Cambridge Audio Edge M Monoblock Power Amplifier Review Roundup

The Cambridge Audio Edge M Monoblock Power Amplifier is a high-end audio amplifier that is designed to deliver an incredible listening experience. It is the latest addition to the Edge range of high-end audio products from Cambridge Audio. The Edge range is inspired by the company’s iconic 80s-era hi-fi products, is named in homage to the visionary Prof. Gordon Edge, one of the company’s founding minds, and encompasses a range of meticulously crafted audio products that harmonize cutting-edge engineering, timeless design, and uncompromising sound quality.  Future articles will focus on the other amazing products in the Edge lineup, but today the focus is on the Edge M Monoblock which according to Cambridge Audio’s website, is their “most refined monoblock power amplifier. The Edge M offers the same rhythmic coherence and depth of image as the rest of the Edge range but with the power in reserve to drive even the most demanding of speakers.”

Design, Construction, and Aesthetics

Cambridge Audio Edge M Monoblocks Diagonal Photo

Exquisite Design: The Edge M Monoblock Amplifiers encompass not only sonic brilliance but also an aesthetic marvel. While their appearance is modest and refined, their internal audio design is a testament to meticulous engineering. Cambridge Audio’s unwavering commitment to reducing signal path components ensures a direct connection between music and listener, creating a lossless experience that captivates with its depth and three-dimensional quality.

Internal Architecture:  As we explore the inner workings of the Cambridge Edge M Monos, we delve into a realm of engineering precision and meticulous craftsmanship. At the heart of these amplifiers lies a pair of 325 VA toroidal transformers, meticulously arranged. While not oversized, this configuration is precisely calibrated to deliver optimal performance. However, quality takes precedence over quantity, exemplified by the innovative twin toroidal transformer arrangement. This design endeavors to harmonize the mirror-image stray fields of the transformers, effectively canceling out interference and noise.

Edge M Monoblock Interior

Under the hood of the Cambridge Audio Edge M Monoblock – Photo Courtesy of Allhomecinema.com

Adding to this design, another toroidal transformer, albeit smaller at 42 VA, stands vertically behind the front panel. Its purpose is to supply the input stage, ensuring a seamless flow of signals. This delicate balance between components is maintained by four specially crafted capacitors on each side of the housing, boasting an impressive 10,000 uF capacity each. This synergy yields a total sieving capacity of 80,000 uF for each monoblock.

Within this intricate architecture, eight power transistors work in pairs to orchestrate power amplification, bestowing each pair with the capability to deliver  200 watts in 8 ohms and 350 watts into 4 ohms. Additionally, another pair of transistors assumes the role of nurturing the Class XA circuit in isolation, a testament to Cambridge’s dedication to innovative engineering. This sophisticated internal composition ensures that each Edge M Monoblock Amplifier functions as a harmonious unit, delivering both power and finesse to the audio experience.

Main Features

Edge M Monoblock Power Amplifier XLR Input Closeup

Clean Power: The Edge M Monoblock Amplifiers emerge as the epitome of precision, channeling 200W RMS into 8 Ohms and an impressive 350W RMS into 4 Ohms. Their architectural mastery ensures minimal Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) – under 0.002% at 1kHz and below 0.02% across 20Hz to 20kHz. This obsessive attention to detail ensures music remains true to its essence, unaffected by distortion artifacts.

Range and Fidelity: Embracing an expansive frequency range from under 3Hz to over 80kHz, the Edge M Monoblocks provide access to sonic intricacies often concealed. An exceptional Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) surpasses 93dB at 1W and climbs beyond 115dB at maximum power, guaranteeing fidelity preservation. With gains of 28dB (RCA) or 22dB (XLR), these amplifiers accommodate various sources, creating a captivating and authentic auditory experience.

Quick and Simple Main Features Direct from Cambridge Audio

  • Fully balanced from input to output – free from noise and distortion.
  • Handpicked components – hours of listening to select only those that sound the best.
  • Twin Toroidal Transformers – huge reserves of power for consistent tonality.
  • Cambridge Audio proprietary Class XA Amplification – no audible crossover distortion.

Technology Features

Class XA Amplification: The Edge M Monoblock Amplifiers boast Class XA amplification technology, a synergy of Class A and Class AB virtues. This ingenious blend optimizes efficiency while maintaining sonic purity. By shifting the crossover point beyond the range of human auditory perception, the Edge M Monoblocks deliver the power of Class A at low levels and seamlessly transition to a Class AB configuration when the music demands it.

DC SERVO: The DC SERVO technology enriches the sonic landscape by shortening the signal path, resulting in an immaculate sound. By maintaining audio integrity and minimizing interference, the Edge M Monoblocks elevate the listening experience, rendering each note with unparalleled clarity.

Cambridge Audio Edge M Monoblock Power Amplifier Review Roundup

Below is the breakdown of reviews and official information about the amplifiers.

Independent Video Reviews

“The presence, the spatial imaging… everything is just what you’d expect out of an amplifier of this class.” – Shane, Spare Change

Dealer Video Reviews

Note: This video is completely in Czech but we love our international friends. Oslava!

Written Reviews

  • Cambridge Audio Edge M Review – HiFi Report (2023) – Gordon Lyn
    • “Even with powerful features, the sound performance of Edge M is very delicate and well-balanced. Using the Edge series’s spirit to select the simplest sound components, Edge M can provide impressively detailed three-dimensional sounds with an eye-catching stage and focus.”
  • Cambridge Audio Edge NQ/M Streamer/Monoblocks -HiFi News (2021) – Paul Miller
    • Includes lab reports and in Paul’s testing, showed higher numbers than listed
      • The new Edge M delivers 259W/8ohm and 435W/4ohm (a stiff +2.3dB increase in power) with reserve to accommodate 293W, 535W, 835W into 8, 4 and 2ohm under dynamic conditions at <1%”
    • “There’s drama, persuasive soundstaging and imaging, and if you don’t mind the pun, no shortage of passion. It’s a fabulous experience, both sonic and musical.”
  • Review: Cambridge Audio Edge M: Mono Power Amplifier – All Home Cinema (2021)
    • “It doesn’t really matter what kind of bass or mid-range impulse is fed to the Cambridge Edge M; the monos make it a real spectacle. Not in the sense of “too much of a good thing”, but with a very positive connotation.”
  • Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamp/Network Player & Edge M Monoblock Power Amplifiers – Twittering Machines (2023)
    • Note this is currently a quick overview and will eventually be a full review which will be linked here once Michael Lavorgna completes it.

Cambridge Audio Official Information

Pricing and How to Purchase

Full Specifications

  • Continuous Power Output (<1% THD+N): 200W RMS into 8 Ohms, 350W RMS into 4 Ohms
  • THD (Unweighted): <0.002% at 1kHz (8 Ohms) <0.02% from 20Hz to 20kHz (8 Ohms)
  • Frequency Response (into 8 Ohm): <3Hz – >80kHz +/-1dB
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Reference 1W into 8 Ohm): 93 dB
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Reference Max Power): 115 dB
  • Gain: 28dB (RCA)/ 22dB (XLR)
  • Input Sensitivity: 1.7V RMS (RCA) / 3.4V RMS (XLR)
  • Input Impedances: balanced 100k Ohm, unbalanced 47k Ohm
  • Inputs: Balanced, Unbalanced
  • Outputs: Speaker out, Loop out (balanced and unbalanced)
  • Max Power Consumption: 1000W
  • Standby Power Consumption: <0.5W
  • Dimensions: 150 x 460 x 405mm (5.9 x 18.1 x 15.9″)
  • Weight: 23.6kg (52.0lbs) ea
  • Box Contents: EDGE M Monoblock Power Amplifier, Power Cable, Link Cable, Instruction Manual
  • Price: $4749 USD

Full Rear View Edge M Monoblock Power Amplifiers

Is This the Right Amplifier for You?

The Cambridge Audio Edge M Monoblock Power Amplifiers transcend their technical specifications (clearly when you look at the lab report from Hifi News) but there is a cost associated with sonic euphoria.  

Pros:

  • High Power and completely separate power supplies
  • XA amplification technology balances the virtues of Class A and Class AB.
  • Fully balanced design and twin toroidal transformer architecture ensure minimal interference and consistent tonality.
  • Low Distortion levels
  • Exquisite aesthetic design harmonizes with meticulous internal construction, embodying the legacy of British craftsmanship.

Cons:

  • Premium price point may deter budget-conscious audiophiles.
  • Robust weight of nearly 24 kilograms per amplifier may pose placement challenges.
  • Room: Not all of us have the ability to fit monoblocks into tight spaces

In the end, listening to these amplifiers will provide you with an understanding of whether these monoblocks are your next illustrious auditory step, but if you’re in the market at the $8000 – $12000 price range, these are certainly worth your consideration.

Edge M Monoblock Amplifier Pair - 2

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