Classe CAV-150 Amplifiers

4.88/5 (8 Reviews) MSRP : $3595.00


Product Description

150 watts


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Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steven a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 3, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I will be brief. Classe' has done it again with another great amplifier. This would be a great 2 channel 150 watt amp for stereo, but it has SIX CHANNELS of Clean and dynamic power (150 watts)! And every channel is the same....they are all the same, just musical. Their is enough power for full, deep bass (never muddy). And the midrange is typical Classe'...smooth, transparent and sweet (as most Classe amps are known for being). Remember that your upstream components must be equal or you will not get the full performance out of this amp. But the be thing about this amp is that it is fully bridgable. You can bridge all six channels for three channels @ 300 watts per channel to run your front/center/left is a home/theather application! But I still believe the major strength of this amplifier is the beautiful sound you get in 2 channel stereo.....which is why this is such a great amp for both HT and music. If you want one amp to do it all, look no further. Get one if you can....Highly Recommended!

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   AudiogoN



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2001

Bottom Line:   
WOW is this amp good. I have the CAV 150 paired with the Classe SSP-75(amazing product), NBS interconnects, Avance speakers, Monster speaker wire, SONY 7700 DVD/CD Transport.

I still cant get over the warth of the sound. I listen to 80%/20% music/movies For music I get amazed every time I listen to an old disk. The midrange is amazing and the bass response is awesome considering I dont have a sub yet. On movies....damn this thing makes me smile. The vocals are so crystal clear and the deep bass is awesome.

Im sure there is a better amp but for this kind of money the CAV-150 wins. Plus you get an extra channel(6).

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $2700.00

Purchased At:   lyric hi fi



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jim a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I reviewed several amps for my HT system when I put it together(2 years ago). Sunfire, Proceed AMP 5, Krell and Classe were auditioned. I selected the Classe because of the combination of features, build quality, the sound quality, and the ease of presentation for both HT and home audio. I have mated the Classe CAV-150 with the Theta Casablanca(standard DAC's), Pioneer Elite DVD player, Panasonic A-310 DVD player, B&W 803 speakers (L & R) the B&W HT Center and Speakercraft 8.5CRS2's for surround channels. Sub is Snell's 12" 300W unit. Wiring is in wall Monster and interconnects are Audiquest and Kimber.
The thing I wanted from my amp was effortless presentation of HT material and good audio performance. I knew going in that there would be tradeoffs given my wiring, room configuration, and budget. THe Classe has performed very well for HT and I really like the tonal quality of voices from the center channel and the easy presentation of musical passages. I doubt that I drive this amp with more than 50 watts at any time and this loafing of the amp is apparant in the sound quality. When I "crank up" the system for demo's or personal enjoyment, I do notice a bit of a "dry" quality to the upper mid's and the highs but it could very well be the THeta's DAC's that are presenting this impression.
On music only, the amp is pretty good, but not great. THe sound stage is wide but shallow. Vocals float nicely but there is a bit of "dryness" to the sound. I have often wondered if this is more a result of the digital processing or the speakers. The B&W's are a very neutral speaker(I am sensitive to the brittle sound quality of many speakers' upper mids and highs)and the speakercraft surrounds are very soft too--soft dome tweeters which I happen to like. This, in conjunction with the CAV-150's generally warmer sound can be uninvolving for music. Again, I think this is a result of too much emphasis on my part away from thin, bright sound. I am currently considering moving away from the B&W's and replacing them with some of the excellent products from Totem(you'd think I was Canadian given the manufacturers I am talking about, but that's not the case)
The bass response is very good and pacing of challenging music passages is easily handled by the amp. I don't generally listen to music that gets those 2 lowest octaves so how the amp would respond to demanding material in this arena is unclear although I suspect *most* material would be handled quite well.
Amps in this price range are going to include tradeoffs but overall, I believe this amp to be in the upper eschelons of performance for HT and a pretty good amp for music listening.
If you are considering a multi-channel amp for HT, you can hardly go wrong. Products like the Theta Dreadnaught amp are getting a lot of great press but you'll spend at least 2500 bucks more and I don't think the performance is worth the extra dinero--especially for HT.
THe multichannel amp catagory with a 3000-4000.00 price range is tricky and I think the Classe CAV-150 is clearly the best HT value.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $3300.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alex a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: November 29, 1999

Bottom Line:   
The mid-range and vocals are outstanding. Among the best ina a multi-channel amp. I preferred the sound to the Krell KAV500, which is $1400 more! The mids just pop out and are very well defined. On movie material, it is very dynamic and quick with the bass response. 150WPC is understated!

Top quality build and finish.

If you are in the market for a multi-channel amp in the $3500 region, give this one a test drive.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Neil a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 7, 1999

Bottom Line:   
The Classe` CAV-150 replaced my Adcom GFA-7000. I have done A/B comparisions against the Adcom, Sunfire Cinema Grand and the Classe.

The Adcom lacks the detail, depth and clarity of either. It can get harsh and cold on metal (Alice in Chains, etc.) and other rock. My friend claimed that it sounded compressed. I think it is blurry when compared to the other amps. It is perfectly fine for home theater and has lots of power and dynamics.

The Sunfire is considerably brighter and has a punchier bottom end than the Classe`. My friend feels that the Cinema Grand is more open with the Classe` being more layed back. I perceive it as bright. We both feel the Sunfire does everything better than the Adcom. The Sunfire is a fine sounding amp in every regard (music and H/T). I would not hestitate buying a used one at the right price. Great amp for the money, plus it runs cool and is not that large. I also compared the Sunfire against a Lexicon NT512 (Same as a Bryston 9BST). The Sunfire lacks the airyness and some detail compared to the Lex but it has more power (grunt).

The Classe` is sweeter. It has a clarity that the Sunfire can not match. The Classe` is more airy and delicate (smooth). In general, considerably less fatiguing treble. It never gets harsh or grainy. It has a incredibly clear mid-range and mid-bass that is warm and soothing. It is built really well and the protection circuitry (fuses) really protect the amp.

In regards to power between the three, we set the Preamp to -16db for each test using the same track. The Classe` was a tad louder (1-2 db) than the Sunfire, which was about 2db louder than the Adcom. This isn't really a test of an amp's power as the input sensativity can vary from amp to amp. However, the SPL meter ensured that we tested each amp at roughly the same loudenss. If I had to guess, I would rate them in the following order as far as perceived power: Sunfire, Classe` and the Adcom.

Other than needing a little more punch on the bottom end, I think the Classe` is the one of the best multichannel amps out there. I like it more than the Proceed Amp 5 (too layed back) which I considered buying. Don't forget, to match whatever amp to your preamp and speakers.

Equipment used for evaluation:

Lexicon DC-1 V3.10
Kef 104/2s Mains
Kef 100C Center
Vandersteen 2ci Rears
Toshiba SD-3109 for CDs and DVDs.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999




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