GautamB

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I have a NAD 355BEE paired to Mezzo 6 floorstanders. In addition to the CD Player (also NAD). I was very happy with the way the combo sounded. The Mezzos are a little inclined towards the brighter side and this gets perfectly balanced by the Amp which tends to have a bias towards the warm. I added a Cambridge Audio CXN V2 recently and am drooling (just a bit) over the CXA81 which should be well balanced with the CXN. Any thoughts on whether the difference between the NAD and the CA will be significant enough for the money.
 
I have not heard the NAD with your speakers so cannot really comment. Whilst the two Cambridge Audio should work well together the quality of the system as a whole only you can judge.
can you get to audition the CXA81?
 
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GautamB

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I have not heard the NAD with your speakers so cannot really comment. Whilst the two Cambridge Audio should work well together the quality of the system as a whole only you can judge.
can you get to audition the CXA81?
Unfortunately the only way to access the CXA81 is to buy it. The CXN and the NAD both run a little warm so I think I may be loading some og the subtlety...also the bass is a little boomy
 

millennia_one

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My guess is no, amp wise it won't be. More of a side step when talking about just the amp section.
But the CX offers a lot more under the hood a Dac for example. So I think it will really boil down to what sort of functionality you need/want which the CXN is also giving you so maybe doubling up and paying for things you don't need. So i wouldn't be in a rush to replace the NAD IMO.

The boomy bass will have nothing to do with the amp at all and everything to do with the position of speakers if the bass has got stronger with the CXN in place then move the speakers out a little more to adjust it.

Having said that if you fancy a change give it ago. and have a listen. Might be just the ticket to scratch that itch
 

GautamB

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My guess is no, amp wise it won't be. More of a side step when talking about just the amp section.
But the CX offers a lot more under the hood a Dac for example. So I think it will really boil down to what sort of functionality you need/want which the CXN is also giving you so maybe doubling up and paying for things you don't need. So i wouldn't be in a rush to replace the NAD IMO.

The boomy bass will have nothing to do with the amp at all and everything to do with the position of speakers if the bass has got stronger with the CXN in place then move the speakers out a little more to adjust it.

Having said that if you fancy a change give it ago. and have a listen. Might be just the ticket to scratch that itch
Thanks! You just saved me some bucks...right about the itch though :)
 
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plastic penguin

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My guess is no, amp wise it won't be. More of a side step when talking about just the amp section.
But the CX offers a lot more under the hood a Dac for example. So I think it will really boil down to what sort of functionality you need/want which the CXN is also giving you so maybe doubling up and paying for things you don't need. So i wouldn't be in a rush to replace the NAD IMO.

The boomy bass will have nothing to do with the amp at all and everything to do with the position of speakers if the bass has got stronger with the CXN in place then move the speakers out a little more to adjust it.

Having said that if you fancy a change give it ago. and have a listen. Might be just the ticket to scratch that itch
Well it has, even though speaker placement also the protagonist. NADs of that period (352, 355 and 356) are very bass heavy.

The modern Cambridge are better balanced than the NAD, but feel it will only accentuate treble brightness.

I would suggest perhaps looking at a different speaker, such as the up to date MA Silvers or maybe a s/hand pair of PMC GB1is.
 
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millennia_one

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Well it has, even though speaker placement also the protagonist. NADs of that period (352, 355 and 356) are very bass heavy.

The modern Cambridge are better balanced than the NAD, but feel it will only accentuate treble brightness.

I would suggest perhaps looking at a different speaker, such as the up to date MA Silvers or maybe a s/hand pair of PMC GB1is.
You're splitting hairs IMO if the sound changes adjust the speakers an inch to compensate,

How do you know they're better balanced? Surely they're just different no. You have no point reference for that balance.

Edit: i pretty sure in this case its everything to do with the position not amp or the speakers as i say try the
free things first
 
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GautamB

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Do the free things first and everyone could do with looking at the position of the speakers
So here is the update : CXA81 sounds okay but not a remarkable step up from the NAD 355BEE. The speakers aren't a problem with their front firing woofers. I am now giving the CA Azur 851a a shot to see if there is a significant diff. Can anyone educate me on SNR...the NAD which is 80W pc is apparently 105 DB while the 851 is >93 at 120w per channel. Are these two correlated?
 

ja_kub_sz

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I would agree that it's a side step move also. I did have the CXA81 (KEF LS50 Metas) and I loved it, but still ended up getting the DAC Magic 200, and Azur 851a instead and KEF KUBE 12b. I don't think there would be enough of a difference to justify just the subjective sound quality trade off, unless there was some other technical compelling reason for you to make the switch (power, connections, expanding gear, etc)?

I love CA stuff and am having an amp dilemma too, I wish you the best of luck!
 
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nopiano

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Can anyone educate me on SNR...the NAD which is 80W pc is apparently 105 DB while the 851 is >93 at 120w per channel. Are these two correlated?
For all practical purposes you can ignore signal:noise ratio on a modern amplifier, the only exception being if you’re looking at a Moving Coil cartridge input.
In any case, NAD from 2008 and Cambridge from 2020 won’t be measuring in a comparable fashion. Any SNR greater than say 80db won’t be a concern, though on checking a couple of technical reviews, Cambridge amps aren’t the quietest.
 
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GautamB

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Here is the latest on my Amp dilemma. I swapped the NAD 355 BEE for the Cambridge Audio Azur 851a. Still running it in, but it sounds bigger. The bass is deeper and the highs a little happier. I would say about a 12% -15% positive diff. to the sound. However from a sheer volume perspective, I suspect NAD 80w per channel squeeze every tiny bit to get there while I'm not sure CA's 120w are as hardworking...very strange. I managed to trade in the NAD in exchange for thr CA after parting with what seemed like a lot, but hey, it's only money and the joy will stay with me for a long time. Overall happy but I now have my eye on the Klipsh RP8000F to replace my pair of Mezzo 6....will be a while I suspect if I don't want to get thrown out of the house by my dear wife who was told that all getting is a CXN V2 since CDs are passé. Let see how that goes.
 

GautamB

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The Azur 851 will be cruising, so I’d expect a much more relaxed yet energetic sound. It should manage almost any speakers too. Nice choice.
Well Jazz, Classical, Lounge, Rap and Instrumentals of all sort sound really good. It loves acoustic versions and vocals as well as bass heavy stuff. Does not like pop at all and I suspect iit a little temperamental about rock. Let see what happens after the recommended 36 hours of breaking in time it needs
 

nopiano

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Well Jazz, Classical, Lounge, Rap and Instrumentals of all sort sound really good. It loves acoustic versions and vocals as well as bass heavy stuff. Does not like pop at all and I suspect iit a little temperamental about rock. Let see what happens after the recommended 36 hours of breaking in time it needs
Don’t worry. Amplifiers are genre agnostic, they don’t understand what you’re playing! But if it needs breaking in then patience is required before critical listening.
 
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nopiano

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But the engineers that voiced them might've done it in a way that favours some genres over others.
I think I get your point, but that would be somewhat self-defeating, wouldn’t it? In my experience voicing tends to be broad brush, like smooth or forward. I don’t think it extends being ‘a little temperamental about rock’ as suggested above!
 

Surly Sid

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My advice is to stay away from NAD amps. When it breaks (and it will), good luck in getting it fixed. NAD doesn't keep spare parts for very long. If you own it for more than 5 years, odds are good it won't be repairable.
 
My advice is to stay away from NAD amps. When it breaks (and it will), good luck in getting it fixed. NAD doesn't keep spare parts for very long. If you own it for more than 5 years, odds are good it won't be repairable.
All amps will eventually fail but there are plenty of NAD 3020s still going strong, and they are from the 80's
 
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