This true analogue preamplifier delivers an incredibly
pure signal. The 851E delivers so little harmonic distortion and adds so little
noise to incoming signals that we can barely measure it. In preamplifiers,
that's a very good thing!
Vastly improving over its predecessors, the key to the
851E is its innovative solid state volume control that offers precise control,
retains channel balance accurately at low levels and offers truly linear
performance, all without introducing any distortion to the precious analogue
Above and beyond that, the 851E offers improved source
connections with eight inputs, including three XLR balanced inputs for superior
audio fidelity and to match the best high-end modern sources.
The 851E is designed as a truly high-end component
throughout, with Terrapin impedance buffering modules to separate amplifier and
signal impedance, delivering an even consistent sound across different sources;
flexible and controllable trigger outputs and control bus, for integration with
power amplifiers; and an all-metal chassis, designed to isolate the electronics
from unwanted external interference. The end result is the best true analogue
preamplifier Cambridge Audio has ever made, and an ideal companion to our 851W
Stunning signal-noise ratios – Total harmonic
distortion for the 851E is now <0.00045% @1KHz, <0.000057% @20kHz.
Signal-noise (unweighted) is <110dBr, <90dBU. Those figures are at the
very limit of what we can even measure.
Solid state volume control – While the volume is controlled
digitally, but the volume control is analogue. This innovative, solid state
solution delivers absolutely precise and linear control and retains channel
balance perfectly at low levels while ensuring the audio signal is left
Terrapin impedance buffering modules – Cambridge Audio's
proprietary modules replace the op-amps commonly found in similar preamplifiers.
At the critical low level gain stages, these offer far improved stereo
separation and imaging – unheard of at this price point.
Integration – The 851E has a wider range of input options
than its predecessors, with eight inputs including three switchable between
unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR – the latter ideal for connecting to a broad
range of high-end sources. Plus flexible and configurable trigger, IR outputs
and control bus make it easy to connect to modern power amps.
All-metal chassis – Including extensive use of aluminium