CA 851a not powerful enough?


Established Member
Hi all,
I was curious if my Anthem 710 receiver can sound even better if I use pre outs and connect external amp for fronts. Did so with CA azur 851a and it seems like CA is not powerful enough! When I go through the setup procedure and test signal is played, front channels are not so loud as centre or rears powered by Anthem. Even if I put CA level to the max! Speakers are Focal Aria 906. Must admit that when used as a stereo amp, CA is not too loud either. Have to turn volume at least to the half for a calm evening listening. So what can be wrong? Or is it ok for CA to be so quiet? Any advice will be appreciated!


Distinguished Member
Probably not so much a problem with power as voltage gain - and that may be the Anthem or the Cambridge!

There's not really a standard for voltage gain in power amps, so there can be large differences between the level produced. If it was a power issue, the amplifier would sound strained and distorted at lower volume settings.

If you run ARC, does this not level out the differences and correct for the lower voltage gain?


Established Member
I wasn't able to complete ARC because front channels level was too low. And I really don't like the idea of putting CA volume to the max.


Outstanding Member
Any input on the CA can be set to fixed gain, exactly for this purpose. The gain level can also be set in the menu. This potentially is the same as setting the volume to max so isn't a concern.

The Anthem's specs seem to suggest it can throw at massive 3.5V to the pre-outs, so also check if it has some limiting in it's setup.

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