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I was a Classe dealer for many years. David Reich was a brilliant designer, but not much of a business man.
IMHO, Glenn Grue did a great job after David left. Classe was still a viable company for many years after.
I do believe that some of the best designs were early on and Classe never really saw it's own potential.
At the time, the DR3VHC amp, DR8 amp, DR9 amp and the DR6 preamp were some of the best sounding gear you could buy. Not only good, but some would consider state-of-the-art for the time.
Sorry to see them go...
for some reasons outsourcing to China makes product more expensive for buyers. Why (Pourquoi??) Since they moved to China prices went up and not down. I'll certainly be looking to purchase some of same models sold 'outside of serial production' for a lot cheaper. Would be sweet to get monoblocks for $400/pair. Isn't that fair after all? I'd rather feed slave worker trying to make living than boss or master who's ain't hungry at all. $400 in one transaction will give him a-lot more than month worth of work at Neo-China-Classe-B&W sweat shop.
I own a pair of DR-9 that I use as mono blocks and a DR-6 preamp.
They are bullet proof and sound really good to me,after all these years I would be hard press to sell them.It would cost me a small fortune to buy amplifiers in the current pricing structure to get close to this Trio.
As far as repairs go, there is man in Quebec city called Mario Lirette formally from Coda electronics that still maintains Classe audio gear.He has a very long history of fixing Classe gear.
Seems Classe has not been really relevant in quite a while. Moving production to China probably did not help. As a for instance, if McIntosh moved production of the MC275 to China, it would probably be a huge deal for devotees of the marque, who likely believe that if it's not made in Binghamton, it's not real McIntosh. And then you have Hegel who did not exactly maintain transparency about where their gear is made.
Whatever holding company that actually owns B&W bought Classe a number of years ago. Quite obviously with the goal of providing a single audio purchasing experience from source to speaker. I date their gradual decline from them. Before, Classe was a distinctive manufacturer, more like a Canadian Plinius. After, they became mainstream. Nothing wrong with their product, but in a market where dozens and dozens of brands compete, nothing really to make them stand out, save that B&W dealers always tried to sell them with the speakers...