Cambridge Audio’s Evo Blends Cutting-Edge Audio Technology with a Nod to the Past

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(April 8, 2018) Cambridge Audio’s latest release is a gorgeous all-in-one network player called EVO. Its design delivers true plug-and-play simplicity, giving both tech-savvy and tech-adverse music fans quick access to their favorite streaming and legacy sources.

Cambridge built Evo around Hypex NCore Class D amplification, which delivers 150 watts per channel (EVO 150) and 75 watts per channel (EVO 75) across both available models, and ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DACs for high-quality digital-to-analog conversion. Those advanced technologies are housed in a gorgeous black anodized aluminum chassis with visual appointments inspired by the company’s first-ever product, the P40. Evo’s front panel houses a large 6.8” color LCD display and a dual-concentric rotary dial, and its interchangeable side panels feature walnut wood and black Richlite options.

Physical connectivity includes both digital and analog options, including an HDMI port for use with Audio Return Channel (ARC). The Evo 150 adds a moving magnet (MM) phono stage, an asynchronous USB input, balanced XLR inputs, and two sets of speaker terminals for running two sets of speakers.

On the streaming front, Evo taps the power of Cambridge Audio’s StreamMagic and StreamMagic’s app control. Owners can access Bluetooth 4.2, AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in, Qobuz, Roon Ready, Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect, and internet radio. And, yes, Evo supports MQA.

Cambridge Audio says it's releasing Evo speakers and a dedicated Evo CD Transport later this year. The Evo 150 and Evo 75 are priced at $3,000 and $2,250, respectively. The Evo S speakers and Evo CD are projected to cost $750 and $950. For more information, visit CambridgeAudio.com.
 

Sonnie

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Nice looking piece there with a lot to offer. I wonder if Amir will get one to test.
 

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Agreed. Beautiful. We are in line to have one in May.
 

symphara

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Do you happen to know if there's a HT Bypass/fixed gain input feature on the analog input of the EVO 150?

I'd be interested but it's got to integrate with a HT system, I don't even understand releasing this without such a feature.
 

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I'm with you on these processors. Companies need to start included HT bypass.

As far as I know... the only one I have considered is the Anthem STR series, but it's not Roon Ready, so I kicked it to the curbside.
 

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I'm with you on these processors. Companies need to start included HT bypass.

As far as I know... the only one I have considered is the Anthem STR series, but it's not Roon Ready, so I kicked it to the curbside.
There‘s a huge selection of amplifier/streamers with HT Bypass, there’s a list maintained on audiophile.no.

I think it’s an essential feature, and it shouldn’t be that hard to implement.

The Anthems are expensive and I’m not sure about the quality and reliability.
 

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Great list... thanks!
 

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Now I believe the question will be which one's have more than two outputs, as in sub pre-outs in addition to L+R.
 

symphara

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Now I believe the question will be which one's have more than two outputs, as in sub pre-outs in addition to L+R.
I think that’s a more esoteric feature.

HT bypass can take a lowly HT setup that’s good enough for movies, with a cheap receiver like, say, the Yamaha RX-V6A and make the system also pretty good for music, with a decent streaming and amp section (like the Hypex modules in the EVOs). And one doesn’t need a lot of equipment for this.

Sub outs in the integrated amp need sub management/room correction, and once you get to two you’re really talking Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 money.
 

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In may case, as with several others I know... we just need a single sub out. I have four subs for music, but time align them with the phase control on the subs, and then daisy-chain them for connection, so only one sub out is needed. However, yes... crossover and room correction is helpful, but not necessary if using Roon or have the means to implement Convolver. Sub management and correction can be set within the Convolver filter in Roon as long as each output has its own DAC.

I use the miniDSP SHD now, and it's great, tested great, works very well, has 4 assignable XLR outputs, but it lacks the HT Bypass, so I have to use an XLR switch to swap between it for two-channel and my HTP-1 for multi-channel. I hope they'll eventually come up with a template for HT Bypass, as it's been mentioned, but nothing as of yet.
 

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So you're looking to dump L/R from your home theater AVR into the EVO 150, fixed gain. Correct?

I don't see any reference to that in the spec sheet. The only input is an AUX, which I'm assuming is not fixed.


Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 2.58.26 PM.png
 

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It shows XLR In... so it will work if there is an HT Bypass switch, which allows the preout signal to pass through the unit unaltered and on to the AV processor inputs. This unit even has Sub-Out, although the preouts are all unbalanced.
 

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Doh... I totally overlooked that.

I've asked Cambridge... just waiting for a response.
 

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I haven't looked at the manual, but if it has it I am pretty sure it would mention it, as it's a major feature.
 

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I looked for the manual, no links.
 

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symphara

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So you're looking to dump L/R from your home theater AVR into the EVO 150, fixed gain. Correct?
Correct. Easy-peasy to implement. I wonder if they could do it with a firmware update. Then I will very seriously consider an EVO 150, I’m in the market for a streamer/amp around this price range. The EVO 150 would be cheaper, more powerful, and have more features compared to the Primare I25 Prisma. It just lacks the HT bypass which for me is a must-have, as I want the integrated amp for front L/R duties.

I’ve been running HT bypass systems for a while and I think it’s a great solution. It can be fully automated with triggers. It makes HT sound better, because front L/R sounds better and there’s more current available in the receiver to drive the rest. It makes music sound much better, since unless you go to very high prices, AV receivers just don’t compete with good integrated amps for stereo.
 

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Makes total sense. I've never implemented one, myself, but I understand the reasoning behind it. I looked through the manual Sonnie linked and agree with him - I don't see it as an option. Haven't heard anything back from Cambridge, yet. So, let's see what they say.
 

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Center Channel Speaker
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Surround Speakers
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SVS Ultra Bookshelf
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SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC NX7
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Streaming Subscriptions
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Just heard back from Cambridge on this... as suspected, it doesn't have HT Bypass. But, they did say "at this time," which leaves the door open, I guess? I passed along feedback to them.
 
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