Cambridge Audio Azur?


Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 66
Registered: Jul-12
What do you guys think about a Cambridge Audio Azur 351R 5.1 ?

I'm thinking about getting one. It's $800. I could get the Azur 551R which is a 7.1 for $1200 - the only difference being that I could bi-amp my fronts. I have Klipsch RF-52 II fronts - with dual 5.25" woofers - which i'll likely cut off at 80Hz or higher to fix a standing waves issue. I'm listening at low volumes. Would bi-amping really do me any good in my case or would it be a monumental waste of $400?

I could buy a Yamaha RX-V675 7.1 for $400. Essentially half the price. The Cambridge Audio would most certainly have a higher sound quality than the Yamaha but would it really be that much? Would it be a noticeable difference?

I was talking to my engineer friends today about the Cambridge Audio - they said that at low wattage that thing would have linearity very close to a class A tube amp. Sounds too good to be true. Of course it wouldn't have that deep midrange tubes are known for.

Help me decide. Is CA really that much better than Yamaha? Does bi-amping really help with small woofers running at low wattage (and a high-pass filter) ??

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2225
Registered: Oct-10
I don't have experience with Cambidge Audio, but I've heard good things about them. As far as bi-amping goes, I think you'd be bi-wiring, NOT bi-amping your fronts unless the receiver has a 9 channel power amp and it's configured so that you can bi-amp. Most people who've bi-wired speakers that I've spoken to are not very impressed by it. The concept touted by Monster and other speaker wire companies is that it's for time correction. The idea is that one set speaker terminals is wire to the woofer on a straight run and the other set is wired to the midrange and tweeter and the wire for the mid & tweeter is wrapped around the woofer wire. They claim that higher frequency signals in recorded music travel slightly faster than lower frequency signals. So, by making the mid/tweeter run longer, the bass, mid and treble should all arrive at the same time. It all depends on how much of this hype you by into. Monster cable is little pricey. Audio Quest is even more so. It would probably be rather upsetting to spend the money on time correction cable and not hear an advantage.

Bi-amping OTOH, is when the signal runs from the preamp to an electronic crossover. The bass is fed to one power amp channel and the woofers. The mids and highs are fed to another amp channel and the midrange and tweeter. The advantage is that each amp channel has a smaller portion of the spectrum to deal with than simply running full range. IF Azur 551R has a 9 channel power amp, preamp outs and power amp ins, you'd probably need to buy an electronic crossover in order to bi-amp your speakers. If everything below 80 Hz is filtered to the subwoofer(s), you might not realize any real advantage to bi-amping. I'm not saying you shouldn't try it. You might want to try it single amped and bi-amped and see what sounds best to you.

Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 3033
Registered: Oct-07
Here, Dave......Read THIS and ask some more questions.

Lots going on with TRUE bi amping.
My panels, for example, can be biamp'd easily with just the removal of a pair of jumpers.....linking the hi and lo pass elements of the crossover.

To use an external Active OR Passive intented to go between amplifier and pre amplifier...I'd need to do some rewiring and basically disconnect the speakers internal crossover.

Some biamp guys make issues of amplifier gain while some like to mix-n-match by putting a SS amp for bass and a tube amp for treble.....not my style. however.

anyway, give the article a read and look up part II on your own......

Bronze Member
Username: Dlovell2001

Alexandria, Virginia United States

Post Number: 67
Registered: Jul-12
This was some very interesting reading. I like to learn the details of stuff. Thanks.

I'm not talking about true bi-amping as described in that article nor am I talking about bi-wiring. I'm talking about something in-between.

These modern receivers have 7 discrete amps in them. The 2 receivers I was asking about are both 7.2 channel amps. If you have a 5.1 speaker system you end up with 2 unused amps. The AVR allows the user to "assign" these 2 amps to be used either as "Surround Back" speakers, "Front Presence" speakers, they can be used to power "Zone 2" speakers or they can be configured for "Bi-amp." At least that's what the AVR calls it. It simply sends the exact same signal out of the surround back channels that it sends to the front channels. Effectively you now have 4 amps sending the front signals - 2 amps for Left and 2 for Right.

My speakers are bi-amp capable - or so it says - meaning there are 2 sets of connections on the back - one set for the LF driver and one set for the HF driver. So i'd essentially be using an amp to drive the woofers and another amp to drive the tweeters. The passive crossovers inside the speakers are still used. As I understand it the HF and LF filters are separate - not connected in any way - so feedback from the woofers cannot affect the HF drivers. That's apparently the gain from this setup.

I'm not interested in increasing total power.

I guess I could always try it and see if it helps. You'd think that article would address this arrangement since almost every receiver you can buy nowadays for under $1000 touts the "bi-amp" capability. It's not the same as bi-wiring. But apparently not "true" bi-amping.

I have heard of people using SS for LF and a tube for HF in speakers with the applicable xover around 300Hz. My xover is 1.7 kHz. I'd want the tube on the LF side of that if I was going to pick one. That's a hard call. In my case it's assigning 2 unused SS amps to bi-amp the fronts rather than be unused. It costs me nothing but the time to hook it up. Does it help? It should. How much? We'll see. I'll tell you waht I find. Thanks

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2232
Registered: Oct-10
I recently saw a Yamaha receiver wired to either be a part of a 7.2 channel system or a 5.1 with front left & right bi-amped. I don't have slightest clue how well this will work out compared to true bi-amping. I'd guess not as well. Again, please take some time with this and really evaluate your goals before proceeding. Impulse buying rarely, if ever, yields good results.
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