Best of the Classe amp line??? 200/201 - 400/401?

For you Classe heads out there, I'm thinking seriously about integrating a Classe power amp into my system. I did audition a 201, but in another space. Without having to haul in a 301 and a 401, and being unable to listen to a 200, 300 or 400, is there one of these amps whichs stands out with respect to being sweet tubey sounding without the masking of the highs, or does the line have pretty much the same sonic quality in each of the price levels? Yes, I know my results may vary, but more information is better than less.

My other current contenders are a Jeff Rowland Model 10 or a McCormack DNA 2.

Right now:

Audio Innovations L2 tube pre
Adcom GCD 750 CDP
Von Schweikert VR4/5s


Your in luck. I've lived with all of them for quite some time. All excellent. All have similar sonic personalities but as you move to CA-301 improvements in all areas are easily recognizable including greater transparancy, detail reteival, top-end extenssion, focus along with improved bass power and control. CA-401 refines upon these qualities even further! The CA-401 is an awesome power amplifier. You'll love them all!

peter jasz
i am also interestd in the classé ca-400,but i am wondering
if there is a big difference between the ca-300 and the
ca-400 because i compared the ca-300 with my bryston 4b
driving totem tabu through xlo ref 5a speaker cables and
was amazed by the soundstage and air and details and the way it present the instruments but was a little disapointed
by the bass ,i though it was a little lean in the bass
compared with my bryston but was more refined.
is there a big difference in the bass region between the
ca-300 and the ca-400?
The best Classe amp of all time is without doubt the DR-3 VHC. No contest!

I second you Brent, I used to own one and sold it (stupid). But it had limited WPC, a problem with some power hungry speakers, but you could arc weld into low impedance loads. Tnkujry, I live in Montréal, where Classé is made, and knew the founder Dave Reich. When they stopped making pure class A amps, for me they became a «me too» company making amps just like everybody else and lost what made them different and so nice. Don't get me wrong actual Classé amps are proably very good but surely not sweet and tubey at least not to my ears. I use a McCormack DNA-2 DLX LAE and it is the amp that sounds the closest to the Classé DR-3 VHC: sweet, tubey, fast but very powerful. I think Jeff Rowland also has that reputation for sound but never heard it.

Just my 3 cents (2cents US) advice, good luck.
What a great hobby...

For what ever it's worth I like the the Rowland followed by the older DR series Classe amps.
I almost purchased a CA-201. Very nice sound. It matched well with my Classe 47.5 preamp and my Classe cdp 1.5 cd player with xlr interconnects. In the end, I went with the Odyssey monoblocks. In my system, very similiar sound to the CA-201 but with the flexibility of monoblocks.
DR-9 or the DR-3 and I stupidly sold both of them.....
I have heard the Rowland line and find it to be one of the best. Very honest amps. Cost is a consideration here. The 201 is 1/2 the price of a Rowland Model 10, but then again, the 401 is neck and neck. I owned a McCormack .5 for 5 years, and loved it, but it could not power the bass of the VR4/5s.

Yeah, what a great hobby (addiction).

I own a Classe 301. The 3x1 series (301 or 401) and up are the ones to go for with the improved circuity. The amp is warm, smooth, very creamy with plenty of power reserves. Driven with a good pre, a smooth and effortless signature is the best distinguishing feature of the 301.
I own the 301. I used to believe that all solid state amps sounded the same. I no longer believe that. I agree with the above.