Music in the Round #81: Classé Sigma Mono amplifier, Sony UHP-H1 universal player Contacts

Sidebar Contacts

Classé, 5070 Franáois Cusson, Lachine, Québec H8T 1B3, Canada. Tel: (514) 636-6384. Fax: (514) 636-1428. Web:

Sony Electronics, Inc., 16530 Via Esprillo, San Diego, CA 92127-1708.Tel: (858)942-2400. Web:

JRiver, Inc., 125 N. First Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401. Tel: (612) 677-8200. Web:


Axiom05's picture

Interesting write-up on the Classe mono amps. Is there any chance of JA doing some measurements on these? As a current owner of a pair of Classe CA-M300 amps, I can definitely appreciate the appeal of less weight and less heat!

Kal Rubinson's picture

All I can say is that it is very likely he will read your request.

tonygeno's picture

Kal, can the UHP-H1 play flac and dsd files without gaps?

shosty5's picture

Hi Kal, just wondering about your speaker setup, in the system with the Silver 8s. Do you have three Silver 8s across the front? What are your rear speakers? Not sure if this system is listed somewhere, so I thought I'd go directly to the source. Thanks! Jim

Kal Rubinson's picture

I use 3 MA Silver8s for LCR and a pair of Silver2s for SR/SL in the CT system. In that system, the sources are a JRiver-based server (MacMini running Win7 under BootCamp) and an Oppo 103 and they feed a Marantz AV8802a and a Bryston 9BST. There are also two JLAudio e110 subs.

allhifi's picture

Kalman: Wonderful review. I must say, I'm rather (very) surprised that such design (D/Switching Amplifiers) holds=up to scrutiny vs. premium, classic A/B designs -including many from Classe' themselves.

There is no doubt the company has the smarts/R&D and skill to manufacture some world-class product. The problem is the manner in which they move "forward"; not listening to 'legacy' customers, instead jumping both feet full-in with their latest/greatest product discovery/technology. And not without grave consequence; alienating a rich customer base spanning 40-years.

Not sure who is responsible (is it you Dave Nauber?) but this indifference to product/company history/consumer base has eroded consumer confidence in the product name and it's all-over-the-map product offerings over the past 10-years.

These fast/furious and 'new' product offerings are simply poorly introduced/marketed; as opposed to planned, cautionary, (and sensible) product Sku's, as children (with nary a second thought) Classe' jumps in/on new directions alienating everyone in the process. Bad news. As their deteriorating sales/consumer interest over the past 10-years has shown.
Too bad, for once and/when the company hits a 'home-run' (product ) most previous Classe (fanatics?)/customers have long since lost interest in the company's products/wayward ways.

Although I wish them well, may their failings be a lesson to other company's considering abandoning their core customer base. As an example, Levinson learned this (after Mr. Nauber's departure interestingly enough), while other company's (such as Sim Audio) have never lost sight of their base/core customer -although they could use a mild shake-up of sorts -lol.

Returning to the review (and my comment here), I wonder about class "D" amplifiers long-term performance capability; is it, will it, be as rock-solid as a well-known/respected, premium A/B designs (including my own CA-2100 Classe 2-channel A/B power amplifier) a PROVEN spectacular amplifier -to this day, 15-YEARS after its introduction.
Will the 'D' series' Classe' (including the Sigma Mono's) enjoy the same long-life and earn the respect/admiration of listener's ?

These are (some of) the questions that perhaps were neither asked /considered by Classe' management -nor answerable- given the 'newness' of the technology/application.
And customer's take note. They feel comfortable with expensive purchases they know enjoy a long, respected life/performance expectancy.

Although the 'Naub' is likely a pretty good guy, pulling-back the reign's may be advisable before the train runs off the rails ...

peter jasz