Cambridge Audio 640P revisit.
Its been near 2 and the half months now since i acquired the Cambridge 640p phono stage. While the initial few weeks were a little bumpy, its now settled down quite nicely.
The changes as i could tell stopped at about 6 weeks of being powered on continuously. While im not a big believer of burn in, i do believe it takes a bit of “settling” to get everything working as it should. And it does tell. With the same source material i set it up with, i revisited those familiar tracks which i knew intimately well to see what would jump out at me as different, better or worse. thats the one thing about knowing something really well… you only know it really well until the day you realise you didnt. While i was not expecting any more than subtle differences… i was surprised to find the highs were more extended and refined. it was, i did not realise at the time, slightly “tizzy” for wont of a better word. cymbals are now smoother and the decay more distinct. But what struck me the most is the separation. everything occupies more if its own distinct space instead of muddling together. Its holographic, its easy to visualize the band with closed eyes…. its perfect.
Well, not perfect.. i mean its perfect now, until it gets better,… but with the exception of a moving coil cart to replace the Shure m97xe, i cant see myself changing this setup anytime soon. I had at some point decided i would audition a pair of the ring radiatored Lsi 9’s to see if it improved the synergy of my components… not anymore though. Plus, it might actually get better and once down that road…, where would it end? Im pretty familiar with the Lsi sound, owning a pair of 25s anchoring another system. Loreena McKennitt sounds better in the study over the Focals and Gordon Lightfoot sounds better in the den over the big Lsi’s. Truth be said, once “there”, perceived sound doesn’t really get any better. Only different, and this too lightly varies by individual taste. No great setup ive listened to is perfectly flat or was technically correct on paper.. they all have character and its that character that breathes soul into the reproduction.
There are some basic rules, if adhered to will get you “there”, the rest is very very personal. Perfection can almost be attained on a modest budget.. getting you 90% of the way, the other 10% is cost prohibitive and more often than not audibly imperceptible which to me, makes it kind of pointless to pursue. Owners adapt to systems just as much as systems are meticulously reconfigured to adapt to owners…. and somewhere along the way an unseen synergy is attained between the components sitting in the rack and the component sitting on the couch. Its true.. it is.
But i digress,… The 640P has impressed me more than i thought it would. Is it a $120 improvement over the AT PEQ3.. No. But i certainly would say that its a worthwhile upgrade and its worth while to consider this over the AT PEQ3 if i one had to choose between the two if the budget allows for it. And unless its tubes im looking at, personally, i cant ever see a reason to ever look for anything else. This is probably as good as solid state is going to get. Mods and capacitor swaps aside, I cant see what else can be done to improve things further. I can honestly say Im pretty much done… for now at least.
Life is good. 🙂