In the world of consumer high-performance audio there are two basic approaches manufacturers take. The first is to engineer and develop solutions ahead of the curve. The other popular method is to wait the trends out and just simply build the best possible product based on current market conditions.
Coming to market using the first of the two approaches is Classe. A perfect example of how the company innovates in the high-performance A/V market can be found in its latest product, the newly announced Sigma 2200i Integrated Amplifier.
Classe says that it engineered the Sigma 2200i with a design that connects the output of the unit's preamp section DSP directly to the input of the amplifier DSP. Through this design Classe explains this concept eliminates digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion issues, and with its shortened signal path, the design also minimizes signal loss.
The integrated amp's front end features Classe's Sigma SSP preamplifier/processor two-channel design that includes inputs for USB A, USB B; Ethernet for streaming Apple AirPlay and DLNA, coax, optical, and analog XLR and RCA inputs. Classe also points out that it offers an analog phono input option, and the 2200i's front end also includes four HDMI inputs to allow dealers to connect everything from cable set-top boxes (STBs) and Blu-ray players, to Apple TVs and gaming consoles.
Not forgetting the interface and control portion of the A/V experience, the Sigma 2200i incorporates a touchscreen that provides access to functions such as tone control, a nine-band parametric EQ per channel and subwoofer output options. Classe also offers IP control through its control app, which is available on the iOS and Android platforms.
Utlizing a 3U-tall chassis, Classe notes that 2U of the chassis houses the integrated amp's internal components, while the remaining 1U houses a cooling system that includes a quiet-running fan that pulls air through the chassis to keep “the circuitry at a comfortable operating temperature while extending the life of the electronic components.”
Classe adds the Sigma 2200i's amplifier section employs the same power supply, DSP and circuitry from the company's AMP2 amplifier, and it emphasizes, this power section enables the integrated amp to effectively drive just about any loudspeaker on the market, including its sister company Bowers & Wilkins' (B&W) new 800 series of products.