Cambridge Audio CXA60
Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC, optional Bluetooth® (Silver)
Our take on the Cambridge Audio CXA60 by Crutchfield's Dave Bar
Are you passionate about your music?
As music lovers, we're very fond of Cambridge Audio components. Why? Because the team of designers at Cambridge are passionate about music, too. Take their CXA60 integrated amplifier for example. The Cambridge folks crafted this amp to wring every bit of detail and texture from your favorite recordings, without wringing every penny from your wallet.
Plus, while many integrated amplifiers have only analog inputs, the CXA60 gives you optical and coaxial digital inputs that feed this amp's high-quality Wolfson digital-to-analog converter (DAC). That means you can connect a network music player or streaming media device, as well as your tape deck and AM/FM tuner. The CXA60's DAC is as adept at decoding high-resolution audio files from your digital music player as it is at improving the sound quality of your old CD player. 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 CXA60 is a high-performance, 60 watt-per-channel amplifier. Cambridge Audio's conservative power rating only tells part of this amp's story. Each channel's 60 watts are generated courtesy of 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.
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 and superb stereo separation. 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 CXA60 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 late-night music listening that won't disturb others.
- 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 Wolfson WM8740 DAC
- toroidal power transformer for low noise and high-current output
- 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
- 2 optical and 1 coaxial digital audio inputs
- 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
- 16-15/16"W x 4-1/2"H x 13-7/16"D
- weight: 18.3 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
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
The amplifier sounds very good with my Klipsch R-28F speakers as I had expected.
Peter, Shrewsbury, MA
Cambridge Audio CXA60 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||60|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||90|
|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||No|
|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|
60 Watts x 2 Channel: Rated at 60 watts x 2 channel into 8Ω (or 90 watts x 2 channel into 4Ω), the Cambridge Audio CXA60 integrated amplifier is powerful enough to drive some of the most demanding speakers, yet has the nuance and subtlety demanded by modern recordings. The CXA60'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: The CXA60 integrated amplifier's power comes from an oversized audiophile-grade toroidal transformer, which keep magnetic flux level extremely low, benefiting the other internal components. This low-flux toroidal transformer also enhances performance and delivers incredible control over your speakers. 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 CXA60 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 CXA60 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 CXA60 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 CXA60 is always running at optimum performance.
24-Bit/192kHz DAC: The CXA60 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 CXA60 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 CXA60 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 CXA60 features a high-quality damped metal chassis, designed to ensure that nothing rattles or interferes with the electronics.
Digital & Analog Inputs: The CXA60 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. The CXA60 integrated amp also features four stereo RCA inputs and a front-panel 3.5mm Aux input.
Outputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA60 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 CXA60 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 CXA60 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 CXA60 is equipped with a pair of RCA pre-outs to connect the integrated amp to an external power amplifier.
- Headphone Jack: The CXA60 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 CXA60 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 CXA60 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 CXA60'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 CXA60 integrated amp.
Auto Power Down: The CXA60 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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Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs
by Video Team
Cambridge Audio's CXA amplifiers let you hear your music the way it was meant to be heard, with ample power, high-quality Wolfson DACs, and discrete amplification.
Why did you buy this?
Read good reviews on the quality and performance of this product. [ Carlos D Apr 19, 2018 ]
Recommendation from friend [ Martin Jun 02, 2017 ]
I had the opportunity to listen to the CXA80 and I liked it very much. Other ones of superior quality were a substantial price jump. The CXA60 had essentially the same quality at a better price. It had all the features I needed (pre-amp output, inputs) without the fancy ones that would add complexity and that I would never use (USB, wireless...). [ Jad Dec 09, 2016 ]
Checked off all the boxes and had great reviews. I own a Marantz 6005 integrated amp and it is not reliable. [ Victor Oct 04, 2016 ]
I needed digital inputs for a future TV upgrade. WhatHiFi also gave this a very good recommendation. [ Christopher Mar 24, 2016 ]
6 questions already asked
No, You need a phono preamp. I purchased Cambridge audio's preamp and am very pleased with it. Or a turntable with a built in preamp or fiber optic out, but I'm not familiar with these. [ DAVID Apr 02, 2018 ]
Yes, that is my primary use/purpose for the CXA60, but you need either a separate phono preamp or a turntable with preamp built in. There is no phono preamp built into the CXA60. [ Ryan Apr 02, 2018 ]
Certainly---to any analogue input. I have a low output (magnetic?) cartridge so had to buy a cheap preamp. [ RICHARD Apr 02, 2018 ]
Yes. I have project debut carbon turntable connected using a pre amp in between and analog ports of receiver [ Raja Apr 02, 2018 ]
You would need a pre amp [ howard Apr 02, 2018 ]
Ive never trief to run a turntable through it but There are not any dedicated phono inputs. Probably not the ideal amp for running a turntable. It sounds amazing though through cd player though [ Victor Apr 02, 2018 ]
You need to connect the turntable to a phone preamplifier, and then the phone preamplifier to the cambridge CX A60. You will not be able to connect the turntable directly to the CXA60. [ Jaime Apr 02, 2018 ]
Not directly...there isn't a phone input on the CXA60. However if you use a separate phono pre-amp between the turntable and CXA60 (which I do), it works and sounds great. [ Christopher Apr 02, 2018 ]
It has the option to add a bluetooth USB dongle. To give the unit bluetooth capability. The bluetooth dongle is a separate option purchase. [ George Apr 09, 2018 ]
The Cambridge Audio CXA60 is not designed for bi-wire (or bi-amp) operation. For more details or to discuss further, please contact an Advisor directly by phone (888.955.6000) or online chat. [ Larry Apr 01, 2018 ] Staff
I can say I'm very happy paired to my 88 dB speakers in a medium sized room. Way loud enough, accurate sound stage, sounds wonderful to me. [ DAVID Mar 03, 2018 ]
I am no audiophile but mine is paired with Elac F5's, I would think that Kef Q's would sound equally great. Of course sound is very subjective . [ howard Mar 02, 2018 ]
Dwain, I don't know enough to answer that particular question. If it is helpful, I returned the CXA 60. It's sound was too bright or even brittle for my particular taste. I'm one of those for whom that sort of sound becomes tiresome over time. So, I went back to my favorite, which is Marantz. It's a warmer sound which I can stick with for a much longer time. The Cambridge seemed to me to be in the mainstream and has, no doubt, pleased many listeners. It's just not my cup of tea (an appropriate phrase since Cambridge is a British product). My Marantz pm80006 gives me detail and spaciousness but also provides an overall warmer or "sweeter" sound. It's less impressive at first, but wears better over time. So you can better evaluate the relevance of my opinion, you should know that I listen to rock and roll very little and quite selectively: Grateful Dead and other albums featuring creative guitar solos; see: Layla with Derek and the Dominoes, including Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. I prefer a lot of classical, including choral music and opera, some jazz from the fifties. I'm in love with Maria Callas! Contemporary singers/songwriters are among my favorites. Hope this helped or at least gave you more information about listeners like me. Joel [ joel Mar 02, 2018 ]
Yes. It does. [ George Apr 09, 2018 ]
Aldwin: I returned the CXA60 after a few days and did not have an opportunity to discover the answer to the question you ask. Sorry I couldn't be of some help to you. Joel p.s. For reasons having to do with the peculiarities of my own ears I was not satisfied with the sound of the CXA60. I'm returning to Marantz, which provides a sweet sound far more pleasing to me. The Marantz 8005 also has lots of old-fashioned knobs; bigger and much more convenient to use. You can easily identify and operate the treble, midrange and bass adjustment knobs without getting up close and squinting, and you don't need dainty little fingers. Just a personal preference.Enter an answer to this question. [ joel Dec 21, 2017 ]
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. To low-pass the signal at a deeper frequency, you'll need to use the crossover built-into your powered subwoofer. The amplified outputs are full-range and not high-passed. [ Ryan Dec 06, 2017 ] Staff
Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.
Get more connection options and more power
The Cambridge Audio CXA80 offers these features:
a high-res capable USB port for streaming music from your computer
a balanced XLR input for connecting high-end components
80 watts per channel
dual mono construction for greater stereo separation and better soundstaging
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