Classe A amps require a tremendous amount of electricity to run. Depending on where you live because they throw off so much heat, they can take the place of a space heater.
Most multichannel music or movie sound tracks are not properly recorded to be faithful to the event. To me this is most distracting. Invest your money in a quality 2 channel system with good subs. Set it up correctly and you will fill your room with sound.
Check out PS Audio for 2 or multichannel
Obviously, only you can decide whether the improvement in sound is worth the $5000. If you have to ask the question, perhaps that's an indication that it isn't.
I don't think that the expensive processors are worth it, partly because, as you mentioned, they become obsolete quickly. And I agree that HDMI inputs should be mandatory on anything that you're considering.
Perhaps you would do best with the Classe amp and a less expensive processor (Rotel or Outlaw, say)?
Just a technicality but the Classe is not a true Class A running amp. It is Class B. They can make it sound like it is Class A but it isn't - it would have to be 10x bigger size if it was.
Only you can decide if the extra $5000 is worth it. But if you're asking here, then you probably don't think so.
Processors and software are changing all the time. I wouldn't invest a huge amount of money in one. I would get nice amps and speakers and a cheaper pro. Those are my 2 cents.
The Classe doesnt run that hot, it isnt pure Class A.
I would get the Rotel, not because I own one but because it just does not seem worth it for a movie machine, a HT is only as good as the movie is and when a movie is liked by you there are so many things going on you wont worry about how it sounds.....and Rotel does sound pretty good. Rotel and BW also have some synergy, is it world class? No but it will sound very good and save you alot of cash.
A true Class A amp most likely won't put out 500 watts continuous. Many will put out 30-60 watts continuous with several hundred watt peaks. These run really hot and shouldn't go into an equipment rack due to ventilation issues. I love class A but not for theater.
Also, from my experiences, class A rated amps are not as abusable as many theater amps. They require warm-up time and don't sound great when pushed to their limits (my opinion). On the brighter side, the company Classe' are very solid performers, well built and run anything.
As others have said, only you can determine whether it is worth the extra $5000. It's your money and your ears, no one can make that decision for you. Some would ask if the $7800 Rotel combo is worth the extra $5000 over a B&K receiver, while others will drop $5000 on a power cord. It's all relative.
I have both a Classe SSP-300/CA-5100 and an Outlaw 990/7700 sitting in my room right now.I am considering purchasing the Classe Amp and the Outlaw 990 processor.I wish I had the Thiel 3.7 speaker..........I feel the Thiel may require more finesse than power.The Outlaw 990 processor is awesome.
Thanks for the imput. Another twist I am considering is buying a pair of used Classe Cam 400s and using for left and right fronts and filling the rest of the 5.1 system in with the Rotel 1091 500 watt class D. This would give me great music listening. The question then becomes, how would the Classe and Rotel amps blend for home theater?
My father runs Classe for his fronts, center and middle surrounds and a Rotel 1095 or something like that for his back surrounds, trust me you wont notice anything for movies.
Mixing the Classe amps for the fronts and the cheaper Rotel for the center and surrounds is not a problem, and would be the preferred way to go if you are truly sold on investing in a surround system.
However, from personal experience, I'd skip surround sound and stick all of your money into high quality 2 channel gear with a quality subwoofer... you'll end up with very good performance for movies, and even better performance for music.
From what I have read mixing amps across the front is not the best idea although many people will mix the front 3 channels and the rear 2 channels.
My AD sells both lines and I am presently saving up to make the jump to Classe from Rotel. My personal long term plan is to run the Classe CA-3200 up front and CA-2100 in the rear. Due to the cost of both amps I may run a used Rotel RB-1080 across the rear for a while after picking up the CA-3200.
There are so many changes going on in processors right now its very difficult to have the courage to buy anything. A used 1098 is still a pretty good deal for the money, but there are other choices as well. I wouldn't buy a new Classe or any other brand for that amount of money unless I was totally sure I would have a reasonably priced factory upgrade option down the road. I just picked up a used Anthem AVM-30 which is priced similarly to a used Rotel 1098. Unlike the Rotel I do have the option although pricey to upgrade the Anthem.
I would avoid the Rotel B&W combination for movies. One of the biggest lessons I learned in my last round of speaker buying was just how lifeless that combination is. When I say lifeless, I mean no soul, very detailed but couldn't get me involved in the music at all. Several others have backed me up on that. This is not what you want for movies.
Consider the Channel Island class Ds. I have them and love them. Can't stop tapping my toes.