Cary Audio Design SLI-80 Signature Integrated Amplifiers

4.64/5 (11 Reviews) MSRP : $2800.00


Product Description

  • 80 wpc ultra-linear
  • 40 wpc triode
  • Vacuum tube rectified
  • All point-to-point wiring


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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Otis a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 30, 2014

Bottom Line:   
Sounds amazing for the (initial acquisition) price, but sell it before the warranty expires because it'll start blowing fuses and eating tubes. I'm no techie but the left channel on my F1 Signature edition unit required CONSTANT bias adjustment after about 4 years. After that, it was eating fuses and finally the thing totally died after about 9 years. I know it's a relatively cheap amp but as a non audiophile I was hoping my $4500 would last AT LEAST 15 years. So if you consider yourself an audiophile and/or you have lots of cash, don't waste your time with this amp. If you DON'T have plenty if cash, look elsewhere or get integrated circuits. The acquisition cost, replacement tube cost, and repair bills make it a very poor long term audio investment. May as well buy Chinese if you're sold on tubes and aren't rich. At least you won't be out a bundle when it falls apart and it'll last just as long, or longer, than this hillbilly made unit.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jake a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 30, 2011

Bottom Line:   
just bought my first class a stereo best i have listen to look at a couple Musical Paradise tube amps sounded good but always broke after a month. this has great american built and has the most bass of all I have heard in a tube amp. Still looking for speakers using my dads "12" year old areo's which sound like new and tried the staffs too. I strongly recommend to tome acoustic for there build and quality and price, and looks especially for any low powered amps ilk cary audio! trust me if you haven't listen to a totem. you haven't never heard a real good speaker! Some totem speakers may be a two way but will beat out any three way! and towers have a good definite bass response. But remember the closer to the wall the more bass response will come out of it! I can even hear great detail like the hum from a fender 65 twin reverb amp. Or a person coughing in the background at a Diana Krall live concert. Also live saxophone that sends shivers up your spine and Norah Jones live voice like she was acutely there! Price

paid $2200 canadian on sale at Audio 5.1

This is a great amp i listen to all types of music to Diana Krall, Norah Jones, to Earth wind and Fire to the Doobie Brothers, kenny Loggins, journey,Chicago and other classic rock, to Stevie Ray Vaughan,David Sanborn, other blues, and Whitney Houston

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2009



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Arthur G. a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 10, 2011

Bottom Line:   
What a fantastic amplifier this box is....I have been in the industry for 15 years and heard it all. I purchased the fully upgraded version SLI80 Signature F1 Edition with Jensen oil and copper capacitors, WBT speaker terminals, CD input wired with Kimber Kable, Hexfreds in the power supply, and the Grayhill Selector switch. I have a small audio only dedicated room where Arcam FMJ36 is used as a source and Reference 3A Veena speakers. For the interconnect I use the Purist Audio Elementa Advance Presato Revision and the speaker cabling is achieved by a pair of Cardas Quadlink 5c in bi-wiring configuration. The cardas cross power cord is used with Cary amp and Cardas Twinlink is used with CD player.
I listen to variety of music material including Miles Davis, Jan Garbarek, Bill Evans, Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux, Cassandra Willson, Dino Saluzzi, as well as Genessis, Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin and much,much more...
After years of experimentation with different equipment I finally found perfect combination that let me listen to the music for hours, days sometimes without the fatigue...SLI80 is simply amazing on so many levels - first, it is very well priced and you can get used one if you decide to , and its sound.....wow!!! What a soundstage!!! I have never heard anything like that from any Solid state gear including Mark Levinson 33H that drove B&W silver signatures.....Yes, the imaging could be a tad better but one cannot expect perfection in every aspect from the piece that cost $3K....there are always compromises. I have been using this amp for two years now with Electro-harmonix set of KT88 tubes and pair of Electro-harmonix 6922s.....I played with various tubes including NOS and I have to tell you that it was a waste of time and money.....SLI80 sounds great with current production tubes that I usually get from Upscale Audio when needed. The most important issue is to chose the right speakers to work with Cary. Remember, tube amps have huge input impedance (100KOhms) so they will accent any imperfection with speakers frequency response. In other words if you chose speakers that treble characteristic is accented, the amp might sound bright!!! Not many speakers are suitable enough to be used effectively with Tube amps. That is why I hardly recommend the Reference 3A products.....I can guaranty you will be amazed....The mid-range sweetness is simply unlivable...I used to own Creek Destiny amp that hurt my ears so badly that I sold it right away...

You can't go wrong with this amp.....choose your speakers wisely and you have system for life!!!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2009



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joe a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 2, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I love this amplifier. Rich exciting musical presentation. Fabulous midrange. Bass is very good for an all-tube integrated. Highs are good. Depth and sondstage are first-rate as well. I compared it directly to many others, and it clobbers them musically. More involving than other integrateds. A great product.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1850.00

Purchased At:   Ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jack Su a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2001

Bottom Line:   
It is a very musical amp. It fit my taste better than ARC LS2 and ARC CL60 combo. The ARC combo has lots of good traits that you can describe by using the high-fi term. But, the equipments is still between you and music. For Cary SLI 80 Signature, The first though come to my mind is beautiful music, not how the high sounds or how deep the bass is. I do believe ARC combo will sound musical in different setting and environement.

The sound of SLI 80 Signature is very smooth and sweet. The sound stage is big. Bass is decent for a tube amp. Mid range is trasparent and beautiful. The high range is adquate but may be not the best. However, the low, mid, and hi are integrated perfectly and I think that is why it sounds so musical.

Some other strong points:

Endless functionality: Remote, phone amp, switch between utralinear and triode...

Very easy to bias and take lots of different power tubes:

KT88/6550/KT90/EL34...

I have exchange few e-mail with Dennis and Greg of Cary Audio. They are extremely helpful and let me feel they do care about me. That is a big plus.

In my opinion, this is a must audition amp if you plan to spent more than $2800. BTW, did I mention it is musical?

Associate equipment:
CD: CAL CL15
Interconnect Cable: Homegrown Audio Silver Lace
Amp: Cary SLI 80 Signature
Speaker Cable: Axon 8
Speaker: PSB 600

Jack

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Purchased At:   Used from Audiogon




Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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