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Cambridge Audio CXC

CD transport — no DAC onboard (Black)

41 Reviews | 5 questions - 24 answers

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Our take on the Cambridge Audio CXC

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.

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.

Product Highlights:

  • 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

Featured Video

I was looking to upgrade my CD player after my last one died after 25 years and looked into the Cambridge Audio CXC. For someone who is interested in high quality sound, I would strongly consider adding this to your stereo system to bring new life to your CD collection!

Ajay, Larchmont, NY


Cambridge Audio CXC Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(41 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research


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

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

What are the Labs?
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Want to continue to enjoy my 150 cd collection with a quality unit. [ Steve S.  Oct 08, 2018 ]
Matched integrated Amp, CXA80 [ Michael  Aug 08, 2018 ]
Since I love the DAC on my Denon Receiver and only want to use the optical out, this seemed like a good idea. Thus using gets a lot of good reviews and is also just within my price range. [ Craig  Jun 28, 2018 ]
Needed a good transport for music CD's only. [ S  Feb 28, 2018 ]
Transport only, no internal DAC. [ Patrick  Nov 22, 2017 ]
Needed a CD player but will use the DACs on my Yamaha RX-A3070 receiver which are state of the art ESS ES9026PRO. [ Garnot  Oct 09, 2017 ]
Mind blowing sound quality when paired with a good DAC! [ CLARENCE E  Sep 11, 2017 ]
Had already decided on Stereo Receiver and needed CD player, and this one is uniquely matched. [ John  Apr 02, 2017 ]
because I bought the CXA80 2 months ago and love it-- [ DENNIS  Mar 01, 2017 ]
Reviewers praised this unit as giving the best quality result -- as good as items several times its price. Cambridge Audio is also widely respected for their products in general. [ Steven  Jan 13, 2017 ]
I chose the CXC after reading reviews on many different web sites. [ RAJESH  Dec 29, 2016 ]
As an accomplice to my CXA80 & CXN, this place will sound WAY Better! [ John  Nov 25, 2016 ]
Great reviews. Had purchased CXA 80. Goes together perfectly. [ JAMES  Nov 14, 2016 ]
Great reviews. [ Linda  May 22, 2016 ]
I wanted a better (and faster loading) CD player than the old Yamaha DVD player I had been using. This fit the bill nicely. [ Christopher  Apr 18, 2016 ]
I have an integrated amp with built in DAC. This is the most simple way to play my collection of CD's through it. A What HiFi review said the CXC was very musical and was a 'no brainier' choice for this application. Also, the CXN network player looks very interesting as a source of music from the Internet- something I've been thinking of doing for a number of years now. [ RICHARD  Jan 19, 2016 ]
Very well reviewed. [ Ronald  Jun 11, 2018 ]
Good reviews [ A  Apr 27, 2017 ]
I have an excellent DAC just need a CD transport, good reviews on product. [ george  Jan 11, 2016 ]

5 questions already asked

I recently purchased the CA CXC and the CA DacMagic 100. The key driver was to find a CD player in my price zone that would eliminate the pause between CD tracks. I'm super happy with the components, which the Crutchfield staff recommended. [ PHILIP E  Aug 31, 2018 ]
I purchaed this transport a few month after I purchased the cambridge 80W integrated amp in the same CX line. ALthough my previous Marantz SACD player worked great, the Cambridge transport is defintely better in terms of delivering great audio. My 20 year old Thiel speakers came back to life, as did my Sennheiser phones. If the Peachtree has a good DAC or you have a separate high quality DAC and decent speakers you will probably love this deck. Hope this s somewhat helpful PS I listen mostly to jazz, classical, classic rock, rock, showtunes. jazz vocals -- [ DENNIS  Aug 30, 2018 ]
I have never owned a Peachtree amp, but looking at the spec sheet, that transport should be a great match. Jeffry just needs to connect the 2 pieces with a good quality optical cable. [ Joseph  Aug 30, 2018 ]
You'll still need a DAC and a pre-amp unless the Peachtree is an integrated. The CXC is just a transport. There's no reason it wouldn't be compatible aside from the components you're either missing or haven't mentioned. [ Mick Wolfe  Aug 30, 2018 ]
Hi Jeffrey... The Cambridge CD transport is a very smooth and we'll built CD player. Match it with a good Digital Analog Converter ( dac ) then you will enjoy your music collection. I have mine for over a year now and no issues have I encounter in the transport capabilities to it's performance. I'm sure experts from Crutchfield can add more to what I said. Give it a try and happy listening...romeo [ ROMEO L  Aug 30, 2018 ]
Yes, the Peachtree Nova 220SE amp is an integrated amplifier with a quality DAC (based on my research). Over the past year, I have enjoyed using my CXC with my Moon integrated which also has a quality DAC. I strongly advise using a quality coaxial cable. [ CLARENCE E  Aug 30, 2018 ]
MD this is just a player and does not have the AD converter. If there is an AD converter in your receiver then it should work. It has both coax and optical output. I do have the CXN because it has dual AD converters, one for each channel. I was skeptical about it but I am delighted with both the sound and options the network player has to offer. I connected the CXN to the CXA integrated amp via XLR cables. [ Howard  Oct 13, 2016 ]
The CXC is a CD transport not a CD player. This means that it only outputs a digital signal and requires a separate DAC (digital to analog converter) for conversion to analog. The Yamaha R-S700 does not have any digital inputs so it appears that it has no built in DAC capability. The only way the CXC would work would be to run the digital output from the CXC into a separate external DAC and then the output from the DAC to the receiver. I hope this answers your question. Also the CXC will only play real CD's it will not play other files saved to a CD (like mp3 or aac) so it is limited in its use. But what it does it does very well. I have my CXC running in to the CXA80 with Martin Logan Motion 40 speakers and Sub and it sounds awesome. [ Kevin  Oct 10, 2016 ]
As long as your receiver has a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) the CXC should work just fine. I'm not running any of their equipment and have had no problems. Just remember it has no DAC of its own so one is required along the food chain. [ David H.  Oct 08, 2016 ]
Use a digital coaxial RCA or optical TOSLINK cable to connect to the digital input on the receiver will be fine. From Wikipedia: RCA S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format) is a type of digital audio interconnect used in consumer audio equipment to output audio over reasonably short distances. The signal is transmitted over either a coaxial cable with RCA connectors or a fiber optic cable with TOSLINK connectors. S/PDIF interconnects components in home theatres and other digital high-fidelity systems. [ Michael  Oct 07, 2016 ]
The CXC is a CD transport which means it has no DAC. Your receiver needs to be able to accept the digital signal from the CXC. I've paired the CXC with a NAD D7050 amp with has no analog inputs. You do not need a Cambridge only system. [ Doug  Oct 07, 2016 ]
I just took a look at the manual for the R-S700... it does not have any digital inputs, only analog. The CXC only has a digital output. You would need an external DAC to convert the digital output to analog. I'm using a Muscical Fidelity DAC between my CXC and my integrated amp. It sounds fantastic. [ Joseph  Oct 07, 2016 ]
I use the Audio CXC with a Metrum DAC. As long as you receiver has the appropriate digital input you will have no problems. The Cambridge CXC is a great transport! Cheers Rodney C. [ Rodney  Oct 07, 2016 ]
Hello. If your Yamaha has optical and coaxial inputs (CXC does not have standard left right outs) it will work well. [ EDDIE  Oct 07, 2016 ]
I have the CXC and use it with my Peachtree Nova 125 and it works great. The Peactree Nova has a built in DAC so having just the transport and not DAC works one with my system. If your Yamaha also has a built in DAC you will have no problems. Otherwise you will have to buy a separate DAC unit to convert the sound. [ Hil  Oct 07, 2016 ]
The CXC is a CD transport, so it will only work with amplifiers that have a DAC (digital-to-analog converter) built in. I don't think the Yamaha receiver has a DAC so you would have to buy a separate DAC to go in between the CXC and the Yamaha, or you could buy a CD player with a built-in DAC to connect directly to the Yamaha. [ Steven  Oct 07, 2016 ]
The CXC does not have internal DAC'S. It only transmits a digital signal. Your DACS in your receiver will do the decoding. I do not see why it won't work with your equipment. But to assure your self contact Cambridge. You can Email your question to them. [ David  Oct 07, 2016 ]
No. The Yamaha R S-700 is a receiver only There is no DAC included. The Cambridge CXC is a CD "transport" only and needs a DAC (Digital audio Controller) as in one of the other Cambridge products or any other DAC on the market.not propitiatory to just Cambridge products. [ Dennis  Oct 07, 2016 ]
Yes, the silver version and a true silver color looking unit. [ Michael  Nov 06, 2015 ]
The silver faceplate is indeed a true silver. It has the same color temperature as my other silver plated equipment. Not a dull grey. [ Ron  Nov 05, 2015 ]
Actually, When I purchased there was no Silver option that I had seen.. Pict on site is Black. [ Dennis  Nov 05, 2015 ]
It was designed to use with an outboard dac. The CXC is a cd transport not a cd player. It does not have an onboard dac. [ David  Jul 20, 2015 ]
The P5 has coax and optical so yes it will connect to those digital inputs. [ Dennis  Jul 20, 2015 ]
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: Yes. The XEO3 has its own DAC built into it. You would simply connect the Cambridge to the XEO3 transmitter via a digital optical cable. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy  Aug 24, 2015 ]  Staff

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