Marsh A400S vs. Classe CA-200 or CA-201?


Any comparisons between these two?

I have a Classe CP-35 preamp with phono preamp. I listened to a fair amount of gear at the time, and decided that I preferred the Classe sound, although it is not the most transparent gear out there.

Now I am ready to upgrade from my Rotel amp (has served me well, but it was a placeholder until I could afford better). Looking for high-quality, smooth 200WPC.

Speakers are Celestion S300s - older speakers I got used, somewhat of a "bright" and power-hungry reputation, nice clarity in high end. Must keep for another year or two at least. CD source is an old Yamaha being replaced shortly. $150 Denon belt-drive TT, which I may replace next year.

Local Classe dealer is slowly getting out of 2-channel, so I am unlikely to be able to listen to CA-200 or CA-201 in advance, so had figured on buying one used (hopefully for $1500 or less). I want to support dealers, but only if they can help me with an audition. I was hoping that since I liked the "sound" of the preamp, that the amp would also be pleasing.

A new fellow just started up his business in town, the similarly-priced amp he sells is the Marsh A400s. I haven't been able to hear it yet, but he is getting one in. I would buy it new from him (don't believe in listening and buying elsehwhere).

Other local option is Mcintosh (I haven't spent any time listening). Have also casually considered Stratos, because they have generous return policy.

Eclectic music, leaning to jazz/blues/older rock/folk. Currenly even mix of CDs/LPs. Room is somewhat bright and large.

Sorry to go on. I suspect I would like the Classe, but am nervous about "sight unheard" and would love to hear from people who have heard these amps.



p.s. Any word on differences (other than cosmetic) between the CA-200 and CA-201?
No difference between 200 and 201 - just cosmetic.
Quite frankly I think you're doing this backwards. If you're thinking about upgrading your speakers too, I'd recommend buying them first and then buy an amp that mates well with the speakers. I know people argue this both ways, but I've found building a system is easier if you get the speakers right first. Best of luck.