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Cambridge Audio readies Azur 851 Series additions for CES debut

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December 31, 2013

The Azur 851E preamp and the Azur 851W power amp from Cambridge Audio

The Azur 851E preamp and the Azur 851W power amp from Cambridge Audio

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The UK's Cambridge Audio is taking some new products to Las Vegas in January for the Consumer Electronics Show. Its existing Azur 851A Integrated Class XD Amplifier and 851C Upsampling DAC, CD Player & Preamplifier, which were launched at CES 2012, are to be joined by three new Azur 851 Series siblings – the E preamp, W power amp and D digital to analog converter. An Azur 651 power amp, some Minx bookshelf speakers and a concealable ceiling speaker are also set to make their debut.

The Cambridge Audio Azur 851E preamp and Azur 851W power amp separates can be joined together to form a high fidelity team. The 851E analog preamp features balanced XLR inputs and outputs, and what's described as a truly linear volume control circuit. The company says that the unit's signal delivery is so pure that harmonic distortion and noise are almost impossible to measure.

The Azur 851E preamp with the Azur 851W power amp

The 851W is being touted as Cambridge Audio's best sounding amp yet, and features a standby mode that automatically detects an incoming signal from the connected 851E. It promises precise, powerful delivery thanks to high-end components like a refined version of its patent-pending Class XD system, two toroidal transformers, and Terrapin impedance buffering modules. Available from January, the 851E is priced at US$1,999 and the 851W at $2,799.

The Azur 851D DAC offers more dimension than the existing 851C model, with enough digital inputs to satisfy the high quality audio needs of computer, smartphone, tablet, and media streamer users. Also available from next month, this model has been given a $1,649 price tag.

Cambridge Audio will also premiere a second Azur power amp at CES, the two-channel 651W. This unit makes use of toroidal transformers for what's described as low distortion, high quality power output with a consistent signal and no transformer noise, and features both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA audio inputs. It will cost $1,099 when it goes up for sale in Q2.

The Minx XL compact satellite speakers

The company's Minx line hasn't been left out of the CES party. The Minx XL compact satellite speakers are said to offer immense hi-fi performance at an affordable price point, which translates to $350 when available in Q2. The 80 mm diameter, wide dispersion Minx C46 ceiling speakers feature Cambridge Audio's impressive BMR technology which Gizmag got to experience first hand while reviewing the Minx Air 200 a few months back. Listeners can look forward to deep and powerful bass and a wider frequency response than can be offered by similar-sized speakers. This model goes on sale in January for $129 each.

All of the new additions will be on display at the Cambridge Audio booth at CES from January 7.

Source: Cambridge Audio

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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