AudioAsylum Trader
Video Asylum: REVIEW: California Audio Labs CL-2500 SSP Preamplifier (HT) by Kevin Magee

TVs, VCRs, DVD players, Home Theater systems and more.

For Sale Ads

FAQ / News / Events


REVIEW: California Audio Labs CL-2500 SSP Preamplifier (HT) Review by Kevin Magee at Audio Asylum

[ Follow Ups ] Thread:  [ Display   All   Email ] [ Video Asylum ]
[ Alert Moderator ]

Purchased this unit after auditioning it and then selling Proceep Avp. I have had the unit about 1 week and it is still breaking in. At first listen it was evident that it is extremely clean and detailed. The Proceed is a first rate unit but was not this clean. It has gotten better with break-in. At first I was not to enthused about the unit on analog sources. But after about 2 days of break-in it has really, really,improve. When I purchased the Proceed I at once heard things on the recording that I was not able to hear with my old AV reciever. With this unit I am able to hear even more into the recording. My main complaint is that the unit is sort of antiseptic in it's presentation.However the unit is not in the least bit bright with a very relaxed unrestrained sound. Also the dynamics are excellent. Bass response with this unit even with FM sources is by far more articulate,tighter and detailed. Though not as clean, the Avp sounded more natural on most sources. Though I must admit that the unit has drastically improved since the first time I played it. I listen to a lot of all R&B ,mostly 60's stuff which has a lot of ambience. The magic is slowly returning on my analog sources. I think I may be a little premature in my judgement of the unit as antiseptic. But right now it is. Also the Avp had a larger soundstage.
The major area where this unit completely blows away any surround processor I have heard and I have heard them all, is on recordings made at 24/96. The realism is phenominal!! Voices are very natural, especially female vocals. It is not quite as good as SACD quickly and decidely headed in that direction. Also on movies, this unit as by far the best that I have heard. I honestly did not think anything could better the Avp by as wide a margin as this unit does. All channels match perfectly. The soundfield is very realistic and flowing even with action sceens. I have no doubt that for movies and 24/96 recording there is no better maybe equal, surround processor. The hardware in the unit is first rate, Burr Brown 1704 24 bit dacs are used on all channels. A new Motorola processor is used for surround processing the Dsp56362 which unlike some units does not also control the unit. It is dedicated to processing. A 32 bit MCF Motorola chip handles system control chore. The number of connection for audio components is rather limited though. The unit only has 3 digtal coax hook up with 3 other which are optical. I prefer coax.
I found the set up to be rather staight forward. Channels levels can be adjusted via the Pronto remote which is a first rate piece.
I would say that this unit should be on anyone's very short list for processers. Does the unit perform as well as a 3000.00 preamp, I'm afraid my answer is no. It is has greatly bridged the gap in many areas and is very good but I would say that it falls, "a little shy" of that mark. Overall though I would say that it outperforms all units of this type In general but not all catagories. Overall I am pleased with the unit. But you know us audiophiles, I still am going to give it a hard time and pick it apart.

This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors:
  Crux Audio  

Topic - REVIEW: California Audio Labs CL-2500 SSP Preamplifier (HT) Review by Kevin Magee at Audio Asylum - Kevin Magee 06:36:51 06/11/00 ( 0)