- Written by Adrian Wittenberg
- Published on 10 April 2008
The Classé CDP-502 merges the video features of Classé's CDP-300 DVD player with the audio performance of the Classé CDP-202 CD transport. Its feature set includes support for CD, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, MP3, WMA, Video-CD, and S-VCD formats. It also has the ability to upscale SD video into high definition resolutions up to 1080p using the HDMI output.
- Standard Definition DVD Player
- Codecs: DVD-V, DVD-A, DD, DTS, CD
- MPEG Maker: Cirrus Logic
- MPEG Model: CS98000
- De-interlacer Maker: National Semiconductor
- De-interlacer Model: AVC2510
- Outputs: HDMI, Component, S-Video, Composite, Coaxial, Toslink Optical, RCA, XLR, AES/EBU
- Signal Output: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p60
- Dimensions: 4.75" H x 17.5" W x 16.5" D
- Weight: 35 Pounds
- MSRP: $8,000 USA
- Classé Audio
Top notch build quality is naturally what you'd expect from a player at this price point, and that is exactly what you get. In fact, the CDP-502 looks and feels like it is machined to a precise standard. Besides being a fairly hefty player, weighing in at 35 pounds, the CDP-502 is bulkier than most players on the market, measuring 4.75" tall, 17.5” wide, and 16.5” deep. The fit and finish are exquisite, and the features include a very rugged but elegant brushed metal chassis that curves in the front, special feet that are designed to stabilize the player and reduce vibrations, and a front panel that looks ultra-sophisticated because it is free from knobs and buttons.
Actually, all of the controls can be accessed via the small LCD screen on the front of the player which serves as a touchscreen interface and a preview screen.
One might wonder what the reason for having a preview screen on the front of a DVD player is for, when everything would already be output to a devoted home theater display. Well, as discussed later in this review, the audio performance of the CDP-502 is superlative, and probably the most practical use of this screen would be for navigation through source material without turning on a main display. How about an audio listening session of your favorite DVD-Audio disc without hearing the cooling fans of a projector for example?
There are also a couple of other design features on this player worth special mention. The CDP-502 uses a TEAC slot-loader mechanism to read discs. Besides giving the player a cleaner front panel, it also helps preserve the surface of discs by grabbing them from the edge.