This is the third generation of the Classé Delta series amplifiers and easily the best yet.
Many neat small touches add up to a highly accomplished design, including the custom Navcom feet with isolation control. The styling is modern and timeless, and the pair look fantastic stacked on top of one another. With either white on black VU meters or a touch panel display using a minimal amount of front panel buttons, it’s a seriously sophisticated aesthetic.
Delta PRE was conceptually based on the earlier Classé CP-800 preamp, with similarly styled casework and a front touch panel handling the settings and controls. However, it has received a suite of upgrades to make it one of the most complete and comprehensive preamps that I’ve experienced.
The Delta STEREO power amplifier is all about control, power and authority. It takes a very tight grip of the loudspeakers and forces them to perform to a really high level. It always feels powerful and refined and well within itself at all times, even when playing at extreme volume levels. […] The tonal balance is one of absolute naturalness and proficiency.
Freak, Go Home by Darkside is a track with lots of busy spatial panning from side-to-side, going well beyond apparent loudspeaker boundaries. It tests the elasticity of any system, and the Classé pair had no problems keeping up and accurately portraying a believable three-dimensional soundstage.
Well-recorded tracks came alive in my listening room, with Canto At Gabelmeister’s Peak by Alexandre Desplat filling the soundstage with excellent centre fill and having real depth. And don’t get me started with the superb handling of the very deep notes of the drum and pipe organ; it’s bordering on faultless and amongst the best that I’ve ever heard.
Classé’s new Delta PRE and STEREO amplifiers are a technical tour de force, with flawless performance, handling both digital and analogue sources with equal finesse. The former’s flexibility and capability is phenomenal, and it’s obvious that much care has gone into the design and manufacture of this pair with the overall build quality and finish up to the highest standards available anywhere.
Overall then, I have a newfound respect for Classé – quite honestly, there is no aspect of the sonic performance that I can criticise. This combination has abilities well beyond the asking price, so is heartily recommended.