While its been refreshing to see some of the uber high end brands come down to more moderate price points, its almost equally interesting to see everyman budget brands take a stab at a bolder statement product. It isn’t hard to tell that Cambridge Audio calls England their home given the massive oversized union jack on the floor of their room and the mantra “Great British Sound Since 1968”, but the attentive and informative reps on the 2nd floor of T.H.E. Show were mostly based out of Chicago as part of the US-focused marketing team.
Their main efforts are now clearly targeted at getting the word out for the new EDGE series for the brand. The lineup took 9 engineers approximately 3 years to develop and is broken out to both a pair of separates and one integrated. The products are set up in a $3k, $4k, and $5k progression for the W power amplifier, NQ Pre and Network Player and A Integrated respectively. Pushing a pair of Bowers and Wilkins 805 D3 bookshelf speakers, the entire setup costs a total of $7k for the front end, and around $13k all in. Its a respectable proposal in the middle ground landscape that delivers on options and versatility. You can find more feature set information and specs from the launch press release here.
The team played an interesting setlist of reference tracks while we were in the room ending with Blackbird from the Beatles. The almost near field setup returned tight images of the instruments and vocals with pleasing clarity. Its was top shelf bass control for the more “dance” tracks on the list, especially considering the size restrictions of the speaker’s bookshelf form factor. It was more than I expected and perfectly measured for the room size and somewhat challenging surfaces contained therein. A great sounding sample overall and a solid nod to a deeper price to performance ratio at a higher cost. Nicely done.