• 01-15-2008, 12:24 PM
    Amp opinions needed on Classe amps!
    I've found a couple of used Classe CA201 amps for sale at a good price. I've read some good reivews and one average review from stereophile magazine which usually gives every thing a good review. Stereophile called it a boring amp. Of course they were comapring it to Krell and Ayre amps. They did say it had more of a tube like sound and it was very detailed, transparent and imaged well. I've read some user reiews on other forums and many prefered it over Bryston, CJ and McCormack amps and they seemed to contradict what stereophile had to say.
  • 01-15-2008, 12:41 PM
    It would make those Maggies sing like birds on a clear spring morning.
  • 01-15-2008, 06:00 PM
    Glen B
    Blackraven, I did not see CA-200 being referred to as "boring" in the Stereophile review. :D I did recommend a CA-200 or 201 to you in your Outlaw thread below. When I bought my CA-300, the dealer had one hooked up to Maggies. The combination was excellent and is what sold me on Classé.
  • 01-15-2008, 08:20 PM
    OK, it didnt say it was boring but they used the terms "unexceptional, dynamically quiet,bland, failed to convey speed, dynamics and rhythm of the Krell CD player, I was not totally knocked out by the the Classe CA 200" These are all direct quotes from the article that I'm looking at right now. If that ain't callin it boring (which I confused with bland) then I don't know what is.

    With that being said, They did say it would match well with speakers like Apogee and Magnepans.
  • 01-15-2008, 09:18 PM
    Mr Peabody
    I heard some older Classe that I liked pretty well. I heard some brand new models last summer driving mid series B&W's D's. These newer models had the detail and response but the sound was like it was being played in a totally padded room, I hesitate to say dead but I don't know how else to describe it, void of any ambient information. I thought it quite an odd sound from such expensive, or any, gear really. If the models you are looking at are new, within 18 months or so, I'd think hard before jumping. If they are older models then they are the best amps you've asked about so far. Classe's build quality is right in the same class with Krell or Bryston.

    I'd also take reviews with a grain of salt. There is quite a bit of difference between the sound of a CJ and the likes of Krell or McCormack. I think you'd love one of the solid state Conrad Johnson MOSFET amps driving your Maggies. They have a more musically engaging sound, a dark background and one of those amps whose sound stage puts you more in the 15th row opposed to the first row or on stage. Their sound stage also tends to have more depth, everything isn't on one line across the room, you get more of an illusion of some things being further back than others. CJ also seems to give music more of a groove, you some how get more of a sense of timing without the music sounding slower. How they do that, I don't know, it must be magic. Krell keeps everything very even, very controlled, and very fast transcients. The older Classe I heard would be some where in the middle of these two, not as warm and fuzzy as CJ but not as authoritarion as Krell.
  • 01-15-2008, 09:34 PM
    My budget is about $1200-1400. I would still need to drop another $100 for the niles audio amp switcher and another pair of IC's and speaker cables. I wish I could spend more but the wife would object. It would probably cost me a diamond ring if I spent anymore on audio equipment.:yikes:
    So it may come down to the Classe as other users have rated it well and contradicted the article or a used McIntosh. My preference would be an Acoustic Research Hybrid, CJ, Bryston 4B SST. I've been looking on audiogone but these are out of my league right now. I could afford them but thats 1/2 of a years college tuition payment.
  • 01-16-2008, 08:28 AM
    Glen B

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    If that ain't callin it boring (which I confused with bland) then I don't know what is.

    My comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. :smile5: Smiley face added to my previous post.
  • 01-16-2008, 07:59 PM
    Mr Peabody
  • 01-23-2008, 08:13 PM
    The Classe sound won't turn everyone on. Zizz-nics like a lot of flash and sparkle. The Classe sound is more to the yin than the yang. If you like tube sound - you'll love the Classe. Every Classe amp I've heard, I've liked a lot. Its a natural sound. Plenty of detail, but not exaggerated like so many overly bright solid state amps I've auditioned. If its not possible to hear the CA-201 for yourself before buying, which is the best approach - you might consider a deal for a price under market value, where if you don't like the sound ,you can easily sell without losing too much.

    What has established a place in my heart as one of the best sounding solid state amp I've heard - ie one that appeals to my tastes, is the Mark Levinson No 27. I'm a hybrid/tube sort of guy, but I am into the sound of the No.27 (I have two of them). Generally speaking, I prefer the sound of the older Levinson amps - but thats just me. You'd have to fork out more for the No.27 though I should think.