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Cary Audio SLI 80 - Owners Unite!

post #1 of 222
Thread Starter 

Hi!

 

Just got myself a Cary Audio SLI 80 Signature!

 

Gonna use it to drive my livingroom speakers (Rega R7) and with headphones, of course. 

 

Posting a picture - it's a real beauty

 

Anybody else out there?

 

Cary_SLI80.jpg

edit:

 

Some headphone facts from Cary:

  • It's headphone socket is directly coupled to the power amplifier: The headphone out of the SLI-80 due go through the whole tube circuit   and are tapped off of the transformer outputs.  After the transformers the signal passes through the headphone switch and then a couple of resistors, then to the headphone jack.
  • The output impedance of the headphone out on the SLI-80 is 8 or 11 ohms depending on who you ask.

Edited by ardilla - 5/16/12 at 6:03am
post #2 of 222
How is the headphones out? Does it use the tubes or is it just a cheap chip? I love Cary stuff. I have the 805 anniversary mono blocks and I love it. I am looking at this unit or other Cary for my HD800. Thanks for your input.
post #3 of 222
Thread Starter 

 

EDIT2: CASE SOLVED :-)

The headphone out of the SLI-80 due go through the whole tube circuit...  link to post

 

EDIT:

 

Headphones sounds great, I headphones out uses the tubes. When I switch from Triode to Ultra Linear mode, the switch makes a click in the headphones, just as the noice that comes from my speakers when I do the same. So the HP must share some circuitry with the speakers part. 

 

See also: 

 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/531416/leben-cs300-or-cary-sli-80

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/533344/which-to-choose-leben-cs600-cary-sli-80-cary-cad-300-sei

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/510773/review-qualia-unbound-56k-warning4

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/newestpost/286947


Edited by ardilla - 4/13/11 at 12:49pm
post #4 of 222

The headphone circuit uses the tubes.

 

I owned this amp twice, it had everything I wanted, tubes (lots of them) remote, headphone amp, high power.

The headphone amp is wonderful, but I had issues with it playing speakers.

The amp is soft & slow dynamically. Maybe that's just the Cary house sound? Tried it on 2 different occasions and became dissatisfied with the sound and sold it.

 

post #5 of 222

According to Dan at Cary Audio.

 

"Yes absolutely the Exciter amp is better for headphones!  The SLI-80 does have a passive headphone output and does not run the signal through the tubes.  The Exciter amp produces a fantastic tube sound that is very detailed yet warm and smooth".

post #6 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjAmTraX View Post

According to Dan at Cary Audio.

 

"Yes absolutely the Exciter amp is better for headphones!  The SLI-80 does have a passive headphone output and does not run the signal through the tubes.  The Exciter amp produces a fantastic tube sound that is very detailed yet warm and smooth".


I would be surprised if that were true.  Why would they have a substandard design on one of their signature amps vs. the Exciter in terms of HP-out circuit design.  I'll have to look into this.

 

post #7 of 222

My Cary SLI80 Signature shown on the left on top of the PS Audio Power Plant Premier unit.  It has been rolled with EAT KT88 Diamond Driver tubes and Cool Valve output stage tubes.  Only the Sovtek rectifier tubes were left.

 

DSC_1803.jpg


Edited by warp08 - 4/10/11 at 11:17am
post #8 of 222
Thread Starter 

Nice setup!! Mine is slightly on the modest side.... I'll post a pick :-)

 

 

 

EDIT: CASE SOLVED :-)

The headphone out of the SLI-80 due go through the whole tube circuit...  link to post

 

Regarding headphone output:

If DjAmTraX 's source is right about the SLI80 does not run the headphone thorugh tubes , how come there is a difference between Triode and Ultra Linear mode??? .. Sent Cary an email - I'll report their answer


Edited by ardilla - 4/13/11 at 12:49pm
post #9 of 222
I was hoping that the SLI-80 would have a better tubes headphones output than the Xciter because I don't care for the Xciter's looks. Please prove Dan at Cary Audio wrong. Maybe someone can get Dennis to answer the question to set the record straight.
Edited by DjAmTraX - 4/10/11 at 9:50pm
post #10 of 222
Thread Starter 

How did the tube rolling affect sound? - Have you tried some less expensive power tubes with success - the EAT's aren't cheap... I'm quite happy with the sound right now using stock (?) (Electro Harmonics + TungSol 6SN7), but my speakers have got a tad too much swell in the bass sometimes...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warp08 View Post

My Cary SLI80 Signature shown on the left on top of the PS Audio Power Plant Premier unit.  It has been rolled with EAT KT88 Diamond Driver tubes and Cool Valve output stage tubes.  Only the Sovtek rectifier tubes were left.

 

DSC_1803.jpg



 


Edited by ardilla - 4/11/11 at 2:48am
post #11 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjAmTraX View Post

I was hoping that the SLI-80 would have a better tubes headphones output than the Xciter because I don't care for the Xciter's looks. Please prove Dan at Cary Audio wrong. Maybe someone can get Dennis to answer the question to set the record straight.


I have asked my dealer, Craig at Whiplash Audio to check it with Cary.  His reaction was disbelief.  He had mentioned that at one point a buzz developed in the left channel and he suspected the headphone driver (an R10) was malfunctioning.  The problem was that one of the output tubes were not seated correctly.  Once it is rectified, the problem went away.  So, I'm going on the assumption for the moment that Dan is incorrect and that more technical training is called for.

 

post #12 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardilla View Post

How did the tube rolling affect sound? - Have you tried some less expensive power tubes with success - the EAT's aren't cheap... I'm quite happy with the sound right now using stock (?) (Electro Harmonics + TungSol 6SN7), but my speakers have got a tad too much swell in the bass sometimes...
 



 



There are quite a few options between the stock Sovteks and the EATs.  But you do get what you pay for, which is why I kept the Cary while pretty much all other dynamic amps are gone or on sale (the Apache).  I have never tested it with speakers as I have none.  But the bass never gets bloated, it's sweet, but tight.  This is not a fast amp, so if you appreciate those fast attack transients during orchestral compositions with a lot of dynamic overlay of different instruments, the Cary may not be it.  But in terms of tonality it synergizes well with the TWag silver interconnects I use.  If you use copper or silver-coated copper (TWcu) RCA ICs, you may get that regardless of what tubes do you use.

post #13 of 222
Any word from Cary?
post #14 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjAmTraX View Post

Any word from Cary?


Clarification is expected by tonight.  If what Dan said is true, I may end up selling mine.

 

post #15 of 222

This is a nice amp for speaker but not worth for using headphones only.

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