Classe Audio -- Is My Amp Any Good?

Hi -- I know nothing about higher-end audio. I recently purchased a Classe Audio DR3 Amplifier (manufactured about 1985). I assumed -- perhaps incorrectly -- that this was a good product, given how impressive it looks etc.

My questions are this: (1) is this a good amp? and (2) what would be a good, but not expensive, pre-amp to pair it up with? I'd like to spend less than a grand on a pre-amp, and am indifferent on new vs. used.

This will probably make many of you ill, but all I want to do with the Classe Amp is have (I hope) copious amounts of power to power my 1992 Mission 765i tower speakers. And I plan on running digital music off an IPod (very primitive, I know).

Can anyone tell me if this amp I bought is any good? And give me a good recommendation for a pre-amp which I can run my IPod, and perhaps a turntable, to?

Try fnding a Sonic Frontiers ( very popular ) SFL-1 Signature preamp. Built to last a lifetime,looks great and sounds great! This should mate very nicely with your Classe.
They usually show up from time to time on Audiogon in your price range and maybe have a few buck leftover...
One thing you should know about your amp is that it has a very VERY high bias which means that it will basically run at full power all the time. This is called "Class A" operation and it signifies that the output transistors are each swinging the entire signal. What this also means is that they can't have much power output and that the amps will run VERY HOT. The DR3 is only rated at 40Wpc which is not much and may not be enough for your speakers and desired volume levels.

You may wonder at this point what their advantage is. Well, Class A operation is considered to be the cats meow of amplifier architecture, imparting a warmth and liquidity to the sound that you can't get with more efficient designs. More quality, less quantity.

Your amps were very high class in their day costing $5000 in 1984 which was serious chunk of change back then. They are surely very good - you just won't be able to blast the volume level. How large is your listening room? Do you have any specs on your speakers?

The DR3 also came in a "VHC" version which stands for "very high current" which I think put out 45W instead of 40 but can deliver more current (but not more voltage). You can check with Classe to determine if yours is this version or not. If you decide these amps aren't for you, I am sure you will find a buyer on Audiogon.

As for a preamp, I would recommend a Classe CP50. I used to have one and it was extremely good. A nice deal on one today will be around $850. It has a very fancy all metal remote that comes with it.

You can do some searches to learn more about your amp's style. You got a high quality one but one that isn't just a "plug-and-play" kind of thing without knowing more about it first. Good luck! Arthur
In addition to what has already been said, Classe's customer service is outstanding! If you ever have any problems with the amp don't hesitate to call them. I had an issue with mine and they fixed it and then some for no charge. I wasn't even the original owner and it was out of warranty!
Give us a budget. Not expensive varies greatly. You will get quite a good list if you can be specific about cost and whether or not you want a phono stage or are using only CD as a source.
I have no knowledge of your amp,but have the same speakers[765's] since 1990 and have run them with Bryston 4B,Counterpoint and a Rega integrated amps and they dont need alot of power to sound good.Hopefully you will find somr good advice and deals here on the Gon,good luck,Bob