Cambridge Audio CXA81

SiR

Well-known member
Dec 26, 2021
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Having gone through the above thread, what is your take on the decision to get Cambridge Audio CXA81 ?


Should I or Shouldn't I ???
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Have you seen and heard one? I haven’t.

And a rhetorical question, maybe, but what else might you choose? NAD, Rotel, Marantz, Rega, Cyrus, Yamaha?
 
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SiR

Well-known member
Dec 26, 2021
31
13
45
If I have seen or heard it, I would judge it based on its performance

Again, it depends on the place and setup in which it is heard


When that is not possible, I have to rely on such reviews, at the minimum, to take a call

Instead of blindly deciding a product to purchase, its better to go for such reviews, is my personal opinion
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
If I have seen or heard it, I would judge it based on its performance

Again, it depends on the place and setup in which it is heard


When that is not possible, I have to rely on such reviews, at the minimum, to take a call

Instead of blindly deciding a product to purchase, its better to go for such reviews, is my personal opinion
Why don't you buy the component and if you don't like it use Richer Sounds 14 day returns. IMHO reviews cannot legislate for your room size, acoustics etc etc etc
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
462
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Instead of blindly deciding a product to purchase, its better to go for such reviews, is my personal opinion
Hi,
Why not buy it blind ?

What you could do, is purchaase the amplifier, and use it for a while, and claim that you now prefer the sound because it has "been run in". Even cables can be "run in", so why not electronics....

*snigger*

Regards,
Shadders.
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
Hi,
Why not buy it blind ?

What you could do, is purchaase the amplifier, and use it for a while, and claim that you now prefer the sound because it has "been run in". Even cables can be "run in", so why not electronics....

*snigger*

Regards,
Shadders.
More honest to say to RS can have it on home trial and if the OP doesn't like it he can get a full refund assuming it's sent back within 14 days of the receipt date.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
If I have seen or heard it, I would judge it based on its performance. Again, it depends on the place and setup in which it is heard.

When that is not possible, I have to rely on such reviews, at the minimum, to take a call. Instead of blindly deciding a product to purchase, its better to go for such reviews, is my personal opinion
I appreciate the attraction of reviews. I read them myself almost every day, as this is a hobby and I’m curious about new products. ASR it an outlier, imo, as they use a lab test and rank things like noise which are pretty much irrelevant to most users. Like tyres that rank noise levels, but who ever chose a tyre for their car on that basis?

If you are put off by ASR being sniffy about the design, then there are other amps. That’s why I asked what else you’d consider. Please bear in mind you have said nothing about your needs, the rest of you system, your musical likes, room size or location.
 
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shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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More honest to say to RS can have it on home trial and if the OP doesn't like it he can get a full refund assuming it's sent back within 14 days of the receipt date.
Hi,
It was a tongue in cheek remark. I purchased all my amplifiers without auditioning (5 in all), and the change between them if any, i soon got used to.

Unusually, or perhaps not, the Cambridge Audio Azur 650A was reviewed as being bright, and when i installed it, it did indeed sound bright. Yet when i replaced it with the Audiolab 8000A, that sounded bright, when i was expecting it to sound less bright.

The power of imagination is amazingly strong. In that, the OP could purchase the amplifier and they will get used to the sound. This is all burn in is, people getting used to the sound, after their expectations about what they will be hearing have diminished.

Regards,
Shadders.
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
Hi,
It was a tongue in cheek remark. I purchased all my amplifiers without auditioning (5 in all), and the change between them if any, i soon got used to.

Unusually, or perhaps not, the Cambridge Audio Azur 650A was reviewed as being bright, and when i installed it, it did indeed sound bright. Yet when i replaced it with the Audiolab 8000A, that sounded bright, when i was expecting it to sound less bright.

The power of imagination is amazingly strong. In that, the OP could purchase the amplifier and they will get used to the sound. This is all burn in is, people getting used to the sound, after their expectations about what they will be hearing have diminished.

Regards,
Shadders.
I know it was tongue in cheek, others might take it the wrong way. I was never a fan of the Azur range for that same reason.

Former member @Gerrardasnails invited me around his place years ago to listen to one of higher end Azur with his RS6. speakers. It just sounded too sterile or mechanical
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
462
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I know it was tongue in cheek, others might take it the wrong way. I was never a fan of the Azur range for that same reason.

Former member @Gerrardasnails invited me around his place years ago to listen to one of higher end Azur with his RS6. speakers. It just sounded too sterile or mechanical
Hi,
I get that personal preference is just that, personal. We all have different likes and dislikes.

What it was for me, is that i realised that expectation bias was something you cannot get away from. I expected the Azur to be bright, and it was, and expecting the Audiolab to be less bright, but it wasn't. Whatever the initial thoughts, then over time, a few hours, none of that mattered as i was enjoying the music.

EDIT : To add, i went from Audiolab 8000A to Azur, then back to 8000A.

So for the OP, a review, whether subjective (people, magazine), or measurement data does not matter. Purchase the amplifier, you will get used to the sound, and forget the reviews stating the amp is this, that or the other.

I do sometimes wonder if peoples continued view of an amplifier (example) is based on them continuing to remember the first impression, and letting that determine their hearing henceforth.

Regards,
Shadders.
 
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SiR

Well-known member
Dec 26, 2021
31
13
45
I appreciate the attraction of reviews. I read them myself almost every day, as this is a hobby and I’m curious about new products. ASR it an outlier, imo, as they use a lab test and rank things like noise which are pretty much irrelevant to most users. Like tyres that rank noise levels, but who ever chose a tyre for their car on that basis?

If you are put off by ASR being sniffy about the design, then there are other amps. That’s why I asked what else you’d consider. Please bear in mind you have said nothing about your needs, the rest of you system, your musical likes, room size or location.
Its not perfect to rely on measurement alone to decide on these but we can't write off those [ my opinion ]

They give us few understanding to get some idea on it and still do the audition, if possible and then decide.
Also, user's experience too can help us [ few of my friends, who decided to audition based on user's experience have not got disappointed ]

I want to set good hifi system for music

Mostly to be in the Living Room of Size W 21 ft X L 15 ft , the listening space is W 12ft X L 15ft

So, prefer IA's

I consider other IA's like Marantz PM8006, Audiolab 6000a [ I may go for HT bypass in future for which they are my choices ]

TIA
 
Last edited:

SiR

Well-known member
Dec 26, 2021
31
13
45
Hi,
It was a tongue in cheek remark. I purchased all my amplifiers without auditioning (5 in all), and the change between them if any, i soon got used to.

Unusually, or perhaps not, the Cambridge Audio Azur 650A was reviewed as being bright, and when i installed it, it did indeed sound bright. Yet when i replaced it with the Audiolab 8000A, that sounded bright, when i was expecting it to sound less bright.

The power of imagination is amazingly strong. In that, the OP could purchase the amplifier and they will get used to the sound. This is all burn in is, people getting used to the sound, after their expectations about what they will be hearing have diminished.

Regards,
Shadders.

I don't believe or find it right to buy one, [however it may sound ] get used to it and enjoy it


We don't spend money, time and our liking for music by compromising on it


By spending some more time, with proper feedback and careful approach, we can get the one, which can justify our passion rather than compromising [This is all burn in ] on it
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Its not perfect to rely on measurement alone to decide on these but we can't write off those [ my opinion ]

They give us few understanding to get some idea on it and still do the audition, if possible and then decide.
Also, user's experience too can help us [ few of my friends, who decided to audition based on user's experience have not got disappointed ]

I want to set good hifi system for music

Mostly to be in the Living Room of Size W 21 ft X L 15 ft , the listening space is W 12ft X L 15ft

So, prefer IA's

I consider other IA's like Marantz PM8006, Audiolab 6000a [ I may go for HT bypass in future for which they are my choices ]

TIA
Thanks, so it seems that it may not be essential for you to choose an amplifier with a DAC included. The Cambridge is obviously liked by this magazine, and here are all the others they’ve reviewed. You can sort them by price as some are very costly.


I’m a big fan of Marantz, and the PM8006 is sometimes well priced here, but has often been seen as neither close to the popular 600x budget range, nor the better Ruby, 10, 11, 12, 14 range. Bit of an odd one out you might say. However, if it appeals to you, maybe check the PM7000n too, with modern functionality. The new Series 40 looks terrific. Can your budget stretch to this?

If not, then the PM6007 is quite adequate for your space with typical speakers, and offers much that the 8006 does. Have you chosen speakers already?
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
462
312
19,270
I don't believe or find it right to buy one, [however it may sound ] get used to it and enjoy it


We don't spend money, time and our liking for music by compromising on it


By spending some more time, with proper feedback and careful approach, we can get the one, which can justify our passion rather than compromising [This is all burn in ] on it
Hi,
Most amplifiers are fit for purpose. Determining the difference is difficult in a blind test if those amplifiers are well designed.

We have vendors selling speakers cables which they "burn in" for a price. The concept of burn in on speakers cables is from an engineering perspective, one of the funniest snake oil offerings. Yet, people believe it and experience it, in their reviews where they state their system is now much better after burn in.

Other comments i see is where the person says that they now hear more detail after listening for extended hours. Which is fair enough, since the ears/brain can determine more detail when you try, and you do become acclimatised to the sound.

I don't think there is a bad sound for well designed equipment, just differences. We as humans adjust to the differences quite readily. From my perspective, i am not too concerned about the initial sound of equipment as i know i will get used to the change. Perhaps that is why i have had my current passive transmission line speakers which was a DIY project for 27 years. I am happy with the sound and not fussy with the slight differences to the sound of my other speakers. They are what they are.

Regards,
Shadders.
 
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SiR

Well-known member
Dec 26, 2021
31
13
45
Thanks, so it seems that it may not be essential for you to choose an amplifier with a DAC included. The Cambridge is obviously liked by this magazine, and here are all the others they’ve reviewed. You can sort them by price as some are very costly.


I’m a big fan of Marantz, and the PM8006 is sometimes well priced here, but has often been seen as neither close to the popular 600x budget range, nor the better Ruby, 10, 11, 12, 14 range. Bit of an odd one out you might say. However, if it appeals to you, maybe check the PM7000n too, with modern functionality. The new Series 40 looks terrific. Can your budget stretch to this?

If not, then the PM6007 is quite adequate for your space with typical speakers, and offers much that the 8006 does. Have you chosen speakers already?
I don't mind an IA without DAC, as I have the flexibility of choosing the preferred DAC and I'm future proof

PM7000n doesn't have Power Direct In [ for HT Bypass ], the only reason I'm hesitant to choose it

[ I preferred CA CX81 for HT bypass capabilities apart from other features ]

Model 30/40n is out of my budget

As of now my preference for speakers goes with the order as Dali Oberon 5, QA 3050i, Wharfedale Diamond 12.3, Polk Signature Elite ES 55
 
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RoA

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Feb 11, 2021
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I found the Audiolab 6000A preferable to both the CXA61 and 81. Better balanced, less bright but that's just me.

Cheaper too plus it has a visible volume display.
 

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