Classe phono section


Bronze Member
Username: Jl2002

Montral, Qubec Canada

Post Number: 12
Registered: Dec-07
Looking at a past tread, you wrote (shortly) about the Classe Thirty's phono section. I would be interested to get detailed opinion about this.

Silver Member
Username: Wattsssup

Barrie, ON Canada

Post Number: 303
Registered: Aug-06
Nuck, a little help here please?

I'd be interested in your thoughts too...

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 12051
Registered: Dec-04
The Classe units had a few good phono efforts, all under David Reich.

I have listened to the thirty, the DR5 and a phono in a CP50 preamp.

I presently am running the DR5 preamp, which was standard with mc/mm phono, as was the thirty.
When the series went to CP and later, phono was an add-on card.

Both the thirty and the DR5 lack a phono gain stage, but fortunately are set to gain from 55db and 80 db, so each cart is supported fairly equally.

The Classe phono has never been outstanding, IMO, and the best offering is in the DR5, which is why I bought it a year or so back.

I am running the vpi HW19/RB300 arm/Dynavector 10X5, which is a fairly high output setup all around.

The DR5 phono is very quiet, and has a response very much in line with the table, being very fast and responsive, while muting the lowest bass without a filter.
In some cases, I would like to see a low filter, as the full range response demands that the table be setup very well to avoid flutter. I have not achieved this as yet.

The thirty that I heard had what was supposed to be the same stage, but I didn't get that.
The bass was clipped somewhat prematurely on the way down, I thought, there was no flutter at all(good) but the lowest response was missing, even with a good sub(bad).
I recall the setup being a clearaudio table into the thirty and DR5 amp with a velodyne sub and speakers to forget.

I heard the CP50 pre(like my old one) with phono, and I am glad I didnt bother.
Not worth the effort unless its free, like.

Now the upside...

I also picked up a Jolida JD9a tube phono stage for 400$. This is now the tuner input to the DR5.

Although the DR5 phono is quite good, the stand alone solution is cleary superior in response, speed and fluidity.
This Jolida is a very sensibly priced unit, fully adjustable for gain in mc/mm and capacitance selection.
The seller had popped in EH 12AX7 tubes in place of the 12AU pieces, and I would not need another stage, even if I upper the wiring in the arm, etc.

short story....Classe does a lot of things very well, but phono isn't one of them, at least after the DR time.

Silver Member
Username: Wattsssup

Barrie, ON Canada

Post Number: 304
Registered: Aug-06
Thanks man. Good to know.

Bronze Member
Username: Jl2002

Montral, Qubec Canada

Post Number: 13
Registered: Dec-07
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