Cary Audio SLI 80 - Owners Unite!

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by ardilla, Mar 25, 2011.
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  1. ardilla
    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?
     
    [​IMG]
    edit:
     
    Some headphone facts from Cary:
    1. 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.
    2. The output impedance of the headphone out on the SLI-80 is 8 or 11 ohms depending on who you ask.
     
  2. DjAmTraX
    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.
     
  3. ardilla
     
    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
     
  4. Todd R Contributor
    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.
     
     
  5. DjAmTraX
    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".
     
  6. warp08


    Quote:

    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.
     
     
  7. warp08
    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
     
  8. ardilla
    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
     
  9. DjAmTraX
    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.
     
  10. ardilla
    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:


     
     
  11. warp08


    Quote:

    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.
     
     
  12. warp08


    Quote:


    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.
     
  13. DjAmTraX
    Any word from Cary?
     
  14. warp08


    Quote:

    Clarification is expected by tonight.  If what Dan said is true, I may end up selling mine.
     
     
  15. edisonwu Contributor
    This is a nice amp for speaker but not worth for using headphones only.
     
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