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 Post subject: Classe reliability
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:59 pm
Posts: 53
Location: brampton, ON, CA
Hi ,
I am considering buying a Classe dr 25, 25 or other amps from Classe second hand to go with my venerable dr 5 preamp. I have no experience with these amps and was wondering what the reliability is like . In the past I have owned primarily Rotel (unbelievable - have had 4 rotels , never a problem, ownly blown fuses due to my carelessness) and Bryston (did have a problem with my 3B NRB but it was fixed-actually almost totally rebuilt- under warranty even thought I was the 3rd Owner of the amp).

I would like to try out a classe amp but am a little hesitant as Classe do not come with the famous 20 yr transferable warranty like Bryston.

Anyways any advice from past experience with used Classe amplifiers would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
ODSMAN


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 Post subject: Classe
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:15 pm
Posts: 3344
Location: Welland, ON, CA
Never had any issues with my older DR series, they work flawlessly.I have no experience with any of the newer stuff.Very reliable I don't think you would have much to worry about,they were built to last,and used to be lifetime warranty to original owner, which is better than 20 year especially if you are a young person.My amps never run hot and barely warm,and are bridged mono to over 500 a side in 4 ohms.True balanced amps as well ,I believe.You would have to spend a lot more money to better the Classe amps of yesterday.My amps have driven easy loads like Heron i speakers and difficult load of Martin Logan CLS.Never a problem.You should give the ones you are interested in an audition.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 2514
Location: Ingersoll, ON, CA
Chuck Lee said:
You would have to spend a lot more money to better the Classe amps of yesterday.

Absolutley right. They are reliable. I have a Classe' Ten amp (since 1992) and have had no problems with it what so ever. Classe' will stand by its lifetime warranty to the original owner


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 7:29 pm
Posts: 227
Location: Toronto , ON, CA
I used to own a Classe 15 power amp for many years. It sounded great and never had a hiccup throughout the years I had it. Highly recommend it.

I am not too sure of the newer ones as they are much more sophisticated...design wise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:37 am
Posts: 28
Location: St-Jerome, QC, CA
:D The Classe product are on top of my list. I've owned almos every preamp (DR6, Four, Five, CP60, CP50, CP47.5, SSP25) and also a couple of amp (DR2, CA100, CA200, 10). Never had problem with them, never need to serviced them. I think you must buy a product, not a warranty. The Classe product are on the market for so long, and his reputation is pretty good. I must ad the sound between Bryston and Classe are not the same... :wink:
You can trust the product...as I do!!!


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 Post subject: Warranty
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:28 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Warranty asisde....I do not know of any other equipment that comes with more then a 5yr warranty. Bryston is the only company. Anyone know of another brand?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:21 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:26 am
Posts: 113
Location: Varennes, QC, CA
Simaudio have 10 years for some of there products.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:11 pm
Posts: 4226
Location: Burleigh Falls, ON, CA
My REDGUM amp comes with a 7 year warranty.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:59 pm
Posts: 53
Location: brampton, ON, CA
Thanks everyone for their input so far.
I get the message -Classe amps are built to last.

I guess this raises a few other questions:

1) What is the difference between the say dr 25 , classe 25 and a CA 200?
I get the impression that the classe 25 is the same as a dr 25 with perhaps minor modifications to warrant changing the series name after the departure of the designer Dave Reisch. I have no idea the CA or later series.

2) What sonically are the differences between the different series ?

3)Which amp would would best mate with a DR 5 preamp ? I am looking for something with at least 200 watts a side as I find that works best with my speakers.

4) I am currently using a Coda 20 amplifier . It is a beautiful sounding amp and seems to be a nice match with my DR 5 preamp. Would a Classe amp be an upgrade to the Coda or is it on par or below.


Thanks in advance for your input.

odsman


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 2514
Location: Ingersoll, ON, CA
The DR and the number series Four, Ten, etc. are still Dave Reich designs.
The circut board on my amp (Classe' Ten) and pre (Classe' Four) have both Glen Grue and Dave Reich's names on them.
Once Dave Reich was completely out of Classe' the sound did change. Its a toss up as to which designs are better.
As for the Coda, its a very good amp. I wouldn't be too quick to get rid of it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:19 am
Posts: 48
Location: Port Coquitlam, BC, CA
I'm looking at buying an older Classe preamp.

For a similar price range, what would be better, a Classe Five or a Classe Thirty?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:01 pm
Posts: 1011
Location: North Plains, OR, US
I've owned several DR series amplifiers, had one repair over the years, the LED burnt out in my power switch. The switch worked fine, just had a dead LED, the horrors! :shock:


My DR-8 is still going strong, use it in my office system daily. Dave told me long ago that in his opinion the DR-8 was the best amplifier he designed while at Classe (including the DR-3 and VHC!). Had lunch with Dave @ CES this past January, still a terrific guy after all this time. He's the lead engineer at Theta if anyone's curious.

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 Post subject: Classe
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:15 pm
Posts: 3344
Location: Welland, ON, CA
I agree the DR 8 is a tough act to beat,and two of them in balanced mono for over 500 watts into 4 ohms is harder yet to beat.Like I said not a problem and no heat issues, probably why they last so long, no thermal overload or high bias,they just coast along doing what they do best.A smoother more refined sound than the Brystons, but to each their own.Also don't forget they came with a LIFETIME warranty to the original owner.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 2711
It's odd that people would automatically recommend amps without asking about your speakers. Not all amps sound at all good with all speakers. Maybe it's just my luck but I have not heard a good Classe based system - this of course does not mean the amp is at fault - but they seem artificially warm to me as though it's trying to soudn more like a tube amplifier. Certainly any SS amp maker attempting to sound valve like is a good idea in my view but then on the other hand it would make more sense to just buy the real thing.

The thing that you should be asking yourself or others is why are you going through the SS power amps in the first place - I know a guy who went through 7 different power amps and 4 preamps in one year when all the time the culprit was LE speakers that simply sounded compressed dynamically and boxy.

Interchanging numerous parts simply ends with a lowest common denominator approach - whater the weakest part of the chain that's what you're stuck with - and famous high end names or not does not gaurantee better knowledge - it may just be knowledge of marketing.

Spend some time listening to different kinds of system technologies - and chances are the three names you mention so far won't be on the list anymore.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:11 pm
Posts: 4226
Location: Burleigh Falls, ON, CA
RGA wrote:
It's odd that people would automatically recommend amps without asking about your speakers. Not all amps sound at all good with all speakers. Maybe it's just my luck but I have not heard a good Classe based system

It's a shame you aren't local otherwise I'd take you to have a listen to my Dad's system so that you can decide for yourself if a Classe system can sound good.

My Dad's got a pair of DR3 VHC's and a pair of DR9's driving Martin Logan CLS's and Maggie Tympani bass panels. His front end is a DR7 preamp with a Maplenoll table with ET II arm. He's got it all setup in a custom room of hiuge proportion. To say the sound is exquisite wouldn't be doing it justice.

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A listening test comparing components is valid only when you are able to instantaneously switch between components which have been properly level matched and whose identities are unknown to you


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