Secrets Product Review

Classé CA-5200 Five-Channel Power Amplifier

Part III

November, 2005

John E. Johnson, Jr.


In Spielberg's latest film, War of the Worlds (2005), we are presented with a similar dilemma, namely human voices with a lot of special effects going on at the same time.

At the beginning, when Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) and his daughter Rachel (Dakota Fanning) look at the strange clouds forming over their town, the winds howl around them while they talk about the storm. It is so important to have an amplifier that does not mush up the midrange with current-hungry effects that would otherwise make voices not understandable.

As the story intensifies, and the invaders destroy the countryside, power is the name of the game, and the CA-5200 never ran out of steam. (All screen shots copyright with the respective studios.)

Now that 5.1 music is common, a multi-channel power amplifier is expected to play all types of CDs, as well as DVD-As and SACDs, and not sound like it would rather just be blowing out the windows.

For example, with this new Telarc multi-channel SACD release (2SACD-60628) of several Mahler pieces, the delicacies of the orchestra, off-stage brass, and baritone voice were conveyed in a superb manner with the CA-5200. And even with seemingly quiet passages, don't forget that leading edge transients can still demand high current, even for just an instant. This is especially so with the incredible dynamic range that high resolution music has these days (DVD-A and SACD).


The Classé CA-5200 is a magnificent amplifier, worthy of any home theater and audio system. It has power to plumb the depths of any movie, and yet maintain an intricate feeling of detail, all the while that the room may be shaking with sound effects or musical passages.

Classé has always built reference quality products, and the CA-5200 continues that trend. It's a knockout!

- John E. Johnson, Jr. -

© Copyright 2005 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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