Classé Omega Super Audio CD player Manufacturer's Comment
Editor: The Classé design team thanks Jonathan Scull for his rigorous review of our new SACD/CD player. He was able to hear (and confirm our own findings) that there is still a little more to discover in the discs in the vast music libraries Stereophile readers now own. More important, he discovered the even richer possibilities appearing in the SACD format.
Regarding the high level of crosstalk that John Atkinson measured on the RCA outputs only: Because he found the crosstalk on the balanced outputs to be as low as our specs, we believe the culprit is a misplaced resistor in the single-ended output portion of the circuit. One of the design goals for the Classé Omega DAC boards was to create a design that could be used in multiple products. One result of such a design is the inclusion of parts that are not used for all products. Since we find crosstalk on the SACD RCA outputs to be in the high 90s, we did some sleuthing and found we could duplicate the low reading by inserting a resister into a location not intended for the SACD. Classé has taken steps to ensure that this doesn't happen in the future.
Classé has been unable to duplicate the other problem JA had: with engaging SRC for an external source. The SACD/CD is designed to upsample an external digital input. In addition, if a user experiences a digital input that is outside the lock range of the clock-recovery circuit, engaging the SRC will correct the condition. Without the SRC engaged, the frequency ranges that can be converted to analog are 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, and 96kHz, ±80ppm, which is compatible with CD-level clock requirements. We have observed that many DVD players do not meet this specification. With the SRC engaged, the digital input frequency range is 32-100kHz.
Classé Audio is excited to be in at the start of a new revolution in sound reproduction, but we also feel responsible to safeguard the investments in CDs that audiophiles have made. The SACD/CD player both brings the CD into the future and brings the future quality of the SACD format home today. We thank Stereophile again for recognizing the thrill and beauty available in the SACD/CD.—Classé Design Team, Classé Audio