to computer based files and away from physical media, I don't think it is quite there yet, and I think physical media still has the ability to hold a degree of the market against downloads. Though I don't doubt that download is the way of the future.

My problem with CD, if you will allow me to stray, is not the medium itself, but the complacency of those putting content on the media, and the excess volume and compression of modern CDs. My older CDs sound noticeably better than the new ones I buy, to the point that I can't bring myself to buy new CDs because it is such a crap shoot.

And for the record, I'm using a Harman Kardon Universal BluRay player.

mailiang's picture

Regardless of the recent changes in CD's and I haven't found a significant deterioration in sound quality, at least not from the ones that I have bought recently, the fact remains that the convenience of the internet has already had a negative affect on replicated formats. This even includes the growth of Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray disc's offer one of the most advanced forms of data storage we have ever seen, however, Blu-Ray player manufacturers are now having to add media player technology, which is a major competitor to Blu-Ray. Why? This is so that they can attract consumers with streaming and file playing. Unless internet technology and streaming can provide superior sound and video quality by the time it becomes the dominant media format, it will be a sad day indeed, at least for me.