Cary Audio Design CAI 1 Integrated Amplifiers

5/5 (2 Reviews)


Product Description

The Cary Concept Series CAI 1 solid state integrated amplifier is rated at 125 watts per channel at 8 ohms. It is a Class A/B design with four RCA inputs, Cinema bypass, tape monitor loop and one balanced XLR input. It has remote volume and input selection. The front panel display has read outs of functions and settings. Three remote turn on triggers, IR repeaters, RS 232 port control.


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BJ Baer a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2014

Bottom Line:   
This is my second go around with this device. Like an most Audiogeeks, I've been looking for perfect synergy between amp/speakers since the early 90's. After settling my crazy buying and selling of gear amps/speakers over the past 15 years, I've settled with 3 sets of speakers: Vandersteen 1b, Linn Tukan, and Dunlavy SC-1. I switched to integrated amplifiers because of technology advancements and space/price. I've owned the Conrad Johnson tube int, Krell 300i, 400i, Bel Canto S300i, Jolida 302, Rega Mira, the new Rega Brio, and then lastly the Naim 5i-2. All of these amps have their qualities and I enjoyed them all for what they can do, not what they cannot. This Cary amp doesn't rally have a "cannot"

I can pick a point where each of these amps may outperform another. The C.J. was like flowing melted chocolate, the Krells were so defiantly precise, the Naim's "all at once" quality is unique, on and on. Where all of these amps excel in a segments of music they don't seem to do all the aforementioned well. For instance: where the Krell trounces the Naim in brute force, it's beaten in tonality. I'm not smacking any of these excellent devices.

I wish the Cary had the force of the Krell, the liquid quality of the C.J, and the scary Jazz trumpet Naim musical weirdness. It doesn't, it just has 90% of each quality. Where one amp fails and another triumphs, this guy just keeps trucking on cruise control.

The reason I kept these 3 sets of what some might call mediocre speakers is because they are so vastly different in the way they convey music. A good amplifier will handle each with a deft hand. This integrated amplifier does not fail with any pair mentioned. Thanks for reading my review. And, good luck in your search for synergy.


Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2008



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Stliong a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 3, 2009

Bottom Line:   
I compared this with a lot other integrated before making the purchase: Exposure 3010, Onkyo A9755, Bryston B100SST, Roksan Kandy K2, CEC 5300, Pioneer SX-A9-J, Arcam FMJ A38, and others that I've forgotten the model #. The Cary is by far better than any of those amps. Listening to it, I felt that I'm hearing what the recording is supposed to sound like. It amplifies the source just as it is without adding any coloration or warmth or sounding bright. The ICE module is just awesome and at the price the dealer offered me, it's the obvious choice against PS Audio Trio C100 amp that's also ICE based. It also has balanced input should the need to use it arise in the future. The amp will probably last me more than 10 years.

During the audition, I also tested a few CD players and no surprise the one that sounded the best is the matching Cary player. But I'm not ready to break my rule of spending more than $1K on a moving mechanical item like a CD player or transport.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2008

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Authorized Dealer




Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating



Atlantic Technology:



Magneplanar: