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Cambridge Audio Amps.

Discussion in 'Home Cinema & Hi-Fi' started by AdamEW, 2 Aug 2006.

  1. AdamEW

    Gangster

    Joined: 16 Apr 2006

    Posts: 402

    Location: Lanchester, Near Durham

    hello there,
    One of my friends is looking for a new audio setup and looking around he has found 2 amps he likes the look of the Cambridge Audio a5 and the Cambridge Audio a500 the question is which is better?? My brother has an a500 and it sounds pretty good but im not very knowledgable in this area so I might be wrong. I found this on the internet if it helps
    Any help would be much appreciated

    Thanks

    Adam


    crud I put it in the wrong forum :'(
     
  2. DRZ

    Soldato

    Joined: 2 Jun 2003

    Posts: 6,870

    Location: In the top 1%

    Reviews arent worthy of being printed on loo roll half the time, they really arent.

    I had an A5 a while ago and I still have an A1 somewhere. For what they are they are cracking little amplifiers, although the power supplies can be a weak link (possibly becuase they get thrashed by the type of person that thinks its fine to run 2ohm speakers on them ;)).

    Dont have any illusions that they are as good as/better than the more upmarket kit because they arent, with a few notable exceptions depending on your own personal preference. For example, I would much rather take an A5 over a Rotel RA-01 any day of the week because, well, I can bear to listen to an A5 which isnt something I could say of the Rotel :)
     
  3. AdamEW

    Gangster

    Joined: 16 Apr 2006

    Posts: 402

    Location: Lanchester, Near Durham

    Thing is I dont have a comparison of the two :( I know my brother has the a500 hooked up to some mission m72's and in my oppinion they sound great (remembering im not an audiophile) the a5 is only rated at 60 watts whereas in that review the a500 is 65 could this have an impact on performace or will the (what I believe to be) newer a5 be comparable/better.

    p.s could a mod move this to the correct forum please
     
  4. DRZ

    Soldato

    Joined: 2 Jun 2003

    Posts: 6,870

    Location: In the top 1%

    You just wont notice a difference from 65w to 60w, its not a big enough power difference to hear.

    60w to 120w is noticeable though, if you listen out for it :)
     
  5. Mr_Sukebe

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 23 Dec 2002

    Posts: 9,286

    Location: London

    Power capability of an amplifier usually only affects the ability of the amplifier to be matched to a more difficult pair of speakers to drive. Sound quality typically has little relationship to power capability.
    For example, I've heard a number of very low power SET (single ended triode valve) amps with under 10 watts/channel, which still sound awesome.
     
  6. DRZ

    Soldato

    Joined: 2 Jun 2003

    Posts: 6,870

    Location: In the top 1%

    I kinda misread the post - I read performance as "loudness" rather than sound quality.

    I blame the medication im on :)
     
  7. Ste

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,781

    Are we taking photographs of said amp? :p
     
  8. titchard

    Soldato

    Joined: 10 Feb 2004

    Posts: 5,116

    Location: Crewe, UK

    Aye!

    Methinks this is in the wrong forum!

    Rich
     
  9. jbloggs

    Soldato

    Joined: 4 Sep 2005

    Posts: 6,961

    Location: NI

    AdamEW:

    I have the Cambridge Audio A5 driving a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 speakers, hooked up to a Terratec DMX 6Fire 24/96 soundcard, and am very pleased with it, not only the volume (I don't put the volume above 12 'o clock), but the quality is also very good as well (in my opinion). :)
     
  10. Spoonman

    Gangster

    Joined: 7 Nov 2004

    Posts: 168

    Location: Manchester

    Cambridge Amps are alright, just watch out for the discount hi fi store, as they often have a bias towards them (they own Cambridge I think).

    Make sure that you take speakers and cable into consideration, you could have a good amp but it may not be matched/suited to the speakers, etc.

    I have a Rotel RA-01 connected to a pair of Kef Cresta II's using bi-wired decent cable. Some people can't tell the difference between normal and bi-wiring but I think it is quite noticable.

    My advice would be to go to a good hi-fi shop and compare. Go in with a copy of what hi-fi under your arm for some bargaining power.

    Cambridge are ok from a budget point of view (I used to own one) but I'd choose Rotel, Denon, or NAD over them any day.
     
    Last edited: 2 Aug 2006
  11. daz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,017

    Location: Bucks

    The only way bi-wiring would be noticeable would be if your amp had active crossovers. Which I doubt. :o

    Otherwise, the same cables are carrying exactly the same signals, going into exactly the same passive crossovers in your speakers, and filtering exactly the same sound to the tweeter, mid and woofer. :)
     
  12. xsnv

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,317

    Location: london

    hey mate, i'm a bit of a hi-fi noob as well and own a ROTEL RA 931 mkII. I was under the impression it's always better to bi-wire your speakers. What exactly is an active crossover and do you know if my amp has one?

    thanks
     
  13. daz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,017

    Location: Bucks

    An active crossover would be on your amp where you can set the crossover frequency (the frequency that gets sent to that particular speaker). An active crossover requires it's own power, and takes a line level input, before outputting to an amplifier.

    Some very high end car audio amplifiers have active crossovers in-built, and they allow you to run a set of component speakers (2 x mid and tweeter) and set the frequencies that you want played by each individual speaker. (So for example, you can have your mids playing everyting from 500Hz to 3Khz, and your tweeters from 2.5Khz+)

    Most normal speakers have a passive crossover, in that you give them a signal, and the signal will be split by means of various high and low pass filters, feeding the low signals to your woofer, and the high signals to your tweeter. By bi-wiring your speakers, you're not cutting out the crossover stage - if you were, you woofers would be playing the high notes as well as the low notes and your tweeters would be trying to play bass notes. This is bad for your speakers, and what's more, sounds terrible too. By bi-wiring your speakers, the same signal is travelling down the same path, into the same inputs being split into the same frequencies. The only conceivable difference that I can think of, would be if you were using bell wire, or other very thin speaker wire and as such resistance was a problem, and by doubling the path to your speakers, you're halving the resistance.
     
    Last edited: 4 Aug 2006
  14. squiffy

    Banned

    Joined: 17 Mar 2006

    Posts: 9,155

    Active bi-amping is when the audio frequency is split at line level, before any amplification. You need rack mounted crossovers designed for your speakers, and speakers designed for active bi-amping (Linn is a good example)

    You won't find active bi-amping in budget area, easily looking at several K worth of kit. Your kit isn't active biamp ready. Hell even my gear isn't, and that's pretty high end. Even some speakers at several thousand pounds aren't.
     
  15. xsnv

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,317

    Location: london

    cheers guy...you would't think connecting an amp to speaker would be straightforward. btw is halving the resistance (i would assume due to parallel connection) a good thing, and if so why?