Looking for a solid 2-channel amplifier for under five-hundred bucks? Cool, we got one. The Cambridge Audio AM10 Integrated Amplifier with built-in phono pre is a solid little performer, perfectly suited to turntables like Project’s Debut Carbon or Rega’s RP1, respectively. It’s a humble 35 watt per channel beast, and when coupled with a pair of detailed bookshelves – some Cambridge Minx XL’s or SLA 25’s – the AM10 will capably extend throughout any small to mid-sized room.
It’s a member of the Cambridge Topaz Series, a select range of amplifiers designed to give you uncompromising sound quality at an affordable price, and is packed with a ton of inputs like tuner, phono, CD, DVD, and Aux. However, in addition to all this it includes a very handy front-facing Mp3 3.5mm jack. With the proliferation of streaming services on smartphones and similar digital devices, it’s reassuring to know that an amplifier with a dedicated in-built phono pre, a feature unquestionably geared toward the resurgent vinyl market, is keeping in mind that the new breed of vinyl enthusiasts don’t mind streaming their music too.
The AM10 is, for lack of a better term, the go-to “entry level” amplifier, designed to go easy on your wallet but give you a real taste of serious 2-channel sound. However, "entry level" is always such a questionable term when discussing audio, because it’s often synonymous with cheap – and it shouldn’t be. Cheap is something that gets you in the game, entry level is something else entirely. Entry level doesn’t just get you in the game, it gives you a taste of what real audio can actually do, the way music can and should sound if you only invest. Entry level offers the kind of sound staging cheap could only hope to possess, build quality that lasts, and a place from which to grow.
Cambridge’s AM10 Integrated Amplifier offers all of the above, and with toroidal transformers, an all metal case, six separate inputs, and 35 watts of grunt per channel it’s audio equipment that returns big on your small investment.
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