Home Multitest – The best integrated amplifier for MAX 1000 Euro!

Multitest – The best integrated amplifier for MAX 1000 Euro!

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Price: € 1000

Intro

On Saturday, January 27, 2024, we – again – put five wonderful amplifiers side by side. This time the Atoll IN50, Advance Paris X-i75, Arcam A5, Cambridge Audio CXA81 and the Creek 4040A. Five very affordable amplifiers. How do they compare? We have listened and measured them for you.

It feels like England VS France this time. Atoll and Advance Paris on the French side and Cambridge, Creek and Arcam on the English side. Though of course much is produced in China these days. So the question then is: how British or French is it really. However, that is a discussion for another time.

“Budget?”

Now we call this class the “Budget” class at Alpha Audio. However, that’s not quite right, because in the end, an enthusiast still spends a few thousand euros for a complete system. And that is and remains just a lot of money.

However, the reality is that from this price point on it starts to get interesting. Around 1000 Euro amplifiers start to sound really good, because manufacturers have enough budget for decent components.

The test list

We included the following amplifiers in this multitest:

  • Cambridge Audio CXA81
  • Creek 4040A
  • Arcam A5
  • Advance Paris X-i75
  • Atoll IN50

The set-up

We listened to all the amplifiers in the Alpha Listening Room on TAD Evolution Two speakers. Cabling is from Driade (Flow Reference) and Grimm (TPM interlink). Mains cables are standard. As a source we used the Volumio Primo with a Pura Dodo power supply. We did not use any filters.

We test both the analog and digital inputs of the amplifier. The only exception is the Atoll, because it does not have a built-in d/a converter.

Tested price range
Price cheapest product: €749
Price most expensive product: €999
Properties
  • Brand and model: Advance Paris X-i75
  • Build quality: Typical Advance Paris: different, but solid
  • Overall impression: Too little power? Not a great match with the TAD
  • Price: €749
  • Brand and model: Arcam A5
  • Build quality: Solid. Beautiful device.
  • Overall impression: Nice amp! Relaxed sound.
  • Price: €849
  • Brand and model: Atoll IN50
  • Build quality: Solid and understated.
  • Overall impression: Warm, Atoll sound. Little out of breath sometimes
  • Price: €849
  • Brand and model: Cambridge Audio CXA81
  • Build quality: Solid. Neat finish
  • Overall impression: Fun and loose sounding amp
  • Price: €999
  • Brand and model: Creek 4040A
  • Build quality: Solid. Compact... neat finish
  • Overall impression: Huge fun-factor. Lots of control.
  • Price: €999
  • Buy here

    Product

    Link to store

    Price

    Cambridge CXA81
    999EUR
    Advance Paris
    DiffersEUR

    Winkels met Advance Paris

    Sint-Antoniusstraat 15
    2300 Turnhout, BE
    Joseph Bensstraat 21
    1180 Ukkel, BE
    Bredabaan 1031
    B-2930 Brasschaat, BE
    Pelikaanstraat 126
    2018 Antwerpen, BE
    Schoenmakersstraat 19
    6041EX Roermond, NL
    Grotestraat 23
    5931 CS Tegelen, NL
    Parkweg 23
    8084CG 't Harde, NL
    St. Ceciliastraat 28
    5038 HA Tilburg, NL
    Geldropseweg 105
    5611 SE Eindhoven, NL
    Breestraat 146-148
    2311CX Leiden, Zuid Holland, NL
    Beethovenstraat 9-b
    1077 HL Amsterdam, Noord Holland, NL

    Winkels met Arcam

    Sint-Antoniusstraat 15
    2300 Turnhout, BE
    Joseph Bensstraat 21
    1180 Ukkel, BE
    Pleinweg 136
    3083 EP Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, NL
    Bredabaan 1031
    B-2930 Brasschaat, BE
    Pelikaanstraat 126
    2018 Antwerpen, BE
    Schoenmakersstraat 19
    6041EX Roermond, NL
    St. Ceciliastraat 28
    5038 HA Tilburg, NL
    Korevaarstraat 2 e-f
    2311 JS Leiden, NL
    Jozef Verbovenlei 54
    2100 Deurne, BE
    Beethovenstraat 9-b
    1077 HL Amsterdam, Noord Holland, NL
    Paalstraat 128
    2900 Schoten, BE

    Winkels met Atoll

    Cort van der Lindelaan 11
    9722 LP Groningen, NL
    Schoenmakersstraat 19
    6041EX Roermond, NL
    Stationsweg 87
    9471 GM Zuidlaren, NL
    St. Ceciliastraat 28
    5038 HA Tilburg, NL
    Spoorstraat 18
    7491 CK Delden, Overijssel, NL
    Steenstraat 54
    6828 CM Arnhem, Gelderland, NL
    St.-Katelijnevest 53
    2000 Antwerpen, BE
    Beethovenstraat 9-b
    1077 HL Amsterdam, Noord Holland, NL

    Winkels met Cambridge Audio

    Sint-Antoniusstraat 15
    2300 Turnhout, BE
    Joseph Bensstraat 21
    1180 Ukkel, BE
    Bredabaan 1031
    B-2930 Brasschaat, BE
    Pelikaanstraat 126
    2018 Antwerpen, BE
    Schoenmakersstraat 19
    6041EX Roermond, NL
    Grotestraat 23
    5931 CS Tegelen, NL
    Parkweg 23
    8084CG 't Harde, NL
    St. Ceciliastraat 28
    5038 HA Tilburg, NL
    Breestraat 146-148
    2311CX Leiden, Zuid Holland, NL
    Korevaarstraat 2 e-f
    2311 JS Leiden, NL
    Spoorstraat 18
    7491 CK Delden, Overijssel, NL
    Steenstraat 54
    6828 CM Arnhem, Gelderland, NL
    Beethovenstraat 9-b
    1077 HL Amsterdam, Noord Holland, NL

    Winkels met Creek

    Hennesweg 20
    6035 AD Ospel, NL