Review: Classe Audio CAV-150 Multichamp

Category: Amplifiers

I am primarily a jazz listener, and as such use recordings from Dave Bruebeck, Ray Bryant, and Miles Davis to test equipment. I have a combined music/home theater system with an emphasis on two channel music. The most important aspect of sound when testing equipement is warmth, air and pace. A system that exhibited hardness or boomey bass would immediately turn me off.

The Classe CAV-150 has been in my theater/music system for about a year now and replaced and EAD 5 channel amp. The EAD was a powerful piece, but lacked the warmth and pace that I am always looking for.

The Classe's strengths include good control of bass, great air without sounding at all hard, and flexibility due to it's ability to serve 6-channel home theater duty. This amp comes close to tube sound without the headaches.

The only weakness would be the last bit of bass control. I feel this is due to using a speaker that is very hard to drive and very power hungry (Thiels). I believe that with the majority of medium to high sensitivety speakers this would not be a problem. Great amp and worth every penny!

Associated gear
Cary 303 CD Player
Acurus ACT3 Preamp/Processor
Thiel CS 3.6 Speakers

Similar products
Aragon 5 channel
EAD 5 channel
Aragon 4004 mkII
I also have a CAV-150 which I bridged to 3 channels (300 watts per channel) to serve my center and surrounds (all B&W Nautilus, non-diamond). I have a CA-301 driving my B&W 802s. The performance has been phenomenal; great bang for the buck.

I originally had the CAV driving all five speakers which led to a complete lack of bass (it was almost like the lows on the 802s were unhooked), the dedicated 301 solved that immediately.


What kind of preamp you use with your CAV-150? I really want to try Classe CAV-150, but I do not like the shape of Classe SSP and their price is high.