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Cambridge Audio Azur 651P

Phono preamplifier (Silver)

12 Reviews | 1 question - 4 answers

Item # 779651PS

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Our take on the Cambridge Audio Azur 651P

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.

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.

Praise for the Azur 651P Phono Stage from Soundstage! Access

I've auditioned somewhere between 15 and 20 phono stages, but until the Cambridge Audio Azur 651P, I hadn't heard one that could hold a candle to the phono stage of my Linn Majik-1P integrated amplifier. But the 651P is every bit the Linn's equal. It does what all good audio gear should: It gets out of the way and lets the music pour forth. It's a component any vinyl-playing audiophile will appreciate, and at $249, it's a steal. If you're looking to add vinyl capability to your system, listen to an Azur 651P. You can't do better at anywhere near its price.

— From Thom Moon's April, 2015 review in Soundstage! Access, part of the SoundStage! Network [Read the full review]

just the fix i needed. small and very clear. good buy

doghair, Port Royal,SC

What's in the Box:

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

Product Highlights:

  • 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

Cambridge Audio Azur 651P Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(12 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research


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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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Online reviewers said its the best in the price range. [ ROBERT  Jan 18, 2016 ]
Need a phone preamp, good company with a good reputation [ William  Mar 05, 2016 ]
Looks like best price option for lowest s/n ratio, lowest RIAA variance, with the most looked good...we'll test it out and let you know if it doesn't live up to expectations! [ Dale  Feb 05, 2016 ]

1 question already asked

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 ]