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Power Amp or Integrated advice needed

Nov 22, 2014
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I have just bought a Cambridge Audio Azur 851C, the reason for this purchase was to have a all in one solution as opposed to separate dac and cd player, its also a Digital Pre Amp, question is should i get a power amp, or Integrated, want to replace my Audiolab 8200A as this is black, and only 60watt per channel, my speakers are Monitor Gold GX100’s which recommend a min 60watts, so im guessing more is better?

I don’t need any analogue inputs, i only use the 8200A as a power amp anyway, which you might think answers my question, but sadly there is little reviews to be found on power amps to give me any idea what to buy hence why im tempted to buy another Integrated amp but in silver, would the CAMBRIDGE AUDIO 851A or the 851W be the better buy, also seen the 651W going for under £300 on eBay, would this be better as i dont really need the power of either of the first two amps?

Open to other recommendations and my budget is up to £1200
 

Leeps

New member
Dec 10, 2012
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Simon Cunvin said:
I have just bought a Cambridge Audio Azur 851C, the reason for this purchase was to have a all in one solution as opposed to separate dac and cd player, its also a Digital Pre Amp, question is should i get a power amp, or Integrated, want to replace my Audiolab 8200A as this is black, and only 60watt per channel, my speakers are Monitor Gold GX100’s which recommend a min 60watts, so im guessing more is better?

I don’t need any analogue inputs, i only use the 8200A as a power amp anyway, which you might think answers my question, but sadly there is little reviews to be found on power amps to give me any idea what to buy hence why im tempted to buy another Integrated amp but in silver, would the CAMBRIDGE AUDIO 851A or the 851W be the better buy, also seen the 651W going for under £300 on eBay, would this be better as i dont really need the power of either of the first two amps?

Open to other recommendations and my budget is up to £1200
Please forgive my not personally being a fan of the GX's (having owned the GX50's for a few months - just didn't like certain aspects of them in the end), HOWEVER, I do remember reading a review (links below) that said the GX50's (as opposed to the 100's) with the Cambridge 851A was a partnership that generated better results than the sum of the two components. The reviewer really liked the match.

I would imagine the 851W just provides a little more grip and control of the bass, which is no bad thing. I'd be surprised if the house sound is vastly different to the 851A. But if you don't need the two pre-amps, it makes sense to spend money only on components you only really need: with the power amp, more of your budget is going on what you need and you're separating the high output power amp from the delicate preamp. Hope some of this helps.

http://www.witchdoctor.co.nz/index.php/2012/11/monitor-audio-gx50-stand-mounted-loudspeaker-review/

http://www.witchdoctor.co.nz/index.php/2012/11/cambridge-audio-azur-851-series-review/
 
Nov 22, 2014
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Well im going to go for the CA651W as i think that will provide best value for my money, if not then i will get the 851A, the 851W is way more powerful than i need, that said i take you point onboard and will try and arrange a demo at my nearest Richersounds store just to compare, thanks for the links they where helpful, cheers.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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Simon Cunvin said:
Well im going to go for the CA651W as i think that will provide best value for my money, if not then i will get the 851A, the 851W is way more powerful than i need, that said i take you point onboard and will try and arrange a demo at my nearest Richersounds store just to compare, thanks for the links they where helpful, cheers.
The value is truly insane :) great choice.

At 100Wpc dual mono you can get one of ebay for less than £300. By the way I'd have a look tonight if I were you. And you shouldn't really lose much if at all when selling it on.

Good luck
 

Leeps

New member
Dec 10, 2012
219
1
0
Simon Cunvin said:
Well im going to go for the CA651W as i think that will provide best value for my money, if not then i will get the 851A, the 851W is way more powerful than i need, that said i take you point onboard and will try and arrange a demo at my nearest Richersounds store just to compare, thanks for the links they where helpful, cheers.
Power is as useful at low volumes as it is at higher volumes. I remember hearing the marked difference between the Hegel H80 and the H160. We were listening at reasonable moderate levels. The H80 sounded fine until we heard the H160. The main difference was the grip of the bass, and loss of some. We realised the missing bass was the overhang and slightly bloated bass bloom where the smaller power unit was struggling. Bass heads would have preferred the cheaper amp, but the quality of the bass and timing in particular was much improved with the H160.

We didn't have to increase the volume until our ears were bleeding to appreciate the need for the extra power.
 

jonathanRD

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
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Leeps said:
Power is as useful at low volumes as it is at higher volumes. I remember hearing the marked difference between the Hegel H80 and the H160. We were listening at reasonable moderate levels. The H80 sounded fine until we heard the H160. The main difference was the grip of the bass, and loss of some. We realised the missing bass was the overhang and slightly bloated bass bloom where the smaller power unit was struggling. Bass heads would have preferred the cheaper amp, but the quality of the bass and timing in particular was much improved with the H160.

We didn't have to increase the volume until our ears were bleeding to appreciate the need for the extra power.
This is exactly my experience recently too, going from an integrated 38W amp to 100W mono power amplifiers. Most of my listening is done later in the evening at lower volume levels but the difference more power brings is huge IMO. My wife used to complain the music was too loud, yet now she will happily sit and listen to music at higher levels. She even switched the amps and CDP on earlier this week during the daytime to listen to a CD whilst I was at work - that was a first! *smile*
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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I think Nord power amplifiers are, on paper at least, hard to surpass. Never heard one but a few here use them and seem to be satisfied.
 
Nov 22, 2014
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Thanks for the replies, im bidding on the Cambridge Audio Azur 651W at the moment, tempted by the 851A but its in black, plus goes for £250 more on average on ebay and i dont think thats its worth the extra, knowing my luck il miss out on both, not long to wait now though.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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Simon Cunvin said:
yes, got it for £279 inc P&P, only on bidding on it, which makes a nice change, same company that i got the 851 1C from, so hopefully be in as good condition as that was :)
Great news, congrats!

Let us know how you get on.
 

jonathanRD

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
175
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Great news - enjoy!

I never really got what extra power brings when reading others talking about it, until I got my own and then it all became so obvious. *music2*
 
Nov 22, 2014
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Hi, it came back on the 4th, and wow what a difference, more noticeable at lower volume, being using it almost 24/7 last three days, will do my best to describe the differences in sound, better stereo imaging, wider sound stage, better controlled bass, and hearing different bass notes that sounded all the same before, and just better balance overall, i also bought some XRL cables but not sure if i can hear a major difference over normal interconnect cables, but overall im happy with the improvement over my old system, its nice not to have to pump up the volume to get that wow factor, hopfully now i will settle on this system many years to come, and just enjoy the music, for me the search is over :)
 
Nov 22, 2014
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I know exactly what you mean, it impossible to i think, until you have experience it yourself, before the change i was not aware that there was too much wrong with my system, the changes i made were only made because i wanted to cut down on the amount of boxes i have on my rack, so glad i did now too, not only did it not cost me a penny, im actually up on the deal, plus i have arguable a better calibre of audio than i did before, could not be happier right now
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
301
5,270
It is a bargain for the power you got there. Now considering you've had a budget of £1,200 originally you can treat yourself and spend some money on what really matters... music :D
 

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