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4.5 out of 5 stars21
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 January 2011
This must be the hi-fi bargain of the moment! Minimalist circuit for a pure soundstage. Great detail, very natural, highly enjoyable sound. No tone controls necessary!.
It normally costs £200++ to hear a amp this neutral.
Playing my vinyl via a 'musical fidelity xLP phono pre amp' through the cambridge audio amp.
Excellent product, bargain buy, highly recommended.
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on 6 December 2011
This amp is low on features but high on sound quality at a bargain price. I bought one to replace an Arcam A65 which finally expired and was estimated to cost more than twice the price of the Cambridge to repair. Build quality is very good with a nice weighty feel to it, the volume knob turns smoothly and the input phono sockets feel solid, unlike some other budget amps. The sound quality is best described as neutral and hence is dependant on the quality of the original recordings. Volume in a mid size room through floorstanding speakers was more than adequate.
What the amp doesn't have is tone controls, a remote, a headphone socket or a phono stage. Never using the tone controls or vinyl and owning a headphone amp this doesn't bother me too much, although a remote would be nice. For some the lack of features will count out the AM1. If you can live with the spartan features it probably sounds as good as any amp in the sub £150 class.
Overall this is probably a 4 star product but a 5 star bargain.
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on 22 November 2014
Wow! This amp sounds amazing!
The minimal circuitry really works, it sounds better than my Marantz PM7200 (now sadly dead) which i woudn't have thought possible from a £80 amp.
Has no bass or treble controls and it's all the better for it (minimalism is the key here) with a beautiful clean and clear presentation.
Don't worry about the low power spec (20 watts into 8ohms) it will run any reasonably easy to drive speaker to ear splitting levels (86-92db is fine). And it will handle 4ohm speakers as well, which will increase output to probably 30 watts.
Build quality is brilliant too, frankly i don't know how cambridge do it for the money. Most people will be happy with it and never bother upgrading, must be why it's not listed on the Cambridge Audio website.
Buy with confidence.
Specs:
Power output 20 watts (into 8ohms)
THD (unweighted) <0.02% @ 1kHz, 80% of rated power
<0.15% 20Hz - 20kHz, 80% of rated power
<0.1% 20Hz - 20kHz @ 10W
Frequency response (-3dB) 10Hz - 30kHz
S/N ratio (ref 1W) >82dB (unweighted)
Input impedances 32k ohms
Power Amp damping factor >100
Max. power consumption 150W
Dimensions 80 x 430 x 340mm
(3.1 x 16.9 x 13.4")
Weight 5.1kg (11.2lbs)
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on 12 August 2014
I bought this amp in 2010 as a low cost option for a system only used for background listening, after the previous NAD came to the end of its life after 26 years good service. I was attracted by the no frills approach, with the emphasis on sound quality for the money. An improvement in sound quality was noticeable through a pair of £50 speakers and a low cost CD player.

It is only recently that I have discovered the capabilities of the Topaz AM1 and what excellent value it is. This follows the purchase of an Audioquest Dragonfly DAC as a source (costing far more than the amp) and changing the speakers to ones costing over three times as much as the previous ones it was connected to. These speakers were previously connected to my main system, but no longer required following an upgrade. Despite its low power rating, the AM1 has no problems driving the larger speakers and the improvement in sound quality is striking, most notably in the bass.

You would need to spend quite a bit more money, with decent partnering equipment, to better the Topaz AM1. I highly recommend it at the price.
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on 14 May 2012
I recently moved into temporary rented accommodation, and wanted a quality but inexpensive amplifier for my hifi there. At home I have the Cambridge Audio A5 amplifier, so I am familiar with Cambridge products and thus chose to go with the cheapest amplifier they make for my rented accommodation. I wasn't expecting much at this price, but the AM1 is a truly excellent product, and is an improvement on my older yet more expensive (at the time) A5 amplifier.

The first pleasant surprise I had about the AM1 is just how well made it is. The facia is metal as opposed to plastic, and the controls have a nicely weighted and quality feel to them. Even the on-off button has a satisfying gently spring-loaded "click" to it - much nicer than the A5 or any other stereo I have used for that matter.

I love the minimal features of the AM1. It has no tone controls, but then I never use them anyway, and just comes with a volume, balance, and input selector knobs. Ideally I would like to dispense with the balance control too - it is just another useless feature which for some reason all manufacturers feel compelled to add to their products. But the AM1 has much less features than other products, which I like - it makes to less wiring and componentry to taint the sound!

The only feature that you might miss on the AM1 is that is doesn't have the necessary outputs to allow you to bi-wire speakers with it. However, I don't really know how much an discernable improvement bi-wiring makes anyway, and many quality speakers aren't even bi-wireable.

The sound of the AM1 is astonishingly clear. I am using it with a couple of Q-Acoustic 2010i speakers, with my laptop playing loss-less WMAs as the input, and it sounds truly fantastic! This set up - the amp, speakers and decent speaker stands - came in at less than 350 euro (I live in Ireland) and it really does blow the socks off anything you might buy in the high street for that kind of money. I tried out a couple of Bose powered speakers in a shop which cost this same amount, thinking that they might offer a solution to my need for a stereo whilst in rented accommodation, but really the Bose speakers just sounded laughable compared to this set-up. They are not even hifi by comparison.

I think my AM1 with the Q Acoustic speakers sounds just as good as my AM5 with bi-wired Gale floor-standers which I run back home. And like I say, this setup sounds way better than anything for this price you might buy on the high street. In fact, to be honest, I'd say this set-up sounds better than anything you are likely to find on the high street at any price (unless you live in Chelsea maybe!). It is astonishing quality for hardly any outlaw. Fantastic value.
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on 13 September 2012
Before I bought this amp I looked at some reviews to make sure I had made the right choice and I saw one review describing this amp as "quiet". I can assure you this is very far from the truth. I use 2 Mission M30 speakers with this amp and the power this amp puts out is incredible. I hardly ever go over quarter volume and have never gone over half as I'm sure my speakers would explode. However this amp manages to do this while still providing amazing quality. Also the look of the amp is beautiful, very simplistic but I think it is truly amazing. Overall I would recommend this amplifier to anyone who wants amazing sound.
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on 7 December 2012
Everything that I wanted. Don't know why so many people are complaining about it, even at low volume (not very often) they sounds from BOTH speakers can't be matched for the price. A really good buy would definitely recommend it
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on 5 March 2011
The title says it all. The amplifier arrived in record time, was easy to set up and sounds great. I wanted it for general use in the 'spare' bedroom(so I could play TV, ipod etc through speakers)-- but I think it would be fine for anywhere.
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on 1 November 2012
I had to replace my old Philips amp after many years of happy use. I bought this one because I'm not interested in 'fancy', I want it to work well. The blurb on this one, and reviews of equipment, said that they've made it simple - but with good components.

First assessment of the kit is good. The switches move nicely, with good detents. The central volume knob has a very light movement, but doesn't feel loose.

Wiring it up, the screw connectors on the back for stranded cable are made of cheap feeling plastic, but they are firm enough to work properly, and all the other connectors appear to be good.

On first power up I wasn't very impressed with the sound. It seemed very shrill and had absolutely no bottom end. Very unhappy, but I reckoned that it needed warming up. Sure enough, after about 10 hours of playing music and using it for sound for my PC the sound is good. The balance is never going to be perfect for an audiophile, unless everything else is, but for an £80 amp, I'm very happy with the sound, balance and levels.

All in all, if you want quality kit for comparatively little money, rather than bells and whistles and pointless LEDs and faders, (that only make things sound worse...), buy this amp.
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on 19 October 2012
Bought after my Technics AA finally died to drive a couple Wharfedale 9.1's.

The minimalist circuitry really works, sound is really detailed and natural - by far the best I have heard anywhere under £200.
Obviously at 20w/channel it's not going to be ideal for big systems, but for a bookshelf speaker setup this is what you want. Unless you're a Bass-Head.. which is fine.. get the AM5 instead.
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