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Cary Audio Design CAD 300SEI
16 Reviews
rating  4 of 5
MSRP  4995.00
Description: <ul> <li>15 watts per Channel</li> <li>Single Ended Triode design</li> <li>300B output tubes</li> <li>3 stereo input pairs</li> <li>ZERO feedback design</li> </ul>


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Reviews 1 - 5 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: December 27, 2011

Bottom Line:   
Well! What an amazing integrated tube amp. this is!
l have Radford, Leak, Armstrong, Audio Research and Mcintosh tube amplifiers and the only ones that come close to the sound of the Cary 300SEi is the: Radford STA25 & Mcintosh 275.

lt is beautifully designed (cosmetically/electronically) and an absolute credit to Dennis and the people at Cary on its outstanding performance.

The output tubes are Cary's own 300B's (which are magical) and the input & driver tubes are OTK recommended by my hi-fi dealer, than using Cary's own input & driver tubes. lt is just something my hi-fi dealer has been experimenting with and recommended OTK tubes.

The sound is truly gorgeous, playing cd's from: Tori Amos, Jennifer Warnes, Susanne Vega, Chris lsaak, Mark Knopfler to Miles Davis, Marcus Miller & Acoustic Alchemy. The voices are clear and precise as is the instruments on the jazz/fusion cd's.

Equipment used is:

> Tannoy (Dual Concentric) Stirling Speakers
> Tannoy Prestige Super Tweeters
> Linn Genki CD Player
> Bi-Wired speaker cable - using 'Transparent The Wall Speaker Cable', with Kordz banana plugs
> And good quality (not over the top price) interconnect leads

Crystal clear with the right tube combination ie; highs, mid's, lows and plenty of power


Similar products used:
Radford STA25, Audio Research VS110, Mcintosh 275

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010

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

Date Reviewed: November 27, 2010

Bottom Line:   
A stunningingly gorgeous sounding amp if you don't use the western electric tubes. The 300 b Western Electrics make the highs screech and limit bass. The best tubes that sound great in this amp and last long are the JJ Tesla 300b.
the chinese 6sn7 and electro harmonix both sound well,These tubes gve the base slam- in efficient speakers and the music and detail within become fantastic. it draws you into the performance and the music...no more upgrades now because I can enjoy the music. The best speakers I had heard this amp with were paired with wilson's Duettewhich were absolutely stunning.

It shouldbe mentioned that my amp came with an upgraded power cable and western electric tubes. try tesla 300 b's and you'll love it, i wll never get any other amp after four years with this its still beautiful music...enjoy the music. Oh forgot to mention ideally get efficient speakers that aren't overly bright. Also a great head phone amp.
I listen to everything but rap and screaming death metal--yuk.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by YOKY a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2009

Bottom Line:   
a noisy bull sh(i)t!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

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

Date Reviewed: January 9, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Can't wait to start tube rolling with this beauty. Came with Sovtek 300B's and chinese (no brand) 6SN7's. As is, it sounds great. I have 3 NOS 1950's RCA 6SNGTB's on the way and will try some other 300B's later. It's driving a pair of 1978 Klipsch Cornwall's loud enough to part my hair. At softer volume the sound is great. My reference cd track is "Voodoo" from the Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet. Compared to the other amps I've tried it is fantastic. You can hear the bass player's thumb hit the string before you hear the note. The drum sounds are so clear I can hear very subtle differences in every drumbeat. While I'm sure there is better sound available, I'll bet it would cost thousands more. I think my next move may be towards vinyl...

- Cary CAD 300SEI
- 1978 Klipsch Cornwalls - completely gone through - Cardas Posts, new internal wire, new tweeter diaphragms, woofers reconed
- Arcam MCD
- DIY "Jon Risch" design speaker cable
- DIY silver interconnects
- (2)DIY 1" Granite slab bases with Sorbothane sheets under each (for amp & cdp)
- BDR Cones - cdp
- Vibrapods - amp
- Lovan rack

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   audiogon

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Eric a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: December 30, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I owned the CAD 300SEI for one month. It was fitted with Western Electric 300B's and Raytheon (1950's) 6SN7WGT driver tubes. It was driving a pair of Avantgarde Duos. In my opinion, most of positive and negative comments in the previous reviews are pretty accurate. The CAD 300SEI has a glorious midrange and with certain types of music is very musical. It also soundstages and images wonderfully. However, the CAD 300SEI is sluggish and slower than molasses. The highs are extremely rolled off. The bass is plump and does not reach way down. The unit sounds terrible playing rock, slowing it down to a snail's pace. It sound terrible playing music that requires drive. Female vocals, acoustic, and jazz were the only types of music that sounded decent with this product. Needless to say, the CAD 300SEI was not my cup of tea and was returned. The CAD 300SEI was given the best conditions (great tubes & efficient speakers)and sounded bad in my system. I can only imagine had bad it sounds with lesser tubes driving less efficient speakers.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $3800.00

Reviews 1 - 5 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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