Azur 650A user reviews

Cambridge Audio Azur 650A

Tested at £350

Unbeatable for scale and insight, but the 650A sounds just slightly detached


Which speakers below are the best partner for ca azur 650 combo?:

1. MS Avant 908

2. MS Aviano 6

3. Whaferdale Diamond 905/906

4. Epos M 12.2(i)

5. B&W 685

6. Quad 11L/12L

Clnical? Not sure what that means. Faithful reproduction is what it's all about; that's the meaning of hifi. High Fidelity. This sounds great to me, with B&W 685 speakers. I get deeply involved and engaged with the music. Some of the badly recorded rock and pop CD's nowadays would probably benefit from some colouration and distortion, but if you want to hear as close as was recorded, this a good amp.

The sound is sterile and has no music involvement at all. Deep bass is somewhat lacking. It is not bright sounding at all, but the sound is too clinical for me. Strings sound thin and lack depth. It is awesome at Trance/Dance/Electronic music but that's it. 

I own a cambridge Azur 650a and I haven't noticed this problem, I use it sometimes with headphones but i haven't had any issues...

Cambridge isn't very consistent in their building quality though, I have had a lot of problems with my 650c disk reader, and eventually switched to a computer with a good DAC.  

I've had the 650A for nearly a month so I hope my comments about it can help others.

It is a superb amplifier in many ways.  Detail levels are prodigious and it maintains a sense of delicacy so that the finer subtleties are laid bare.  It also displays a strong sense of rhythm and excellent sense of the space in which a recording was made.  It is very well built with a very solid feel to all the controls and CA's usual excellent remote control.

However, it wasn't for me, no matter how hard I tried.  That hint of brightness frequently translates to thinness in upper strings and the sense of spaciousness can occasionally make everything sound too spread out so that there is less sense of the music as a whole entity.  There is also a dryness in the mid-range that caused issues with vocal reproduction that, for me, proved insurmountable despite trying several different speakers and CD players.

If you like mostly electronic music and enjoy hyper detailed delivery, this beautifully made amp could be perfect for you.  For me, it just wasn't the right amplifier and so I have returned it and gone back to NAD instead.

I've now had Cambridge audio 650a for a year now, I agree with other comments that there is a slight channel inbalance though it doesn't bother me that much. Originally i was using them with Mordaunt sort aviano 2's however found them too clinical sounding.

I now use them with Monitor Audio RX1's which do give them a warmer balance, i have also found that copper only interconnects and speaker cables suit my system better.

Hi everyone..I want to purchase a integrated amplifier..Right now I recently purchase a monitor audio br2 speakers and a cambridge audio c640 cd player. Audioquest cv6 speaker cable and a Mit interface interconnect cable...Any suggestion?please your professional help are greatly appreciated...Thanks

Buckshot LeFonque:

oh my god yes, i'm so glad you said that. i swear blind my left channel is quieter, it's been driving me insane. i've ruled out every concievable thing including my ears and can only conclude it's the amp, much to my frustration.

Anyway, i can live with it. I'm thinking of upgrading my speakers and would appreciate it if somebody told me if i was considering anything stupid.

I'm thinking either Monitor Audio RX1 or EB Acoustics EB1. The RX1 are warm which leans me towards them to match this amp but the EB1's are probably better overall. (currently got Aviano 1's which are very clinical as WFH say.)

later experiments prove its not the amp. however, ive switched to a rega brio 3, much much much nicer sound IMO.

Have any other 650A owners noticed a slight volume imbalance between the L/R channels? On my amp, at all volume levels, the left-hand channel is louder, particularly noticeable when listening to mono recordings through headphones.

Any feedback very much appeciated.


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