Camden 500 500 Series Preamp, Di, & Signal Processor
  • Fully-discrete, transformerless design featuring our custom ‘Camden’ preamp topology designed by our Director of Engineering - Edward Holmes

  • Optimised for and fully-compliant with the 500-series format
    • Camden 500 is not a 19” unit shoe-horned into a 500-series module, it has been designed from the ground-up to perform under the low-voltage power rails and supply current limitations of the 500-series format whilst delivering groundbreaking performance


  • Performs 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

  • Optimised input Impedance and input headroom for Mic, Line, and Hi-z sources
    • Mic Preamp, Instrument Di, and - thanks to Mojo - line-level analogue saturator

  • Custom ‘Mojo’ analogue saturation circuit with variable control, true bypass, and 2 discrete styles - Thump and Cream
    • Reamp tracks from your DAW through Mojo to apply analogue saturation to your stems, VST, and stereo mixes
    • 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

  • Gold Flashing on backplane contacts for increased conductivity and durability

  • Designed & Engineered in the United Kingdom

All specifications are typical performance unless otherwise noted. All specifications are subject to change at any time. Tested with Audio Precision APx555.

Minimum Gain:

Mic= 8dB, Line = 0dB, Hi-Z = 3dB

Phase Shift:

<2.25° (40dB gain, 20Hz to 20kHz),

<4° (max gain, 20Hz to 20kHz)

Maximum Gain:

Mic = 68dB, Line = 60dB, Hi-Z = 63dB


<0.0004% (1kHz, 35dB gain, 24dBu out)

Input Impedance:

Mic= 8.9kOhms 48v Off, 5.4kOhms 48v ON,

Line = 24.3kOhms,

Hi-Z= 1.5MOhm unbalanced, 3MOhm balanced

Intermodulation Distortion:

<0.0008% (50Hz and 7kHz, 35dB gain, 20dBu out),

<0.0006% (50Hz and 7kHz, 35dB gain, 15dBu out)

Max Input Level:

Mic = 17.6dBu (<0.003% THD),

Line = 26.5dBu (<0.02% THD),

Hi-Z = 24dBu (<0.02% THD)

Hi-Pass Filter (HPF):

80Hz, -3dB, 12dB/Oct

Output Impedance: 

150 Ohms

Current Draw:

120mA per rail - idle, 140mA per rail - typical use case

Max Output Level: 

27.5dBu (<0.002% THD, 30dB gain)


>70dB, typ >85dB, 35dB gain, 10-20kHz, 100mV Common mode

Equivalent Input Noise (EIN): 

<-129.5dBu (150 ohm source, unweighted), 

<-131dBu (150 ohm source, A-weighted), 

<-135.5dBu (Inputs common, unweighted)

Slew Rate:

20V/uS, 35dB gain, 25dBu out

Frequency Response:

±0.25dB (<5 Hz to >200 kHz, 35dB gain),

<±1dB (<5 Hz to >200 kHz, max gain)

Dimensions (mm):

31.8/133.35/170.11 (w/h/d)

The Very Best Of Both Worlds

Camden 500 is the most astoundingly clean, linear, transparent preamp you’ve ever heard. But it also has “Mojo” - 2 discrete custom analogue saturation circuits that can be applied, exaggerated, and perhaps best of all - bypassed.

Clean, Precise, and Natural
Camden 500 provides the utmost clarity and detail when it is most required. Its custom 'Camden' topology achieves stunning low-noise and low-distortion performance: -129.8dB EIN (150ohm, unweighted) and THD+N as low as 0.0002%.  It also sets a new standard for frequency and phase linearity: ±0.7dB frequency response from 5Hz to 200kHz at max gain and <2° phase shift @ 50Hz – 20kHz. The sum result is the most natural sounding preamp you've ever heard.
Vintage, Warm, and Coloured
Camden 500 features "Mojo" - a custom analogue saturation circuit that transforms Camden 500 into the fattest, warmest, most colourful mic preamp in your arsenal. Designed to introduce harmonics and saturation effects that our favourite vintage gear produces, Mojo can be subtle, it can be exaggerated, but best of all it can be bypassed...

Camden 500 gain switchCustom Topology

Featuring a custom *transformerless front-end topology with 68.5dB of gain, Camden 500 achieves groundbreaking performance in noise, distortion, frequency response, and phase shift throughout all 12 gain positions.

*Why is Camden 500 Transformerless?
Read More

Camden 500 Hi-z instrument input3-Way Input Type Switch

Tailored input impedance and headroom for Mic, Line, and Hi-Z sources means punchy and full-range line recording with +26.5dBu of input headroom as well as alive and natural sounding DI'd instruments with it's unique BJT design and 1.5M Ohm input impedance.

Camden 500 on 500ADATManufactured In The UK

To ensure that every product that bears our name lives up to the extraordinary performance that we quote, all of our products are carefully manufactured and tested in the UK under our watchful eyes.

The Camden Preamp Family

Camden 500

The Camden preamp, perfectly designed for 500 series format


Learn More

Camden EC1

Single-channel, desktop Camden preamp with a reference-grade headphone amp and zero-latency headphone mixerEC1_Front_JPEG_150dpi_WhiteBG

Learn More

Camden EC2

19", rackmount dual channel Camden preamp with twin reference-grade headphone amps, zero-latency monitor mixing, and full C.A.S.T. Integration




Learn More

Tech Specs

Put simply, Camden 500 is 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 Camden 500's technical specifications, you can view the Camden 500 technical specifications [PDF]

Camden 500 By The Numbers

By our calculations and measurements, Camden 500 is the cleanest and most transparent preamp on the market. In this video Elliott dives into the tech specs and explains how we've come to this conclusion by comparing some technical data and performance specs against some undisclosed competitors preamp's as well as showing off some audio examples of Camden 500 in action. This video is not for the faint-hearted...


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 500 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.
Camden 500 frequency response at all gain settings.jpg
Frequency Response: All Gain Settings
Less than 1dB frequency roll-off between 5Hz-200kHz at maximum gain.

Mojo Analogue Saturation

To compliment the clean front-end of the Camden 500, we built a brand-new type of saturation circuit consisting of an array of filters and discrete second and third order harmonic generators that allow precise emulation of the saturation and frequency reinforcement behaviours of vintage equipment. Mojo can be also exaggerated to far beyond the point where destructive clipping would occur with transformer-based designs for 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.  

Thump harmonic analogue saturation

Cream harmonic 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

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

Test Drive Mojo For Yourself

Camden500_MOJO_CloseupYou supply the audio. We apply the Mojo. 

Hear the effects of our Mojo circuit on YOUR audio files by uploading a 30 second, WAV/AIFF (24-bit, 44.1/48kHz) audio file for us to reamp into Camden 500, apply the Mojo, and then send back to you - with no additional processing of course.

We’ll send the results back to you as a WAV file for you to analyse yourself, but we’d also like to post the results online so that others can hear the results for themselves. 

Before submitting, please make sure you are happy for us to post the file on our soundcloud playlist; we will apply any credits that you’d like - just let us know in the message section of the form below!


Camden 500 Reviews

“For a superb clean, open and unhyped sound that captures the natural sound of voices and instruments, look no further. Add to that the wide palette of sound textures on offer via the Mojo controls and you have a versatile recording tool that performs way better than its modest retail price would suggest.”


“For comparison, I used the Camden in super-clean mode along with a Pultec EQP-1A equaliser, a combination I regularly use. However, in this instance, the Mojo provided by the Camden renders the EQ redundant.”


“Cranborne Audio’s Camden is a fabulous microphone preamplifier.”


“For all the terrific results I achieved from the Camden, though, the process that filled my heart with joy most of all was using it with a Neumann U 47 FET on a kick drum...Dialling in a healthy dose of Thump adds character unavailable from any equaliser I’ve ever used. The low end becomes not only weightier, but also more expansive”

Music Tech
"I liked the sound of the Camden 500's transparent preamp. As compared to another transformerless transparent-style preamp, the Camden 500 did indeed sound very natural." 

"As you crank the Mojo knob clockwise, the effect gets obvious. Aside from the subtle transformer emulation, it starts adding a good deal of additional harmonic content below 100 Hz. I found that this works wonders on low frequency sources such as kick drum or bass guitar. In this case, I could dial in an incredible low end on the kick, without it sounding synthetic or out of place.
"So, the next time someone with a limited budget asks what preamps they should buy first, you'll have a really good answer. I don't know another product with this range of versatility anywhere near the Camden 500's price point."
Read The Review
Kirt Shearer
Tape Op Magazine
"...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 Robjohns
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