Two-channel Solid State Music Systems Group Test (Cambridge Audio, NAD, ARCAM and more)

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Cambridge Audio Azur 540C CD Player (Version 2) and Azur 540A Integrated Amplifier (Version 2)

Canada HiFi write: It’s truly remarkable just how different the same CD album can sound on different two-channel music systems. Every amplifier and every CD player has their own sound characteristics and qualities. Sometimes these characteristics are subtle and other times they can be very obvious. Below we evaluate three two-channel music systems ranging from $1000 to $2000, in a side by side comparison. Each system is composed of a two-channel integrated amplifier and a matching CD player from the same manufacturer.

To perform our listening tests, we connected each two-channel system to our reference Axiom Audio M80 v2 floorstanding speakers. These speakers have a frequency response rated from 34 Hz to 22 kHz (+/- 3 dB), an impedance of 4 Ohms and a sensitivity of 95 dB. We chose the M80s from Axiom Audio because they are natural sounding speakers with a revealing nature in a price range suitable for pairing up with our two-channel evaluation systems. The sound from each CD player to each integrated amplifier was supplied using a standard Monster Cable interconnect cable. The speakers were connected using regular 12-gauge speaker wires. The listening tests were performed by editors Suave Kajko and Octavio Umana.

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