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Classé CA-5200 Multi-channel Power Amplifier Print E-mail
Monday, 01 January 2007
Article Index
Classé CA-5200 Multi-channel Power Amplifier
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The Downside
Sonically, I could not find any fault with the CA-5200. Its smooth, articulate and controlled demeanor is the top of its class. The CA-5200 is not a bombastic amp and does not over-accentuate the lower frequencies, but at first listen, you may feel it is a bit lacking in low-frequency presence. What you’ll find after listening for a while is that the CA-5200 doesn’t have any one characteristic that really jumps out at you. It is more about finesse and control, which it delivers in spades.

In reaching to pick fault with the CA-5200, the logistics of installation were a bit tricky but worth the effort. Perhaps removable handles as are found (yet make the amps look more clunky) on other competing products could help you or your installer get a CA-5200 where you want it more easily and without any potential damage.

My time with the CA-5200 was very special. I was treated to a fine example of how well-executed engineering can bring out the subtlety and nuance of music that I was intimately familiar with and still give me a bit more detail and control than I was used to hearing with my reference Anthem P5. While the P5 produced more low-level authority, the CA-5200 was ever the consummate amplifier, portraying articulation, detail, musicality and refinement. CDs benefited from the CA-5200’s sonic character with at times stunning clarity and coherence. DVD-Audio sounded superb, bringing out that extra detail and a tad of midrange warmth that was never fatiguing, instead adding a bit more weight and texture to the sound. The same was true with DVDs, whether music or movie soundtracks. The coherence of the CA-5200 with multi-channel material exemplifies the no-holds-barred approach that Classé took with this product and, in my opinion, puts the CA-5200 at the top of the reference class. There may be better price-per-performance amplifiers out there, but before you make that decision, you’ll want to audition the CA-5200. You might just find that the extra expense is worth every penny.

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