Advice : Denon DA 38DAB vs Cambridge seperates


New member
Aug 10, 2019
Hi all...appreciate your views...I listen to a lot of prog-rock (sorry) from Genesis to Transatlantic (if you've not heard of them, you're missing out!)...always on headphones, very loud, and using (wait for it) some seperates I bought some 25 years ago...a Technics SU-V450 amp and (after the matching CD player packed up) a Cambridge CD4 player,with some AKG K-44 headphones... Now you've stopped laughing...I know that's a pretty cr*p setup by anyone's standards...I tend to do most of my listening in the car via a BOSE system (believe it or not, I do know good from bad, hence the decision to finally change)...but, I'm spend half my time looking at the Richer Sounds site and drooling... But after reading the WhatHiFi awards, I noticed the Denon DA 38DAB...and the question is, if paired with some Grado SR80 'phones...would this be a HUGE leap forward? Forget the speakers, I'd rarely use them, so I'd just by the basic unit and the cans. OR...should I go for an amp & CD player from the basic end of the Cambridge Audio range? Your advice appreciated!! Regards Andy


Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
Buy a Marantz CD6004. Great headphone output and superb CD player. If that is a little steep on price seek out a CD6003 pre-owned. You won't do better for the money.

Otherwise, forget the Cambridge Topaz range. Out of that and the Denon, the Denon is the better bet IMO. If you can stretch to the Azur 350A/350C combo it would be a completely different matter and Cambridge would win out.

Personally though I'd buy a Marantz CD player and plug the 'phones straight into that. Keep the Technics for now for the times when you listen through speakers. It was a fairly decent amp and time hasn't changed that.


I have the Denon 37DAB and while I think it's brilliant at playing music out loud, the sound through headphones is nothing special.


Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
Like I said in a other tread I love thz Denon 38dab great value for the money. But I seriously doubt it will make you happy true Headphones :?

Anyway I think CA dac magic is a nice alternativeif you don't want to spend to much money.

Other wise the ca an marantz are both nice an well rated. Personaly I would go for the CA combo but that's a question of taste....

Good luck...


Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
Really nice.

Just pay more attention which speakers you pair the Nad with.

Knowing what I know I would have bought the 684 for the Nad.

I heard the nad on the 684 an it seem to lose al hanyness that it have with my 683's (IMO it misses a little bit of power for the 683's)

Sound cleaner an much more exiting :) perfect....

Before I bought the azure I listened to the Marantz 6004 I think an the Nad 545 an the CA. Nad and CA where realy close But the CA had just that litle more detail an feld a bit lighter without having that wiered stadion sound (I don't realy know how to explain).

So for me buying the Nad 545 had only 1 advantage, That I could use the same remote. So I chose what sounded the best for an that was the Azure 650 cd.

I think it works great together.


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