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Cambridge Audio AZUR 851N vs other DAC pre-amps?

Discussion in 'audio' started by retseldrib, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. retseldrib

    retseldrib pfm Member

    Has anyone very heard this used as a digital pre-amp?

    I was wondering how this stacks up against the likes of a Benchark DAC preamp and the like?
     
  2. retseldrib

    retseldrib pfm Member

  3. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    I had the 851 D Dac, a very clean characterless, super resolved sound, as i remember, i much preferred the cheaper Dacmagic, with a linear 12V DC supply to the 851D.
     
  4. hi-fi132

    hi-fi132 pfm Member

    Yes, I own an 851N though I don't use the digital preamp. It is a very clean, neutral sound with bags of detail. The preamp does nothing to the sound besides raising and lowering the volume, I can't detect any degradation in audio quality with it enabled. I think at its price it represents excellent value for money as you're not only getting an excellent DAC but one of the better streaming platforms too.
     
  5. retseldrib

    retseldrib pfm Member

    Thanks for this. Have you tried plugging an external hardrive via USB and playing as well as streaming?
     
  6. hi-fi132

    hi-fi132 pfm Member

    Yes. I use external drives all the time. The key is to have a good folder structure. I have mine organised by letter>artist>album>track. This is because the 851N doesn't build a database of content, so you browse the file structure rather than a database of tracks. This is actually a better way to do things as it is much faster when new content is added and removes unnecessary complexity, not to mention the possibility of database corruption or wasted space. But it is the main complaint people have about the CA app, as if you have an unorganised drive it can be difficult to find content.
     

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