Cambridge Audio AZUR 851C (Black) Upsampling CD Player/DAC/Pre-Amp

Cambridge Audio AZUR 851C (Black)

Upsampling CD Player/DAC/Pre-Amp

In stock

In-Store Clearance Item

Open Box Guide Price
(8 available across all stores)

£1,134.95
 

Refurbished Guide Price
(7 available across all stores)

£1,074.95
 

Remember, these are clearance items and therefore condition and accessories/promo items supplied may vary. Please call/email the store to check the price/stock/condition and reserve your clearance bargain before making a special journey. Due to costs, we cannot transfer clearance stock between branches or sell via mail order - sorry!
ALL CLEARANCE ITEMS ARE FULLY GUARANTEED FOR 12 MONTHS. Please note that extended guarantees are not available on these products.

Richer Sounds exclusive model.

Fantastic bundle offers also available here


"The newcomer is a rich and sophisticated sounding machine that delivers remarkable tonal depth from a good recording." Hi-Fi Choice Magazine.

The highest quality CD performance

If you've a treasured collection of CDs and are keen to keep increasing your collection, the Cambridge Audio 851C will get the very best out of the format. At the heart of the 851C is a 32-bit Analog Devices Black Fin DSP (Digital Signal Processor). This feeds two of its AD1955 24-bit DACs in dual differential formation, each handling just one channel for excellent stereo imaging. What you hear is an exceptionally unforced, natural sound. Instruments and vocals 'breath' with emotion and depth, the sound has colour, texture and fluidity for an uncanny a sense of realism.

AFT2 audio upsampling
The 851C also has an Anagram Technologies AFT2 24 bit/384 kHz up-sampling circuit. Up-sampling conventional CDs 'stretches' the format to give the highest resolution possible. It also aids standard 24-bit/192kHz recordings with a faster sampling rate for less jitter. Up-sampling gives a smoother, more relaxed sound quality with added detail. You'll also notice enhanced depth and a more natural quality without the 'edge' that can afflict digital music. You'll hear every detail, including the odd cough, squeaky chair and flutter of sheet music; in short, it's like being there for real!

Tailored sound
As we all prefer slightly different nuances of sound quality, the 851C comes with Cambridge Audio's triple filter system. Select from Linear Phase, Minimal Phase or Steep modes and you can subtly alter the sound quality. You might even find certain types of music sound better with a particular filter engaged.

A DAC for all your digital sources
The Cambridge Audio 851C not only has digital outputs but also comes with four digital inputs. What this means is that you can connect up sources via a choice of optical/coaxial for inputs 1 and 2 and XLR or USB. So pretty much any digital source with a digital output can have its sound improved by being connected into the 851C.

Digital pre-amp functionality
The Cambridge Audio 851C is not just a top quality CD player and DAC; it's also an impressive digital pre-amplifier too! Use digital inputs 1 and 2 to connect up your Blu-ray player, games console or any other source with a digital output and use the pre-amp to select the source and alter the volume/balance. Connect your PC or media device by USB, as well. Once processed, the signal is ready to go straight into a power amp or active speakers - making for a, very high quality minimalist system.

Extensive damping
Using a full metal casing with rounded edges, doesn't just look and feel good, it helps the sound, too. The case is rigid and well damped, so it won't resonant unhelpfully. The thick aluminium front panel acts as a shield against electrical interference from sources such as dimmers and RF devices. All these details combine to create a hi-fi component that not only looks stylish but also offers exceptional resistance to both mechanical and electrical interference.

Reinvigorate not just your entire CD collection but also all your digital sources - the Cambridge Audio 851C is a powerful tonic for a tired system.

Richer Sounds exclusive model.

Fantastic bundle offers also available here


"The newcomer is a rich and sophisticated sounding machine that delivers remarkable tonal depth from a good recording." Hi-Fi Choice Magazine.

The highest quality CD performance

If you've a treasured collection of CDs and are keen to keep increasing your collection, the Cambridge Audio 851C will get the very best out of the format. At the heart of the 851C is a 32-bit Analog Devices Black Fin DSP (Digital Signal Processor). This feeds two of its AD1955 24-bit DACs in dual differential formation, each handling just one channel for excellent stereo imaging. What you hear is an exceptionally unforced, natural sound. Instruments and vocals 'breath' with emotion and depth, the sound has colour, texture and fluidity for an uncanny a sense of realism.

AFT2 audio upsampling
The 851C also has an Anagram Technologies AFT2 24 bit/384 kHz up-sampling circuit. Up-sampling conventional CDs 'stretches' the format to give the highest resolution possible. It also aids standard 24-bit/192kHz recordings with a faster sampling rate for less jitter. Up-sampling gives a smoother, more relaxed sound quality with added detail. You'll also notice enhanced depth and a more natural quality without the 'edge' that can afflict digital music. You'll hear every detail, including the odd cough, squeaky chair and flutter of sheet music; in short, it's like being there for real!

Tailored sound
As we all prefer slightly different nuances of sound quality, the 851C comes with Cambridge Audio's triple filter system. Select from Linear Phase, Minimal Phase or Steep modes and you can subtly alter the sound quality. You might even find certain types of music sound better with a particular filter engaged.

A DAC for all your digital sources
The Cambridge Audio 851C not only has digital outputs but also comes with four digital inputs. What this means is that you can connect up sources via a choice of optical/coaxial for inputs 1 and 2 and XLR or USB. So pretty much any digital source with a digital output can have its sound improved by being connected into the 851C.

Digital pre-amp functionality
The Cambridge Audio 851C is not just a top quality CD player and DAC; it's also an impressive digital pre-amplifier too! Use digital inputs 1 and 2 to connect up your Blu-ray player, games console or any other source with a digital output and use the pre-amp to select the source and alter the volume/balance. Connect your PC or media device by USB, as well. Once processed, the signal is ready to go straight into a power amp or active speakers - making for a, very high quality minimalist system.

Extensive damping
Using a full metal casing with rounded edges, doesn't just look and feel good, it helps the sound, too. The case is rigid and well damped, so it won't resonant unhelpfully. The thick aluminium front panel acts as a shield against electrical interference from sources such as dimmers and RF devices. All these details combine to create a hi-fi component that not only looks stylish but also offers exceptional resistance to both mechanical and electrical interference.

Reinvigorate not just your entire CD collection but also all your digital sources - the Cambridge Audio 851C is a powerful tonic for a tired system.

Brand Cambridge Audio
Colour Black
Cd Memory Yes
Remote Control yes
Cd Text No
Cd Number Of Discs 1
Cdrw Playback Compatible Yes
Dimensions WxDxH (mm) 430 x 360 x 115
Weight (KG) 10
Power Consumption - Standby 1
USB Yes
XLR Balanced Outputs Yes
Power Consumption- Normal Use 40
Coaxial Digital Input Yes
Optical Digital Input Yes
Gapless Playback Yes
Optical Digital Output yes
Coaxial Digital Output yes
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Detail and Finesse Relatively this is an expensive bit of kit, but it does justify the cost. My interest is only classical and jazz, and on decent recordings - as an earlier poster said - the size of the sound stage and the amount of detail and resolution can make the hairs on the back your neck stand up, in a good way. I still value the convenience and ease of use of CDs and have collected quite a lot. With good quality recordings the detail, resolution and 3D soundstage are quite startling. I have some CDs where massed violins become screechy, metallic and unpleasant on cheaper players while the 851C lessens the roughness and makes them much more enjoyable. CD Text appears on the display if encoded on the original disc. It hasn't refused to play any of my home burnt CDs but I don't have that many, and it has played all commercially bought CDs without any fuss. I think it is worth the cost for the solid build and stunning audio detail on decently recorded and mastered discs. I am feeding an 851A and Monitor Audio Silver 500 speakers with this unit. Thank you to Telesales and John who arranged lightning quick delivery via BJS which went well.
Date published: 2018-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from solid build, stunning sound!! I bought the Cambridge azur 851C CD player about two weeks ago, from the Prestwich branch. I had the audiolab 8200cdq prior to this & wasn't sure there would be much improvement, but in all honesty even straight out of the box I could tell it's a class above the audiolab, there just seems more depth & separation to the overall sound, more holographic & detailed too .The only fault that i can find up now, is it's a bit fussy with certain discs, mainly self recorded disc (CD-R), all the manufactured prerecorded discs I have tried seem perfectly fine. It also makes a good match with the azur 851A amplifier which I also have in my system along with quad s2 speakers. Overall I'm very impressed with the sound & lot better then I thought it would be, certainly worth considering if you want the very best sound possible from your system if matched with similar quality components . Special mention should also be made to Salesman Mark, who went out of his way to help & even delivered my CD personally to my house on the same day!!. ..Thanks Mark!!
Date published: 2018-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional quality. The product is everything I expected it would be. Expensive but you get what you pay for. Great sound thru my old (but also expensive in their day) Trio amplifier and Kef AB104 speakers. Great product knowledge and service from Richer Sounds too.
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good looking, detailed delivery. Nice and substantial, good looks (silver picking out the features on a nice black background) and great remote. This picks out all the details and delivers them to the rest of the system effortlessly. Every CD I put on is like listening to something completely new as it picks out information I have never heard before. Marvellous.
Date published: 2016-04-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Expensive machine with OK performance Following an inheritance I had decided to spruce up my hifi. First to go was the amp, to be replaced by The Cambridge Audio Azur 851A. With its array of analogue inputs both balanced and unbalanced and record output this suited my purpose and the difference in sound quality was immedietly noticed. Much more punchy and detailed than my old Rega. Next to go were the speakers to be replaced by some Kef LS50s from another retailer. Lastly my old Denon CD player was starting to fail to play some CDs so I guess the laser is on its was out. I borrowed the demo Cambridge Audio Azur 851C from Richer Sounds Romford. Not only a CD player but also D/A converter with an array of digital inputs, not cheap at 1200 quid. It did sound good through the amp and speakers but so did my old Denon. In fact I could detect no difference between each machine. I was grateful that Richer Sounds Romford refunded me the cost of the 851C.
Date published: 2016-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delighted with this machine! I purchased a 851a amplifier in August & was keen on the matching c/d player. Came for a listen of this player on 5th December & ordered one after being suitably impressed. At £1100 this is not a cheap unit & the finish of the unit is anything but cheap. Very sturdily built & beautifully finished, so how does it sound? I had a Cambridge 640c player that I had brought from Richer sounds in Oxford a few years back, I thought that sounded good. The 851c was 3 times the cost of the old one, but it sounds (in my opinion) stunning. I have listened to some music that has genuinely made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. So much detail that was lacking before. The saying 'you get what you pay for' as never been more apt.
Date published: 2015-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Detailed high quality sound The clarity and detail that this CD player reveals was apparent when I first heard it in the shop demo room. It has really added to the overall sound of my hifi system.
Date published: 2015-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Huge Step Up From 840C System 840A with Mission 773e with QED Revelation Cables and Silver Anniversary Jumpers. My 840C died so the only like for like replacement was the 851C. When I collected it from the Sheffield store, the Manager, Stuart said that it would "blow me away". I was a little sceptical, and on first listening I was a little underwhelmed, but after I had burned it in I realised that he wasn't kidding. It feels that I have bought an entire new CD collection, on each one I am hearing things that I have never heard before. I have also hooked up my SKY HD Box up to the 851C with an optical interconnect and the audio is so much better that it was with the 840C. The soundstage is wide and detailed, and less laid back than the 840C was, more like sitting in the front row of a concert than at the back of the hall. Bass response is also fuller yet more detailed. Speaker positioning is also far less sensitive to produce a great soundstage. The 851C has raised the bar by a good margin.
Date published: 2015-05-22
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In-Store Clearance Item

Open Box Guide Price
(8 available across all stores)

£1,134.95
 

Refurbished Guide Price
(7 available across all stores)

£1,074.95
 

Remember, these are clearance items and therefore condition and accessories/promo items supplied may vary. Please call/email the store to check the price/stock/condition and reserve your clearance bargain before making a special journey. Due to costs, we cannot transfer clearance stock between branches or sell via mail order - sorry!
ALL CLEARANCE ITEMS ARE FULLY GUARANTEED FOR 12 MONTHS. Please note that extended guarantees are not available on these products.