Four Decades of Hi-Fi: Part 1

Cambridge Audio engineers have been refining their Hi-Fi expertise since the 60's. Since then, there's been a revolution in the way we access, share and listen to music. But has any of the tech we used then stood the test of time and made it into 2015?

With the launch of our newest wireless speaker the G5 and our first ever sound bar, the TVB2, it’s easy to imagine our 1968 P40 stereo amp widening its eyes in disbelief and thinking ‘I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…’

But we’re far from clicking our heels and whispering there’s no place like home, instead we asked our engineers; What processes and technologies have endured and do any of them work in the context of our latest line up?

Our first tech still standing - The ToroidalTransformer. We used these in our very first amplifiers and have continued to do so. This was rare in the 70’s as they were so much more expensive than the typical El transformer. (If the only transformer you’d previously heard of was Optimus Prime, our in-house expert Ben made this video  to explain  the benefits of using toroidal in audio - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-iYQ0vqMvY )

Four Decades of Hi-Fi: Part 1

Tone Controls.

We continue to include tone controls in our amps. A lot of other companies have chosen to remove them but to us, sound is personal and you’re the one who should be in control. Our engineers pursue natural, balanced sound but we still want everyone to be able to adjust it to suit their taste, the space and the content.

Wooden cabinets.

The cabinet has a massive influence on musicality and tone. We still use wood in some of our speakers as this enables us greater control on how we internally brace the speaker which directly affects the rigidity and performance. Lots of our competitors still use wood for the very same reason, and it’s not going to be going extinct soon.

Four Decades of Hi-Fi: Part 1

BMR speaker technology.

One of the best parts of having our hi-fi engineers create a Bluetooth speaker is that they cannot settle for a compromise in sound no matter how much smaller the box needs to be. So, when designing the G5 and TVB2, they insisted on figuring out how to include the same driver tech we use in our expensive floor standing 

Four Decades of Hi-Fi: Part 1

speakers. These BMR drivers (pictured - the smaller version is used in G5 and TVB2, the larger in Aeromax 6) not only use the traditional push-pull motion of a standard driver but also a vibration motion across the surface of the driver at the same time which allows for higher frequencies and wider sound dispersal from one small driver rather than needing a separate tweeter.

The listening and voicing process.

Perhaps we’re just creatures of habit, but whether the speaker has an RRP of £100 or £1000 it goes through exactly the same sound testing process. This means testing them against a range of high end competitor speakers, usually ten times the cost that ours will retail at, in front of a panel of blind judges for hours and hours and hours until the engineers give it the nod to go forth and amaze.

So, if you get a chance to have a listen to our G5, close your eyes and enjoy the sound of 4 decades of hi-fi… re-mastered. For a proper stroll down memory lane, check out our product timeline from 1968 to 2015!

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