Cambridge Audio's CP1 phono preamplifier replaces the now famous AZUR 551 P. It is derived from the manufacturer's design and build quality. Its reasonable price makes it ideal for entry-level and mid-range turntables fitted with moving magnet (MM) cartridges.
Irrespective of its highly competitive price, this phono preamplifier comes in a beautiful non-magnetic metal housing also treated against vibration. It features a pretty brushed aluminium front panel adorned with a LED and single push button (ON/OFF). The rear panel features two pairs of gold-plated RCA connectors (an input for the turntable and an output for the amplifier), a ground plug for the turntable's ground terminal and a plug for the outboard 16V power supply. There is also an exclusive potentiometer that controls the channel balance. According to the manufacturer, it can correct imbalance between the channels caused by poor cartridge alignment. Anyway, we think that it is best to align the cartridge properly than having to rely on this 'magical' potentiometer!
Inside, the circuitry makes room for discrete transistors for the main stages that deal with the audio signal. They are next to integrated circuits that handle secondary processing. Chemical capacitors are dedicated to the power supply. WIMA audiophile capacitances are used on the audio signal path.
From the opening bars, you can hear Cambridge Audio's signature sound. With an entry-level moving magnet (MM) cartridge, and even with a better model for that matter, this phono preamplifier can definitely play music! It delivers a detailed and well-textured sound. Overall it emphasises on warmth and presence rather than on dynamics and transparency.
It’s great value for money! Highly recommended. Franck
Gain at 1 kHz: 39 dB
Input impedance: 47 kOhms
Input capacitance: 220 pF
RIAA accuracy: < +/- 0.65 dB
Output: 300 mV
Average input sensitivity: 3.35 mV
Signal-to-noise ratio: > 85 dB
Crosstalk: > 75 dB
Max consumption: 5w
Dimensions: 46 x 215 x 133mm