Rubbish sounding CARY CAD 300 SEI
Oct 15, 2008 at 6:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 56

geoges.ravel

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Hi all,
I just received my CAD 300SEI with ElectronHarmonix 6SN7 as input and driver, TJ 300B/C as output.

As headphone amp, the cary sound like rubbish compared to a 400€ Chinese made amp (Art&Music AM650Pro); as speaker amp, it sounds again rubbish compared to Pathos Classic One MKII.

I know that CAD 300SEI received rave reviews that's why I bought it. So I will suppose that it's
the tubes sounding bad. I know the TJ 300B/C received good review and EH tubes are terrible
tubes. But I have no idea how the input & driver tube affect the sound quality in CARY.

Please help out if you have experience with the CARY. I'd like to know if it worth it to change the tubes or I should change amp.

Thanks!
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 6:46 PM Post #2 of 56

mikeymad

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Wow geoges.ravel...

I did not have anywhere close to your experience with the 300SEI....

I found it to be very kind to tube variations. It does sound a lot better with WE 300B. and a good set of 6sn7's, but I didn't ever find it sounding bad with various tube combos.

Is it possible to describe the sound that you are getting with your combo?... Also have you adjusted the bias?

I would not give up too soon, it is a great sounding amp IMO....

Cheers,
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 6:51 PM Post #3 of 56

YoNni22

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Maybe you have the 300SEI-LX20 version which runs 300BXLS tubes instead of the regular 300Bs. The 300BXLS run at a higher plate voltage then the regular 300Bs.
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 7:01 PM Post #5 of 56

geoges.ravel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeymad /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Wow geoges.ravel...

I did not have anywhere close to your experience with the 300SEI....

I found it to be very kind to tube variations. It does sound a lot better with WE 300B. and a good set of 6sn7's, but I didn't ever find it sounding bad with various tube combos.

Is it possible to describe the sound that you are getting with your combo?... Also have you adjusted the bias?

I would not give up too soon, it is a great sounding amp IMO....

Cheers,



First off thanks to you guys for replying.
I'll try to describe what I hear: the sound is very clear and thin, but it is not harsh by any mean.
mid and bass are very very weak compared to the highs. I've heard AudioInnovation 500 ($2K?) driving my speakers and it was nice, warm tube sound and this is why I'm into tubes.

There is no bias pot so I suppose it's auto-biased version (I cannot tell which version I have).
The sound I'm looking for is the warm, lush sound and I don't care too much about sound stage or deep base or rolled off highs... But for now I'm getting the exact opposite of what I'm looking for...
Can you tell to what degree the tube can change the sound? Thanks
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 7:03 PM Post #6 of 56

geoges.ravel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by YoNni22 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Maybe you have the 300SEI-LX20 version which runs 300BXLS tubes instead of the regular 300Bs. The 300BXLS run at a higher plate voltage then the regular 300Bs.


Right now I cannot tell the exact version but I suppose it's a normal version. Is there any distinctive signs that one tell the LX20 from the others?
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 7:06 PM Post #7 of 56
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I owned a 300SEI some years ago (I own a lot of Cary gear and admire Dennis
greatly as a circuit/topology designer). I never "ever" was satisfied with the 300SEI as a head amp (replaced input tubes with several respected NOS varieties and even tried the infamous WE 300B power tubes with other respected varieties as well). It is a fine SET amp IMO for high efficiency speakers but as a head amp - I was terribly unimpressed! It also had a low grade hum in the noise floor (went back to Cary for that) and came back with the same ailment - changing tubes never seemed to matter. A real shame for such an expensive piece of gear. They seem to love it at Cary but my ears just did not care for it at all!
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 7:07 PM Post #8 of 56

geoges.ravel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SleepyOne /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Have the amp been fully run in?


It's not a new one, so I suppose it is run in long ago. The tubes on the other hand do not have many hours on them, I suppose. The 6SN7s come with the amp and in the box so they might be new. The TJ300B/C come from ebay and the seller said they are just burnt in but no more.
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 7:11 PM Post #9 of 56

YoNni22

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Oct 15, 2008 at 7:19 PM Post #10 of 56

cAsE sEnSiTiVe

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Quote:

Originally Posted by geoges.ravel /img/forum/go_quote.gif
First off thanks to you guys for replying.
I'll try to describe what I hear: the sound is very clear and thin, but it is not harsh by any mean.
mid and bass are very very weak compared to the highs.



Although the 300sei wasn't ultimately my cup of tea as a head amp, your description doesn't sound like ANY cary I've ever heard.

I think something is amiss. Check the condition of the tubes, and make sure it's biased properly.

Contact Dennis Had @ Cary. He's quite personable and will get you going in the right way.
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 7:24 PM Post #11 of 56

geoges.ravel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cAsE sEnSiTiVe /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Although the 300sei wasn't ultimately my cup of tea as a head amp, your description doesn't sound like ANY cary I've ever heard.

I think something is amiss. Check the condition of the tubes, and make sure it's biased properly.

Contact Dennis Had @ Cary. He's quite personable and will get you going in the right way.



There is no bias jack or pot (neither it has a 4ohm/8ohm switch, I hope this is not a chinese counterfeit unit?
smily_headphones1.gif
) I'll try to finger out what is wrong but ultimately I might contact Dennis for help.
Thanks for the suggestion, Bob!
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 7:26 PM Post #12 of 56

geoges.ravel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by YoNni22 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You can compare your 300SEI to the old product manuals to see if there is a match. Here is the website with old manuals.

Cary Audio Design - Customer Support : Manuals



Thanks! I'm checking the manual but man, the site is slow!
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 7:30 PM Post #13 of 56

geoges.ravel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by YoNni22 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You can compare your 300SEI to the old product manuals to see if there is a match. Here is the website with old manuals.

Cary Audio Design - Customer Support : Manuals



OkK, I give up, there are figures in the same manual showing the unit with and without bias jack, pot ...
I'll request CARY by sending them the serial number
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 7:35 PM Post #14 of 56

cAsE sEnSiTiVe

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geoges,

The 300sei is self-biasing. Therefore, no user adjustments to bias the tubes. Doesn't mean it's not biased correctly. It wouldn't be the first one I've heard of that was out.

Ring up Dennis is you get to the point of tearing your hair out....which sounds imminent.

Post your findings.
 
Oct 15, 2008 at 7:41 PM Post #15 of 56

geoges.ravel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cAsE sEnSiTiVe /img/forum/go_quote.gif
geoges,

The 300sei is self-biasing. Therefore, no user adjustments to bias the tubes. Doesn't mean it's not biased correctly. It wouldn't be the first one I've heard of that was out.

Ring up Dennis is you get to the point of tearing your hair out....which sounds imminent.

Post your findings.



I'd take ringing Dennis as the last option. Because I'm not English speaking... I do write but I hardly speak
smily_headphones1.gif
 

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