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Cambridge Audio CP2

Phono preamplifier for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges (Silver)

7 Reviews | 1 question - 2 answers

Item # 779CP2S

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$299.99

Overview

Our take on the Cambridge Audio CP2

True vinyl fans know that a high-performance phono preamplifier is a must-have to get the best performance from their albums, especially if their turntable's 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.

CP2 back_panel

The CP2 adds excitement and life to the sound of your vinyl records.

Do justice to your vinyl collection

True vinyl fans know that a high-performance phono preamplifier is a must-have to get the best performance from their albums, especially if their turntable's 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 CP2 solves that problem by delivering a robust, line-level signal infused with rich, dynamic sound. The CP2 will revealing layers of musical detail hidden in the grooves of your favorite vinyl recordings. 

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 CP2 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. And since Cambridge knows that not every phono cartridge delivers perfectly even left- and right-channel output signals, they added a fine-tune balance control that lets you correct for any differences. If you're a serious vinyl lover, you owe it to yourself to discover the Cambridge Audio difference.

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 and moving coil phono cartridges
  • external power supply for reduced noise and interference
  • built-in balance control for fine correction of left- and right-channel cartridge output
  • 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'
  • external power supply for reduced noise and interference
  • gain: 39dB(MM), 55dB(MC)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 86dB(MM), greater than 72dB(MC)
  • THD: less than 0.009%(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 5-1/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

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

Immediate improvement in detail and soundstage...nothing else needs to be said. I paired with an Ortofon Blue and a Cambridge Audio Topaz receiver running Martin Logan bookshelfs and a JBL subwoofer...I now have audiophile sound on a budget (sort of, haha)

Anonymous, Staten Island, NY

Reviews

Cambridge Audio CP2 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(7 Reviews)

Great investment for not a lot of $

Anonymous from Staten Island, NY on 12/28/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Immediate improvement in detail and soundstage...nothing else needs to be said. I paired with an Ortofon Blue and a Cambridge Audio Topaz receiver running Martin Logan bookshelfs and a JBL subwoofer...I now have audiophile sound on a budget (sort of, haha)

Pros:

Cons:

Nice honest unit.

C. from Nokomis, FL on 12/22/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very nice unit for the money! (I reserved the 5 star rating for something costing many times what this phono amp does). I have other Cambridge Audio products and like their sound. This does not disappoint. The sound is clean and seemingly unaltered or colored. In use with Rega Planar II which has been highly modified; Grace 707 ultra low mass tone arm and head shell; Supex 901 MC cartridge (an oldie but goody).

Pros: Price, versatility and sound for the money.

Cons: none really

Cambridge Audio CP2

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

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Unit works great. It arrived very well packed. And fast delivery too. Price was better through Crutchfield than any other source.

Pros: No problems.

Cons: None

Cambridge Audio CP2

Anonymous from Windermere, FL on 10/8/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this for my husband so he could hookup his turntable to an older receiver. The sound quality is amazing! He absolutely loves it!

Pros:

Cons:

Great description

Simon from Aspen, CO on 1/26/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very nice quality and design!

Pros: Solid construction, modern design and fits in well with other conponents

Cons: High price

Can definitely tell the bad albums from the good ones!

Anonymous from Evansville, IN on 12/18/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Seeing the resurgence of records sales, I decided to get back into listening to records after about 30 years of absence. I located my old turntable, Hitachi HT-460 direct drive automatic, at disbelief it worked perfectly, at least to me it did. Had an old Grado F3+ in the head shell, knew it needed to be replaced. I've always liked the sound of Grado cartridges, so i purchased a Grado Prestige Gold 1. All of this is feeding an old Yamaha RX-V2600 receiver playing through a pair of Paradigm Monitor 7 floor standing speakers. Sounds pretty good. Had never heard an LP playing through the Paradigm's. Vinyl is back! But what else could be done to improve the sound. The Yamaha has a built in phone preamp, but this series of receivers was developed for home theater video and multiple speakers not LP listening. So started to do the research, Crutchfield was the place to start. Knowing i wanted to eventually try a MC cartridge, the design theory that Cambridge Audio promoted and price made the choice for me. The CP2 fit the bill. After listening and comparing it with the built in preamp in the Yamaha, there was definitely noticeable differences. The next upgrade was a pair of ELAC Uni-Fi 5's, another review of them later. Looking at changing the Yamaha soon, another reason for a phono preamp. You can't go wrong for the design, build quality and price of the CP2. All of this is leading up to a room for listening to LP's specifically separate from the TV.

Pros:

Cons: None

Couldn't be more pleased.....

Robert from Buffalo, NY on 5/1/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Noticed a pronounced improvement on the first play. I had just purchased a new cartridge for my B&O 4004 and I was looking forward to incorporating a preamp that would take advantage of the upgrade without breaking the bank. The CP-2 fit the bill nicely. After several days of use I noticed a hum in the left channel, one call to Customer Service and they had a replacement on the way. Can't say enough about the great CS Crutchfield provides their customers. Keep up the fine work.

Pros:

Cons:

Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Phono Pre-Amp: The Cambridge Audio CP2 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 required to enable you to connect your MM or MC 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 CP2. Connected using a stereo audio interconnect cable, the CP2 is set-up in minutes allowing you to appreciate stunning clarity, musicality, and resolution from all your vinyl recordings.

MM (Moving Magnet) & MC (Moving Coil) Compatible: The Cambridge Audio CP2 is MM (Moving Magnet) & MC (Moving Coil) Compatible. The CP2 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.

Note: Moving Coil cartridges found in high-end audiophile turntables offer more accuracy and detail than Moving Magnet.

Advanced Amplification: Audio circuitry has been refined with multiple transistors wired in parallel ensuring the lowest possible distortion and noise. A copper shield provides further protection to this extremely sensitive part of the circuitry, limiting the noise that can be injected into the signal. This is especially important with a Moving Coil cartridge because its signal is even quieter and more delicate than Moving Magnet, so it needs even more amplification.

  • "Class A" + RIAA EQ: The CP2 phono pre-amplifier utilizes a single-ended "Class A" gain stage with audiophile passive RIAA equalization for excellent sound quality. Multi-parallel capacitors 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. The CP2 using premium components chosen for exceptional accuracy, amplifying the signal without distorting it.

Balance Control: The CP2 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.

Subsonic Filter: The Cambridge Audio CP2 features a subsonic filter to remove the unwanted and disruptive effects "rumble" of low-frequency energy caused by vinyl imperfections.

RCA Input/Output: The Cambridge Audio CP2 phono pre-amplifier is fitted with two sets of stereo RCA inputs to connect your MM (moving magnet) or MC (moving coil) cartridge turntable. The CP2 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 CP2 to a "Phono Input" on a receiver or amplifier.

Ground Terminal: The CP2 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 CP2 phono pre-amplifier features an acoustically damped full metal chassis with a thick brushed aluminum front-panel.

Power Switch: The Cambridge Audio CP2 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 CP2 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.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Subsonic filter is critical with some older speakers and vinyl. Therefore, separate preamp can be very important. Thanks! [ D. Brian  Mar 02, 2018 ]
Quality preamp with subsonic filtering. Cartridge versatility. [ ISO/Topeka  Mar 01, 2018 ]
Positive reviews [ Robin G  Apr 24, 2017 ]
Cambridge reputation. [ John  Feb 03, 2017 ]
Looks like better build quality for the money. Positive reviews on line. Didn't want to spend over 400 dollars since my turntable is an entry level AT 120. [ Eric  Feb 01, 2017 ]
Most modern AV receivers don't include a phono input on the back and if they do, it's not as good as having a direct phono pre-amp that you can hook up your turntable through. This is where the Cambridge Audio pre-amp comes into play... [ Joseph  Dec 12, 2016 ]
I will be soon purchasing a Cambridge integrated amp and wanted to hear this preamp first. Using through a Yamaha receiver at this time. Noticeable sound difference than the on board preamp. [ Joseph  Nov 25, 2016 ]
Needed a amp to match my new Soundsmith SMMC20CL+ Moving Coil cartridge. [ Bob  Apr 16, 2016 ]
strong positive reviews and ease of use [ Gary  Apr 25, 2018 ]
I have been using Cambridge audio for several years now and never disappointed [ Alexander  Jul 20, 2017 ]

1 question already asked

RCA jacks on both ends [ GREGORY  May 02, 2018 ]
I use an Audioquest Golden Gate to connect my CP2 to a Cambridge Audio 840w and am very pleased with the sound. [ David  May 02, 2018 ]
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