big boxes again another 2 big boxes one of them is really heavy the other is more normal today’s review is a set of pre & power amps a David vs Goliath challenge! why did I say that? the pre & power amps are the Flagship units of Cambridge Audio but the price should be pretty reasonable, because Cambridge Audio is usually pretty reasonably priced but the speakers I’m using to test these amps are the over $80,000HKD B&W 804 D3 want to know how it turn out? Hello everyone I’m Kok-yan, welcome to feverSound.com today’s I have Cambridge Audio’s flagship pre/power combo Azur 851N+851W let’s unbox first the power amp first don’t worry, I’m fine. I can handle this it’s weighty but not too too bad the top is mostly perforated the top cover is mostly perforated except for a curved design here I suppose all the perforations is to help ventilate the heat during operation Cambridge Audio Azur Flagship power amplifier 851W, class XD what’s class XD? it’s Cambridge Audio’s proprietary new type amplification it’s not class D with such a large linear power supply and get’s so hot, that’s why it really is class “X”D Ok, doesn’t matter. let’s keep looking the backend, wow! is it really necessary? mirror-image design a good mirror-image design can help with crosstalk rejection less chance of one channel leaking to another left does not interfere with the right channel or vice versa at least that’s one of its benefits this amp uses a lot of power, because it uses a 20 amp IEC socket you have to use a 20A power cable this is a 20A plug can you see the “OMG” face? this is a Belden power cable Furutech US standard plug with Belden 20A IEC we’ll use this later it’s a stereo design but it can also be bridged mono as a mono-block the power output should be huge uncovered how does it look looks nice eh? this class XD amp the transformer is enormous there’s even another smaller toroidal transformer here 2 x 10,000uF capacitors per side total 4 of them that’s really a bit much! Don’t you think under this cover should be the switching circuits for the power supply it’s probably their proprietary circuit design one more detail but may not have any direct effect on the sound there are over 20 machine screws each one was precise and smooth to loosen or to tighten. the metal work on this amp is very precise and accurate very good Dear viewers, this live recording is for demonstration only. Please note, you are still listening to your own speakers. Now it’s the preamp’s unboxing a Flagship Network Player/ Preamp 851N the front looks very normal to me the back of the unit AES/EBU, a professional type of connection. Not common but nice to have Ethernet 1-2-3-4, 4 sets of digital inputs the USB audio input has a special feature there’s a switch for “ground-lift” you can flow the ground with this switch there should be less noise analog/pre outs 2 sets of pre outs balanced and RCA out puts 851N a toroidal transformer two circuit boards inside power supply board with the their own switching power circuits all the signals are processed on this board surface-mounted devices offers the shortest signal path length similar to many other digital products the shorter the signal path the less chance of distortion or interference can occur the signal travels from right to left on the left side, DSP fans familiar with Cambridge Audio they have their proprietary ATF (Adaptive Time Filtering) upsampling this is where that’s done all digital signals, USB or network will all be upsampled before the digital conversion the conversion is done by Twin Analog Devices DACs after the D/A conversion the signals then pass through the voltage regulation stages before being sent to the analog output look at all the nice Wima thin-film caps 8×1000 mF filtering caps 8 for balanced outputs 1-2-3-4, 4 individual sections Analog Devices’ opamp everything is really done well no skimping, only the best are used here 20A eh, here goes you can here the relay switches Dear viewers, this live recording is for demonstration only. Please note, you are still listening to your own speakers. this main dial controls the selections press enter to select, let’s go to settings first “Audio”, Digital Pre-amp Mode since I’ll be using it as a pre-amp, it’s selected as “On” USB Audio Class almost everything are 2.0, but just in case some people may not know how to install the drivers (Windows) 1.0 can still function but 2.0 you can use the higher resolution rates such as 24/192 or higher there’s even traditional Chinese good feature, very nice touch but the font is a little akward looking this cover art is beautiful if you’re watching this in HD (1080p) the image and text are very sharp and clear this is the “Cambridge Control” app the latest version (Feb 2017) miniMserver over 2000 albums cover arts for searching only a small thumbnail, but at least you can see them DSD compatibility is not a problem Adele 25 in 24/192 24/192 should not be any problem for the 851N Dear viewers, this live recording is for demonstration only. Please note, you are still listening to your own speakers. I just want to comment on the amp has only been on for about 15 mins the power amp is already getting pretty warm now I see why the top are full of perferations for nothing it really does get warm it’s not actually so hot that It’s too hot to touch but I haven’t even started playing yet and it’s already pretty warm what kind of class is this? what class amp is this warm on idle? more like a class A wor! and the sound I just heard is so smooth and velvety absolutely not a bit like a class D amp I don’t care whatever class it’s since it has such potential for good power and sound I’m going to give it a really tough test the B&W 804 D3 previously, I’ve them with the MC or the Gryphon amps all were Hi-End European integrated amps costing $50-60K HKD to drive these B&W 804s with this really reasonably priced Cambridge Audio Pre/Power amps how do you think they will perform? let’s have a listen Dear viewers, this live recording is for demonstration only. Please note, you are still listening to your own speakers. I purposely chose a lot of British Hits the birthplace of Pop culture and music One of the main traits that Cambridge Audios is very proud of their iconic British Heritage, their musicality they moved those B&W’s very well indeed the textures the micro-details the 2nd harmonics, the “Sound tails” (gradient of a fading note) control on the whole the Pre (851N) is very neutral and methodical the overall sound quality should be credited to the Power Amp (851W) the control and drive it had on the 804 D3 was really a good match I haven’t seriously listened to Cambridge Audio’s Flagship amps most of the time it’s usually their entry level or mid-price components I am sure and convinced that it’s capable of driving these B&W 804 D3 I was even playing them at very high SPL I had to lower the microphones sensitivity I wanted to test if the amp would falter the B&W 804 should provide a good test for any amp it is not your ordinary speaker load that’s why I chose them to test the Cambridge Amp but all the way through at high SPL everything stay very well controlled and tight I was really impressed by the sound and stability well……. how about that? Dear viewers, this live recording is for demonstration only. Please note, you are still listening to your own speakers. to be honest, I haven’t checked how much they cost. They shouldn’t be too much, I think. 851N – 14,000 HKD, 851W – 17,000 HKD if you’re interested in a really good set of Pre/Power amp maybe on a tight budget You can definately consider you shouldn’t be disapointed if you enjoyed this video please give me a 👍🏻 (like) please subscribe if you haven’t already be sure to click on the bell on the top left corner to check for all my new videos thank you, that’s all for now see you again on my next video it’s time for dinner, Bye-bye!