Upgrade from Classe SSP 800 processor

Hey there,
I’ve been using the Classe SSP 800 in my dedicated home theater room for a while now and while its sound quality is spectacular I think it’s time for me to explore a new current processor that can decode new surround sound formats eg Dolby Atmos, DTS-X, Auro 3D, etc.
Any suggestions?

My SSP 800 has been used strictly for surround sound (home theater) as I do have a separate dedicated stereo setup and system in a separate two-channel listening room. So that said, the new processor will also be used strictly for home theater (surrounds).

My current home theater gears are the following :
* Oppo UDP 205.
* Sony 4k OLED tv (85").
* Classe SSP 800.
* Classe Delta CAM-600 monoblock amps to power my front LR speakers.
* Classe Delta CAM-300 monoblock amp (single) to power my center speaker.
* Classe Delta CA-2300 five-channel amp to power my surrounds.
* B&W 800 D3 front speakers.
* B&W 800 HTML1 D3 center speaker.
* B&W 804 D3 & 805 D3 for surrounds.
*JL Audio Gotham subwoofer.
* 2 of Audioquest Niagara 7000 power product.

I am going to start working on remodeling my dedicated HT room in order to accommodate additional overhead speakers for Atmos setup. And when I get a new processor I will also need to get additional multi-channel amps to power additional speakers necessary.
I might get rid of my B&W 804 D3 & 805 D3 surround speakers and get the B&W 800 D3 in-wall or on-wall speakers for surrounds instead. 

Any ideas as to what new av preamp processor to get? The one that’s capable of decoding Dolby Atmos & DTS-X. But I'm keeping all the Classe Delta series power amps and will need additional multi-channel amps to power additional overhead speakers etc possibly another Classe amps. 

Thanks in advance guys.


Thanks so much for your insight. I assumed that the lyngdorf would be better than my classe when it came to HT, especially with Room Perfect, which I know will make a significant difference in my room.

As much as I want Dolby Atmos, I realize that the only way to truly know is to try it in my system but I’m a bit hesitant and already suspected that the lyngdorf, with its high price tag, might not equal my Classe/a10 combo, which I’m really happy with. 

You’re correct when you say that the classe is well balanced. It’s such a musical processor. I’ve gone thru about 8 or 9 hi-end pre/pros in the last 20 years and without a doubt, the Classe bested them all by a lot when in came to 2ch performance.

It wouldve made my decision so much easier if the lyngdorf had analog inputs. Not sure why they decided to forgo that option. Not too many options left for me if I’m not happy with the lyngdorf. Not really sure I want to go back to the classe either after parting with it and experiencing Dolby Atmos with a Room Perfect. :(

Thanks again..


Even when used for surround sound movies or HT the SSP 800 has more body and volume and is more balanced tonally than the Lyngdorf IMO but the Lyngdorf MP-50 sounded more exciting with better clarity, tad better details, resolution and better stirring of the surround sound than the SSP 800. I give credits to Room Perfect as it made big difference. For surrounds or HT with Room Perfect properly set up and calibrated there's no ringing to the sound as it's so crystal clear and very clean and more three dimensionals with the Lyngdorf MP-50 but at the same time It's somewhat lean and thinner lacking body and volume in comparison to the SSP 800, at least in my own setup and system. It might sound different in different setup and system. Or it's possible that the SSP 800 had better synergy with all my Classe Delta series class AB amps and B&W 800 series D3 speaker system in my dedicated HT room. 

Or you can get the Classe Sigma SSP Mk2 processor that supports Dolby Atmos, DTS-X and 4K and stuff. The Sigma SSP is optimized for stereo and its stereo performance is actually better than the SSP 800. The Sigma SSP is a quieter design than the SSP 800. The Sigma SSP's USB DAC input sounded really good for stereo music materials and sounded way better than its other digital inputs for stereo music playbacks. The Sigma SSP has XLR & RCA stereo analog audio inputs so you can connect your Aurender A10 using XLR analog into the Sigma SSP and set the Sigma SSP in bypass mode like what you're doing with your SSP 800 right now. The Sigma SSP actually sounded better than the SSP 800 when used as a stereo preamp. But the SSP 800 will perform and sound better for surrounds (HT) as all channels in the SSP 800 are all true differential or fully balanced design whereas with the Sigma SSP, only the front LR channels are true differential or fully balanced design and the remaining channels are single-ended design but they are still very good. 

The Classe Sigma SSP Mk2 retails for $6k new and I believe is no longer in production since Classe was acquired by Sound United in January 2018. If you look at the back panels on the Sigma SSP it looks more like a stereo preamp/DAC processor than a HT multi-channel preamp surround processor. The connectivities on the Sigma SSP is very limited and has the least connections compared to all other HT processors as the Sigma SSP is optimized for stereo. 
Classe originally designed the Sigma SSP for stereo or as a stereo preamp but later decided to add center and surround channels and HDMI av board into it and integrated it into a HT pre pro. 

But for surrounds the Lyngdorf MP-50 will be much better choice than the Sigma SSP and will perform better than the Sigma SSP. Hands down. If you go with the Lyngdorf MP-50 I suggest that you get a dedicated stereo analog preamp with HT bypass mode so that you can connect your Aurender A10 going analog into a stereo analog preamp. There are countless options out there. But the whole thing will cost you way more. 

Or alternatively you can try connecting your Aurender A10 using either spdif (coax digital) or AES/EBU digital into the Lyngdorf MP-50 and see how it will sound. I've heard from other Lyngdorf MP-50 users in other forums that the NP-50's DAC sounded very good when used for streaming stereo music materials. 
I personally never tried it as I'm using my Lyngdorf strictly for surround movies or HT as this is my dedicated HT room. 
I don't listen to stereo music in this HT room. I have a separate reference stereo setup/system in a separate dedicated two-channel listening room.
The bryston sp3 is the best preamp for both stereo and surround that I have heard.  It replaced my classe ssp30.  At $15k the new sp4 is just too expensive but Im excited to hear it one day.  
Yes indeed the Bryston SP3 is really good when used as an analog stereo preamp in bypass mode for stereo music playbacks, actually a tad better than both the Classe SSP 800 or the Sigma SSP in this regard.

However, for surrounds or HT it lacks room correction. The Classe SSP 800 or the Sigma SSP also lack auto room correction software but at least Classe provides a manual PEQ (Parametrix EQ) eventhough it isn’t as effective as good room corrections such as Room Perfect, ARC, Dirac Live.
The Bryston SP3 does not even have a manual PEQ and does not support 4k, Dolby Atmos, DTS-X or Auro 3-D.
btw22 is looking for a processor that can support latest formats and codecs.
The SP4 supports the latest formats but it’s $15k. Not sure if btw22 is willing to drop $15k for a HT processor.

How old was your Classe SSP30? It must have been 15 to 20 yrs old?
I knew the fact that prior to the SSP 800 there was SSP600. I couldn’t recall about the SSP30 though.
The SSP 800 sounded night and day better than the SSP 600. They aren’t in the same league sonically.

I haven't had a chance to respond, but honestly I think that caphill summarized it perfectly; especially," Even when used for surround sound movies or HT the SSP 800 has more body and volume and is more balanced tonally than the Lyngdorf IMO but the Lyngdorf MP-50 sounded more exciting with better clarity, tad better details, resolution and better stirring of the surround sound than the SSP 800."  He's dead on.   

The MP-50 is a great surround sound processor and I really like the room correction.   However the SSP-800 is what I would call a processor that is really designed for music as well as movies.   I miss hearing the music scores from movies through the SSP(ie Lord of the Rings trilogy) that would really pull you in to the movie.    The more neutral sound of the MP-50 makes dialogue, etc more clearer, though, but the music through the SSP800 is very nice.

One note, I have found that changing power cords on the MP-50 changed the sonic character of it a bit. 

First that I'm hearing that Classe may make a high end processor again to replace the 800.   I'm interested to see what they come up with!