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Classé Sigma SSP and AMP5 Setup and Use

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Setting up the Sigma SSP and AMP5 combination was simple and straightforward.  However, because of the keen ability to fine tune the Sigma SSP to the nuances of your setup, I strongly recommend that prospective buyers lay out their setup on paper or work with their dealer in advance to have everything mapped out.  

Input Configurations

You can easily create different configurations.  Each input is independently assignable.

Custom Input Names

Via the OSD, you can custom name any input.  All custom names are reflected in the units's TFT display, the OSD, and the iOS app.

Remember, the Sigma SSP is incredibly flexible: all inputs can be custom named; inputs can be assigned on the fly; preferred sound modes can be set on a source by source basis; and settings can be fine-tuned to suit your specific taste.  Should you accidentally mess up your installation, dealers have the ability to archive/backup settings on the unit and then restore them at a later time.

Crossover Frequency

The Classé SSP gives you flexibility on how to handle your crossover on each speaker.  You can even assign different crossovers for each speaker for each configuration.  You have complete flexibility.

Something as simple as switching sources or audio modes showed Classé’s rabid attention to detail.  Unlike just about every other vendor who gives you a blunt, hard cutover, Classé will fade the audio out and back in so that you do not experience any loud pops or other audio problems that I’ve experienced with other receivers or pre-pros costing thousands.  Who needs a butler when you have the Classé Sigma series?  Using the Sigma SSP and AMP5 was like being pampered with white-glove attention to detail at every turn.  

Crossover Slope

You can set manually set the crossover slope at either 12db or 24db to suite your taste and your environment.

I loved the system’s CAN-bus (Controller Area Network) that allows multiple Classé components to talk to each other.  Connecting the CAN-bus controller with a standard Ethernet cable and the included RJ45-style terminator enabled the processor to give me real time status of the AMP5 and control it fully.  If I had multiple amplifiers or other components, I would have been able to select them from the SSP’s TFT screen and optionally control each one.

CAN-Bus

Via the Sigma SSP's CAN-bus controller, you can get detailed information on any Sigma-series component in your chain. For example,  I was able to get detailed information about the Sigma SSP and the operating temperature of the AMP5

Whatever you do on the unit is available in real-time on the available iOS app. I found the app to be a sleek, streamlined option for users who want basic remote functionality and will not be using home automation solutions like Crestron on Control4 with their installation.  I was disappointed that I could not natively integrate the Sigma SSP with my Roomie Remote installation to test advanced automation.  For advanced functionality, an RS-232 interface via an RJ45 connection is available on the rear of the unit.  You cannot configure or automate the Sigma SSP from the iOS app.

iOS App

The Classé iOS app allow you to control all basic functions of the Sigma SSP.

I did run into a small problem upon initial setup.  When I set up the units, the AMP5 emitted an annoying buzzing sound that I could hear clearly from nearly 30 feet away.  It sounded like the buzzing you get with a faulty transformer.  I spoke with Dave about this.  He indicated that I had an early production model of the AMP5.  A very small handful of the early AMP5 units had a minor manufacturing issue that had since been corrected. What I was describing sounded just like that symptom.

To confirm that was the case, Dave made a special trip to meet me one Saturday morning to check out the AMP5 first-hand.  Dave popped open the top of the AMP5 and, sure enough, it was the early manufacturing issue.  Dave was able to address it in mere minutes easily, on-site. Voila, just like that, the buzzing all but disappeared. 

Dave had just arrived from a trip to China the day before, so I want to express my sincere thanks to him for that effort.  This anomaly gave us a chance to spend several hours together.  Like most of us, Dave is a long-time audiophile.  I appreciated Dave’s deep and genuine passion for audio and Classé’s product line.

Minor problem aside, I was able to configure the Sigma SSP quickly and easily on my network.  In fact, all my iOS and Apple MacOS devices saw the Sigma SSP as a native AirPlay speaker.  If I selected the Sigma and played a song, it would automatically power up and start jamming out music.  Like all AirPlay solutions, sans AppleTV, the Sigma will only stream audio.  

Streaming sources

I was able to stream sources over AirPlay via the Sigma SSP's network (Ethernet) input.

Streaming audio from an iPhone or iPad via the front USB was simple and sounded really good.  I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I could charge my iPad from the SSP’s USB port!  Many AV units don’t deliver enough power over USB to charge an iPad.  I tip my hat to Classé on paying attention to such details.  

All in all, I found the Sigma to be super-easy to setup and configure to my taste and the plethora of inputs and connectivity solutions worked as expected out of the box.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

Alexandre posts on June 27, 2015 11:41
Alexandre, post: 1087631, member: 73792
Because the 2 components are in different rooms (the power amp is in a closet a little further away), I still want to go the trigger route. I'm going to play around with an Arduino but this also looks like a great option: http://www.nilesaudio.com/product.php?prodID=CS12V

I just installed the Niles Audio plug and it works perfectly! It even learns the standby draw of the device you're plugging to it which is really handy.
Alexandre posts on June 26, 2015 01:46
slipperybidness, post: 1087509, member: 56559
Get a power-sensing auto-on power strip for the amp. Problem solved.

Because the 2 components are in different rooms (the power amp is in a closet a little further away), I still want to go the trigger route. I'm going to play around with an Arduino but this also looks like a great option: http://www.nilesaudio.com/product.php?prodID=CS12V

Alexandre posts on June 25, 2015 13:58
slipperybidness, post: 1087553, member: 56559
You have a mistake in your logic. You avoid ground loops by insuring that you have only 1 return path to ground. One way to accomplish that would be to have all of your electronics plugged into the SAME outlet.

Right, thanks for the correction. And yes, I'm probably going to go the arduino route.
slipperybidness posts on June 25, 2015 13:09
Alexandre, post: 1087549, member: 73792
Thanks for the advice, in my setup, the amp is in a closet nearby while the SSP is under the TV, the 2 are plugged to different wall outlets so I'm not entirely sure the auto-on outlet would work for me but maybe (I was hoping to keep the amp plugged to a separate wall outlet to avoid ground loops and to avoid overloading that one outlet).

The other approach I'm thinking about might be a DIY arduino/CAN BUS/relay system… that could be a fun project… if I had time on my hands that is.

Alex.
You have a mistake in your logic. You avoid ground loops by insuring that you have only 1 return path to ground. One way to accomplish that would be to have all of your electronics plugged into the SAME outlet.

Yeah, an arduino or similar system would also do the trick, it really wouldn't be too tough to build at all.
Alexandre posts on June 25, 2015 12:36
slipperybidness, post: 1087509, member: 56559
Get a power-sensing auto-on power strip for the amp. Problem solved.

Thanks for the advice, in my setup, the amp is in a closet nearby while the SSP is under the TV, the 2 are plugged to different wall outlets so I'm not entirely sure the auto-on outlet would work for me but maybe (I was hoping to keep the amp plugged to a separate wall outlet to avoid ground loops and to avoid overloading that one outlet).

The other approach I'm thinking about might be a DIY arduino/CAN BUS/relay system… that could be a fun project… if I had time on my hands that is.

Alex.
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