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Cambridge Audio CP1

Phono preamplifier for moving magnet cartridges (Silver)

6 Reviews

Item # 779CP1S

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Our take on the Cambridge Audio CP1

Do you really need a separate phono preamplifier? The simple answer is, of course, if your turntable or stereo system doesn't already have one built in. But even if does, and you're currently plugging your turntable directly into your receiver or amp's phono input, you could still be missing out on a lot of sonic goodness. That's because many manufacturers use low-cost, low-fi circuitry that sounds flat and lifeless.

CP1 back panel

The CP1 adds excitement and life to the sound of your vinyl records.

Improve your standards of listening

Do you really need a separate phono preamplifier? The simple answer is, of course, if your turntable or stereo system doesn't already have one built in. But even if does, and you're currently plugging your turntable directly into your receiver or amp's phono input, you could still be missing out on a lot of sonic goodness. That's because many manufacturers use low-cost, low-fi circuitry that sounds flat and lifeless.

The Cambridge Audio CP1 solves that problem. It boosts and equalizes the tiny voltages coming from your 'table's moving magnet phono cartridge to deliver a robust, line-level signal infused with rich, dynamic sound — revealing layers of musical detail hidden in the grooves of your favorite vinyl records.

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 CP1 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. And since Cambridge knows that not every phono cartridge delivers perfectly even left- and right-channel output signals, they gave this preamp a fine-tune balance control that lets you correct for any differences. 

Need a cable?

This phono preamp does not come with an RCA cable to connect to your receiver or amp.

Product Highlights:

  • compatible with moving magnet phono cartridges
  • built-in balance control for fine correction of left- and right-channel cartridge output imbalances
  • 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 integrated circuits for greater dynamics and lower noise
  • single-ended 'Class A' gain stage with audiophile-grade passive RIAA equalization
  • gain: 39dB (at 1 kHz)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 85dB
  • THD: less than 0.009% (20-20,000 Hz)
  • RIAA response accuracy: ±0.65dB (25-20,000 Hz)
  • crosstalk at 20 kHz: greater than 76dB
  • 8-1/2"W x 1-7/8"H x 5-1/4"D
  • weight:1.8 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

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

good sound worked as adveritsed

Stanley, Ann Arbor, MI


Cambridge Audio CP1 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(6 Reviews)

Solid Phono Preamp

Stanley from Ann Arbor, MI on 3/30/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

good sound worked as adveritsed

Pros: works as advertised. Sound is great. Simple great for the price


Cambridge Audio CP1

Ramon from Rahway, NJ on 3/13/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Holy Crap! What a difference. I just connected this baby to my Onkyo receiver and was blown away. My vinyls sound incredible! Such depth and lush tones. Highly recommended!

Pros: Easy to set up. Clear instructions.


Cambridge Audio CP1

Anonymous from Derry, NH on 2/28/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Works ausum i can listen to my vinals again



Cambridge Audio CP1

MXM from Pgh, PA on 1/22/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased this unit based on recommendations for a 'not too expensive but good' moving magnet phono preamp. I am using an old Technics SL-BD20 turntable through this phono pre-amp. It works perfectly and my LPs sound pretty good!



Awesome pre-amp

Edwin from Alexandria, VA on 12/4/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great Pre-amp, my turntable brought a built in pre-amp but it was lacking fidelity and sound level. Bought this pre-amp and its a big difference in the sound it produces and the fidelity of the sound. I do not have to increase the volume too much to hear all the music coming out of my vinyl.

Pros: Great sound High Fidelity

Cons: Did not include the connection cables

Cambridge Audio CP1

John from S Glastonbury, CT on 11/8/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Works great and bought one for a friend. Packed well shipped fast. Less money than all other places I checked.

Pros: Works fine

Cons: None


Hands-on research

Product Research


Phono Pre-Amp: The Cambridge Audio CP1 phono pre-amplifier has been designed to complement a wide range of MM (moving magnet) turntables. This high-quality pre-amplifier contains the amplification required to enable you to connect your MM turntable to your integrated amplifier, stereo receiver, or home theater receiver. Some integrated amplifiers and receivers are already able to support turntable connections, but these built-in phono pre-amplifiers are out-performed by the Cambridge Audio CP1. Connected using a stereo audio interconnect cable, the CP1 is set-up in minutes allowing you to appreciate stunning clarity, musicality, and resolution from all your vinyl recordings.

Moving Magnet (MM) Compatible: The Cambridge Audio CP1 is a phono pre-amplifier with a moving magnet (MM) input stage; which describes the commonly used type of cartridge (sometimes referred to as a "needle" or "stylus") configuration typically supplied with many turntables.

"Class A" + RIAA EQ: The CP1 MM phono pre-amplifier utilizes a single-ended "Class A" gain stage with audiophile passive RIAA equalization for excellent sound quality.

Discrete Transistors: The Cambridge Audio MM phono pre-amplifier uses discrete transistors for the input stages, instead of the more common integrated circuits which can cause interference and distortion. The CP1 using premium components chosen for exceptional accuracy, amplifying the signal without distorting it.

Balance Control: The CP1 MM phono pre-amplifier offers Balance Control for fine correction of cartridge imbalance. This control allows you to make fine adjustments to the relative output levels of the left and right channels. In the central position the output from each channel is equal.

RCA Input/Output: The Cambridge Audio CP1 MM phono pre-amplifier is fitted with a set of stereo RCA inputs to connect your MM (moving magnet) cartridge turntable. The CP1 is also 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 or integrated amplifier.

Note: Do not connect the CP1 to a "Phono Input" on a receiver or amplifier.

Ground Terminal: The CP1 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.

All Metal Chassis: The Cambridge Audio CP1 phono pre-amplifier features an acoustically damped full metal chassis with a thick brushed aluminum front-panel.

Power Switch: The Cambridge Audio CP1 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 CP1 MM phono pre-amplifier includes an external AC power supply.

  • Input: 120V AC, 60Hz
  • Output: 12V - 500mA

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Cambridge' reputation [ Robert  Dec 30, 2017 ]
Needed a good quality preamp to use with my Thorens TD-160 to archive vinyl recordings. [ Gary  Nov 26, 2017 ]
The Crutchfield review and customers review at the site where very helpfull with making my decision. [ Edwin  Nov 09, 2017 ]
It is a gift. It is what my friend asked for. Personally, I bought the CP2 for myself. I liked the extra features of the sub-sonic filter and balance control. [ John  Oct 26, 2017 ]
Mostly for the specs. [ Jose  May 16, 2017 ]
I like the idea it has the turn table ground. [ Randall  Nov 12, 2016 ]
Current owner of Cambridge Dac, very satisfied with quality [ sgib  Feb 24, 2018 ]