The pre-amp stage is all about minimal colouration. Take the source signal and pass it onto the power amp stage with as little interference as possible. That’s exactly what the 851E does, and coupled with its solid-state volume control, it retains audio signal purity and precision even at the lowest listening levels.
The 851E excels in keeping the signal pure. Every component has been designed not to interfere with the audio signal input and output, meaning that the harmonic distortion and noise levels are so low they’re almost impossible to measure and certainly can’t be heard. A solid state volume control and toroidal transformer also contribute to the incredible sonic purity of the 851E. The toroidal transformer delivers a high quality power output to the amplification circuits with no clipping of the waveform signal, to provide a consistent signal with no transformer noise, buzz or hum. These expensive components coupled to countless hours of tuning mean the 851E delivers an incredibly pure signal to your amplifier.
To make the 851E compatible with as many sources as possible we built it with eight inputs, with three switchable between unbalanced RCA and high-end balanced XLR. There’s also a dedicated sub-woofer output for perfect integration with sub-woofers. Outputs include balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connections for compatibility with any amplifiers and the 851E is designed as the perfect partner to the 851W; it has control bus connections for power syncing (switch one on and the other turns on also), and the Terrapin impedance buffering module enables seamless switching between sources. The result is a combination that’s comfortably the most musically thrilling we’ve ever made: detailed, powerful and pure.
When designing a stereo system, listeners are often encouraged to think about system matching, where components are handpicked to provide the best overall sound quality. People often assume this is due to the different audio characteristics, but frequently it is due to impedance (the relationship between voltage and current input/output) matching components. Products perform at their optimum when their input and output impedances match. This isn’t always possible though so we decided to develop our unique Terrapin impedance buffering module. This enables the 851E to be paired with a huge variety of audio sources and power amplifiers of varying impedance without risking any sacrifice in musicality or overall audio performance.