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Thread: Official Classe CP-800 Thread
03-26-2012, 02:28 PM #11
The natives are restless, and I can't blame them. I want that Classe badly, but I will have to live vicariously through your review.
03-26-2012, 02:28 PM #12
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
The beef is coming!
Thanks for the explanation. Sorry about being impatient. Always appreciate what you and your staff do for the Hifi community. Keep up the great work!
Looking forward to the CP-800 review. I am of the old school that still plays the red CD's. I hope that you tested the CP-800 as a DAC. I am very curious to find out if using the CP-800 as a DAC connected to the digital output of my CD player (not an Oppo) would give me better sound than the analog output of the Oppo 95.
04-05-2012, 09:43 AM #13
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
"The CP-800 has a switched-mode PSU that operates at very high frequencies, which its claimed makes it less noisy than traditional linear supplies."
Marketing bull. Linear ps sounds much better than smps.
04-05-2012, 10:40 AM #14
04-09-2012, 01:55 AM #15
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
05-09-2012, 11:29 PM #16
Classe CP-800 Review NOW ONLINE AT HOME THEATER REVIEW
After a long wait the Classe CP-800 review is finally live on Home Theater Review. Here's an excerpt...
AV preamps and receivers have become overly complicated affairs, offering up features and connectivity that would've been science fiction twenty-five years ago. Meanwhile, two-channel preamps have been left largely in the dust, performing much as they have for the past century. With the proliferation of digital music, especially iTunes and other downloadable music files, two-channel DACs (digital to analog converters) have experienced a resurgence, but two-channel preamps have remained the same - until now. Enter Classe's newest two-channel preamp, the CP-800 stereo preamp processor, a $5,000 no holds barred two-channel preamp that packs a few bells and whistles normally reserved for its AV counterparts. Could the CP-800 be the first in the evolution of the stereo preamplifier? That's what I wanted to find out.
The CP-800 replaces both the CP-500 and CP-700 preamps from Classe. From the front, it doesn't look all that different. The CP-800 is clad in Classe's now-trademark white façade with black accents surrounding its touch-screen controls and large volume knob. The CP-800's edges round delicately towards the rear of the unit, giving it a modern architectural flair that is unlike anything you'll see elsewhere in high-end audio. The CP-800 is nearly five inches tall and 17.5 inches square, tipping the scales a solid but not unruly 23 pounds.
The front of the CP-800 sports a traditional headphone jack as well as a USB input, both of which rest between the left-mounted touch-screen and right-positioned volume knob. The touch-screen is a two-color affair, but the CP-800's screen has traded black for blue and left the white alone. While the combination of white on blue may seem odd or, worse, difficult to read, rest assured, it's not - in fact, it's quite pleasing and easily read from some distance (12 feet for me).
As futuristic as a touch-screen may be, it's when you focus your attention on the CP-800's rear panel that things begin to really take shape. Moving left to right, the first things you'll notice are the CP-800's master power switch and detachable AC power cord, next to which rest its nine digital inputs. Wait, what? That's right, the CP-800 has nine digital inputs: four optical, three coaxial, one AES/EBU and a second USB. All nine digital inputs feed the CP-800's all-new DAC, which when used with either of its two USB inputs will provide more than just your average run of the mill conversion. More on this in a moment. To the right of the CP-800's digital inputs are its various IR, trigger and control ports, which include RS-232 and Ethernet (forthcoming), among the other more traditional 12-volt varieties. Along the bottom, again moving left to right, are the CP-800's five analog audio inputs, three unbalanced and two balanced, all of which are assignable by the user. To the right of its analog inputs are the CP-800's five analog outputs, both unbalanced and balanced, which, like its analog inputs, are all user-configurable. How user-configurable? The CP-800 can accommodate multiple subwoofers as well, or multiple amplifiers in a bi-amp configuration, or both, making it the ideal preamp for those who enjoy full-range two-channel playback, as well as the occasional DVD or Blu-ray disc.
Under the hood, there are a number of major advancements unique to the CP-800 and to Classe. First there's the CP-800's Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS), which is smaller and more efficient than conventional power supplies. The SMPS inside the CP-800 has four separate outputs: one for left and right audio circuits, one for the digital circuits and one for the USB system, which allows for connected USB devices to charge while plugged in.
Speaking of USB, the CP-800 is an Apple-certified device. Its front-mounted USB input enables not only full playback of Apple music files, but also charging capabilities. The included CP-800 remote can also access and provide simple transport control of any Apple-attached device, thanks to the 800's Apple authentication chipset. Connecting your home computer to the CP-800's rear USB port also allows for the proper playback of music files from any player. Taking things a step beyond mere Apple certification, the CP-800's USB performance is further enhanced by the isolation of the USB circuit itself. The CP-800 also employs what is referred to as an asynchronous USB DAC, whereby the jitter-induced by one's computer or portable digital device is effectively removed by not having the source be responsible for the clocking of the incoming signal. This ensures not only a more accurate and natural portrayal of the digital signal, but also reduces noise - another byproduct of both the CP-800's asynchronous DAC and USB circuitry isolation. The CP-800 uses what is called a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) located close to the DACs and master clock that essentially takes the incoming signal and buffers it before sending it along to the 800's master clock, which is synchronous to the internal DAC. Either of the CP-800's two USB inputs can take advantage of the new asynchronous DAC setup.
Beyond its built-in DAC capabilities, the CP-800 also features pretty robust tone controls, as well as bass management and parametric EQ. Since most users will undoubtedly connect their various source components to the CP-800 via some form of digital connection, the tone and EQ controls are able to be tackled in the digital domain. Furthermore, because so much of the CP-800's abilities are dealt with in the digital realm, it keeps the internal signal path short, thus preserving more of the signal, rather than passing it along through a bevy of third-party components or cables.
This brings us to the CP-800's remote, which I feel also doubles as its theft deterrent stick, as it is forged out of aluminum and weighs more than any remote I've encountered. The remote is fully backlit, feels good in hand and is easy to use, though for initial setup, you or your Classe dealer will most likely use the CP-800's touch-screen.
READ THE ENTIRE REVIEW AT HOME THEATER REVIEW
05-10-2012, 05:03 AM #17
Are there any pre/pro solutions utilizing the latest Audyssey MultEQ XT32 software that might make a high end music person consider a single hardware solution to the separate music and movie solutions today? After reading your review, I guess the answer is no, but isn't there a market? I've read remarkable reviews of Audyssey and amplifiers with two isolated channels, it seems like all the parts are available.Richard
05-10-2012, 08:42 AM #18
05-10-2012, 09:34 AM #19
Thanks for the thought. I've been all over Audysses' website for the last two weeks. I just thought that maybe Andrew had information that hadn't been posted.
I was just curious about the music solution, since it looked like it might be feasible.
What I'm personally interested in is Audysses:
Sub EQ HT
The DHC-80.3s has all of these features and more, but it's a big hill to climb.Richard
05-10-2012, 10:04 AM #20
or...you could use one of the receivers with pre outs.