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Classe Audio

Classe Unveils New Reference Disc Player

Montreal, Quebec, Canada–January 2007–Canadian high-end audio-video manufacturer Classe Audio has established an enviable reputation for producing truly reference-standard audio and A/V components. Its CDP-202 Compact Disc Player, and CDP-300 DVD Player are internationally accepted benchmarks representing the current state of the art for these technologies. Now Classe has combined the two concepts into a single “reference” disc-player, the CDP-502.

“Classe customers are among the most demanding and discerning in the world,” says David Nauber, Classe’s Executive VP, Brand Development. “And while they might be able to afford both a CDP-300 and a CDP-202, they’d prefer the best of both in a single component. That, in a nutshell, characterizes the new CDP-502 Reference Disc Player: state-of-the-technology performance for both DVD and CD playback, with all the benefits associated with Classe design.”

A truly flexible source component, the CDP-502 accepts audio CDs, DVD-Video discs, DVD-Audio high-resolution audio recordings, and numerous optical-disc variants including DualDisc, MP3, WMA and AAC audio-encoded discs, as well as Video-CD, S-VCD and JPEG discs. The latest Classe player derives its audio sections from the acclaimed CDP-202, Classe’s current CD reference model, and its video sections from the CDP-300 DVD player, the world’s first high-end player to output all HD-compatible resolutions including 1080p. The result–the CDP-502, arguably the most sophisticated DVD/CD player ever created–speaks for itself with unmatched video and audio fidelity, depth, and definition.

The CDP-502 utilizes the highly non-resonant, steel/aluminum hybrid chassis, and multiple, superbly engineered power supplies for which Classe designs are justly famous. The slot-loading TEAC DVD-ROM mechanism — also used in the CDP-300 and CDP-202 — provides superior disc-handling characteristics, reliability and control flexibility. Of course, the new model employs Classe’s well-known digital-decoding technology, deploying a dedicated CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic Device) and sample-rate conversion to re-construct data as 24-bit/192 kHz signals with rock-steady time-domain performance. Also present is Classe’s proven dual-differential digital-to-analog conversion topology, where both channels are transformed to differential mode in the digital domain, and then converted by a dedicated device for each signal “half.” The resultant signal remains in the balanced mode through reference-grade audio circuits, and passes to balanced-audio output on two XLR jacks; both channels are of course also available as single-ended signals on RCA jacks, which benefit from a completely differential and independent signal path.

On the video side the CDP-502’s designers could not reasonably expect to improve upon the acclaimed CDP-300, and so wisely retained its layout. Consequently, the CDP-502 incorporates the same powerful digital video processing, able to scale output to all HDTV formats up to and including 1080p via its HDMI digital-video output (including 1080i, 720p, and 480/576p). In addition to deinterlacing and scaling functions, the CDP-502’s video DSP also incorporates extensive digital processing to reduce the troublesome “mosquito noise” otherwise so prevalent on HD screens, to adaptively control color and contrast ratios, and to improve chroma transient performance. In short, staggeringly powerful and complex mathematic operations are constantly working to deliver a sharper, clearer, more compelling image than has been heretofore available from any DVD source.

The CDP-502 carries over Classe’s elegantly curved, aluminum industrial design and intuitive control layout common to its antecedents, including the front-panel color touchscreen. Far more than mere “sizzle,” this delivers perfectly, self-prompting operation, convenient previewing of DVD recordings for setup and cueing right at the loading site, and an easy way to manage audiophile-mode “video-off” playback for serious-listening CD and DVD-A sessions. The CDP-502 is supplied with a backlit wireless remote controller, and includes CAN-bus ports for inter-Classe-component communications, RS-232 interfacing for integration into media and whole-house control systems, and IR-remote and DC-trigger interfacing.

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Classe’s CDP-502 universal reference DVD/CD player will be available February 2007, at a manufacturer’s suggested price of $8,500 US.

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