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The vast majority of high end preamplifiers available today are direct descendents of products that have been made for decades, rooted in an all-analog world. The CP-800 is something new. It combines key building blocks of a contemporary high-end audio system in a unique way to improve and shorten the signal path. New technologies are applied to realize the benefits of modern computer-based audio. Now, a CD ripped to a computer can sound better than if played in a CD player; convenient and feature-rich access to your music library is possible with state-of-the-art playback; a Classé-designed Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS) with Power Factor Correction (PFC) delivers higher performance at a lower price; there is no compromise at an affordable price. And there is much more…
A rear panel Ethernet connection offers streaming options including Apple’s AirPlay and DLNA, where sources benefit from special handling to accommodate files up to 192 kHz with the CP-800’s own oscillators controlling timing for D-to-A conversion. Convenience never sounded so good.
When connected to your home Network, the Classé App (available free of charge in the Apple App store) running on Apple iOS devices offers a sophisticated alternative to the IR remote.
Having a dedicated computer in your listening room doesn’t have to mean noisy fans and bulky monitors. Simple solutions like Apple’s Mac Mini or an inexpensive laptop can be installed out of site and operated remotely. Connect by HDMI to your TV, use a wireless keyboard and mouse when necessary and connect to the CP-800 by USB for audio, then control with an iOS device, Smartphone or tablet. Classé’s unique implementation of asynchronous USB audio will render studio-quality sound from properly ripped CDs and high-resolution music downloads up to 192 kHz.
No matter how well your speakers reproduce bass, they are almost certainly not located in the optimum place in your room to do so. The interaction of your speakers and the room will result in signal cancelations or dips at certain frequencies at the listening position; no amount of EQ can solve this problem. The solution is mono or stereo subwoofers, outputs for which are available from the CP-800 with selectable crossover frequency and slope in the digital domain. The result is deep, smooth bass response without adding analog circuitry to the L&R channel signal paths.
Regardless where your speakers, subwoofer(s) and listening chair are in relation to each other, there will likely be room modes that can only be addressed with equalization. In most rooms, the three primary dimensions contribute to three low frequency modes where the room actually increases the level causing peaks at those frequencies. The CP-800 offers parametric equalization to help address these real world problems. Performed in the digital domain, these high quality filters allow optimization of low frequency response without adding analog circuitry to the L&R channel signal paths.
Banished from legitimate high-end preamps since the sixties, the tone control makes a come-back in the CP-800, but with a modern implementation. Tone controls typically mean additional analog circuitry in the signal path. The CP-800 introduces a flexible tone control feature that is entirely digital. If you’ve ever wanted to soften a recording’s top end a little or add a little warmth, you will appreciate the convenience and subtlety of the CP-800’s Tilt tone control feature. After more than forty years, the tone control is back, and now it works properly and without compromise.
Make no mistake, the CP-800 is also our best analog preamplifier; with fully balanced circuitry and completely isolated symmetrical left and right channels, your analog sources will sound better than ever. The CP-800 makes digital processing available to all sources, but when you want pure analog, the Digital Bypass option switches off the digital clocks while the CP-800 handles the signal in the analog domain.
Have it all
The CP-800 puts world-class performance into one flexible and attractively priced chassis. Separate CD players and USB DACs require additional circuitry and interconnect cables plus a separate analog preamp, giving the CP-800 an obvious comparative advantage in both performance and value. The additional features like Bass management, PEQ and Tone Control make better real world performance a reality. If you are building a no-compromise high-end audio system, the CP-800 is unique. It is the first and only preamp/processor that lets you have it all.