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Classe CAP-151
21 Reviews
rating  4.48 of 5
MSRP  2200.00
Description: 150 Watt Integrated Amp. Optional Phono stage is a $250 upcharge.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by positivefiction a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 18, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I've owned alot of "budget" amps in my day. Everything from NAD, Parasound, Bryston,Krell, a handful of receivers from Onkyo, Denon, Harman, and without a doubt, this amp smokes them all.

If I were pressed to put the sound of this amp into a single word, it would be "sunny!"

It's warm and revealing, like morning sunlight coming through your window in the morning. And, without wish to extend the analogy any further, I'll just get to the meat of it.

It has a VERY expressive midrange. It's very energetic, without growing tiresome. But, it's also revealing up upstream equiptment. I have it hooked up to a good source, and it sings. For kicks, I tried a cheap blu-ray player, and you can hear how thin it sounds. But, even with that cheap source, it didn't grow aggrivating. It just didn't sound as good.

More on the midrange quality though. My speakers are known to be very...um...exciting in the upper midrage/lower treble, and I've always looked for parterning equipment that doesn't emphasize this trait any more than my speakers already do. Well, this amp SINGS in this range, without ever sounding harsh, thin, brittle, or anything else that screams bad to me. It took what I viewed as my speakers most challenging quality, threw it in my face, and seemed to say "see...THIS is what midrange is SUPPOSED to sound like!"

It handles ambiance and decays extraordinarily well, but without growing audiophilic (i.e. sterile). This amp picks up on cues and fades better than anything I've ever owned, while always making music sound tuneful and exciting. It rides that fine line of revealing and engaging that I find most amps (especially low price amps) usually falter. Most musical budget amps sound tone good, detail shy. And vice versa.

The CAP-151 gives you both. Revelation and tone.

The bass, as noted in some other reviews I read, is the achilles heel. It's not quite as vice grip as I would like, and compared to the absolutely glorious midrange, the bass does seem to be deficient (at least with my speakers), but it has enough oomph to keep things rhythmic. Kick drums still sound like kick drums, etc, they just don't pound your chest the way I've heard before. But, what bass that does exist, is definitely tuneful. I don't mean to imply that it's a bass light amp...not at all. But a Krell 300i will deliver more noteworthy bass, but can not compete with the expressiveness and musicality of the Classe.

The treble has good extension, but not the best (my Bryston was better), but it's got a good sense of air, compresses slightly on very loud passages. Though, unlike my Bryston 3b-ST, the treble is much kinder, far less in your face, and far easier to listen to for long periods of time, mostly because it blends with the midrange perfectly. Where the Bryston might be more detailed (and I doubt it was), it sounded thin compared to this amp, yet this amp does not sound think by any means. It's sunny and warm, but not syrupy, dark, or dense.

Of course, all these observations come with the subjective point of view of my speakers. While not the best around, the NHT 2.5i's can not be touched anywhere near it's price for the sense of openness, though they are very gear dependant. Bad amps sound bad, good amps sound good. And this amp is good, DAMN good! Hooking them up to a pair of Dynaudio Audience 1.3's give the same impression. Very expressive, very musically enlightening, if giving away the best of bass for it's ability to just make music sound damn wonderful. But, both speakers put their most complex loads near the bass, and that's where I wish this amp had another 100 watts behind it. A little more bass authority, and this thing would be one of the best amps made.

If, like me, you enjoy your speakers to be the most revealing part of your system, and are looking for electronics to let the best of them come though without the worst of them shrugging their ugly face, find this amp, buy it, hook it up, and start hearing not justwhat your speakers can really sound like, but what your music can sound like. Cause this amp has proved to me that, in my case, they can sound alot better than I ever thought.

Equiptment used...

Theta Data Basic II
EAD Ovation Pre/DAC
Benchmark 1 DAC
Krell 300i
NHT 2.5i
Dynaudio 1.3

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Metro a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: December 9, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I listen CAP101 with B&W 704's in my friends home and I loved them. After long search I found CAP151 Demo Model and I purchased them.

As a Integrated Amp, it can't get better than. CAP 151 procude, deep bass that you only get tube-amp's. CAP 151 hands down gives $10000 amp sound with even extremly cheap speakers.

CAP 151 will be my main system as long as it will last. CAP 151 is not as fancy as new Classe models but it doesn't need to be.

I am running with

B&W 704
Pro cables

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2002

Purchased At:   Boston

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rrugg55041 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 5, 2004

Bottom Line:   

The Classe CAP 151 has been a core component in my system for the last 50 months. It is an outstanding product in both build and sound quality. Listed below is my gear:

Classe CDP.3
Monster Cable M1000i (XLR)
Classe CAP 151
Monster Cable M2.2s
Vienna Mozarts
Monster Cable HTS 2500

This product gives me a tube-like sound with high availability and reliability.

Thank You

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Stereo X in NYC

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

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I just must second the many reviewers whom had stated that CAP 151 is simply MUSICAL.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Dealer - Used Set

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

Date Reviewed: September 26, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Amazing product from Classe...pleased to the ear, is a family value sound. If you like soft, mellow and smooth sound try this to experience it and will not disappointed. Can't say more...great job Classe !

Associated equipment use :

1) Cheap power distributor terminated with AFA(Hera) cable

2) Audioquest AC15 power cord to cd player - Rotel 991AE

3) Audioquest AC12 power cord to intgrd amp - Classe CAP151

4) Speaker - Totem Acoustic Arro

5) Interconnect cable - Audioquest Python

6) Speaker cable - Cardas Cross

7) Jumper cable - StraightWire Maestro (modify as jumper to speaker)

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Reviews 1 - 5 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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