Quantcast

My Classe CA-400 go boom!!!!

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

stesom

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
146
Reaction score
0
Location
Eden Prarie, MN
Well after many years of faithful service, my Classe CA-400 went silent. So sad, as I was listening to the Sheffield Drum Record at volume that would put me a few feet away from the drum kit. At first, I thought I lost one of my Summits, but after swapping amps I was happy to find out that the speakers are fine. Another thread said you can’t blow these things up and I think it is true.

Anyway it may cost me a couple of $K to repair the amp. Which is a shame since it is really a nice amp. But it makes one think is it time to consider a change.

I really like the philosophy of Nelson Pass and his First Watt offerings. I can borrow an Aleph 3 from a local dealer who has one lying around. I know that a bunch of folks here are tubees so I may also borrow an appropriate glass amp also.

I think I have become used to monster power that an ity bity 30 watts will never do. But the Summits are efficient on paper at least, so unless I am playing “Dark Side of The Moon” at stadium levels I should be OK…..right??????

Of course this could not come at a worse time, since the wife still is less than pleased with my sudden need to drop over $10K on new speakers. I am close to needing a 12 step program as my life may soon become unmanageable if the upgrade beast is not soon put back in its cage.

One more thing, I have very heavy carpet which made it impossible for the spikes to couple well with the floor. So I went out and bought a bunch of 12x12 marble tiles and made a very massy base for the speakers to rest on. For me, it is night and day the speakers could not be clearer and locked in. I am so happy even using my backup Rotel RB-1090 amp. Just wonder what I am missing without my old friend Classe. I have just spent the last three hours in heaven listening to the system. Thanks for letting me ramble.…..Steve
 
A

AudioFanKJ

Guest
Well at least it went out with a bang... and a positive memory for you as to how glorious it was sounding. Many times when one goes, you find out when you are turning the system on to audition for a friend! Timing is everything, eh?

On the flip side, and also having a wife that hates the upgrade beast... it may be easier for you to "show reason" for need of a new amp. She most likely will not be happy that you need to spend more money, mine wouldn't be either. But at least it is "justified" now...

One thing you mentioned, as I have my Summits on frise carpet (deeper shagish style the wife picked out) my spikes don't seem to seat that well either. Where did you notice the differences in sonics when you placed your Summits on the tile? Specifically the bass, or the midrange, etc.? Thanks for sharing the info.

As well, sorry for your loss.
 
S

Steve Daigneault

Guest
if you're used to playing your speakers at stadium levels, then i think you'll need more than 30 watts, even with the summits. take a look at this decibel scale. if the summitts are truly 92db (sometimes speakers don't measure as well in real environments), then:

1w = 92db
2w = 95db
4w = 98db
8w = 101db
16w = 104db
32w = 107db
64w = 110db

which is as loud as a car horn. stadium level sound is higher than this, probably more like 120db. soo...

128w = 113db
256w = 117db
512w = 120db

you can see these last few db's worth of sound take a lot more power. i love tubes, and would not be happy with solid state, i'm sure of this. but i also know that everyone hears something different. try a tube amp, to see if it's your cup of tea. i do feel that it's definitely worth it to try a tube amp. but also remember your priorities, and your preferences in sound reproduction, and then choose accordingly.
 

stesom

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
146
Reaction score
0
Location
Eden Prarie, MN
AudioFanKJ said:
One thing you mentioned, as I have my Summits on frise carpet (deeper shagish style the wife picked out) my spikes don't seem to seat that well either. Where did you notice the differences in sonics when you placed your Summits on the tile? Specifically the bass, or the midrange, etc.? Thanks for sharing the info.

As well, sorry for your loss.
Before the tiles, the sound was a touch out of focus and the treble/midrange not as precise or full. The sound was good, but not what I had heard when demoing them. Of course placement takes work to hone in on. But once I had them placed, they were just a touch out of focus if you know what I mean.

After the tile, the sound stage has moved back a bit and the width and depth are much more refined/defined. The base does not resonate the floor near as much which also clarifies the rest of the frequency response.

Again the speakers are much more stable. I believe this gives the panels solid leverage against the air they are moving. I think if the speakers are not solidly coupled to the floor, then any give will cause some level of smear to the sound.

I went to a local big box store that had tiles really cheap just to try it out. Now I will look at having something made that looks good in our living room.....Steve
 

twich54

Forum Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Nov 25, 2005
Messages
6,606
Reaction score
31
Location
SE Pa
A "Classy" replacement

Under the recomendation of Dan aka DTB300 I auditioned a Plinius SA-102 which has just recently been replaced by the SA-103. To my ears it is one of the best SS piece I have heard to date, so I bought it ! If you can get a listen I suspect you will be pleased.
 

ml360

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2005
Messages
61
Reaction score
0
Hard to believe that a classe amp bit the dust. :eek:
 

stesom

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
146
Reaction score
0
Location
Eden Prarie, MN
ml360 said:
Hard to believe that a classe amp bit the dust. :eek:
I am surprised too since this thing is a 400 watt 120LB beast. Which for the last 6 years has been driving a pair of Audio Physic Virgos which can't handle 200 watts even. Classe said that all my caps are swollen and will need replacement. Classe uses lots of small caps in the power supply as opposed to a few very large ones. We will see tomorrow what the cost will be but I think they feel bad for me so I hope they will ease my pain.....Steve

PS I will look into Plinius, I like pure class A sound so this is a good choice in high power SS.
 

Spike

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
754
Reaction score
16
Location
SF Bay Area
stesom said:
I think I have become used to monster power that an ity bity 30 watts will never do. But the Summits are efficient on paper at least, so unless I am playing “Dark Side of The Moon” at stadium levels I should be OK…..right??????
Here's a link to SPL calculation to get an idea of how loud it will be in your room: Peak SPL Calculator (How loud will it go?)

Spike
 

miljac

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
Messages
246
Reaction score
0
Location
Germany
Steve Daigneault said:
if you're used to playing your speakers at stadium levels, then i think you'll need more than 30 watts, even with the summits. take a look at this decibel scale. if the summitts are truly 92db (sometimes speakers don't measure as well in real environments), then:

1w = 92db
2w = 95db
4w = 98db
8w = 101db
16w = 104db
32w = 107db
64w = 110db

which is as loud as a car horn. stadium level sound is higher than this, probably more like 120db. soo...

128w = 113db
256w = 117db
512w = 120db

you can see these last few db's worth of sound take a lot more power. i love tubes, and would not be happy with solid state, i'm sure of this. but i also know that everyone hears something different. try a tube amp, to see if it's your cup of tea. i do feel that it's definitely worth it to try a tube amp. but also remember your priorities, and your preferences in sound reproduction, and then choose accordingly.

Steve,

just a small correction:
The table above assumes the nominal impedance of 8 ohms (2.83V sqaured/8 ohm = 1W). For 4 ohm double all the power values (needs double the power for same sound pressure).

makes it even harder and even worse wit say or 1 or .7 ohm (8 times as much).


miljac
 

kach22i

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
1,850
Reaction score
7
Location
Michigan
stesom said:
I really like the philosophy of Nelson Pass and his First Watt offerings. I can borrow an Aleph 3 from a local dealer who has one lying around. I know that a bunch of folks here are tubees so I may also borrow an appropriate glass amp also.
Is the Aleph 3 one of the black Borg-like cubes? They are not tube-like in character, they hold the music together tightly, a tight soundstage if I recall correctly.

Take the opportunity to "sound" your system to some good tubes. From what I've been reading the Summits should be tube friendly - go for it.
 

roberto

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,224
Reaction score
54
Location
San Jose, Costa Rica
stesom said:
Well after many years of faithful service, my Classe CA-400 went silent. So sad, as I was listening to the Sheffield Drum Record at volume that would put me a few feet away from the drum kit. At first, I thought I lost one of my Summits, but after swapping amps I was happy to find out that the speakers are fine. Another thread said you can’t blow these things up and I think it is true.

Anyway it may cost me a couple of $K to repair the amp. Which is a shame since it is really a nice amp. But it makes one think is it time to consider a change.

I really like the philosophy of Nelson Pass and his First Watt offerings. I can borrow an Aleph 3 from a local dealer who has one lying around. I know that a bunch of folks here are tubees so I may also borrow an appropriate glass amp also.

I think I have become used to monster power that an ity bity 30 watts will never do. But the Summits are efficient on paper at least, so unless I am playing “Dark Side of The Moon” at stadium levels I should be OK…..right??????

Of course this could not come at a worse time, since the wife still is less than pleased with my sudden need to drop over $10K on new speakers. I am close to needing a 12 step program as my life may soon become unmanageable if the upgrade beast is not soon put back in its cage.

One more thing, I have very heavy carpet which made it impossible for the spikes to couple well with the floor. So I went out and bought a bunch of 12x12 marble tiles and made a very massy base for the speakers to rest on. For me, it is night and day the speakers could not be clearer and locked in. I am so happy even using my backup Rotel RB-1090 amp. Just wonder what I am missing without my old friend Classe. I have just spent the last three hours in heaven listening to the system. Thanks for letting me ramble.…..Steve
Hola...your problem is not usual with the amplifier. It has a very good circuit protection that it is to keep the unit safe if a problem happens. As you said, you were not abusing it and it went dead. It looks to me that a mains fuse protection blew. It is located inside the unit. Also when this happens, it is due to a high current overload, and this could be at the diode block after the transformer, or one channel output stage transistors. Why don´t you take it to a good service qualified tech. to take just a look? Or better, send the unit to the factory. They will fix and replace with original parts and perhaps you will get your unit back to life...it is a very good sounding power amp. Talk to them, perhaps you don`t have to pay that much for the repair. Hope this can help...happy listening,
Pura vida,
Roberto.
 

stesom

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
146
Reaction score
0
Location
Eden Prarie, MN
roberto said:
Hola...your problem is not usual with the amplifier. It has a very good circuit protection that it is to keep the unit safe if a problem happens. As you said, you were not abusing it and it went dead. It looks to me that a mains fuse protection blew. It is located inside the unit. Also when this happens, it is due to a high current overload, and this could be at the diode block after the transformer, or one channel output stage transistors. Why don´t you take it to a good service qualified tech. to take just a look? Or better, send the unit to the factory. They will fix and replace with original parts and perhaps you will get your unit back to life...it is a very good sounding power amp. Talk to them, perhaps you don`t have to pay that much for the repair. Hope this can help...happy listening,
Pura vida,
Roberto.
I have sent it back to the factory in Canada. They told me the repair would be around $1300 so not too bad. I told them to proceed with the repair since I could not buy a new amp of this quality for anywhere near that much. In the mean time, I will go to my local audio shop, since they are a big Tube lover place, and see what I can borrow to audition......Steve
 

Gordon Gray

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
3,963
Reaction score
7
Location
Alto, NM
Check your SPL's

Steve,

I also have Summits and am using a Classe CA150 amp to drive them.
I regularly use a Radio Shack SPL analogue meter (approx. $35) to monitor how loud I listen to music. Interestingly enough, I had the SL3's prior to upgrading to the Summits. My typical SPL meter reading was 100DB (C setting / slow response) with the SL3's. My nominal SPL with the Summits is now 90DB, which is about half as loud. At that reduced loudness level, I still hear much more detail, slam, etc. given the virtues / transparency of the Summits.

You may want to check your listening / loudness level to ensure you are listening at "safe" levels. At 100DB, you are OK for about 2 hours per day without endangering your hearing. Please be advised that this includes all noise on a daily basis, not just listening to audio. This caveat is applicable if you live in an "urban" environment with the associated urban background noise. Harry Pearson of "The Absolute Sound" has stated on various occasions that the "upper" concert hall DB level for classical music is around 85DB.

If you where in the "middle of the drum set" when your amp blew up, I suspect you were exceeding a 100DB. Be careful. If you're not, it won't matter what amp you have because, with excessive long term exposure to noise in excess of 100DB, you will eventually suffer hearing loss.

Gordon
 

stesom

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
146
Reaction score
0
Location
Eden Prarie, MN
Gordon Gray said:
Steve,

I also have Summits and am using a Classe CA150 amp to drive them.
I regularly use a Radio Shack SPL analogue meter (approx. $35) to monitor how loud I listen to music. Interestingly enough, I had the SL3's prior to upgrading to the Summits. My typical SPL meter reading was 100DB (C setting / slow response) with the SL3's. My nominal SPL with the Summits is now 90DB, which is about half as loud. At that reduced loudness level, I still hear much more detail, slam, etc. given the virtues / transparency of the Summits.

You may want to check your listening / loudness level to ensure you are listening at "safe" levels. At 100DB, you are OK for about 2 hours per day without endangering your hearing. Please be advised that this includes all noise on a daily basis, not just listening to audio. This caveat is applicable if you live in an "urban" environment with the associated urban background noise. Harry Pearson of "The Absolute Sound" has stated on various occasions that the "upper" concert hall DB level for classical music is around 85DB.

If you where in the "middle of the drum set" when your amp blew up, I suspect you were exceeding a 100DB. Be careful. If you're not, it won't matter what amp you have because, with excessive long term exposure to noise in excess of 100DB, you will eventually suffer hearing loss.

Gordon
I normally listen to small jazz combos and acoustic piano and guitar. On occasion I like to turn it up, but not for too long. I do try to achieve realistic sound levels based on the venue and recording. I will have to dig out my Rat Shack SPL meter and check and see if I am over doing it.......Thanks for your concern. Loosing ones hearing would not be a good thing.....Steve
 
Top