Cambridge Audio A3i Integrated Amplifiers

A3i

60 watts

User Reviews (32)

Showing 1-10 of 32  
George   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 24, 2013]

I never thought that Cambridge Audio amps would sound this good. I tried an Azur 340A and was dissappointed. The only British amp I liked was my Creek 4140. All the others I tried was very boring to me...untill I found the A3i from a used electronics dealer. I paired this with my KEF coda 8 which was famous for its exceptional sound quality and notorious for his pestering matching problems. I was in for a surprise. The KEF just began to sound how it was claimed to sound like. It was not the KEF I used to hear. The sound was just full bodied. Mids were as if they were going to kiss me. The bass was tight and the highs, just right. (I would prefer the highs a little more bright) CDs sounded more like LPs. Very warm and smooth. I was just glad that I decided to buy this amp. Great sound.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jpramas   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 05, 2002]
Strength:

no remote, prevents laziness

Weakness:

not expandable, no extra input jacks for additional amps, etc.

I got this int amp over the NAD C 350, largely because it was $100 cheaper (and probably more since the NAD lacks a phono stage and I would've had to buy a phono preamp, too), but I'm extremely happy with it so far. This heavy little black box has power to burn. Even without bi-wiring, my Triangle Titus 202s sing. Excellent bass, clear mids and highs. Almost never turn the volume above "4." Can hear the speakers nicely in every room in my 900 sq. ft. apartment. My system: Cambridge Audio A3i NAD 521i CD player Denon DP-7F turntable/Ortofon X1-MCP cartridge (that someone threw out in the trash in my old apartment building!) Triangle Electroacoustique Titus 202 bookshelf speakers [and don't even get me started on that cable nonsense, who cares what cables I have, electrons do what they always do no matter what &*^%&*%^ cables I have. . .]

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mr Blobby   Casual Listener [Dec 14, 2001]
Strength:

Blue lights,power,

Weakness:

none

Amazing

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul Schneir   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 02, 2000]
Strength:

Decent finesse and power for an integrated amp,

Weakness:

Not the last word in transparency and resolution

Nicely organized and designed unit. Exceptionally good value but may get better resolution, superior frequency extreme preformance, transitional timing and all round performance by spending a bit more for a Creek 4330 or a Musical Fidelity x-a1. I believe the Creek provides performance more consistent with higher priced, better units (more refined/smoother through mids and highs, less grain, sonic compression at loud levels). Recommended for audition with other similarly priced units (and up to $1000). At $400, 5 stars for value but overall performance for sub-$1,000 is 4 stars/

Similar Products Used: Creek 4330, NAD 340, Audio Analogue
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Brad Warwick   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 10, 2001]
Strength:

Top quality construction, Great warm and involving sound. Amazing features for the price!

Weakness:

No Remote Control

This amp is a seriously impressive piece of kit! I purchased it for £80 from Richer Sounds. They were selling them dirt cheap before Christmas because it is now a discontinued model. However, dont let that put you off. I have tested virtually every amp in the sub £300 budget amp arena, and nothing comes close to the Cambridge A3i.

As soon as its cool blue led lights up it simply puts the music first. Bass is taught and deep, treble and midrange are nicely balanced. Infact its dynamic range is truly unvelivable. This means the A3i rocks with virtually anything you care to throw at it; whether it be rock, classical, instrumental or dance. With any familiar song you play through the A3i you will notice new sounds sunddenly appear in your ears. The detail is astonishing. In fact I have not witnessed an amp with better grace and detail even in the £400-£500 price bracket.

Features wise, the A3i is jammed packed full of them. Gold plated phonos and binding posts, 4 line ins, tape loop and a quality phono stage which can be swithed to line level if desired. Iside the black box lies some very flashy kit. Fancy led's, high quality capacitors and a hefty power supply wait for the signal. And boy do they capatilise!

Build quality is top notch. A classic cambridge aluminium facia is present and everything seems to be put together to a high standard, regardless of the fact that it's made in the far east.

Overall this is a must have amp. Audition now!!

Similar Products Used: Cambridge A500, A4, A1, A1 Mk3 SE, Nad C320, C340, Marantz PM4000, Denon 255Uk, Rotel RA 931 MkII
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom   an Audio Enthusiast [Oct 03, 1999]

Note to potential buyers. This model is being discontinued. Being sold places at $399 (was $529 retail). So don't wait to long or they will all be gone.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Paul Steadman   an Audio Enthusiast [Mar 04, 1998]

I purchased my Cambridge Audio A3i amp 4 months ago and I think that it issonically far superior to my Marantz pm66 Ki signature, the sound stage is
far more impressive, the bass & treble far more defined. All this at a
fraction of the cost.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Ricjard Krause   a Casual Listener [Apr 13, 1998]

Go hear this amp for its extremely clear resolving quality. Partner it with a nice pair of easy sounding Tannoy or KEF speakers (at the same budget category), a good detailed sounding CD player (try their CD6 or CD4SE) and you can listen to beautiful music all day long!
This is a sophisticated sounding amp. Not one of the brutish and brash variety. It's baby cousin, the A1 Mk3 is also worth a listen if you don't need anything more than 30W.

My only complains (surely there must be some eh) is that, in general, for bass-thumping rock and pop, the low end isn't quite compelling enough, though it is well defined. But if the music is reasonably well engineered (e.g, Simply Red's LIFE album), the bass will come across in such an impressive manner that you will wonder if you paid too little money for this amp. For classical and less complicated jazz pieces, stand back and be blown away by the detail. A top notch equipment at the sub-$1000 end. But don't mistake it as entry class. It's an audiophile quality amp.

IMO, it partners extremely well with speakers that have a little more bass than normal in its category - e.g. Tannoy M2s

BTW there is a review of this amp at http://www.hifichoice.co.uk (free cookie upon sign in, bring your own milk). They gave it an all round thumbs up.

For its outstanding value, I give it, er, 7 stars.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
John Heslop   an Audiophile [Apr 13, 1998]

Remember the Pioneer A400? Hmm, this is another legend in the making.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
X   an Audio Enthusiast [Apr 13, 1998]

This is one heck of an outstanding integrated amp at the price point (Around US$300).
It has a neutral, very refined sound with excellent soundstaging. Suits all genres of music. At 60W, it'll drive all bookshelf and small floorstanders nicely. If you're building a system on the cheap, this is the integrated to buy.

Equipment wise, it might look pretty nondescript. But it is well done where it counts - gold plated RCA points, biwiring terminals, phono in. No remote though.

Cambridge Audio likes to built equipment that sounds like they cost three times more than their price (witness the Dacmagics and the CD4SE and CD6), and the A3i is no exception. Forget that its Made in China, ignore the slim line casing. Just go hear it. This is quality stuff at ridiculously low prices.

Eminently matchable with their equally budget but big sounding CD players.

A straight 5 stars.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 32  

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