Classe announced the Sigma SSP stereo / 7.1-channel preamp/processor and two amplifiers, the AMP2 (2x200W) and AMP5 (5x200W) into 8 ohms. If purchased together, this audiophile system would cost you $13,500.
The Sigma SSP is designed to build a bridge between home stereo and home theater systems. It is optimized as a stereo preamp/processor but with HDMI switching and 7.1 channels of high-performance multichannel processing included. The stereo preamp/processor circuitry is derived from the latest generation Delta series CP-800, making the Sigma SSP a stunning performer as a stereo preamp. Test bench measurements are exceptional and suggest comparison with cost-no-object designs. Sonically the Sigma SSP out-performs stereo preamps with stand-alone DACs, while offering superb decoding of high-resolution formats including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
A variety of connection options supports virtually any source optimally: Stream audio asynchronously from a computer, storage device or the Internet via the Sigma SSP’s Ethernet connection. The Sigma SSP supports both AirPlay and DLNA streaming. Front and rear panel USB connections support asynchronous streaming from computers and iOS devices. Eight HDMI inputs (including one on the front panel) provide the optimum path for Blu-ray players, games and set-top boxes while simplifying system connections. The Audio Return Channel lets YouTube, Netflix and other online sources decoded at your display play through the Sigma SSP by using the HDMI connection between them. Coax and optical are provided for those sources lacking the HDMI option.
DSP options for improving performance are available to all sources. Bass management, a nine-band Parametric EQ and digital domain Tone Control with our Tilt feature ensure that the system can be optimized for your speak- ers and room, and every source sounds its best. An optional phono stage with custom loading may be fitted to accommodate MM and MC cartridges.
According to Classé, the amplifier models are derived from their breakthrough Delta series CA-D200; a Class D topology that addresses the problem of dead-band-time—the time when both halves of the amplifier are off—once thought to be the Achilles’ heel of Class D designs. The Classé solution achieves an astonishingly low 3 nanosecond dead-band-time, dramatically lowering distortion and enabling numerous other design advantages. The result is said to be superbly musical sonic performance along with other class D benefits like small size, low heat dissipation and high efficiency.
“Our goals in designing the Sigma series were to deliver true, high performance for the audiophile, offer versatile connectivity to accommodate a wide range of sources, bundle it with a host of performance-oriented features and package it in a compact and affordable chassis.” said Nauber. “We have done all that and more. With their efficient use of power, the Sigma series designs generate less heat and are more eco-friendly than other conventional designs.”
Price and Availability
The Classé Sigma series will be available in October 2014 at the following price:
$5,000 Sigma SSP