Classe CAM350 Monoblock Amplifiers 350W Made in Canada
Sweet sounding solid state mono blocks from Canadian company Classe Audio.
First thing we noticed when testing these beasts is the unique internal component layout and parts quality. Instead of using a small number of storage capacitors, it utilizes a large number of of them with the hopes of improving reliability and speed. Parts quality is of the highest level, utilizing resistors and passive components of the tightest tolerances, and a power transformer capable of driving an arc welder. There are several high quality epoxy PC boards stacked in what is a manageable and compact cabinet without overcrowding.
In the listening room these amps drove our reference EgglestonWorks Andras with ease and articulation. Not a hint of strain even at the loudest levels.
It's simple in design and also operation. There is a single power button on the front and an LED that blinks red while warming up, turning to solid when ready. On boot up you hear lots of protection relays engaging over its warm up period, indicating this is a well thought out design with great protection circuitry.
The test bench is where these amps showed their true capabilities. While we were not able to drive these to their full power as our test gear maxes out at 300W, they went right to our limit without any distortion or significant increase in THD. All caps are healthy and there are no signs of them ever being over worked or abused.
Cosmetically the amps are great, just the occasional light scuff or scratch from handling. Nothing noticeable unless you are closely inspecting. The faceplates are near perfect.
CAM-350 - 350W MONAURAL AMPLIFIER
One chassis - One channel. The monaural Classé CAM-350 is developed using the knowledge gained from the development of our spectacular OMEGA Series amplifiers. Now you can place each channel right at each speaker. This enables you to have very short speaker wire lengths to each speaker, no matter whether it is driving a center channel, or a fine two channel system, or all the channels of a five or six or more surround sound setup.
We knew we were embarking on a great adventure when we started the cost-no-barrier design exercise that culminated in the development of the OMEGA Series of amplifiers and preamplifiers. Through the exercise we discovered the revolutionary OMEGA circuit design, which has no sonic equal. We have been using variations of the OMEGA circuitry on several new amplifiers, including the CA-201, CA-301, CA-401 and the five channel CAV-500.
The CAM-350 has inherited many of the sonic benefits of the technology of our OMEGA discoveries, and it represents on its own a long step forward in amplifier design. Each CAM-350 is a true symmetrical circuit, and is balanced from input to output, much like an OMEGA. The amplifier has an oversized, superbly regulated power supply, and a multitude of fast, high current output devices. Because the CAM-350 is balanced from input to output it has a greatly enhanced signal to noise ratio, lower induced common-mode distortion, and freedom from grounding problems.
The power supply of a CAM-350 includes a massive, shielded toroid transformer and a large number of small capacitors. Each amplifier uses a large collection of small sized high-value power supply capacitors. Small capacitors "drain" and "refill" extremely rapidly and completely, supplying all the power required when the source demands it. A faster, cleaner power supply allows us a higher degree of accurate voltage regulation throughout the circuitry. This ensures that no matter what program material is being played at whatever level, the power supply voltages at all the various stages of amplification will remain constant.
The fast, oversized power supply allows the amplifier to deliver the full current and voltage required to virtually any load. The CAM-350 delivers sound that is clean, liquid and effortless. Imaging, with the better recordings we all enjoy listening to, is both wide and deep. In fact, imaging seems real and human, without the artificial hard edges so common in lesser amplification.
The Classé CAM-350 will give your favorite recordings and Movies a new life. It will be as if everything you hear is new and you will be able to listen to them again and again.