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Speakers for Cambridge Azur 540A

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oyster's picture
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Hi - Have recently been given a Cambridge Azur 540A amplifier and being a complete beginner to setting up any sort of Hi-Fi system I was wondering if anybody could give me any tips on pairing it with some speakers.

I've seen some good looking Monitor B4 speakers nearby to me on eBay and I was wondering if a) they were safe to pair and b) if so, whether they go nicely together?

Ideally looking to attach a pair of floor standing speakers to the amp, and then possibly another couple of bookshelf speakers for another room.

Any help on the subject would be hugely appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

 

EDIT: Those particular speakers appear to have been sold now (would they have worked anyway?) so on the look out for other things. Ideally looking for second hand speakers, as good as possible on quite a tight budget. Thanks!

Al ears's picture
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RE: I might not be able to answer

I might not be able to answer your question precisely as in my view your amp will happily drive any speaker in the price range that you may looking at. The trick is to get a speaker to match your room and not your amp.

Sorry if answer appears oblique, and welcome to the forum.

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Leeps's picture
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I used to own the Cambridge

I used to own the Cambridge 640A amp. I would say that the answer depends on..
a) what kind of sound balance you're looking for (fast & detailed or warmer and fuller sound)
b) what your source is.

Each component; source, amp & speakers will each have their own influence on the type of sound you actually hear. I would say the Cambridge 640a was on the 'fast & detailed' end of the sound balance spectrum. So was my CD (as per sig) and so were my old speakers, so each combined to emphasise these qualities still further. The combo sounded great for certain kinds of music but was not flattering of bad recordings or anything with sharp sounds (some brass and electric guitar for example).

So if your source has similar characteristics, I'd personally think about slightly warmer speakers (Q Acoustics 2050/2010/2020 for example), but you may not need to warm things up if your source has done so already (Arcam CD for instance).

Warm source + warm amp + warm speakers can = dull lifeless unengaging sound, so there's always a balance to be had.

Buying on Ebay sounds a great idea if you know the characteristics of the components you're looking at anyway (but even then buying blind can lead to unexpected results), but if not, even if it's cheap, it's still an expensive mistake! You really can't beat a demo with the actual components you plan to put together, playing the sort of music you'll probably be listening to.

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Leeps's picture
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PS... For all these reasons,

PS... For all these reasons, I wouldn't personally put the Cambridge amp with MA speakers, unless your source counterbalanced the sound in some way.

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CD Cambridge Azur 640C; Streaming Spotify Premium > iPad Airplay > AV Receiver Pioneer VSX-2021; Speakers Monitor Audio Radius R270HD, R250HD, R90HD, R370HD; TV Panasonic TX-P42G30B; BD Panasonic DMP-BDT310; PVR Virgin V+BoxHD

oyster's picture
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RE: Speakers for Cambridge Azur 540A

Thanks for the replies both of you, has certainly given me something to think about.

As a complete sound novice, I feel as though I'd be hard pushed to notice the differences in sound performance unless I heard them side-by-side. Whilst it would be of course nice for the balance of sound to be spot on, I don't feel compelled to seek out the absolute best sound quality at this stage, especially given my budget - as long as it sounds "good" and a decent step up from my TV sound, then I'll be quite happy.

I'd primarily be using the setup plugged into my television, sometimes using it for general TV / Films, and then also streaming my music collection to the amp through Apple TV. My taste in music is very broad, from classical to electro.

Can anybody recommend any specific floorstanding and bookshelf speakers (again, preferably good quality ones that might be a little older so I can pick them up second-hand for a good price) that would work well with this amp? I'm thinking around the £150 for the floor standers, maybe £50 to £100 for the bookshelfs - low numbers, I know!

Oh, and just to make it more difficult, I tend to prefer the units coloured in darker wood.

Thanks again.

Crossie's picture
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RE: Speakers for Cambridge Azur 540A

Go and have listen to these at your local Richer sounds:

http://www.richersounds.com/product/floorstanders/mission/m33i/miss-m33i-blk

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oyster's picture
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RE: Speakers for Cambridge Azur 540A

Thanks for the tip, Crossie - certainly in the right price range - if only they were more woody coloured!

Any other recommendations anybody?

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RE:

oyster put your money together & go for the mordaunt short mezzo 6. Not only do they go brilliantly with your amp they will stand up to a number of amp upgrades through the cambridge audio line in the future. They also come in walnut, & the best news is they are going for £349.00 from richer sounds. i paid 700 quid for mine & use them now & again in a 5 grand system, enough said

oyster's picture
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RE: Speakers for Cambridge Azur 540A

Always tempting hooflungdung!

What about the Mordaunt Short Aviano 6s?

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RE: Speakers for Cambridge Azur 540A

If you go for Mordaunt-Shorts be quick.  I believe the MS name is being dropped at least temporarily, whilst the Audio Partnership team concentrates on the new Cambridge Audio ranges of speakers.  This explains the sell-out prices being offered on the Mezzo and Aviano ranges.

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hooflungdung's picture
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RE: Speakers for Cambridge Azur 540A

never heard the avianos but they are a lower priced product line. All i know is that when i plugged the mezzos into my old 540a  the difference was like turning off a transistor radio & turning on proper hifi.i'd say the what hifi review is spot on. Find a richer sounds with both, as well as the missions etc & have a listen.

good luck