Cambridge Audio A1 amplifier
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.