Cary Audio Design SLM 100 Monoblock Amplifiers

SLM 100 Monoblock

100 watts - Class A

User Reviews (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3  
GlenNewdick   AudioPhile [May 21, 2005]

They Have great value, looks really good specially at night. good extended highs (with the right tubes), non fatiguing,lushes mids they really are that good, bass that will get the solid state boys off your ass. they may even convert I got one. the over all presentation is just great. huge sound stage full, deep, involving. Very Musical as my musician friend's say


Tube cost is high the amps are very dependent on good tubes but thats the way with all tube gear. sound stage not as deep as the CJ pr-11 but still very good (just being picky) ultimate high end extension is not as good as some very expensive solid state gear but it's a very small limitation that most will not notice and I think it may be my ProAc's

I picked these up a year ago and have re-tube them with GE NOS GTB-6SN7 and SED Cryo Kt-88's they have been broken in. I also have had Various Russian EH,JJ and Chinese tubes I hate seeing tube gear reviewed with out telling what tubes you use I find it makes a huge difference so I've included my preferences. Associated gear ProAc Response 2.5's Speakers Cary SLP 94L PreAmp with Millard CV4003 12AU7 tubes and Capacitor/Vol pot upgrade. (The best purchase I have yet to make in audio). Nonpariel MM phono drive, Custom made, I have yet to find something that sounds better.and I've tried. Oracle Delphi Mk2/RB-600 with incognito wire/Clear Audio Virtuoso Wood NVA CDP-50/Link3 DAC FullNelson. Wire; Siltech silver gold through out 15'6"x23'5" room On to the SLM-100's Did I like then well yes very much, there still in my system. They are very sexy looking. Two large deep and narrow chaises with 4 Kt-88's and 2 6SN7's each. Mine are not the chrome plated ones but there still nice. The size could be a problem to some they are large and take up much floor space. not to mention not easily fitting into stands. First thing you should do if your considering buying a use pair is Add re-tubing costs to your budget they are not cheap to re-tube with four 6SN7 and eight KT-88's I would expect to pay $400-$1500 for tubes depending on your taste. I'm mid way in there about $900. So That brings my cost of ownership to about $3400 Canadian. Ok on to the sound. well at first I was a little disappointed they were dead sounding and the highs were very screechy. Oh look at them cheep tubes ok so out with the tubes in with some EH wow much better now I see some of my money's worth but still not right so out with them tubes in with some NOS GE GTB's and SED Cryo Kt-88's ok to clarify yes I Brock in all the previous tubes before buying new ones I'm not that daft. Well after all the re-tubing and changing out some power cords (still don't know why that makes any difference but who knows they look cool) I think I have found what the other reviews seem to gush about. Highs are extended crisp and clean (tubes make a huge difference here)none fatiguing. nice thing about the highs is they sound life like. Mids: Well they are tube amp's. they are not overly worm like most tube mid's but they are so very lushes. women sound like women, they don't grait me like some Amps can. no mater what tube I used they still have great mid's. Bass I've tried many amps before buying the Slm-100's Bryston, Sim Moon, CJ Premier 11, Pass Alpha 2 and every one was different in how they did bass. I am a little demanding in good bass it's one area I don't like to settle too much on. and I don't feel I have had to settle on anything with the Cary's. they give a very deep, fast, not mushy bass that I just have to say surprised the hell out of me when I first turned on the amps. I had just had the Bryston 3B SST in my system for an extended demo and was very pleased with the bass from this amp(lacking in other area's)but have to say the Carys play deeper cleaner and almost as fast (when listening to Marcus Miller they showed me what the ProAc's were capable of in the bass) As for there power I have yet to run out but the ProAc's don't need that much and can over drive my room if played to loud. Sound stage has huge width, I have yet to hear a sound stage so wide in my room even with the CJ's. it's actually fantastic its so wide and seamless the CJ's were a little deeper but no near as wide. The Slm-100's truly shine in the over all presentation they don't do anything wrong and can get out of the way and let you listen to the music. For ProAc owners you got to try a tube amp it wakes them up. for every one else theses amps got lot's of power sound great and for the money you can buy a pair there a steel. Just wish I was rich so I could afford one of the big brothers from Cary. Note: I tried the Amps with a CJ Premier 17 pre-amp as well with very good results but it was out of my budget at the time. Also Had them driving JMlabs Mezzo Utopias at my local audio shop and that was well great even the highs were clean on them beryllium tweeters. Ok yes I have heard better amp's, I just cant afford a tube 100w amp that can out perform this amp. I'm sure if I looked I could find one but I'd rather stop now and enjoy the music. Ok one last thing Tubes Make a huge difference ;-)

Similar Products Used: CJ premiere 11 Bryston 3B &4B Sim Moon w3/5 Pass Alpha 2 (going to buy one some day for a second system very nice too for a ST) there were more but those are the most resent.
Michael Boros   Audiophile [Oct 31, 2001]

Detailed, accurate bass, pushed speakers to perform at new levels, separation and excellent customer support.


$5k price, though a bargain for the quality, may be high for many.

The following review is for the SLAM 100s and not the SLM 100s. Until there's a spot for me to review the SLAM 100s, I'll just post it here.

I will preface this review by saying that I am a budding audiophile. I'm writing to report my experience with a pair of Cary Audio Designs SLAM 100s that I bought used. The SLAMs replaced the SLMs, offering better bass support and more power 168W Push-pull/100W triode. Though Cary has recently discontinued this line, I'm told they are seriously considering re-releasing them... I hope so.

Here's my system

-B&W CDM-7 speakers/B&W Nautilus 804s (I recently upgraded)
-Sony STRDA-777ES Receiver
-Technichs DVD-A10 DVD-Audio
-2 Sony ES 300-CD changers for bulk music listening...
The upsampling in the DVD-A10, providing much greater
resolution, is used for serious listening
-Sunfire MkII Sub
-Monster Z-2 bi-wire cables and misc. Monster Z-series
and Kimber interconnects

I've had most this system for ~ 2 years now and have
been fairly pleased. Originally, this was meant to be
an A/V system. Recently, a move has given me the
opportunity to build a music system in the living room
and an A/V system in a mini-TV room upstairs. I began
auditioning components to replace my ES A/V reciever
so that I could use it for it's intended purpose.

I've been searching for several months, without
success, to find a component that would make a big
difference in my music system... "Bang for the buck."
I auditioned a Parasound amp, but found it colder than
my ES. I auditioned a set of Rotel mono-blocks, but
found them to be harshly forward-biased. I auditioned
a Krell integrated (I really wanted to like this),
finding it to be only a slight improvemement over my
ES. At the end of the day, I figured there was one of
three problems: 1. The Sony ES was performing poorly
as a pre-amp for the other components 2. The other
components were new and needed break-in 3. My ES was
just an Sony enigma... (Possibly why it weighed
70lbs.) 4. My ears were broken.

Considering buying a second used ES for the upstairs
room, I had the opportunity to audition a kit that a
friend of mine built. The sound was warm and much
more relaxed than my ES. I did, however, notice that
the bass was a bit sloppier, but reckoned I'd
eventually add a sub to my system for listening to
content with serious bass. I was now ready to make
the jump, with associated tradeoffs, to tubes.

After about a month of shopping and tube research, I
came accross a good deal on a used pair of
SLAM-100s... I jumped.

Now, after my first evening with the
SLAMs in my system, I was floored! I could tell a few
things right off the bat:
1. There is no trade-off with these monos... silky
with a slam!
2. I have more separation coming from my speakers than
I ever though possible.
3. My B&Ws CDM-7s reproduced bass so accurately, low and
sweet that I may be selling my sub!
4. This is not my friend's home-built kit, these
things are dead accurate, powerfull, sweet and
beautiful to look at.
5. Music is wonderful! I don't think I'll be spening
much time watching TV or videos now.

The difference between these amps and anything else
I've heard in my home is huge. This is not the sort
of difference it takes a well-trained ear to behold...
we're talking Mad Dog 20/20 vs. Opus-One here. I
never expected such a dramatic improvement, especially
considering I'm still using the ES receiver as a
pre-amp. My next change will certainly be to add an
SLP-98 to my system.

Lastly, I replaced my B&W CDM-7s with B&W Nautilus 804s (thanks to the generous upgrade policy provided by the folks at Future Sound in Burlingame, CA). Wow, what a huge difference. It's not really fair to compare the 804 sound with the sound other amplifiers made when driving the CDM-7s, but I can say that the Cary SLAM-100s really like the Nautilus 804s.

In sumary,
-The Cary SLAM-100s are very nice amplifiers and will, IMOHO, provide good bang for the buck.
-Cary may be rereleasing the SLAM-100s!
-These amps drove my B&W to sound like completely different speakers... seemingly more efficient and detailed
-The bass with these monos is accurate, powerful and generally amazing!
-Though, these block allow you to switch between push-pull and triode, I've never needed the extra power offered by push-pull... 100 Watts of triode is plenty loud!

Similar Products Used: My first tube amp... previously Rotel Monoblocks, Sony ES receiver, Denon Integrated amp, etc.
Dean Steinberg   Casual Listener [Dec 27, 2001]

Beautiful in appearance with an incredible glow at night- I have them finished with the optional ?nickel plated base.The sound is absolutely wonderful and the 3 dimensionality is exciting


J & J tubes

I purchased my Cary SLAM 100 monoblocks in July 2001, new. they were "upgraded" with KT88 J& J tubesm oil filled capacitors, nickel or aluminum plating and after a few weeks of burn in time, they sound incredible. It has been extremely hard to enjoy them though, since a fuse blows almost every day that I listen to them. Either it is a 1/2 amp fast blow tube fuse or a 3 amp slow blow power fuse. Thus far, I have purchased 4 new tubes ($75 each) and used all four to replace the tubes which this amp came with new. 3 tubes glowed orange or white and blew tube fuse. One fuse died and blow power fuse. I have yet to hear form Cary - I really feel that they should either pay for tube replacements when this new, or check out amps for me to see if there is some internal problem. Anyway, Every time I get to hear one whole song (let alone one CD) I am grateful, they sound so nice. Would rate a 5 if costumer service intervened.
Other equipment:
Muse 3 pre amp
Pro Ac 2.5 Speakers
Accuphase DP55 CD player
Synergistic Reference interconnects
Nordost Speaker Cable
Vans Evers Line Conditioner

Similar Products Used: none
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