Classé CP-800 D/A preamplifier Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: Remote-controlled, solid-state preamplifier with touchscreen display, DSP-implemented tone and equalizer controls, 10 digital inputs (AES/EBU, 3 S/PDIF on coax, 4 S/PDIF on TosLink, asynchronous USB, front-panel USB host input for iPods, etc.), and analog inputs (2 pairs balanced on XLR jacks, 3 pairs unbalanced on RCAs). Analog outputs: 3 pairs balanced on XLRs, 3 pairs unbalanced on RCAs, headphones on ¼" (6.35mm) jack. Other inputs/outputs: Ethernet, trigger, CAN-Bus, IR. Frequency responses: 8Hz–200kHz, <1dB, stereo analog bypass; 8Hz–20kHz, <0.5dB, all other sources. Channel matching: <0.05dB. THD+noise: 0.0005%, digital source/bypassed analog source; 0.002%, processed analog source. Maximum input levels: 2V (DSP), 4.5V (bypass), single-ended; 4V (DSP), 9V (bypass), balanced. Maximum output levels: 9V single-ended, 18V balanced. Gain range: –93dB to +14dB. Input impedances: 100k ohms, single-ended; 50k ohms, balanced. Output impedances: 100 ohms, single-ended; 300 ohms, balanced. Signal/noise (ref. 4Vrms input, unweighted): 104dB, bypassed analog source; 101dB, processed analog source; 105dB, digital source ref. 0dBFS. Channel separation: >100dB. Crosstalk (any input to any output): better than –130dB at 1kHz. Standby power consumption: <1W. Rated power consumption: 31W.
Dimensions: 17.5" (445mm) W by 4.78" (121mm) H by 17.5" (445mm) D. Weight: 23 lbs (10.43kg) net, 33 lbs (15kg) shipping.
Serial number of unit reviewed: 2144108, firmware version 1C01.
Price: $5000. Approximate number of dealers: 116.
Manufacturer: Classé Audio, 5070 Franáois Cusson, Lachine, Quebec H8T 1B3, Canada. Tel: (514) 636-6384. Fax: (514) 636-1428. Web:

Classé Audio
5070 Franáois Cusson
Lachine, Quebec H8T 1B3
(514) 636-6384

Et Quelle's picture

You gotta love this CP 800, if you are looking for semi receiver like preamp, this one does like the fake stereo in a video game life like Sims3. Its modern, yeah! Pretty neat to have full control over the crossover frequency and a FPGA chip

Axiom05's picture

I wonder how many people need or want the DSP equalizer and subwoofer control? I would rather have seen Classe put the money into better DAC resolution and lower distortion. Yes, this is a nice unit, but I was disappointed with the measurements (irrespective of audability). Jitter rejection, however looks great. Not sure this is an improvement over simply adding something like the Benchmark DAC1 USB to a high quality preamp that you already own, e.g. Mark Levinson 380s plus Benchmark DAC1 USB?

dumbo's picture

Question for JA:

Given the measured performance of this component while using it in "Analog Bypass Mode" and ignoring its audiophile status in terms price would you say someone could use it as a center piece for their audio system in combination with a different external DAC costing many thousands of dollars more (ie..think DCS Vivaldi or MSB Diamond) and not feel that they are sacrificing anything in terms of SQ by feeding such a high brow signal thru it?

I own this unit myself and am considering using a different external DAC (Meitner MA-1 in my case) and was just trying to gauge how a components measured performance "in theory" relates to how it can be used irregardless of cost of other up/down stream components.

Thanks in advance of your valued opinion.

jlesnick's picture

Hey John.

Thanks for another great review! I just wanted to get your input on D/A's with volume control that are better than the CP-800. I currently have the cp-800 as a pre-amp/dac but have become annoyed by the edginess/shoutiness it introduces to the sound at louder volumes. Since I'm all digital, I think it may be more prudent to spend $4-5k on a amazing dac rather than a pre-amp. If it helps, my cp-800 goes into a pass x250.5 and then into T+A Criterion 110s speakers. Thank you!

Best Regards,


Bitperfect's picture

Tanks John A. for a nice review.
Classé have released a new version of Classé CP-800. I’m very interested in reading a updated review of CP-800. Do you think of doing a updated review?