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Cary Audio Design SLP 03
3 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP 
Description: The SLP 03 combines the desirable attributes of low noise, low distortion and ease of use making it an excellent preamplifier choice for your home audio system. This stereo vacuum tube preamplifier offers one XLR balanced input pair and six pairs of RCA single-ended inputs making it a very capable preamplifier.


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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by phd10 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 9, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Upgrade the tubes to Tesla NOS!!!!!!!

The magic happened when I got hold of Tesla 12AU7:s (ECC802S, ECC82) NOS. Already sounding good with the tubes that came from the factory, I just had a hunch there is more sweetness to get. No doubt its a very ingeniously built piece of electronic beauty, as is evident for everybody. It must be one of the best looking under the hood and definitely well worth the extra bucks just for that layout!

I knew I wanted some tubes in the signal path for that additional nerve and zing that only tubes can provide.

My choice for this rig was either Cary, Kora or Lamm, all of these sure bets, not costing zillions either.

I found matched pairs of real Teslas and the difference was at the point of tears, ya know what I mean...

First was the 3d that went all the way, remarkable. Next was this fragile sonic balance, that you sometimes can hear only from aged instruments. I must say, I really got exited. You know, sometimes, in this business, you reach out there and dont really hope to find what you really want. But then suddenly it happens!

SLP 03 has High End potential. The upgrade to NOS tubes is a must. Now I have another double pair of Teslas and 2 pairs of General Electric from about the same era, the coooold war.

They cost around 35 bucks each. So, all of you SLP 03 owners and you who think of getting one: Get NOS!

Find some really nice tubes. Then it will really, really start to sing.

The channel separation is enourmous. I did not expect it, but again this is another serious product from Cary.

I am pondering on tweaking it in that to remove the transformers and put them in external boxes. If you look closely they are pretty easily to remove. Not necessary a must do, but I am at least considering it.

EMC 1 UP , Cary SLP03, Bryston 2B SST2, Magnepan MG 12 (tweaked filters), Stereovox Firebird loudspcab, Syn. Res. Rainbow, Van den Hul The second interconnect, all balanced, then som more
but you get the idea.

Target for this setup is female voices.

I love it.



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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by robnik33 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 6, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Not widely reviewed, but the Cary SLP-03 is one damn fine preamp. Fabulous tube sound without the fuss. With the SLP-05 as its stellar big brother, I think this gets wrongly overlooked. Great value.

Pairs extremely well with my NHT 2.2 Xd system. The Xd is an amazing system, very revealing, and the Cary does a great job of balancing out the sound. Previous preamps were solid state Krell and Adcom GTP-750, both were a bit too harsh and left a bit of "transistor-itis", even when running the Adcom in passive mode. Adding the Cary added a level of relaxation to the listening, not tubey and overly warm, but to me, just right. And I have yet to experiment with NOS tubes.

I have my entire music collection ripped uncompressed onto a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo streaming wirelessly to a Logitech Transporter, which is run fully balanced into the NHT XdA amplifier through the Cary SLP-03 via Harmonic Technology Pro Silway II balanced cables. I also use a Marantz SA-8001 SACD player and Oppo DVD for playing high resolution SACD or DVD-A via unbalanced Pro Silway II. The Transporter supports 24/96 playback for downloadable high-res tracks from sites such as HDTracks. If you have not experienced hi-res audio, very highly recommended, you realize how constrained the CD format is. Prior to the Cary, I did not enjoy many CDs, that is not the case now, the Cary makes normal CDs much more listenable with more natural vocals with more air around the performers.

The Cary SLP-03 was the missing link that made my system "just right". I may tinker with tube rolling just to see where it takes me, but I do not feel compelled to run out for the next upgrade. The Cary is that good. I don't know if it will complete your system, but it sure did it for me.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2009



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tru 55 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 11, 2007

Bottom Line:   
This is a phenomenal true balanced preamp. The sound is fluid and realistic. Prior to owning the Cary audio SLP 03. I was using only solid state components. I always thought that some of my music sounded harsh when listening to my stereo especially rock music. I tried everything to correct this issue. I switched to silver IC’s and bought new speakers cables, but I still noticed a harsh sound although not as pronounced as before, it was still there. When I first listened to the Cary SLP 03. I was surprised on how good it sounded out of the box, but it didn’t have a real warm sound. What it did have was balance to it that I never heard before. The highs were crisp and airy and the midrange was colorless. The bass was tight and had impact on the music. As I mentioned earlier with my solid state preamp the sound was real harsh at times, but with the Cary SLP 03 the harshness was gone nothing, but transparent sound and incredible sound stage from wall to wall. For less than 3 G’S you’ll get a class A dual mono design using 12AU7 tubes for the output stages and 8 regulated power supplies.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Upscale Audio




Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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