Classé's versatile preamplifier promises extensive streaming smarts alongside "truly world-class performance"

Classe Delta Pre MK II
(Image credit: Classe)

Canadian audio manufacturer Classé has unveiled its latest high-end preamplifier. The new Classé Delta Pre MK II builds on the groundwork laid by its predecessor, the Delta MK I, and introduces an "extensively upgraded digital front-end" which aims to bring "imperceptible levels of distortion and truly world-class performance".

Central to the MK II is the multiroom streaming platform HEOS, a service already used by the likes of Marantz and Denon. The HEOS platform gives access to audio streaming from Amazon Music, Tidal and Deezer, while the new preamp can also find and play files stored on your local network, such as from a NAS drive. Fear not; AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect are also built-in and ready to go.

The supported file format list is extensive, with the MK II capable of handling WAV, AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, DSD and even MQA. The range of inputs is just as impressive, including dual XLR, twin RCA and dual phono inputs (MM/MC), five XLR and five RCA outputs, two USB, three coaxial and three optical digital inputs. There's also an ethernet port for wired internet connectivity and a headphone output for plugging in your favourite cans, plus two subwoofer outputs. If you desire TV connectivity, you can upgrade your preamp for an additional cost, adding an optional 4K board with four HDMI inputs and a single HDMI output.

Classe Delta Pre MK II rear connections

(Image credit: Classe)

The twin hearts of the machine are the dual 32-bit/384kHz AKM DACs, with the Delta MK II capable of giving hi-res support for files up to PCM 384kHz/32-bit, DSD512 and, as mentioned above, MQA. 

If you already own an original Delta Pre and you're jealous that you might be missing out on the fancy new second-gen model, you can modify your existing unit via the separately available Upgrade Kit (£2600 / €3000 / $3000) which elevates your module to the new MK II specification. 

If you're simply keen to buy a brand new preamplifier, the Classé Delta Pre MK II is available now from selected retailers, priced at £11,000 / $12,000 / €12,000.


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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.