Classé has announced the availability of a new series of components called Sigma, featuring a 7.1 Stack_Frontchannel Surround Sound Preamp/Processor, called Sigma SSP and two amplifiers, the AMP2 and AMP5, rated at 2x200W and 5x200W into 8 ohms respectively.

“High-end is about passion, discovery, experience and technical exploration. It’s not just who can make the most expensive things.” said Dave Nauber, President of Classé. “Making more affordable products that are truly high-end is a greater challenge, which is why there is a gap in the market between offerings from the mass-market CE companies and the high-end brands. We chose to exploit our cost advantage as part of the B&W Group to fill this void with some exceptional new products.”

The Sigma SSP has been optimized as a high-performance stereo preamp/processor with video switching, multichannel processing and bass management included. Connections for USB and Ethernet streaming augment the basic HDMI, coax and optical digital inputs. Balanced and single-ended analogue inputs, including an optional phono stage, make the Sigma SSP a versatile looking preamp/processor.

According to Classé, the amplifier models are derived from their 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 a 3 nanosecond dead-band-time, which they say will “dramatically lower distortion and enable numerous other design advantages”.

“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.”

The Classé Sigma series is available in October.

Retail pricing:

Sigma SSP $5,000 USD

AMP5 $5,000 USD

AMP2 $3,500 USD

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