Exceptional CD Player, DAC, and Digital Preamp
Not Just for CDs
Used as a high-end DAC, the 851 C allows a multitude of
devices to be connected via its digital audio and USB audio inputs, including
music streamers, digital iPhone/iPad docks, and computers.
It's an Audiophile CD Player
Many CD players use drives designed for computers. Cambridge
Audio avoided this approach due to the resulting noise and impurity and created
its CD-only S3 Custom CD Servo™ drive. This audiophile design gives the 851C
the ability to retrieve maximum digital information from CDs. Meanwhile, the
Cambridge Audio-developed transport guarantees incredible rigidity, and the CD
drawer itself has been designed to offer smooth operation.
It's Also a Digital Preamplifier
The shift towards digital music means that many people
principally use digital audio sources such as computers, network streamers, and
digital iPhone docks. The 851 C is the ideal audio hub for such scenarios since
digital volume and channel balance functions enable it to be used as a digital
preamplifier and connected directly to a power amplifier or active speakers.
These attenuation functions are completely processed in the
digital domain through Cambridge Audio's proprietary DSP. This gives the
highest quality of digital volume control as opposed to analog attenuation or
digital bit reduction.
Selectable Digital Filter
The new ATF2 DSP features a selectable digital filter with
three settings to suit your preferences and your particular system set-up.
The Steep Roll-off Filter exhibits strong attenuation of
aliasing images outside the passband (i.e., above 22.05kHz) at the expense of a
little pre and post-ringing in the time domain. The Linear Phase Filter
uniquely features 'constant group delay' which delays all audio signals at all
frequencies by the same amount meaning all audio are fully time-coherent at the
Minimum Phase, meanwhile, does not feature constant group
delay Instead, the coefficients have been optimized without feed-forward so
that the impulse response exhibits no pre-ringing in the time domain.
All analog stages and filtering from the 851 C's DACs to
output are also fully differential in nature. This fully balanced configuration
largely rejects the already very low noise and distortion present in the DACs
and filters and provides an unprecedented performance level.
Balanced XLR Outputs – And More
Balanced XLR outputs allowing a balanced connection to the
matching 851A are included and conventional unbalanced phono/RCA
outputs. In pursuit of the very finest sound quality, a high-quality toroidal
transformer is also used in the 851C. It ensures lower noise and less waveform
distortion for quieter PSU operation. This equates to the purest sound with no
buzz or hum that can be heard from cheaper transformers.
To ensure simple operation, a high contrast reverse black
DFSTN display offers excellent feedback of the 851C's impressive features,
which include CD-text support as well as the ability to rename digital inputs.
In addition to these audiophile features, Control Bus Input/Output, IR Emitter
Input and RS232 control are provided to make it easy to integrate this unit
into custom installation systems.