What Hi-Fi? Award Winner 2015 – Best CD Transport Under £500
One of our favourites comes back with a really neat piece of kit that ticks all the right audio boxes.
I think it goes without saying that when a good song comes on you always want to move around and really enjoy it. Many of us out there are still quite content not to hop into bed with a streaming service provider only to find our beloved music drops a little in its quality over the joys of a proper CD player. The Cambridge Audio CXC is a wonderfully neat piece of equipment that should definitely be at the heart of any true audio-head’s system and here are just a few reasons why…
The device itself looks quite pretty. Its chassis is in line with the other products that Cambridge have released this year and that tear drop concept is not built without reason. The first thing to mention is that it has been built using acoustically-dampened metal to ensure that any vibrations are kept to an absolute minimum and this means you won’t get any unwanted hums or clicks in the sound. Couple this elegant design with its S3 servo arm technology (designed for their flagship 851C series might I add) and you are gifted with the best error correction and the least amount of jitter from a machine performing well above its price tag.
The main reason why you will note that this CD player is much cheaper than some of its rivals is because it is simply a CD player. There is no onboard DAC or enhancement functionality, though this will further help the clarity because there is so little else to interfere with it getting on with the job at hand – it is audio in its most pure form.
This unit goes perfectly with the CXA60 or CXA80 thanks to the on board Wolfson DAC so that’s what we first hooked this up with, a CXA60 and a pair of our favourite Dali Zensor 1’s. A quick blast from our ACDC Iron Man album gave a crystal clear rendition of Shoot to Thrill and a head nodding reproduction of Back in Black so no trouble when it comes to big rock numbers.
A true test of character on many a player is going to be an orchestral piece where minor nuances in the sound can be missed or made more apparent. There was no such trouble with this pairing; the depth while listening to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Spring is truly impressive. The accordion in the background is still heard perfectly over the top of the woodwind section and every section of the orchestra maintains a gleeful skip in its step through each mood of the piece.
Moving off for one moment to talk about the connections, this unit comes equipped with no less than two digital audio outputs in the form of a Coaxial link and an Optical port. The great news here being that should you wish to further enhance the sound you can link it in with a separate DAC (like the DAC Magic + from the same company for example) and really maintain a crisp and precise listening experience at all times.
To conclude this CD Transport is the perfect addition to a musical purist’s collection and certainly gets the thumbs up from me for anyone who, like me, has a keen ear for detail but embraces bottom end depth with open arms.
To find out more about the Cambridge CXC, click here.
Author: Andrew, Weybridge store