First, I love Classe amps, been my favorite among all the amps that I've owned in the past several years except for one (Pass Labs XA30.5, which is just unbelievably awesome sweet sounding amp). In my main setup, I've had the CA5200 for a while, then about six months ago purchased a pair of CA-M600 for the front speakers, keeping the CA5200 for the center and surround speakers.
My SSP for a long time was the Anthem D2, then the D2V; have been very pleased with the Anthem SSP, no complaints here. I mostly listen to music, 2-ch analog direct 80% of the time (movies 20%). Some folks say they sound digital or analytical, but I think a big part of it depends on implementation, equipment matching/synergy, and cabling. I had not been thinking about replacing it, although the SSP800 had been in the back of my mine a few times over the years. When Classe came out that they are rethinking their business model and no longer coming out with a new SSP and sticking only to their Sigma line, it sort of triggered a desire to try out the SSP800 before they are no longer available. It also helped that some dealers were selling their demos at an good price, so I purchase a fairly new demo from a dealer.
I've been reading this thread over time and a bunch of reviews online (both professional reviewers and individual's anecdotal impression), and the large majority of these folks give high praises for the SSP800 and overwhelmingly prefer it over the Anthem D2/D2v. So, that also got me the itch to get one. At least, it will look nice (uniform) in my rack with all Classe units (and my Marantz SA11-S2 CD player).
I've had the SSP800 for about 5 days now and spent about 20 hours of play time (boy that unit gets very warm even in stand-by). Having a somewhat high expectation it will be a marked improvement (sound-wise) over my Anthem D2v, I can say, so far, in all honesty, it is NOT a night and day difference. They sound more alike than different. This is in 2-ch analog-bypass. The SSP800 may sound slightly better but not to the degree I was expecting. It does have slightly better defined and controlled bass, a tinge of warmness in the mids/highs and smooth sounding, a bit textured and more laid back than the D2, with placement of instruments a slither better than the D2. The D2 is no slouch though. It does sound more lively/open (not bright at all), musical sounding, excellent soundstage, although not as textured as the SSP800, but not lean as some may describe it. Both sound natural to me, just depends on taste. I could easily live with the D2 if I did not have the SSP800. I do find the SSP800 mates better with the more dynamic, highly transparent sounding CA-M600 I have as compared to the warm sounding CA5200 which goes well with the D2/D2v.
Time will tell if the SSP800 gets better, since Classe manual says 300 hours of break-in time. I hope it does. I would think that on standby alone, with the unit really warm to the touch (unlike the D2/D2v), will account for break-in time period.
By the way, in case you are wondering, my speakers are Paradigm Signature S8v3,C5v3,ADPv3,Sub25. Speaker and XLR Cabling all Audioquest with 72 volt DBS. Power cables are all Triode Wire Labs. PS Audio MK DACII and Marantz SA11-S2 CD player.