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Despite its great versatility, the Delta PRE has a beautifully simple appearance. A power button, a touch display, a menu button, a USB input, a headphone connection and a volume knob, that’s it. No hidden buttons behind a large flap as is often the case with home cinema amplifiers. While the Delta PRE is indeed a pure stereo component, it does offer a Home Cinema Pass-through so that it can be used in an existing cinema setup.
The Delta Pre’s volume knob is something special by the way. Firstly, it feels solid and weighty and it runs wonderfully smooth and evenly without even the slightest play. That is something that I have only seen so beautifully implemented with Jeff Rowland preamps. […] Secondly, the Classé’s volume can be set extremely precisely in 0.25dB steps. That’s something I’ve never seen before.
Whether the Delta PRE is paired with the accompanying Delta Stereo amplifier or with the [Swiss] CH Precision A1.5 amplifier, and whether it is used as a purely analog pre-amplifier, as a DAC or as a combination, it always sounds consistent and always very well-balanced. The pre-amp manages to always achieve the same excellent sonic balance between neutrality, openness, warmth and smoothness in every mode.
At 4 times less the price than the [Swiss] CH Precision C1 DAC, the Classé Delta PRE not only fulfills the function of a DAC and Analog Pre-Amplifier but also offers extensive Network Streaming functionality. […] When streaming, the Delta Pre again performs at a very high level and always with the same even-handed balance as with traditional digital sources.
The Delta PRE is a particularly well-balanced device that always performs well under all circumstances. No matter how it is used, as a pre-amp, DAC, streaming endpoint, or a combination, it always possesses the same sonic virtues. Tonally full and robust yet open and communicative with a hint of smoothness, the Delta Pre offers precisely the right balance between ‘revealing’ and ‘relaxing’.