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Cambridge Audio CXA61

Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC and Bluetooth®

Item # 779CXA61G

A real music lover's amp. 60 watts per channel of pristine power, and plenty of connections for your music sources.

A real music lover's amp. 60 watts per channel of pristine power, and plenty of connections for your music sources.

Item # 779CXA61G

In stock
C$1,449.99

About the Cambridge Audio CXA61

An excellent centerpiece for a two-channel system

The Cambridge Audio CXA61 is a music lover's dream. Its oversized toroidal transformer means it can deliver 60 watts per channel of pure, dynamic power to your speakers. This amp builds on the foundation of its predecessor — the CXA60 — a Crutchfield customer favorite. The new model adds Bluetooth® with aptX® HD encoding for high-quality music streaming from compatible devices.

An excellent centerpiece for a two-channel system

The Cambridge Audio CXA61 is a music lover's dream. Its oversized toroidal transformer means it can deliver 60 watts per channel of pure, dynamic power to your speakers. This amp builds on the foundation of its predecessor — the CXA60 — a Crutchfield customer favorite. The new model adds Bluetooth® with aptX® HD encoding for high-quality music streaming from compatible devices.

Plenty of connections

The CXA61 offers a convenient blend of analog and digital connections for your music sources. There are two Toslink optical digital inputs, a coaxial digital input, and a Type-B USB input for connecting a computer. Four stereo RCA inputs give you plenty of room for analog sources, too. There's a mono subwoofer output, and a stereo RCA line output for passing signal to another amplifier.

Real power for the real world

Cambridge Audio's conservative power rating of 60 watts per channel only tells part of this amp's story. Those watts are generated by a power supply that employs an audiophile-grade toroidal transformer for plenty of steady, low-noise current. The transformer is centrally located inside the chassis to minimize interference with sensitive preamp circuitry, and surrounded by hefty extruded heat sinks for cool, efficient operation. The result is an amp capable of handling the heavy demands of 4-ohm speakers as well as all the dynamic peaks in music that make it sound real.

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Product highlights:

  • 60 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (90 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms)
  • 4-ohm capability allows use with a wide range of speakers
  • THD: 0.02% (20-20,000 Hz at 80% of rated power)
  • built-in high-performance ESS Sabre SE9010K2M DAC
  • toroidal power transformer for low noise and high-current output
  • Bluetooth® wireless connectivity for streaming music from compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers
    • aptX® HD encoding provides high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
  • Class AB amplifier design
  • full-metal casework with thick, brushed aluminum front panel and acoustically damped chassis for enhanced resonance control
  • remote included
Connections:
  • two Toslink optical digital inputs
  • coaxial digital input
  • USB Type-B input for connecting a computer
  • four stereo RCA analog inputs
  • mono RCA subwoofer output
  • stereo RCA preamp output
  • switchable A+B speaker outputs with binding-post connectors
  • control bus input and output for automatic synchronized on/off with compatible Cambridge Audio components
  • 12-volt trigger input and output
  • IR input
  • RS-232C data port
Dimensions and warranty:

What's in the box:

  • Integrated amplifier
  • 6' AC power cord
  • Remote control
  • 3 "AAA" batteries
  • Bluetooth antenna
  • 39" mono-RCA control cable
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Important Safety Instructions

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Cambridge Audio CXA61 reviews

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More details on the Cambridge Audio CXA61

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Performance Specs
Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms) 60
Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms) Not given
Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms) 90
Frequency Bandwidth 20-20k
THD 0.02%
Minimum Impedance 4 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio 105
Digital Music Features
Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) Yes
Bluetooth Built-in 4.2
Wi-Fi N/A
Connections
Total Analog Inputs 5
Phono Input No
Optical Digital Inputs 2
Coaxial Digital Inputs 1
USB Input Yes
Preamp Outputs Stereo, Sub
Headphone Output 3.5mm
Dimensions and Warranty
Width (inches) 16-15/16
Height (inches) 4-1/2
Depth (inches) 14-9/16
Weight (pounds) 19.1
Parts Warranty 3 Years
Labor Warranty 3 Years
The Cambridge Audio CXA61 replaces these items:

Product Research

Features

60 Watts x 2 Channel: Rated at 60 watts x 2 channel into 8 ohms (or 90 watts x 2 channel into 4 ohms), the Cambridge Audio CXA61 integrated amplifier is powerful enough to drive some of the most demanding speakers, yet has the nuance and subtlety demanded by modern recordings. The CXA61's class AB amplifier design, along with its centrally mounted oversized toroidal transformer and extruded heatsinks, will reveal spectacular detail in your music.

Oversized Toroidal Transformer: An oversized toroidal transformer gives the CXA61 a muscular 60 watts of power for each channel. Painstaking engineering gives it super-low levels of distortion and supreme electrical efficiency. The result is an amplifier with limitless reserves of power, ready to maximize the dynamic potential of any loudspeakers and able to play at any volume level without stress or distortion.

Symmetrical & Separated Circuitry: The entire internal layout of the CXA61 is designed to minimize left/right crosstalk and provide astonishing stereo separation, thanks to its symmetrical and separated circuit paths. By entirely separating the left and right channel heat sinks, and using symmetrical and separated circuit paths for the two channels, the CXA61 will deliver stunning stereo separation and minimum cross-channel interference with great soundstage performance.

High-Quality Damped Metal Chassis: The Cambridge Audio CXA61 integrated amplifier features a high-quality damped metal chassis, designed to ensure that nothing rattles or interferes with the electronics.

ESS Sabre ES9010 K2M DAC: Because it's designed to deliver the maximum musical experience no matter where the music is coming from, the CXA61 has an entirely re-engineered digital board featuring the industry-standard ESS Sabre ES9010 K2M digital-to-analog converter. The CXA61 can bring digital audio files up to state-of-the-art 32bit/384kHz and DSD256 resolutions vividly to life.

Bluetooth Audio Streaming w/ aptX HD: The CXA61 features built-in Bluetooth 4.2 with support for wireless music streaming (A2DP) and remote control (AVRCP). You'll be able to wirelessly stream stored music, music apps, and other audio content on your Bluetooth-enabled source device to the integrated amplifier. In addition to support for Bluetooth's standard SBC codec, the CXA61 supports Qualcomm's aptX HD codec that provides much higher-quality sound than previous codec versions (available in a growing number of Android mobile devices and Mac computers). aptX HD preserves sound data through the wireless audio transmission, resulting in a "better-than-CD-quality " (24-bit/48kHz) listening experience.

  • Playback control and song/artist/album information will still need to be done from the Bluetooth source device.
  • Only one device can be paired and connected to the integrated amp at a time.
  • The CXA61 has a Bluetooth wireless range of approximately 32.8 feet.
  • Make sure to connect the included Bluetooth antenna on back of the integrated amp.

USB-B Port: The CXA61's USB-B port allows you to connect your Windows PC Or Mac computer to the integrated amplifier for playback of stored music files (up to 32-bit/384kHz). The CXA61 is both USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) and USB 1.1 (Full-speed) USB port
compatible. It should also work with the new USB 3.0 ports where the PC will simply treat the CXA61 as if it were a USB 2.0 or 1.1 device. The CXA61 supports two USB Audio protocols - USB Audio Class 1 (which works over USB 1.1 ports and
supports up to 24-bit/96kHz) or USB Audio Class 2 (which requires a USB 2.0 port and can support up to 32-bit/384kHz).

  • Windows OS: With the CXA61 switched to USB Audio Class 1 the CXA61 will work with the native Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8 Audio 1.0 driver (no need to load any new driver) and accept audio up to 24-bit/96kHz. With the CXA61 switched to USB Audio Class 2 the CXA61 will work with the same Windows operating system, but will also need the Cambridge Audio USB Audio 2.0 Driver to be loaded and can then accept up to 32-bit/384kHz. Click here for USB 2.0 Audio Driver.
  • Mac OS: With the CXA switched to USB Audio 1.0 the CXA will work with the native Mac OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) or above Audio 1.0 driver and accept audio up to 24-bit/96kHz. With the CXA switched to USB Audio Class 2 the CXA works with the
    native Mac OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) or above Audio 2.0 driver and can accept audio up to 32-bit/384kHz. No extra drivers are required for either setting.

Notes:

  • Always use a high quality USB connection cable certified as USB High-Speed. USB cable connections longer than 9.8' may result in inconsistent audio performance.
  • The Ground/Lift switch enables the USB interface earth to be disconnected from the CXA61 chassis earth. Disconnecting (lifting) the earth can be useful if electronic hum is heard through the speakers when the USB input is selected. The switch should otherwise be left in the Ground position.

Optical & Coaxial Digital Inputs: The CXA61 integrated amp features two optical (toslink) inputs and a S/PDIF coaxial (RCA) digital input so you connect all of your digital sources. The two optical digital inputs support 2ch PCM (up to 24-bit/96kHz), while the coaxial digital input supports 2ch PCM (up to 24-bit/192kHz). The digital inputs do not support multichannel formats, such as Dolby Digital or DTS.

Front-Panel & Rear-Panel Analog Inputs: The CXA61 integrated amplifier also features four stereo RCA inputs and a front-panel 3.5mm Aux input. The CXA61 does not feature a dedicated phono input. If you want to connect a turntable, you'll need a turntable with a built-in phono preamp or an external phono preamp (sold separately - see Accessories Tab).

Outputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA61 integrated amp is outfitted with A-B speaker terminals, a mono-sub output, stereo pre-outs and a headphone jack.

  • A-B Speaker Terminals: The Cambridge Audio CXA61 integrated amplifier is equipped with two sets of gold-plated, binding-post speaker terminals (labeled A and B). The terminals will accept bare wire, spade connectors, single- and dual-banana plugs. (The red and black caps can be removed when using banana plugs.) The use of A and B speaker terminals allow you to hook up speakers in another room. When using a single pair of speakers, use speakers with a nominal impedance of 4 ohms to 8 ohms. When using two pairs of speaker, use only speakers with a minimum nominal impedance of 8 ohms.
  • Subwoofer Output: The CXA61 integrated amp features a mono-subwoofer output for adding a powered subwoofer. To ensure there's no unnecessary high frequency noise affecting the subwoofer, the subwoofer output is filtered at 3kHz. This is high enough to prevent any phase shift associated with the low pass filter affecting what happens below 200Hz. The result is a phase linear subwoofer output signal which is clean and musical.
  • Pre-Outs: The Cambridge Audio CXA61 is equipped with a pair of RCA pre-outs to connect the integrated amp to an external power amplifier.
  • Headphone Jack: The CXA61 integrated amplifier offers a front-panel 3.5mm headphone output to connect a set of headphones for private listening. When headphones are connected, the output to both A/B loudspeakers is muted.

Remote Control: The CXA61 is supplied with an IR remote control that operates this integrated amplifier and other Cambridge Audio CX series components. The remote operates off of three "AAA" batteries (supplied). The CXA61 also features an RS-232C port, a Control Bus In/Out, an IR in, and a Trigger In/Out for custom remote integration.

  • Control Buss In/Out: The Control Bus Input and Output (RCA) allows un-modulated commands from multiroom systems or other components to be received by the amp and loop out to another unit.
  • IR In: The IR input (3.5mm) allows modulated IR commands from an IR repeater or custom install systems to be received by the integrated amplifier.
  • RS-232C Port: The RS-232C port allows you to control the CXA61 from a custom install control system (sold separately).
  • Trigger In/Out: The CXA61's 12V trigger input (3.5mm) can be connected to the trigger control output of home automation equipment to control the power state of the integrated amplifier. The 12V trigger output (3.5mm) can be used to turn on other equipment that has a trigger in.

Auto Power Down: The CXA61 integrated amplifier can be set to automatically go into "Standby mode" if there is no audio signal or operation for approximately 20 minutes.

CAP5 Protection System: Cambridge Audio has developed a proprietary protection system to ensure reliability and a long life for its amplifiers and connected speakers. The CAP5 protection system comprises of five main protection methods -

  • DC Detection: CAP5 offers loudspeaker protection if the output of the amplifier goes to a high constant voltage (DC) because of some internal fault. In this case, the integrated amp will automatically switch off.
  • Over Temperature: CAP5 includes temperature detection which constantly monitors the heat generated by the output transistors. If the monitored temperature reaches a high level, the amplifier will automatically switch into a fault mode and turn off.
  • Overvoltage/Overcurrent: CAP5 offers V/I (voltage/current) protection by constantly monitoring the output transistors to keep them working inside their Safe Operating Area (SOA). The unit will automatically power off during voltage or current protection.
  • Short Circuit: During power up from standby, CAP5 performs a check on the loudspeaker terminals to see if a short across the terminals has been accidentally introduced. If the resistance measured across the loudspeaker terminals is too low the unit will stay in Standby mode until the fault has been removed and Power up is re-attempted.
  • Intelligent Clipping: CAP5 has the ability to detect when the amplifier starts to clip or overdrive at its output, which can damage loudspeakers, and degrade the sound. When clipping is identified, the volume level of the integrated amplifier is automatically reduced.

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Customer Q&A

7 questions already asked

Q
Is the CXA61 able to automatically power on when a signal is detected on the optical input?
[ Giel  Sep 03, 2020 ]
1 answer
A
No you have to physically turn it on or using remote control then select optical input
[ RITCHIE  Sep 03, 2020 ]
Q
Does anyone know of a way to make the subwoofer play ONLY with the "A" speakers and not the "B" speakers?
[ ROBB  Jun 25, 2020 ]
1 answer
A
Hi Robb. If you purchased your Cambridge Audio CXA61 integrated amplifier from Crutchfield, please have your order number handy and reach out to our technical support department. You will find their contact information located at the bottom of your emailed invoice. If you did not purchase from Crutchfield, you may check out the owners manual we have on our site, or submit a request for technical assistance at Cambridge Audio's website: http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/
[ Jess  Jul 13, 2020 ]  Staff
Q
I have 2 Bose bookshelf and a subwoofer inside on A channel and I want to run 4 Bose outdoor speakers on B channel. Can this amp handle it if I play both channels at once?
[ Charlie  Jun 23, 2020 ]
4 answers
A
I run Martin Logan Motion 40i in channel A, and a pair of Polk Audio Outdoor speakers on channel B. I do not generally run both channels at the same time. I think the amp has enough grunt to run them both, However, the ML 40's seem to be more efficient then the Polks and to get good volume outside On the Polks results in very loud volume inside on the ML's. I also wonder how you would run 4 speakers off of a 2 channel source. Good Luck
[ JOHN  Jun 25, 2020 ]
A
Yes. I have a similar setup except that I have 4 indoor speakers on A and 2 outdoor speakers on B. Plenty of power to run both at the same time. My only complaint is that the subwoofer seems to be independent of the A/B selector: it is always on. This means that if I am only running my outdoor speakers, the subwoofer is still playing inside, which sounds pretty weird. I sent a tech support query in to Cambridge about whether there is a way to link the subwoofer to A speakers only but haven't received a response yet (it's only been a few days though) BTW one of the reasons I chose the CXA61 is that it can run either 8 ohms or 4 ohms impedance. I wired my indoor speakers with two 8-ohm left speakers in parallel and two 8-ohm right speakers in parallel so the amp sees 4 ohms impedance on each "A" channel. The outdoor speakers are 8 ohms each so the amp sees 8 ohms impedance on each "B" channel. The amp has no problem running both at the same time.
[ ROBB  Jun 25, 2020 ]
A
Yes
[ BRIAN  Jun 24, 2020 ]
A
Yes
[ Greg  Jun 23, 2020 ]
Q
What made you choose the CXA61 over the CXA81?
[ Andrew  Apr 28, 2020 ]
6 answers
A
did not need the extra watts
[ HOWARD  May 13, 2020 ]
A
I was originally looking for a new amplifier for my office/listening room. I read a lot of reviews for different amplifiers and Cambridge Audio kept coming up, particularly the CXA61 and CXA81. When I listen to music I like to hear instruments clearly and distinctly and I like clean bass. These were attributes I kept reading over and over again in reviews for these two amplifiers along with solid build quality. I also liked the ability to plug in a subwoofer which helped deliver that clean bass. The choice of the CXA61 over the CXA81 finally came down to a budget consideration so I bought the CXA61. The amplifier lived up to all the great reviews and then some. As it turned out I was so impressed that I was going to buy another one for my media room but I was able to take advantage of an opportunity to buy a CXA81 refurbished by Cambridge Audio for the same price as a new CXA61. It has the added bonus of XLR balanced outputs which I wanted for my media room equipment. Unfortunately I was unable to do an A/B comparison of the two models in the same room connected to the same set of speakers. However they both sound impressive in their respective environments. I don't know if this helps make the choice any easier for you but you can't go wrong with either model. By the way, with Crutchfield's 60 day return policy you can't really go wrong. If you don't like one model send it back and try the other.
[ Brian  May 12, 2020 ]
A
I felt that 60wpc would be enough for my space and I used the difference in price to purchase the Rega P3 instead of the P2 :)
[ kristopher  May 12, 2020 ]
A
A couple things... the reviews I've read have been slightly better for the 61, I don't really need the extra wattage (I haven't even cranked the 61 more than 40-50% volumen and that's already mighty loud), and I didn't really want to spend more than $1000. Unless you have a giant space to fill or really low sensitivity speakers, I'd go for the 61.
[ Jonathan  May 12, 2020 ]
A
I chose the CXA61 because 60 watts is enough to meet my needs. My audio equipment is in a fairly small room and I'm using bookshelf speakers. I don't need more than 60 watts. I used this with the CXC cd transport and the Alva TT HD Bluetooth turntable. Sounded great, but I ended up returning the amp and transport because there were no tone controls on the amp or on the remote. I contacted tech support and they confirmed that fact. I was very impressed with the quality and the sound, but it would drive me crazy to not be able to adjust bass and treble, when I wanted to.
[ Dan Kauper  May 12, 2020 ]
A
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget.
[ Krissy  May 12, 2020 ]  Staff
Q
Does the. CXA61 allow for bass and treble changes?
[ LAWRENCE E  Apr 27, 2020 ]
2 answers
A
It does not have adjustable tone controls, No.
[ Calvin  May 21, 2020 ]  Staff
A
No
[ kristopher  May 12, 2020 ]
Q
how can I connected with CXA61 with echo?
[ john  Apr 10, 2020 ]
1 answer
A
You should be able to do so via the Bluetooth feature following the normal pairing procedure.
[ STEVE  Apr 11, 2020 ]
Q
Hi: ihave cxA61 . my question is how.iconnet my cxa61 in my TV lg smart tv?
[ angelo  Apr 10, 2020 ]
1 answer
A
If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer.
[ Krissy  Apr 22, 2020 ]  Staff
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Cambridge Audio CXA81
Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC and Bluetooth®
In stock
32 reviews
C$1,849.99
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More power and connections

The Cambridge Audio CXA81 offers these features:
  • 80 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms
  • balanced XLR stereo input
  • ESS Sabre SE9016K2M DAC
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