Suggestion for used Arcam/Cambridge Power Amps

KrisK99

Standard Member
I've been using the front L/R preouts from my AVR into my cambridge cxa80 for movie watching as i really like the sound quality i get out of the cambridge cxa80 vs just running the Front L/R speakers (Klipsch RP-8000f) directly out of the AVR. have been doing this for a while now and running phantom centre.
but now i am looking to add a centre channel (Klipsch rp-504c) and would like to grab a second hand arcam/cambridge power amp so i can run the centre preout from my AVR into it and run my centre off it.

was initially thinking to get another cxa80 but then i thought to save a bit of money i will just look at getting a arcam or cambridge power amp. looking for something in the used market. would like something that would be a good match to my cxa 80
looking for suggestions on what model numbers to keep an eye out for as they come up.

also, so far i have found the following used models come up, would like some opinions as to whether they wil be a good match and worth the purchase.
i'm in australia so these listed below is what's come up on the second hand market here so far, and budget wise trying to get something relatively cheap , but if i have to go higher up the price range to find something suitable, then happy to look at those options too.

  • Arcam P90
  • Cambridge Azur 340A / 650A / 651A
  • Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 / SR10 v2 / AM5
  • Cambridge Audio A1 v3
  • Cambridge Audio A75
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Why not just try the AVR for the centre amplification. There should be no difference in timbre providing you match the speaker to the left and right model range. It's the AVR's pre-amp that is the dominant audio, not that of the power amp. A good power amp should do nothing more than amplify the incoming signal.
 

KrisK99

Standard Member
With the way I have it connected , isn’t it using the preamp, dac and power amp of the cxa80 for the front L/R? It’s a day and night difference if I connect the speakers direct to the avr (Yamaha rx-a1080)
 

KrisK99

Standard Member
Update : Ive also got an opportunity to buy an audiolabs m-pwr. Using this on the centre channel, would it match well with the cxa80 on front L/R ?
TIA
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
With the way I have it connected , isn’t it using the preamp, dac and power amp of the cxa80 for the front L/R? It’s a day and night difference if I connect the speakers direct to the avr (Yamaha rx-a1080)

You certainly wouldn't be using the Cambridge DAC for movie watching if it's being fed by the analogue pre-outs of the Yamaha.

Does the Cambridge have HT bypass or are you just setting the Cambridge volume control to a set point for movie watching? If the latter then you are using the preamp in both amps.
 

KrisK99

Standard Member
It doesn’t have ht bypass so I’m doing the latter. In that case I guess it means the better SQ I’m hearing is due to the Cambridge having a better analogue output stage + the preamp and
power amplification that I get .
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't like to say as it would be guesswork but if it's the Cambridge pre section changing the sound for the better, then you wouldn't get the same benefit from a simple power amp on the centre channel. The only reason to add one is if the one in the Yamaha's amp just isn't up to the job. I think I'd just run the centre straight from the AVR if it were me.
 

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