Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Affordable Systems Reviews: Mordaunt-Short Aviano and Cambridge Audio Azur 650R



So what is garnered at the end of the exercise? Even in a partially bound selection process, system selection is filled with tradeoffs. Each of the components in the test system performed admirably, with a few caveats listed. I bemoaned the fact that most systems are imbalanced in favor of the electronics, with a rather disproportionate amount of the overall budget being devoted to the electronics as compared to the speakers. Despite knowing and saying this, I find myself in a similar position. I am inclined to say that while the Aviano is an entirely capable speaker, the Azur 650R seemed just that much more capable. The Aviano system faithfully reproduced the source material, and projected an adequate soundstage in most circumstances.

On the whole, the 650R was constrained by the mating with the Aviano. That there were a few minor technical issues with the 650R, despite the overall philosophy of functional simplicity merely serves to illustrate the immense complexity embodied in a modern receiver. Given the audio performance of the unit, and the rather specialized application in which the issues arose, I would still highly recommend the 650R be on the short list of receivers in its class. Just be mindful that the overall budget should stretch somewhat north of the $5,000 allotted in my exercise.


Cambridge Audio