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Classe Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII Reviewed

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HTR Product Rating

Performance
5 Stars
Value
4 Stars
Overall
4.5 Stars

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Classe_Omega_Pre-Amplifier_MKIII_preamp_review.gif While the whole world might be clamoring for the latest in streaming, Bluetooth or what ever the next craze in music might be there is still a place for a true, audiophile preamplifier like the Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII from Classe. Now, I'm not suggesting that Classe is a company with its back turned to the future, not at all, for they have arguably the most advanced two-channel preamp ever in the CP-800 that is set to hit dealer showrooms any day now. However, while the Omega Pre-Amplifier may be dinosaur by CP-800 standards it's far from being irrelevant for it's one of the finer sounding solid state preamps ever built.

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Retailing for $17,500 the Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII isn't exactly cheap but then again what truly high-end products are. The Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII employs dual mono construction where by the power supply is isolated in a separate enclosure while the left and right audio channels are housed separately as well but encased in the MKIII's top chassis. The Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII features both balanced and unbalanced connection options for all of its inputs as well as outputs. Speaking of inputs the Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII has three as well as a Tape input and output bringing the total to four. The Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII has two outputs as well.

The Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII's design is modern with very little in the way of manual controls cluttering up its fascia. Volume control is handled via a hock puck like disc that protrudes from the MKIII's recessed black design accent and shuttles in a left to right motion versus a clockwise or counter clockwise rotation like most volume pots. Outside of the large volume control there is a small button, which you can press to cycle through the various inputs options and a button for placing the MKIII into standby mode.

The build quality of the Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII is solid both inside and out, even input and volume changes are accompanied with a mighty "thunk" or "click." The Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII's remote could be classified as a deadly weapon the thing is so solid-milled out of aluminum the remote features hard controls for each of the MKIII's input options as well as balance, mute and volume up and down.

Sonically the Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII is extremely neutral meaning if you're hearing warmth or bloat or anything that may be objectionable you can rest assured it isn't because of the MKIII being in the chain. The Omega Pre-Amplifier MKIII really doesn't impart much if anything to your system's sound, at least in my tests; this also means it doesn't take anything away either, which is what all good, reference grade preamplifiers should do.

Read about the high and low points of the Omega Pre-Amplifier MKII on Page 2.
continue to page two
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