Classé's New Sigma-Series Processor and Amps
Classé, which is a subsidiary of loudspeaker manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins, has announced the new Sigma-series components. The line is comprised of the Sigma SSP surround processor, Amp2 stereo amplifier, and Amp5 five-channel amplifier. The amplifiers are both rated to deliver 200Wpc into 8 ohms. In the company’s September 10 press release Classé’s president, Dave Nauber, states: “High end is about passion, discovery, experience and technical exploration. It’s not just who can make the most expensive things. Making more affordable products that are truly high end is a greater challenge, which is why there is a gap in the market between offerings from the mass-market CE companies and the high-end brands. We chose to exploit our cost advantage as part of the B&W Group to fill this void with some exceptional new products.”
The Sigma SSP will carry a retail price of $5000 in the United States when it becomes available in October. According to the press release: “The Sigma SSP has been optimized as a high-performance stereo preamp/processor with video switching, multichannel processing and bass management included. Connections for USB and Ethernet streaming augment the basic HDMI, coax, and optical digital inputs. Balanced and single-ended analog inputs, including an optional phono stage, make the Sigma SSP a truly versatile preamp/processor.“
The press release also states that “the amplifier models are derived from their breakthrough Delta-series CA-D200; a Class D topology that addresses the problem of dead-band-time -- the time when both halves of the amplifier are off -- once thought to be the Achilles’ heel of class-D designs. The Classé solution achieves an astonishingly low 3-nanosecond dead-band-time, dramatically lowering distortion and enabling numerous other design advantages. The result is said to be superbly musical sonic performance along with other class-D benefits like small size, low heat dissipation and high efficiency.”
The Amp2 and Amp5 will retail for $3500 and $5000, respectively, and will also be available in October. All three Sigma products will make their debuts at CEDIA Expo 2014, held September 10-13 in Denver, CO, USA.