Classe CA-150 Amplifiers

CA-150

150 watts

User Reviews (20)

Showing 1-10 of 20  
Norman Cameron   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 01, 2006]
Strength:

Will produce any sound you desire...it's just a matter of finding the right cable combination. Built like a tank and if service is ever required...Classé is a pleasure to deal with.

Weakness:

None that I can find.

I have owned this amp now for 2 1/2 years and have no desire to replace it...that says alot these days.

This amp replaced an older Bryston 4B, one of their first versions that was directed towards the home audio consumer. It was a very detailed up-front amp...but It did not convey an emotional connection towards the music. The new Brystons I'm sure are better.

When the Classé came along the richness in tones became evident and the soundstage deepened. I had purchased interconnects that would tone down the Bryston's brightness and now found that the midrange was too ripe. Although the sound was pleasing...I missed the detail that the Bryston produced, especially in the higher frequency.

The answer came with power cords. Some pc's produce an extra richness in tones that can make the midrange sound muddy. But other's can produce clarity and transparency and bring back the detail. The sound I'm getting now is transparent, detailed (although not overly detailed) and full frequency. I find the Classé's strength is it's midrange. Playing around with interconnect and power cord combinations, it can produce some pretty damn good lows and some pleasantly detailed highs. I think the message here is...be patient with whatever you own...the sound can be had...it just takes a bit of tinkering.

There is a trade-off however. You cannot have tonally-rich sound and transparency at the same time. For now I am quite happy with the sound, but who knows...you know how finnicky us audio lovers can be...we'll never be happy. At least no matter which sound I choose the Classé CA-150 can take me there.

One more thing...I sent the amp in for service to Classé to have the power button repaired and they fixed it free of charge and kept me updated on the status. Great service!

My system consists of...
Classé CA-150 (Unity Audio Link pc and cheap (soon to be replaced) speaker cables)
Classé DR-4L (Cardas Golden Hexlink 5c interconnect, Xindak pc 2)
Classé CP.3 cdp (JPS Labs Ultraconducor I/C and Xindak pc 3)
Cambridge Audio T-500 Tuner (Unity Audio I/C and Ultimate Puresilver pc)
Newform Research R630 speakers

Customer Service

Excellent!

Similar Products Used: Bryston 4B, Cambridge Audio P-500
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jfalstaff   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 05, 2004]
Strength:

Great sound when matched to the right equipment. Incredibly well-controlled and -articulated bass. Heavy, blockish, overbuilt construction - like a Soviet tank.

Weakness:

Sensitive to equipment pairing - suspect that an impedence mismatch with the Modulus 2 is showing up as midrange muddiness at high listening levels. Hmmm... may try an old Denon PRA-1500 and connect its balanced outputs to the balanced inputs on the CA-150 and see what happens.

I probably would not have bought this amp for myself (certainly not at retail) as I already had a prefectly good Acurus DIA-100 in my system. My father-in-law bought it to drive a pair of Thiele 1.6s but found that he did not need the power at the listening levels he was used to, and was annoyed by the 12-second delay of the power-on relay. He gave it to me without hesitation. Lucky me! Pairing the CA-150 with an Audible Illusions Modulus 2A preamp sporting a new set of Russian 6H23 tubes and fed by a Njoe Tjoeb CD player gives a rich, warm midrange and deep, tight bass at reasonable listening levels.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
RPB   AudioPhile [Apr 28, 2002]
Strength:

Forgiving, musical, great bass.

Weakness:

Not the last word in resolution (high buck tube or solid state).

I bought this amp for a secondary system. I have a 40K plus main system built around Conrad Johnson equipment and vinyl. This should tell you that I prefer a more romantic sound over an analytical forward presentation, which I find fatiguing. I have listened to all the big names over the years, and owned some of them, and many of the second tier stuff also. I bought brighter sounding gear first, it sounds much more impressive on a short listen, but you grow tired of it in the long run. Coupled with most digital recordings, which are too bright to begin with, you can''t listen at realistic volume for more than half an hour. Classe has always been forgiving and musical sounding and this is what I was looking for, and found with the CA-150. I think the CA-150 is a great amp period, and not just for the money, but it is a great bargain. It sounds like music (I go to the symphony every couple of weeks on a seasons ticket, but like rock, reggae, and jazz too). I am amazed at the shrillness of the Krell Klan critisizing this stuff; it is just a different but equally valid audio flavour, which I happen to prefer. Lots of big name stuff is evolving towards a more musical and less forward presentation over time, this includes Krell and Wilson Audio. Classe was there from the beginning. It really is a great unit if you don''t need the bragging rights of a big name for your ego.

Similar Products Used: Conrad Johnson Premier 8, Premier 11A, Sim Audio Moon series (Own Moon I-5), Bryston 4BST, Classe CA 400, McCormack DNA series, Krell KAV 300i and FPB 250, Levinson No 334.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jerry   an Audiophile [Aug 20, 1997]

I decided one day to reduce my "investment" in audio hardware and sold my Classe CA-300. A CA-150 replaced it. I was very happy with the CA-300, but the CA-150 sounded very different. If I described the CA-150's sound, you would think the amp must have been defective. I did! I spent a lot of time on the phone working with the very nice folks at Classe to eliminate the possibility of defects. No, there was nothing wrong with the amp. Compared to the CA-300, it was grainy, flat, poor imaging, etc.
The two amps are supposed to be similar in engineering. They sure didn't sound that way. Go figure.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Bob Bigaouette   an Audiophile [Nov 24, 1997]

In my search for an amp, I have tested many....my speakers(Maggie's 3.5) are a warm, spacious sounding speaker that needs an amp with a good reserve of power in addition to enhancing the open airiness of the 'Maggie sound'. Classe has those qualities. It is, in my opinion, the warmest sounding solid-state amp that I have auditioned. I did not want to go with tubes for various reasons. The bass on the Classe is full and rich, but not muddy.
The high end is not harsh, which is a major complaint of amps of the non tube kind. Vocals and harmonies, especially a woman's voice, is clear and has depth-some of the other amps I tested made their voices flat and weak.

All in all, the sound is very true to life and provides a wonderful complement to the Maggies.


OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
o u   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 28, 2000]
Strength:

soundddddddd

Weakness:

none

musical, dynamic, deep bass,excellent soundstage,very smooth and warm mids,clair highs....much more musical than krell.krell has a little more tight bass but his overall sonud quality sucks agains classe..

Similar Products Used: ca100,krell300i,krell kav250a
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Yhe Purist   an Audiophile [Aug 15, 1997]

Where is Classe' in the list of Amplifier manufacturers? Classe' buildsproducts which deserve comparison with the likes of Levinson, Krell and
others. What's more, Classe' products equal or better such high-end
products at a fraction of the price.

I purchased a CA-150 amp 1 year ago. The CA-150 delivers 150W into 8
ohms and 300W into 4 in stereo mode. Not many amps can "double down"
like this. This is very important when driving 4 ohm loads or when using
speakers which have difficult/weird impedence curves. The 150 is a
workhorse and easily drives Infinity speakers (mine have a reputation
for being very difficult to drive and control).

The Classe' CA-150 is one of the most brilliant amps I've ever heard. It
is for listeners who like every minute detail of their music reproduced accurately. The character of horns for example is so accurately reproduced
that I am seduced into beliving that somehow those horns are in the room.
Not only instruments - vocals come alive! Given a good recording, vocals
approach that of a live performance.

The soundstage is not quite as wide or deep as say Levinson or Krell.
The soundstage is actually forward rather than flat like the others which
adds to the realistic imaging produced by the 150.

Built to last - my amp came with a lifetime warranty!

I've compared the CA-150 with Levinson, Krell, and Proceed. For the money,
Classe' is the best show on the road. If money were no object, I still
prefer Classe' to every alternative I've heard under $7000. The CA-150 was
slightly over $2000.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Rob   an Audiophile [Mar 05, 1999]

The CA-150's sound is on the warm side of neutral. For $2000 it offers a good value and remedy for an otherwise bright system. If you like a warmer sounding amp, I would strongly suggest the CA-200. For my ears, the CA-200 offers a similar sound, but with significantly more detail overall, and a lot more authority and tightness in the bass, for $1000 more. Everyone has different priorities on the money, but to me, the $1000 is well worth it.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
John   [Jul 22, 1998]

I purchased the CA-150 about a year ago. I have found thisamp to be among the best anywhere in its price range. I
constantly listen to different amps at several hifi stores
and I never quite hear the realistic and sweet sount the
150 produces. 5 big ones for the 150 and 5 for Classe.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Fryar Tuck   Audiophile [Nov 12, 2001]
Strength:

Great Sound, Great build quality

Weakness:

Krell users, who are busy trying to console themselves after they find that they've been duped by shallow marketing hyperbole and have paid ridiculous amounts of money for another piece of Krell's truly average equipment.

This is a fine product at the price point(as is the CA-151, which is the same but with a new face plate). I'm amazed by all the self proclaimed audiophiles who get on here and write endless reams of B.S.. You people have achieved nothing, other than to prove that you are not audiophiles!! Go to KRELL!!
Now, back to the amp. As noted above, this amp. has a very nice fluid presentation. It seems very sensitive to whatever equipment you are using with it. I agree with the comment made above, the Classe makes the Bryston seem like "pro equipment", which I guess means bright and harsh. The new version, the CA-151 is definitely worth a listen.

Similar Products Used: Krell(hmm, whats that Smell!?!?), Bryston, ARC, Classe, Pass
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 20  

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