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Cranborne Audio Camden 500

Microphone Preamplifier
Published October 2018
By Hugh Robjohns

Cranborne Audio Camden 500

This debut product from a new British company is not just another mic preamp...

Cranborne Audio are a new British company set up by a small group of bright young product designers, all of whom share a determination to build products they want to use themselves, and to build them ‘the right way’, with no shortcuts, and no compromises. One of their most audacious aims is to “deliver ground‑breaking performance, with UK manufacturing at prices that will surprise everyone”. It’s quite a game plan, but Cranborne are off to a very good start with their debut product, the 500‑series preamp I’m reviewing here, and there’s a pair of very impressive, innovative 500‑series racks about to go into production too: the 500R8 doubles up as a multi‑channel USB audio interface, and the 500ADAT features bi‑directional analogue‑to‑ADAT conversion. Both racks boast other interesting features too, including a summing mixer and monitoring facilities.

Clearly, setting up a brand‑new audio‑equipment company is not for the faint‑hearted, but this team has a wealth of previous experience, gained mostly from working at Soundcraft, where they developed products including the Signature, Ui and Si series of mixing consoles.

The Camden Concept

An Audio Precision plot of the preamp’s frequency response with the high‑pass filter switched in and out. (The fuzziness at the very high‑frequency end of the plot is an irrelevant measurement artifact.) With the HPF switched out, the response is ruler‑flat from 10Hz to well over 80kHz (within 1dB), and ‑3dB at 7Hz. With the HPF switched in, the low end is rolled off initially at around 6dB/octave but increasing to 12dB for the lowest octave.An Audio Precision plot of the preamp’s frequency response with the high‑pass filter switched in and out. (The fuzziness at the very high‑frequency end of the plot is an...

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Published October 2018