Classé Launches Sigma Integrated Amplifier: Binds DSP directly to amp section reducing noise and distortion

Venerable Canadian high-end electronics manufacturer, Classé has announced a new member of the Sigma family: The Sigma 2200i Integrated Amplifier.  What’s unique about the 2200i is that its preamp section DSP is bound directly to the input of the amplifier DSP.  By implementing this new design, Classé says that they have eliminated DAC and ADC conversion losses and their associated analog circuitry’s noise and distortion.
Classé claims that by keeping digital signals digital all the way to the amplifier output filter, the shortened signal path avoids losses and eliminates Digital-to-Analog converters and Analog-to-Digital converters as well as their associated analog circuits. The company says that this all translates to better sound for the price.

Like the other Sigma components, the 2200i is built to be integrated into the modern digital audiophile’s setup.  The front-end consists of the stereo portion of a Sigma SSP, including inputs for USB types A and B, Ethernet for streaming AirPlay and DLNA, coax, optical, analog inputs for XLR and RCA and an optional phono (as in the CP-800 and Sigma SSP). Classé has also included 4 HDMI inputs, adding convenience for users with AV sources like set top boxes, Blu-ray players, etc..

The Classé touchscreen control provides familiar features like digital domain Tone Control, 9-band PEQ per channel and flexible bass management. The Subwoofer output is derived from the only DAC onboard. IP control includes Android and iOS apps.

The amplifier section consists of the power supply, DSP and amplifier circuitry of an AMP2, making this a seriously powerful, high resolution integrated amplifier. It is capable of effortlessly driving virtually anything on the market including all of the new Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series loudspeakers.

The Sigma 2200i uses a 3U tall chassis that occupies the same footprint as all of the other Sigma models. The extra 1U space on the lower third of the faceplate contains an air intake. A small Noctua fan mounted to the rear panel spins quietly at low rpm to gently draw air through the chassis, keeping the circuitry at a comfortable operating temperature while extending the life of the electronic components.

One of the industrial design hallmarks of the Sigma series has been their slick rack-mount rails integrated into the chassis.  Fans of this design will be happy to know that unique rack-mount solution introduced in the original Sigma series models is retained in the Sigma 2200i. Simply remove the sides, rotate and flip them, then reattach to position rack ears for rack-mounting. No kits to order—everything you need is right there on the unit.

Classés electronics have never been viewed as inexpensive.  However, the Sigma line’s build quality and sonic performance has given it as growing reputation for offering an incredible audiophile value for the price.  That being said, the price for the Sigma 2200i is $5,500 and will be available May 2016.