Classé: CP800 (R)evolutionary

Wednesday, 17 August 2011 |

The Classé CP800 preamp, is nothing “out of the ordinary” at first glance, with three single-ended audio inputs and two balanced audio inputs. That’s where the “ordinary” ends.

From the inside, this unit brings new features to light, in Classé’ typical manner, it has 4 toslink digital inputs, 3 coax digital inputs, 1 AES/EBU digital in, and…2 USB inputs, one on the front and at the back. With this being said it would only be correct to assume that Classé has indeed added an onboard USB-DAC board. However, the real change over occurs with the outputs.

There are five single-ended as well as five balanced audio outputs. What’s so great about this you may be asking yourself, well, these outputs are configurable. For the first time ever, Classé have added a high-end two channel preamp with bass management to the CP800. If you feel, like many people do that a subwoofer adds a lot to a system, one no longer needs to compromise and use a surround sound processor to manage bass, there are thee configurable outputs that give you the control.

Want more? Well, if you have been an audiophile for a while, you may recall back in the 70’s/80’s there was a nifty feature on many Quad preamps, known as the “tilt” feature. Classé has “reintroduced” this very feature onto the CP800 giving you the ability to make a “not so good” recording, be a lot more pleasant to listen to – you now are able to adjust both the frequencies as well as the shelf. What is more is that the CP800 has brought the “return” of the tone control. Again, this allows you, the user, more freedom to listen to music the way you want too – you have full control over the bass and the treble.

“…Classé has come up with a first in the CP800 with a new kind of power supply. Switching power supplies have huge advantages, but one drawback for audio has been the noise they introduced. Classé came up with a unique way to attack this. The result is probably the best audio preamp power supply ever designed. It’s got the lowest measurable noise floor of anything available by several dB!...”

If you would like to find out more about the CP800 unit, don’t hesitate to contact us via email, alternatively why not come in to one of our branches?

-Information sourced from Classé (August 2011)