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(For more features refer to the specification table below.)
RRP £999.95 SAVE £300
More than just a DAC, the Cambridge Audio 851D is a digital pre-amplifier that's at the heart of your digital system.
Complete digital pre-amp
Marking the Cambridge Audio 851D out from its DAC rivals is the unmatched flexibility. Take a deep breath and take in the following: six digital inputs including a professional standard AES/EBU, rare BNC, twin optical, plus two more inputs offering the option of coaxial or optical. There is also an asynchronous USB link that supports high-resolution audio files up to 192kHz, making the 851D ideal for high resolution music playback from your computer.
It's also a DAC
In terms of connecting the DAC to your amp, take your pick from optical or coaxial digital and RCA or XLR analogue. Throw in a control bus link, RS232 socket and trigger out for multi-room system control and it's hard to see how the 851D could be any better equipped. With the supplied remote control offering a switchable volume control there may be no need to add a pre-amp at all*. Just add a power amp or active speakers and you're all set to go.
Supplied with the Cambridge Audio BT100 Bluetooth dongle, the 851D will accommodate Bluetooth music transfers from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or other compatible devices. Although not quite the quality of other streaming sources, it's handy to have when playing background music. Thanks to A2DP plus aptX support, the quality is as good as is possible using Bluetooth.
At the heart of the 851D are two Analogue Devices AD1955 24-bit DACs in dual differential formation. Each DAC handles just one channel for excellent stereo imaging, operating fully in differential mode for exceptionally low distortion and noise. What you hear is an exceptionally unforced, natural sound quality with instruments and vocals 'breathing' with emotion and depth.
ATF2 audio upsampling
The high quality DACs are complemented by a new Anagram Technologies ATF2 24 bit/384 kHz up-sampling circuit. Up-sampling lower resolution sources 'stretches' them to give the highest resolution possible. It also aids standard 24-bit/192kHz recordings with a faster sampling rate for less jitter. You'll hear a smoother, more relaxed sound with added detail and enhanced depth, without the 'edge' that can afflict digital music
What is ATF Upsampling Technology? Click here to learn more.
As we all prefer slightly different nuances of sound quality, the 851D 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.
Full metal casing
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 resonate unhelpfully. The thick aluminium front panel looks the part and also acts as a shield against electrical interference from sources such as dimmers and RF devices. Together the 851D not only looks stylish but also offers exceptional resistance to both mechanical and electrical interference.
Unequivocally the best DAC we've ever sold, with a level of connectivity that also puts it in a class of its own, the Cambridge Audio 851D is the ultimate heart of your digital system.
*Conventional pre-amplifier required if connecting analogue sources to your system; such as turntable, tuner or cassette deck plus CD players without digital output.