Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport

[Cambridge CXC CD Transport - front view]

A very well worth buy

Product name: Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport
Manufacturer: Cambridge Audio - UK
Cost: about € 350 - Currency conversion - YMMV
Reviewer: Chris Templer - TNT South Africa
Reviewed: April, 2018

Introduction

In this increasingly Internet based streaming age, with CD's going the way of the dinosaurs, a new and cheap way of playing back your little silver discs is welcome. Especially one that doesn't get in the way of your own DAC. And one that is not too expensive!

Design & Build

Possibly the best way to describe the transport only device is via a couple of clips from Cambridge Audio. On the transport itself here; on the server/control here (if embedding is disabled).

 

Presentation is the usual Cambridge Audio excellent. It's well boxed, plenty of foam inserts for protection and comes in a cloth sleeve. The remote works very quickly and smoothly and has the ability to control other Cambridge CX range products - so plenty of buttons. My only gripe with Cambridge remotes is that the underside is curved with stabilizing protuberances at the front but not on the bottom, so the thing rocks if you try to press a button without picking it up from the table.

Listening

The CXC replaces my Jolida JD100 player which has done duty for many years without any problem, but what was a plus (valve output) and warm output is not what I want now. Having got used to sound via a hard drive into the DAC, I was looking to take out the colourations from my player plus perhaps upgrade the data reading ability. The Jolida does have a digital out, which was used to compare directly to the CXC. This belatedly as I only twigged to the digital out from the Jolida after I had bought the CXC. My excuse is that the Jolida had been buried in my hi-fi unit for years at the bottom of the pile...

To say there is a big difference would not be an exaggeration, the CXC clearly reads better than the Jolida. Playing music that had been ripped to the server via pc was always cleaner than the Jolida, which I had put down to the effects of the valve output and DAC. Comparing digital out on the Jolida to the CXC there is a vast difference with the Cambridge extracting more information (detail, air and ambient space) and less fuzziness (or cleaner sound). The CXC also trumps the sound of the same disc ripped via pc to the server.

A short digression here: quite often I have found a CD copied to CDR via either a pc or a dedicated SCSI duplicator to sound better than an original, example Chandos 9785 Organ and Orchestra in Liverpool Cathedral. With the CXC there is no difference between a copy and original. I don't pretend to be an expert in computers, but it seems to me that the interpolation routines and reading ability of pc's are usually better than those of most CD players. This difference was not only heard on the Jolida but on two Meridian players also.

Testing was done via a Cambridge Stream Magic 6 V2 (replaced by the Cambridge Azur 851n streamer) into either a TacT/Lyngdorf 2175 SADI or Leak Stereo 20 or Parralel 300B SE Triode amplifiers using different speaker systems. In all cases the CXC produced a clean, textured and nuanced sound.

In short the CXC is a very well worth buy, provided you have a separate DAC.

[Cambridge CXC CD Transport - rear view]

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© Copyright 2018 Chris Templer - chris@tnt-audio.com - www.tnt-audio.com