Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio is a London-based company that builds some of our favorite audio equipment. Although Cambridge Audio is one of our more affordable lines, we hesitate to use the old term ‘mid-fi’ as several of their products are giving high-end brands a run for their money. The Cambridge Audio line of electronics includes, CD players (the Azur 640C V.2 being easily the best rated player in its class), integrated amplifiers, tuners, DVD players, home theater receivers and now a true hi-fi hard drive based home music server.

The Cambridge line is designed in England and built in China. Rather than use large OEM factories that build equipment for various brands, all CA units are built in their own ISO9002 factory giving them an edge in build quality and rapid implementation of design improvements and innovations.

The Cambridge Audio line starts with the Azur 340CV.2 series CD player and integrated amplifier at $349 ea. That may seem a bit much compared to what you can find at a big box store, but the build quality and superior sound easily justify the expense. This is equipment built to the quality standards of the 1970s before mass production, cheap surface mount op amps and planned obsolescence created the throw-away entry level stereos of recent years. The high quality components in the signal chain ensure longevity and a major improvement in sound quality over the cheap stuff. Even the entry level Cambridge Audio system delivers excellent clarity, the ability to distinguish between instruments and voices and involving reproduction of any CD as well as many years of trouble-free performance.

Hawthorne Stereo has been a Cambridge Audio dealer for over ten years now, and we’re more than pleased with their current line and commitment to innovation. We’ll be happy to introduce you to their products and show you how a Cambridge Audio CD player can transform even a modest system to truly involving hi-fi!
Cambridge Audio – Building a High Res. System at an Affordable Price

We must reiterate our satisfaction with the Azur line from Cambridge Audio. New this year, the Azur series builds on Cambridge’s reputation for superior sound at mid-fi prices with a superb new look, solid engineering and substantial build quality.

What we like: The integrated amplifiers are both high current designs, remote controlled, with full system protection. Thoughtful features such as an attractive remote, aux speakers and bypassable tone controls complement their highly regarded sound. The 540A V.2 is 50wpc into 8 ohms at $499. The 640A V.2 ups the power to 65wpc for $649. Both amps feature full overload, thermal, and clipping protection, and optional MM phono stage.

Reviewers in almost every major hi-fi magazine have had high praise for the 640C V.2 disc player. Building on the strengths of it’s younger sib. with a separate power supply for the 24bit Wolfson DAC, the 640A V.2 has quickly become the state of the art in it’s class. From a nice old Marantz receiver to an entry level Naim set, the 640A V.2 is the budget source to get real music from your digital discs. $649. Black or Silver.

A quick mention as well of the DVD89 player. Component out, tremendous sound quality (even on CDs), DVD-Audio, MP3, SACD, HDMI output, top notch picture, region free and automatic PAL to NTSC conversion for $399. Need we say more?

A word on V.2 -- in 2004, Cambridge Audio took it upon themselves to upgrade and overhaul their already highly acclaimed Azure line. The resulting V.2 models feature beefed up power supplies and revised topography for increased power, stability and even better sound!