The surround sound processor is the core of a high-end home theater system. It is the conduit through which all source signals flow and it performs the critical tasks of decoding various audio formats, converting digital signals to analog, and then pre-amplifying the analog signals in as pure a manner as possible.
It must allow high definition video to pass through uncorrupted. A surround sound processor can either limit or gloriously reveal the full potential of every component in the home theater system. Proliferation of the latest high-definition audio and video technologies served as the inspiration for a new challenge: the creation of the definitive SSP—a surround sound processor to set the standard for the high definition era. The result is the SSP-800, Classé’s statement preamp/processor.
The SSP-800 is a ten-channel preamp/processor, offering both balanced and single-ended connections for all channels. Audio Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is handled by Texas Instruments processors, which operate in 64-bit double precision. Floating point arithmetic is used for all audio signal calculations to ensure the most accurate results possible. All bass management filters, level adjustments and parametric EQ filters also benefit from the added precision. Two DSPs, each rated at 2800 MIPS (Million Instructions per Second) provide HD Audio decoding and the power to handle a vast array of post processing features at full resolution.
Powerful DSP is only one of many of the SSP-800’s outstanding qualities. Throughout the SSP-800 are examples of cutting edge technology and superior design techniques, employed in the service of better sound. We evaluate performance by listening to music, which remains the most reliable method of judging sound quality. In fact, no surround processor can accurately reproduce movie sound if it fails to reproduce music properly. At Classé, our first priority is developing components that perform exceptionally well with music—this is our heritage from the first component we manufactured more than thirty years ago. We then turn our attention to processor decoding capabilities and developing features that enhance flexibility and in-room performance.
In addition to high performance, quality and technology, the SSP-800 offers the flexibility to handle a wide range of real world applications. Its ten-channel design creates the possibility of configuring two channels for additional subwoofers, as mirrors of the front left and right channels for bi-amplifying, or delivering audio to a separate room or system. Five-band manual parametric equalization is provided for each of the ten channels to help tune the system to its environment. Menu driven front panel controls allow a high degree of customization for an ideal user experience.
The SSP-800 has found its way into the AV systems of countless industry professionals and enthusiasts around the world.* It has met its design objective, becoming the de facto standard for high-performance multichannel processing.