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Cambridge Audio Azur 651W

Stereo power amplifier (Black)

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  • Cambridge Audio Azur 651W

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  • Cambridge Audio Azur 651W

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Our take on the Cambridge Audio Azur 651W

by David Brown
Cambridge Audio

Add real power to your system

Many digital and network audio components can be used as preamplifiers these days. So instead of connecting them to a separate preamp or receiver, why not connect them directly to a robust power amp like the Cambridge Audio Azur 651W. You'll get the benefits of room-filling, low-distortion power driving your speakers without adding unnecessary, signal-degrading circuitry into the path of your music.

With any preamp, the Azur 651W is designed for top-flight musical performance. A large toroidal transformer is the heart of this meaty amp, pushing your speakers to sound their best. The amp's dual mono design offers accurate stereo imaging and a wide soundstage across your listening area. Connect the 651W to the matching Cambridge Audio's Stream Magic 6, and you'll have a fantastic-sounding system with network and digital music options backed by audiophile-grade power.

You'll find balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs on this power amp's rear panel as well as binding posts for two pairs of speakers. A new auto-detect feature allows this amp to turn on and off automatically by recognizing input signals. Trigger, IR, and control bus connections offer several options for integrating operation with separate components and controllers. Cambridge Audio's protection circuitry guards your investment against overheating, short circuits, and clipping. See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms
  • 150 watts per channel into 4 ohms
  • stereo balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs
  • large toroidal power transformer delivers clean current with low distortion
  • total harmonic distortion: 0.005% at 20-20,000 Hz
  • signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 90 dB
  • frequency response: 5-80,000 Hz
  • binding posts for two pairs of speakers
  • auto-standby mode detects incoming audio signals for easy integration with a preamp
  • infrared control input, control bus in/out, and 12-volt trigger in/out for integration with external control systems and components
  • all-metal chassis with aluminum front panel to minimize vibration-induced distortion
  • CAP5 proprietary protection system prevents overheating and clipping
  • 16-15/16"W x 4-9/16"H x 13-15/16"D
  • weight: 23.5 lbs.
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Number of Channels
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2
Power Output per Channel (8 ohms)
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100
Power Output per Channel (6 ohms)
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---
Power Output per Channel (4 ohms)
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150
Frequency Response
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5-80k
THD
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0.005%
Bridged Power per Channel
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0 watts
Speaker Outputs
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4
THX Certification
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No
Width (inches)
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16-15/16
Height (inches)
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4-9/16
Depth (inches)
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13-15/16
Weight
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23.5 pounds
Parts Warranty
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3 Years
Labor Warranty
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3 Years
Inputs & Outputs
Number of Inputs
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2
Level Controls
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No
Speaker Connectors
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Posts
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Power amplifier
  • 6' AC power cord
  • 38" Mono-RCA cable
  • Quick Start Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
  • Important Safety Instructions

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Stereo Amplifier: The Cambridge Audio Azur 651 power amplifier delivers 100 watts x 2 channel into 8 ohms or 150 watts x 2 channel into 4 ohms. The 651W has two pairs of speaker outputs, allowing you to bi-wire a suitable pair of speakers, or to drive two pairs of speakers (A&B) simultaneously.

Toroidal Transformer + Dual Mono Design: The 651W uses an audiophile grade oversize toroidal transformer and substantial extruded heat-sink to deliver perfect power, with extremely low distortion. Cambridge Audio takes separate feeds from the large toroidal transformer and process the left and right amplifier channels separately, effectively making the 651W two mono block amplifiers put together in one chassis. Benefits of this design include:

  • High-quality power output to the amplification circuits, with no clipping of the waveform signal to provide a consistent signal.
  • No transformer noise, buzz, or hum.
  • Dynamic bass performance.
  • High power output to allow large and demanding speakers to be driven at high volume levels.
  • Large power reserves to allow the transformer to deliver high peaks of volume when required.
  • Full shielded against internal and external electrical interference to maintain quality of power and signal.

High-Current Output Transistors: Two pairs of high current output transistors per channel allow the 651W to drive almost any speaker with ease, with excellent bass response and dynamic control.

Balanced & Unbalanced Analog Inputs/Outputs: The Cambridge Audio 651W power amplifier is fitted with both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) analog audio inputs to make connection to a Cambridge audio or other manufacturer preamplifier  (sold separately). XLR is a higher-quality input that can reject noise and interference from equipment with balanced outputs.

Note: Only one type of input (balanced or unbalanced) can be used. There is a switch on the back panel of the amp which selects between the balanced or unbalanced inputs.

A&B Speaker Outputs: The Cambridge Audio Azur 651W power amplifier is equipped with two sets of gold-plated, binding-post speaker terminals. The speaker terminals can be used to bi-wire a suitable pair of speaker or to connect two pairs of speakers (A&B). The binding-post terminals will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connects, and banana plugs (dual or single). Only connect speakers with a nominal impedance of 4- to 8-ohm.

All-Metal Chassis: The Cambridge Audio 651W power amp features an acoustically damped full-metal chassis with thick brushed aluminum front-panel.

5-Way Protection System: The 651W benefits from the latest version of Cambridge Audio's sophisticated proprietary protection system. CAP5 (Cambridge Audio Protection 5-way) is an innovative and intelligent circuit that constantly monitors the amplifier, without degrading signal purity, ensuring ultimate reliability. Designed to protect the amp in operation, the system has been developed to leave sound quality unaffected. It incorporates a clipping sensor that reduces the volume to keep levels in a safe range, short-circuit detection, and current and voltage overload detection plus a solid-state temperature sensor for over-heat cut out. Combined, these technologies ensure that Cambridge Audio amplifiers will go on to deliver years of reliable, high-performance sound.

  • DC Detection: CAP5 offers loudspeaker protection if the output of the amplifier goes to a high constant voltage (DC).
  • Over Temperature Detection: AP5 includes temperature detection which constantly monitors the heat generated by the output transistors. If the monitored temperature reaches a high level (suitably within the limits of the output devices) the amplifier will automatically switch into a fault mode.
  • Over Voltage Detection: CAP5 offers V/I protection by constantly monitoring the output transistors to keep them working inside their Safe Operating Area (SOA). The SOA is a set of limits given by the output transistor manufacturer to ensure reliability. V/I also protects the amplifier against short-circuits on the speaker terminals during use.
  • Short-Circuit Detection: 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 remain in Standby mode until the fault has been removed and power up is re-attempted.
  • Intelligent Clipping Detection: 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. Clipping distortion is caused at high volume levels when the output signal briefly goes outside the maximum voltage that the amplifier can provide, causing the tops of the signal to flatten off. When CAP5 detects clipping, the volume will be automatically nudged down until CAP5 detects an undistorted output.

IR Input/Control Bus: The 651W also features a IR Emitter input (3.5mm) which allows modulated IR commands from multi-room systems or IR repeater system to be received by the amplifier. In addition, the 651W 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.

Trigger Input/Output: For custom install use or with preamps and with trigger outputs, the 651W can be turned on and off (i.e. brought in and out of Standby mode) by the presence of 5-12V DC at the Trigger input (3.5mm). A trigger input will also produce an internally generated 12V DC trigger output at the Output/Thru connection (3.5mm). Turning the 651W on from the front panel also produces a 12V DC trigger output at the Output/Thru connection. This can be used to turn on/Standby other connected power amplifiers or other equipment if desired

Auto-Detect Mode: The 651W features an Audio Detect mode. When an audio input signal is detected, the 651W will automatically power up. When the audio signal stops, it will then automatically power down after 30 minutes.

 
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Cambridge Audio Azur 651W, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_779651WB/Cambridge-Audio-Azur-651W-Black.html ).