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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How compare classe CAV 180 or CAV 500 and Theta Dreadnaught ?


For BW Nautilus 803 speakers..
 

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I auditioned the 802N's with a variety of amps including the big monoblock classes (dont remember the model#). I wound up going with the Dreadnaught and have zero regrets. Ultimately my ears find the differences in amps to be small but I felt the theta was more to my liking while the classes sounded richer (overly full) in my opinion.


If at all possible, demo for yourself, in home if you can.

Good luck!

TM
 

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You won't be disappointed with either amp. but if the Classe is available for less I would jump on it. Classe makes some great equipment that you will enjoy for years to come. Comparing Theta and Classe is a little like comparing Mercedes and BMW, one might prefer one over the other, but most could live happily with either.


Good Luck

Ken
 

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Quote:
Comparing Theta and Classe is a little like comparing Mercedes and BMW
Except the Mercedes in this case has a Chrysler engine.


Classe uses op-amps in their equipment. Acceptable in a $1k multi-channel amp, but not when the price is $4k+.
 

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I actually didn't listen to the CAV 500 but the big monoblocks instead. Don't know if the mono's use op-amps (whatever they are!) or not, but they sounded too rich for me - overblown if you like.

Another thing to consider is that the theta can be configured with anywhere from 2 - 10 channels whereas the classe is 5 only.


TM
 

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I have no idea what "ops-amps" are but I have Classe CAM-350s in my system and they are better than anything else I tried. I was directed to Classe by Mike Kelly, the owner of Aerial. I tried to like Bryston, Krell, and a few others as I didn't want to pay the price for Classe but they really are nice.


Ken
 

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"Classe uses op-amps in their equipment. Acceptable in a $1k multi-channel amp, but not when the price is $4k+."


Regardless of whether or not they use them, that they should or should not be used is merely an opinion. Classe' amps sound excellent. Good sound is what matters, not how it is achieved, and so the end justifies the means, so to speak. Aerial, B&W, and other manufacturers use Classe', and audio reviewers and audiophiles love them.


Theta makes a great amp as well, and I would probably take a Dreadnaught over the CAV-180, but I think the CAV-500 sounds better than the Dreadnaught. I also think Classe' mates better with B&Ws, as it's a bit on the warm, laid-back side. When you consider the price in France, I think the CAV-500 is the best choice for the poster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok I finally ordered a Classé Audio CAV500... I search for a good AV preamp now.to match it and my nautilus speakers.


Economic : Rotel RSP 1066

Mid Price : Tag AV32 192

High end : Lexicon MC12B


others?
 

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Has anyone heard the new Classe Omega monoblocks? For giggles do I dare ask how much they are?
 

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Mikur, out of curiosity could you let us know how much the TAG sells for in Europe. I've heard that the USA price is inflated compared to Europe.


Thanks

Ken
 

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mikur - look into the Integra Research RDC7, an awesome piece in the middle of your range.

TM
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Michael,


I had the opportunity to listen all too briefly to Classe` Omega SACD, Omega Preamp, Omega monoblocks driving B&W Sig 800s at a retailer in the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago.


It was a pretty good sound overall, but in my brief listen I thought the topend was a bit recessed ---- a litte darker than I would prefer for myself.


Others might be all over that presentation.


Regards,
 

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John,

I have not heard all of the Classe products, but I do own a CAV-150, which I have had the opportunity to compare to other amps. The Classe has a smooth top end, and could be described as a bit recessed, but that description would perhaps imply that the midrange and bass overwhelms the top end, which is not so. The amp does work very well with speakers with prominent or strong tweeters, such as the B&W Nautilus series. My B&Ws can reveal the flaws in poorer recordings, and make them sound tinny, but the Classe seems to mate well with the B&Ws and recordings that I had stopped listening to sound good once again. I think this is because many poorer recordings seem to lose the midbass and bass sections causing them to sound tinny, and this is accentuated by the tweeter on the B&Ws. Using a smoother top end (less bright, more rolled off) seems to tame this tendency, and allow for a bit better balance to these recordings. Fortunately, on good recordings, I don't seem to notice that the top end is lacking, so there does not seem to be a signficant trade-off. I would probably not mate the Classe with a speaker with a very laid back top end, as that may make the sound recessed, and I would probably use a Sunfire or Krell instead.
 

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John,


Do you know if the Classe pre-amps have a unity gain loop? Also what was the price on the pre-amp and monoblocks?


Mike
 

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Mike,


Nope, I was just giving a listen to them while awaiting a demo.


I have no clue on pricing other than, "way past more than my budget can likely ever take".


Regards,
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lwang



Except the Mercedes in this case has a Chrysler engine.


Classe uses op-amps in their equipment. Acceptable in a $1k multi-channel amp, but not when the price is $4k+.
This is an outdated position. Op amps (for those who aren't into electronics, an op amp is an integrated circuit containing a signal amplifying circuit, with inverting and non-inverting inputs) have improved dramatically over the years. So have the techniques in using them in high end design. I used to use special instrumentation op amps over 14 years ago which would run rings around any discrete circuit design. What op amps bring to the table are more closely matched transistors than you can achieve with individual transistors, fewer problems with thermal drift, and all the advantages of short circuit paths. I used to build my own gear, and I also used to shun op amps. I wouldn't do so today, so long as I had some good design tips available to me.


BTW, I have a Classe' CAV-150, and I think it's one of the best amps on the market, and it's a great match for ribbon speakers.


Seth
 
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