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Cambridge Audio A1 mk3 upgrade mods
Cambridge Audio A1 mk3 upgrade mods
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Old 18th December 2010, 12:54 AM   #21
sardonx is offline sardonx  Canada
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Good to hear. I picked up an azur 350a, and my first impression is that i don't like it as much as the a1. The bass seems a bit loose at times, and the bass knob seems to attenuate at quite a low frequency which gives you more of a rumble than a punch. And the voices don't sound as nice as the a1. But of course i will have to tweak it..! Seems the tda1514 chip is the one my ears like the best
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Old 18th December 2010, 11:44 AM   #22
Honda Z50M is offline Honda Z50M  United Kingdom
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I can now recomend the LM4562's I've also modded my CD player with them, sound is superb, sound waas quite hard at first but now they've run in it's fab.

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Old 28th September 2012, 11:05 AM   #23
craig1000 is offline craig1000
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Default A1 modification

I am not suggesting that any one does the following.

But I modified my A1 v2.0 in the following way. Removed the per amp stage and wired the pre to power linking cable to a phono port (I desoldered off of the pre amp board). The only worrying thing is I cut though the pre amp board to utilise the power button. I have been using this amp (in a power amp mode for years) connected to a mixing desk so that, I can listen to audio from my computers.

It is still in active use daily, I would love to be able to afford to have a new box made to accomodate the 'power amd module' board and PSU, as it does sound good with my Kef Coda 8s and Audio-technica electret sterophones ATH-80. I have connected to it.
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Old 29th September 2012, 12:50 AM   #24
Bare is offline Bare  Canada
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ERM. as you are? in Cambridge .. Why? not ask the people who cobbled your amp together in the first place?
Nawww.. what would they know.
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Old 30th September 2012, 11:58 AM   #25
mondogenerator is offline mondogenerator  England
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i have an A1 mkII, best budget amp, straight up best amp ive owned. Makes the H-class Technics I had sound like a tranny. The pair i have are in everyday use and may be 'converted' to poweramp duty in a small active system. 30 each, bargain of the century, and id rather part with my left arm than these.

I bought the new 'replacement' for the A1, azur 350? Awful. Took it back. Never looked back.
Balancing the things I must do, with the things I'd like to do...This is a skill (or a luxury) amongst many that I do not possess.

Last edited by mondogenerator; 30th September 2012 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 5th October 2013, 04:23 PM   #26
glue675 is offline glue675  Isle of Man
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Default all new

- might be a bit "outdated" but just happened to buy a mk3 and I`m looking for the best caps (make, model) to mod
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Old 11th October 2013, 01:09 PM   #27
Mike P is offline Mike P  United Kingdom
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I'm reading this thread with great interest.

I recently picked up a mint Ariston AX910 amp for just 4 which appears to be more or less a re-badged A1 mk3. I have downloaded the service manual for the A1 mk3 and the power amp section of my Ariston seems to be identical in design but uses lower spec capacitors. Mine has the 4x 2200uF power supply caps but they are only rated at 25v in the Ariston.

I think the pre-amp board may be a simplified version of the Cambridge Audio one but certainly there both amps have a lot in common.

I suspect that some better quality capacitors and upgraded op-amps would make this into a cracking budget amp. I really like the TDA1514 chips. I had an old Linn Majik integrated amp a few years back which also used the TDA1514 and that sounded lovely.
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Old 12th October 2013, 11:01 AM   #28
Mike P is offline Mike P  United Kingdom
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Correction; the main PSU caps are 35v and of course there are two banks of 4 (8 in total).
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Old 1st March 2014, 03:08 PM   #29
Mortymore is offline Mortymore  Portugal
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I've been messing around with my CA A1 v3.0 (the one with the LM4766), and so far my best improvement moves were replacing the capacitors EC1, EC2 6800uF for some Panasonic 10000uF. I sure like to try other brands and so, but didn't done that so far.

The 2 op-amps JRC 4558D for LM4562. I suppose that a NE5532 would work fine also.

Of course that some mods are related with others done, but replacing the EC3, EC4 330uF/50v for some Elna RJH 470uF/50v made the sense of deeper bass. Not necessary more powerful... but as if the lower frequency range as been extended. I bought other capacitors for this replacement, like some Muse KZ, but they were to big. The board design of this A1 v3.0 will not allow much wider capacitor to be fitted, so I had to search for taller ones, like the Elna RJH series.

Another great improvement came from replaced EC7, EC9 electrolytic capacitors 47uF/25V by a pair of Elna RE3 47uF/50V

I replaced pretty much anything on the board by now, but replacing the carbon film resistors for metallic film Vishay MRS25 ended up a tricky one. The sound seems much more detailed and clear... but with some recordings, and mainly voices, it is harsh and aggressive. I will keep them on the board, but clearly some resistor values have to be altered, or capacitors. But before I do this I intend to modify the connections in the board in order to bypass the tone controls, like the "direct" button action that this amp lacks, and most have, just to check if the sound has to be worked out in the pre or amp stage.
So my safe advice about the resistor is, do not change them.

One can check here what stabs I've been sticking on my CA A1 v3.0

NOTE: I'm not in any way an audio "rocket scientist", so take what I wrote only as a personal opinion/experience.
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