Cambridge Audio 851E Pre-amplifier

Cambridge Audio

Out of stock

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 pre-amplifiers, that’s a very good thing!
  • Dimensions: 115 x 430 x 385mm
  • Weight: 8.1kg
  • Frequency : 10Hz – 100kHz ? 0.1dB
  • 8 inputs including 3 XLR balanced/RCA


Out of stock

So little distortion, it’s barely measurable.

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 analog. 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 untouched.

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 aluminum


  • Barely measurable distortion ? total harmonic distortion <0.00045% @1KHz, <0.000057% @20kHz, signal-noise (unweighted) <110dBr, <90dBU
  • Innovative solid-state volume control ? retains analog audio signal purity and precision even at low levels
  • 8 inputs including 3 XLR balanced/RCA unbalanced switchable
  • Cambridge Audio’s Terrapin impedance buffering modules ? separating amplifier and signal impedance
  • Flexible and configurable trigger/IR outputs and control bus for connection to the power amp
  • All-metal chassis – this combines massive structural rigidity, careful damping, and control of acoustic resonance
  • Remote Control ? Compatible with the entire 851 range
SKU: 851E Category:
Weight 8100 g
Dimensions 385 × 430 × 115 mm

  • THD (unweighted):  
    •     < 0.00045% @ 1kHz
    •     < 0.00057% @ 20kHz
  • S/N (unweighted):    
    • < 110dBr
    • < 90dBu
  • Frequency response: 10Hz – 100kHz ± 0.1dB
  • Crosstalk @1kHz: > 110dB
  • Maximum output   
    • 8V rms unbalanced
    • 8V + 8V rms balanced
  • Output impedence: 100 Ohms (Unbalanced or Balanced)
  • Subwoofer output: Flat or 200Hz 2nd Order Butterworth LPF
  • Max power consumption: 36W
  • Bass & Treble controls
    • Shelving type
    • Max bass boost/cut ± 10 dB at 10 Hz
    • Max treble boost/cut ± 7.5 dB at 20 kHz
  • Standby power consumption: <0.5W
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 115 x 430 x 385mm
  • Weight: 8.1kg