Cambridge Audio Azur 640A Amplifier
Due to relocating of productive powers in China (at the saving of development laboratory in England) the company managed to keep prices at the same level, when the prime cost of assembled in Europe components has significantly increased in recent times. What does the top model give us?
First of all, the perfect quality of the construction. If the design is a matter of taste, the quality of assembling and used components don't cause claim. A solid anti-resonance damping body with aluminum front panel and qualitative terminals for acoustic cables create a strong impression. And how good a blue package with the logo, into which the device is packed, is! A powerful toroidal transformer in the supply unit and 615W of energy consumption indicate the ability of Cambridge Audio Azur 640A to cope with the most difficult loads. It's a pity that a phono amplifier is offered as an option and is not included in the basic package. But other attributes of a modern integral amplifier are here: headphones output, disabling of equalizer and the possibility to connect a second pair of speaker system. The remote control, half made of aluminum, amazes - it would be more appropriate for some exotic device of Hi-End class.
The first thing I noticed was the necessary to let Azur 640A warm up properly before starting a serious listening. After warming up the sound was significantly improved especially in the low-frequency range. So, Metallica. Perfect bass control - it is not the deepest, but pretty elaborated. Vocal is legible and easily detached from drums and guitars' howl.
Whitesnake discovers another side of the talent of Cambridge Audio Azur 640A - its sound is very focused and transparent. Attack and basic tone are in the perfect balance due to that any sharpness is absent in the voice of amplifier. Bass is not hypertrophied and acoustic guitar doesn't transfer into double bass. All tiny details of the second plan are clearly audible. Vocal is perfectly articulated and sounds quite truly and at the same time there is no any emphasizing of sizzling.
The amplifier shined on classics - a correct timbre of strings and the wholeness of orchestra sound earn the highest praise. You feel an internal rhythm of the composition and trace the intonational ties inside the orchestra. Cambridge Audio Azur 640A draws a wide and deep three-dimensional scene; solo violin sounds nice. The muting of high-frequency tails is slow and smooth. The amplifier has the unique for budget equipment quality - you want to listen to classics in its performance.
As soon as "Woman in Tokyo" played, I understood that the amplifier was completely warmed up. Sharp and scathing kick helps to create the earnest drive and rhythm, the separation of all the instruments is on the top. Each party is transferred by the amp with perfect accuracy.
It seems that the designers could create in the face of Cambridge Audio Azur 640A a really stellar series of stereo components. After the successful presentation of CD player, the amplifier shows not less impressive results. The main advantage is that it forces you to listen. And this is achieved not by distortion of tonal balance but by brilliant detailing and the fusion of sound, when music is presented as an organic whole, not a set of sounds.
Rich in details and emotions sound, a perfect bass and high resolution are the distinguishing features of Cambridge Audio Azur 640A. The amplifier equally copes with different soundtracks, from classics to hard rock.