(For more features refer to the specification table below.)
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Don't forget to order speaker cable. Measure up how much you require and budget at least 10% of the system cost to get the most from your hi-fi.
This package includes the Cambridge Audio Azur 651a Black, Cambridge Audio Azur 651c Black and the Monitor Audio Bx5 Black.
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 651A BLACK
Featuring a USB connection, the Cambridge Audio Azur 651A bridges the gap between your computer and hi-fi better than ever before.
Although it's not uncommon for today's CD players to feature a USB input, such a socket is still a rarity on a stereo amplifier. Yet, once you've sampled the device on the Azur 651A, you'll wonder why it's so rare! Simply connect your PC, Mac or laptop to the USB and you're able to access all your stored music and streaming music services. By using USB, you bypass the computer's soundcard for the purest audio output possible. Finally, your computer can now become a fully integrated part of your hi-fi system without the usual loss in audio quality.
It's not just USB that's new to the Azur 651A. Also included for the first time is a separate subwoofer output - perfect for using with a compact 2.1 speaker system. As before, the 651A comes with a comprehensive range of other sockets including speakers A/B, twin recording loops, a front-mounted 3.5mm portable input and headphone socket, a pre-output and three further line level inputs. In short, the 651A has the whole lot covered.
As you'd expect from this leading hi-fi brand, the Cambridge Audio Azur 651A is packed full of high spec components. Starting with the volume control, Cambridge Audio uses the world renowned ALPS Black Box pot for superb accuracy and improved channel separation. Low dissipation polypropylene and custom made electrolytic capacitors ensure low distortion and crystalline levels of detail. Separate transformer taps for left and right channels, twin rectifiers and separate PSUs mean effective dual mono operation, giving exceptional channel separation and, hence, separation of the sound - you'll hear every instrument, as it should sound and in its correct place.
With a hefty 75 watts per channel, the Azur 651A is one of the most powerful amplifiers in its class. Take a look at the oversized toroidal transformer and it's little wonder that this amp produces so much power. Despite the power, the Azur 651A is also a model of control. The high capacity heatsink easily dissipates the spent energy, while Cambridge's CAP5 protection system keeps your speakers, and the amp, protected, without unduly affecting the sound quality.
Take in the acoustically damped chassis with curved edges, thick aluminium front panel and sculptural Navigator remote and you could easily mistake the 651A for an amplifier of twice the price. Indeed, even at this level we can think of several designs that would be shamed for finish quality by the Cambridge Audio! Of course, the styling also blends perfectly with the full range of other Azur hi-fi separates.
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 651C BLACK
With a higher spec than ever, the Cambridge Audio Azur 651C shoots straight to the top of its class.
With ten years of development and highly-reviewed predecessors in the form of the Azur 640C and 650C, the new Azur 651C has an impressive heritage.
Despite its heritage, the 651C doesn't rest on its laurels. As ever, the Azur 651C uses not one but two DACs. With twin DACs each channel has its own DAC to process its own information. This gives a more precise and accurate sound quality with improved stereo imaging. Also as before, the DACs come from the highly respected Wolfson Audio. This time, though, the 651C has used the latest WM8742 model for even greater performance than before. When combined with the Bessel, noise reducing filter, the new DACs help give the Azur 651C outstanding levels of clarity and transparency of sound. Simply put, this CD player will pull out subtle nuances of sound that you might never even have heard before!
New to the Azur 651C is the selectable digital filter technology that had previously only been available on the famous DacMagic. A choice of Steep, Linear and Minimum filter choices allow you to tailor the sound to your personal preferences and room acoustics.
Unlike most CD players at this price and, indeed, even above, the Azur 651C comes with a dedicated CD transport. This audio-only transport is free from the usual compromises found in competitors' CD/DVD-ROM transport solutions. Driving this transport is a highly sophisticated S3 Custom Servo. Using double-sided, surface-mount technology for shorter signal paths gives the 651C CD player excellent levels of detail retrieval and low levels of jitter.
Just likes its predecessors, the 651C is comprehensively equipped. Complementing the gold-plated phono RCAs are both optical and coaxial digital outputs. Control Bus and IR Emitter sockets make it easy to incorporate the Azur 651C into home automation system. Even the mains the cable uses the highest quality IEC "kettle" lead connection, to allow for the use of upgraded and heavily shielded cables. Around the front, the comprehensive display features CD Text for easy CD track and album identification. As you'd expect from an Azur product, the sturdy, anti-vibration chassis is smoothly finished and rounded off by a thick, aluminium front panel.
MONITOR AUDIO BX5 BLACK
Available in most of our stores but please check before making a special journey
"The easiest £500-ish floorstanders to live with we've heard in a good while - which is why these elegant Monitor Audios score the full five stars." What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision magazine.
For clarity of sound with powerful bass presence, there's little at this price to challenge the Monitor Audio Bronze BX5 floorstanding speakers.
Although slim, the BX5 speakers use twin bass cones for a winning combination of strong vocal articulation with taught, punchy bass. The highly developed C-CAM (Ceramic Coated Aluminium Magnesium) bass and mid-range units integrate smoothly with the treble to give life-like vocals and a powerful, rhythmic bass response. A technically impressive feature is the woofer fixing. Rather than being bolted to the front baffle, through-bolt construction ensures isolation from the main cabinet and therefore a less coloured sound.
The new C-CAM gold dome tweeter has an extended frequency response that now stretches to beyond 30 kHz. Whilst this may be well above our audible spectrum it does have a positive effect on the sound; lower notes that we can hear aren't compressed downwards or harmonically compromised. In short, the treble response is smooth, sweet and detailed.
For its size and price, the BX5 has an exceptionally well engineered cabinet. Not only are there multiple bracing supports for improved rigidity but also separated chambers for improved precision of sound: wave vibration from the bass, for example, is far less likely to affect the performance of the sensitive treble driver when engineered in this way. It also features HiVe II port technology. This exhausts the air from the cabinet as quickly as possible to give a faster and more dynamic bass response.
Finished in classic black, the Bronze BX5 blends perfectly with most other electronics and speakers you may have. The Bronze range is also finished to the standards of much more expensive speakers. For example, the grille is magnetically attached and there are no exposed driver bolts once the grille is removed.
Perfect as speakers for either home cinema or hi-fi, the Monitor Audio BX5s are genuine all-rounders.