Are Classe Amps Good for B&W?

...and if so, which? I have a pair of B&W 704s and a Rotel 1070 amp/pre-amp combo. I want to upgrade the Rotels. I auditioned the new Krell 400 integrated, and although the expressiveness and emotive power were awesome, I felt that the music sounded constrained. The soundstage was small and instrument separation was poor. Then I auditioned the McCormack DNA 125 and corresponding pre-amp. All the quantifiable factors were great. It was clear, quiet, detailed, soundstage was huge and deep, everything excellently balanced and controlled. However I thought the sound of the music itself was very dry and emotionless. Rather than being neutral, the combo seemed to be neutralizing, regardless of what genre of music I played.

So basically I'm looking for the perfect marriage of the two. An amp/pre-amp with the expressiveness of the Krell with the instrument separation and fantastic soundstaging of the McCormack. I'm searching for a good price on a used Krell combo, but am also looking for some alternatives (preferably less expensive).

Does anyone have a Classe amp (perhaps a 200 or 201) with the B&W 704? How do you like it?

I would say if your going to match a B&W Matrix series the Classe may not be the best match . The Classe's that i remember were always a touch on the warm side.The B&W Matrix sereis is also a touch on the warm side, so it could be too much of a good thing.The Nautilus speaker series may be a different story... My system of awhile back was Threshold ( S300/2 ) amplification and Martix sreies ( 801/2 ) speakers it and was a perfect mach.Not sure if that helps but....
I had the 15 which was very good with my 802's.
Well, the system that made me understand that high-end audio was for real about 10 years ago was a Classe CDP, a Classe pre-amp (CP-35) with a 5-channel Classe amp driving B&W 805 monitors. There was a sub in there too. Specially sound-conditioned room obviously made a huge difference. Sounded fantastic, and all these years later I have somewhat recreated that system with a CP-35, CA-200 (201), and Celestion speakers that I like. So I have a soft spot for this combo.

I too moved up from Rotel gear (first the pre-amp, then the amp), and saw a huge difference, even more in the pre-amp than the amp, though both were very noticeable. If funds are tight, consider doing the pre-amp first.

This isn't too say that the Classe will be the *best* to your ears with your speakers, but I think you will find it an improvement.
I remember Classe amps as beinjg a bit bright (mid90s), although I haven't listened to any in a while. A local dealer says they have changed there house sound in the past few years to be warmer, so it may depend on what year you're looking at. Not familiar w/ 704, but B&Ws tend to be somewhat laid back, so an older Classe might be just the thing. I agree with Ehart's high opinion of the CP35; I have one that was one of the best upgrades I had ever made. I wasn't so crazy about the amps at the time though, at least with the Spica speakers I was using at the time, or the Aerial speakers that were often used in the shops that sold Classe in my area.
Classe and B+W have a joint partnership with each other, meaning that their equipment is tested to match up. So, you shouldn't have a problem with sound quality.
i think the b&w partnership is recent. on the older model ie the matrix series. does anyone have experience with krell like the ksa series or levinson 330 series. i have 801 series 3 match with levinson 336, i agree that 801 is on the warm side, are levinson or krell consider warm sounding?
matched up a pair of classe ca m-400 delta series monos with b/w 803D very good match superb sound ,,pre is a cj16II
its a great match..period
First, I admit that I have not heard Classe and B&W together. That said I currently use two CA 301's that I would in no way consider them to sound warm. In fact I chose my preamp to pull them back a little. I tend to crank my system up, over 90 decibels and it never sounds edgy or bright. Now Levinson amps sound warm to me. Not in a bad way mind you. Very rich and liquidy. Thiel speakers sound quite warm to me. If B&W sound anything similar to Thiel then maybe the Levinsons might be too warm to combine with. As usual, you just have to try to demo what you can with your other components. Could be that your source or pre needs to be tamed by warmer components down stream.
Thanks for the advice. I'm curious to try the Classe but I think I will have to wait for a local dealer to get one used, so that I can return it if I feel it's not right.