Cary Audio Rethinks its Solid-State Amplifiers

Cary Audio, a company known for its tube amplifiers, has introduced two solid-state power amplifiers that offer “dramatically improved performance and current-handling capacity” over its previous solid-state models.

Acknowledging its almost three decade history of building tube amplifiers, the North Carolina-based company says the new 2 x 200-watt SA-200.2 ES ($4,495) and 500-watt SA-500.1 ES monoblock ($4,995) were tested with many different speakers over hundreds of hours and voiced to deliver the “Cary Sound.”

Both amplifiers have balanced and single-ended inputs and are touted for their high current capability, 3 dB of dynamic headroom, and ability to handle low impedance loads, which translates into 2 x 350 watts into 4 ohms for the SA-200.2 ES and 1,000 watts into 4 ohms for the SA-500.1 ES.

“In our quest to dramatically improve [the amplifiers] over our previous efforts, we compared them to some of the best of the competition, often at much higher price points,” the company said in a press release. “This took months of research and development time, but we would not rest until we were satisfied that we had surpassed our previous models by a wide margin.”

“One of our primary goals was to create a product that would give years of consistent and reliable use without any maintenance. To achieve that goal, we took a hard look at the designs and choice of components. For example, we use high-precision metal film resistors in almost all our circuitry, even in places where their use is not required.”

Other key upgrades include an improved power supply, overbuilt output stages with significantly better heat dissipating properties, reduced noise floor, increased isolation between channels, and a redesigned front end. Both models are also modular in design to ensure “consistency in performance, and ease of manufacture and serviceability.”

“One area of which we are particularly proud is what we have achieved in transparency, and the way images now hang in three-dimensional space,” the company said.

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