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  1. #1

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    Default Cambridge Audio D500SE review

    OK, I know this CD player has been around for a while, but I purchased a used one as my first entry into higher quality gear. I replaced a Sony CDP-CA70ES CD player.

    I prefer 2-channel direct audio for my music using a Denon 1803 and played not to loudly through a pair of Rti70's. I used the RCA jacks to take advantage of the higher quality DACS in the CD player. I listen mainly to ballads sung by women -- Anita Baker, Celine Dion, Phyllis Hyman, etc.

    The Sony is a great CD player with tons of features, but it's no match for the Cambridge. The 500SE is very clear and smooth, and the vocals are right up front in your face, not competing with the band. Some of the instruments sound different and distinct, and muddy background noise is minimized, even in older CDs. My wife and I are really enjoying the sound and it's a great addition to our AV setup.

    The next move is separates, but that will have to wait until more money starts to roll in. Maybe I can find some good deals at the local flea markets like some of y'all have done. Just need to do some homework to learn what to look for.

  2. #2

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    Nice review and congrats on the new purchase. A good source can make a big improvement. I'm very hapy with mine. I haven't thought about upgrading my CD player. I'll be getting a tube DAC before a new CD player.

    You will definitely bring your system to another level when you move to seperates. Is this going to be strictly for 2ch?

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  3. #3

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    Yeah, it'll be strictly for 2-channel. But I had a technical problem with the 500SE, so I'm returning it and upgrading to the new Cambridge Audio Azur 640C. I'll post my review on it next week.

  4. #4

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    I've had the CA D500SE for almost 3 weeks now (I bought it used from steveinaz). It is certainly a much better CDP than the older Sony single disc CDP it replaced. I wondered how much of an improvement it would be over my Sony SCD C222ES and as it turns out it is not a huge improvement over the C222ES. Better...more refined and more detailed...but only marginally. This more or less confirms my opinion that the Sony ES SACD/CD players are actually quite good and often underrated by many. Your description of the player being "very clear and smooth, and the vocals are right up front in your face, not competing with the band" is quite acurate. It is also upgradeable which may be a plus down the road. Overall I am very pleased with the player and it was certainly worth the price I paid...which was a bona-fide bargain.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

  5. #5

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    My time with the CA C500SE vs my C222ES more or less confirms my view of the Sony SCD C555ES that I was originally looking to buy. Based on my previous demos, had I been able to find a new one, I think it would at least be equal to the D500SE. Of course it would be more than 3 times the price I paid for the CA.

    So...Sidney's Dad...when you get your C555ES I will eagerly await your review!
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

  6. #6

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    Update to thread...

    There was a technical problem with my 500SE, so I returned it and upgraded to the Cambridge Audio Azur 640. Man, it's an awesome CD player. Better than the 500SE for my listening tastes. It's not as laid back as the 500SE, has stronger bass, and I'm hearing stuff on CDs that I didn't hear on the 500SE. Much more dynamic. If you're into traditional jazz, classical, and the like, you may prefer the 500SE, but for contemporary music, the 640 is worth every penny. I was considering setting up a 2-channel rig, but after hearing the 640, I decided the slight improvement that a 2-channel system could offer from what I currently have and the type of music I enjoy wouldn't be worth the money. No need to upgrade for a while.

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