Cambridge Audio Edge M Review
Cambridge Audio has added a mono flagship power amplifier, EGEG M, to its high-end Edge series. “M” is Monoblock. The new Edge M adopts the principle design of the existing Edge W power amplifier and applies it to a monolithic design to provide twice the power and more realistic and dynamic sound with less distortion.
The Cambridge Audio Edge Series
The Edge series is a commemorative product launched by Cambridge Audio for its 50th anniversary. Because it is an anniversary product, Cambridge Audio is designed and produced with the highest specifications.
The Edge series is straightforward: Edge A, Edge NQ, Edge W, and Edge M. Edge A is an integrated amplifier. Edge NQ and Edge W are called preamp and power amplifiers. Edge NQ also has a network streaming player function, while Edge W is a pure two-channel power amp.
The performance of the Edge A amplifier part is the same as Edge W, 100 watts (8ohm), 200 watts (4ohm). The most significant difference between Edge W and Edge A is the signal-to-noise ratio. The signal-to-noise ratio of Edge A is 103dB. The signal-to-noise ratio of Edge W is 113dB.
Why is there so much progress? I believe it is because there are no Edge A decoding and digital circuit components inside Edge W, so there is less interference. So there is a better signal-to-noise ratio. But the power is basically the same.
After the launch of Cambridge Audio Edge W, many audiophiles reported that they hope to introduce some more powerful amplifiers. Therefore, Cambridge Audio has launched a mono rear stage model, the Cambridge Audio Edge M mono rear stage.
Edge M weighs 23.6 kg and has a maximum power consumption of 1000 watts.
Although the design of Edge M is small and exquisite, its internal audio design is highly complicated. Cambridge Audio has been working to reduce the number of components in the signal path to eliminate the barriers between you and the music. Therefore, Edge M is able to stay true to lossless music. The impressive three-dimensional sound is exceptionally fascinating.
Edge M retains the clarity and music depth of Edge W, but since each unit drives a speaker, the power output doubles 200W RMS to 8 ohms. And with 4Ω has an output of 350 watts.
Edge M provides more relaxed dynamic effects and less sound distortion. Similarly, because Edge M is fully balanced from input to output, it is not affected by noise and distortion.
So can the use of Edge M be more diversified? Indeed, there is greater flexibility in the matching of speakers. For example, only one Edge W was used when driving speakers in the past. But now, with Edge M, you can push a speaker independently on the left and right channels. In addition, if the speaker uses Bi-Wire mode, you can use two Edge Ms per channel.
After opening the case, the whole layout is very similar to Edge W. But the difference is that this equipment is truly fully balanced and uses two transformers at the same time. But because it is mono, these two transformers are not like Edge A or Edge W. One transformer is responsible for one channel. That is a sound channel, and a transformer handles each phase.
This transformer is made by Noratel and also made in the UK. Noratel is a leading supplier of transformers and reactors to the global industry. Therefore, Edge M also retains a lot of British ancestry in terms of cost, sound tuning, and quality.
In terms of filter capacitors, Cambridge Audio special orders. The capacity of each capacitor is 10,000µF. There are eight channels in one channel, totaling 80,000µF.
Cambridge Audio Edge M uses Class XA amplification technology. The advantage is to combine the advantages of Class A and Class AB. Because the traditional Class A amplification technology is not efficient enough for amplifiers, edge M shifts the crossover point to the range that human ears can’t hear, reducing heat generation and improving efficiency.
The other technology is DC SERVO. In fact, it is a capacitor that can make the signal path shorter, and the sound will be cleaner.
Edge M adopts a symmetrical twin toroidal transformer design, which can eliminate stray electromagnetic interference. At the same time, it provides excellent power and can maintain consistent performance even at high volume. For example, it can output 200kHz RMS continuous power to 8 Ohms or 350W RMS continuous power output to 4 Ohms, with total harmonic distortion at 1kHz.
And there is the word “PASSED” on the transformer. Why is there such a word? Because this toroidal transformer is made in the UK, and every toroidal transformer will pass the Cambridge Audio engineer’s test before it has the word “PASSED”.
The Edge system is designed to achieve perfect synchronization. Combine a pair of Edge M and Cambridge Audio’s most comprehensive preamplifier Edge NQ to build a unique, eye-catching high-fidelity audio system with first-class sound quality.
The matching speakers are the American Magico A3 floor-standing speaker and the B&W 805 D3 bookshelf speaker. Let’s talk about the sound. This time the new model is a mono power amp. Obviously, the driving force has taken another big step.
The two pairs of speakers are between the difficult to push and easy to drive this time, the two For the speaker Magico’s A3 two-way floor-standing speaker and B&W 805 D3 bookshelf speaker.
Compared with the more novel Class D or DSP amplifiers, it still focuses on the traditional Class AB sound, which is stable, calm, and musical performance first.
Even with powerful features, the sound performance of Edge M is very delicate and well-balanced. Using the Edge series’s spirit to select the simplest sound components, Edge M can provide impressively detailed three-dimensional sounds with an eye-catching stage and focus.
Like Edge W, Cambridge Audio engineers have been working hard to reduce the number of components in the Edge M signal path to ensure fewer obstacles between the source and the speakers.
What are the shortcomings of this equipment? Actually, I don’t think so. Suppose you want to be picky because this equipment is mainly musical. Perhaps the intense sound effects are not so obvious. The analytical power is not so sharp, not so exaggerated, and more restrained. If you like audiophiles with more intense effects, it may not be your favorite.
Cambridge Audio Edge M mono channel power amplifier continues to take “Great British Sound” as the product development concept. The new focus technologies include: Class XA post-amplification technology, DC servo technology, symmetrical twin toroidal transformer design, and output power up to 200W ( 8Ω).
Even with a combination of speakers with extremely stringent driving force requirements, Edge M can provide a powerful and continuously pleasing tone for the music system, no longer affected by low noise and distortion.
Cambridge Audio Edge M Specs
- CONTINUOUS POWER OUTPUT (<1% THD+N): 200W RMS into 8 Ohms, 350W RMS into 4 Ohms THD (UNWEIGHTED): <0.002% 1kHz at rated power (8 Ohms) <0.02% 20Hz – 20kHz at rated power (8 Ohms) FREQUENCY RESPONSE (INTO 8 OHM): <3Hz – >80kHz +/-1dB
- S/N RATIO (REF 1W INTO 8 OHM): >93 dB
- S/N RATIO (REF MAX POWER): >115 dB
- GAIN: 28dB (RCA)/ 22dB (XLR)
- INPUT SENSITIVITY: 1.7V RMS (RCA) / 3.4V RMS (XLR)
- INPUT IMPEDANCES: balanced 100k Ohm, unbalanced 47k Ohm
- INPUTS: Balanced, Unbalanced
- OUTPUTS: Speaker out, Loop out (balanced and unbalanced)
- MAX POWER CONSUMPTION: 1000W
- STANDBY POWER CONSUMPTION: <0.5W
- DIMENSIONS: 150 x 460 x 405mm (5.9 x 18.1 x 15.9″)
- WEIGHT: 23.6kg (52.0lbs)
- BOX CONTENTS: EDGE M Monoblock Power Amplifier, Power Cable, Link Cable, Instruction Manual