Cambridge Audio : Azur 640 P Phone Pre-Amp - 2008
Cambridge Audio's flagship model Azur 640P phono preamplifier employs a comprehensively specified (MM) Moving Magnet stage, as well as the higher gain needed for compatibility with high-end (MC) Moving Coil cartridges.
An impressive raft of onboard technologies combines to offer a hugely dynamic, involving and open sound. In this age of music file downloads and portable MP3 devices, the trusty turntable is currently enjoying a renaissance.
True to form, Cambridge Audio is answering the demands of audiophile vinyl lovers with the Azur 540P compact phono preamplifier. The Azur 640P uses superior amplification circuitry for its MM and MC stages to provide the lowest possible distortion and noise. The multi-parallel capacitors achieve exceptional RIAA accuracy of only 0.3 dB up to 50 kHz and feature a defeatable subsonic filter.
"The sound of the 640P moves away from the cheerful but somewhat oppressed NAD style, leaning more towards the taut, well controlled precision of the Dynavecto," reports AudioEnz magazine. "There?s a sense of realism that will raise goosebumps with good recordings.
This is a remarkable achievement for a product that retails for less than half the price of the Dynavector." The 640P's design features single-ended 'Class A' gain stages and discrete transistors instead of the more common integrated circuits. This gives less crosstalk and interference across the signal path.
Topping off the features list is the superior Azur acoustically damped steel chassis and a robust anodized aluminum front plate. The rear panel benefits from gold-plated input connectors to minimize signal path interference and reduce surface degradation.