Press Room - News
Cary Audio at the 2013 AXPONA Show

The AXPONA Show in Chicago proved to be a great experience and an opportunity to show attendees our direct to consumer range of products, Audio Electronics by Cary Audio. Something new, we partnered with Audiogon demonstrating our Audio Electronics products which are available direct from Cary Audio ( or Audiogon. The complete Audio Electronics system demonstrated to attendees at the show the highlighted advantages of buying new at second hand prices. The Hercules power amplifier, Constellation preamplifier, Lightning 24/192 USB digital to analog converter (DAC) paired with the outrageously affordable KEF Q700 floorstanding loudspeakers opened many of the attendees eyes (and ears!). Highly musical, detailed yet smooth, transparent, with terrific foundation and bass presence (even in the notoriously difficult hotel rooms) set new standards in many of minds as to what affordable can mean!


Cary Audio at the 2013 International CES

Cary Audio went to Las Vegas for the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show with several new products in tow, and new opportunities to exhibit in a much larger space. Moving up to the top floor at the Venetian Hotel allowed us to have a larger suite, as well as making us neighbors of some of the biggest names in high-end audio. This resulted in more visitors to our demo suite from the worldwide press, dealers, and from other industry figures.


New products introduced at this year’s CES primarily represented a new direction for Cary Audio and Audio Electronics by Cary into digital processing. Cary Audio showed two new DACs, with the digital sides designed in conjunction with Gordon Rankin, featuring Streamlength™ (a trademark of Wavelength Audio) Asynchronous Class 2 USB Audio and 24/192 processing, plus fully balanced construction and superb performance from the Cary Audio power supply and analog output stage. The DAC-100 ($2495) is an all solid-state model, while the DAC-100t ($2995) adds a tube output stage. Audio Electronics by Cary also showed the new Lightning DAC ($1295) with many of the same performance features as the Cary Audio DACS, but with fewer inputs and simpler construction. It was also the CES kickoff for the Audio Electronics Constellation tube preamplifier and Hercules tube power amplifier.


Our music demos, in conjunction with our room partners Tannoy and WyWires, garnered a lot of interest and positive comments. We showed a main system in the living room of our suite consisting of our top-line SLP-05 preamplifier, CAD-211FE monoblock power amplifiers, and CD-303T CD/SACD/DAC, connected to a pair of Tannoy’s flagship Kingdom Royal speakers, with WyWires Gold series cables and their new Power Broker AC distribution blocks. We had two smaller systems playing in the bedroom: one was our SLP-03 preamplifier, SA-200.2 solid-state power amplifier, and CD-303T CD/SACD/DAC paired with Tannoy Precision 6.4 tower speakers; and Tannoy Silver series cables and Power Broker. The other system paired our Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation preamplifier, Hercules power amplifier and Lightning DAC fed high-res music from a MacBook running Amarra software, with a pair of Tannoy Precision 6.1 monitor speakers using WyWires Blue series cables and a Power Broker. We also had a live headphone listening station at our reception area with both our Cary Audio HH-1 hybrid headphone amplifier and Audio Electronics Nighthawk solid-state headphone amplifier playing Apple Lossless files from an iPod in a Wadia dock.


In addition to our own room, we were featured in Adam Audio’s demo suite with a full Cary Audio system (SLP-05 preamplifier, SA-500.1 solid-state monoblock amplifiers, CD-303T CD/SACD/DAC) running their acclaimed Classic Column speakers with all Clarus cables.

We’ve posted many of the fine press comments about our suite on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so please take a look to see what they had to say about us. We’re very grateful to Alex and Nina Sventitsky of WyWires, all of the folks of Tannoy’s North American team, and Roger Fortier of Adam Audio for their support and partnership at this year’s CES. We had a very successful show with more traffic than in the past several years and more press coverage. Look for several reviews of both new Cary Audio and Audio Electronics products coming soon as a result of this show. 2013 looks to be a really good year for Cary Audio, and the CES was a fitting kickoff!
Cary Audio at the 2012 Rocky Mountain Audio Show

Cary Audio has returned from beautiful fall colors and weather in Denver where we exhibited at the annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF). As the largest consumer high-performance show in North America, RMAF draws attendees and exhibitors from all over the world. It features many brands that are extremely limited in their distribution, so it is the only opportunity for most hobbyists to see things they read about. A full slate of seminars in two theaters, live concerts, a special room for headphones and personal computer audio, and a Marketplace to shop for music and accessories makes RMAF a must-see for many audiophiles each year.


Cary Audio took advantage of this important venue by creating a large presence. We had our own demo room where we showed with Adam Audio speakers and Clarus Cables. Our local dealer, Moon Audio demoed the Cary Audio HH-1 hybrid headphone amplifier and CAD-300SEI integrated amplifier in the CanJam room. We also provided equipment to MIT Cables to use in their room, where they actively demonstrated the audible differences in differing levels of cables. Several of our acclaimed CD/SACD/DAC players were in use by other vendors around the show. We had a booth in the Marketplace where we showed off our new Audio Electronics by Cary Audio products to those who were shopping for additions to their systems. We were also once again part of a well-attended seminar entitled “Listening to the Science of Audio”, where the attendees were instructed in music theory and how it relates to the job recording and mastering engineers do in creating the software we listen to, as well as how equipment designers need to use music to develop their goods. Audiophiles were taught how music is made by various instruments, how quality recordings are made, how to listen for differences, and left with the advice to trust their ears and enjoy the music as their playback systems strive to achieve the impossible goal of accurately recreating a performance.


In our own room we had many comments about the detail and transparency and imaging of our system, and loads of compliments about our variety of well-recorded demo material. Adam Audio VP Roger Fortier was very pleased with the synergy we developed with our system (SLP-05 preamplifier, SA-500.1 monoblock amplifiers, CD-303T CD/SACD/DAC) and his Gamma and Classic Column speakers, and will continue to partner with us as he has in several previous shows. We had several folks tell us we were one of the best sounds at the show! We also did numerous demos with our new Audio Electronics by Cary Audio products driving a pair of Adam Audio Classic Compact monitor speakers. Showgoers were amazed by the level of performance we achieved with this very modestly priced system, and marveled that we could make the Audio Electronics gear in America at these prices.


Cary Audio’s Marketing Manager Katie Wright handled our booth in the Marketplace and talked about Audio Electronics with many of the shoppers looking to improve their systems and increase their inventory of great music. Katie even bought a big stash of vinyl records for her own collection. In the MIT room, VP Kent Loughlin was once again pleased with the performance of our Cary Audio gear (Cinema 12 surround processor used as a 2-channel preamplifier, SA-500.1 monoblock amplifiers, and CD-306 CD/SACD/DAC running hi-res music files from a Mac Mini computer), and thought their presentation went very well. Several people commented that it was brave to use a cinema processor for music in a high-end show like this, but we handled the duties very well.


We are increasingly finding that these consumer high-performance audio shows around the world are important venues for us as a manufacturer to use to promote our products. RMAF in Denver is the granddaddy of the shows here in North America, is run exceedingly well, and represents a great opportunity to get in front of those who are serious about their music systems. Thanks to all the other manufacturers who used our Cary Audio gear at this year’s show, and to all the music lovers who came by and enjoyed our presentations!

Cary Audio at the 2012 California Audio Show

The third annual California Audio Show was held at the Burlingame Crowne Plaza Hotel right next to the San Francisco airport, on August 3-5. Cary Audio was represented by one of our local dealers, Blue Moon Audio of Pacifica, CA. Owner Len Kinsey chose our SLP-05 tube preamplifier, CD-303T SACD/CD/DAC, and SA-500.1 solid-state monoblock amplifiers to go with a pair of Tannoy Westminster Royal speakers and a Linn Klimax digital media player, all connected with Kimber Kable’s top Select Series cables. Rather than a regular hotel room, Blue Moon elected to display in one of the larger ballroom segments, giving a much larger soundstage, and allowing many more visitors to listen to this remarkable system.

California Audio Show California Audio Show

Attendance at the show was much higher than last year, with our room busy most of the entire three days. Estimates were that we saw about 800-900 people come through to listen to our room, many of whom came back several times and told us it was among the very best sounds at the show (in spite of being much lower priced than many of the systems on display). With careful placement of speakers and chairs, and several ASC Tube Traps employed, we developed a huge soundstage with width, depth and height, and impressive sound whether playing soft and delicate music, or turned up to realistic live performance levels. Sources were SACDs and CDs played on our CD-303T from our own libraries as well as those brought in by attendees and reviewers, and a large selection of hi-resolution files streamed from a NAS by the Linn Klimax.

California Audio Show California Audio Show

Cary Audio’s Tony Weber was also a participant in one of the educational seminars at the show, entitled “Listening to the Science of Audio.” This two-hour-plus class/panel discussion included MIT Cable’s Tim Brisson sharing the stage with Tony to teach about actual music theory and how instruments make sound, relating that to how equipment needs to operate to reproduce the music accurately. MIT’s founder Bruce Brisson moderated the panel discussion and contributed some engineering comments about how a cable works within a system. The other participants were recording legends Cookie Marenco, Paul Stubblefield, Tam Henderson and Marcia Martin, discussing the advantages of analog tape as a recording medium, transferring files to DSD and its advantages, and a look at all the various hi-res formats available. We had about 40 audiophiles attend the seminar, and they responded with many questions and positive comments.

California Audio Show California Audio Show

Visiting with Len Kinsey at the close of the show found him very tired but extremely happy with the results of this, his first audio show. Having just reached his second anniversary of opening Blue Moon Audio, Len was looking to establish himself as a name in the Bay Area audio community and build credibility for his formula of a few selected quality new product brands, and a large and ever-changing inventory of high quality used gear on consignment. “I’ve been very successful so far, and my clients really like what we offer, but I wanted to make more of an impact in the industry. I thought the California Audio Show would be an ideal venue to make this splash. I attended last year as a visitor, and decided that if I was going to participate this year, I needed to make a big statement. So I took one of the ballroom spaces and brought the big Tannoy Westminsters and the top Cary Audio models to really show what we do. So many people told me that we had their favorite room at the show, and I have a lot of contacts and appointments that resulted from our exhibit. This was really great for me and for Blue Moon Audio, and I’m very excited to see what comes over the next few months. Cary Audio’s electronics plus the Linn hi-res streamer and the Tannoy Westminsters make a fantastic system, and most of the visitors had never heard this gear. I am so pleased that we decided to participate in the California Audio Show this year!”

Cary Audio at the 2012 The Capital Audiofest

The Capital Audiofest was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rockville, Maryland just outside of D.C. The show took place on July 13-15, 2012. Our dealer, Sound Field Audio, exhibited our SLI-80 integrated amplifier with our CD-303T CD/SACD player.

Capital Audiofest Capital Audiofest


Cary Audio at the 2012 T.H.E. Show Newport Beach


Click here to view the Show Report PDF (526 KB)

Cary & Tannoy Cary & Chapman Cary & Totem Stereo System Cary & Totem Theater System

Cary Audio at the Munich High End Show, May 2012

Our Germany distributor, Input Audio, participated in the 2012 High End Show in beautiful Munich, Germany from May 3 to May 6. The exhibit was located in Hall 4, stand number L07.  Cary Audio products on display were the CD-500 player, SLI-80 integrated amplifier, SLP-03 preamplifier, and the SA-200.2 power amplifier.


Bernd Homke of Input Audio told us the exhibit received lots of attention from customers, dealers, international visitors (manufacturers and distributers) and the press alike. We appreciate the great job Bernd did with the show.  

Cary Audio at the LA&OC Audio Society Event, April 2012

On Sunday, April 22nd, the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society (LAOCAS) held their monthly meeting at Evolution Audio & Video in Agoura Hills, CA. The featured manufacturers making presentations were Dave Kakenmaster of GoldenEar Technology and Cary Audio’s own Tony Weber. The LAOCAS is the world’s largest audio club with well over 1000 members, and more than 100 braved the LA traffic to come to the meeting on a beautiful spring day. To accommodate the large crowd, Evolution Audio & Video and the Society set up a PA system in several of the store’s sound rooms to handle to overflow seating.

crowd Evolution Demo System

After lunch, LAOCAS President Bob Levi opened the meeting and introduced our hosts, Jay and Leon Frank of Evolution AV, who welcomed the guests. He then introduced GoldenEar’s presentation, and we learned of their history and philosophy. Following Dave, Bob introduced Tony, and the process was repeated for Cary Audio. There were a lot of questions about products new and old, and quite a few about our Cinema 12 surround processor and multi-channel amplifiers, which a lot of folks thought was interesting given the audiophile slant of the crowd. It was understandable, however, in that a lot of them wanted to know if it was truly as good as they’d heard when used as a two-channel preamplifier. Since many people can’t afford the costs or the space for different dedicated systems, a single preamplifier that can be the best of both worlds is a great advantage, and with the Cinema 12’s reasonable price, it made a lot of sense to them.

Tony Weber SLP-03 Winner

Following the formal presentations, the Society held a series of product auctions and raffle giveaways, highlighted by the grand prize of a Cary Audio SLP-03 tube preamplifier! A pair of GoldenEar monitor speakers was auctioned off, and several sets of cables and a lot of albums and CDs were given away. The crowd was then turned loose to wander Evolution Audio & Video’s showrooms to listen to our demo system and others. We set up an SLP-03 tube preamplifier with a CAD-120S MkII tube stereo power amplifier in Jaguar Midnight Blue, playing over GoldenEar’s flagship Triton Two Tower speakers. The CAD-120S Mk II was running in triode mode for 60 watts of Class A power, and all agreed that it was a remarkably good sounding system, particularly given its relatively modest price. We were kept there for over two additional hours to play music and answer questions, which made for a long but satisfying day. This was a very enjoyable meeting and produced a lot of pointed questions and interesting demo material. Thanks to the LAOCAS for inviting us to participate as a featured manufacturer and to Evolution Audio & Video for hosting this large crowd in their wonderful showroom!

Cary Audio at the Salon Son & Image Montreal Hi-Fi Show, March 2012

The 2012 Salon Son & Image show in Montreal was a resounding success for Cary Audio.  Cary Audio partnered with our Canadian Representative, D2MK Marketing, to reintroduce Cary Audio to Montreal and Quebec.  We were enthusiastically received while highlighting Cary Audio’s reference SLP-05 preamplifier, SA-200.2 200 watt solid state amplifier (new to Quebec), Xciter DAC, MS-1 music server, and the impressive Waterfall Victoria Loudspeakers from France.  Always a synergistic combination, Cary Audio and Waterfall Speakers dazzled attendees with a smooth, airy and wide-open sound stage with prodigious bass, definition, slam and control.  Folks were in awe by the sound the Waterfall Victoria’s were capable of considering their wonderfully attractive glass enclosures and affordable Cary Audio electronics.  The SA-200.2 drove them with ease and despite running for almost five days straight, even all night long, remained cold to the touch.  Not even the smallest trace of heat could be felt.  Quite spectacular for a 200 watt per channel Class AB amplifier!  Cary Audio garnered attention from consumers, dealers, and manufacturers alike.

Salon Son & Image Salon Son & Image

Most times, the suite was filled shoulder to shoulder to capacity.  Many individuals commented we had some of the best sound at the show at any level, and hands down the best sound for the money.  We agree!  Cabasse of Canada (French Loudspeaker manufacturer) was also highly impressed by our sound and used our SLI-80 integrated amplifier in their suite the entire show to demonstrate their $22,000 3 SA speaker system.  You read correctly, a $3995 Cary Audio integrated amplifier delivering stunning sound to a pair of $22,000 reference loudspeakers. 

Cary Audio at the CES, T.H.E. Show, and the Noel Paul Stookey Concert, January 2012

Click here to view the Show Report PDF (3.46 MB)

CES Noel Paul Stookey

Cary Audio at the Rocky Mountain Audio Show, October 2011

In October, the annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest was held at Denver’s Tech Center Marriott hotel. RMAF has developed into North America’s largest high-end showcase, and the only place to see many of the most esoteric or obscure brands of high-performance audio equipment. Overall attendance this year was just a bit down from last year’s record traffic, but the number of exhibitors reached an all-time high. The show provided two live evening concerts to help us “calibrate our ears.” The Friday night event was by French-Canadian singer-pianist Anne Bisson, who came by our room on Sunday to listen to her latest release. She closed her eyes and pointed to where each instrument was supposed to appear, and then smiled when we hit all the targets.


Cary Audio had a demo suite, partnering with Chapman Audio Speakers (Vashon, WA) and MIT Cables (Rocklin, CA). We also had a nice selection of absorptive and diffusive room tuning panels built by Chapman Audio and Tube Traps from ASC. We highlighted our SLP-05 tube preamp, CAD-211FE monoblock tube power amps, and the CD-306 Professional CD/SACD/DAC. All of our gear was driving a pair of Chapman T-8 speakers through MIT’s top of the line Oracle cables and power conditioning.


We had many overwhelmingly positive comments about the sound in our room, talking about the huge and deep soundstage, the speed and accuracy of the bass, and the smooth mids and highs. Many attendees came back to our room multiple times over the three days of the show to listen again to different material. On Saturday morning, MIT presented a seminar on the technology behind their cables, and how they tune them to give even and accurate octave-to-octave (or even much finer resolutions) balance and timing. Cary’s Tony Weber was a part of the seminar as well, translating the very technical concepts into how they relate to musical performance, drawing diagrams of musical overtones series and playing sounds to show octaves and other intervals, and discussing how instruments actually produce music and how we perceive it and reassemble it in our brain.


As always, the RMAF was a very productive show. We were very encouraged by seeing a growing percentage of the visitors being under 40, and listening to a wide variety of music. There IS more to life than listening to a jazz trio with a female vocalist, and the Cary/Chapman/MIT room was able to take requests for all sorts of music, leading to lots of smiles, bobbing heads, and tapping toes. And after all, that is what it’s really all about – the music.


Cary Audio at the TAVES Show, October 2011


This was the first show in ten years to be featured in Toronto.  The idea was enthusiastically received, yet everyone from reps to dealers to consumers were very cautious as no one really knew what to expect.  The organizers are the same folks that put on the Montreal show each year.  The show was held downtown at the King Edward Le Meridian, known as a very upscale hotel.

Hours were Friday 11 am to 9 pm, Saturday 10 am to 6 am with cocktail party afterwards, and Sunday 10 to 5.  Our main active system was to be the SA-200.2, SLP03, and CD500 driving the Waterfall Victoria’s with the Iquascu shown as well.  A secondary active system was an iPad feeding the Xciter DAC (digitally with the iPad digital photo adapter) driving the Waterfall Hurricane/High Force 2.1 active sub/sat system.  Also on static display was the SLI80, Cinema 12, and the MS-1.


Cary Audio at the Arizona Audio Video Club Meeting, August 2011

Cary Audio was invited to make a presentation at a monthly meeting of the Arizona Audio Video Club, in conjunction with Randy Bankert of Sonist Speakers showing off his brand new Concerto 4 model. Tony Weber took a CAD-300SEI single-end triode integrated amp and a CD-303T CD/SACD/DAC to the show to partner with the high-efficiency speakers.


The event was held in a fairly large meeting room (30 x 30 x 12) at the Tuscany Falls community clubhouse in Goodyear, AZ. 25 members of the AV club were there and had a spirited time listening and asking questions. We were supposed to run from 7:00 to 9:00, but didn’t stop the music until after 10 PM. The group had very eclectic musical tastes, which is great, and were extremely impressed by the musicality of the system, as well as the dynamics and volume it achieved with “only” 15 watts per channel in the large space.


After the club announcements by president Woot Wooten, Cary began the show with a presentation on the history and product philosophy of Cary, and then went to several widely varied music clips. Lots of questions were posed, and lots of musical requests were made. After a break, Sonist took their turn at the helm, and then it opened up into the free-for-all play your own CDs that is so much fun.


Several of the club members either own or used to own Cary gear, and there was a lot of interest in both the amp and the CD player. Sweet Spot Home Theater, the hosting dealer, made a few appointments to do in-home demos of the Cary equipment in the days to follow, so it was very successful.


A big thank you to Bill Coomes of Sweet Spot, and the members of the Arizona Audio Video Club for giving us the opportunity to show off Cary Audio to this group of dedicated music lovers!



Cary Audio at T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach, June 2011

Partnering with our dealer, The Home Theater Experience of Oceanside, CA, Cary Audio made a splash at the inaugural T.H.E. Show at the Orange County Airport Hilton.  By adding a display of classic cars, three wineries and a cigar dealer, show management turned this audiophile show into a luxury lifestyle event and drew over 4000 visitors over the three day weekend. Cary was shown in two systems with Tannoy Prestige speakers and XLO’s newest top-of-the-line Purple Reigns interconnects and speaker cables. Actively shielded power cables and the ART room treatment system came from Synergistic Audio. There were also a number of other Cary products in use around the show, and we thank those vendors who chose to use us to make their systems perform at their highest level.

room view

Our main large system utilized the SLP-98p tube preamp and our CAD-805AE monoblock SET power amps. Music was played using CDs and SACDs in our CD-303T tube DAC/CD player, which also handled hi-res music streamed from a computer. We also demoed a Krell KID iPod digital dock/DAC playing Apple lossless music files to show how good this portable medium can truly sound. Speakers in this system were the Tannoy Yorkminster, using their patented Dual-Concentric drivers in beautifully made teak furniture cabinets, and featuring very high efficiency. The combo of that efficiency with the Single-Ended Triode amplification made for beautiful music, highly dynamic, yet very detailed at even low levels. Tannoy only has six dealers in America for their Prestige Series, so we had a lot of interest in them. After setting up the system, we measured it with acoustic analysis software and found that we were, other than a room resonance bump around 90 Hz, flat within +/- 3 dB from 20 Hz to 16,500 Hz before it started to gradually roll off.

large system

On Saturday morning we had a family come in to listen, Dad, Mom and a little girl about 6 years old. They wanted to hear a female vocalist so we put on a sequence of Jane Monheit singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” followed by Tierney Sutton doing a fast scat arrangement of “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead” after asking the little girl if she’d ever seen “The Wizard of Oz”. Once Jane started singing the chorus the little girl brightened up, recognizing the melody, and started to sing along. The whole room erupted in a big smile and listened to her, and after a moment she realized that everyone was looking at her. We moved on to the other track, telling the audience we were moving from Kansas to Oz, and as soon as the melody hit, the little girl jumped up and pulled her Dad to his feet and began to dance. This broke up the crowd, and a man sitting next to them looked up and said, “Isn’t that what it’s REALLY all about?” Rather than picky audiophiles listening to the equipment, this girl was literally moved by the music and showed us that indeed, this wonderful hobby is about entertainment and enjoying the music. Word spread around the show floor and people came in asking if this is where the dance was being held.

We also had a second smaller system playing, showcasing the Cary CAD-300SEI tube integrated amp, also SET, and using our MS-1 music server and Xciter DAC for a source. All were connected again with XLO cables and Synergistic active shielded power cords. We hooked up to a pair of mahogany Tannoy Kensington speakers to this system.

small system

We heard many comments from visitors that we were one of the best sounds at the show, particularly given our “real world” pricing compared to some of the stratospheric price tags in some of the rooms. We were very gratified to hear these affirmations of our quality, and as usual, were stunned by how many visitors told us they had Cary equipment at home. Thanks to Eric Engebretson of The Home Theater Experience and his crew, and to the other vendors we worked with, for such a successful show!



Cary Audio Design at CES 2011

Cary Audio Design had a major presence at the recent International CES 2011 in Las Vegas. In our own demo suite at the Venetian Hotel we showed two different systems and introduced our new Cinema 12 surround processor. We also demoed our new SA-500.1 solid-state monoblock amps to great response, including some review requests from the media. We were told by many that our presentation sounded much better than the other two rooms using the Focal Scala Utopias, so Cary does it again!

We also exhibited two complete systems in conjunction with Waterfall Audio, a French manufacturer of high-end glass speakers. At the T.H.E. Show, running concurrently at the Flamingo Hotel, we had a CD-303T upsampling CD/SACD/DAC being used by Teresound in their display.

The traffic at CES this year was much improved, and the general mood was much more upbeat and optimistic than that of the past few years. Dealers, reps, other manufacturers and the press all seemed to breathe a sigh of relief, hoping that the worst of the economic downturn is now behind us.

Cary room large system. SLP-05 preamp, CD-303T Upsampling CD/SACD/DAC (running hi-res computer music files through the DAC), (2) CAD-211FE tube monoblock amps (on Thursday & Sunday), (2) SA-500.1 solid-state monoblock amps (on Friday & Saturday), Focal Scala Utopia speakers,Tara Labs cables, Richard Gray Power Conditioning.


Closeup view of new SA-500.1 amps and a CAD-211FE amp.

Rack holding Cary Cinema Series gear, featuring the new Cinema 12 surround processor on top.

Cary room small system. SLI-80 integrated amp running in Class A triode mode, CD-500 upsampling CD player, MS-1 music server and Xciter DAC (running via iPhone control app), Tara Labs cables, Richard Gray Power Conditioning.


Cary system in Waterfall Audio room (French glass speakers). SLP-05, CD-303T and (2) SA-500.1 in a custom-made equipment rack, next to the Waterfall Niagara speaker. They also showed a small system using our SLI-80 integrated amp and CD-500 upsampling CD player



Cary Audio Wins Brutus Award

from Positive Feedback Online for Xciter DAC

Brutus Award

Read more about what they had to say here.


HDMI 1.4 update for Cinema 11a

We are very pleased to announce an upgrade to the Cinema 11a to incorporate the latest in technological innovation.
The Cinema 11a surround preamp-processor has won industry awards and received numerous rave reviews over the past two years. It has the latest features available and with the current addition of the new HDMI 1.4 standard, it is on the cutting edge in the latest technology. Cary is pleased to announce the availability of an upgrade to allow owners to refit their Cinema 11a to take advantage of this new technology.
Cary will remove the current HDMI 1.3 connection board, along with its digital electronics, and replace it with a new board incorporating two HDMI 1.4 inputs and a pass-through output. HDMI 1.4 inputs allow the Cinema 11a to:

  • Support most common 3D formats and coming 4K display resolutions through much higher data transmission speed.
  • Support 48-bit Deep Color at 1080p.
  • Support an Audio Return Channel (ARC) from the TV, enabling multiple sources connected via HDMI to the TV to send their fully digital audio bitstreams back to the Cinema 11a for processing.
  • Support HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) connectivity, allowing multiple networked devices to communicate via a 100Mbps Ethernet signal carried over their HDMI cables.
  • Support HDMI CEC power on/off features:  
    • Connected TV and Blu-ray player will power off when Cinema 11a is turned off.
    • When Cinema 11a in on, connected TV will power on when connected Blu-ray player is turned on.

It is very important to be able to take advantage of the latest technologies without having to reinvest in new gear every time something newer and better comes along. Cary offers its products’ owners a chance to upgrade their equipment to meet the latest high-speed HDMI 1.4 specs, and makes their investment much more secure.

If you are interested in upgrading your Cinema 11a to the HDMI 1.4 standard and its accompanying features, or if you have any questions regarding the upgrade, please contact us at 919-355-0010 or e-mail at

The Retail Price of the upgrade is $595 plus shipping charges.
Thank you for your support.
Sincerely, Cary Audio Design

Cary Audio Wins Audio Oasis Award

from Positive Feedback Online

Stradivari Audio Elite

Best Sound Elitexpo 2010 Spain


Stradivari Audio Elite took home top honors at the 2010 Elitexpo in Madrid Spain on October 8-9 2010. Their system was awarded best sound of the show. The system consisted of Raidho C2 speakers, Cary SLP 98p preamplifier, Cary CAD 805 AE amplifiers, Gryphon Mikado Signature CD player, Gryphon Powerzone AC distribution block, and Stradivari cables. Also on display was a Cary 120s MKII and the SLI 80.

Congratulations Stradivari Audio Elite!


Pictured: Gabi, Ignacio, Miryana, Juan, Consuelo, Vincente, Jose


Cary Audio Design at RMAF 2010


We are proud to be partnered with several other High-End audio companies at this year's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Be sure to stop by and see all the latest goodies on display.

Room 8000 - Partnered with Usher Audio and JPS Cables:

Main System - SLP 05 Preamplifier, CAD 211FE amplifiers, CD 303T SACD Pro disc player

Small System - SLI 80 Integrated Amplifier, CD 500 disc player


Room 1114 - Partnered with Waterfall Audio:

Main System - Model 1.500 Solid State Amplifiers, SLP 05 Preamplifier, CD 303T SACD Pro disc player



Cary Audio Design at CEDIA 2010


For over 21 years, Cary Audio has represented the state of the art in quality music and home cinema reproduction. Winners of countless awards and rave reviews, Cary has established itself as a member of the truly elite class in the industry.

Now at CEDIA Expo 2010 in Atlanta, Cary is pleased to offer you a look at the future direction of this market leader.

NEW PRODUCTS – Visit our booth to see several new items:

  •         MS-1 Hard disc music server/Shoutcast streamer – now shipping – along with its companion Xciter DAC (4 digital inputs including USB, up to 192 kHz sampling).

  •        CD 500 Audiophile CD player – Based on our acclaimed CD 303/300, with balanced and single-ended outputs, upsampling up to 768 kHz – shipping Oct.

  •         Cinema 11v Video switcher/scaler for large systems – now shipping.

  •         New 2.200 Stereo power amp (200 w/ch, solid state), following in the footsteps of our award-winning American-made 7.125 and 7.250 (will also be on display).

  •         New 1.500 Monoblock power amp (500 watts, solid state), for the biggest and baddest systems you can build!

  •       See a surprise in the evolution of our Cinema 11a surround preamp-processor.

Come visit with us to take advantage of these new products and programs. We see a renaissance in two-channel music systems and in better-quality home theaters, driven by 3D, streaming media, and serious gamers. Cary is uniquely suited to help you reach both of these markets, offering proven products and innovative programs to help you serve your clients with the best of both worlds. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

Cedia 2010 - September 22-26, 2010

BOOTH #4628 – CEDIA EXPO 2010



Billy Wright named President of Cary Audio Design

November 2 , 2009

Cary Audio Design is pleased to announce the promotion of Billy Wright to the position of President. 

Wright has been the company's COO since 1992, and his extensive experience will help make this transition a smooth one for Cary Audio Design.  Wright will continue to manage the operations and sales channels while overseeing new product design and R&D.

This change was effective upon the retirement of Dennis Had on October 7th, 2009.  Had's passion for audio has spanned fifty years; since founding the company in 1989, he and Cary Audio Design have become icons of the two-channel vacuum tube audio industry.  Since 1992, Had and Wright as partners have successfully grown Cary Audio Design to its current leader status in the high-end audio industry.  Looking to retirement, Had plans to pursue other interests while continuing to consult on future vacuum tube designs for Cary Audio Design.

Cary Audio Design has an extensive history in developing innovative and award-winning tube-based products.  Over the past ten years, the company has diversified its product line into other areas within the high-end audio and video industry.  Many of these products are recent award winners, including the Cinema 11a processor and the CAD 120S amplifier.  Cary Audio Design's offerings are unique as they cover the spectrum from both vacuum tube and solid state two-channel products to digital and home theater gear.  Over the coming years, Cary Audio Design will continue to focus its efforts on designing and producing the best sounding and highest performing audio and video components.



Cary Audio Design Introduces the New Xciter Integrated Amplifier


XciterAmp_frontCary Audio Design is thrilled to introduce the most recent addition to its storied history of superb vacuum-tube audio technologies, the Xciter integrated amplifier.

This innovative integrated power amplifier was conceived to be a small desktop integrated unit, and designed to please the discerning headphone fanatic and the high-end audiophile alike. In the Cary tradition, it features a gorgeous cabinet, and has a subtle touch of translucent blue LED back lighting to complement the natural beauty of the vacuum tubes.

Although it may be small in physical size, it is imbued with the full spirit of Cary Audio. Its five watts per channel in class A triode mode plays much bigger than one might expect, and its sublime musicality is just what you would expect from Cary Audio.

There is a standard quarter-inch diameter, three-circuit headphone output jack located conveniently on the front panel to pipe the music to your favorite set of cans. The circuitry is optimized to provide a good match for all high quality headphones from four to 600 ohms.

A front panel switch allows the user to select between external speakers or headphones. The beauty of the Xciter headphone amplifier is that the listener can take advantage of the entire amplifier through the headphone output. When the headphone selector is engaged, the user is listening to the entire amplifier, from the input section to the output transformer. Additional features are loudspeaker outputs and sub woofer outputs - one for each channel, and the motorized remote control function for adjusting listening level and mute.

The amplifier’s platform contains two 12AX7A input gain stage/driver stage tubes and four 6L6GC output tubes. Power output is five watts per channel in an eight-ohm load and class A triode mode. It features three selectable line inputs per channel (RCA single ended and gold plated). Sub-woofer outputs are RCA single-ended: one for each channel and gold plated. Capacitors are polystyrene, film, and foil. Power supply capacitors are 7 x 100 microfarad @ 450 VDC (low impedance electrolytic) and 2 x 0.22 microfarad @ 600 VDC (polystyrene Kimber Kaps). Speaker posts are gold-plated copper five-way binding posts. The Xciter Amplifier’s power transformer is high-efficiency Toroidal for both high voltage and low voltage requirements. Power consumption is 85 watts at full-power output.

The Xciter headphone integrated amplifier is the first in a series of products to come under the Xciter name. The next Xciter product from Cary Audio Design will be a matching Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) featuring USB, coaxial and TOSLINK inputs. Please stay tuned. Let the Xcitement begin!

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View the flyer.

Cary Audio Design Releases Cinema 11a Home Theater Processor


cinema11a_enewsCary Audio Design forays leading technology into the home theater with the Cinema 11a audio surround-sound processor. The Cinema 11a surround-sound processor was created for the video lover with a high-performance video system. It is designed to work with an external video scaler or DVD player that offers high-resolution video directly to the home cinema video display.

Utilizing the Cirrus Logic CS49700 series chipset and HDMI v1.3, the Cinema 11a has the ability to decode and playback both the raw bit stream and lossless linear PCM signals from the latest high-resolution formats available from today’s high-definition players.

The Cary Cinema 11a is dual-zone, has an HD tuner as well as AM/FM tuner, auto input signal sensing, auto set-up features, discrete command codes for IR and RS 232 remote control, and RCA and XLR balanced input and output connections. The XLR balanced input and the 7.1 analog bypass input may be set to BYPASS, or they may be processed through system DSP. Zone 1 and Zone 2 have separate discrete remote control codes for home automation control. Zone 1 and Zone 2 remote handsets are included.

The Cinema 11a may be used with DVD players and other devices that convert video signals and scale them to higher resolution. To get the optimum surround sound combined with the most vivid, cinematic effects, match the Cinema 11a with Cary Audio Design’s Cinema 11v, the highest-performing video scaler/switcher/processor available. The Cinema Series products offer high-performance multi-channel sound and video reproduction to movie lovers and surround-sound music lovers.

Cinema 11a Specifications 1arrow

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Cary Audio Design Wins 'ExC!te' Award




Cary Audio Design has been acclaimed for product innovation with CustomRetailer magazine’s ‘2008 ExC!te’ award for the Cinema 11a surround-sound audio processor.

What makes the Cinema 11a exciting is its ability to decode and playback in both the raw bit stream and lossless linear PCM signals from the latest high resolution audio formats from Dolby Digital and DTS. Cary Audio Design is the only high-end consumer electronic manufacturer that offers a product with this ability right now.

CustomRetailer’s ‘ExC!te’ competition singles out manufacturers of exceptional products in terms of innovation, value, market presence, or market impact, which is the thrust of Cary Audio Design’s mission.

Recipients are selected through consultation among CustomRetailer editors, contributors, selected retailers and industry observers, as well as through reader nominations.

The ‘2008 ExC!te’ award was presented to Billy Wright, CFO, Cary Audio Design, by Carol Campbell, Publisher, CustomRetailer, at a packed Croc’s Mexican Grill in Denver.

“Excellence in sound reproduction and technological innovation were the foremost design criteria, and we appreciate CustomRetailer helping us celebrate success!” declared Wright.

The ‘ExC!te’ awards spotlight products for consumer electronic retailers, manufacturers, integrators, installers, and service professionals that want to maximize their success in the custom-installed products and services industry.

The Cinema 11a is the ultimate in home theater audio processors. Utilizing the Cirrus Logic CS 49700 series chipset and HDMI v1.3, the Cinema 11a has the ability to properly decode and playback Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio. It has the ability to set separate Listener Profile speaker settings for playback of Music and Movies. It uses the best available components in the audio circuit, resulting in extraordinary sound quality, which is a trademark of Cary Audio Design products. The Cinema 11a contains an HD radio tuner for the highest resolution signals from FM broadcasts.

MSRP - $4000
Ship Date - November 2008

Cary Audio Design’s Cinema 11a is an ExC!te award winner featured in CustomRetailer.

See more information about the ExC!te awards.

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Cary Audio Design's CD 306 SACD Pro Rated Superb in Stereophile


Cary Audio Design’s CD 306 SACD Professional Version CD Player is rated superb in Stereophile magazine’s November Equipment Report. The CD 306 SACD Pro is recommended by influential and respected reviewer John Atkinson, who thoroughly tests and benchmarks product capabilities. This is important because consumers turn to Stereophile to identify and buy products that best reproduce sound.

One of the things that makes the CD 306 SACD Professional Version special is its Burr-Brown filter chipset. It has eight Burr-Brown 1792u DAC chips running in an extremely low-jitter, digital-to-analog converter. The SACD recovers two-channel Data Stream Direct (DSD) data and feeds it to four Burr-Brown PDM-1792u two-channel D/A chips, four used in parallel for each channel to give dual-differential balanced operation.

When playing back SACD’s, the internal wordclock frequency is 22.5792 MHz, rather than the usual 11.2896 MHz, which offers even greater resolution.

Stereophile ran tests on an Audio Precision System One and the Miller Audio Research Jitter Analyzer. The maximum output level from balanced jacks was 5.9 V with both CD and SACD data, and it was 2.93 V from the unbalanced jacks. Both sets of outputs preserved absolute polarity. Output impedance was very low, at 198 Ohms at all frequencies, balanced, and 99 Ohms unbalanced.

High, current-regulated power supplies come from large, multiple power transformers and high-current regulators. The internal copper chassis, along with a vented top cover, adds strength, durability, and incredible transport shielding.

Atkinson states, “I enormously enjoyed my time with the Cary CD 306 Professional Version. It’s on the expensive side, but for your $8000 you get a well-engineered, solidly built, superb-sounding player with close to state-of-the-art measured performance. And it has that very useful digital input, for use with a network music player. Recommended.”

For Atkinson’s complete review of the CD 306 SACD Professional Version CD player, see “State-of-the Art SACD Sound from Cary” in Stereophile’s November issue on newstands.

MSRP - $8000
Ship Date - January 2008

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CD 306 SACD Pro Player Specifications 1arrow

CAD 120S Power Amplifier is '2008 Product of the Year'


CAD120S_frontCary Audio Design won ‘2008 Product of the Year’ from Electronic House magazine for the CAD 120S Power Amplifier. Votes were based upon technological innovation, overall value, and outstanding features from Editors of Electronic House Publishing’s four magazines.

The prestigious ‘2008 Product of the Year’ plaque was presented to Billy Wright, CFO of Cary Audio Design, by Cindy Davis, Editor-in-Chief of Electronic House, at the Electronic House Breakfast in the Denver City Center Marriott.

Cary Audio Design won ‘2008 Product of the Year’ from Electronic House magazine for the CAD 120S Power Amplifier. Votes were based upon technological innovation, overall value, and outstanding features from Editors of Electronic House Publishing’s four magazines.

The prestigious ‘2008 Product of the Year’ plaque was presented to Billy Wright, CFO of Cary Audio Design, by Cindy Davis, Editor-in-Chief of Electronic House, at the Electronic House Breakfast in the Denver City Center Marriott.
Cary Audio Design’s Classic Series’ CAD 120S is now on the Electronic House list of ‘Cool Components.’ This is distinctive because Electronic House provides expert information and insight on products and technologies that inspire, excite and help readers achieve the electronic house lifestyle.Electronic House indicates, “The CAD 120S Tube Amplifier allows you to choose between 120 watts “ultra linear” power, which is known for its firm, punchy bass; or 60 watts of “triode” power, which audiophiles describe as a “sweet” type of tone.”

This innovative new push-pull power amplifier is rated at 60 watts per channel in triode mode and 120 watts per channel in ultra linear mode, both rated into an eight-ohm speaker load. The power output is rated at full power from 17 Hz to 23 kHz with rated distortion of less than one percent total harmonic distortion (THD). The output circuit may be switched ‘on the fly’ from triode mode operation to ultra linear mode by using a front panel mode operation button. Triode and ultra linear indicator light-emitting diodes above the mode operation button visually confirm the mode in which the power amplifier is working.

The vacuum tube complement, for each channel of the CAD 120S, consists of one 6SN7 octal socket vacuum tube for the input stage, one 6SN7 octal socket vacuum tube for the driver stage and four KT 88 pentode output power tubes. The circuit is a Pure Balanced design with separate RCA and XLR inputs. A soft start circuit is built in for long life and easy turn on, and it features 1,120 microfarads of capacitance in the power supply section. The output transformers and the power transformer are covered by a single transformer cover, painted to match the rest of the chassis.

The chassis is finished in Jaguar Anthracite black paint finish, covered with a hard clear coat finish, and comes with a silver anodized aluminum front panel as standard.

Front panel meters indicate the circuit bias setting for each channel. These visually indicate proper operation.

MSRP - $5500
Ship Date - March 2007

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