Cambridge Audio A500 Integrated Amplifiers

4.41/5 (49 Reviews)


Product Description

Integrated Amp


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Reviews 1 - 5 (49 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Peter Jörgensen a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 30, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Strenghts: Crisp and clear treble, tight bass.
Design.

Weaknes: Midrange and power.

Similar Products Used:

Audio Analogue Puccini.

Paid: 150 € used.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2005



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by JohnDownUnder a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Bought this looking for an upgrade to the system in my bedroom. Buying online, I tend to rely on reviews like these because it is not often possible to preview equipment. Hence, I am posting this review for other on-line punters out there. I have paired it with a Sony XA2ES CD Player, Wharfdale 9.1 speakers, Qunex interconnect and qudos biwire. Replacing a Sony TA-F448E amp. The Sony amp proved a damn hard act to followand a great amp. The first supposed "replacement" didn't beat it!
The Cambridge is an upgrade, being slightly warmer and very musical. I've linked it to a Sub, but not too bass shy without.At least I have that option through the pre-out. Volume aplenty on tap, and refined, balanced tone that suits me in a wide range of musical syles. I'm really happy with it and almost disappointed that, in the meantime, my quest for budget musical nirvana in my bedroom in fulfilled. I still wonder how it would match up to a Rotel or Nad, but am not prepared to spend money for a blind test!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Trademe online Aucti



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by harro1 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I have the A500RC so i gather 65w into 8ohms running a set of B&W Matrix 1's that recommend 50-120 watt input. I had these linked up to a yamaha 75w mini system which sounds like garbage but it is a 5 by 75w amp which sounded ok with the B&Ws but wow, due to the reviews on this forum in the main i dumped the idea of a x.1 surround amp from yamaha or denon or onkyo or marantz and ended up with a real kicker. this amp will blow the b&w's at 2 or 3 o'clock on the dial, mainly in the bass department, great for jarre or sylvian, it is an unbelievable sound. Even my ipod with a 3 dollar cable sounds fantastic.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Maxxc a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 30, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Cambridge Audio (not to be confused with Cambridge Soundworks) is a London, UK based company who has produced high value bang for buck audio products since the late 60's.

There are two versions of the A500. The initial version featured 50wpc and featured a different amplifier section. The early version of the A500 featured mixed reviews and was quickly updated to the A500RC.

The newer version of the A500 features a new TRIAT amplifier and is rated at 65wpc.

There are several features which make the amp notable in the budget catagory. First being the addition of a remote control which will also control Cambridge audio CD players and tuners. Second tone controls, which can be defeated and bypassed at the push of a button. Third a preamp out. This can be usefull for biamping, use as a subwoofer out or to run the A500 preamp inconjunction with a power amplifier.

The amp is currently used to power a pair of Focus Audio FS688 monitors ($2600) which feature the supurb 9900 revelator tweeter and a Custom made mid/bass from Eton of Germany.

In otherwords what would appear to be a classic mismatch. Probably the best compliment I can give to the A500 is that although it was meant to be a 'stop gap' amp until I can get something decent I feel in no hurry to upgrade.

This is a fun amp with a naturally loud, alive and dynamic sound. Still it is never aggressive and has that natural warmth and sweetness that is common in British Amps.

If you are asking the question: "Is it worth upgrading over the HT amp I got at Circuit City?" Resounding yes!

A/B comparisons to a Sony (100wpc) and Sherwood (105wpc) shows a clear and substantial improvement in every area. I found this to be true even when using some budget Aperion 502d's ($380) speakers.

Treble loses the metalic edge. Midrange becomes more palpable. Bass better control. Biggest areas of improvement though are in the areas of clarity, detail, slam and dynamics.

How does it compare against more expensive midprice amps? While not being able to directly A/B I much prefered the Cambridge Audio to the Jolida 1701a hybrid ($500). Admittedly though I never much cared for the overall sound of the Jolida.

Comparing it to a Jolida 202a tube amp ($750) proves more interesting. Despite not liking the 1701a I really loved the 202a.

In comparison the A500 has more slam, tighter imaging and more treble extension. Where the A500 falls down is in the area of midrange. The tube amp has that in the room palpability that adds a lushness to female vocals, acoustic instruments and adds a roundness and solidity to the instruments.

Does this diminish the A500? Not at all the 202a can hold its own against many amps costing twice as much.

Bottom line this amp would be an excellent choice for someone taking their first step into high end or those looking to put together a great second system on the cheap.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Audio Advisor



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Maxxc a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 30, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Cambridge Audio (not to be confused with Cambridge Soundworks) is a London, UK based company who has produced high value bang for buck audio products since the late 60's.

There are two versions of the A500. The initial version featured 50wpc and featured a different amplifier section. The early version of the A500 featured mixed reviews and was quickly updated to the A500RC.

The newer version of the A500 features a new TRIAT amplifier and is rated at 65wpc.

There are several features which make the amp notable in the budget catagory. First being the addition of a remote control which will also control Cambridge audio CD players and tuners. Second tone controls, which can be defeated and bypassed at the push of a button. Third a preamp out. This can be usefull for biamping, use as a subwoofer out or to run the A500 preamp inconjunction with a power amplifier.

The amp is currently used to power a pair of Focus Audio FS688 monitors ($2600) which feature the supurb 9900 revelator tweeter and a Custom made mid/bass from Eton of Germany.

In otherwords what would appear to be a classic mismatch. Probably the best compliment I can give to the A500 is that although it was meant to be a 'stop gap' amp until I can get something decent I feel in no hurry to upgrade.

This is a fun amp with a naturally loud, alive and dynamic sound. Still it is never aggressive and has that natural warmth and sweetness that is common in British Amps.

If you are asking the question: "Is it worth upgrading over the HT amp I got at Circuit City?" Resounding yes!

A/B comparisons to a Sony (100wpc) and Sherwood (105wpc) shows a clear and substantial improvement in every area. I found this to be true even when using some budget Aperion 502d's ($380) speakers.

Treble loses the metalic edge. Midrange becomes more palpable. Bass better control. Biggest areas of improvement though are in the areas of clarity, detail, slam and dynamics.

How does it compare against more expensive midprice amps? While not being able to directly A/B I much prefered the Cambridge Audio to the Jolida 1701a hybrid ($500). Admittedly though I never much cared for the overall sound of the Jolida.

Comparing it to a Jolida 202a tube amp ($750) proves more interesting. Despite not liking the 1701a I really loved the 202a.

In comparison the A500 has more slam, tighter imaging and more treble extension. Where the A500 falls down is in the area of midrange. The tube amp has that in the room palpability that adds a lushness to female vocals, acoustic instruments and adds a roundness and solidity to the instruments.

Does this diminish the A500? Not at all the 202a can hold its own against many amps costing twice as much.

Bottom line this amp would be an excellent choice for someone taking their first step into high end or those looking to put together a great second system on the cheap.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Audio Advisor




Reviews 1 - 5 (49 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Cambridge A500 RC

Hi! I have an Cambridge A500RC amplifier and I`m trying to connect a turntable to it,but all i get is low volume in my speakers.As i know i need preamp.I want to be able to connect the laptop and record player at the same time to A500 and to switch between them with a press of a button. Without n ... Read More »

Strange goings-on with my Cambridge A500... anyone else?

So I woke up this morning, and turned on my system to listen to a little radio while I read in bed. Everything was fine until I tried to turn the volume up with my remote. Nothing happened. So I figured "dead batteries" and swapped them out. Still didn't work. The manual volume control is fine ... Read More »

Cambridge A500 any for sale?

From what I understand these are discontinued, is there any place on the internet where I can still find one? If not, anyone here selling their's ???Read More »

Audio Technica ATH-A500

I've been reading very good things about this headphone in other forums, and would like to know what you guys think about it. I'm returning my Grado SR 80's because I decided that I couldn't live with the open air construction and now, this headphone looks like the best headphone for me. I mainly ... Read More »

Help with Fuses (For Cam Audio A500)

I've got a few blown fuses and I want to make sure I get the correct model. The imprint on the fuse is T4L 250V. Now, when I look up that specific model I am directed to German suppliers. What is the best option for an alternative? I'm miles and miles from any store remotely capable of handling ... Read More »

Read More »





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