Classe CDP .5 CD Players

CDP .5

User Reviews (23)

Showing 1-10 of 23  
lounge365   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 21, 2009]

I do beleive that until today this is still a very mature and very good younding CD Player. Honestly, other new and expensive players deliver not that much more than the Classé CDP.5
There is not much more I need or want to write about this product, other owners did before me, the negative and the positive. For those who still own a CDP .5 that works (I'm sure most of them still do)...be happy and enjoy the music that this CD Player delivers as long as you can.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
TMM   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 17, 2002]
Strength:

Now up to, what´s really important : The sound. Strenths can be found in all "audiophil regions". Resolution is TOP! I mention this, because not all Classe equipment is showing strength here. The details are absolutely excellent, but not with the typical Sony drawback, that the sound gets overanalytical and too crisp. The general felling is a really high end one, the unit sounds "expensive". If you are a fan of classical music, you must hear this player. Strings and piano get this wonderfull combination of definition and warmness. The lean back and relax factor is ultra high. This doesn´t mean, that there is too much of the warm character, which can smear sound to death (although the hardcore tube fraction will surely disagree with me in that point). The CDP 0.5 gets the right balance between analytical presentation and "tube tweaking". If you listen to live concerts, the singers act very stable and the stage is illuminated nearly holographically. What I like best, is the way resonat instruments and percussions are converted. Every Guitar string picked is worth a standing ovation, the swinging in and out of drums is excellent also. Female Vocals sound natural and precise a

Weakness:

Where there is light, there always has to be some darkness......unless you spend a lot of money... What I dislike is that the CDP 0.5 doesn´t seem to be the player of choice for everybody. If you only listen to rock and pop, there might be other components that will serve you better. If you like the "in your face" factor (disgusting here IMHO : Sony; much better but some people don´t like it as well : Krell), watch out for other vendors. The Classe has a lot of punch and microdynamics are excellent, that is not the point, but what it does not have is this forward stepping as some people might know from their Technics 1210 MKII turntable. The sound sometimes seems to be a little bit compressed and the last 2 % of macrodynamics get lost, although this saves you from sharp s in Vocals, overpresence and hectic nonmusicality. Players that fire up here, get nervous very fast, so it always is a thing of balancing and personal taste. But I´m sure that if you are looking for the ultimate disco feeling - buy something else. To be not misunderstood. I´m not the typical auiophil, sitting in front of his equipment and listening to the least interesting piece of detail that happens in hi

My Classe CD Player model 0.5 has been bought second hand and giving the fact that there a new models ( 0.3 / 1.5) and it is not possible to buy a new one, all my ratings belong to the second hand market. So, first I have to say that if you get the chance of buying the player for a price around $1000 - get it. Although I think, that the original price Classe asked, had been a bit overestimated, it will not be too difficult to get a used player for a reasonable price, because Classe has a good reputation as a high end producer in the inner audiophil circles, but it´s name is not so prominent as Levinson, Krell etc. The first time I listened to a Classe player was back in 1997. The system was all Classe, wired by synergistic cables. The sound just blew me away, but the prices asked were above my abilities. Right now my combination is Classe CDP 0.5, Classe DR6 se Preamp, Nytech/Ion Systems Obelisk 3 powering Unisono Ardente Speakers through MIT Terminator 4. Let´s beginn with the outfit. The Player is constructed very rigid and there is not the slightest thing to critisize here, if there wasn´t the cheap "sound & feeling" of the CD Loader. Don´t get me wrong, the transport itself is excellent, it´s only the loading procedure that doesn´t fit into the concept. Besides that, everything is excellent. The transport is very silent, no problems with CDRs. On the backside you find Cinch outputs and XLR sockets as well (I only use the Cinch terminal at the moment). The digital output is designed in AES/EBU, that means also XLR, but there should be no problem to get an adapter into common Cinch/Coaxial to deliver a digital signal into a consumer DA, although this might not be pure science especially regarding the wave resistance of the cable. The CDP 0.5 sounds very nice from the start on, but it is wise to leave the main power on and let it warm up before judging. I like the standby mode, because there is no LED feature telling you what you already know - the unit is off (I hate this light show, found especially on newer equipment). The only feature I miss is that it is not possible to look for "time remaining" of a CD track. The rest is all you need IMHO, skip, repeat (CD or track) and some basic custom programming. The player gets its power from a standard mains terminal, so that you are allowed to try alternative power cabels.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Frank Iacone   an Audiophile [Jan 14, 1999]

This may very well be thye best kept secret in the high end. I auditioned the Class'e Cdp >5 in my reference system which consits of Conrad Johnson Premier 11a, CJ PV10a as preamp and the impeccable PSB Stratus Golds. All audtioning was done with Kimber Cable. I had previously been using a Maranty 63 with Audio Alchemy DDE 1.1 with DTI Pro all connected with XLO type 4 digital cable. The retail price being equivalent I started my listening using recording from Reference Recordings and the usual suspects. The immediate thing I noticied was the difference on HDCD recordings. I put on the latest SuperTramp album which is recored in HDCD and I was floored. More air, more depth, more of everything. So this went on disc after disc. I also noticed major improvement in recordings whick I thought were bad. I had been hearing dreadful jitter in those recordings. I now noticed on recording which I had previously dismissed as bad were actually very good. The Class'e strenght is bass, weight and transparency. It will make youyr system sound complete. Bass is deep and very tight, midrange is excellent and separation and soundstage first rate. Before I purchased this I put this player in to my dealers reference system which consisted of CAT SL1 mk111, CAT JS 1 monoblocks and Genesis 300 speakers running with all Discovery wire and sourced by Theta Jade transprt and Theta Generation v Dac. Total sytem cost 70,000. I was again floored when we substituted The Classe player for the Theta. What we heard was 90% of what the megabuck Theta equipment was doing for 80% less money. Diminishing returns were working big time. The CDP 5 sounded awsome in this mega buck reference syste. I immediatly purchased the unit. Anyone looking to spent megabucks on digital. dont. Go to your nearest Classe dealer and audition the player. I also suggest you take your checkbook as you will probably not want to leave without.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Joe   an Audiophile [Jan 08, 1998]

This is a great CD player. The best way to describe it is "highly musical". My system was fairly bright: ARC, McCormack, Magnepans, and needed a CD player with some warmth. The Classe synergized and did not sacrifice much in the way of detail. Finally, I can relax and listen to the music. Very natural presentation, great build quality except for a clunky drawer. Very pleased!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
David Li   an Audio Enthusiast [Apr 14, 1998]

I listened to this player while looking for a unit to replace a aging Ultralink lambda combo. Contrary to Mike and Scott experiences, I thought this was a very good player. It had good bass extension and detail. It also had a natural warmth that the more expensive Krell player lacked (but very desparately needed). I did not audition the Rotel 990. It's been discontinued for quite some time. I did hear the Marantz 63's, including the signature version. They are strictly budget players and not in the Classe's class sonically. Only two of the single unit players that I auditioned were significantly better than the Classe. The Sony Xa7es which was much more musical, And The Wadia 850, that I finally bought, which was more musical and more dynamic.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Scott   an Audio Enthusiast [Apr 14, 1998]

I will agree with Mike from Albany, N.Y. on the Classe'CDP.5 This player justdoesn't cut the cake for a $1995.00 CD player.It does indeed sound like a
$500.00 CD player.There have been several occasions that I have heard this
machine and every time that I have heard it,something seemed wrong with the
sound.The CDP.5 just sounds broken in comparison with other CD players in it's
price range.I think that one can do much better for the money,even cheaper.
I had high hopes for the CDP.5 it is wonderfully built and has great parts
inside.It just doesn't deliver.What a shame.There will be quite a few people
that will buy this CD player because it is built well.Don't be fooled by
the look or by some sneaky salesman's sales pitch on this player.Heed my
warning.Go compare it to a Marantz CD63SE or 67SE.Decide for you're self.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Yee Fung   [Apr 14, 1998]

The Classe is a much better player the Marantz and Rotel Units. The Classe's performance approachhes some of the more expensive units such as the Sony and Meridian players. The sound is detailed and powerful with a warmth that very natural. Soundstage was only average. Localization was good but depth was lacking.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Mike   an Audio Enthusiast [Apr 12, 1998]

A friend was looking to upgrade his Marantz CD63SE. His system consisted of B&W 802 sIII, and a Krell 300i. He bought the Classe' CDP.5. I prefeered the Marantz in blind listining, although the two sounded so much alike that they were almost the same. Put the Classe' up to a Rotel RCD 990 and a krell 20il(the latter just for fun), and the Classe' lost the race by a long shot. If you have a CD63SE, need/want a beutifuly built case and can justify the sound of a $500 player for $1995, then this is the player for you!!

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
John   an Audiophile [Apr 28, 1998]

I auditioned this unit at home along with the CDP.3. Build quality was first rate, particularly if you like nearly silent transports. While they may not ultimately contribute to better sound, I like to see that the manufacturer is paying attention to the details.
Sound quality was first rate - particularly mid to upper frequencies. It is one of the few players that I have had the opportunity to listen to that really gets the localization of the instruments and performers "right," contributing to the "almost" live experience.

The overall presentation was slightly forward with a sound that was very addictive - very listenable and non-fatiguing. In addition, it was capable of retrieving subtle nuances that allowed the listening area to extend well beyond the confines of the speakers. This was particularly evident on some of the Chesky Records discs. Piano reproduction was very realistic as well, conveying the attack and decay of string strikes accurately.

Low frequencies tended to sound a little "muddied" at times. In all fairness it could be my speakers limited frequency extention that was contributing to the problem (Thiel 1.5's) so I can't be really critical here.

Overall it is in my top 3 picks for the $2000+/- range. As a side note the CPD.3 faired very well exhibiting all of the same characteristics as the .5 with just slightly less finesse.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Jim   an Audiophile [Apr 29, 1998]

The build quality is first rate with a beautifuly finished remote on theClasse'CDP.5.The transport is an excellent transport (a Phillips 12.4).
The player also has the excellent Burr-Brown D/A converter in it.The look of
the CDP.5 is also stunning.Then ask me why does it not sound good?There is
really no good reason to as why it shouldn't sound good.But it does.The sound
is just not clean.It does not sound refined at all.There seems to be something
wrong with this player.When I read the review on the CDP.5 in FI magazine, I could not believe what I was reading.This review was the perfect example of
a magazine kissing a manufacturer's ass.Classe' alway's has a huge ad in
FI magazine.They raved about the CDP.5.I heard it on a number of occasions
and always walked away disappointed with the sound.I cannot justify spending
$1995 on a CD player that sounds the way that the Classe' does.$1000 probobly,
but not $1995.This player blows hard.Disappointing.You are much better off
either with a $500 Marantz CD63SE or spending much more on a Meridian,Audio
Research,Sonic Frontiers,or Krell.The CDP.5 should have filled the middle
ground inbetween the price spread of $500-$3500,but,it doesn't.The Rotel
RCD990 did with honers(too bad Rotel doesn't make this CDplayer anymore,
what gives?)My advise,either save you're money or go for a $3500 machine
from one of the aftermentioned CD players.Don't skimp out at $1995.Go for
the $3500 machine.You can get pretty much state of the art digital sound
at that price-point,whereas 2-3 years ago you would have to spend $12,000
to achieve that sound.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 23  

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