John Nicoll / Lucette Nicoll
Nicoll Public Relations, Inc.
Tel: (781) 762-9300
The New ClassE
A “Force” to be Reckoned With: 5 Power Amps, Stereo Preamp,
Integrated Amp, and CD Player are Just the Beginning
MontrÈal, Canada—Aug. 2004—In the broadest and most important introduction of its 24-year history, ClassÈ Audio Inc. has unveiled eight new products that launch its new Delta range of high-end audio components. At the same time, the Canadian firm admired by audio devotees worldwide for intelligent, uncompromising high-end audio and home-theater components, has debuted a new corporate logo developed by famed graphic designers Thomas Manns & Co. to symbolize its newly focused corporate identity and contemporary approach.
“We have been using Delta at ClassÈ as the code name to describe this project. It was chosen because of its meaning in engineering and mathematics, signifying difference or change,” says David Nauber, ClassÈ’s Executive VP, Brand Development. “The marketplace for high-end audio and video is changing and ClassÈ could not be more pleased about that.” Nauber continues, “Our Delta series is simply a contemporary expression of the famous ClassÈ virtues of exceptional quality, value and sonic performance. It marks an important new era in our company’s evolution.”
The Delta series will complement ClassÈ’s flagship Omega family to complete the firm’s offerings. Initial model introductions comprise eight stunning designs: five power amplifiers ranging from 2×100 watts to 5×200 watts, a single stereo preamplifier and an equivalent, 2×100 watts integrated amplifier, and a stereo CD player. Future additions will include multichannel preamp/processors, and universal-format optical disc players and transports.
New Look, New Interface
While ClassÈ’s new models are “clean-sheet” designs, they clearly owe much technologically to the firm’s universally admired Omega range—a reference standard for many reviewers and enthusiasts around the world. However, in a single stroke the Delta range also establishes an entirely new level of ergonomic sophistication, and debuts a stunning but understated new appearance.
Morten Warren and the world-famous Native Design Studio have developed ClassÈ’s new industrial design concepts. All of the Delta models are built on chassis that share a single common width and one of only three different heights. All boast an elegantly smooth, dramatically radiused, thick front-panel form that combines the characteristics of strength, power and softness. Delta series components can be arrayed in any combination horizontally or stacked vertically while assuring its owners a uniquely well-integrated, visually logical system facade.
But handsome is as handsome does, and the all-new user interface is an even more important sign of ClassÈ’s evolving direction.
Each of the “hands-on” Delta components—preamp, integrated-amp, and disc-player (as well as future such models)—features a front-panel color TFT touchscreen display that provides a complete, eminently usable user-interface while blessedly reducing each unit’s hard-key button population to a mere three: Standby, Menu, and Load or Mute.
This design choice brings the obvious advantage of delivering the user clear, logical, and convenient operation that is almost entirely self-prompting, where commands and their labels are one and the same for the ultimate in simple usability. But every bit as valuable, ClassÈ’s touchscreen control system is freely upgradeable: as future needs arise with new modes or functions, or as developments in software or even hardware occur, the user interface can evolve as required via easy updating, without imposing awkward key-combinations, misleading button-labels, or confusing menu paths.
The ClassÈ Delta series’ alluring appearance and innovative interface are dramatic elements, but they are far from its only important aspects. Each of the new components relies on ClassÈ’s intensive development process, obsessively auditioning and selecting components, circuit topologies, and even circuit-board layouts, to achieve the most transparent possible sonic results. The entire ClassÈ Delta family also benefits from the mechanical performance of the new chassis design and exploits a customized foot design that, along with other refinements, advances vibration resistance nearly 100-fold.
The five power amplifiers in ClassÈ’s initial Delta introduction all include both balanced and single-ended inputs and flexible control via IR, DC-trigger, or bi-directional RS-232 signaling. They include stereo models of 100 and 200 watts per channel, the CA-2100 and CA-2200, and two multichannel designs, the 3×200-watt CA-3200 and 5×200 CA-5200, as well as a monaural amplifier, the CA-M400 producing 400 watts.
Sharing the revolutionary new Delta touchscreen control interface are three initial component introductions: a stereo preamplifier, the CP-500, the range’s sole integrated amp, called CAP-2100 (which in its essence combines the CA-2100 amplifier and CP-500 preamp for a single-component stereo solution of unprecedented quality and value), and the CDP-100, a single-CD, HDCD-capable player. (See accompanying releases on the individual components/families.)
CA-2100 2×100 watts $3,500
CA-2200 2×200 watts $5,000
CA-3200 3×200 watts $6,000
CA-5200 5×200 watts $8,000
CA-M400 1×400 watts $5,000
CAP-2100 2×100 (int. amp) $4,900
For additional information about ClassÈ Audio visit www.classeaudio.com.
ClassÈ Audio’s Delta Range Bows Preamp, Integrated Amplifier
MontrÈal, Canada—Aug. 2004—Among the eight components that introduce ClassÈ Audio’s stunning new Delta lineup are a stereo preamplifier and integrated amp. Both feature the remarkably simple and usable touchscreen interface destined to become the hallmark of the Canadian maker’s newest line, as well as the dramatic new look developed by famed industrial designer Morten Warren’s Native Design Studio.
ClassÈ’s Delta-series CAP-2100 integrated amp and CP-500 are functionally similar save for the former’s on-board 100 watts-per-channel stereo amplification, derived from the new CA-2100 stereo power amplifier (see accompanying amplifier release). Consequently, each unit features a TFT color touchscreen display smoothly integrated into its elegantly curving front panel, for the ultimate in simple, intuitive, ergonomics: When the control-label is the control, operation becomes as direct and logical as can be imagined.
While their ergonomic excellence is unparalleled, the CAP-2100 and CP-500’s sonic qualities are equally noteworthy.
Both rely on ClassÈ’s famously obsessive critical auditioning in selecting components, circuit topologies, and even board layouts, to achieve sonic transparency and musical finesse rivaling components of vastly higher costs; both also feature the firm’s characteristic stable, noise-free power-supply designs to ensure dynamic purity and freedom from circuit-group interactions. The Delta-series integrated amp and stereo preamp also both employ ClassÈ’s own fully balanced circuit topologies and accommodate both balanced (XLR) and single-ended (RCA) signal-connections.
The CAP-2100 integrated amp’s 2×100-watt amplifier section incorporates the well-established ClassÈ amplifier virtues of enormous current reserves (its power doubles to 200 watts per channel with 4Ω loads) and massive, ultra-stable power supplies, as well as ClassÈ’s unique amp-monitoring circuitry. This circuitry continuously observes incoming AC voltage, current, and polarity, ground condition, heatsink and ambient chassis temperatures and more, assuring reliable operation without intrusion into any signal-path circuit, and without requiring sonics-restricting fuses. If necessary, the CAP-2100 simply shuts down, otherwise assuring the listener of absolutely pure, unimpeded reproduction.
Like all of ClassÈ’s Delta line, both the CAP-2100 integrated amplifier and the CP-500 stereo preamplifier provide system integration via IR-signaling, DC-trigger, or bi-directional RS-232 control, for the ultimate in flexibility. The CAP-2100 and CP-500 are available in North America at manufacturer’s suggested prices of $4,900 (CAP-2100 integrated amp) and $3,500 (CP-500 stereo preamplifier).
Power Amps Anchor ClassÈ Audio’s New Delta Range
MontrÈal, QuÈbec, Canada—Aug. 2004—Five new power amplifiers from internationally respected high-end audio maker ClassÈ Audio anchor the new Delta family, which marks the most exciting and important introduction in the Canadian firm’s near quarter-century history. (See accompanying Delta overview release.)
The five Delta amps encompass stereo, multichannel, and monaural models, each featuring the tremendous current reserves and astonishing transparency and finesse that have made ClassÈ amplifiers famous among serious audiophiles the world around. And each model is designed to match other components in the exciting new Delta family, which combines elegant, highly integrated industrial design with an industry-leading new touchscreen-based user interface.
The ClassÈ Delta series amplifier range is comprised of the 100-watt stereo CA-2100 and 200-watt stereo CA-2200, two multichannel designs, the 3×200-watt CA-3200 and 5×200 CA-5200, and a single monaural model, CA-M400 of 400 watts. The five amps share substantially similar building blocks, differing primarily in channel-count and power-level.
Consequently, they also share important design and performance characteristics, beginning with the colossally stable power supplies and massive current capability for which ClassÈ amplifiers have long been known. Thus, while the above power-ratings all refer to use with 8Ω loads, each of the Delta amplifiers delivers considerably more power into lower impedance loudspeakers.
All five new ClassÈ models also furnish both balanced (XLR) and single-ended (RCA) inputs for all channels, ensuring maximum dynamic-range potential with any connection scheme, most especially with the new and forthcoming touchscreen-based preamplifier and preamp/processors. And the five amplifiers all incorporate power/standby switching controllable via DC-trigger, IR-signaling, or RS-232 control, ensuring complete system integration regardless of configuration.
Most importantly, however, the new Delta-family amplifiers feature circuit topologies and components derived from ClassÈ’s Omega-series amplifiers, widely recognized as a world-standard in amplification. Elements such as fully balanced circuit design, massive, ultra-stable, low-noise power-supplies, and meticulously selected and matched output devices ensure the dramatic power and delicate detail and dynamic finesse expected of ClassÈ amplifiers. To maintain their superb sonics in all conditions, the new models also feature the most carefully “managed” amplifier designs yet devised.
Newly developed monitoring circuits constantly observe such parameters as incoming AC voltage and polarity, ground condition, output current, DC offset and heatsink and ambient chassis temperatures, assuring safe, reliable operation without any sonics-compromising protection circuitry whatsoever (or even the sonically intrusive expedient of fusing): If a potentially dangerous condition such as over-voltage or a speaker-leads short is perceived, the ClassÈ amplifiers simply shut down, alerting the owner. And since all of the amplifiers’ monitoring elements lie entirely outside of all signal paths, the net musical effect of these safety nets is precisely zero.
Also common to the new Delta-line amplifiers is ClassÈ’s stunning new industrial design, developed by Morten Warren’s famed Native Design group. This features a dramatically radiused, sculpted-metal fascia and common chassis-width that encourage every Delta system combination to merge into a smoothly integrated visual whole.
With its combination of stereo, multichannel, and monaural models, the ClassÈ Delta series power amplifiers stand ready to serve the finest music and home theater systems in any configuration and any number of channels. The ClassÈ Delta series amplifiers are available in North America at the following manufacturer’s suggested US prices.
CA-2100 2×100 watts $3,500
CA-2200 2×200 watts $5,000
CA-3200 3×200 watts $6,000
CA-5200 5×200 watts $8,000
CA-M400 1×400 watts $5,000
ClassÈ Audio Introduces Touchscreen CD Player
MontrÈal, Canada—Aug. 2004—Canada’s ClassÈ Audio, known around the world for its standard-setting components for high-end audio and home-theater systems, has introduced a new compact disc player as part of its exciting new Delta range. The CDP-100 joins seven other initial Delta-range intros (see accompanying releases) including five power amplifiers, a preamp, and an integrated amp, in the broadest and most significant line change in ClassÈ’s 24-year history.
As the badge of its Delta-line membership the CDP-100 boasts the TFT color touchscreen display, elegantly integrated into its front panel, which is the hallmark of ClassÈ’s new front-end components. This provides a quantum leap in ease of use, providing a user-interface unrivalled among audiophile designs today for direct, intuitive operation, and the dramatic appearance delivered by a fascia with just three hard-key buttons: Standby, Menu, and Load.
Of course, the CDP-100 also features the kind of CD audio design that has placed ClassÈ players in the top tier the world around for well over a decade.
The CDP-100 begins with an ultra-stable, low-noise power supply and a professional-grade disc-transport/optical-pickup assembly integrated with ClassÈ’s proprietary IMC™ (Isolated Master Clock) system; the combination ensures virtually perfect time-base stability, for jitter-free operation.
The CDP-100 then exploits ClassÈ’s PDXB™ Pure Differential Cross Balance digital-to-analog converter: multiple, high-accuracy differential delta-sigma converters in a fully balanced, complementary array that yields nearly immeasurable departure from linearity, idealized stereo separation, and a fully balanced audio output that begins right at the DAC section itself.
The CDP-100 employs high-performance 24-bit, 352kHz digital filter with oversampling and HDCD decoding capability. Equally important, this advanced oversampling and D/A subsystem empowers the use of a relatively mild, second-order analog filter with near-ideal time-domain and impulse behavior, and a rigorously auditioned, fully balanced, all-discrete output stage for musical purity, breadth, and dynamic precision that are rarely equaled from CD playback at any level.
The ClassÈ CDP-100 Compact Disc Player is available in North America at a manufacturer’s suggested price of $3,500.
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