Cam­bridge Au­dio A1 am­pli­fier

Sound + Image - - First Decade -

For­give us be­ing a lit­tle UK cen­tric here, but like the NAD 3020 and Pi­o­neer A400 be­fore it, the Cam­bridge Au­dio A1 in­te­grated am­pli­fier brought af­ford­able hi-fi per­for­mance to many. Cam­bridge Au­dio hired the de­sign skills of Mike Creek for the A1 — and he de­liv­ered it in a month flat.

“They wanted to get into pro­duc­tion ur­gently,” he re­mem­bers now. “Later they asked me to de­velop an­other amp to re­place an aborted ‘A2’, to have mas­sive cur­rent out­put — this be­came the A3i. To­gether with Creek’s Rus­sian se­nior en­gi­neer Alex Nik­itin, we made some­thing rather spe­cial; it would stand com­par­i­son with any­thing we do nowa­days. Per­haps our finest hour was de­sign­ing the Cam­bridge tuner, which if I re­mem­ber rightly was called the T5 and later T500, with RDS.” Clas­sics all, but as the one that made the cru­cial first step, bring­ing new

qual­ity to a bud­get range, the A1 makes our Ul­ti­mate 30.

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