Classé vs Rotel

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by MikeFinn, May 12, 2018.

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  1. MikeFinn

    MikeFinn
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    Hello,

    I have some questions about Classé, especially their 2200i. I hope that you can help me.

    At first I looked at the Rotel RA-1592, but the dealer closest to me also has Classé. It is almoust double in price, so how much extra do I get? I am not a great expert, so I was thinking I might not hear a difference at all.

    Are there any Classé owners here? What do you think about combining the 2200i with B&W 702 S2 and Marantz ND8006? Not sure about cables, perhaps Nordost's Red Dawn or Kimber Kable 8TC.

    Someone wrote online that you should not use an RCA cable to connect a player, so what should I use instead?
     
  2. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Can't comment on the difference between the Classe and the Rotel, both are very good amps. Both the units have DACs and the Marantz can be connected to both either by digital or RCA. As the Marantz has it's own DAC it really depends on which DAC does the best job. If you prefer the Marantz then connect to the amp by RCA. If, on the other hand you prefer the sound of the DAC on either of the amps then connect the Marantz by digital as the ND8006 will give you the ability to use either out.

    Is there any reason why you want an amp with it's own DAC?
     
  3. MikeFinn

    MikeFinn
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    No special reason. Also, I was told that Classé has no DAC because they don't need one.

    So if I use let's say an HDMI cable, the RA-1592s DAC will work instead of Marantz's? Rotel of course has their own player, could use that one.
     
  4. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    The Marantz does not have HDMI out, therefore if you wish to use the DAC on the Rotel then you would have to use optical or coax. If the Marantz is going to be the only thing connected to the Rotel then I have to ask why as it really doesn't make sense.

    There are four HDMI in on the Rotel, plus a DAC and a streamer. The Marantz also has a very good DAC and a streamer. I know very little about streamers as I really have no need or interest. So there is built in redundancy on both units. If you are not going to make use of the Rotel's DAC, streamer and HDMI and we've already ruled out using HDMI for the Marantz connection then there is little point in buying one, same goes for the Classe.

    You would be far better off using the budget of around £2K to get a pure stereo amp where the vast majority of the build budget going into the amp instead of being split between several other onboard devices. Indeed the amp itself would probably not perform any better than a £1K Rotel amp.

    The Marantz has a very good DAC, it's almost identical to the one than is onboard my SA8005 which I have connected to a Rega Elicit R amp by RCA. In unison they both sound superb. I would take a £2K budget and look at pure stereo amps. There is also the consideration of what speakers they will be driving.

    Below is are links to amps that I have either heard or auditioned.

    Roksan Caspian M2 Amplifier
    REGA Elicit-R Amplifier
    Naim NAIT XS 2 Amplfier
     
  5. Jodel

    Jodel
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    I have a similar setup to the one you are describing and I'm very happy with the Rotel / B&W pairing, which is good enough to keep me sat listening for hours at a time.

    My local dealer also stocks Classe and several high end brands. I didn't bother to audition Classe against the Rotel as I felt I had already reached 'Satis-Fi' level with the Rotel.

    I don't doubt that more money would bring a better (or just different?) sound, but I've always tended to believe that the sweet-spot in Hi-Fi is at the upper end of mid-range gear where the ratio of decent sound quality versus value for money is at its strongest. I think diminishing returns kick in big time once you get beyond this price point.

    I listened to the B&W CM9's and CM10's when I bought my kit and the difference between the CM 9 and CM 10 was quite clear (literally!). The CM 10's were 50% more expensive and did sound better - but certainly not 50% better. I doubt if I'd gain that much more sound quality (in my listening environment) by spending much more cash than I have already.

    I know it's a hackneyed comment, but the best guide to sound quality is you. If it sounds good to you, that is all that matters. If you prefer the sound of the Classe, then buy it.
     

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