Cambridge Audio Azur 651P

Phono preamplifier (Black)

  • Cambridge Audio Azur 651P


  • Cambridge Audio Azur 651P

    Angled view


Our take on the Cambridge Audio Azur 651P

by Dave Bar
Cambridge Audio
651P back_panel

The Azur 651P adds excitement and life to the sound of your vinyl records.

Do justice to your vinyl collection

If you're a true vinyl fan, a high-performance phono preamplifier is a must-have to get the best performance from your music, especially if your 'table is equipped with a moving coil cartridge. MC cartridges are prized by many audiophiles for their clear, detailed response, but their delicate low-voltage audio signals require extra-precise, low-noise circuitry to reveal the best they have to offer.

The majority of today's receivers and amps lack the built-in amplification needed for a direct turntable connection, and even when it's included, the typical low-cost, low-fi circuitry sounds flat and lifeless. The Cambridge Audio Azur 651P solves that problem by delivering a robust, line-level signal infused with rich, dynamic sound — revealing layers of musical detail hidden in the grooves of your favorite vinyl recordings. Your music will come to life with new levels of energy.

The Cambridge Audio difference

Cambridge Audio has a passion for creating high-value audio gear that captures every last drop of detail and emotion from your music. The 651P has been carefully designed to offer plenty of foot-tapping performance at a price that won't break the bank. Its advanced electronics include high-quality 'Class A' amplification circuits and hand-picked components housed in an all-metal outer casing featuring a thick brushed aluminum front panel. Cambridge also gave this preamp a switchable subsonic filter to remove the unwanted and disruptive effects of excessive low-frequency energy caused by turntable rumble or record imperfections. If you're a serious vinyl lover, you owe it to yourself to discover the Cambridge Audio difference.

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  • compatible with moving magnet and moving coil phono cartridges
  • external power supply for reduced noise and interference
  • acoustically damped full-metal chassis with thick, brushed aluminum front panel
  • discrete transistor input stages instead of I.C.s for greater dynamics and lower noise
  • single-ended 'Class A' gain stage with audiophile-grade passive RIAA equalization
  • defeatable subsonic filter to eliminate very low frequency 'rumble' due to vinyl imperfections
  • gain: 39dB(MM), 55dB(MC)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: greater then 86dB(MM), greater than 72dB(MC)
  • THD: less than 0.005%(MM), less than 0.002%(MC) (20-20,000 Hz)
  • RIAA response accuracy: ±0.3dB (20-50,000 Hz) with subsonic filter off
  • crosstalk at 20 kHz: greater than 83dB(MM), greater than 69dB(MC)
  • 8-1/2"W x 1-13/16"H x 6-3/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • MM/MC phono pre-amplifier
  • AC power supply (with attached 6' DC cord)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Important Safety Instructions
  • Caution note

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.


Overview: The Cambridge Audio 651P phono pre-amplifier has been designed to complement a wide range of MM (moving magnet) and MC (moving coil) turntables. This high-quality pre-amplifier contains the amplification and electronic circuitry required to enable you to connect your MM or MC turntable to your stereo amplifier or home theater receiver. Some amplifiers are already able to support turntable connections, but these built-in phono pre-amplifiers are out-performed by the Cambridge Audio 651P. Connected using a stereo audio interconnect cable, the 651P is set-up in minutes allowing you to appreciate stunning clarity, musicality, and resolution from all your vinyl recordings.

All Metal Chassis: The Cambridge Audio 651P phono pre-amplifier features an acoustically damped full metal chassis with a thick brushed aluminum front-panel.

MM (Moving Magnet) & MC (Moving Coil) Compatible: The Cambridge Audio 651P is MM (Moving Magnet) & MC (Moving Coil) Compatible. The 651P phono pre-amplifier is fitted with a set of stereo RCA inputs to connect your MM (moving magnet) turntable, and a set of stereo RCA inputs to connect your MC (moving coil) turntable. There is a MM/MC switch on the rear-panel to select which type of turntable you have.

Class A Amplification: The 651P phono pre-amplifier utilizes a single-ended "Class A" gain stage with audiophile passive RIAA equalization and multi-parallel capacitors to achieve exceptional RIAA accuracy of only 0.3dB, up to 50kHz.

Discrete Transistors: The Cambridge Audio phono pre-amplifier uses discrete transistors for the input stages, instead of the more common integrated circuits which can cause interference and distortion.

Audio Output: The Cambridge Audio 651P is fitted with a set of stereo RCA outputs to connect your turntable and the pre-amplifier to the line-level inputs on your home receiver. Do not connect the 651P to a "Phono Input" on a receiver or amplifier.

Ground Terminal: The 651P has a turntable ground, in case your turntable has a separate ground lead. This provides shielding to the tone-arm and the sensitive circuitry in the turntable.

Subsonic Filter: The 651P features a subsonic filter to remove the unwanted and disruptive effects "rumble" of low-frequency energy caused by vinyl imperfections.

Power Switch: The Cambridge Audio 651P features a front-panel power switch to turn the unit On/Off; this allow energy consumption to be zeroed when not in use.

External AC Adapter: The Cambridge Audio 651P phono pre-amplifier includes an external AC power supply.

  • Input: 120V AC, 60Hz
  • Output: 12V - 500mA
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Cambridge Audio Azur 651P Reviews

Average Customer Review:

7 people say:

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5 out of 5

Loving My Vinyls Again!

Written By ET, Jackson, NJ on Sunday, March 30, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Works splendidly with my 35-year old Onkyo turntable, no rattle, hum, hiss, or distortion, so I'm back to enjoying my vinyls again!
Has an on/off switch.
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5 out of 5

great amp

Written By Chris, St. Louis, MO on Saturday, March 29, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
awesome amp, great addition to my system. and great price and fast packing and shipping from Crutchfield.
great improvement over the amp in my turntable
have yet to find a con.
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5 out of 5

Cambridge Audio Azur 651P

Written By BDUBNYC, NEW YORK on Friday, February 07, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I purchased this product based on the many positive reviews. I recently got back into collecting and playing vinyl. I replaced a $25 pre amp that worked fine and sounded good...well that is until I hooked up this bad boy. The Azur 651P really brings the music to life. It has a great soundstage. It really feels like I am listening to my vinyls for the first time. There are sounds that I never heard before on some of the records. Of course the quality of your turntable, speakers and amplifier will also affect the sonic output. Great product if you are looking to get the most out of your music.
great soundstage and music detail compact size
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5


Written By Dave, West Virginia on Saturday, December 28, 2013
Just upgraded from the 551p, and I must say this is definitely a step up. Not a night and day difference, but the 651 has a wider sound stage, more detail, and a smoother more refined output.
Smooth balanced sound
No adjustments for cartridge loading etc
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Vinyl Heaven

Written By Richard, Gloucester, MA on Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Have extensive collection of vinyl 33 1/3 rpm records that been unable to listen to for years due to having a digital receiver. Went on line search analog to digital. Went to Crutchfield website and Voila! Read reviews and ordered. Received unit quickly, excellent condition. Easy connect all as advertised. Problem. Called "Advisor" who was exceedingly patent walking me through the steps. Last question he asked: Did you turn it on? Gee, no I hadn't ! I would highly recommend this product to anyone........ just remember to turn it on!
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Azur 651P

Written By Jeff M, Madison, WI on Monday, March 11, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
So far the 651p has worked out really well. The sound has been excellent, no rumbling. I'd recommend this product to anyone. The reason I didn't score a five is simply I haven't had the Pre amp long enough to give it the highest score. Don't let that discourage you. Also the set was easy especially after my conversation with the technical advisor.
Easy to set up if you know the cartridge type.( MC or MM)
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Phono pre

Written By Paul B., Rockford Il on Friday, March 08, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Really nice. I own a Project Phono Pre as well, it's nice too, but the flexibility of this is outstanding. Both MM & MC capability and the low "rumble " filter works great without effecting the good low end that you want to hear. Even a simple thing like having an on/off switch on the front is great. You may think its a little pricy, but it's really a small investment to your over all sound!
Filter On/Off button Outstanding sound
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

Should I continue to use the phono inputs on my Yamaha RX-A1020 or can I get improved sound with the Cambridge Audio Azur 651P? [ Lyle  Jan 01, 2014 ]
4 answers
  • I don't have that amp, but my amp does have phono imputs and I think the sounds is greatly improved when running through my 651P. The sound is overall much smoother and more defined when I have it on. [ MICHAEL   Jan 02, 2014 ]
  • I purchased the unit because I needed a device that would change the turntable analog signal outputs to digital output signals which my new digital receiver will only operate on. My digital receiver doesn't have phono input capability however any of the unused inputs work. Does the job very well. I can't say that it has improved the sound. It has been quite a while since I've been able to listen to the 33 1/3 LP"S.... the sound is great. Hope this helped in some way. [ RICHARD J   Jan 02, 2014 ]
  • Most likely the Azur is a better pre amp then the one that came pre installed on the Yamaha. I use my Azur as the pre amp for my NAD integrated amp and I'm quite pleased with the sound and clarity. Try them both, but I think you will probably stick with the Azur. Happy New Year! Matt [ Matthew   Jan 01, 2014 ]
  • I don't have an Yamaha RX-A1020, so my answer will be a bit subjective. However my guess is you will see a substantial improvement in sound quality, I did on my Dennon. The rumble filter works well without having any effect on sound quality, that I can tell. I just leave it on all the time. I bought a smaller Pro-ject unit before and it was pretty good, but the 651P really sounds great! I hope this was helpful. [ PAUL   Jan 01, 2014 ]

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