Cambridge Audio CXC
CD transport — no DAC onboard (Black)
Our take on the Cambridge Audio CXC by Crutchfield's Dave Bar
A top-notch CD transport...
Most CD players combine a transport that reads your discs with a digital-to-analog converter and other electronics to process the digital bits into sound. That combo approach works out pretty well most of the time, but when you really want the best possible sound quality, separate components for these two tasks are the way to go.
The Cambridge Audio CXC transport is a true CD specialist. It's designed to do only one thing — read your compact discs with the utmost precision. This single-purpose design allows it to deliver digital data to an outboard DAC with no interference from internal analog circuitry. And instead of using a multi-purpose computer drive like some CD players, the CXC incorporates Cambridge Audio's dedicated S3 servo drive mechanism to provide state-of-the-art error correction and minimal jitter. You'll hear more detail and impact from your music CDs when you play them on this transport.
...deserves top-shelf processing and power
While the CXC works perfectly well with any high-quality digital-to-analog converter, it makes a brilliant partner for Cambridge Audio's CXA60 or CXA80 integrated amplifiers. Pairing either of these amps and their built-in, high-quality Wolfson DACs together with the CXC CD transport will deliver detail and clarity from your disc collection that will astound you.
- plays audio CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs
- proprietary Cambridge Audio S3 Custom CD Servo drive mechanism provides maximum data retrieval with state-of-the-art error correction and minimal jitter
- all printed circuit boards use double-sided, surface mounted components for ultra-short signal paths and optimum sound quality
- audiophile-grade toroidal transformer for ultra-low noise and distortion
- all-metal chassis to eliminate performance-robbing vibration
- 1 coaxial digital audio output
- 1 optical (Toslink) digital audio output
- C-BUS RCA connection for remote operation with other compatible Cambridge Audio components
- remote control
- detachable power cable
- 16-15/16"W x 3-1/4"H x 14-1/4"D
- weight: 10.3 lbs.
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Single-disc CD transport
- 6' AC power cord
- Remote control (RC-CXA/C/N)
- 3 "AAA" batteries
- 39" Mono-RCA control cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Important Safety Instructions
- "Thank You" card
Although the drawer mechanism seems a little flimsy, the digital output is truly 5/5. Not sure why zeros and ones should "sound" different but, on this transport, there is far more information that gets sent to my DAC.
Anonymous, Los Angeles, CA
Features and Specs
|CD Transport Only||Yes|
Single Disc |
|Direct Track Access||No|
|Direct Disc Access||N/A|
|Display Color||Bluish white|
|Multiple CD Player Control||---|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
|CD Frequency Response||N/A Hz|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||Not Given|
|SACD Frequency Response||Not Compatible|
|SACD Dynamic Range||---|
|Digital Optical Output||1|
|Digital Coaxial Output||1|
CX Series Design: Designed specifically for the new CX Series, the Cambridge CXC delivers stunning CD playback and works in perfect harmony with the Cambridge CXA60 and CXA80 integrated amplifiers, as well as other external DACs. Cambridge Audio's CXC series handles digital to analog conversion in its amplifiers and not the CD transport. There's a good reason behind this philosophy. Maintaining the audio signal in the digital domain for as long as possible minimizes potential analog signal degradation.
CD Transport: The CXC is a CD transport. This means that the CXC plays the CD and extracts the digital information from the CD disc and outputs it digitally, via S/PDIF Coaxial or Toslink digital connection. With no digital to analog conversion in the CXC, when used in conjunction with the CX Series amplifiers it outputs the CD signal in digital form, relying on the high quality Wolfson DAC in the CXA amplifier for the crucial digital to analog conversion stages. The result is detail and clarity from your disc collection that will astound you.
S3 Servo Drive: At the heart of the CXC is Cambridge Audio's "S3" servo design. Designed for efficient recovery of CD digital data with state of the art error correction, it's been engineered to play audio CDs brilliantly. Multi-purpose drives simply can't compete. The vast majority of optical drives in use today are designed with computers in mind. While they can read a variety of disc media, they lack the precision and finesse of a dedicated audio drive. To address this, Cambridge Audio has written its own software to precisely control the drive's laser and motor assembly for CD Audio discs only. The proprietary Cambridge S3 servo solution effectively turns a universal disc drive into a dedicated CD spinner; it can calibrate and monitor the speed of the disc, holding it steady and constant. By managing where the laser head is and what it's reading, as well as maximizing error correction, the CXC can get the maximum amount of clean data off the disc as possible, with the minimum jitter.
Disc Compatibility (CD-DA Format Only): The Cambridge Audio CXC has been designed to play CD-Audio, CD-Text, recordable CD (CD-R) and re-writable CD (CD-RW) type discs. The Cambridge Audio CXC can play only discs recorded in the CD-DA format designed for music reproduction. Do not attempt to play a disc containing other data; such as MP3, WMA, AAC, etc. on this unit
Digital Outputs: The CXC features S/PDIF coaxial (RCA) and optical
(toslink) digital outputs. This not only minimizes analog signal
deterioration, but also means that the CXC works in perfect harmony with the Cambridge CXA60 and CXA80 amplifiers, utilizing the high quality Wolfson DAC in these amplifiers for the crucial digital to analog conversion stages.
Note: Because this unit is a CD transport and not a CD player, it does not offer any type of analog output.
Audiophile-Grade Construction: The CXC utilizes a low-resonance acoustically damped metal chassis, with an ultra-clean low noise power supply. Beneath the hood, its PCB design employs double-sided surface mount technology, which eliminates wire links and ensures an ultra short signal path, thereby reducing signal deterioration.
Toroidal Transformer: The Cambridge Audio CXC employs an audiophile-grade toroidal transformer delivering ultra-low low noise and distortion power to the CD transport. The toroidal transformer provides high-quality power output to the audio circuits with no clipping of the waveform signal to provide a consistent signal; as well as no transformer noise, buzz, or hum. The toroidal transformer is also full shielded against internal and external electrical interference to maintain quality of power and signal.
Remote Control: The CXC is supplied with an IR remote control for wireless operation of the CD transport. The remote duplicates the unit's front-panel control functions. The remote is also able to control other Cambridge Audio CX series components, like CX Series integrated amplifiers. The CXC also incorporates Cambridge Audio's C-BUS connection, which allows one remote to power on/off both CD transport and CX series amplifier in sync.
- IR In: The CXC features a IR Emitter input (3.5mm) which allows modulated IR commands from multi-room systems or IR repeater system to be received by the CD transport.
- Control Bus: The CXC features a Control Bus Input & Output (RCA), which allows un-modulated commands from multi-room systems or other components to be received by the player and loop out to another unit.
Playback & Search Functions: The Cambridge Audio CX series CD transport offers Play/Pause, Stop, Fast Forward/Rewind, and Previous/Next Track.
Front-Panel LCD: The unit's front-panel LCD indicates playback time, time remaining, and song/artist information from CD-Text discs. The front-panel LCD can be dimmed.
Auto Power Down: If desired, the CXC CD transport can shut itself down if not used for a period of time. Power down after an inactive period (no disk playback or any functions of the player used) of 30, 60 or 120 minutes can be selected.
Our Product Research Team
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Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs
by Video Team
Cambridge Audio's CXC CD transport was designed to do one thing extremely well: read your CDs with the utmost precision.
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