Which phono stage to better Cambridge Audio 640p?

franz159

Wammer
Wammer
Oct 22, 2012
335
3
0
New York - Rome
AKA
Francesco
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Hi everybody!

This time I should be posting in the right place... hopefully...

I'm writing to ask some advice...

I've got a ProjectvExpression III with Ortofon 2M blue.

http://www.francescomoretta.com/foto/varie/projectExpressionIII/

Ampli is now a Unison Research Unico II

http://www.francescomoretta.com/foto/varie/unicoII/

Speakers are Epos Epic 2.

Cables are all Mogami.

Dac is a Beresford Bushmaster and digital source a Squeezebox touch.

My digital output is often "better" than my analogue, especially with hi-res 24/96 or 24/192.

I was wondering if changing the pre-phono only could give some perceivable improvement in the analogue "realm".

Would this be a realistic expectation with a limited budget, say 200£?

Currently I have a Cambridge Audio 640p.

Thanks for any recommenadtion or suggestion!

Franz

 

gjm

Wammer Plus
Wammer Plus
Jul 6, 2007
8,910
62
0
NZ & loving it!
AKA
Graham
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Tough call... I'd also consider upgrading your cartridge. Both it and the 640P are pretty good value for money.

 

henkuk

Wammer
Wammer
Jan 12, 2012
157
10
0
Fleet, Hants
AKA
Henk
Hard call indeed...

If you are sticking with MM carts, I doubt you are going to get much of an improvement with just a phonostage upgrade, though the 640P is good and very similar to my Dino I feel.

In my Quad99 preamp, they give a very marginal improvement that just for that alone, would not be worth the cash.

If you upgrade the stage with the view to later go to MC (will they tablet be good enough....) I would say yes.

If you stay with MM I would simply buy a better cart.

I use the Goldring 1012 with a 1042 stylus and love the sound. It's somewhat analytical but without harshness. Good bottom end whilst some Ortofon carts feel like a bit sharp on top and with less bottom end.

YMMV

 

lazycat

Wammer Plus
Wammer Plus
Dec 20, 2007
3,558
6,646
193
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Look in the review section for the Arkless Mod for the 640.

In your price range and is recommended by many.

Including some fella who claims to run this site..

 

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Well it wouldn't take much to improve on the standard CA 640p.
What is wrong with the CA 640p?. I am considering buying a new CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 651P which replaced the CA 640p.

 

Clubsport911

Wammer
Wammer
Jan 19, 2013
1,814
241
108
Cheltenham
AKA
Steve
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 651P which replaced the CA 640p.
As has been reported elsewhere... the internals are identical.

Perhaps, the 651 looks prettier ? I'm not sure as I've not seen them up close and personal... Rgds

 

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
As has been reported elsewhere... the internals are identical. Perhaps, the 651 looks prettier ? I'm not sure as I've not seen them up close and personal... Rgds
I dont think there is any difference, apart from an On/Off switch.

 

Tarzan

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 13, 2007
9,064
2,012
143
Hornchurch, England
AKA
Andy
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
What is wrong with the CA 640p?. I am considering buying a new CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 651P which replaced the CA 640p.
x2, for the Wonga it is a good little phono stage, l use one and it is great on MM, but on MC not as good, but for £100 odd you cannot go wrong.

 

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
x2, for the Wonga it is a good little phono stage, l use one and it is great on MM, but on MC not as good, but for £100 odd you cannot go wrong.
Why is this so?, as it is the MC side I want it for :( .

 

johnniebaby

Wammer
Wammer
Nov 11, 2006
18,013
201
108
Midlands
AKA
John
What is wrong with the CA 640p?. I am considering buying a new CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 651P which replaced the CA 640p.
Get a s/h Dino for an extra few quid it will piss all over the Cambridge.

 

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Get a s/h Dino for an extra few quid it will piss all over the Cambridge.
I think that might cause it to short out :shock: . I am only looking for something around the £100-£150 tops. I could go the whole hog and buy a nice EAR 834p Delux, Oh hang on an minute.... :doh:

 

navigator

Wammer
Wammer
Mar 6, 2012
470
58
58
m1 j28
AKA
dave
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Its important to be clear in what u want it to sound like. ''better analogue'' means very different things to listeners-some like cosy bass heavy -your choice of the excellent epic 2 suggests u like an upfront sound of detailed clarity,tonal accuracy and fast transients[live feel].2M blue also does that-somewhat analytically[ matter of factlly-coldly] The ca640 is slow and gets a little congested in complex music losing width and depth a little. More expensive designs try to do better but your budget wll pay for an Arkless modification of your existing unit. I played one at Salford to discerning audience with clear success [cheap M coil]. Jez does upgrade for M M also and will tailor to your cart-I'd recommend such without hesitation. A search of Wam will give details and comments. Your improved hifi will sound even brighter and detailed in all aspects- but not 'cosy'-some say its more like cd -that seems to be what you're after.

 

franz159

Wammer
Wammer
Oct 22, 2012
335
3
0
New York - Rome
AKA
Francesco
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Thanks everybody for your inputs.

It would seem that the "Arkless mod" option is probably the way to go for me.

Let me also try to add a few clarifications....

@gjm, who says "I'd also consider upgrading your cartridge".

This would require quite a lot of adjustments and regulations..... I don't feel I'm good enough (yet) for that

@jhonniebaby, who says "The phono stage and cart are the weak link IMHO, but £200 is a very small budget to work with"

I'm afraid that big or small, when speaking of budget, is highly subjective. For example I spent around 150£ in total for my current pre-phono + cart, so 200£ would be a 33% increase!

@jhonniebaby, who says "it wouldn't take much to improve on the standard CA 640p"

Any specific recommendation?

@radical, who says "..suggests u like an upfront sound of detailed clarity,tonal accuracy and fast transients[live feel]"

This is a very good summary, that I subscribe 100%.

When you say "some say its more like cd", I'm not sure I like this that much... but maybe it is a tad true, at list in respect to detail retrieval.

Should I summarise what I'm looking for, I would want more "air" aound instruments and a less congested sound, especially in more complex pieces (eg orchestra).

 

Forum statistics

Threads
113,444
Messages
2,451,263
Members
70,783
Latest member
reg66

Latest Articles

Wammers Online