NEWS: Cambridge Audio plans upgrades, pre/power and turntable for Azur range
They better start making some extra shelf space at Richer Sounds, because there's a wave of new Cambridge Audio kit on the way, including:
- Version 2 model of the higher-end Azur 840A amplifier
- New Azur 840E preamplifier and 840W power amplifier
- New midi-size range of hi-fi/AV players and receivers
- New TT50 turntable, developed with Pro-ject
- New upsampling DAC
- Version 2 of Azur 640H music server
- New Azur 740H music server
- A Sonos-style multiroom system
There's also an enlarged home cinema range (details soon in our Home Cinema section) plus a pair of iPod docks - see MP3 news shortly.
But now onto those hi-fi products in more detail.
Talking of which....the Azur 840A amplifier is due a version 2 upgrade by the end of 2007. The updated amp will include trickle-down technology from Cambridge Audio's brand new pre/power amp combination, set for shops this Autumn.
The Azur 840E pre-amp (£750) features proprietary ''Terrapin' amplifier modules, eight inputs and both custom-install and multi-room system support. Its power amplifier partner - the £1000 Azur 840W - offers up 200W per channel (or 500W as a bridged monobloc), CA's second-gen Class XD technology, RCA and balanced XLR connections, and CA's proprietary CAP5 protection system, which the company claims will stop speaker blow-outs.
The TT50 turntable - due by the end of 2007 - is designed in conjunction with deck-specialist Pro-ject, but Cambridge Audio claims it's more than just a re-badging exercise. The tone arm is being exclusively made by Pro-ject for CA, with Audio-Technica supplying the cartridge. Sadly there are no pricing details - or officIal pictures - available at the moment, but a quick glimpse at a prototype deck revealed a very Proj-ect Debut-looking design (see snatched camera-phone pic below!)
Also in line for an upgrade - this one early next year - is the Azur 640H hard-disk player, which will stay at £599. Version 2 tweaks include support for lossless music files (either on the HDD, or streamed from your computer's music collection) and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) compatibility, which should enable the player to integrate with other compatible music-server systems.
The software-only upgrade will also be made available to existing 640H owners via the Cambridge Audio website. A new, higher-end HDD player - the Azur 740H - will follow by mid-2008.
Details are also sketchy on other 2008 product plans, including an upsampling DAC and that Sonos-style music server system, but we were briefly shown Cambridge Audio's forthcoming family of four compact-size separates - a stereo DAB/FM receiver; FM/AM receiver; CD player and DVD player - designed to offer two-part cut-size systems.
Cambridge Audio will be demonstrating the new 2007 products - and possibly previews of the 2008 range - at the What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision Show in November: www.whathifishow.co.uk
And of course, What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision is lining up exclusive tests of the new products as soon as they become available - watch this space to find out precise release and review dates.