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Amp+Pre: Anthem STR vs Cambridge Audio Edge W+NQ, Others?

5205 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Alex F.
Tested Speakers: B&W 803 D3 / B&W 802 D3 / Paradigm Persona 7F
DAC: Chord Qutest

The room is over-treated, I think. Bass seems to not giving any after-impact-effects.

Cambridge Audio Edge NQ + W (in stereo and mono modes):
Very quiet, clear, but somehow ...silence, maybe because it's too quiet that I felt this way??? It seems to lack bass no matter what speakers are used, especially in mono mode, bass seems to vanish into thin air. Could be the room's fault. Other than that, details are incredible.

Anthem STR amp+pre:
Dark, foggy, details seem to merge into each other, sound seems thick or bold, more bass. Not seeing that "mindblowing" as that guy who reviews and measures these STR with Persona 7Fs.

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Fun fact when pairing with Persona 7F:
The one who ran my audition, at 1 point, misunderstood my words, and pair Cambridge Audio Edge NQ preamp with Anthem STR amp to run Persona 7F, I didnt pay attention to this switch, and listened to 3 straight songs with my eyes closed (as always), during this listening section (I think I was listening to STR pair) I wonder why everything was bold and clearer, giving a better feeling of sound separation. Then I found out the wrong pairing and that's why! Could it be the STR preamp that's not as good? I have no clue and wont comment :)

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I did 2 auditions, 1 on day 1 and another few days later, mostly because I missed how quiet and pure the Cambridge Audio combo is :)
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Base on science, both combos have very good measurements and shouldnt be different, so think of what I typed above as bul*s*** if you think so, I won't comment.
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Separates vs intergrated of both brands: sound-wise - the same, separates only have more power and better measurements.
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B&W speakers bleed my ears and tear my brain apart, so I spent most of my time listenning to Persona 7F
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Base on science, B&W tends to be bright, so pairing with "as pure as water" combo as Edge will reveal that even more, so I stopped listening to them after a few songs (actually I wanted to stop just 15s into the 1st song, the one who went with me even ignore hearing these speakers)
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So Edge or STR?
Edge is my pick, done talking. But I'm still considering, no need to be hasty.
Hope this somehow helps
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If you want a warmer presentation w/the B&W's try the Mark Levinson 5000. Works well w/B&W. The Luxman 509x is excellent w/Paradigm.:)
In the price range in which you are shopping, take a look at separates and integrated amplifiers from, for example, McIntosh, Mark Levinson, Luxman, Cary, Balanced Audio Technology, and Pass.
Other than McIntosh MA9000, I dont know what else to consider :(

Oh and Cary is good, but resale value is not so high, hard to sell tbh

@Class A: that Luxman is not available here. I want it too :'(
McIntosh MA9000 vs Cambridge Audio Edge A

MA9000's measurements:
https://www.hifinews.com/content/mcintosh-ma9000-integrated-ampdac-lab-report

Cambridge Audio Edge A's measurements:
https://www.hifinews.com/content/cambridge-audio-edge-integrated-ampdac-lab-report

I was about to purchase the Edge A then informed of MA9000.
I wonder if MA9000 will be a better pick?Or both are already at the no-audible-difference-can-be-heard stage? (In term of transparency and sound quality)

Speaker is Tannoy Kengsinton GR with 89dB @ 8ohm
Thanks
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Other than McIntosh MA9000, I dont know what else to consider :(

Oh and Cary is good, but resale value is not so high, hard to sell tbh

@Class A: that Luxman is not available here. I want it too :'(
Where are you located?:)
I was about to purchase the Edge A then informed of MA9000.
I wonder if MA9000 will be a better pick?Or both are already at the no-audible-difference-can-be-heard stage? (In term of transparency and sound quality)
I suggest you audition both integrated amplifiers in your home and keep the one that you like better. Dealers that sell components in that price range should be happy to accommodate a request to listen at home.

When comparing sound quality always use your best reference recordings and play the same songs on both units.

I find it interesting that you are considering components that are so different. The Cambridge is a minimalist design and has very limited features and flexibility. The McIntosh has features and flexibility galore. Carefully evaluate which amp better suits your requirements now and in the future.

Good luck!
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