Classe CA-100 Amplifiers

CA-100

100 Watts Per Channel

User Reviews (27)

Showing 1-10 of 27  
Yongki Go   AudioPhile [Apr 15, 2016]

This amplifier is a classic Classe product. The sound through this amplifier has nice details without being bright. In fact, it is slightly warm on high frequency. Even though I recently sold my CA-100, I have had the pleasure of enjoying this very-musical amplifier for more than 12 years. So, I wrote this as a homage to this wonderful product.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sporty   AudioPhile [Dec 27, 2015]

Moi, j'ai été déçu avec le Classé ca100. Il s'est avéré très instable et pas musical ,surtout a bas volume. Je l'ai remplacé par 2 anciens Altec Lansing 1594B . Les speakers utilisés a l'époque étaient des Eminent Technology Lft8.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
jim1961   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 01, 2007]
Strength:

Price: At just a bit over $1000, their was'nt much that would give the CA-100's combination of performance and power.

Good sound stage.

Very transparent.

Low sensitivity for full output. At 950mv, its easy for line level sources to drive this amp, which was a plus for me since im running a passive pre-amp.

Can be adapted into a mono block rated at 350w into 8 ohms, 600w into 4 ohms.

Has both RCA and XLR inputs.

Weakness:

Seems to run very hot during long high power applications. Although Classe considers the heat sinks generous, they seem a bit small for a amp capable of 200w/ch. It has never shut down or needed repair because of heat though.

I wish it had a second pair of outputs for bi-wiring capability. Its a bit tricky trying to get four pairs of big wire into the confined space available.

The CA-100 is 100w/ch power amplifier rated into 8 ohms, 200w/ch in 4 ohms. It replaced a Krell KSA-200. The easy comparison is to compare the two since one replaced the other. My first observation was a warmer tone in the mid bass and lower mid range for the Classe. I noticed the sound stage shrink very slightly. Surprisingly, I did'nt notice any drop off in dynamics, although it certainly didnt have the full power punch of the Krell. I did develop a problem with the unit after about four years of ownership. One of the channels starting cutting out. It did this unpredictably, and it took a week for it to do this at the audio store I was instructed by Classe to take it to. To Classe's credit, they replaced the entire input board after not being able to trace the problem, and returned it to me without charge. I was one of the lucky ones that got the lifetime warranty to the original owner.

Customer Service

Good

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
PARTS   Casual Listener [Mar 18, 2007]

I myself have been using the Classe CA-100 power amp for a number of years in various set ups, it is currently in use in my bedroom system.

First I have to agree with some of the view's regarding noise, it is not the quietest amp around, I have had noise problems with sensitive speakers such as Kef and with noise issues with its RCA inputs, balanced reduces the problem but does not eliminate it, of course it is less noticeable with speakers such as the Linn Kan or Rogers Studio.(though it does not get on with one of my dacs and gives quite noticeable hum when the dac is in circuit)

Noise issues though, I feel are system dependent, in particular regard with speaker sensitivity, My Kef have always been quite adept at highlighting any amplifier noise with the likes of Audio Research and the MF Nu-vista 300, and even though I cannot fault the absolute silence I get from my Krell power, I even find the Krell KRC 3 produces too much hiss for my liking.

Of course the noise issue may just be a case of equipment needing a service, but here in the UK, at not that far off £400 for a full going over by B&W, service seems a little pricey for now, particularly when it looks like I may be obtaining a second CA-100 for £400 from eBay today. (so I may experiment with bi-amping and bridging)

Regarding bass, I feel its performance is pretty dry here, and it does not dig quite as deep as some, I use Kef R107 which go down to 18hz and this amp has failed to produce the lower octaves and switched off when too much was asked of it, yet it still sounds wonderful at social levels of output with good punch and slam.
I feel works wonders with speakers such as the Rogers Studio 1 or Spendor BC1and some of the IMF and TDL transmission line models, these can be a little overblown slightly slow sounding in the bass and clearly benefit from the control and dry bass the CA-100 offers.

Overall I agree with most of the comment made in the Stereophile review of this amp, it is quite a bargain at its retail price and a superb second hand purchase, build quality is solid and superb apart from the RCA inputs which can seem a little loose fitting with certain RCA cables and the speaker terminals if using banana plugs, it really is quite capable with a variety of systems and speakers (if not over 90db and 4ohm)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
audiom3   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 06, 2003]
Strength:

Deep, but well controlled bass. Nice warm midrange. Build quality.

Weakness:

HEAT! This amp really cooks! Speaker terminals don't quite open up far enough for heavier guage wire.

I'm using this amplifier to bi-amp the subwoofer section of my main speakers. But, when I first received it, I wanted to hear how it sounded, running full range. I was very surprised at how powerful it sounded, being rated at only 200w/channel into 4ohms! The ambience this amp added to my room, is amazing. Midrange is a little warmer, and the bass is really where this amp blew me away. It added so much more deep bass! It was almost like I upgraded my drivers from 10" to 12". Kick drums really thump now. Build quality is top notch! I took the cover off to have a look, and everything is neatly laid out, and it looks like very high quality parts were used. For the price, this amp cannot be beat.

Similar Products Used: SAE, Acurus (the last 5 years).
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
proto   AudioPhile [Aug 09, 2002]
Strength:

Excellent transparency and musicality.

Weakness:

Watch out - it needs well over a 100 hours operation (preferably continous operation) before you hear what it is really about. Like the CP35 it can sound mediocre out of the box.

After substantial amount of auditioning at my dealer, I decided to replace my 23 year-old tweaked Nikko Alpha III MOS-FET dual mono power-amps 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 leave it on all the time. I used AQ balancced Pyton interconnects to connected to my CP35 pre-amplifier that got to match it (an excellent match) After a year of continuous operation, it is one musical amp by any standards. Excellent treble to bass balance, very transparent, and highly musical. Can't say much about the very bottom end as I am using it with the Paradigm Studio 20 v2 (bi-wired using AQ Granite) in combination with a 12" M&K 1B powered subwoofer cabinet with a replaced power amp and woofer driver. The CA-101 is highly recommended. Works well with the CP-35.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Albert Overzet   an Audio Enthusiast [Nov 25, 1997]

I wanted to make an upgrade from an NAD 306 to something else. I needed more powerfor my MB Quart 990 MCS Speakers and a bit more musical detail.
At home I tested camtech, Quad 77 and Meridian but I could not find what I was looking
for. Anyway, one day when I was returning some test equipment to my retailer I found my-
self listening to a demonstration of a Cap 100 and a Krell amplifier of which I have forgot-
ten the type name. Both amplifiers sounded extremely good in my ears so I decided to
test them in alphabetical order. Well, I never got to the Krell set because at home I con-
nected the Classe, I tested it and a few days later I was sure. I had to buy this machine
though the purchase would be above my audiobudget. This amplifier gave me what I
was looking for, actually there are only two minus points which have to be mentioned;
There is no headphone connection and it lasted two whole months before my amplifier
arrived from Canada.



OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Carl Deng   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 22, 2001]
Strength:

musical, bass control, sweet middle

Weakness:

It is not clean background

very musical and sweet,esp for sting and classic

DVD: sony DVP 9000ES
pr-amp: pass lab L
Amp: classe ca-100
Speakers: B&W CDM1NT
Cable; Audioquist Indigo
interconnector DVD to pre-amp Germany cable (Forget the brand)
pre-apm S & T PRISSE 22

Similar Products Used: luxman
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Blake   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 22, 1999]
Strength:

Tight and controlled bass, great detail, soundstaging and transparency.

I use this amp along with a Classe CP-45 Preamp, YBA Special CD player, and Totem Acoustic Arro speakers, and Synergistic Research/Nordost cables and interconnects. This combination is outstanding in my medium sized listening room. I have no intention of upgrading anything any time soon since I believe I am right at the point of diminishing returns for my listening room. I am extremely pleased with this setup.

It is important to remember that the sound created by a system is a function of ALL of its component parts, not just one particular item.

Lastly, to the person who has been creating the outlandish stories in their reviews of Classe products- you have no future as a fiction or non-fiction writer- your material isn't even close to being believable- try to be more subtle when you make up lies (i.e. amps blowing up in show rooms or Classe "sneaking" inferior parts into amps). Get a life..... whatever Classe did to upset you so much doesn't give you the right to spread absolute lies about their products.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Abe Collins   Audio Enthusiast [May 02, 2001]
Strength:

Nice midrange but not "fat", solid bass control, sweet

Weakness:

None for the price!

Someone here said his CA-100 has a noisy background. Not sure what he meant because mine was perfectly clean and quiet. This is an awesome amp for the price. The build quality is good and the unit looks nice too. Yes, the Krell KSA-50S may have sounded a little better but not enough to justify its price. I recently upgraded to the Classe CA-200 and I love it. It has a little better defined bass but for the price, I wouldn't hesitate recommeding the CA-100 to my closest friends. In fact, I regret selling my CA-100. I should have kept it for my 2nd system.

Similar Products Used: Krell KSA-50S, Classe CA-200
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 27  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com