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I just ordered a Cary Audio SLP-05... - Page 2

post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 
Balanced out puts are absolutely mandatory in my set-up, the way it's architected. The 2-channel sources all go to a 2-channel pre-amp, which goes balanced to my Sunfire stereo power amp. My surround sources go to a Rotel surround preamp, which goes to the same Sunfire amp unbalanced. Basically, both the 2-channel rig and surround rig "share" the same stereo power amp and main speakers (there is another Sunfire multi-channel amp driving the center and 3 rear channel speakers). This works well since the Sunfire had both balanced and unbalanced inputs. But it does require that my 2-channel preamp have balanced outs.
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Thanks - that's encouraging - all the reviews have been good.



YEP - that's the one

I would never have shelled out $8K for this, as good as everyone says it is, but $4K was doable, and I have been wanting to move back to an all-tube preamp for a while now.
Interesting decission you made, I thought the Isabella was the best pre-amp you had heard.
post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 
Well I have never heard the Cary, as indicated above - but also as just mentioned, I can't use the Isabella in my system on a permanent basis
post #19 of 39
The Cary makes perfect sense too me! I love Krell in general, but always wondered about that preamp in your particular system, esp with that fabulous collection of tubes begging to be used!

Are you set on a dac, or maybe an upgraded player? Too bad you missed Canjam - both the Ayre dac ( Asr) and PS audio Perfectwave (Steve-audioaddict) were there! I wonder if Ryan still has asr's Ayre ... ;-)

Todd's Marantz unit looks tempting if you like Marantz. You're welcome to have a listen to my SCD-15- a step down from his SCD-11 to be sure, but maybe you could get a feel for the house sound? Or maybe we could all work out a huge 3 team trade somehow. :-)
post #20 of 39
Thread Starter 
I am definitely not interested in a full player. I have a high-end universal player now that is very good in general as certainly terrific as a transport, but more importantly, when hi-res music on blu-ray becomes available, I will be buying a new player then, and that will need to serve as a transport for whatever DAC I buy now, as well as playing hi-res music directly from it's analog outs.
post #21 of 39

Keep us posted...

Im envious... wanted one...out of my $ league even at 4K. Please let us know what you think of it as you settle it into your system.
post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
Well, it arrived yesterday. I got it all connected, turned it on - and it blew a fuse. I started to freak out, but called Cary, and their VERY helpful tech support told me based on what I described that it sounded like a bad rectifier tube. Of course that was the only tube I didn't replace with my own, as it requires cracking the case on the PS unit. But that actually wasn't hard, and what was in there was a crappy Chinese rectifier tube, that when I tested it in my tester, had shorts! So in went a nice NOS GE 5AR4, and everything was copacetic.

As a pre-amp, I was blown away. It is a big step up from the Krell, no doubt. I need more time to fully get the measure of it, of course, but I couldn't be happier.

As a headphone amp, it does sound different than the Darkvoice I was using in that rig. It's definitely lighter and brighter, at least with the Tung-Sol 6SN7WGT brown-base tubes I started with. Those are not the world's warmest/lushest tubes, so I will try some others are report back. The cool thing is the headphone amp has it's own set of tubes, so changes there do not impact the preamp, which I was very happy with the sound of, and definitely did not feel the need for any added warmth.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Well, it arrived yesterday.
Time for speaker meet my friend?

Congrats on the unit, looks like a beast and has plenty of spots on top for those odd glass thingies that you're addicted to .
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Well, it arrived yesterday. I got it all connected, turned it on - and it blew a fuse. I started to freak out, but called Cary, and their VERY helpful tech support told me based on what I described that it sounded like a bad rectifier tube. Of course that was the only tube I didn't replace with my own, as it requires cracking the case on the PS unit. But that actually wasn't hard, and what was in there was a crappy Chinese rectifier tube, that when I tested it in my tester, had shorts! So in went a nice NOS GE 5AR4, and everything was copacetic.

As a pre-amp, I was blown away. It is a big step up from the Krell, no doubt. I need more time to fully get the measure of it, of course, but I couldn't be happier.

As a headphone amp, it does sound different than the Darkvoice I was using in that rig. It's definitely lighter and brighter, at least with the Tung-Sol 6SN7WGT brown-base tubes I started with. Those are not the world's warmest/lushest tubes, so I will try some others are report back. The cool thing is the headphone amp has it's own set of tubes, so changes there do not impact the preamp, which I was very happy with the sound of, and definitely did not feel the need for any added warmth.
Pre amp is nice! Heaphone section, I just tried again way too thin, it has a totally different sonic signature than the pre amp.

Maybe what I am missing is that Dennis voiced the headphone section with a GS 1000??

PS. Is their only one tube in the power output section? And do you think that it might effect the sound? (The crappy Chinese tube.)
post #25 of 39
I had both the Cary SLP-05 and the Ray Samuels B-52. Both fully balanced tube preamps/headphone amps with separate power supplies. Not many other contenders for this combination out there. The Cary was a notch better as a preamp, the B-52 light years ahead as a headphone amp. Both great and chosing one from the other really depends upon priorities.
post #26 of 39
Thread Starter 
Yeah, from my time with the B-52, it's a better headphone amp. I bought the Cary mostly for a pre-amp, and its outstanding in that regard, for sure.

I think the headphone amp is pretty good, though. And I am sure it can be improved some with different tubes, but that will have to wait for the weekend. Lots of detail and clarity to the headphone amp, but a little bright, and lacking bass weight.

Yes, only one rectifier tube in the power supply unit, a single 5AR4. And I from my experience with Chinese rectifier tubes, I'm sure that it was a good thing I had to replace it
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Yeah, from my time with the B-52, it's a better headphone amp. I bought the Cary mostly for a pre-amp, and its outstanding in that regard, for sure.

I think the headphone amp is pretty good, though. And I am sure it can be improved some with different tubes, but that will have to wait for the weekend. Lots of detail and clarity to the headphone amp, but a little bright, and lacking bass weight.

Yes, only one rectifier tube in the power supply unit, a single 5AR4. And I from my experience with Chinese rectifier tubes, I'm sure that it was a good thing I had to replace it
Bidding on a Millard 5AR4 Thanks. On E Bay. (Not Tube World.)

Thought you might like this.

(headphone tube 7,8 )
- 1 and 4 are left channel gain buffer
- 2 and 5 are right channel gain buffer
- 3 and 6 are L&R balanced input buffer.

Someone on audiogon recommended this tube.
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...openfrom&1&4#1

When you said pricey you meant it!! $795.00 each. https://www.tubeworld.com/5ar4.htm

Shot with DSC-P200 at 2009-12-11
post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 
I put Tung-Sol black glass round plate 6SN7GT's in the headphone amp tube slots. Much better than the WGT's in this application. This pairing provides better bass, and nice smoothness, with that phenomenal midrange and imaging that is what has made this tube so sought after (and unfortunately so expensive).
post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 
Well, on further review...

I spent a lot of time listening last night, and the fact is that while the pre-amp section of the SLP-05 is an enormous step forward from my Krell, and is astounding, I have to agree the headphone amp section seems flawed. I spent a bunch of time comparing it to the Darkvoice 337, and a couple of my other headphone amps, and MarkMaxx is right, in that the headphone amp lacks bass weight big time. It is not subtle - it really has very significantly less bass weight than any of my other headphone amps. Not sure what the issue is, exactly.

It's curious also that Cary indicates that the headphone amp section is actually transformer-coupled. I wonder if it's under-powered. It can't drive my 600 ohm headphones at all - the sound is plain bad. Cary recommends headphones 30-300 ohms, and with the oned I have in the 70-80 range, the sound is generally very good, except for the lack of bass weight.

So I guess I will be stuck with continuing to have a separate headphone amp in my main stereo rig. No way the Cary is going anywhere - way too good as a preamp. But it does fall short as a headphone amp, I'm afraid.
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Well, on further review...

I spent a lot of time listening last night, and the fact is that while the pre-amp section of the SLP-05 is an enormous step forward from my Krell, and is astounding, I have to agree the headphone amp section seems flawed. I spent a bunch of time comparing it to the Darkvoice 337, and a couple of my other headphone amps, and MarkMaxx is right, in that the headphone amp lacks bass weight big time. It is not subtle - it really has very significantly less bass weight than any of my other headphone amps. Not sure what the issue is, exactly.

It's curious also that Cary indicates that the headphone amp section is actually transformer-coupled. I wonder if it's under-powered. It can't drive my 600 ohm headphones at all - the sound is plain bad. Cary recommends headphones 30-300 ohms, and with the oned I have in the 70-80 range, the sound is generally very good, except for the lack of bass weight.

So I guess I will be stuck with continuing to have a separate headphone amp in my main stereo rig. No way the Cary is going anywhere - way too good as a preamp. But it does fall short as a headphone amp, I'm afraid.
I am glad you said this! I spent the night looking for a source for TungSol 6SN7 Black Glass oval plates, if you can find them they are Like $800.00 for a matched Quad. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT Or if I want to do all TungSol Oval plates, http://cgi.ebay.com/6-Pcs-TUNG-SOL-6...item19b76e291b

Like I said earlier I read that Dennis voiced the SLP 05 headphone section with a GS 1000. Maybe that sounds better!

I have a few questions about tubes, can I PM. you about SP, Extreme out put tubes. I have the Chatham Electronics.
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