Classé’s handsome CP-800 stereo preamp/processor follows a recent industry trend to combine preamp, high-resolution digital processing, and support for computer and Apple product interfaces in a single unit. Anyone with a stereo CD transport, conventional CD player, or DVD player with digital output can take advantage of the CP-800’s superior digital processing capability. In addition, its asynchronous USB connection, which allows you to import music from computers as well as your iPod, iPhone, or iPad, is designed to yield audiophile-grade sound from lossless and high-resolution files.
The unit’s preamp section includes a dedicated subwoofer output and balanced and single-ended auxiliary outputs that can be configured to drive additional subs, bi-amp the left and right channels, or feed speakers in another room. To ensure superior control of bass response, the CP-800 even includes bass management and parametric EQ features usually found only in separate units. Complete with five pairs of inputs (2 XLR, 3 RCA), a wide-range of digital inputs including AES/EBU and optical, a 16×9 touchscreen, and graphical user interface, this extremely versatile $5,000 unit deserves your attention. (514.636.6384, classeaudio.com)