In a bid to make the brand more accessible to cash-strapped buyers, Cambridge Audio has introduced a new entry-level line-up of stereo components. The new AX family consists of two stereo integrated amplifiers, two CD players, and a pair of stereo receivers.
While not exactly budget beaters (especially not given our weak currency, freight costs and import duties) the AX range promises to bring the British marque’s highly regarded sonic performance to a broader audience..
Designed and developed in the UK (but almost certainly assembled in the Far East), the AX range features clean, clutter-free casework and a minimalist approach as far as unnecessary frills are concerned. Instead, it places the emphasis firmly on sound quality.
The AX A25 and A35 integrated amplifiers are good for 25 watts and 35 watts per channel respectively. The A25 makes do without a remote control, and provides four RCA inputs, as well as a 3,5 mm stereo minijack input on the front panel.
Don’t be fooled by the USB Type A input, though: it’s not meant for flash drives, but is designed to accommodate a Bluetooth receiver, which then allows streaming capability from smart devices.
The more powerful A35 gets a remote handset, a front display, a phono stage, and a headphone jack. Like all the AX Series components, the amps can be had in silver or black.
The inclusion of two CD players might take some by surprise, but is an indication of how popular the shiny discs still are. The only difference between the C25 and dearer C35 is the addition of a digital output to the latter.
The two FM/AM stereo receivers are badged AXR85 and AXR100, and as that nomenclature suggests, output is 85 watts and 100 watts respectively. The AXR85 makes provision for driving two speaker sets, while also offering three input sets, Bluetooth, a phono stage and a front-panel minijack input.
The more powerful AXR100 gains an integrated DAC with a coaxial RCA and a pair of Toslink optical digital inputs.
South African availability and pricing has not been confirmed, but it’s unlikely that the receivers will be included in the local AX offering.