Need feedback on Classe amps


I read the Classe CAM-350 review in Stereophile and the reviewer said the amps sounded a bit lean and lacked the warmth and weight of other amps he has tried.

I thought all Classe amps were the anything but lean but rather full, rich and warm. Do these new monoblocks have a different sonic signature than the traditional Classe series house sound?

yes they are diffrent. They arent as dynamic as the older series but the older series was a little loose on the botom end. Also my findings where that the older series, yes, warm sounding but to warm in an all classe system. At times when a recording was on the warm side it was to much. Which can sometimes give the listner a false sense of realism. Thats why I go for a very neutral and natural sounding equipment. I own Levinson which I feel gives you the best of everything it doesnt add anything or take it away. What was recorded in the studio is what you get at home with no additives. And there are many great amps on the market today do alot of listening before you buy. WHAT EQUIPMENT ARE YOU USING NOW?(speakers,etc.)
The smaller Classe' amps were quite lean in my opinion with the larger models filling out quite a bit. Don't know about the newer stuff. Sean
Haven't heard the CAMs yet but the review was good, I have read threads where people think Classe is not dynamic but IMO that's a very general statement without considering the other components. I have a CA200 and it is plenty dynamic for me, I have CJ pre and have had Vandy 3A sigs and now Thiel 3.6's. The classe drives them both to their limits with no strain or congestion and as you know Thiels are a tough load. I'm on a concrete slab which makes a difference also in regard to bass response. The ca series has what Classe describes as ultra high current and I can tell you from experience you have to be careful with aftermarket power cords or you get a fat midbass. To answer your question the ca series does sound rich, full and dynamic and nicely balanced, warm but not overly warm IMO. That's my opinion - hope it helps.
I would agree with Pops in that Classe' amps are "sturdy" and can drive difficult loads. My little Classe' 70 ( 75 / 150 / 300 wpc with 3 db's of headroom ) could easily drive some very low impedance / low sensitivity speakers that my Bryston 4B ( 250 / 400 wpc with 2 db's of headroom ) had a fit with. Just goes to show that not all amps are created equal when it comes to reactive loads, REGARDLESS of "ratings" or "specs". That is why so many of us stress system synergy and compatability. Sean
For what its worth, I auditioned the CAM350s in my system for an extended weekend driving Thiel CS7.2s. I found the sound to be engaging, vivid and dynamic. Less bland sounding then a CA300 I auditioned a few years back. I have auditioned the ML No.336 in my system. It has more body and weight then the CAM350s although I find the bottom end of the 336 to be somewhat heavy sounding (in my system and room). The CAM350s may be thinner sounding but maintain a nice tonal balance from the bottom up. Based on my experience with the CAM350s and some reservations I had with the No.336 I ended up with the Classe Omicron.
Tom, I'm considering a move from my Classe CA 300 to the Omicron. How would you characterize the Omicron compared to CA series amps and the Levinson?
Overall the Omicron is more refined and is fuller sounding then the CAM350s, yet it retains the CAM350s richly detailed and open midrange quality. The treble is more delicate and there is more detail resolution. It also sounds more effortless and powerful, with solid dynamics and good pace. The bass is a shade softer then the 336's, but its better balanced, and more limber sounding. Resolution and soundstage are also the equal, if not better, then the ML No.336. An easy recommendation for Thiel owners.