Classe CA-400 Amplifiers

4.47/5 (15 Reviews) MSRP : $5500.00


Product Description

400 watts


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Reviews 1 - 5 (15 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tubeorsolidstate a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 20, 2012

Bottom Line:   
i just read david a Audiophile review. You must have the worst front end on the planet. I do admit I have $22,000 in preamps driving my CA-400. Ref 3 and Ref2 Phono from Audio Research.i was looking for a great solid state amp that was great sounding for no money...will compared to Ar, Boulder etc. This is it. This amp is far from grainy. I have an all vinyl rig and it sounds glorious and I have found my giant killer, dead quiet. You will have to spend 12k-30k to get this signal to noise of 137! Only a $25,000 Boulder amp has that stat!
Background: Bassist on RCA records. Cant tell you my band name, Toured the world and have listened to some of the highest play back systems in the word. I feel my ears are pretty good. If you want a tueby but not to tubey and a solid statey but not cold solid statey sound. This is it. Now go find one!!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by todds7 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I researched this purchase for weeks and weeks, finally settling on this model based on affordability, build and sound quality, and reliability. The solidity and build quality are old school, but the rich aural pallet suggest a modern component.

Highs are exquisite, delicate and sweet. Mids are outasight [You should hear Tchaikofsky's 1812 on Telarc, Erik Kuntsel & Cincinnati Pops -- talk about your horns, mistuh.] And I hope that some time you can experience the instantaneous explosion of bass out of a CA-400 -- headroom like a coliseum. Even at low levels, the live canon shots in that Telarc 1812 sound like cherry bombs going off in the room! Subwoofers are superfluous with this amp.

The very first reviewer complained of lack of bass: I doubt that he has a tin ear, based on the gear they were using, but I would suggest unequivocally that there were issues with that amp. It's like saying there's no oil in Saudi.

I use a Classe CDP1 CD player and DR-6 preamp (all in black), and perhaps there is some synergy, but I doubt it. I'm quite sure that a Naim, Carey, etc. would sound at least as good as my Classe CDP1. Bi-wired Neat Vito loudspeakers (my review for which is under Neat Mystique on this site), a Sansui 777 tuner and and Linn Sondek LP12 round out the system.

One tweek I recommend is using balanced interconnects with the CDP1 and the DR-6. This system is DEAD quiet, and the PS Audio sound conditioner plays a role here, I'm sure. Quiet musical passages have a stunning black background, highlighting the intstruments. Between songs, the music fades to dead silence and all I hear is the quiet ticking of the wall clock. Quite remarkable. I feel so honored to own such an incredible system.

Is it the final word in high-definition audio? No. It's not. Can more articulate equipment be purchased? Yes. If you're the Prince of Siam, buy a Halcro, Kondo, or the like. But in my opinion, the value of this equipment, i.e. vintage Classe, is quite unsurpassed. If you have budget constaints as I do, used, quality equipment such as this is the only way to go. The whole system, including power cords and interconnects cost me well under $10k, while full retail runs perhaps three times this.

One easy improvement might be to pick up another CA-400 and run them monaural. A friend of mine who owns three CA-400s claims that the soundstage opens up with more air and dimension. But 2.7 KILOwatts mono into a four-ohm load smacks of excessive. Nevertheless, could happen :o)

I absolutely recommend this amplifier. You're not compromising on anything except price, and that's a good thing. Just promise you won't get in a bidding war with me when the next one comes up on A'gon ;o)

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Jim Germann a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I have read the other reviews of the 400, my obsevations agree but for one major exception. VERY WEAK BASS! I received the amp from a friend who was driving Aerial 10T's & said the bass was weak. He brought it over to drive my Von Schweikert VR6's, my conclusion was the same. For an amp of that much power, it was a major shock to both of us. My Conrad Johnson MV125 tube amp[125 watt/ch.] had more "balls' in the bass department. My friend traded it for an Audio Research VT100 [100 watt/ ch.] amp & it had it all over the Classe! Was it defective? Who will ever know!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $4500.00

Purchased At:   Audio Excellence



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Luk Johnson a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I pick up this mighty Classe Ca400 power amp after I compare with some other hi end power amp, such as Bryston 7, Krell FPB300, ML-333, BAT VK500. The CA400 sound the best to my ear, and it come with a resonal price. It build like a tank, high quality, SS power and bass without SS harsh sound. It can compete with some high end tube power amp. High is clear and extend, mid is sweet as tube, low is as good as you can get. Staging, imaging all first class. It make all other high price amp in shame!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1997



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike Sanders a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 31, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is a undiscover treasure power amps, it is big, powerfull, but gracefull at the same time.
It nevery run our of power. the high never has the ss harsh sound, it is clear and esxtended. It is very sweet in mids, better than a lot high end tubes amp. The lows is the one tube amp never match. I fell it can match up well with KSA250. The sound stage is wide and deep.
It is a greatest giant killer ss amp!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1996




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