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Cambridge audio cxn plus 651w or cxa80


Novice Member

First post. I own a cxn v1 and have it running in preamp mode paired with a 651w via xlr.

Unfortunately I find the top end very bright via both focal aria 906’s and also when I swapped in my kef ls50.

I tried a bigger (120w) rotel power amp last weekend which wasn’t much improvement.

My question was that does anyone think changing to an integrated would solve my problem?

Option one would be a cxa80, I’d also consider an arcam sa20 or rega elex,or even naim (but would really be pushing the budget.) or should I go to valves?

The interconnects are qed reference, speaker cables also qed (silver anniversary I think.)

My other thought is that perhaps I disagree with the cxn signature sound, but that doesn’t really correlate with the many reviews of the streamer.

Unfortunately I can’t test the cxa80, the others may be possible.

Cheers for any advice


Active Member
Hi, I own a CXN (V2) and the CXA80, they are used with Monitor Audio 270HD floorstanders and sound very good, no brightness at all.

First I’d try some OFC cables, no silver, not sure if it will make any difference but i have read using silver cables can make some kit sound harsh/bright.

If that don’t help I really can’t say for sure if the CXA80 will sound better than the 651W, though the CXA80 is a lovely amp.

The other amps mentioned are all good too, if you can I’d certainly audition before buying.



The Rega Elex will certainly control the LS50s very well, especially those wayward highs and the Rega amps do seem very well suited to KEF products. I run an Elicit-R with KEF R300s, an amp which to me performed far better than a Naim Nait XS2.

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