Classe Sigma Series - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Classe Sigma Series

Sigma Series

Classé Audio

"Classé Audio make some of the finest hi-fi components in the world. However, for most people, they are prohibitively expensive. The Sigma Series has been developed to offer the acoustic quality that Classé is famous for, but at a (slightly) more affordable price. Beyond price, the Sigma Series offers a host of other improvements. The most significant one from a user or installer point of view is that the components have been designed to sit equally well in a room or in a rack. For rack-mounting, the side panels are easily repositioned to provide the panel-mounts. The volume knob is flush to the front fascia to ensure there are no clashes with rack door panels. For more information about the features and acoustic performance contact Classé."
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post #2 of 58 Old 08-02-2014, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 58 Old 08-07-2014, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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post #4 of 58 Old 08-08-2014, 03:57 AM
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RIP Classé, a used Canada made Delta series is about as far as I would venture.
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post #5 of 58 Old 08-08-2014, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bobpaule View Post
RIP Classé, a used Canada made Delta series is about as far as I would venture.
Why is that!
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post #6 of 58 Old 08-09-2014, 03:26 PM
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Why is that!
Abandoning audiophiles to dump the external balanced PSU and introduce digital music tweaks in the CP800.

Shutting down production in Canada. Chasing the North American multinational corporate dream, waving the flag while xxxxing both employees and customers.
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post #7 of 58 Old 08-09-2014, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Abandoning audiophiles to dump the external balanced PSU and introduce digital music tweaks in the CP800. Shutting down production in Canada. Chasing the North American multinational corporate dream, waving the flag while xxxxing both employees and customers.
I hear you, economy of scale! I still enjoy the products and the quality compared to others.
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post #8 of 58 Old 08-20-2014, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobpaule View Post
Abandoning audiophiles to dump the external balanced PSU and introduce digital music tweaks in the CP800.
In fact, these are the kind of tweaks that make me consider buying the new Sigma SSP. I had the opportunity to test the CP800 and it's really a solid performer with awesome flexibility. I'm ready to bet that most audiophiles would not be able to detect the digital music tweaks in action when used cautiously.
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post #9 of 58 Old 08-30-2014, 05:02 AM
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Sigma series

When is the Sigma Series going to be made available? I am just building my new system and would like to consider them.My latest acquisition were a pair of Wilsons. I have heard the Classe Sigma might be a good match.

I am looking at October 2014 for amp and preamp. Will the Sigmas be available by then?

Thanks ... I always like to hear your thoughts.
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post #10 of 58 Old 08-30-2014, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viper43 View Post
When is the Sigma Series going to be made available? I am just building my new system and would like to consider them.My latest acquisition were a pair of Wilsons. I have heard the Classe Sigma might be a good match.

I am looking at October 2014 for amp and preamp. Will the Sigmas be available by then?

Thanks ... I always like to hear your thoughts.
Based on what Classe rep told me when I call them "yes", first they'll show it at CEDIA, then they'll release it.
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post #11 of 58 Old 09-02-2014, 12:00 AM
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Sharok, thanks for the information .... I look forward to hearing more about it when it becomes available. I hear good things about Classe so I am hoping the Sigma series is as good as it sounds.

again, thanks .... I will be checking back here to see what you all hear.
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post #12 of 58 Old 09-02-2014, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by viper43 View Post
Sharok, thanks for the information .... I look forward to hearing more about it when it becomes available. I hear good things about Classe so I am hoping the Sigma series is as good as it sounds.

again, thanks .... I will be checking back here to see what you all hear.
I hope we wont be disappointed and it's gonna be a decent processor like SSP-800.
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post #13 of 58 Old 09-02-2014, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I hope we wont be disappointed and it's gonna be a decent processor like SSP-800.
No ATMOS, Auro 3D or DTS MDA! Oh well that's too bad Hopefully the SSP-1000 (just made that-up) will have it all plus Auto EQ from DIRAC or Lyngdorf
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post #14 of 58 Old 09-03-2014, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post
No ATMOS, Auro 3D or DTS MDA! Oh well that's too bad Hopefully the SSP-1000 (just made that-up) will have it all plus Auto EQ from DIRAC or Lyngdorf
I don't use Auro 3D or ATMOS, but are you sure that it does not decode DTS Master Audio either?
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post #15 of 58 Old 09-10-2014, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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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.
Classé website
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post #16 of 58 Old 09-14-2014, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post
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.
Classé website
Any more news our of CEDIA this year? There hasn't been a website update yet.
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post #17 of 58 Old 09-21-2014, 09:03 PM
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Some high-res pictures were posted here:
http://www.extravaganzi.com/classe-audios-sigma-series/
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post #18 of 58 Old 09-23-2014, 04:25 AM
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price for AMP2 looks very promising ...

Redemption - "Progressive Metal Band"
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post #19 of 58 Old 10-15-2014, 08:23 PM
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Are these out yet? Dealers are not answering my inquiries....
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post #20 of 58 Old 10-15-2014, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
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They should be shipping end of October from what I heard?
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post #21 of 58 Old 11-23-2014, 10:29 AM
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Are these out yet? Dealers are not answering my inquiries....
It's now November 23 and wondering if anyone has received their new Sigma's yet, and if so what are your thoughts?

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Listen to live music and recreate it at home.
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post #22 of 58 Old 11-23-2014, 02:41 PM
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It's now November 23 and wondering if anyone has received their new Sigma's yet, and if so what are your thoughts?
Nope, still haven't heard from the dealer that was supposed to be getting his set the last week of Oct. I can't believe how bad some of these places are at following up on potential sales.
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post #23 of 58 Old 11-24-2014, 05:06 PM
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It's now November 23 and wondering if anyone has received their new Sigma's yet, and if so what are your thoughts?
I received mine last week.

On the whole they seem to do well in driving my new Wilson's, Oppo, Sonos but still need to put them through their paces.

I have noticed some strange things relative to the appearance of the touch screen as well as its interface with my TV (a Pioneer Elite). I hope they are software issues and can be changed.
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post #24 of 58 Old 11-30-2014, 07:26 PM
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Nope, still haven't heard from the dealer that was supposed to be getting his set the last week of Oct. I can't believe how bad some of these places are at following up on potential sales.
Dealer not expecting delivery until early December now. Still need to audition and decide to purchase or not. I may wait until 4K board is offered at this point.
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post #25 of 58 Old 11-30-2014, 07:32 PM
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I received mine last week.

On the whole they seem to do well in driving my new Wilson's, Oppo, Sonos but still need to put them through their paces.

I have noticed some strange things relative to the appearance of the touch screen as well as its interface with my TV (a Pioneer Elite). I hope they are software issues and can be changed.

Thanks for the update. Please share more about its networking capabilities for DSD files over Ethernet.

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Listen to live music and recreate it at home.
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post #26 of 58 Old 12-03-2014, 05:33 PM
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My local dealer now has the Sigma SSP and AMP5 in, and I'll be going in this weekend to audition. I'm specifically bringing in my Classe CAP-2100 to see how the SSP performs in 2 channel versus my current integrated. If it's at least on par with the 2100, I'll make the switch to the SSP. If not, I'll upgrade my current DAC and add an external surround receiver for movies.
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post #27 of 58 Old 12-16-2014, 02:54 PM
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If you are in the Chicago area Abt has them on display and operating. Sound sweet with BW 800's.
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post #28 of 58 Old 12-16-2014, 03:43 PM
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I just replaced my SSP-75 with a Sigma SSP. I demoed both the Sigma and SSP-800 at home with my existing equipment (thanks to Modia Home Theater in Austin, TX). Focused mainly on two-channel stereo bypass with all digital processing disabled. The difference between the Sigma and the SSP-800 and SSP-75 was pretty easy to spot. The Sigma had a deeper soundstage, more presence and sounded more 'alive'. Granted, all three sounded quite good, but the Sigma was the clear winner. The source was a Slim Devices Transporter connected to the pre/pro via balanced interconnect (using the DAC in the Transporter). We also did some testing using the DAC in the Sigma, but found the Transporter DAC to have a more natural and enveloping sound. Definitely more listening to be done to compare various signal paths.

Didn't do any direct A/B comparison of movies and other multi-channel audio between the Sigma and the SSP-800, but Bluray (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HDMA) sounded considerably better through the Sigma via HDMI than through the SSP-75 via SPDIF, as should be expected.

I haven't encountered any major bugs in the Sigma firmware, but it could use some more customizable features from the SSP-800 such as control of the on-screen display when changing volume/source/etc - currently it always pops up when anything changes. SSP-800 customizability wins hands-down here. The Classe iPhone app is almost useless - it doesn't even show the right sources, so switching inputs using it is impossible. Volume control and the Remote screen does work. The included Sigma remote was disappointing as it doesn't even generate all the IR commands that are available. Thankfully Logitech was very responsive when I sent the complete IR PDF from Classe to them - the next day they had created a Sigma SSP device for me to test - a few tweaks and it all works.

Airplay works fine, but it's only audio, not video. Not a big deal, but I was a bit surprised at the limitation.

I initially had some issues with a Playstation 3 connected via HDMI, but the issue turned out to be a setting in the Playstation (Deep Color had been enabled). Flipping the setting fixed it right up.

Overall, I'm quite impressed. The sound quality and build appears to be what one expects from Classe.

Any questions, feel free to ask.


Associated equipment:

Slim Devices Transporter
Oppo BDP-83 Bluray
DirecTV HR44 DVR
AppleTV
Playstation 3
Classe CA-201 amp (front)
Classe CA-75 amp (center bi-amped, rear bridged)
Mirage OM-6 fronts
Mirage OM-C2 center
Mirage OM-R5 rears
Nordost interconnects and speaker cables
Panasonic AE-2000U projector
Screen Innovations Black Diamond screen
Sunfire True Subwoofer Mk II (used only for LFE)
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post #29 of 58 Old 12-16-2014, 08:39 PM
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The Classe iPhone app is almost useless - it doesn't even show the right sources, so switching inputs using it is impossible. Volume control and the Remote screen does work. The included Sigma remote was disappointing as it doesn't even generate all the IR commands that are available. Thankfully Logitech was very responsive when I sent the complete IR PDF from Classe to them - the next day they had created a Sigma SSP device for me to test - a few tweaks and it all works.
I was afraid of this. Most of the control apps from any manufacture are disappointing. I think many lack the software and design talent to pull it off. What model remote to you recommend?

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Airplay works fine, but it's only audio, not video. Not a big deal, but I was a bit surprised at the limitation.
AFAIK, All processors / receivers are audio only for Airplay. AppleTV seems required for video. I'm not sure why they bother with the feature.

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I initially had some issues with a Playstation 3 connected via HDMI, but the issue turned out to be a setting in the Playstation (Deep Color had been enabled). Flipping the setting fixed it right up.
Does this mean deep color is not supported? Any other audio pops or HDMI handshake issues? I'm having a lot of trouble with an Anthem and I'm worried about switching to another boutique brand.
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post #30 of 58 Old 12-17-2014, 06:50 AM
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I was afraid of this. Most of the control apps from any manufacture are disappointing. I think many lack the software and design talent to pull it off. What model remote to you recommend?
I use a Harmony Touch. Not perfect, but about the best solution I have found. My biggest complaint is not being able to turn off certain functions that I don't use, such as touch-screen gestures. Programming and setup is also a bit of a pain to get perfect. It's relatively easy to get functional using default devices and settings downloaded from Logitech (assuming they have IR codes for the devices you need - but they are quick to add them if you provide the information), but it's the tweaking of buttons and layout to get it 'just right' that takes time.

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AFAIK, All processors / receivers are audio only for Airplay. AppleTV seems required for video. I'm not sure why they bother with the feature.
I could see using it to quickly get audio from a phone/tablet into a system, but even that is a stretch. I haven't tried the USB front panel input to see if it accepts a videos stream, but I doubt it. There is a front-panel HDMI input that could be used with a Apple Lightning to HDMI adapter.

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Does this mean deep color is not supported? Any other audio pops or HDMI handshake issues? I'm having a lot of trouble with an Anthem and I'm worried about switching to another boutique brand.
From the manual: The Sigma SSP supports seven HDMI inputs, labeled 1 to 7. The SSP is HDMI v.1.4 enabled, supporting 2D and standard 3D video formats at resolutions up to 1080p @ 24/50/60 fps, Audio Return Channel (ARC), Deep Color and x.v.Color (xvYCC).

So it appears that the Sigma sports all the features of HDMI 1.4. I didn't debug any further at the time, but it could be my Projector (an older Panasonic AE-2000U) that caused the incompatibility.

I haven't experienced any popping or noise or other HDMI handshake issues. Switching HDMI inputs is not particularly fast (1-2 seconds), but so far seems very reliable. Switching audio-only sources (analog, SPDIF and TosLink) is very fast as expected.
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