About the Cambridge Audio CXA80
Designed for people who are serious about music
Designed for people who are serious about music
When you hear your favorite music played through the CXA80, you'll know you're hearing it the way it was meant to be heard. That's because the dedicated team of music lovers at Cambridge Audio poured a lot of engineering know-how into its design. Every facet of what goes on inside this potent integrated amp was carefully considered to ensure every last drop of detail in your favorite recordings comes shining through. Cambridge didn't forget the outside, either. The CXA80 sports a classic-yet-modern design that looks as beautiful as it sounds.
Flexible connectivity, including high-res USB
The CXA80 gives you versatile options for enjoying analog and digital music sources alike. Its asynchronous USB port provides a clean, low-jitter connection for streaming music files up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution from your computer. Optical and coaxial digital audio inputs let you connect other sources like a TV, CD player, Blu-ray player, or a network streaming device. All digital inputs feed the CXA80's high-performance Wolfson digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for a powerful sonic upgrade. And there's plenty of room for your analog sources, too, including a pair of balanced XLR inputs for a noise-free connection to high-end components. You can even stream music directly from your Bluetooth® enabled portable devices by adding Cambridge Audio's optional BT100 adapter.
Real power for the real world
At the heart of the CXA80 is a high-performance, 80 watt-per-channel amplifier. Cambridge Audio's conservative power rating only tells part of this amp's story. Each channel's 80 watts are generated by a power supply that employs an audiophile-grade toroidal transformer for plenty of steady, low-noise current. Separate windings and transformer taps for the left and right channels, along with twin rectifiers and separate power supply units for each channel, provide dual mono operation that delivers maximum stereo separation for a wide, enveloping soundstage. The transformer is also centrally located inside the chassis to minimize interference with sensitive preamp circuitry, and it's surrounded by hefty extruded heat sinks for cool, efficient operation.
In addition to its ample power output, this integrated amp uses symmetrical and separately laid out right- and left-channel circuits with a greatly reduced component count in the signal path compared to previous models. This keeps distortion and interference from cluttering the signal, for rich, multi-layered sound. The result of all that beefy construction 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.
Tone controls, direct mode, and room for extra speakers
The CXA80 features two pairs of speaker connectors, front-panel treble and bass controls, and Direct mode for bypassing these tone controls if you desire even purer sound. There's also a subwoofer output and preamp outs for expanding your system, as well as a front-panel headphone jack for private late-night music listening.
- 80 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (120 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 Wolfson WM8740 DAC
- toroidal power transformer for low noise and high-current output
- separate transformer taps for left and right channels, twin rectifiers and separate power supply units for dual mono operation of the left and right power amplifiers
- separate left and right channel heat sinks and symmetrical separated circuit paths for maximum stereo separation and minimal cross-channel interference
- high-quality ALPs film-type volume control provides superb low-level channel balance and stereo imaging
- relay-based input source switching with silver-plated contacts for maximum signal transfer
- full-metal casework with thick, brushed aluminum front panel and acoustically damped chassis for enhanced resonance control
- USB (Type B) input for connection to a computer
- supported bit depth and sample rates: up to 24-bit/192kHz
- dedicated Cambridge Audio USB 2.0 driver required for 24-bit/192kHz playback on a Windows® PC (free USB driver download available from Cambridge Audio website)
- 2 optical and 1 coaxial digital audio inputs
- balanced stereo XLR inputs provide connectivity for high-end and professional audio sources
- 4 stereo RCA audio inputs, 1 front-panel minijack (3.5mm) audio input
- Bluetooth®-ready with optional Cambridge Audio adapter
- 1 stereo RCA preamp output and a dedicated mono subwoofer output
- minijack headphone output
- switchable A+B speaker outputs with binding-post connectors
Other Info and Specs:
- class A/B amplifier design
- asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound
- ground lift switch to eliminate potential noise through USB connection
- 16-15/16"W x 4-1/2"H x 13-7/16"D
- weight: 19.1 lbs.
- If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in your TV's audio menu. The built-in DAC cannot decode multi-channel Dolby® Digital signals.
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # C10764K
What's in the box:
- Stereo integrated amplifier
- 6' AC power cord
- Remote control (RC-CXA/C/N)
- 3 "AAA" batteries
- 39" mono-RCA control cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Important Safety Instructions. "Thank You" card
Cambridge Audio CXA80 reviews
I purchased the CXA80 as a way for me to get into quality audio equipment. I love music but have never treated myself to a decent stereo. I was gifted a set of older Polk speakers from a family member and wanted to ride the wave by purchasing some equipment that I could build on. After researching reviews, I chose the CXA80 along with the Transport and Network Player. I liked that fact that they were build to be used together and offered many quality internals; And the look of this series is fantastic! The problem for me came when I turned it on. The life from speakers was gone. The highs were muted and base was struggling. The lows sounded as if I went from a 12" woofer to 4" car speaker. I didn't really understand what was going on. I upgraded my cables to Audioquest to troubleshoot and while that did help a little, my speakers didn't sound as good as they did with my old Luxman receiver. I read that some equipment require a "burn in" period before they open up. That didn't appear to be the case with me. However, what was notably improved were the mids...voices and solo instruments were incredible, almost overbearing when turned up. Mellow jazz and classical music sounded great but hip hop, electronica and R&B were lackluster. My tastes in music is all over the place so I need equipment that is well rounded. I believe this amp is great for people who listen to a very specific type of music where warm tones are valued over dynamics.
0 of 0 found this helpful
Using this amplifier in a secondary system driving Monitor Audio Silver 200's. Good soundstage. Very articulate. Great connectivity for both analog and digital sources. Highly recommend.
Pros: Great connectivity Good soundstage Plenty of power for midsized room
Cons: IR codes were not available to merge with Comcast remote. Used the ARCAM codes and works perfectly.
1 of 1 found this helpful
This CXA80 replaced a 30 year old JVC integrated amp that was failing on the left channel. I decided I wanted to get away from the Japanese manufacturers and their overly bright sound. It was time for a change--something with a warmer sound, but still with detail and dynamics. After 2 weeks of critical listening to various types of music with this and the Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport, the sound is more natural, detailed and sounds as it does in real life. Vocals, guitars, drums, Orchestra- all lively and detailed. The channel separation is so much better too! I had been missing a lot. I think the CXA80 is at the cusp of the cost/benefit ratio. You can spend more, but will the improvement be worth the price? Whether your looking to replace an existing unit or starting from scratch give the CXA80 a listen--a good listen!
Pros: Powerful, open, spacious sound Great left and right channel separation Excellent sound staging and depth
Cons: None at this time
2 of 2 found this helpful
I got a Cambridge Audio CXA80 to replace my old and failing NAD C370. What an amazing upgrade. Though I did showroom audition the C370 way back when and it seemed amazing at that time, with my home audio components it never revealed the sound stage depth and clarity that the CXA80 now does with those same components. It took a little burn in time for the bass to be fully revealed, but again, its bass fidelity puts the C370 to shame. As for gripes, its speaker terminals are sadly low end for its price point. My speak cable spade lugs simply would not fit; other amps I've owned they had fit fine. To get a secure, tight fitting connection, I had to snip a tine off from each spade! Overall it seems odd to me they'd include an XLR input (IMO rather unnecessary at this price point) while so cheaping out on these terminals. Also, it's practically impossible to know the volume level from looking at the control knob. This omission is somewhat ironic considering its overly lit up input selection indicators (which fortunately can dimmed or disabled from the remote). For my gripes I docked a star. But in the end, the CXA80 delivers where is counts: filling my living room with lusciously expansive and detailed music. It's as if a veil has been lifted off my music collection. Symphonic classical recordings sound just like I'm sitting in the concert hall (providing the recording was well produced...some I now know weren't).
Pros: -80W of sonic bliss (seems like it's a lot more) with its lusciously expansive sound stage. -Lots of inputs. -Excellent quality integrated DAC. -Modestly sized enclosure, reasonable heat levels.
Cons: -Sadly low end-ish speaker terminals. -Practically impossible to know the volume level (unless its playing music).
4 of 4 found this helpful
This intergrated amp is fantastic. 80 strong watts per channel and all the inputs you need. I auditioned other amps in the same price range and the Cambridge CXA80 sounded the best. Worth a look!
Pros: Sound. Inputs. Great cost performance ratio.
Cons: Lacks phono preamp, but at this level you probably have a stand alone.
1 of 1 found this helpful
My first amp purchased separately from a receiver. Paired with aeromax 2 speaker from the same maker this was a very, very good upgrade from my 25 yr old speakers and receiver.
Pros: Excellent sound reproduction
2 of 4 found this helpful
I'm conflicted about this. The amp is beautiful, aesthetically. I love the old-school look to it with the modern connectivity options. It sounds wonderful with my KEF LS50s. But... I have gotten two units that are defective in exactly the same way. You hit the mute button to mute the sound. Then hit the mute button again to unmute it. All is well, except that now the unit will randomly mute itself for a while, putting itself back into mute mode, with the mute indicator blinking and everything. You turn the unit off, then back on again, and it works fine again. Swapped out the first one, and the replacement seemed fine. Now the second one does the very same thing. After two of them, this seems more like a problem with poor manufacturing, which is actually more troubling. So, bottom line... I recommend this unit, but be careful.
Pros: Looks great, sounds great, perfect for minimalist design
Cons: Low-quality binding posts. Apparent manufacturing problems.
17 of 17 found this helpful
Upgraded from a 1980s-era Harman Kardon and, wow, things have changed! I loved the warmth the HK had and this amp has it, too.
Pros: Warm, great sounding amp.
Cons: No easy way to see what volume is set to.
1 of 6 found this helpful
Surprised at the sonic performance and features of the cxa80. Way beyond my expectations at this price level. Crutchfield provided prompt delivery service and I am very happy with the purchase.
Pros: performance and features
2 of 7 found this helpful
Some of my almost thirty year old components were failing. Restoration started with this Cambridge Audio CXA80 and some Audioquest type 4 bulk cables to my Klipsch Heresy II speakers. Man alive! I've tested some cds using the direct sound which bypasses tonal adjustment. It is foundation shaking with Santana's Supernatural, the Doors Stoned Immaculate, Pink Floyd's DSOTM Master disc, Depeche Mode, AC/DC LTBR....... just at noon on the volume dial. Unreal channel separation. Cassette playback improved just like the cds did. My speakers, considered harsh and/or "punchy" with the mid to treble horn's response are more warm at this direct setting than with the treble turned down on my old Nakamichi SR-3A or Yamaha RX1100 (RIP). I know it's a combination of the amp and cables (the bananas would not connect to the SR-3A for a before and after test). Bass is more textured and better than ever on these old speakers, the chorus and upwards in the khz is more full and detailed than I've ever heard or expected. Realistic, clean sound is what you'll get from the CXA80. Without a doubt, I'm happy with my research and this product! Can't wait to replace the turntable and get into the records. Then I'll be eyeing the CXC of course!
Pros: Exceptional channel separation. CLEAN (low THD), high S-N ratio, detailed, powerful sound. Connectivity for uses I don't even use now. Aesthetically smart & simple.
Cons: No record-out or phono amp. You want it, you've got to PAY for it.
3 of 8 found this helpful
I recently bought the Yamaha R-S700. I liked it, but the yamaha "natural" sound wasn't as satisfying as my old NAD 3130 integrated or my first Stereo Receiver an H.H. Scott. The Yamaha had a clinical sound, accurate, but lacking something. I asked a Crutchfield salesperson and I was recommended either an NAD or Cambridge Audio integrated amp. I chose the Cambridge for the powered subwoofer out and USB connection for use with my computer. The sound is rich, powerful, and much warmer than the Yamaha. Acoustic guitar and Bass sound wonderful. The soundstage is wide. It is perfectly matched to my Vintage Genesis Physics 320 Floorstanding speakers. Not a hint of distortion and a very powerful, lively sound. The Yamaha is 100 watts RMS, the Cambridge 80 watts RMS, but the Cambridge is much more powerful. I also have an OPPO 103 Blue Ray and a SVS SB-1000 subwoofer. All sound great paired with the CXA80. I'm very happy I got this integrated amp.
Pros: Warm, powerful sound, excellent soundstage. Plenty of analog and digital connections.
Cons: My only gripe is when you adjust the volume nothing is displayed to give you an indication of the volume increase/decrease. Of course you can hear the change.
14 of 22 found this helpful
This is the driver for my Cambridge CX-series system. I have it paired with the CXC and CXN for digital audio. For analog it is taking a feed from my Rega Planar 3 through the Cambridge CP2. Speakers are the Monitor Audio Silver 8s. I have the CXN acting as the DAC for itself and the CXC, so the CXA80 is fed via XLR cables. Great complement of connectivity options and plenty of power to drive the MA Silver 8s. High quality build. Very balanced.
Pros: Connectivity, Power, Clarity
6 of 14 found this helpful
So my story....I had purchased the NAD 356DAC from Crutchfield, upgrading my older NAD integrated. Unfortunately it arrived with some technical issues, so I had to send it back. (The return process went flawlessly, by the way) During the transfer process I had a brief talk with technical support about both Cambridge Audio and Peachtree amplifiers. Since this Cambridge amp was next on my list as a choice, I decided on the spur of the moment to give it a try. Needless to say, I am really enjoying this amp. It's a balanced, well designed, full featured product. The overall sound is broader and more spacious than what I'm used to with NAD. While the deep midrange and bass is not as strong, it is more than made up for in detail and force. Vocals are point forward without being bright, the bass is more on the musical side of sound then the standard thump-a-dump. I'm currently using all of the digital outs, and I can attest that the Wolfson DAC in this iteration can hold it's own with my standalone Peachtree DAC (i.e. Sabre). If you compare a features list the CX80 trumps the NAD 356DAC, but really it's about how the amp sounds with your set-up and within your space. I have nothing against NAD and will continue to purchase their products, but I'm keeping the CX80 because it just sounds right to me--it fits my space and speakers and current listening choices. And, you know, I'm in my 50's and change is good, right?
Pros: Feature list, particularly the multiple digital inputs, pre-out, sub out, USB input for either power or the bluetooth dongle, two speaker design. This is in addition to the impressive tech specs, including the dual mono operation. I particularly like the display and remote. It's a quality amp from a great company with plenty of power and a full feature set for under a grand---can't beat that.
Cons: One thing that set me off was the quality of the speaker posts. They are flimsy, and just feel off compared to the quality of the rest of the build. Y But they work, and this is a new design--lets hope they address some fine tuning in the next version. Also, the volume knob should have an indent or raised mark for viewing the level. Minor annoyances.
13 of 13 found this helpful
Great mid-fi buy. Looking for power to run a 2 speaker set-up and could not be more pleased. Simple interface , several connection options, wicked quite , with great detail to music via Spotify and CD. Cambridge packaging is nice touch too.
Pros: Quite Loud Clean Detailed
Cons: Will immediately expose any weak spots in your system, you and your bank account have been warned.
12 of 19 found this helpful
More details on the Cambridge Audio CXA80
Features & specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||80|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||120|
|Minimum Impedance||4 ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||Not Given|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||Yes|
|High-resolution Audio Playback||FLAC, AIFF|
|Total Analog Inputs||5|
|Optical Digital Inputs||2|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||1|
|Preamp Outputs||Stereo, Sub|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
80 Watts x 2 Channel: Rated at 80 watts x 2 channel into 8Ω (or 120 watts x 2 channel into 4Ω), the Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amplifier is powerful enough to drive some of the most demanding speakers, yet has the nuance and subtlety demanded by modern recordings.
Dual Mono Design: The CXA80 integrated amp employs separate transformer taps for left/right channels, twin rectifiers and separate PSUs that give dual mono operation of the left and right power amplifiers for incredible presence, performance, and sound imaging.
Oversized Toroidal Transformer (Dual-Mono Windings): The CXA80 integrated amplifier 's power comes from an oversized audiophile-grade toroidal transformer, which keep magnetic flux level extremely low, benefiting the other internal components. Separate dual mono windings on a low-flux toroidal transformer further enhance performance and together these design details deliver incredible control over your speakers on a wide, enveloping, captivating sound stage. The toroidal transformer is mounted centrally inside the chassis of the integrated amp to reduce flux or magnetic disturbance from the volume pot.
Symmetrical & Separated Circuitry: The entire internal layout of the CXA80 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 CXA80 will deliver stunning stereo separation and minimum cross-channel interference with great soundstage performance.
Volume Pot: An ALPs film volume pot delivers accurate volume control and superb low level channel balance.
Dynamic Thermal Tracking Transistors: The output power transistors used by the CXA80 incorporate integrated Dynamic Thermal Tracking. Integrated Dynamic Thermal tracking provides a far more accurate reading of the real temperature of a transistor, and relays it faster too because it's not a delayed heating effect. This enables Cambridge Audio to bias the amplifier more accurately and in almost real time; which means the CXA80 is always running at optimum performance.
24-Bit/192kHz DAC: The CXA80 has been designed from the ground up with built-in digital to analog conversion capabilities. Using a high-specification 24-bit/192kHz WM8740 DAC chip from Wolfson, the CXA80 offers a powerful upgrade for all your digital sources.
Fully Balanced Signal Management: Cambridge Audio engineers decided to go fully balanced rather than single-ended all the way through. As a consequence, any noise that that might be picked up in the audio signal while routing through the amplifier is cancelled before it's output.
Tone Controls + Direct Mode: The CXA80 integrated amplifier has independent Bass (20Hz) and Treble (20kHz) controls. Or, you can select Direct Mode which gives the audio signal a more direct path to the power amplifier stage of your amplifier, bypassing the bass and treble control circuits for the purest possible sound quality.
High-Quality Damped Metal Chassis: The CXA80 features a high-quality damped metal chassis, designed to ensure that nothing rattles or interferes with the electronics.
Digital Inputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amp is equipped with optical, coaxial, and USB digital inputs.
- Optical & Coaxial Inputs: The CXA80 integrated amp features two optical (toslink) inputs and a S/PDIF coaxial (RCA) digital input so you connect all of your digital sources. The unit's digital inputs can decode 2ch PCM and Dolby Digital 2.0.
- Asynchronous USB Port: The CXA80 provides an Asynchronous USB (type-B) port for playback of music files stored on your Windows PC or Mac computer. The CXA80 can handles up to 24-bit/192kHz audio from your computer with low jitter.
Balanced & Unbalanced Audio Inputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amplifier is fitted with both balanced and unbalanced analog audio connections. The CXA80 integrated amp features four unbalanced stereo RCA inputs and a front-panel 3.5mm Aux input. The CXA80 integrated amplifier also features a pair of balanced XLR inputs to connect high-resolution CD and SACD players. XLR is a higher-quality input that can reject noise and interference from equipment with balanced outputs.
Outputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amp is fitted with A-B speaker terminals, a mono-sub output, stereo pre-outs and a headphone jack.
- A-B Speaker Terminals: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 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 4Ω to 8Ω. When using two pairs of speaker, use only speakers with a minimum nominal impedance of 8Ω.
- Subwoofer Output: The CXA80 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 CXA80 is equipped with a pair of RCA pre-outs to connect the integrated amp to an external power amplifier.
- Headphone Jack: The CXA80 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 CXA80 is supplied with an IR remote control that operates this integrated and other Cambridge Audio CX series components. The remote operates off of three "AAA" batteries (supplied). The CXA80 features a Control Bus Input and Output (RCA), which allows un-modulated commands from multi-room systems or other components to be received by the amp and loop out to another unit.
Optional Bluetooth Adapter: Simply plug in the Cambridge Audio BT100 Bluetooth Audio Receiver (sold separately) into the Cambridge Audio CXA80's rear-panel USB (type-A) port for wireless music streaming from many of today's most popular Bluetooth supporting devices; such as Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone/tablet, Windows Phone/PC, Mac computer/laptop, and more. The BT100 even supports the high-quality Bluetooth aptX CODEC, so you can stream audiophile quality music from your Bluetooth-enabled Android (OS 4.0+) device to the CXA80 integrated amp.
Auto Power Down: The CXA80 integrated amplifier can be set to automatically go into "Standby mode" if there is no audio signal or operation for approximately 10, 30, or 60 minutes.
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