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Cambridge Audio Azur 640

the thin end of the wedge

Cambridge Audio Azur 640

Postby rhmbus » 19 May 2007 06:52

going back to the drawingboard with the lite audio valve phono and still musing over the WAD 3 kit i am in need of a phonoamp for the main system .. the Dino+ is in my sons set up(cant be an indian giver)
the G slee is in my daughters system(never realy impressed)
this leaves me with a maplin special from far Cathay or an excuse to spend £60 on the cambridge audio azur 640 as a stop gap untill i opt for the WAD(we all know thati will get it in the end) and get the time to build it
has anyone used the Cambridge unit and has first hand experience of the same , ive read some revues( lies, damn lies , and stats)and know fullwell it will be apart and "tweaked over the weekend. so lets hear from you folks
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Postby rhmbus » 19 May 2007 20:28

picked up the azur this pm plugged in very impressed ,at a £60 price it sounds first class. first lets have a look at the psu! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Postby michaelwnz » 20 May 2007 04:50

I've used the 640P.

If it's fixed gain and loading suits your cartridge then it is a great little phono stage.

Very easy to listen to and doesn't give away much to more expensive phono stages.

A true bargain.

:D
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Postby rhmbus » 20 May 2007 06:45

i must agree, i have compared the azur with some decent oposition and it does well, once it has settled down propperly with its new 1.5 amp supply
ill try tarting up some components
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Postby ben556473 » 20 May 2007 12:41

Can I ask what cartridge you are using with it? Also is it a solid state design or one using operational amplifier IC's? I had a look on thier websit ebut didn't say, cheers Ben.
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Postby rhmbus » 20 May 2007 16:46

im using a fidelity reserch mc 201 and a dynavector10x4 havnt opend the case yet will let you know later this week.
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Postby ben556473 » 20 May 2007 16:48

Cheers.
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Postby ben556473 » 29 May 2007 16:40

I have bought one of these 640p phonostages myself at the weekend. Listening to it compared to the internal stage in my modded NAD 302 I find there to be greater detail and more spatial awareness but less tonal depth. The unit will require running in until the end of next week but things look promising for a component upgrade in the near future to bring back the realism of tone. Onwards and upwards. :D Can I ask Rhmbus is there a large change in sound after it has broken in properly?
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Postby rhmbus » 30 May 2007 15:58

in a word yes
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Postby ben556473 » 30 May 2007 18:42

I shall look forward to it, I must confess to being apprehensive about bringing op-amps into my hi-fi as I listen to them most of the day (I repair laptops) but have given them some thought and believe that the extremely clean environments that IC's are made in and the high purity metals used could certainly go some way to 'explaining' why they sound so good. Also I think they might remove some problematic characteristics found in conductors due to their miniscule size (of the conductors). These are only thoughts mind you. :)
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Postby rhmbus » 30 May 2007 19:30

when the price of this unit is taken into account ,the quality of build,components and finish how do they do it. the sound improoves in the third week of running in and uprating the powersupply gives more depth.still thinking of the WAD 3 although at 8x the price of the azur it dont shine so bright no more
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Postby ben556473 » 31 May 2007 06:58

I would be interested in finding out more about the power supply you are using for it. :) I intend replacing all resisitors and caps in a few weeks as I think the unit is probably a 'keeper'. With Black Gates and Shinko or Audio Note resistors it should sound really nice.
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Postby ben556473 » 11 Jun 2007 20:21

My Azur has broken in and is sounding more open and free. I took it apart this evening just to see what caps are in there and to see how well it is made/designed. It is very neat and tidy inside with good soldering for the most part. There are a few components that are sat a little high at one end but that is just me being overly critical. The power section is surrounded by an aluminium 'wall' on the other side are two almost identical amplifier circuits, one for MM and one for MC, both have the 'discrete' components shielded by a small square of copper. All in all a very nicely made thing for £60! I have made a list of the caps inside and shall sort out what to use over the next week or so. This unit is small and I shall have to keep an eye on the size of the replacement components but other than this it appears to be a simple enough job.
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Postby Jagner » 15 Jun 2007 04:07

I've been using the azur 640P for two years, I do agree with one poster concerning the Azur's lack of tonal depth, but the overall dynamics is very satisfactory for it's price.

By the way, I did compare this with the Pro-Ject phonostage, difference is hardly noticeable, except that the Azur did provide better detail. :)

I also opened my Azur to check on what parts that can be modded.... and the first item I'm looking at is the power supply, if this can be converted to using DC batteries. Any ideas :roll:
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Postby ben556473 » 15 Jun 2007 17:21

Yes I have looked into this and believe the best solution is to use a gel type lead acid battery (Yuasa) which would be continuously trickle charged from a charger made specifically for that purpose by the battery manufacturer. This will enable the unit to be kept on all the time and remove it from the mains supply. It would also be possible to listen without the charger on so as to see if there is any difference in sound quality without this. If an identical plug to the one on the wall wart power supply that came with the phono stage can be bought then no modifications will be needed allowing the original supply to be used if ever required. :D
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