Cambridge Audio celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new high-end series
2018 marks 50 years since Professor Gordon Edge came up with Cambridge Audio's first product, the P40 integrated amplifier. And so it seems rather fitting that one of the British company's founders is the inspiration for this new high-end series, released specifically to celebrate its golden anniversary. In a marked change from Cambridge's more traditional affordable fare, the new Edge series is designed to bring
all of the company's experience in 'Great British Sound' to produce its most accomplished system to date. Consequently, every product has been selected for its sonic merit through an exhausting set of blind auditions, rather than working towards a price, featureset or series of measurements.
The result is a stunningly distinctive series with a simple, approachable design and friendly menus. Signal paths have been kept as short as possible, capacitors completely removed (in the case of the Edge W power amp), Class XA amplification utilised to give the sound quality benefits of Class A but with greater efficiency, and opposing symmetry twin toroidal transformer arrangement that cancels out magnetic interference while offering impressive power levels.
Kicking off the range, the £4,500 Edge A amplifier offers a quoted 2x 100W RMS into 8ohm speaker loads (doubling into 4ohm), a headphone stage and a USB input that supports music files up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256. Additional connectivity includes S/PDIF coaxial and optical Toslink digital inputs plus aptX HD Bluetooth and AirPlay support alongside balanced and unbalanced analogue inputs and a 6.35mm headphone output.
The £3,500 Edge NQ preamp and network player features a new version of StreamMagic and is fitted with a Class 2.0 USB port supporting PCM files up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD up to DSD256, while the optical Toslink and coaxial S/PDIF inputs offer up to 24-bit/96kHz. Features like Spotify Connect, AirPlay and Chromecast are included, while aptX and aptX HD Bluetooth is also on hand.
Completing the range, Cambridge describes the £2,500 Edge W as the best power amp it's ever made. With just 14 components in the signal path, it's claimed to deliver pure, unfiltered British sound with incredible power. It offers a quoted 2x 100W RMS (into 8ohm) continuous power output (and again, is rated at twice that with 4ohm loads) and like the Edge A has a USB input that supports up to 32-bit/ 384kHz PCM and DSD256. The Edge series will be available in the UK at selected Richer Sounds stores and you can find out more about it here.
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