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Classse SSP-800 Conclusion



As a multi channel solution for those who prefer just two, the SSP-800 succeeds admirably, providing superior two channel performance and flexible speaker customization options geared to allow the consolidation of what some would consider two separate systems into one.  As a multi channel audio/video preamplifier/processor, the SSP-800 provides all of the necessities with a clear focus on audio quality, but only perfunctory video functionality.

In a multi-channel setting, I found the sound quality of the SSP-800 preamplifier/processor to be quite detailed, revealing much about the inner workings of the source material it was fed, but never to the point of sounding harsh or overly analytical.  All of that detail was presented with an ever-larger envelope to the surround field at volume, with just enough warmth to keep it balanced. 

Inner detail could be discerned using the Classe at all levels of sonic intensity and it easily kept delicacy from colliding with power into musical unintelligibility.

In an analog two-channel setting, the SSP-800 proved more than capable of playing the role of replacement to a dedicated stereo preamplifier.  The SSP-800 was effectively neck and neck with my reference preamplifier, trading off in tonal balance and slight levels of perceptible detail.

While it may seem that I picked on some of the marketing bluster and documentation a bit, the SSP-800 is never the less an excellent surround sound processor with superb audio reproduction capabilities.  The output voltages alone put the SSP-800 in rare company, as it will drive the heck out of whatever amplifier with which it is paired.

The performance of the SSP-800 will likely pull and push all the other gear in a home theater, particularly the power amplifier, in all but the very finest systems to overachieve.  What can be said that is bad about that?

So if you are in the market for a statement quality A/V preamplifier/processor that is clearly more A than V, it is definitely worth looking at the Classe SSP-800.


USA & Canada • Classé Audio Inc.

5070 François Cusson • Lachine • Quèbec • Canada • H8T 1B3

Tel +1.514.636.6384 • Fax +1.514.636.1428

www.classeaudio.com • email: [email protected]

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
Frequency Response LinearityStarStarStarStarStar
Multi-channel Audio PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
Two-channel Audio PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
Bass ManagementStarStarStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStar
Remote ControlStarStarStarStar
About the author:
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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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Recent Forum Posts:

surveyor posts on August 24, 2013 06:10
And you can obtain this for just $327.59 a pound!
surveyor, post: 983921
Classe- waste of money, IMO!
surveyor posts on August 22, 2013 12:25
3db, post: 983902
Nice shiny box….

Classe- waste of money, IMO!
3db posts on August 22, 2013 10:46
Nice shiny box….
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