Flat sounding? Try a different brand. Things will open up even with a modest pre like B&K, Anthem or the sumo listed here.
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I have owned the CP-35,CP-50 and CJ-14 II and now own an Audio Horizons for preamps. I have two CA-150's as monoblocks and started with one. My speakers were Aerial 8's. The combo of CP-50, CA-150's with the Aerials worked very well. I listen to mainly classical music. I did not think that the Classe sound was flat. I did really like the CJ in the mix. I have friends with B&K and Anthem's and they are a totally different sound. I really hope you can audition them in your system before purchasing them. Steve
Thanks for all of the response! Just to make everyone groan and roll their eyes, after all of the considerations, I've decided to ..... go with tubes! I bought an Audible Illusions M3 becuase I heard one a couple of weeks ago and just became captivated by the silly thing. Haven't had tubes in my system for quite a while so this should be fun!
I've read that the factory option phono stage in the CP-50/60 is highly regarded, but compared to what? The phono option seems to add $400-$500 to the cost of these units used (about the same as new!) and they move quickly. So if I went w/o the phono option, how much would I have to spend (used) on an external phono stage to match the quality of the Classe option? Any recommendations?
I've been running a CP-35/CA 200 combination into Thiel 2.2s for about 10 years. I always intended to upgrade the CP-35 (clearly the weak link when I bought the system), but never got around to it until now.