Cambridge azur 340a questions


New member
Username: Pcpassive

Post Number: 3
Registered: Aug-06
Hello everybody,
I just got myself my first integrated amplifier, a cambridge audio azur 340a. I got this one because i'm on a tight budget, and it got good reviews. My previous "system" was a jvc mxd401t (don't laugh). And of course, the cambridge sounds really wonderful, but in my opinion it lacks a little something, dunno how to describe it, the bass lacks a little punch and the midrange is a little bit dominating, voices sound a little too sharp . BUT i don't got good speakers yet, and that's what i'm here for Who could recommend a good pair of speakers that would match this particular amp? Or would you say.....GEt the 640a? I'm not concerned about power, 40 watts is enough, i just want the best sound possible for the lowest price. Would you say that the 640a sounds "way better" than the 340a, or is it more a question of more watts? My music choice is a variated. Advice really appreciated.

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 858
Registered: Dec-03

First off, you didn't say what speakers you have. That makes a real difference as the speakers may not be a good match for your Cambridge.

However, generally speaking, British designed amps tend to be a bit light in the bass to most North American ears. Don't know why, but it seems North Americans either hear differently or value bass more than our British friends. So, what you are hearing is a common complaint. The Cambridge is a fine integrated amp, but it may not be suited to your tastes.

To answer your question, the 640a would sound better as it has more power and a slightly smoother sound, but also is a bit light in the bass, IMO, so it probably will not solve your problem. It is not just a question of watts, but how the amp is "tuned."

Since you profess to be on a tight budget, you would be much better served with an NAD C325bee. The NAD is THE reference integrated amp for Stereophile and other pubs, and costs just about the same as the Cambridge (you can get it for slightly more than $300). The NAD has much more power (50 wpc, but it also has 3 db of headroom, so it effectely has 100 wpc), and has much more bass info (without getting into a "thumping" problem). Many audio gearheads (I include myself here) think it is the best value in audio gear anywhere. Check it out, I think it will solve your problem.

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 3833
Registered: Dec-04
pc, if you can return th 640(and you mentioned a swap), I would follow Hawks rec. If big power is not a concern, the bee is a great value.

New member
Username: Pcpassive

Post Number: 4
Registered: Aug-06
thanks for the replies so far. I've been reading about the NAD c320bee indeed, and according to the reviews it has a pretty tight bass, so i'm concidering to get that one as it doesn't cost much more than the cambridge, hopefully the dealer will give me my money back. If not, i'm stuck with the cambridge, which isn't bad at all,
it has a whole lot of detail and sounds very musical, it just lacks a little something that i think is impossible to get for it's price (€ 330). If i have to keep it, i'll be asking questions about what speakers would be a good match for it.

Silver Member
Username: James_the_god

Doncaster, South Yorkshire England

Post Number: 301
Registered: Jan-05
Alternatively pcpassive, you could get a subwoofer. Something for around £80-£130. The NAD won't be as detailed and the highs arenn't as extended. Its all subjective, personally I'd rather leave the main speakers to deliver midrange and highs (if its a 2 way design)with out pushing masses of bass out as this can colour the rest of the music.
Just be careful with the subwoofer and the crossover you set it at. You could keep the 340a and buy a subwoofer. For now if you cant afford the subwoofer, you could bi-wire your speakers if you already havent done so to improve the bass?
Its just my opinion, I'd rather go for detail as opposed to punch.
p.s. your forgetting the azur 540a!
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