Avantone CLA 400 400pxAvantone Pro introduces the CLA-400 studio reference amplifier, picking up where it left off with its CLA-200 amp -- built the old-school way as a classically-designed Class A/B amplifier to bring about a dynamic, high-output, high-resolution, full-range system, designed to be paired with large passive monitors.

As alluded to by its ‘numerical’ nomenclature, the CLA-400 can generate over 400W per channel into an 8Ω load, lending its use as a perfect fit for medium to large passive monitors in a studio environment where its standard 3U (483mm W x 133mm H x 487mm D/19” W x 5.25” H x 18” D) rack-mount chassis conveniently comes into its own. Of course, the CLA-400 clearly warrants pairing with large passive monitors that demand the highest amounts of power that it is duly designed to deliver from the ground up.

Ultimately, then, the CLA-400 is a dynamic, high-output, high-resolution, full-range system built the old-school way — as a classically-designed Class A/B amplifier. As such, Avantone Pro paid particular attention to creating an amplifier in the traditional studio style, with ample analog VU (Volume Unit) meters, high-quality Japanese components, and a serious toroidal transformer linear power supply, as well as implementing a classic bipolar transistor design delivering a robust bottom end. Extremely low distortion, steady performance under harsh conditions, and open and transparent sound attributes all combine to make the CLA-400 an obvious choice for discerning studios seeking serious dynamic range.

Notable no-compromise components notwithstanding, it is worth noting that the CLA-400’s convection-cooled design makes for silent operation. So since there is obviously no fan noise involved as a result, it can reside in the same location as the passive monitors to which it is providing power — perfectly suited to installation in studio control rooms, in other words. Indeed, it is designed to be used in a studio environment requiring high power output with no fan noise.

Needless to say, the CLA-400 capably delivered a powerful 400W into 8Ω under test conditions, while it is also worth noting that it can run at one third power without thermal fault — findings borne out by its impressive tech specs: 8Ω stereo power (1kHz): 360W; 4Ω stereo power (1kHz): 540W; 8Ω bridge power (1kHz): 760W; slew rate (at 1kHz): 28V/us; input sensitivity (1kHz): 0.775V (0dBU); Total Harmonic Distortion (1kHz): <0.1%; intermodulation distortion (at 10% rated power 1KHz): <0.1%; crosstalk: -70dB; frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz +/-0.5dB; frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz +/-0.5dB; input impedance: 20KΩ (balanced)/10kΩ (unbalanced); damping factor(100Hz, 8Ω): 250; signal-to-noise ratio (A Weighted): >103dB.

Time to make some room in a suitable studio rack and make an attentive return to passive monitoring, maybe? After all, Avantone Pro puts out 800W of reference-grade power with its all-new CLA-400 studio reference amplifier built the old-school way, weighing in at a reassuringly solid 22.2kg (49lb)!

The CLA-400 is available at Avantone Pro’s US Dealers with a MAP of $1,199.00 USD. (European SSP is €1,199.00 EUR, excluding VAT.)

For further information, please visit the dedicated CLA-400 webpage at:  http://www.avantonepro.com/cla-400.php.

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