What about the new Classe' processor Kal Rubinson raves about in the latest issue of Stereophile? It's just a bit more than the SSP 800, and looks less self-consciously stylish. I haven't heard either the D2v or SSP 800, but the local dealer who handles both tells me only the SSP 800 will give me the audio quality I get with my vintage Proceed PAV/PDSD pre/pro.
The new Classe CT-SSP is the same as the SSP-800, just wearing different exterior. Between the Anthem and Classe, the SSP-800 has far better dynamics, superior interface and configurability and awesome cosmetics. Even the 2-ch mode is very satisfying, coming close to the pinnacle of 2-ch performers, e.g., Theta CB3 with Extreme DAC. It is hard to find used SSP-800 and it holds its value extremely well
I agree, but to play the devil's advocate, does arc level the playing field? For music I would think the Classe would prevail. But in a mixed system, ht and music would not arc be helpful. My room is not that problematic, but I hear arc is very illuminating. Also the D2 does THX post processing. Any comments?
I have owned a D2 and SSP600 and if you are into movies more than music or movies/music at resonable volumes(100db or less) the Anthem is a good bet...BUT..If you love music and at much louder levels(above 100db) go with the classe...
The Anthem at extremely high volumes in 2ch/multi ch music has a obvious digital sound.
In the latest Stereophile issue, Kal Rubinson writes concerning the Class'e CT-SSP "There is also the option of applying room/speaker equalization with a very effective parametric EQ, but no tools for setting this." Unfortunately, Rubinson's writing is often inscrutable, so It's not clear exactly what he means by "no tools" and I assume he distinguishes "parametric EQ" from a form of DRC represented by Anthem's ARC. Perhaps Upgrade1394 can clarify.
Nope. What I meant is that there are no measurement or analysis tools provided by Classe to help the owner set the very useful parametric EQ. That is why I went on to program it with the correction filters recommended by the XTZ Room Analyzer; I had to bring my own tools.
the audio bable can get a little extreme and tiresome at times,for sure..Often one might as well keep a dictionary close by!!
Again,they are both excellent processors,although the Classe is recommended for much higher volume listening,in my humble opinion and experience.
Well I went to listen to the ssp800 today and can still make no comments. The dealer insisted on streaming compressed music and movies via control4. I asked to listen to a plain old simple disc on the cdp300 he stated this is a "digital processor" and he wanted to demonstrate it's dac's therefore the streaming. I explained that I wanted to hear music via analog inputs and digital inputs to get a sense of it's musical abilities. "you don't really need to hear that comparison" it is such a good digital processor all you need is a ps3 plugged into it. That is the way of the future. When he finally let me watch avatar through a connected Sony bluray player it took 15 min to get it to work and I am not sure I was listening to DTS MA or not. The room sounded bad, speakers were mis matched, subs were not set up well and he chose the volume. Needless to say I cannot say if I liked it or not.
Well dealers can be dicks for sure and sounds like you had one.I personally wouldn't help pay for his car.Look around for other deals.
Funny you should mention cars, there was a fully loaded and customized hummer, the big one out front and a new BMW M3. They just did not get how to showcase their equipment. My friend knows the Classe rep and was going to give him a call to relate my experience. There is a local guy who carries Classe who is willing to let me try it at home, but he at this point is not carrying one and is on tenuous terms with the rep.
Try another dealer if possible.Or go back in and tell him exactly this. "You don't sign my paycheck therefore if you want my money then demo the unit as I would like toplease".If he cops an attitude just walk out the store don't even give a reason. I love it when dealers start trying to show off.The dealer I auditioned the SSP-800 at put on the disc I brought with me, handed me the remote and left the room!
I sold an Audio Research LS25 MkII and my Denon 3808CI to buy my SSP-800.The one thing that should be mentioned is this unit is very detailed at both 2 channel and the Hi Rez formats DTS-MA and Dolby Tru HD. Not bright sounding at all just tons of information revealed that I had not heard before.Not at all "digital" sounding like some units tend to be.
I'd give that dealer another chance. Call them back and explain how close you are to buying. Repeat your priorities and concerns and see, with some advanced notice, if they can accommodate the setup your interested in. Make an appointment and tell them how much listening time you might need.
If they continue to assert their vision of how this product should be used I think Classe' would like to know how they're being represented. Classe' should be able to hook you up with a willing dealer.
Have fun shopping.
So far the consensus is go with the classe. I am leaning more towards the D2v one because of it's flexibility and features but also, because the dealer I would buy this from is great. I was hoping that a few D2 folks would chime in. I did take a gander at tha Arcam av888 it seemed nice, anyone out there have any further opinions?
Just my two cents...
I too was very disappointed with my Classe in-store demo. The SQ was extremely disappointing. I was also disappointed with the OSD and the screen resolution/quality on the unit. However, I was very impressed with the build quality. In fact, I almost walked away from Classe. But after hearing such great reviews on the SQ, I insisted trying the unit at home with my own setup. WOW! What a difference. The SSP-800 elevated the SQ of my home setup to a whole new level (clarity of detail, soundstage, dynamics). I have spent several years looking for, researching, and auditioning processors. The SQ on every other unit was only a small incremental improvement on my system (including the Anthem D2 w/o ARC). BTW - My experience with other room equalizers has been that at best they fine tune the sound (i.e. tweaking the soundstage and enabling your speakers to work together better) and are not game changers like I experienced with the SSP-800.
Admittedly, there is a high price to pay for the Classe both financially and in terms of lack of features. For me, SQ is paramount and the home demo really sold me.
I just ordered a Classe SSP-800, it's replacing my Anthem D2 with ARC.
I look forward to hearing the differences between the two. Hope to get by Christmas. I plan to use the XTZ Room EQ kit with Classe's manual EQ to help out with any issues my room has.
You will love it. I think you will find the voice to sound more natural and clear. Does the XTZ EQ do five channels?
Yes. It's what Kal Rubinson recommended for using with Classe's manual EQ. And since he has used it and reviewed it I take his word for it.
I have heard several people say it sounds let's digital and more natural.
I was never able to actually directly compare the two, but I have heard glowing reviews of Classe's sound quality from several owners.
JWM, I want to be clear, the XTZ is a room Analyzer.
The XTZ measures whatever you feed it to. You can feed it to one channel, some channels or all channels. For EQ, use a single channel to develop the filters but pairs/multiples to confirm results.
The results with the XTZ Pro II were great with
The Classe. Sounds so much better!
I briefly heard some Classe equip (2 ch? ...multi ch?) playing stereo music at a CES demo in the Venetian this past week. I wasn't there for the equipment, and briefly ran in and out of the room to get to the next stop on my list. What I did remember, besides what exactly I was listening to, was how refined and "hi-end" sounding the setup was, and what was coming out of the system, and was nicely assured of the prowess of what Classe still offers in electronics! Yes, the sound was overall superb.
I presume the same passion level of excellence would be meticulously passed on to the hi-end only company's other products, regardless, no doubt! That said, the assumption is that you will be treated to no less when it came to high end sound reproduction from the SSP800, yes?!
My presumption (only mine) is that a safe bet would be that the Classe likely trumps the potential of the Anthem, all things equal and considered.
I wish the Classe had auto room correction built in like the Anthem! ARC makes such a big improvement to my system. I would like to try the Classe, but I don't think that I would want to live without ARC!
I guess I also don't have any real complaints about the audio quality with the D2/ARC. It sounds pretty damn good actually.
I do consulting in sound and vision. I had many stereo highend systems. I did now have surround because the quality was not good enough want I wanted. Until roomcorrection. It breings surround to a level which I am happy with. Without it I would not want surround even for free. Wenn you have highend systems 3 dimensional sound is a pre, or you miss an important part in realistic sound. That was the reason why I sold my Nautilus 800S. B&W is very poor in 3d imaging. Wenn you want to go further in quality you have to stop with some brands. Classe is a brand what is very capable of depth. But without roomcorrection you never get that level which is superior. In the past I owned the Pass Labs XA100.5 and XP-20. Now I use the Pass labs X250.0 and Onkyo PR-SC5509. The grazy thing is; I have an extreem 3d image even with stereo. Onkyo ( Integra) is the only brand which can play deep behind the speakers. Brand like Arcam, Marantz, Denon are all 2 dimensional. I sold these brands for many years and I tested them many times. For me it is as simple as 1 and 1 is 2 what it is capable for in quality and properties. With Audessey Pro I got a level what I never thought it would be possible in surround. Focus on instruments and how clear a voice sounds go's more easily than wenn I used the XP-20. There is one limitation. You need to know a lot about sound to use Audessey pro. For most consumers it is not an easy system to use. I measure at different hights than Audessey does. But at the end I get an higher level in quality they get. Wenn I play stereo my sub is fully stealth with the other speakers. These days I set my sub to 120hz. This sets everything to an higher level. You need a subwoofer without bass reflex system and a big speaker unit only on the front side. Alle other kinds of subs I tested all failled in tests to become fyll stealth. I hate wenn a sub is to slow and not fully stealth. Most subs you can throw in the garbage bag. Only with a good roomcorrection system like Audessey pro your speakers incl. sub become one. Wenn you do not use this you always can easily hear the flaw's. For me it is perfect sound or nothing. There is never a solution in between.
I had the Anthem D2 with ARC and it was very good. But the Classe SSP-800 surpasses it by quite a bit. And using the XTZ Pro II room analyzer with
Classe's manual EQ I think I got even better results than with the ARC.
Definitely the 800 w/ XTZ pro. Heard both a few times.
Also heard the MX150..be glad you can't afford it...IMHO.
In the 150's price range look at used Theta Casa'2 w/ at least one Extreme card and HDMI upgrade to level 3.
nutreez - so are you saying you didn't like the MX150?
I am not trying to brand bash but I have heard better at the price point.
Especially at used prices.
Bo I have a friend who swears by Onkyo.
What's your spin on the Sherbourn PT7030?
Can't agree more on your comments on the front channels.Legacy's Whisper XDs are great in the front.
I am from Holland, in the US there are a lot more brands in audio. Sherbourn is not available overhere. I cannot Judge about the brands I don't know. The biggest difference about Onkyo is that it like the best highend pre-amps can give a wide and deep stage. This is very uncommon in this pricetag. Most competitors like Denon, Marantz, NAD, Cambridge etc are almost 2-dimensional. They do not have a lot of depth.
That's why I stick to the onkyo PRsc5509, its cheap but does a pretty good job. the classes with external room correction is a better approach. For convenience sake the onkyo wins.
I can let people hear the difference between Audyssey roomcorrection on and off. But I also can let them hear the difference between Audyssey EQ and Audyssey on and off. So I can let people hear my way of measuring. Because it is so much better in dynamics and resolution wenn it is used compared to off. My way of measurement is superior to what Audyssey uses there measurement. Nice to hear people are that stunned what it does.
Back to the subject matter, having had both, I think the Classe
Ssp-800 Is superior in sound quality to the Anthem having
I went from an SSP-800 to a Bryston SP3 and am very happy with the change. I'd take a look at the Bryston