Cambridge Audio P80 integrated amplifier / T55 Tuner

Introduction
 
Review
Sale Results at Auction
 
Links

Introduction

Cambridge Audio Laboratories created a sensation when they sold the P40 stereo amplifier in 1960s. This was superseded by the P50 in 1970 and P110 models. At Hi-fi shows they handled out brochures on the Classic One but few where made ( http://www.stancurtis.com/CA%20Classic.htm  ). The last model of the series was the Stan Curtis designed P80 in 1975. They also manufactured the R50 monitor loudspeakers and T55 Tuner. 

Review

Purchased in 1978. Rosewood side panels. The tuner is still a match in quality for any tuner I have come across. The amplifier is a rival to the famous A&R 60. The styling is timeless, and a match for any decor.

The P80 has DIN sockets for turntable (moving magnet pickup), tuner, cassette and auxiliary, plus tape 1 and tape 2. You can record to cassette or tape and play back another tape deck and monitor the input and output signals. Pre-amp and power levels can be set separately. Bass, treble, low filters and hi-filters with steep or grad. positions. All input/outputs are 5 pin DIN with 2 pin DIN sockets for the speakers. These were common on European equipment and provided a simpler connection than two or four RCA phone connections. The power amplifier's volume control is also the on/off switch.  Bass, treble, low filters and hi-filters with steep or grad. positions.

The P80 unusually has 3 tape inputs, each of which could be used to record from the pickup, tuner or auxiliary. Tape 1 and Tape 2 could be monitored separately. The pre-amplifier stage has a separate volume, with green and red LED warning lights. 

The T55 Tuner has phono and DIN outputs and a variable gain control. 75 ohm aerial and 300 ohm for a dipole sockets. AFC, squelch (cuts noise when tuning), stereo/mono. No presets, but a fast and easy tuning dial and twin lamp indicators to tune accurately.

Matched with a pair of efficient speakers such as the KEF 101 for a classic quality British Hi-fi system.

In keeping with many British products the appearance is minimalist.

 

The Cambridge Audio P80 and T55 was my first Hi-fi system with a Transcriptor Skeleton turntable, AKG P7E cartridge and Jim Rodgers JR149 speakers purchased in 1978. The philosophy at the time was to divide the budget equally between turntable, amplifier and speakers. Although these components are each excellent products they where not the best match possible for the same budget. The JR149 speakers really required an amplifier with more power and with the P80 had to be turn up before the speakers could be heard. The more efficient and as small Kef 101 where a better match for the P80 and the JR149 speakers really needed the power of the 100Watt Meridian 105 mono power amplifier.

Sale Results at auction

eBay

T55 tuner P40 P50 P60 P80 P110
2010/04/18 31.50GBP silver
2008/12/16 24GBP silver
2010/01/31 31.01GBP silver
2010/01/31 4.99GBP silver
2005/12/18 65GBP silver 2006/04/18 36.89GBP silver
2008/12/16 32GBP silver
2006/08/20 46GBP black 2005/11/30 71.50EUR black
2006/02/14 34.59GBP black
2006/02/26 128GBP black

LINKS

Cambridge Audio P40 stereo Amplifier http://www.gramophone.net/Issue/Page/August%201970/92/736195/ 

P80 manual and brochures for P60, T55


Last updated 14th June 2010