Classe CP-35 Preamplifiers

4.27/5 (11 Reviews) MSRP : $1095.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by pierre a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 31, 2006

Bottom Line:   
j' ai achete un ensemble Classe CP35 et CA100 en 1994. J' ai vraiment regrette mon achat. Pourtant , j' ai ete patient. pendant plusieurs annees, j' ai essaye de leur faire jouer de la musique. J'ai essaye au moin 12 paires de haut parleur, 10 sortes d'interconnect, 20 marques de cable, etc...etc...j'avait beau prier, supplier, faire bruler des lampions, il n' avait rien a faire.
Les Classe de la serie DR son tres covainquant. Les autres sont des horreurs.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   cora



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

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I decided to replace my self-designed and built pre-amp with this unit after a substantial amount of auditioning at my dealer. I was warned by the dealer that it needed perhaps up to 100 hrs of break-in. I ffound this to be true. It was so-so at first and simply got better and better as time went on. I used AQ balancced Pyton interconnects to connected to the CA101 amplifier that got to match it. I purchased the premap with the phono stage which is surprisingly good. After a year of continuous operation, it is one great pre-amp by any standards. Highly recommended, especially with the phono stage. I though my home built tube, FET, and NE5534 based pre-amps were good, but this unit cured me of the urge to build.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Purchased At:   Audio Visions, West



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Abe Collins a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2002

Bottom Line:   
The CP-35 with the all silver face was a discontinued model when I purchased it. I like the clean front panel styling over the newer model CP-35 and other recent Classe products that went to a two-tone black and silver look.

The build quality of this preamp is good and the unit has a nice feel to it with easy to operate front panel controls and remote. The volume control is electronic in that the volume knob doesn't turn a potentiometer that can wear over time and the digital display allows you to easily set or return to a precise volume level. The display can be turned off. The rear panel includes balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs and outputs making the CP-35 a very versitile preamp for the price. In older Classe preamps they used high quality machined RCA jacks but lately Classe has gone to cheap PC board mounted RCA jacks like those typically found on consumer electronics products. I was a little disappointed with the cheap RCA jacks but they didn't affect this little preamp's performance.

My CP-35 was completely quiet with no hiss or hum in the background. It presented solid bass and good treble frequency extension without being grainy. It's a fairly neutral sounding preamp with good dynamics and not overly aggressive or bright. I like this preamp so much better than the more expensive Adcom GFP-750 which has gotten a lot of hype since it received a Stereophile class-A rating. The Classe CP-35 just crushes it on overall presentation and features for less money and it looks better. While the Adcom GFP-750 has had many quality problems and high failure rates, the Classe CP-35 has been highly reliable.

System used at time of test:
Conrad-Johnson Premier 11a tube amp.
Sony XA7ES CD Player
MSB Gold Link III DAC w/P1000 pwr supply
Thiel CS 1.5 speakers

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Cherry Creek Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris DeArmitt a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: November 27, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I have a lot of nice components but when used together they don't amount to anything special. I've been borrowing some equipment to try at home and see if I can get a sound that is musical and fun to listen to but still with enoough punch and detail to be interesting.

Meridian 508.24 CD
Pass Aleph L preamp
Melos SHA-Gold preamp / headphone amp
Harmonic Technology Truthlink interconnects
Harmonic Technology Pro 11 Plus Speaker cables
B & W 805 Nautilus Speakers with dedicated stands

As you can see this is theoretically a good set up but it didn't deliver the goods, it was good on vocals but lacked solidity, sparkle and power on faster tracks especially.

I borrowed the Classe CP35 and was amazed at the transformation. The sound is enjoyable. In my girlfriends words "it's the best I've ever heard". You can hear everything with no confusion or muddling. At the same time the sound is very solid and organic. It sounds like real music. I can't say it's the absolute in transparency, but on the other hand it's hard to pinpoint anything missing either. For the first time in a long time I can sit back, relax and grin at the music. Mary Chapin Carpenter sounds stunning, as does the Beautiful South, but also U2, Will Smith etc.. This amp can do it all.

Interestingly I also borrowed the Classé 101 power amp but that sounded terrible with this preamp. The sound was very unmusical and unlistenable. However, I must stress that it may not have been broken in. After hearing the preamp I have a great respect for Classé so it's hard to believe that the 101 isn't also good in the right system.

I want to mention something worth thinking about. High end equipment reveals a lot and system matching is the key as my review shows. Even within the same company and with top reviewed stuff, you can get a horrible sound. That means that a good review means that every component in the chain must be capable of great performance. However, a bad review doesn't tell you much. It simply means that somewhere in the chain there was a waek link and that link is not necessarily the component under review.

I highly recommened this if you prioritise music enjoyment over analysis. Well done Classé.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2001



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jin a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: November 19, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I borrowed this unit from a local dealer, I was trying to get a remote controlled preamp to upgrademy McCormik passive.

First, this unit is designed to be POWERED ON ALL THE TIME. I tried to listen to it 3 hours after plugged in, it sounded really crappy. If the salesperson had not warned me that it took 30 hours to warm it up, I'd have dismissed it.

When it warmed up, the most obvious improved to my system is imaging. Every instrument in an orchestra is precisely located, especially the ones on the far left and right, which my passive preamp can not handle very well. The transparency is as good as the passive (no easy), dynamics is observably better on many recordings, vocals may be slightly muffled (only observable on best recordings). The only obvious shortcoming is that timbre is somewhat dirty, and sometimes a little bit unatural; the sales person says it is common in solid state amps.

It is definitely on my list of candidates.

Associated equipments

Pioneer Elite CD player
McCormik Passive Preamp (for comparison)
Music Reference RM-9 Power Amp
Totem Model One Speakers with Velodyne ULD-12 subwoofer

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2001




Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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