Should I buy Cambridge Audio CXA60 or Cambridge Audio CXA61?

darrenhaken

Active Member
I'm shopping for a new stereo amp and one of the contenders is the CXA60/61.

I can get the CXA60 for £350 and the 61 for £550.

I am trying to decide on one of these or a Rega Brio plus a cheap DAC (for TV).

If theres not much difference between the CXA60 and 61 than buying the 60 would be a substantial saving.

Fyi I'll be pairing with Monitor Audio Silver 100s
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
I'm shopping for a new stereo amp and one of the contenders is the CXA60/61.

I can get the CXA60 for £350 and the 61 for £550.

I am trying to decide on one of these or a Rega Brio plus a cheap DAC (for TV).

If theres not much difference between the CXA60 and 61 than buying the 60 would be a substantial saving.

Fyi I'll be pairing with Monitor Audio Silver 100s
The CXA61 is the revised and much improved version of the 60 with much more control over the sound. Same power just more refined.

If you want quality sound.. i would go for the Brio ... if you want volume.. i would go with the CXA61

I would go listen to them though for your own piece of mind however ...

The CXA61 is expensive for what it gains over the 60.. but you can hear the difference between the 2

As for the Brio .. that just plays music and gets on with it :)
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
The CXA61 is the revised and much improved version of the 60 with much more control over the sound. Same power just more refined.

If you want quality sound.. i would go for the Brio ... if you want volume.. i would go with the CXA61

I would go listen to them though for your own piece of mind however ...

The CXA61 is expensive for what it gains over the 60.. but you can hear the difference between the 2

As for the Brio .. that just plays music and gets on with it :)
So on a scale of 1-10 how much is there between the 60 and 61?

Regardless of amp choice I'm connecting a Bluesound Node 2i which has Bluetooth, DAC etc. However, I've read there's lag when connecting a TV to it's optical IN.

If I went with the Rega I'd need something of connect the TV to it, nothing fancy. Any DAC recommendations for that?
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
The CXA61 is the revised and much improved version of the 60 with much more control over the sound. Same power just more refined.

If you want quality sound.. i would go for the Brio ... if you want volume.. i would go with the CXA61

I would go listen to them though for your own piece of mind however ...

The CXA61 is expensive for what it gains over the 60.. but you can hear the difference between the 2

As for the Brio .. that just plays music and gets on with it :)
It really does seem like the Brio is a musical crowd pleaser on this forum!

If you had to pick, you'd go Brio then?
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
I'm shopping for a new stereo amp and one of the contenders is the CXA60/61.

I can get the CXA60 for £350 and the 61 for £550.

I am trying to decide on one of these or a Rega Brio plus a cheap DAC (for TV).

If theres not much difference between the CXA60 and 61 than buying the 60 would be a substantial saving.

Fyi I'll be pairing with Monitor Audio Silver 100s
I have the 60 and the 100s great sound. The 60 needed a dongle to be Bluetooth the 61 has one built in. I sold my Bluetooth dongle ( which you have to buy separately ) and bought a iFi Zen Blue to replace it now it sounds fantastic. I like the 60 and doubt that I would change it for anything else. Hope you find what you are looking for. Enjoy
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
I have the 60 and the 100s great sound. The 60 needed a dongle to be Bluetooth the 61 has one built in. I sold my Bluetooth dongle ( which you have to buy separately ) and bought a iFi Zen Blue to replace it now it sounds fantastic. I like the 60 and doubt that I would change it for anything else. Hope you find what you are looking for. Enjoy
Can you share your opinion on the options I listed above?

In your view, would you save the money and get the used 60? I certainly have no interest in the Bluetooth as the Bluesound Node will provide that
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
It really does seem like the Brio is a musical crowd pleaser on this forum!

If you had to pick, you'd go Brio then?
On my personal taste, please note this is my personal taste, i would choose the Brio ... but.. the CXA61 is more than capable and it offers alot more in the way of inputs which the Brio doesn't...

As i mentioned.. the CXA61 is a much more refined amp to the 60.. with a better dac built in and various other tweaks done to it.. but i just feel it is a bit expensive in comparison for what it offers.. although you can hear the difference.

The CXA61 on paper is the more powerful amp also at 60w into 8ohm against the 50w of the Brio

So it's dependant what you are looking for re inputs. This is why i said and always do... to go listen!
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
Another difference between the two is the 60 has tone controls they are two push in buttons that pop out to control the Bass and Treble when you have set them you just push them back in and they sit flush to the front of the panel. The 61 has omitted this function. I use the Direct sound button and this overrides the tone control. Without being biased I would definitely go for the 60 oh yes I have looked at the CXA 61 / 80 and 81 models but just cant see what I would benefit from them and in some of the What - Hifi reviews of them they revert back to the sound of the 60. So it cant be a bad amp but they cant recommend the same amp for years some people like new models of everything although they are not necessarily better.
 

Orobas

Well-known Member
So on a scale of 1-10 how much is there between the 60 and 61?

Regardless of amp choice I'm connecting a Bluesound Node 2i which has Bluetooth, DAC etc. However, I've read there's lag when connecting a TV to it's optical IN.

If I went with the Rega I'd need something of connect the TV to it, nothing fancy. Any DAC recommendations for that?
On a scale of 1-10 .. i would say there is a good 7 difference between the 2.. the only thing that holds me back is that price.... i would say it's about £100 too much really.... considering it started as a £650 amp and is now £750.... where the CXA60 was £500 ..

That is really the only thing that would stop me from considering the 61 over the 60.... ok.. add the blutooth (i do use blutooth) and you have a £590 CXA60 ... against the £750 CXA61 .. now.. the CXA61 is about £50 too much still.. but that bluetooth on the CXA61 is just awesome against the stuttering external one the 60 has... I do credit them on their improvements and like i say you can hear the difference.

You should always use an amp in pure or source direct so tone controls do not bother me here...

The 60 is a good amp.. and yeah well worth it.. the 61 is a audibly better amp but priced too high..

The Brio is just in a different sound/quality league but has to be demo'd.... as with anything. But the rega is feature limited and is ANALOGUE only.. it does not have the dac's built in like the CXA60/1

Do NOT buy blind....
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
I should think that it will be hard to audition the CXA 60 now as most places don't stock it anymore so the only way to audition is 2nd hand by going to listen at the sellers place.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
500 or thereabouts is a decent price point for the used market. Because now you're looking at amps that were once in/around the 1k bracket, which is pretty much the sweet spot for price vs performance.

Worth pondering. Understandable if you want to buy new of course.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
500 or thereabouts is a decent price point for the used market. Because now you're looking at amps that were once in/around the 1k bracket, which is pretty much the sweet spot for price vs performance.

Worth pondering. Understandable if you want to buy new of course.
What would you recommend in the used market?

I thought I'd replied to this, sorry for the delay!
 

L4dva

Active Member
I might be putting my CXA60 up for sale, your welcome to come and have a listen to it with your own speakers if you can be bothered to bring with your. Otherwise I'm currently pairing the amp with an old pair of Kef IQ3 speakers. PM me if your interested.

I'm downsizing back to my trusty onkyo all in one mini system (I know I will regret that) or going for active speakers as a replacement. We are moving house soon and we won't have space for a full size system in my new office. If it weren't for that I'd be looking to keep the CXA60 and upgrading my speakers. It is a fantastic amp!
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
Where are you based?

I am tempted by the CXA60 - purely as I can nab one for £350 which is quite the saving.

The brio would be 550 and so would the CXA61 if I managed to get a used one.
 

L4dva

Active Member
I’m based in Edgware HA8.

Tough predicament to be in when it’s not easy to listen to them all back to back.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
AXR100 from Cambridge is an amplifier with 100 watts. Should be more then enough for the Silver speakers.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
500 or thereabouts is a decent price point for the used market. Because now you're looking at amps that were once in/around the 1k bracket, which is pretty much the sweet spot for price vs performance.

Worth pondering. Understandable if you want to buy new of course.
What used amps would you recommend at £500?
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Arcam A38/A39 - in terms of quality these would be direct competitors to the Elicit R in the Rega line up. Bare bones like the Elicit though. No digital on the A38 (iirc the A39 has some digital inputs) and no phono as standard (factory option). They're both around used, but the price has been creeping up in recent times. I paid 480 (fully serviced) for mine. Last I looked 550 was the average price for a good condition model. Lower 400 for one that looked like it had been left with a toddler with a set of keys

Solid power supply. Doubles its power into 4ohms which is always a good sign.

Will easily be good enough for a future speaker upgrade.

Price to performance not much beats them.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
Arcam A38/A39 - in terms of quality these would be direct competitors to the Elicit R in the Rega line up. Bare bones like the Elicit though. No digital on the A38 (iirc the A39 has some digital inputs) and no phono as standard (factory option). They're both around used, but the price has been creeping up in recent times. I paid 480 (fully serviced) for mine. Last I looked 550 was the average price for a good condition model. Lower 400 for one that looked like it had been left with a toddler with a set of keys

Solid power supply. Doubles its power into 4ohms which is always a good sign.

Will easily be good enough for a future speaker upgrade.

Price to performance not much beats them.
Any opinion on how they'd pair with Monitor Audio Silver 100s?

I'm not too familiar with how bright/warm Arcam generally is.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
The Arcam would be an excellent match for the Monitor Audio's.

I have an A28 (an A38 with less power I believe) and Arcam alpha 9r's which were previously paired with MA Gold gr10 (c cam tweeters and rst cones). Overall I prefer the old alphas, apart from the plastic facia. The fmj are much better built and have a fancy digital display and controls.

Arcam amps hold value well. The fmj and alpha amps are fetching more money today than they were 6-8 years ago. As long as they are well looked after they are a bargain. The common selector switch problem is cheap and easy to fix for any amp repairer. You will get your money back or not lose much if you buy an Arcam today and sell it in 5 years time.

The A39 were £399 brand new end of the line, discounted from £1200+. Today people are selling them more than that.

The alpha 9r was £499 when new 25+ years ago.
 
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