Cambridge Streams Into Digital

UK based specialist audio-video brand Cambridge is adept with analogue as well as digital formats.

Long recognized as a value for money builder of high performance components, Cambridge now has a new CX series of models tailored to tempt savvy buyers who want all of the above along with leading edge networking features.

The CX range comprises six new models bristling with user friendly, digital features.

Leading the new pack is the CXN Up sampling Network Music Player a machine designed by Cambridge to playback a mountain load of music stored in your digital library or culled from your fave online streaming services in resolutions all the way up to 24bit/192kHz.

Controlling the player is as easy and enjoyable a task as using the intuitive interface on the units nicely detailed 4.3-inch (11cm) screen. Alternatively Cambridge’s new Connect smartphone and tablet apps for Apple and Android can also be used.


Getting to the nitty gritty, the player can be wired or used wirelessly via UPnP on a home network to stream hi-res music from PCs, laptops and NAS drives. A pair of USB drives is included just in case you’d like to playback from USB HDDs or memory sticks. Other connections abound including Toslink optical, S/PDIF coaxial and asynchronous USB audio inputs for playing back hi-res files.

The new player has Apple Airplay and supports an optional BT100 aptX Bluetooth receiver should you need or want to stream from any smartphone or tablet, and many users will chose this option. RCA and XLR outputs ensure the Cambridge drives the majority of modern amplifiers.


But Cambridge hopes these will be its new CXA60 or CXA80 amplifiers. Both are stereo amps that Cambridge says are radically new designs built using high spec parts and loaded with a bundle of desirable connections.

The CX80 is rated at 80 watts per channel, has the option of linking to the aptX Bluetooth receiver and can handle music files streamed from a variety of sources processing these using a Wolfson WM8740 DAC the same as the one used in Cambridge’s award winning DacMagic.

The XA60 is rated at 60 watts per channel and aside from the USB audio input and XLR input carried by the CXA80, has similar digital connections and DAC.


The remaining three CX series models are the CXC CD Transport and two audio video receivers called the CXR120 and CXR200.

The new CD transport was designed to get the best from the new CX series. Under the bonnet is the brand’s famous S3 servomechanism. As befitting its role, the CXC transport has no DACs onboard but works superbly with the DACs carried by the new CX stereo amplifiers.

The CXR120 and VCXR200 receivers are 7.2 channel models with hefty power supplies and HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, 4K and 3D compatibility.

Both are fitted with the same Cambridge Audio StreamMagic music streaming module used in the CX network player. Wired or wireless the pair process all popular music formats including hi-res FLAC, Apple Lossless and WAV.

The pair supports DSD, which means playing back SACDs from a Blu-ray player. There’s also an MHL link enabling direct smartphone connectivity. And yes, you can add the optional aptX Bluetooth receiver.

The new receivers support streaming from Pandora, Spotify Connect and a wide range of other streaming services.

The CXR120 is rated at 120 watts per channel and the CXR200 delivers 200 watts per channel.


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