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Exceptionally versatile Integrated Amp. Equally proficient for headphones or speakers. Classic tube looks and sound.

A Review On: Cary Audio SLI-80 (all versions)

Cary Audio SLI-80 (all versions)

Rated # 66 in Desktop Amps
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Price paid: $1,600.00
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Pros: Gorgeous looking and sounding. Huge tube selection for rolling. Factory upgradeable.

Cons: 10 tubes equals a lot of heat in the summer..It is SO worth it!

The Cary SLI-80 has been around in basically the same version since 1999. A consistent top seller it has earned a large following in the audiophile community as a convenient, simple and elegant one box device. Housing a pair of Class A/B1 Mono amps utilizing a quad of KT88 tubes in a Push/Pull configuration alongside a simple and effective pre-amp the SLI-80 presents a striking classic tube look. The rest of the tube compliment include a pair of 5U4G Rectifiers, 6SN7's for phase inversion and 6922's for input/output.


The amp can be run as a 40 watt Triode amp or an 80 Watt Ultra linear amp. Weighing in at 42 pounds, the Cary sports huge in house made transformers with tons of reserve power for peaks and transients. This results in great headroom for orchestral works. More intimate jazz and folk artists are presented in almost 3D sound. The SLI-80 is also at home with rock and can provide the low end slam and crystal highs of cymbals with flair. For Headphone fans the SLI-80 performs with elan'. The signal going to the Single Ended Headphone jack comes straight off the tube circuit. A couple of resistors step down the voltage and leave the full benefit coming from the tubes for your enjoyment.


Over the years a number of incremental upgrades have been made available. The popular F1 model's various upgrades are now all available as ala-cart choices either as a new order or later as factory upgrades. This allows any SLI-80 owner to keep his rig as up to date as any new model rolling off the factory bench.


If you are looking for great sound or if you are limited in space and cannot have a room full of different gear for different applications will appreciate all the SLI-80 has to offer. It will provides years of worry free sonic bliss!


weird that i am only seeing this now - great write up . 
Thanks Paddy.....I love the amp. Equally at home with HP's or speakers. As long as the room size is moderate and 40 watts does the trick it is a beauty.
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