azur 551R AV receiver
The complete AV hub
The 551R is the perfect solution for powerful surround sound home
cinema experience together with a stunning audio performance,
without compromise, setting a new standard for AV receivers. At
Cambridge Audio we always ensure our receivers deliver the same
audio performance levels as our award winning stereo amplifiers.
So, the 551R will give you great room-shaking movie effects,
but unlike many other receivers on the market it will also deliver
incredibly high-quality musical reproduction.
We only use pure audiophile components, including the high
performance toroidal transformer which is why the 551R is
one of the most powerful AV receivers in its class. The versatile
551R caters for a wide range of set ups and systems, with four
HDMI inputs for Blu-ray, gaming, or satellite TV while the six RCA
connections will produce the very best audio from traditional hi-fi
equipment. It’s easy to set up, while the intuitive remote control
and front panel, which includes a line input, ensures anyone can
enjoy it.
Impressively all this power fits in an elegant box that’s just
110mm high, so even the smallest AV units and shelves will
comfortably accommodate it.
The inside story
Superb power
For surround sound, the 551R accommodates up to a 7.1
system producing 90 Watts to each channel (@ 6 ohms),
delivering superb power, punch and dynamics. While in stereo
mode the 2 x 110 Watts channels (@ 6 ohms) produce an
outstanding audiophile-grade music experience.
Class-leading connectivity
The 551R features four HDMI inputs with support for 3D TV and
deep colour pass through, six RCA phono inputs, four digital
coaxial and optical plus a convenient, front-mounted 3.5mm
Electronics (and therefore sound quality) are particularly
susceptible to vibration, that’s why we’ve used a low resonance,
acoustically damped metal chassis to eliminate as much
vibration as possible, ensuring that the most sound quality is
extracted from each source.
Super cooled
All this power, refinement and versatility comes in a sleek
and elegant box that’s just 110mm high, so it can fit into the
smallest of spaces in shelving and racks, whilst our advanced
X-Tract™ cooling system ensures it can operate in a small space
without overheating.
Power under the hood – the whisper quiet X-Tract cooling system
Want a discrete system?
The 551R is suited for Custom installation, with full RS232
control supporting unsolicited feedback, and an IR emitter input
on the rear panel with discrete codes available for all actions.
An amazing home
superb audio for
2 x video inputs
4 x digital inputs
composite & S-video (coaxial and digital)
Toroidal vs EI transformers
We strive for audio perfection which is why the 551R features
the powerful toroidal transformer. Cambridge Audio was one
of the first manufacturers to use toroidal transformers in
the 1970s, and we continue to use them today. Some of the
benefits of a toroidal transformer, over the cheaper, inferior EI
transformers used by most other manufacturers are:
igh quality power output to the amplification circuits,
with no clipping of the waveform signal, to provide a
consistent signal
RS-232 for use
with custom
5 x RCA
phono inputs
7.1 pre-amp
There’s an addtional
RCA connection on
the front panel too.
No transformer noise, buzz or hum
Sensational bass performance
High power output, to allow large and demanding
speakers to be driven at high volumes
Large power reserves, to allow the transformer to deliver
high peaks of volume when required
Fully shielded against internal and external electrical
interference, to maintain quality of power and signal
A typical cheaper El
Weak inconsistent signal
No shielding
Won’t drive powerful and
demanding speakers
Matching Surround Modes
to suit your speaker setup
Personal preferences and room restrictions means every 5.1 or
7.1 speaker configuration will be slightly different, so it is possible
the original mastertrack of a 7.1 soundtrack was mastered with a
different speaker layout than the one in your home.
There are seven different layouts used by DTS (Digital Theater
Surround) for DTS HD and DTS HD Master soundtracks. To
ensure you enjoy the sound as the original sound engineers
intended (without moving the speakers every time) the 551R
will electronically reposition each speaker to match the original
azur 551R AV receiver
cinema receiver designed to deliver
music and movies alike
HDMI output with ARC
(Audio Return Channel) allows
audio signal from TV to be sent
to amplifier - rather than having to
use the audio output on a TV
4 x HDMI
2 x component
video inputs
Application guide for
551R audio hub
Home cinema:
Supporting surround sound speaker configurations up to 7.1 –
with 90 Watts of pure power (@ 6 ohms) delivered to each channel
– the 551R will bring movies to life in true hi-fi quality. All received
video signals have the option to be scaled to 1080p and
outputted by HDMI.
Hi-fi stereo
The 551R has been specifically designed to ensure it’s more than
an AV receiver, delivering an exceptional stereo performance with
a powerful 110 Watts per channel (@ 6 ohms). You can connect a
wide range of source equipment and enjoy high performance stereo
audio. Furthermore, the front mounted MP3 connection allows
anyone to quickly and easily connect an iPod or laptop to the 551R.
7.1 Direct-in
Speaker connections
(up to 7.1)
Designer’s note
“We’ve taken our award-winning hi-fi knowhow and designed a powerful AV receiver
that will also produce a truly exceptional
stereo performance.”
Matthew Bramble –
Technical Director
Perfect picture
Good things come in small packages!
At only 110mm high the 551R fits on almost all shelves and racks
and is one of the most powerful AV Receivers in its class.
Did you know?
You can enable the 551R’s Dolby Dynamic range control (Dolby
DRC) to control the dynamic range of movie soundtracks by
compressing the audio to limit the difference in levels between
loud and quiet passages in the movie – very handy for latenight viewing.
Not all video signals are in HD. Many games consoles, set top
boxes, and other video sources only output standard definition, and
can appear to be of poor quality when viewed on a large display.
To resolve this, the 551R features a high quality Faroudja scaler
that can process all incoming video images, and scale them up to
1080P HD. In addition, the brightness, colour, and contrast can be
individually adjusted for each video input.
To scale or not to scale?
HDMI bypass mode allows you to easily engage/disengage the
video scaler as appropriate using the remote control, to avoid
double scaling issues with already-scaled video inputs – e.g. from a
Blu-ray player.
azur 551R AV receiver
Top reasons to buy an Azur 551R
The 551R delivers exceptional quality audio... here are 10 reasons to choose the
Cambridge Audio 551R over other systems
The hub of music and video: No need to buy
two devices for sensational surround sound and
great music. Combine the quality and power of
a true stereo amplifier, with the connectivity and
functionality of an AVR. Futhermore, the 551R’s intuitive
remote control and front panel ensure everyone can enjoy it.
Premium components: To deliver the best possible
surround and stereo sound together with versatile
connectivity and unrivalled ease of use, we’ve
selected our favourite components. From powerful
toroidal transformers, to the Cirrus Logic audio DAC (digital to
analogue converters) and the Faroudja FLI2310 video 1080p
scaler... the 551R was built without compromise.
Great things come in small packages! Despite being
one of the most powerful AV Receivers in its class, the
551R is housed in a compact casework. Thanks to our
advanced cooling technology it’s just 110mm high, so
will fit most shelves and racks.
Future-proof design: With the very latest
technologies – including the Cirrus Logic dual 32-bit
DSP for compatibility with all the latest CODECs and
formats, including 3D video – you can buy the 551R
knowing it will handle future formats for years to come.
Great connectivity: With a combined total of 15
different analogue and digital inputs, it’s almost
impossible to run out. You can connect all their
AV equipment including Blu-ray, satellite TV, games
consoles, MP3 players, CD players, turntables and more, plus
there’s a built in AM/FM tuner too.
Quick set-up: AV receivers can involve arduous
set-up and configuration processes, but the 551R
is quick and simple thanks to the Cambridge Audio
Microphone Controlled Auto Set-up (CAMCAS). The
supplied microphone measures the listening environment and
automatically sets the speaker levels and distances for your
All of the power, all of the time! The 551R is
designed to divert all available power to as many,
or as few speakers that are connected to it. For
example, if you want extra performance from a highquality pair of front speakers in surround sound set-up then with
a 5.1 configuration you can use the surround rears to bi-amp
the front left and right for that extra punch and control.
Lip sync adjustment: A movie becomes almost
unwatchable if the sound and the picture are out of
time with each other. The 551R allows you to apply
a small delay to the audio playback to
re-synchronise for complete perfection.
Full crossover adjustment and bass management:
The 551R incorporates advanced Bass Management
features, allowing you to channel low frequencies
to your front speakers, subwoofer, or both, as well
as providing individually selectable bass boost for different
surround modes.
Full Metal Jacket: all the above points would
mean nothing, if the 551R was not built to last!
This is an AV receiver that is designed to keep
on performing. From the all-metal casework
and ultra rigid chassis, to the high-quality, high-power toroidal
transformer, every component in the 551R is designed to give
many years of listening pleasure.
You should experience both sides of this incredibly powerful
AV receiver to fully appreciate it. While music should
be down to individual customer choice, our designers
particularly like ‘Hurt’ by Johnny Cash and ‘Tamacun’ by
Rodrigo y Gabriela. To highlight the stunning surround sound
capabilities of the 551R we recommend Iron Man 2 and
Quantum of Solace.