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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Earlier this week Cambridge Audio announced a new range of compact integrated amps with built-in streaming. The Evo 75 (US $2200) and Evo 150 (US $3000) both using Hypex nCore aplifiers. So with the Naim Uniti Atom, NAD M10, and MiniDSP SHD Power I'm guessing this "small box all in one streaming amp" thing is an actual product category now?

Front is identical between the two
3120415


Evo 75 Rear Panel
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Evo 150 rear panel (it also has double the wattage at 8 ohms):
3120417



There's in-depth overviews on ecoustics and What Hifi? and there's a couple early Youtube reviews here and here

Some stuff I like:
  • HDMI ARC
  • Lots of physical controls and an included remote
  • Screen looks nice and big
  • Roon ready
  • Bluetooth output
  • Pre outs
What I think is missing compared to the competition at its price point:
  • Room correction (or a pre out/main in loop)
  • Phono pre on the 75 (but you can buy a great outboard one for well less than the $800 difference)
  • I don't care about it but others might: HT Bypass (I don't think any of these boxes really have this since everything down to the volume control is done in the digital stage)
 

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I've heard reviews mainly focused on specs and features, but I'd like to see a lot more reviews on the actual sound coming from the new CA Evo lineup. I'm quite curious how the Evo sounds next to the Naim Unity Atom.

I'm liking that 2-channel audio is increasingly including TV ARC...just makes things simpler. I do wish however a time they would consider output for a center channel as a 3.0 or 3.1 setup in a larger room with listeners dispersed would be nice with that TV connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think one of the reasons we’re seeing so much 2 channel gear with ARC is specifically because it’s stereo only so they don’t have to pay license fees to Dolby or DTS for decoding.

As far as the sound goes both the videos I’ve watched said “it sounds like Cambridge,” so take that for what you will.
 

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I think for that coin, I'd give a serious look at the Arcam SA30, 120 wpc class G, streaming capability, ARC, and Dirac for 3000 bucks. The NAD M10 also with Dirac at 100 wpc. I think that was a mistake not to have on board room correction or even the ability to hook up a mini-dsp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah there's a lot of competition in this price range, I think they're counting on the design and convenience to get them attention, the Evo 75 is only $100 cheaper than buying a CXN and a CXA81 together.
 

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Yeah there's a lot of competition in this price range, I think they're counting on the design and convenience to get them attention, the Evo 75 is only $100 cheaper than buying a CXN and a CXA81 together.
I think for the price/competition I can't see myself purchasing the Evo 75. The Evo 150 with increase inputs/outputs along with 150W (8 Ohms) power output would be something I could consider. There are conveniences to buying components over all-in-one systems. However, on a personal level, once I buy a component, I usually will keep them as part of my system for decades anyway so I'm not as concerned with separate vs integrated issues as I am with being happy with the right purchase for me for the right price.
 

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I am sticking to my Marantz SR 6015/ 8015 with more features for less money
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First professional review I've seen of the Evo 75, What Hifi gave it 5 stars (on their scale that runs almost exclusively from 4 to 5 stars). Useless rating aside it has some good details about the usability of the unit and the streaming app. I will never understand their emphasis on "rhythmic precision," it's like they think cheaper amplifiers make the sounds come out in the wrong order.
 

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Yeah there's a lot of competition in this price range, I think they're counting on the design and convenience to get them attention, the Evo 75 is only $100 cheaper than buying a CXN and a CXA81 together.
The Evo line is interesting, but I’ll be sticking with my CXA81 and Raspberry Pi for the foreseeable future.
 

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First professional review I've seen of the Evo 75, What Hifi gave it 5 stars (on their scale that runs almost exclusively from 4 to 5 stars). Useless rating aside it has some good details about the usability of the unit and the streaming app. I will never understand their emphasis on "rhythmic precision," it's like they think cheaper amplifiers make the sounds come out in the wrong order.
What Hi-Fil will almost always give British made gear 5 stars. They are at the bottom of my list for reading equipment reviews.
 

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Does seem that some sort of room correction should be included.
 
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