CAMBRIDGE AUDIO HAS announced its new 2014 line-up of preamplifiers, power amplifiers, and speakers. The first off the rank in NZ (and the units we’re earmarking for urgent review) are the flagship Azur 851 components consisting of the 851E preamplifier, 851W power amp and the 851D digital to analogue converter. After the stunning Product of the Year award-winning performance of the 851A integrated amp and the 851C upsampling DAC, CD player and preamplifier, we’re expecting great things from the new range-toppers.
Azur 851E Preamplifier & 851W Power Amplifier
Both components have been designed to work with each other – with neat touches such as an auto-standby mode in the 851W that detects an incoming signal from the 851E, a flexible and configurable trigger, IR outputs and control bus, as well as balanced XLR connections on both units.
The 851E is a true analogue preamp that delivers a signal with harmonic distortion and noise so low that according to Cambridge Audio, they’re almost impossible to measure. The 851E also improves over its predecessor, the 840E, with a more versatile and high-end-friendly range of inputs, including three balanced XLR inputs and an innovative, truly linear volume control circuit.
The 851W is said to be Cambridge Audio’s best sounding amp yet. It boasts the most refined version of Cambridge Audio’s proprietary, patent-pending Class XD (crossover displacement) system, plus high-end components such as two toroidal transformers and Terrapin impedance buffering modules.
Azur 851D Digital-Analogue Converter
This new unit is said to be Cambridge Audio’s best DAC ever – extending the digital audio handling and upsampling technology of the existing 851C by enhancing key components. A comprehensive range of digital inputs means the 851D is ready for the highest-quality digital audio files from a wide array of potential sources including computers, smartphones, set-top boxes, media streamers, etc.
All three units are available now and are priced as follows: