Classe CP-45 Preamplifiers

4.67/5 (3 Reviews) MSRP : $1795.00

Product Description

Solid State Line Preamp with optional phono

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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Marc B a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Prior to buying this marvel of a preamp I owned a Sphinx Project 2 mark II preamp and I must say I found that preamp very hard to be replaced. Unfortunately Sphinx has ceased to be (sniff sniff)and that was the reason I was loooking for a new preamp because should it breakdown there weren't much spareparts to go round. After much deliberation and a heartfelt goodbye I chose the CP 45 as a most worhy successor. Having the opportunity to listen to a wide range of products at HOBO HIFI (thanks boys) I came to the conclusion that the 45 was the best bang for the buck. It being a second hand device made it a lot cheaper. It produces an almost perfect "black" soundstage. Combined with a beautiful stereo image and smooth transparency that cuts like a hot knife through soft butter,the abilty to reproduce a very natural picture and its pinpoint focussing it made the perfect combo with my Meridian 508.24 cd player and Classé CA 150 poweramp. At least, untill something else is going to encourage to upgrade my system.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   HOBO HIFI

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

Date Reviewed: September 21, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Current System -
Classe CDP .5
Classe Tuner 1
Classe CP 45
McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
Sonus Faber Concerto
Tara Master Gen Speaker Cable
Tekline TL-500S Silver Interconnects

Obviously I am an advocate of Classe Audio equipment, however, many manufacturers were condidered prior to purchase. My search was limited to a fairly tight budget of <$1000.

Out of the wide variety of Preamps I listened to - (many at home, but the vast majority unfortunatly were evaluated "in store) - suprisingly the CP45 provided me with exactly what I was looking for. Here are my findings -

Anthem Pre 1L - I owned this unit a few years back
a) excellent build with very nice sound, however the noise floor was far from quiet, and it was not the last word in resolution - but, this is typical from most "reasonably priced" tube equipment.

Krell PAM -
a) this is a late model preamp, as were most of the units I evaluated due to price constraints. It has great build quality, but sounded analytical and the highs were exagerated a bit. Bass was tight and clean.

Classe CP47.5 and Classe 35
a) dissapointment - I did not care for their sonic character which was not neutral. The new facia is not as classic as their vintage equipment.

The AR and Conrad Johnson
a) very similar in sound, with good build. I cannot comment negatively on these units as they were wonderful - but something kept me coming back to the Classe.

The CP45 has a tube like quality without tube pitfalls. The preamp added no sonic signature, provides wonderful resolution, bass weight, clear highs and liquid mids. I could not find many faults for the price I paid (well below my budget).

I personally think these older units are great finds on the used market, and should be considered for any audiophile system. Classe makes superior products, and take pride in what they manufacture.

Once again, this review is only my opinion - Over the past 10 years I have had no less than 5 full systems - (many much higher in cost than this one) - and feel my current set up will be staying put for several years to come.


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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1997

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Glen a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: September 7, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I was originally interested in Classe's new CP-47.5, but dealers I checked with said they weren't being shipped yet. One dealer did happen to have a CP-45 (analog version) demo special on sale. It has always been my policy to never buy demo or used electronics, but the deal was too good for me to pass up and the rest is history. The CP-45 now replaces a B&K MC-101 that I have owned and cherished for a number of years. The MC-101 always produced a surprisingly wide and deep soundstage, with very good instrument placement and convincing vocal and instrumental timbres. With the CP-45, there was no difference in the depth or width of the soundstage, but instrument placement was more well defined, timbres were a step closer to realism and bass had better definition and was deeper and more extended. The midrange was also richer and smoother than the B&K, lacking the bit of grain that could sometimes creep into the upper midrange and low treble. The CP-45 is extremely quiet and produces no unusual noises during operation. With nothing connected to the inputs and volume at maximum, there is only a trace of hiss at closer than normal distance from the speakers. The unit has no on/off power switch, only a mute/unmute button. With my power amp on, operation of the mute button produced no kind of noise or thump. The unit came as "line only." I have ordered Classe's excellent optional phono board, which installs on the main board of the CP-45. I have heard the performance of this board before and know what to expect -- great sound. Other system components are Classe CDP-.5 CD player, Classe CA-300 amp, and Mission 765i floor standing speakers. Interconnects are AudioTruth Lapis. Speaker cables are AudioQuest Indigo. A.C. line conditioner is Lightspeed CLS6400 fed by a 20A isolated ground individual branch circuit.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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