Cambridge Audio is a British brand that is famous for its innovative and unique style. Also, the design of each of its products is classic and smart. And most importantly the sound quality or the music experience is excellent. It produces musical equipment with absolutely natural and pure sound performance.
On the other hand, Yamaha is an integrated amp that can act as a power amplifier as well as a preamp. This device is user friendly and compact-sized device. You can easily install it in your home setting. Plus, the Yamaha amplifiers come in a beautiful design which also ensures high built quality.
Today, in this ‘Cambridge audio vs Yamaha amp’ article I will pick the most loved unit from each of the brands and review them, and also at the very end of the article, I will let you know which device I would prefer and why. So, keep scrolling to know more!
Cambridge Audio AXR 100 Review
Cambridge’s introductory series; the AX is a combo of innovative technologies and great design. the entire AX series brings together the design and innovative technologies of the award-winning EDGE and CX audio series of Cambridge Audio. It smoothly provides a fully unfiltered & pure audio experience reflecting the producer’s intentions. Using this device, you will get the exact output made in the recording studio.
The AXR100 includes 2 CD players, 2 stereo post-amplifiers, and 2 integrated amplifiers. It also uses the template of AXR85, plus it adds 2 optical fibers & 1 coaxial and increases 100W power output at that time. Not only this, it comes with a subwoofer which improves the overall bass effect. Most importantly, it will ensure a small and vivid room theater for all its users.
Moreover, the Cambridge audio AXR100 amp has great power and flexibility which makes it perfect for audiophiles. Besides, it can drive 2 stereo speakers and it is equipped with an input interface, which includes 3 sets of RCA input, a set of recording, and PHONO input along with a subwoofer output. Further, it also comes with a stereo input of 3.5mm as well as a front headphone output of 6.3mm. Additionally, you will also get a built-in Bluetooth for wireless streaming and an AM/FM tuner with this audio device.
Cambridge Audio AXR100 features various switching buttons which help the users to operate it easily. To select the input source press the audio source button and also it will let you switch the audio source easily anytime you need.
Furthermore, while using the FM/AM mode, in order to choose the radio station, you can use the radio preset button. Not to mention, these presets are separately stored for each band, which means if the FM has 10 frequency bands, then you can easily cycle via all the frequency bands with the help of the skip button. Also, you can also see all the sound sources on the display, and it will let you know the information of tone, volume, balance level, as well as the station’s name at a glance.
Features of Cambridge Audio AXR 100
This stereo receiver features a 2-Ch Amplifier:
The Cambridge Audio AXR100 stereo receiver has powerful power and it features 2 channel amp and delivers 100 watts power at 20 to 20kHz frequency with THD of 0.15%.
The AXR100 comes with an AM/FM Tuner:
The built-in FM/AM tuner provides the users a seek, preset and manual tuning. One can easily store up to 15 AM presets along with 15 FM presets. An antenna for the FM wire as well as the AM loop is included.
Besides, the users can choose between Mono or Stereo while listening to FM. Note that, it would be wise to select Mono for low-quality FM stereo signals, as it can reduce the unwanted noise. Also, there is a two-wire 300 ohm AM connector and a 75-ohm FM on the back panel of the receiver.
The Cambridge Audio AXR100 comes with built-in Bluetooth:
The AXR100 features a built-in wireless audio control, which is an AVRCP and A2DP streaming. In easy language, I am talking about its 5.0 Bluetooth.
The amp allows you to wirelessly stream any audio content on your device which is Bluetooth-enabled; like your smartphone, laptop, tablet, laptop, or PC. Moreover, you can control some playback functions, like the basic Previous & Next, Play & Pause the track functions from the remote included.
Besides, the amp can pair with more than 5 devices; exactly speaking it can pair up to 7 or 8 devices, isn’t great? However, you can use only one at a time for playback which will be automatically connected with the last device you paired within a wireless range of 33’.
It has a decent number of Optical and Coaxial Digital Inputs:
The Audio AXR100 comes with 2 (Toslink) optical inputs along with 1 coaxial digital (RCA) input to form a connection of a DVD player, TV, or CD player. But, the digital inputs neither support DTS, Dolby Digital, or any other multichannel audio formats. However, they support PCM audio of 2ch that is 16- or 24-bit with a range of 32 to192 kHz.
The AXR100 also has Line-Level & phono Inputs:
The Cambridge Audio AXR100 receiver has 3 line-level ( rear-paneled) analog RCA outputs with which you can connect with the external audio devices – like the CD player, network streaming gadgets, or tape-deck. Besides, you will get a front-panel Aux input of 3.5mm in order to connect any portable or handy audio device with a headphone or analog line-level output.
Furthermore, this stereo amp has a built-in phono stage phono pre-amplifier with a ground terminal as well as rear-panel input. Plus, this phono input is flexible with turntables equipped with MM/ Moving Magnet’s phono Cartridges or MC/ high output Moving Coil in between an output of 2 to 6mV and load impedance of 30 to 50k. Remember, the moving coil cartridge of low output ( 10 to 1000 ohm) can’t be connected directly to the phono input; meaning, you will need an external phono pre-amplifier that is compatible with the moving coil cartridges of low output. Also, the phone pre-amplifier will cost you extra cash as it is not included in the box.
The Cambridge Audio AXR100 has Record Output & Subwoofer output:
The AXR100 stereo amp comes with an RCA record output which will help you to connect with a tape deck, CD recorder, plus other recording devices. Further, the record output delivers a line-level constant output not fluctuating with the stereo receiver’s volume. Not to mention, you cannot use the record output as a subwoofer output.
Moreover, the stereo receiver has a mono-RCA sub output as well. It helps the users to connect with a powered sub. Note that, the subwoofer output comes with a fixed low-pass crossover filter of around 200Hz.
It is equipped with a USB charging port:
You will get a USB-A port of 5V/500mA on the back of the device. The users can use this port for charging their tablet or smartphone or tablet to a Bluetooth adapter. However, this USB port fails to support any audio playback.
The Cambridge Audio AXR100 has a nice Front-Panel display:
The front-panel display of AXR100 highlights the station identification, selected input source, menu selections; along with tone and volume levels.
How do the controls of Cambridge Audio AXR100 work?
The Cambridge Audio stereo receiver is equipped with some front-panel controls in order to provide its users with some simple, easy, and convenient operations. Besides, the IR remote is smooth enough which provides the scope to perform the wireless operation of the receiver.
Anyways. With the front panel control you can perform the following functions:
Change the volume or mute the track: The remote has push buttons that will help you to control the volume of the sub output, receiver’s speaker output, or the headphone output. Most importantly, it does not affect the record output. Plus, you can also mute the track using the mute function on it.
You can customize the tone as well as balance: One can easily adjust the bass, treble, and balance between the right & left speakers in the audio output.
Cambridge audio AXR100 Specifications:
How is the Cambridge Audio AXR 100?
The AXR 100 is a nice amp with great built quality and design. It also comes up with various ports. The amp has 3 line-level ( rear-paneled) analog RCA outputs with which you can connect with the external audio devices – like the CD player, network streaming gadgets, or tape-deck.
Moving on, it is quite great in terms of sound quality. I would easily recommend it to many of you; why so? Firstly, it has awesome power, and secondly because of its sound quality. It can easily handle any sort of good to average speakers nicely with decent volume in listening rooms. You will enjoy it, I believe.
It is a smooth audio device that provides rich and warm sound making the listening experience more enjoyable. Especially, the jazz, vocals, or classical do not always sound good in many audio systems, however, the AXR100 gives you a great time, no matter which genre it is.
Not to mention, I did not like AXR100’s general character that much as it wasn’t that impressive. Instead, this audio device is more laid back because of its warmer and richer presentation.
Undoubtedly, if you are a genuine audiophile who listens to every type of music, the
Cambridge Audio AXR100 is something you can buy. It will neither spoil your mood nor music quality by making it too edgy or bright sounding.
Moreover, due to its great power, you can feel the dynamic energy in it. Overall, it makes the sound very vivid and energetic. Further, if you love the V curved output that comes with boosted bass and treble, you would definitely love this device.
(Off-topic, Cambridge has a CX series as well. I personally didn’t find much difference in the AX and CX series, like the Cambridge audio axr100 vs cxa60, and also Cambridge audio axr100 vs cxa81 seemed quite similar to me, apart from some minor differences. So, you can also check out both the units in Amazon to get a good deal.)
Let us know more about the sound quality of Cambridge Audio AXR100. In the upcoming segments, you will get to know about its bass, treble, mid-range performance along with other things.
Treble Performance, Mid-range Performance, Bass Performance
The device delivers a polite and smooth sound that feels quite neutral. Well, for that you need to thank its black & dark background along with its floor with low noise, as it lets the details to deliver properly with ease.
Honestly, it is not the most spacious, refined, or airy sounding top end available in the market. It provides a nice sound which anyone would have wanted. Most importantly, all the details are there. Besides, the AXR100 is enough to smooth enough where the users can enjoy almost perfect recordings or tracks and they won’t feel anything harsh for sure.
Let us go further into more details and talk about AXR100’s mid-range performance. At this price, the mid-range is decent. However, I felt that there is a bit of coloration there and due to this you might hear a bit of warmth. But not to worry, it ensures a fine line between warmth and neutrality. Furthermore, the Cambridge Audio AXR100 does not have an overly saturated tonal color which I kinda like.
Coming to the bass, one might think it to be a little bit exaggerated. But this Cambridge audio has an excellent power supply allowing the device to have control over the woofers nicely. So basically, the bass of AXR100 is clean sounding. However, some users may claim it to be a bit of warmth than neutral like its mid-range, but the device is not more about power but speed. Overall though, I found it enough great as well as fun to listen to & enjoy.
In addition, the dynamic distinguishes the Cambridge AXR 100 from the other options like the Yamaha. Both the devices sound similar, but the AXR100 is smoother and sometimes gets a bit gritty. Moreover, it has the great ability to transfer a good amount of energy all at once which is great, isn’t it? The Audio AXR 100 indeed did a job with that.
Furthermore, its imaging allows you to naturally lay down the sound stage of your speaker, which is not much influence but powerful. Besides, the dynamic of AXR100 is warm, comfortable, and laid-back, yet powerful to listen.
Performance of the Cambridge Audio AXR100
The sound quality is quite good overall. It has a sweet and natural high-frequency extension, filled with an artistic temperament. Not only that, the AXR100 brings out flexibility, beautiful, nice, and soft texture. The music comes out full of instrumental details along with proper smoothness.
Even if you love a saxophone lover, you will love the sound of Cambridge AXR100 which is beautiful and delicate. It will deliver the saxophone’s sound as it is, meaning you will feel the lively sense of air, the transparency, and the texture of the string’s sound is dense and is long. It won’t bring out the rigidity and sharpness, however, it will reveal vivid richness for sure.
Lastly, for vocals, the AXR100 is nice as well. It is comparatively thick, improving the singer’s voice in the track. In short, it sounds convex and natural, where the sound texture also sounds comfortable.
Features needed to be Improved
The Cambridge Audio AXR100 is great for its audio quality but it has a few drawbacks as well; like its features are sort of old-school.
For example, the AXR 100 does not come up with any USB input, and why is why the device lacks the ability to connect to any network through Wi-Fi. Anyone would want this feature in their device for sure. But again, consider its price; you cannot expect all the features and attributes at this affordable price.
Rather than this, this device is great for its power and sound quality. It will surely provide you with a vivid experience.
Moving on to Yamaha amp; the A-S801 of Yamaha is an integrated amp which means this same device acts as a power amplifier as well as a preamp. This device is user friendly and compact-sized device. You can easily install it in your home setting. Not only that, but this device is also great for medium to large rooms as it successfully produces crisp, clear, and deep sound with beautiful clarity. Let us know more about this product in detail.
Yamaha A-S801 Review
The Yamaha A-S801 comes with a beautiful look and good built quality. Its vintage outlook combined with a sophisticated and polished body makes it more elegant to look at. This device will beautify your bedroom or living corner with its charm.
Moreover, if you like symmetry, the buttons and dials will tickle your for sure, especially for their structure, I mean the way they are aligned and shaped are perfect.
The Yamaha A-S801 is very powerful, which is why its audio quality and sound performance are exceptional. Most importantly, this Yamaha device is made in a way so that the sound does not get distorted. The manufacturers made sure that the audio the device produces is of high quality and also its body parts are premium where the bottom part is composed of a double iron plate of 1mm. This double layer is very essential in order to produce dampening vibration and keep the audio clear.
In addition, the A-S801 comes with a grounding system and it also has many heat sinks which ensure the amp work every time at its optimum range as well as ensure the best sound for its users. Above all, the users can regulate its volume as well, with the help of a dial that is installed in the amplifier’s front panel.
Apart from A-S801’s sound and overall performance, it also offers various features, one o which is its connectivity options. We will talk about that later on; before that let us know about its attributes in brief.
Features of Yamaha A-S801:
This amplifier’s circuit is designed on the basis of ‘Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology’ or ToP-ART Concept:
Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology ensures optimum audio while transmitting and processing the sound signal. Besides, the right and left channels are designed in a symmetrical layout, so that the users get maximum signal purity.
Also, the signal is quite direct and simple, which is why the amp is less affected by distortion & noise.
This device is made up of high quality parts that help to deliver excellent sound performance:
The power transformer, block capacitors, 2 path speaker relays (direct signals), 1 grounding point system, the heat sinks made of aluminum and many more effortlessly handle the audio conditions. Basically, the quality of all the parts individually as well as together determines the audio quality of the component. In easy words, the Yamaha A-S801 uses quality full parts, which are selected and tested carefully for their audio properties.
The maximum strength chassis in the Yamaha A-S801 helps in providing high-density audio along with pure sound reproduction:
For increasing the sound quality, which can be affected by the vibrations, the Yamaha A-S801 chassis comes with a bottom design with a double 1 mm plate made of iron.
Furthermore, in the power amp, the stable and strong ‘Anti-Resonance and Tough’ or ART base supports heat sinks and a power transformer. These along with a solid center bar contributes to eliminating the vibrations and enhancing the high rigidity. These designs of Yamaha help to produce rich and natural sound.
The USB DAC function of Yamaha supports Native PCM & DSD Resolutions:
The DSD and PCM resolutions allow establishing a direct connection with your PC. This feature opens the opportunity to play any track at the highest resolution available today. The USB device controller of Yamaha has a master clock of its own. This helps to eliminate PC jitter which enhances the overall output.
The device comes with a High-Performance D/A Converter of 32-bit:
Yamaha A-S801 has a built-in 32-bit D/A converter as a result of which you will get an excellent performance along with the signal output of high quality with a signal superior to noise ratio.
Yamaha A-S801 has gold plated terminals, Phono MM terminal, and subwoofer terminal:
The gold-plated terminals help to get a quality full connection preventing signal loss. Additionally, the A-S801 amplifier has a gold-plated input terminal along with speaker terminals.
Not only that, but you will also get a terminal to connect a sub. It will allow you to enhance the output of the bass of the system for getting more stronger and powerful audio with outstanding sound quality.
Not to mention, you can easily connect a turntable with the MM phono cartridge for playing vinyl records. Thus, you can receive the best of both worlds whether it be the latest digital tech or listening to analog vinyl.
It ensures greater audio purity:
With the help of the CD input, the CD Direct Amplification optimizes the signal to noise ratio CD sources. In addition, engagement with the pure direct mode helps the sound signals to pass the shortest circuit route possible, omitting the buffer amplifier, the balance, tone, and loudness controls for eliminating the degradation of any signal for getting the purest audio quality.
The device is capable of controlling loudness:
The Yamaha A-S801 features an analog loudness control. It is a new attribute on the front panel and it uses the electronic volume for obtaining greater sound quality which by the way, also lets the user adjust the loudness effect according to his/ her wish.
The Yamaha A-S801 has a sophisticated and vintage design:
The vintage outlook of this amp combined with a sophisticated and polished body makes it more elegant to look at. This device will beautify your bedroom or living corner with its charm. Moreover, the front panel made of aluminum has a very rich consistency of silver hairline finishing.
The amplifier comes with a clean and simple designed remote control:
The remote control makes your work easier. It makes it easy for you to understand all the operations. Plus, the remote’s design is simple enough to help to adjust the volume and inputs quickly. Not to mention, you can use this remote control to operate the Yamaha CD player as well.
The automatic power standby feature of A-S801 helps to save power:
When the user has not used the device for 8 hours straight then the auto power standby feature of Yamaha is enabled and the amp automatically shifts itself into a standby mode. It is undoubtedly a great function that will help to minimize the power consumption when the device is not in use; especially for those who forget to turn off devices after using it.
The Yamaha A-S801 supports Bluetooth connectivity:
The Yamaha A-S801 supports Bluetooth connectivity which is why one can wirelessly stream music on his/her phone, tablet, or laptop on the speakers for getting an extra-musical feel. Additionally, the device offers a phono stage; that means, it will allow its users to connect their turntable while they want to play any vinyl records.
Moreover, the A-S801 also allows you to connect it with your Blu-Ray disc player
and TV. You will get various connectivity options including one subwoofer terminal, digital input & output for Blu Ray and TV, 3 speaker terminals, Phono MM terminal, one power port, and USB ports.
Yamaha A-S801 Amplifier Specifications
How is Yamaha A-S801?
I have already said enough about the Yamaha A-S801’s design, yet lets me know more as it plays a vital part in beautifying your room and all. The dimension of the amp is 17.5 x 6 x 15.25 in inches, which is quite big. This is the reason people not having a big space needs to avoid it, else it might be a bit troubling for them to install it.
Moreover, its high-end, sturdy and strong metallic body includes gold plated terminals, a double-plated base ( it reduces vibration), a high-quality display panel, and heat sinks. Besides, you will get many buttons and dials in the front panel that will let you change or set the volume, control the treble, bass, select the desired speakers, set the balance, and lastly set the input type. Plus, the panel on the back contains all the necessary input & output ports.
Treble Performance, Mid-range Performance, Bass Performance
The results are quite the same as the previous device. However, I felt the bass management of the A-S801 is a bit primitive. Plus, I would suggest you set it to 80Hz to get a better output.
Performance of the Yamaha A-S801
The Yamaha A-S801 amplifier provides you access to 2 channels, and each of the channels produces a power of 80 Watts maximum on an input of 8Ω. This power makes the device incredibly loud and so it can easily be used for the large or big hall as well as your home. In addition, the amp provides high precision processing power as well. This power lets it handle loads of sound data at the same time.
Further, the sound it produces is pretty deep & loud, but don’t need to worry as you will be able to pick a good amount of clarity with ease. Plus, the sound comes out very vivid and warm; which is quite a great and appreciative characteristic as maximum amplifiers are not capable to pull it off.
Now the important question, who is the Yamaha A-S801 is best suited for?
The answer is pretty straight; that is people who love to listen to big or loud sounds every time while listening to any songs or watching a movie. In short, it would be an excellent device for you if you like entertainment having loud music a lot.
Features needed to be Improved
Honestly speaking, the Yamaha A-S01 is a beautiful and high-quality device with a vintage design. Not only that, but it also offers crisp and clear sound along with lots of connectivity options. Plus, it can easily handle 2 systems concurrently. Wondering what are the features it needs to improve if it is that great already?
Actually, I didn’t find any major error in this amp which needs to b improved. Whatever it delivers is quite nice and enjoyable. However, there are two little things which I want to mention. Firstly, the device’s dimension is 17.5 x 6 x 15.25 inches, which is quite big and so people not having a big space needs to avoid it, otherwise, it might be a bit troubling for them to install it. However, I don’t think it is the problem that can be fixed. Lastly, the device is a bit pricey; I mean I know it is great and all, yet I find it a bit overpriced. Check out Amazon to get the best deals.
Which of the amp between Cambridge Audio Amplifier AXR100 vs Yamaha would I prefer?
As I have stated in the Cambridge audio axr100 review that it provides a more neutral sound. Whereas, I am the kind of person who loves everything extra. Meaning, whether it be movies or songs, I love listening to loud volumes. And with the Yamaha a-s801, you can get that. Also, the device is incredibly loud and so it can easily be used for large or big halls as well as your home. That is the reason why I chose A-S801 between Cambridge Audio Axr100 vs Yamaha amp.
Overall, the Cambridge audio amplifier axr100 easily suits a good variety of speakers. It has great power and flexibility which makes it perfect for audiophiles. Moreover, it can drive 2 stereo speakers and it is equipped with an input interface, which includes 3 sets of RCA input, a set of recording, and PHONO input along with a subwoofer output. Isn’t great?
But again, the question lies ‘ Is the axr100 is for everybody?’. It varies from user to user; as the power varies, so are the choices. The axr100 amplifier is nice overall and I believe it will offer more features in the future.
Similarly, the Yamaha A-S801 has great power with nice built quality. It has an easy going sound that gets enough loud, also it is the reason I preferred it over the Cambridge Audio AXR100. Other than that, both the units are great and they can be used for music as well as music.
With this, it’s a wrap. I hope the ‘Cambridge audio vs Yamaha amp’ will help you to make a good choice.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
This FAQ is going to answer some of your questions that may arise while you walk through this path. let’s find out more!
Is Cambridge a good amplifier?
\It is; it has awesome power and good sound quality. It can easily handle any sort of good to average speakers nicely with decent volume in listening rooms. You will enjoy it, I believe. It is a smooth audio device that provides rich and warm sound making the listening experience more enjoyable. Especially, jazz, vocals, or classical do not always sound good in many audio systems, however, the AXR100 gives you a great time, no matter which genre it is.
Is the Yamaha a good amplifier?
It is a well-known and well-functioning brand. It mostly offers crisp and clear sound along with lots of connectivity options. Also, it adopts the Total Purity Audio Reproduction Tech which ensures optimum audio while transmitting and processing the sound signal. Besides, the right and left channels are designed in a symmetrical layout, so that the users get maximum signal purity. Moreover, the signal is quite direct and simple, which is why the amp is less affected by distortion & noise.
What are the features the AXR100 should improve?
The Cambridge amplifier AXR 100 does not come up with any USB input and why is why the device lacks the ability to connect to any network through Wi-Fi. Anyone would want this feature in their device, won’t they?
How do the controls of Cambridge Audio AXR100 work?
The Cambridge Audio stereo receiver is equipped with some front-panel controls in order to provide its users with some simple, and convenient operations. With the front panel control you can perform mainly two functions. 1)Change the volume or mute the track: The remote has push buttons that will help you to control the volume of the sub output, receiver’s speaker output, or the headphone output. Most importantly, it does not affect the record output. Plus, you can also mute the track using the mute function on it. 2)You can customize the tone as well as balance: One can easily adjust the bass, treble, and balance between the right & left speakers in the audio output.
How is the Yamaha A-S801 amplifier?
The A-S801 amplifier provides you access to 2 channels at a time, and each of the channels produces a power of 80 Watts maximum on an input of 8Ω. This power makes the device incredibly loud and so it can easily be used for large or big halls as well as your home. Also you would be happy to know that the the A-S801 comes with a grounding system and it also has many heat sinks which ensure the amp work every time at its optimum range as well as ensure the best sound for its users.
Among Yamaha vs Cambridge audio amp, which device provide better sound quality?
Both have great sound output. However, the Cambridge is more neutral whereas the Yamaha gets more louder.
Student and Tech journalist.