Cambridge Audio Azur 640P Preamplifiers

3.2/5 (5 Reviews)


Product Description

  • Superior amplification circuitry
  • Multi-parallel capacitors
  • Defeatable subsonic filter


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: January 3, 2011

Bottom Line:   

I acquired this phono stage more than a year ago when I bought a Cambridge Audio Azur 840V2 integrated amplifier. At that time, my analog source consisted of a 22 year old turntable with a decent budget-class (Sumiko Pearl) cartridge. The Azur 640P was perfectly adequate in that application.

I recently upgraded my analog gear with a new turntable (Pro-Ject 2Xperience Classic) fitted with a Dynavector DV 10x5 cartridge.

Although the Dynavector is a "high output" moving coil cartridge you still have to crank up the volume control a bit more than with a typical moving magnet type. This does not seem to cause any problems. I do not hear any noise coming from the Azur 640P. I am hearing all the sonic qualities I expected with this new and higher quality turntable/cartridge system. The sound stage now projects a real sense of depth (missing with the old cartridge). The sound is clean and detailed, dynamics and transient response are excellent, the music sounds much more alive and vibrant than before. My Sheffield Lab direct-to-disc LPs sound great. I do claim to have achieved the level of sonic perfection I heard from these Sheffield LPs when played through an expensive high end system. But I am hearing more of those high end audio qualities than I expected from my mid-priced system.

Everything I have heard suggests the Azur 640P is faithfully conveying the musical information coming from the cartridge. Careful listening with both my speakers and through my headphones (Grado SR125i) do not reveal any extraneous noise or other audible flaws.

I cannot draw a definitive conclusion without conducting listening tests with a second, and more refined, phono stage. So while this is a subjective judgment, in my opinion the Azur 640P seems to be a good match for a cartridge in $400 - $500 price range.

There are better phono stages, but they all cost more than the 640P, some priced in the thousands of dollars and they should be mated with cartridges of comparable quality. I will reserve the 5 star performance rating for those very refined and expensive products. My 640P does deserve an honest 4 stars for its very good performance. And it provides outstanding value.

As with all the Cambridge Azur products I have purchased, everything about this component looks and feels first class. Even the packaging and instruction manual are impressive.

Strengths:

Build quality
Very good audio performance: dynamic response, channel separation, inner details
No audible flaws

Weaknesses:
None at this price point

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by faizalpaus a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 14, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I bought this unit after reading so much hype about it and it helped that major hifi magazines were writing poetry about its performance on its review pages. I went and bought and after letting it warm up for 72 hours I hooked it up to my Project Debut II and then my cheap Denon 29F for comparison's sake.

I hooked up my Project and was trully disappointed with the 640P. I really expected better than what it offered me. The sound sound was flat, lifeless and sounded as if I was listening through a heavy set of curtains. I let in burn in for another week and tried it again...still the same. I felt as if I downgraded my entire system...maybe it was a bad match...but honestly it just didnt make any improvements at all, in fact it was 2 steps backwards. I tried to put on like 18 lps...hoping maybe it would explode into life if I played the right one...didn't happen.

I then hooked up my Denon 29F ( a trully cheaply contructed and hollow sounding device) which had an old stylus on it. If I hooked it up stright to my amp's phono input it would sound stratchy and just plain rubbish. However when I plugged it into the 640P the sound improved, it actually made the music listenable. I actually derived some pleasure from listening to the turntable.

I was still unsure about the preamp and bought a Project phonobox for my system and it is still rocking the room. Lesson- never trust 100% what other people say. What matters if you personally like it. Just too bad my country doesnt offer a return policy. Sighs.


System:
Project Debut II, Project Phonobox, Marantz CD6002, Marantz PM7001, Wharfedale Diamond 10.2.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2007



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jimmm18 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2009

Bottom Line:   
I am very impressed with this phono stage. I have a VAC avatar with a built in Phone stage and his is superior

Basically it is very detailed without sounding clinical. Great pace and rhythm, the voices sound very real. And Horns!!? I have the mobile fidelity Chicago Transit Authority album and the horns on this sound incredibly real. The tambourine on I am Man sounds like it is in the room.

The soundstage is very wide and sutle inflections of the voices make them sound real and emotionaly present. Bass is detailed as well. On Aztec 2 steps "the life and death of Dean Moriarity" I heard bass notes slid up to that I never noticed before. Not sure how well it does on the reocorde space but I listen mainly to rock and accoustic music but the amount it does recover is enough to be convincing. Oh yes, the first song on Steve Miller's Sailor album is a recording of FogHorns on San Francisco bay where I live. You can hear them echo over the bay and the waves crashing on the beach.

I am using Van Du Hul's the First interconnect between my Scoutmaster with 10x5 cartridge and the 640P and a D102 MK3 from there to the VAC. Good cables are a must.

When the price of this box is added into the equation it is vey amazing. You will not be disappointed.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2008



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

Date Reviewed: February 12, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Amazing little phono stage and works well with Cambridge Audio series of amps. Bright sounding LP's can be tamed using tone control, works especially well with Azur 540R. Full, smooth sound, excellently detailed, tyhough top quality interconnects essential.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   RICHER SOUNDS



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by mystic fred a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 8, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Very disappointed with this phono stage preamp, the sound is clinical, hissy, piercing and unbearable.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $49.00

Purchased At:   richer




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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