New Azur amp & CD player from Cambridge Audio

The big problem with low-bit rate MP3s is that many of us have forgotten how good music can sound. Luckily Cambridge Audio has come to the rescue with the launch of the Azur 740A integrated amp and Azur 740CD CD player.

The good stuff comes from the CD player's upsampling ability which takes the 16-bit/44.1KHz audio stream from the disc and then upsamples it to 24-bit/384KHz.

The Azur 740C can do this thanks to the presence of Adaptive Time Filtering (ATF) technology that runs on a 32-bit digital signal processor.

It also features discrete 24-bit digital to analogue converters (DACs) for each audio channel and Dual Differential Virtual Earth filter technology. This takes the audio produced by the high sampling rate and then squeezes out any unwanted artifacts from the sounds that you hear.

The result of all this, hopefully, is that your ears should receive a jolly good tickling.

Quality sound, but loud

Providing much needed oomph the audio goodness is the Azur 740A amp which can pelt out 100W into 8 ohms. It has two pairs of current transistors for each channel, leading Cambridge Audio to claim that the amp can even get the best out of difficult speakers.

The amp comes with seven audio inputs - including a tape in - and two audio outputs. It also has a customisable front panel display, enabling you to give the inputs and outputs different names, so you never need forget which one the Azur 740C is plugged into.

Cambridge Audio says that both the CD player and amp can be integrated into a multi-room audio system, including the company's own Incognito system.

Oh, and you can use the remote control on both components to control your iPod - not that you'll need to, of course.