Cambridge Audio 751BD - Measured performance

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Cambridge Audio 751BD
Sound quality
Measured performance
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Frequency response of CD via the analogue outputs, shown in our analysis, was flat to 20kHz whichever filter was selected. Because there is no onboard DSD convertor PCM must be selected to output SACD, forcing DSD to be converted to PCM before going through the DACs. There was still benefit though, SACD frequency response reaching out to 32kHz before rolling away slowly, analogue fashion - see our analysis below. With high resolution 24/192 PCM the analogue outputs reached 48kHz (see our analysis below), so again high sampling rates are done justice.

Linearity of the onboard DACs was a bit below top rate CD players as is to be expected, since this is not a dedicated analogue player, but 0.29% at -60dB via the analogue outputs is still a good result and this allowed a good EIAJ Dynamic Range value of 98dB to be achieved. With high resolution 24bit PCM distortion dropped to 0.15% at -60dB (see our analysis below), against 0.02% or so possible, so there’s improvment over 16bit. Similarly, SACD gave 0.21% at -60dB so measured better than CD, and at -90dB just 0.6% - but DSD code is very linear at low levels, hence SACD’s smoothness.

Random jitter on the digital signal measured less than 20pS above 100Hz (see our analysis below). Signal related jitter was 80pS on a -60dB, 1kHz test tone, a very good result. There was a little low rate clock wander but it was not high at around 200pS maximum. All in all the 751BD was as clean in this area as the 650BD and will give fine sound quality through an external S/PDIF connected DAC.

The 751BD measured well through its analogue outputs and via its S/PDIF digital output. It provides audio of good quality. NK


Frequency response (-1dB)

CD          2Hz-20kHz

SACD     2Hz-32kHz

Blu-ray    2Hz- 48kHz


Distortion (%)

0dB       0.0008

-6dB      0.0008

-60dB    0.29    (24bit  0.15)

-80dB    3.8

Separation (1kHz)    108dB

Noise (IEC A)         -111dB

Dynamic range        98dB

Output                    2.0V


FREQUENCY RESPONSE, 192kHz PCM    (what it means)



FREQUENCY RESPONSE, CD    (what it means)



FREQUENCY RESPONSE, SACD   (what it means)



DISTORTION, 24 bit, -60dB     (what it means)



JITTER    (what it means)



Comments (3)
Tannoy Westminister
3Monday, 26 September 2011 16:53
Frank Rodgers
Hi Noel:

Can you help and tell me how to go about getting your April 2006 article on the Tannoy westminister speakers. Thanks.

Frank Rodgers

Hi Frank. You can buy Hi-Fi World April 2006 as a back issue from our on-line magazine reading service, provided by Pagesuite. Press the 'Or Read On-Line' button at top left on our website's front page. NK
Oppo and Cambridge
2Tuesday, 12 July 2011 18:14
Noel Keywood, publisher
Hi Alberto,

I am sorry to disappoint you but I have not heard the analogue output of the Oppo BDP-95 so cannot comment upon its analogue performance. I have measured and carefully listened to the Cambridge 751BD and whilst it is a good analogue player, it isn't the best by any means. That is because Blu-ray players are intended to work with AV receivers via HDMI; their analogue outputs are not a priority.
You would be better advised to buy a modern Onkyo receiver like the TX-NR609 (see our review) and use HDMI connection. If you want the very best from SACD then get a more expensive Onkyo or Marantz receiver, preferably with proper DSD convertors. I compare the 751BD with the 650BD in our forthcoming September 2011 issue.
I hope this helps you.

best regards

Noel Keywood.
Cambridge and Oppo
1Tuesday, 12 July 2011 18:09
Alberto Trujillo
Greetings Mr. Keywood,

I very much enjoy reading your HI-FI World editorials. Earlier in the year I read a review you wrote of the Pioneer BDP-LX53 and you compared it to the Oppo BDP-83 and Cambridge Audio 650BD. I have been researching both of these players to replace my current universal DVD Pioneer player, but my limited technical knowledge of digital to analogue converter chips has left me in a bit of a quandary. I was hoping I could ask for your advice in this regard. I realize that at this point these companies have new players (Oppo BDP-95 and Cambridge Azure 751BD), so I’m wondering if I should choose from the new players instead? Or is the audio performance between the new players and the older players negligible? Is the performance of the Cambridge Azure 751BD worth twice the price of the 650BD? Either way my main question is regarding the difference in audio performance between the Dual ES9018 SABRE 32-bit Reference DACs in the Oppo BDP-95 and the five Wolfson WM8740 24/192kHz DAC’s in the Cambridge 751BD. I see that one is a 32-bit versus a 24-bit. Not knowing enough about the technical difference it would seem that the Oppo DAC would be superior than the Cambridge DAC. Is that reasonable to assume or is that misleading? I prefer the design of the Cambridgeplayers, but I want to buy the player that will create the best audio playback from SACD, Audio-DVD and Blue-ray. I will be using the analog 7.1-channel surround outputs to connect to my Rotel processor. My priority is audio performance over video.
I hope this is not too trivial of a question for you, as I’m at a loss trying to decide which player to choose given the different DAC’s employed.

Thank you very much for your time.

Alberto Trujillo

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