Cary Audio Design Cinema 12 Surround Processor & Model 7.125 Multichannel Amplifier HT Labs Measures

HT Labs Measures

Cary Audio Design Cinema 12 surround processor

Analog frequency response in Bypass mode:
–0.04 dB at 10 Hz
–0.00 dB at 20 Hz
–0.07 dB at 20 kHz
–0.44 dB at 50 kHz.

Analog frequency response with signal processing:
–0.20 dB at 10 Hz
–0.05 dB at 20 Hz
–0.02 dB at 20 kHz
–13.33 dB at 50 kHz.

The chart below shows the frequency response of the left (aqua), center (green), LFE (blue), and left surround (purple) channels at the preamp outputs of the Dolby Digital decoder. The left channel measures –0.00 decibels at 20 hertz and +0.05 dB at 20 kilohertz. The center channel measures –0.00 dB at 20 Hz and +0.05 dB at 20 kHz, and the left surround channel measures –0.00 dB at 20 Hz and +0.06 dB at 20 kHz. The LFE channel, normalized to the level at 40 Hz, is +0.02 dB at 20 Hz, reaches the upper –3dB point at 110 Hz, and reaches the upper –6dB point at 118 Hz.

Response from the multi- channel input to the main output measures –0.04 dB at 10 Hz, –0.00 dB at 20 Hz, +0.00 dB at 20 kHz, and +0.01 dB at 50 kHz. The analog THD+N is less than 0.025 percent at 1 kHz with a 100-millivolt input and the volume control set to -6. Crosstalk with a 100-mV input was –93.41 dB left to right and –92.41 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with “A” weighting was –121.03 dBrA. —MJP

Cary Audio Design model 7.125 multichannel Amplifier

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 126.6 watts
1% distortion at 139.3 watts

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 130.2 watts
1% distortion at 148.5 watts

Frequency response RCA input:
–0.16 dB at 10 Hz
–0.04 dB at 20 Hz
–0.49 dB at 20 kHz
–4.98 dB at 50 kHz

Frequency response XLR input:
–0.16 dB at 10 Hz
–0.04 dB at 20 Hz
–0.57 dB at 20 kHz
–5.07 dB at 50 kHz.

This graph shows that the 7.125’s left amplifier channel, with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 138.8 watts and 1 percent distortion at 158.6 watts. Into 4 ohms, the amplifier reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 281.9 watts and 1 percent distortion at 313.1 watts. An input level of 58.3 millivolts was required to produce an output of 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load, indicating an overall gain of +33.75 decibels using the RCA input. When using the XLR input, a level of 58.2 millivolts was required to produce an output of 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load, indicating an overall gain of +33.78 decibels.

THD+N from the amplifier was less than 0.010 percent at 1 kHz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load using the RCA input. When using the XLR input under the same conditions, THD+N was less than 0.011 percent. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –87.30 dB left to right and –97.70 dB right to left using the RCA inputs and –94.11 dB left to right and –92.99 dB right to left using the XLR inputs. The signal-to-noise ratio with an 8-ohm load from 10 Hz to 24 kHz with “A” weighting was –102.54 dBrA using the RCA input and –102.50 using the XLR input. —MJP

Video Test Bench
The Cary Cinema 12 offers video switching from input to output, but does not do any video processing, leaving that chore to your source or display. The only relevant tests here are Video Clipping (does it pass white and below black), and Luma and Chroma Resolution, all performed here with a 1080p input to a 1080p output. And since it is rated to pass through a 3D source to the display, we tested for that as well. It passed all of these hurdles with no issues. —TJN

COMPANY INFO
Cary Audio Design
919-355-0010
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COMMENTS
sealman's picture

I have reread the review for this (Cinema 12) several times now and I still can't get over the fact that it was awarded a Top Pick.

To just gloss over the (buggy/broke) automated setup problems in this unit and give it a Top Pick is ridiculous.
If I bought a preamp that costs 4k I would hope there was a working automated setup.

If I remember correctly there was an Onkyo receiver reviewed in the same issue (that the Cary was) that had some video decoding issues that were fixed by a firmware update. It sounded like the reviewer would have not have given a Top Pick without the firmware update, and rightly so!
So why the Top Pick on the Cary when it is obviously flawed? Stellar sound quality just does not erase the fact that the Cary was not ready for review.

Lets not even get into the meager HDMI inputs......

jeffkad1's picture

It would be highly instructive if you compared the Cary set-up to the Classe set-up you reviewed last year. Especially processor vs processor and amp vs amp. You gave 5 stars to both set-ups, so does that mean they were so close in performance to be almost identical? The SSP/CT 800 is the reigning champ in pre/pros. Is the Cinema 12 really on close or equal footing SQ wise? In all aspects: hdmi/digital input, pure analog bypass, steering, etc? Regarding the amp, I have Revel Salon 2 speakers, and I am amazed that the Cary 5 ch amp at 125/190 wpc into 8/4 ohms can really drive them. Any comparative insight would be appreciated.

Thanks...

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