Blu-ray Players

Cambridge 751BD Universal 3D Blu-ray Player

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Design and Setup of the Cambridge 751BD Universal Blu-ray Player

A quick glance at the 751BD and you can quickly see some of its roots. The Cambridge player uses the same form factor and core video chipset as the Oppo BDP-93 and BDP-95 players, which is a good choice as it is still the best performer we have seen in our testing. While many other universal players would stop there, Cambridge has an audio section with their own design that utilizes five Wolfson WM8740 DACs in the design, the same DACs used in their DacMagic and 740C CD player. It also has a custom designed, switch mode power supply, and the drive mechanism and chassis are both acoustically dampened.

Added on to the front panel is a selection for different digital filters: linear phase, minimum phase, and steep. When designing almost any component you need to make a trade-off somewhere, and in using a DAC this is no different. Cambridge has let you decide which trade-off sounds best to you, or works best with your equipment and sources. The manual goes into more depth on these filter modes, and later I run some of the bench tests in all of them so we can see what differences we find.

Cambridge was also nice enough to include the Wi-Fi adapter with the 751BD so you don’t need to add one on if you need it, as the case construction prevents the use of an internal antenna. The included remote from Cambridge is build very solidly, and had a very nice feel in the hand. I do wish it were backlit, as using it in a completely dark room while watching a movie required me to use an additional light to find the correct button. They could also make the Play/Pause button and other common buttons larger to make it easier to use just by feel in the dark.

Setup was very straight forward, as I have Oppo players for my standard unit. I connected the HDMI output to my Marantz AV7005, and the analog outputs to the multichannel input on the Marantz. Video was set to 1080p with support for 24p and the 4:4:4 colorspace most of the time, though I did use Source Direct with a Radiance Mini3D sometimes as well.