Classe SSP800 Processor/Pre-amp

Due to the missing HDMI inputs my Lexicon MC4 pre-pro made place for a Classe SSP-800 This is the second SSP800 I own. The previous one had hardware problem. I have traded it in for a new one which already has the new HDMI 1.4 board with 5 inputs. So this SSP800 has 5 HDMI inputs and 2 outputs. It decodes all HD codecs like TrueHD and DTS-HD perfectly as well as ofcourse the traditional DTS and Dolby Digital.

The SSP800 has extremely flexible bass management setup. You can make several profiles with speaker size/level/distance parameters per speaker ie. I created a stereo setup with sub, a stereo setup without sub, a 5 channel setup with sub for movie use and a separate 5.1 channel setup with moderate subwoofer use for music playback. These profiles can be linked to inputs or selected on demand. Also default processing modes (ie. discrete or ProLogicII-music can be chosen per input and per input signal type.

The OSD/GUI is a bit crude but once you know how it works it does the job fine. Sonically I am extremely happy with the SSP800. Compared with the Lexicon the stereo performance of the Classe is even better and comparing DTS-HD with standard DTS (of the Lexicon) is no comparison, the Classe wins hands down with ease.

The front display is capable of displaying video or it can display the menu system which can be operated by touch (touch screen). This is a very handy feature, reducing the number of buttons on the frontplate of the pre-pro.

The HDMI switching times are not the fastest. It can take 5-10 seconds to detect the HDMI signal. Even with the new HDMI1.4 based HDMI board this has not improved much.

My new Oppo CD/DVD/Bluray/Media player has XLR outputs. I am using this connection now for most of the stereo listening. I have bought a good XLR cable (JPS The Superconductor), compared with a cheaper Cardas Crosslink XLR it plays even better than before.

Chord spm2400 5 channel power amp 5 x 135W into 8 Ohm.

The amplifier sections are highly sophisticated designs that make the most of the best high voltage, lateral structure MOSFETs available, 5 x 150Watt devices per channel. Combining the subtlety and musicality of a good valve design with the punch and accuracy of 'state of the art' solid state products. The result is a 'sliding bias' class A/B design with all drive circuitry operating in class A. At usual listening levels, most of the music will be reproduced in class A. Chord's no compromise design philosophy means there is no better-built amplifier. Individually handcrafted, it is constructed to aerospace standards from the circuitboards up.

Classe CA5100 5 channel power amp 5 x 100W into 8 Ohm.