Nice stuff! I assume it plays SACD via HDMI? For some reason it seems to be €850 around here...
Blu-ray players are becoming increasingly cheap, but many of them still lack features found in modestly priced DVD players. If, like me, you invested in ‘high definition’ audio formats, such as HDCD, Super Audio CD (SACD) or DVD Audio, then it’s frustrating to find that, unless you spend several thousand pounds, you’ll still …
Bought one a couple of months ago to replace a Sony blu-ray player and SACD player. Yes it does play SACD via HDMI and you can choose either DSD or PCM.
Shame the analogue outputs aren't enabled when the HDMI is as my amp seems to convert DSD to PCM and therefore would've preferred an analogue connection.
(got this as an offer for "region free BD player" when asked my local hifi shop, one of the few devices that can be made region free for BD too)
The ~450EUR I could pay but 850EUR (the offer I got, though if making it region free requires any effort then said effort is included...) is way too much, especially since I don't plan on bying that much blu-ray in the short-term anyway (DVDs I have hundreds and maybe 30% of them in exotic region codes so regio-free dvd playback is a must)
Since one would almost certainly wish to connect this to a receiver via an HDMI cable and most receivers with high-res decoders will output it as "straight through stereo" if you want them to I do not see this as a major negative. Otherwise a very nice piece of kit. Happy with my Philips at the moment, but if I was in the market......
... but some of us don't have a receiver with HDMI; I have a rather older Yamaha DSP E-800, which can handle the six channel audio input for SACD, and then pass that on to my amp, or decode the optical data. And since I use a Harmony remote, it's not much of an inconvenience to have the BD player connected directly to the TV via HDMI.
The reason I think I - and some others - might like the stereo output is for when you are listening to stereo material (like CD), and want to cut one extra bit out of the chain, sending stereo direct to the pre-amp, rather than passing in through the six channel inputs of the AV processor. Admittedly that's a small thing, but since they've gone to the trouble of having the 'audio mode' that shuts down a lot of the video circuitry, it seems a shame not to go the whole hog and have a separate stereo output.
The DVD player I normally use for CD and SACD, a Samsung DVD-HD950, does manage both the six channel and stereo outputs. Perhaps if I'd never had them, I wouldn't miss them.
I'm fairly sure that, while the type of setup I have may not be that common, there will be a fair few other people who have a system that's primarily designed for stereo high, with something like the Yamaha on the front; sadly I don't think there's a modern equivalent, but it provides amplification for the rear and centre speakers, together with decoding.
Sure, a modern AV receiver with HDMI all the way would be good, but I suspect I'd have to spend an awful lot of money for something as good as my Naim stereo amp, and stereo is what I'm listening to most of the time.
Cambridge Audio used to be a top brand among Audiophiles as it's quality was second to none. Then Richer Sounds bought it and it's never been the same. Ever since, it's been Cambridge Audio in name only, the sound quality is noticably poorer as is the build quality.
One thing is for sure, there is no original Cambridge Audio gear in this device, and i don't think Richer Sounds actually manufacter the internals.