Product Type: Cambridge Audio Amplifiers
Newest Review: ... helped me take my first step towards quality Hi-Fi separates. Perfect for cranking up the volume at parties my neighbours know just how g... more
Basic but brilliant
Cambridge Audio A1
Member Name: Holland1
Cambridge Audio A1
Advantages: Easy to use, good quality sound, hardwearing, classy and simple looking
Disadvantages: Might be too basic for people with more complex needs
I've had this amplifier for over ten years, and it's still going strong. Mine looks just like the one in the Dooyoo photo, but if you google the model it looks a little different now, it's just been updated cosmetically over the years. It's the same basic amplifier and has the same features, making it a great starting point for anyone building a hi-fi system.
I bought this amplifier when my dad donated his old "separates" to me - he was replacing his hi-fi system so he gave me his old amplifier, tuner, cassette player, and record deck. The amplifier he gave me was on its last legs so he suggested I bought a new one to get the best out of the music I was playing. I also bought a CD player as CD's were all the rage back then.
My dad is one of these people who likes to research a lot about a product before going ahead and buying, the kind of person this website was created for I guess! This is probably where I get this trait from. But anyway, I remember him doing a lot of research, he also has good knowledge of music equipment, and he recommended that as a starting point on my limited budget, the Cambridge Audio A1 was the best buy for me.
The amplifier cost me around £100 at the time, and I can remember making the trip to Richer Sounds with my dad as though it was yesterday. Looking around online you can still pick these up for around the same price. Looking on the Richer Sounds website, I believe that Cambridge Audio have been market leaders with their range of budget amplifiers for the past 15 years. I can't say I'm surprised by this, as anyone who knows their stuff knows they are a good make.
This amplifier is exactly the kind of equipment I like - it does the job, but it's not overly complicated or difficult to set up. Even though I am a bit of a technophobe, I can still manage to set this up as part of a hi-fi system. At the back of the amplifier it is very obvious what wires get plugged into which socket. It looks very elegant and classy, and I like the fact it looks simple and isn't cluttered with lots of control buttons and flashing lights.
This amplifier offers the most basic of features, but I have never felt like it is missing anything for my basic needs. It has a volume control which is a simple knob, it has bass and treble controls so you can adjust the balance of the music, and it has a knob to set it to different inputs, depending on what you're listening to. It can be used for producing sound from a CD player, tuner, tape deck, record deck (if anyone still has one of those, sadly I had to get rid of mine), and I have also used it for my TV and DVD player.
The amplifier produces perfectly clear, high quality sound. I used to use it as part of my hi-fi separates, and then when I moved in with my partner and we had two of everything, we set this amplifier up in the bedroom and connected it to the DVD player for watching films in bed. It has many uses, and is very hard wearing. I know this because I have had it over ten years, and it's still working as well now as it ever has. This includes a few scrapes I've had with it, including dropping it on the lawn once during a house move when my dad and I were having a bit of a "chuckle brothers" moment and it fell out of our grip.
The only downside I guess, is that it doesn't have a remote, so if you need to adjust the volume this will involve getting up and walking over to it. This isn't a huge issue, and is probably true of most amplifiers, but it's a bit annoying when you're watching a film in bed and the sound fluctuates making you have to jump across the room to turn it down!
I would highly recommend this amplifier as a good budget buy to start a hi-fi system, it is one of the cheapest out there and provides brilliant quality which will last you for years.
Summary: A good basic amplifier
|Ease of use:|
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