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CAMDEN EC2

Two Channel Preamp, Signal Processor,
and Dual Headphone Mixer

Award Winning Preamp Technology Packed Into 1u

Camden EC2 is a two channel 19" preamp featuring our award-winning Camden 500 preamp topology, mojo analogue saturation circuits, and dual reference-quality headphone amplifiers with discrete line mixers.

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Award Winning Pedigree
Featuring two discrete instances of our ‘Camden’ preamp topology developed for Camden 500, Camden EC2 achieves stunning low-noise and low-distortion performance as well as frequency and phase linearity at all gain settings. The sum result is -129.8dB EIN (150ohm, unweighted), THD+N as low as 0.0002%, frequency response of ±0.7dB from 5Hz to 200kHz at max gain and <2° phase shift @ 20Hz – 20kHz.
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Vintage Persona
Combined with our custom Mojo analogue saturation circuit, Camden EC2 can take on the persona of a vintage british-style transformer-based preamp using Thump, a gooey tube-based preamp using Cream, or an astoundingly clean and natural preamp when Mojo is bypassed. Switch each Camden preamp into their line mode and now the Mojo saturation circuits can apply vintage colouration onto your stems and even stereo mixes during the mix phase.

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Dual Channel Preamp And Instrument DI


Featuring a custom transformerless front-end topology with 68.5dB of gain, Camden EC2 achieves groundbreaking performance in noise, distortion, frequency response, and phase shift throughout all 12 gain positions. Each of EC2's preamp's feature tailored input impedance and headroom for Mic, Line, and Hi-Z sources using a dedicated 3-way input type switch on each channel.

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Dual Headphone Mixer


Two reference-quality headphone amplifiers with discrete line mixers allow for direct monitoring of both Camden preamps using headphones connected directly to Camden EC2’s front panel.

Monitor the preamp during mic placement to find the sweet spot of a guitar cab, kick drum, or acoustic instrument; alternatively, configure them to create a zero-latency all analogue monitor mix combining the local Camden preamps with playback incoming from an external playback source via Camden EC2’s rear panel Aux Inputs.

Tech Specs

Camden EC2 features two instances of one of the cleanest, most linear, and transparent preamps on the market. Our new ‘Camden’ preamp topology allows us to push the boundaries of Frequency response, phase shift, noise, and THD performance; and we have all the specs to back that up.

EIN: <-129.5dBu, 150 ohm source, unweighted
<-135.5dBu, Inputs common, unweighted

THD+N: <0.0004%, 1kHz, 35dB gain, 24dBu out

Phase Shift: <2.25°, 40dB gain, 20Hz to 20kHz
<4°, Max gain, 20Hz to 20kHz

Freq. Response:1dB, <5 Hz to >200 kHz, all gain settings

CMRR: >70dB, typ >85dB, 35dB Gain, 10-20kHz, 100mV Common mode

For a comprehensive and detailed look at the performance of the preamps within Camden EC2, you can view the Camden 500 technical specifications [PDF]
 

Performance Graphs

Numbers on a spec sheet is one thing, however those numbers can change drastically depending on the frequency measured and preamp gain. Camden 500's technical performance excels not only at key gain positions, but also when the gain control is increased to its maximum. Many preamps can boast excellent performance at one gain setting but that performance can often fall apart once the gain is increased. Camden 500 retains minimal phase shift, frequency roll-off, and THD at all gain positions enabling you to get the best results out of ribbon and low-output dynamic mics without fear of losing performance as the gain is increased.

The below graphs display key performance metrics of Camden EC2 measured at all gain positions and across the audible frequency range:

Camden 500 phase shift at all gain settings
Phase Shift: All Gain Settings
Less than 4° of phase shift at maximum gain between 20Hz-20kHz.
Camden500 THD+N ratio all gain settings
THD+N Ratio: All Gain Settings
THD+N is below 0.02% throughout all gain settings and frequencies.
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Frequency Response: All Gain Settings
Less than 1dB frequency roll-off between 5Hz-200kHz at maximum gain.

Mojo Analogue Saturation

Drum Machine
Hear Thump and Cream on a Teenage Engineering PO-12
Bass Synth
Hear Cream on a Teenage Engineering PO-14 Synth
Acoustic Guitar
Hear Camden 500 on an acoustic guitar recording with a small application of Mojo

Developed in conjunction with our immaculate Camden preamp topology, our Mojo analogue saturation circuit transforms Camden EC2 into a true vintage monster.

Mojo comprises of a brand-new type of saturation circuit featuring discrete second and third order harmonic generators with a series of filters that allow precise emulation of the saturation and frequency reinforcement behaviours of vintage equipment. Mojo goes to 11. Exaggerate it to to the point where destructive clipping would occur with transformer-based designs results in an even wider palette of saturation effects.

By manipulating these filters and harmonic generators; we can create two discrete Mojo styles; Thump and Cream. Both styles transform Camden 500 into the fattest, warmest, and most characterful preamp in your arsenal - all at the turn of a dial.  

Learn and hear more about why we developed our own analogue saturation circuit and how we went about creating it on our "introduction to Mojo" blog:

Read More

C.A.S.T. Enabled
 
By utilising our unique C.A.S.T. system, Camden EC2's connections can be moved to another location in the studio or stage by using a single cat 5 cable.
 
Connect Camden EC2's C.A.S.T. IN port to one of our N22/N22H breakout boxes and then mic/line sources connected to the inputs of the breakout box will travel through the cat 5 cable and arrive directly at Camden EC2's preamp inputs.
Simultaneously, a monitor mix generated by Camden EC2 is carried through C.A.S.T. and arrives directly at the outputs of the breakout box for advanced monitoring.
 
Connect Camden EC2's C.A.S.T. OUT port directly into the C.A.S.T. inputs on 500R8/500ADAT and then the outputs of Camden EC2's preamps are sent directly into 500R8/500ADAT's 500 series module's for further processing and recording. 
EC2, N22H, R8
This flexibility allows 500R8/500ADAT users to relocate their Camden preamps elsewhere in the studio whilst freeing-up 500 series slots to insert more EQ and Compressor modules after their Camden EC2 and before the converters.

Reviews Of Our Camden Topology

"...when I discovered the switched gain control I was smitten. But after listening to it and experimenting with the Mojo facility, I was completely sold."
 
"There are far too many preamps to mention even in the 500 series alone, but few are this well built or designed, few sound this clean and quiet, and very few have this much sonic versatility."

"In short, this is how I’d design and build a quality preamp!"
 
Read The Review
Hugh Rubjohns
Sound On Sound

"I was struck by how clean the gain was at very high gain settings. But the kit sounded especially ‘big’ when a bit of Thump was introduced. I was soon tempted to crank the MOJO full up for a big warm Bonham-like sound, and we were rocking."  

"...If you want a top class flexible preamp and enhancer you’d be hard-pressed to find a better alternative at any price"  

"The 1.5 Megohms Hi-Z input seemed to have a touch more natural openness than rival preamps, and the integrity of the signal is unquestionable"

"The designers set out to emulate the effects of valves and transformers, and what they have achieved is truly remarkable — it would be easy to believe that Cream is a flavour of valve ‘overdrive’. "

George Shilling
Resolution Magazine

"First thoughts: this is a very quiet unit and it’s somehow brought more top end out in the vocal. We A/B it with Jack’s lead vocal (recorded 5047 direct into the Babyface Pro, no Camden), and realise it’s also added warmth to the sound. Impressive. But I get the feeling we’re only scratching the surface."

"...we decide to turn it up to 11 [mojo], just to see what it can do. And my word, what a difference. On playback, with Mojo at absolute max, there is suddenly this smoothness and thickness that we haven’t yet experienced in The Hub - could this be ‘analogue warmth’, perhaps?!"

Paul Watson
Headliner Magazine

Camden EC2 Library

 Key Features:
 
  • Two discrete Mic/Line/Hi-Z preamps featuring the award-winning ‘Camden’ topology from the Camden 500 Preamp and Signal Processor for 500 series
  • Fully-discrete, transformerless design featuring designed by Cranborne Audio’s Director of Engineering - Edward Holmes
  • Audio performance at the near-theoretical limits of noise, distortion, and phase/frequency linearity at all gain settings
    • EIN: <-129.5dBu, 150 ohm source, unweighted, <-135.5dBu, Inputs common, unweighted
    • THD+N: <0.0004%, 1kHz, 35dB gain, 24dBu out
    • Intermodulation Distortion: <0.0008%, 50Hz and 7kHz, 35dB gain, 20dBu out
    • Phase Shift: <2.25°, 40dB gain, 20Hz to 20kHz, <4°, Max gain, 20Hz to 20kHz
    • Freq. Response: <±1dB, <5 Hz to >200 kHz, all gain settings
    • CMRR: >70dB, typ >85dB, 35dB Gain, 10-20kHz, 100mV Common mode
  • Two instances of ‘Mojo’ analogue saturation circuits with variable controls, true bypass, and 2 discrete styles - Thump and Cream
    • Thump excites low-end content by boosting lower odd/even harmonics from a range of 160Hz to 20Hz and below
    • Cream boosts odd/even harmonics whilst also reducing the amplitude of the fundamental frequencies and applying typical transformer-style transient taming
  • Two discrete headphone mixers with independant CH1, CH2, Aux Input, and Master level controls
    • Monitor the preamps during mic placement to find the sweet spot
    • Create cue/monitor mixes using combining local Camden preamps mixed with external playback.
    • 1/4” Aux Input Jacks for connecting audio playback into Camden EC2’s headphone mixers.
    • 'Stereo’ switch to pan CH1 & CH2 left and right in each headphone mix for true stereo monitoring of live sources
  • Dual reference-quality, high-powered headphone amplifiers
    • Freq. Response: <±1dB, <5 Hz to >100 kHz
    • Output Impedance: 0.33 Ohms
    • THD: 0.0003%, 1kHz
    • Output Wattage: 2x250mW @ 600 ohm, 2x450mW @ 220 ohm, 2x250mW @ 100 ohm
  • Balanced XLR outputs and impedance balanced ¼” jack outputs for maximum connectivity into audio interfaces and other downstream equipment
    • XLR outputs with 26.5dBu max output level
    • ¼” Jack outputs with 20.5dBu max output level
  • Dedicated 1/4"  ‘Link’ outputs for true instrument DI functionality and splitting instrument inputs to a backline amplifier
  • C.A.S.T OUT port for connecting Camden EC2 into 500R8/500ADAT
    • Transmit Camden EC2’s preamps directly into 500R8 and 500ADAT’s 500 series modules inputs for recording
    • Receive a stereo mix generated from 500R8/500ADAT and monitoring using Camden EC2’s headphone mixers
    • All managed and distributed via a single shielded Cat5 cable
  • C.A.S.T IN port for connecting N22/N22H Cat 5 snakes to relocate Camden EC2 I/O elsewhere in the studio
    • Receive 2 inputs from N22/N22H directly into the preamp inputs of Camden EC2
    • Transmit Camden EC2’s Aux 1 headphone mix into N22/N22H for direct monitoring by the musician
    • All managed and distributed via a single shielded Cat5 cable
  • External high-current 24v 1a power supply with latching connector
  • Designed, engineered and manufactured in the United Kingdom
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Thanks for checking out the app guides tab. We're still working on all the application guides at the moment - they've got to be right! - but as soon as they are finished, we will make sure they are available for you all to see.
Sound on sound october 2018 camden 500 review