Cambridge Audio Azur 851C DAC/CD Player and Preamp
Award-Winning Azur 851C a High-End Triple Threat: Delivers Exemplary Performance as Hub of Your Digital Music System
Twin Cutting-Edge DACs from Analog Devices, Innovative ATF2 Upsampling, Asynchronous USB Input, Exceptional Toroidal Transformer: Azur 851C Packed with Audiophile Treats
Call it a triple threat. Cambridge Audio's Azur 851C is a high-end CD player, state-of-the-art DAC, and digital preamp in one highly accomplished package. It's designed to beat as the heart of your digital music system, offering incredible functionality and performance. A high-end solution to the demands of today's multi-format music lover with commanding performance that matches products that cost much more, Azur 851C enhances any digital audio that passes through its sophisticated electronics. Despite its staggering complexity, it focuses on one mission: to make your digital music sound sublime.
"Impeccably engineered and with sonics the match of most machines at twice the price, what's not to like? Smooth and svelte sounding yet commanding and incisive, only its rivals will regret the advent of this sparkling talented new CD player."
– Hi-Fi Choice, CD Player of the Year Award
Central to Azur 851C's exceptional performance is a stunning batch of advanced technologies, such as cutting-edge high-specification DACs from the experts at Analog Devices. Together with on-board ATF2 upsampling technology, Azur 851C improves sound quality regardless of the input format. From MP3 to high-res downloads, this award-winning player showcases your music in the best-possible light. You'll experience exemplary precision, dynamics, and refinement.
"The [851 Series] now compete with the very best in class when it comes to sound and are pretty much in a league of their own when it comes to features... This refined and revealing pair delivers a dynamic, clean and engaging result."
– Hi-Fi Choice
, Recommended review
With the plethora of connectivity options available on Azur 851C, you can link up and extract superior sound from multiple source components, including TVs, streamers, digital iPhone/iPad docks, and computers. Azur 851C is also capable of accepting 24-bit/96kHz (and 192kHz) files via its outstanding asynchronous USB input and benefits from a number of audiophile features, such as three digital filter options that offer a slightly different aural presentation. All audio is automatically upsampled to 24-bit/384k via ATF2, eliminating jitter and distortion, and according to a polynomial curve that ensures much better accuracy to the original audio signal than conventional straight-line upsampling processes.
"So while the 851C DAC/player brings a quiet composure to the party, the 851A is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a muscular amp that grips the speakers and serves up tight, powerful and extended bass. In the 851C and 851A you’re getting cutting-edge technology for substantially less than high-end prices. Add the best speakers you can afford and this two-channel system will deliver a taste of hi-fi heaven."
– European Imaging and Sound Association, Best Two-Channel System Award
Particular attention is also paid to build quality. Azur 851C's casework combines massive structural rigidity, careful damping, and enhanced acoustic-resonance control. Its digital volume control is the equivalent of an analog control and doesn't chop out any bits, meaning that full resolution is heard at all volume levels, high or low. An audiophile-grade toroidal transformer supplies ultra-low noise and distortion.
"Frankly, the feature set of the 851C and 851A is the stuff of high-end audio dreams, but packaged in sensibly-priced components... As is so often the case with products from Cambridge Audio, what you're getting is cutting-edge technology for substantially less than high-end prices."
– Hi-Fi News, Outstanding Product review
With its capability to be utilized in three different manners, Azur 851C personifies flexibility, but its best aspect pertains to the sound. No matter how it's employed, it delivers first-rate sonics remarkable for their detail, elegance, smoothness, and authority.
"There's fantastic precision in the way the 851C handles the leading and trailing edges of notes... An incredibly capable performer"
– What Hi-Fi