Cary Audio Design PH 301 Preamplifiers

4.75/5 (4 Reviews) MSRP : $1795.00


Product Description

Five tube phono pre with both MC (60 db) and MM (42 db) gain stages. Tube complement: 1 ea - 5814/12AU7 2 ea - 5814/12AU7 Moving Coil Head Amp 2 ea - 12AX7 RIAA EQ & Amp; Gain Stage


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: March 8, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This may well be the best phono stage that I have ever heard, certainly the finest that I have owned. I'm still searching for the ultimate tubes but have been quite pleased with Siemens, Amperex and Mullard.
This is the only tube component that I have, the rest is Parasound SS and 1000 wpc dual mono. Even with a very old Pioneer TT (my reserve unit)and a NOS Grado MM cartridge, the system is very impressive. I probably should have waited until I had a better TT in the system to review this product but I guess the point is that if it can make that old junk sound this good, think what it could do with a really nice TT and cartridge. I'm looking forward to using the MC section.
When people hear it, they often sing or move about stamping their foot as if they were at a concert back in the 70's. Gets annoying sometimes but it's just one of those things I guess. This phono preamp really does a fantastic job for vinyl, I can't imagine much better. Everything is super clean, bass is tight and all the little nuances that CDs miss are there to enjoy.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin Burke a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 9, 2001

Bottom Line:   
When i added the ph301 to my system I was in shock,by first the instant increase in clean volume.Then it helped in cleaning the sound.I will never replace this unit,besides it retails for 1800.00.The rest of my system consists of JM LABS MICRO-UTOPIA,Silver OVAL ANALYSIS speaker cable,Harmonic TECH.Pro silway 2,CARY 572se 2 mono blocks,REGA PLANAR 25 W/BENZ MICRO GLIDER L2,ANTIQUE SOUND USA PRE-AMP although my pre-amp is ok IM getting a CARY pre-amp someday.And lastly AUDIOPRISM conditioners and power cords.VINYL RULES.....

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   audio connections



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

Date Reviewed: August 2, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Oops - that was supposed to be 5 stars overall and 4 stars for value. My bad - Sorry!

--Ev

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Evan Trent a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 1, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I got this baby as a demo for nice and cheap. Clearly it is one of the best buys I have ever made. I am now convinced that the phono stage is definitely a component worthy of hefty investment. This PH301 has improved the sound of my turntable setup (TNT III w/JMW 12" arm, Grado Reference cartridge) enormously. I like to joke that the Cary unleashed the monster lurking in my TNT etc. Without a good phono stage like this you are caging in your turntable, cartridge and tonearm.

As soon as I hooked this baby up I noticed an immediate improvement in the sound. Everything was a bit warmer (my previous phono pre was solid state), but not overly warm or mushy. The soundstaging improved tremendously and I just generally got a cleaner sound, even in spite of the famous tube hiss.

The toggle switch between MM and MC gain stages is nice. I find that the MC gain stage provides plenty of gain even for super low output moving coils.

And yes of course Cary always gets points for looks and build quality. The external power brick is a bonus too.

I have not compared this sucker to the ARC PH3 or other comparably priced and well respected phono stages but I imagine this unit would have no difficulty holding its own in such company.

Peace,

--Ev

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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