851C Reference CD Player DAC Preamp

851C CD Player, DAC & Pre-amplifier The heart of your digital music system Our new 851C is a staggeringly complex creation but one...

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  • 851C Reference CD Player DAC Preamp
  • 851C Reference CD Player DAC Preamp
  • 851C Reference CD Player DAC Preamp

AU $3,199

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851C CD Player, DAC & Pre-amplifier

The heart of your digital music system

Our new 851C is a staggeringly complex creation but one with a simple mission: to make your digitally stored music sound sublime. It's a high-end CD player, a state-of-the-art DAC and digital preamp in one highly accomplished package. The 851C has been designed to operate at the very heart of your digital music system, offering incredible functionality and performance. As a high-end solution to the demands of today's multi-format music lover, the 851C is truly capable of enhancing any digital audio that passes through its sophisticated electronics.

Central to the 851C's exceptional performance is a mouth watering collection of advanced technologies, such as our high-specification digital-to-analogue convertors from respected digital processing experts Analog Devices. Together with its on-board ATF2 upsampling technology, the 851C has the ability to improve sound quality regardless of the input format. From MP3 to high res downloads, this player will showcase your music in its best possible light.

With a plethora of connectivity options, you can link up a world of digital source components to the 851C, including: TVs, streamers, digital iPhone/iPad docks and computers of all kinds to maximise their sound quality. The 851C is also capable of accepting the very highest quality music files currently available, via USB: 24-bit/96kHz (and 192kHz) for genuine studio master tape quality. So you really can get closer to the music than ever before.

For the serious audio enthusiast, the 851C also benefits from a number of, 'audiophile' features. Everyone's ears are different and you can select from three filter options which each offer a slightly different presentation.

It's this combination of our own in-house technology, multi-function flexibility and high-end ,'audiophile' components that make the 851C Cambridge Audio's most advanced digital player to date. Its ability to transform the quality of your favourite music, regardless of format, means the 851C is destined to become the heart of your digital music system.

Particular attention has also been paid to the 851C's casework, which combines massive structural rigidity, careful damping and control of acoustic resonance. Both inside and out, the 851C and matching 851A have all the hallmarks of high-end thoroughbreds.



  • Digital to Analogue Converter featuring S/PDIF and Toslink digital inputs, AES/EBU balanced digital input and USB audio inputs (all 24 bit compatible)
  • CD playback
  • Optional digital volume and channel balance control
  • Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analogue audio outputs
  • USB Audio input allowing streaming of up to 24-bit/192kHz audio from computer
  • ATF2™ audio up-sampling to 24-bit/384kHz
  • Twin Analog Devices AD1955 24 bit DACs delivering superior sound-staging and stereo imaging
  • Selectable digital filters – linear phase, minimum phase, steep
  • Audiophile grade toroidal transformer delivering ultra-low low noise and distortion
  • Full metal casework design with thick brushed aluminium front panel and dual layer damped feet, giving enhanced resonance control
  • RS232 controllable
  • Eco-friendly <0.5w standby power consumption
  • Azur Navigator remote control with Cambridge Audio amplifier and iPod dock control
  • Available in black and silver finishes


  • Digital to Analogue Converter Dual Analog Devices AD1955 24 bit DACs
  • Digital filter
    • Analog Devices Black Fin ADSP-BF532 32 bit DSP performing 2nd
    • Generation ATF2 up-sampling to 24-bit/384kHz.
    • Linear Phase, Minimum phase or Steep modes.
  • Analogue filter 2 Pole Fully Differential Linear Phase Bessel filter
  • Digital input 1 S/PDIF 75 ohms or Toslink optical
  • Digital input 2 S/PDIF 75 ohms or Toslink optical
  • AES/EBU Input XLR balanced 110 ohms per phase
  • USB audio input
    • USB Type B conforming to Audio profile 1.0 or USB Audio profile
    • 2.0 (user 1.0 or USB Audio profile 2.0 (user selectable)
  • Audio outputs Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analogue audio outputs
  • Compatibility
    • USB 1.0 16-24 bit, 32-96kHz
    • USB 2.0 16-24 bit, 32-192kHz
    • Toslink 16-24 bit, 32-96kHz
    • S/PDIF and AES/EBU 16-24 bits 32-192kHz
    • CD playback is intrinsically limited to
    • 16-bits 44.1kHz
  • THD (unweighted): @ 1Khz 0dBFs < 0.0004%
  • THD (unweighted): @ 1Khz -10dBFs < 0.0004%
  • THD (unweighted): @ 20Khz 0dBFs < 0.0007%
  • IMD (19/20kHz) 0dBFs < 0.0002%
  • Linearity @ -90dBFs +/- 0.2dB
  • Linearity @ -120dBF +/- 0.4dB
  • Stop-band rejection (>24kHz) > 120dB
  • S/N ratio (ref 1w): > 113dB
  • Total correlated jitter
    • < 60pS for all digital inputs, CD playback and USB 2.0
    • < 180pS for USB 1.0
  • Crosstalk @1kHz < -130dB
  • Crosstalk @20kHz < -114dB
  • Output impedance < 50 ohms
  • 0dB Fs Output 2.2Vrms (2.2Vrms each phase for the balanced output)
  • Max. power consumption 40W
  • Idle consumption 8W
  • Standby power consumption: <0.5W
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 430 x 115 x 360mm (16.9 x 4.5 x 14.7”)
  • Weight: 10.0Kg (22lbs)

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