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Our take on the Cambridge Audio 651A

Everything you always wanted in a stereo receiver, except the radio

An integrated amplifier is essentially a receiver without a built-in AM/FM tuner. You get power to drive your speakers, audio controls, and inputs for music source components. Connect an iPod, a computer, a network music player, or any other device that can play Internet radio, and you may find you have no need for an AM/FM radio.

Old school? Or a fresh face?

Just looking at the Cambridge Audio Azur 651A, you get a little unstuck in time. Is it an exquisitely "old-school" integrated amp — everything you need for classic, analog stereo without any unneeded bells and whistles? Well, yes, but wait. The design is decidedly up-tempo and modern. And what's this USB port on the rear panel? That's the indication that the 651A is not your father's integrated amp.

The analog features you want...

The 651A will handle analog stereo sources with the best in the field, process them without coloration, and feed them to the muscular amplifier stage. That's when things really get good: separate transformer taps and power supply units for the left and right channels manage 75 watts of robust, pristine power for startlingly quick transients and powerful, yet musical bass you can feel down to your core.

... and the digital processing you need

The Cambridge Audio Azur 651A back panel

The Cambridge Audio Azur 651A features a USB connection.

Of course, that's just what you'd expect from a Cambridge Audio integrated amp. But there's a nice surprise waiting. The USB input we mentioned before is a port to an internal DAC that processes your computer's audio files and delivers them to the analog preamp section with minimal jitter or other undesirable artifacts. And for most computers there's no need to install any new drivers. One connection and you're ready to go.

The handsome, acoustically damped chassis features a brushed-aluminum, matte-black finish. The precision volume control means the 651A will deliver even low-volume levels with impact, presence and minimal noise.

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  • 75 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz), 0.03% THD at 80% of rated power
  • signal-to-noise ratio: >92 dB
  • toroidal power transformer for low noise and high-current output
  • separate transformer taps for left and right channels, twin rectifiers and separate PSUs for dual mono operation of the left and right power amps
  • 5 RCA line-level analog audio inputs accommodate CD players, tuners, other components
  • front-panel minijack input for connecting a portable music player
  • 2 stereo RCA record outputs
  • 1 stereo RCA preamp output and a dedicated mono subwoofer output
  • connect a turntable with a phono preamp
  • USB input accepts 16-bit, 32/44.1/48kHz signals, no drivers needed for Mac® or Windows® computers
  • infrared control input and control bus input/output for integration into multi-room systems
  • full-size headphone jack
  • remote control
  • 16 15/16"W x 4-5/8"H x 14-5/8"D
  • weight: 18.5 lbs.


Features and Specs
Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)75
Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)---
Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)---
Frequency Bandwidth20-20k
Minimum Impedance4 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio92
Number of Inputs5
Phono InputsNo
Preamp Outputs3
Width (inches)16-15/16
Height (inches)4-5/8
Depth (inches)14-5/8
Weight (pounds)18.5