i live 60 miles from apex n.c. and have owned many pieces of cary product.....i have owned their entry 300/100 with the sli 80 pre and 805 amps. i had some minor problems with the original 300, just a drawer problem, took it to them through the front door after calling, they told me to go to lunch and i came back and it was fixed. I never had a problem with either the pre or power, normal tube problems....i ended up with a 300/300 and used the stock tubes in everything all the time, i did not ever use any different tubes , although dennis had, owner , suggested tubes from the west coast big tube dealer..but i never did it. i love the build quality and the overall balanced sound of the cary equpment. i used them with vandersteen speakers, totem and some other good speakers and they always sounded balanced and musical. i don't use them now due to age and downsizing in equipment but i highly recommend their service dept and the build and sound of their product. it is pricey and there is alot out there....my first reason to buy was local service.....then i fell in love with the equipment and company....stay with the usa equipment....hope this may help although i didnt swap out tubes...i just didnt see any sense init...cary house tubes are excellent....
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I love my 303, use NOS Telefunken tubes and usually leave the upsampling off. I bought the CDP used, the previous owner had to change the transport and grumbled about the cost of the replacement part (he ordered the transport and had a local tech do the work). All in all I'm very happy with the Cary, highly recommended!
My system can be found here http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vdone&1106945005&view
I like the Cary 303/300 CDP very much. Like Hack above this post, I've found that early Telefunkens, particularly smoothplates, work very well with it. Nice smoothness, clarity, and resolution.
I have a pair of Amperex '57 D angle-getter Bugle Boys coming in this week, and I'm curious about them.
I've also used RCA Cleartops and RCA Blackplates with very good results, the nod mostly going to the Cleartops but the blackplates are no slouch. So far the Teles rock my boat best...
No problems with the Cary 303/300 so far. Bought it from Kevin Deal, Upscaleaudio in CA. Kevin's the man. When he's in a good mood, he's the best to dialogue with about various audio topics. Very knowledgeable with a good sense of humor.
I've also learned that RCA vs XLR cables seem to make a difference, particularly mfgr choice and the type of these cables make a big difference. The power cable choice makes a big difference as well.
Generally speaking, I prefer the tube setting with a minimal upsampling for most recordings.
The build quality seems very robust.
I'm pleased to hear that others have had good success rolling tubes. In my Rogue amp and pre-amp, tube rolling has been effective and fun, but none of the 4-5 NOS flavors I've tried in the CDP (RCA clear tops, black plates, Mullards, and a few others) seemed to beat the SS side in my set-up.
Maybe I'm due for another pair of tubes ;-)
I've had no issues with the player at all, it's worked perfectly.
My preamp needed to go to the doctor, so I setup the Cary 303/300 XLR'd directly to the MC352 and now use the volume control in the Cary.
Put in the '57 Bugle Boy 12au7s btw.
It's all Synergistic Research cabling: T2 PC to the CDP, T3 PC to the MC352, Accelerator IC XLRs from the Cary to the amp, and Accelerator SCs from the amp to the speakers.
I am completely surprised at the presence and musicality of this direct setup. I've set the volume control usually 45-58.
Any similar experiences or thoughts. I can't wait to get my preamp back and A-B the setup. Surprised me very much.
I love my Cary 300/300 but not with the stock tube,
I have roll several set of tube RCA MULLARD and
other brands and so far the sound is just no there. It is very important that you use high end cable with this unit. I have use it with Cardas Golden reference RCA and Nordost XLR. It took a long time for my unit to finally break in. I have notice that it sound better with a Cary Pre Amp, I used to have a CARY SLP-98 that I called my little sweet things I upgrade to the Cary SLP-05 that I call the beauty and the beast. I think that the Cary brand is 2nd to none.
OK, Late to the game. I just acquired a Cary CD 300.
Sounds great hooked to my Marantz. Transitioning to my Fisher 800C or Sansui 1000A. Haven't completed the rebuild yet of the Sansui( Opinions welcome to both.)
I have very limited knowledge of the Cary CD 300 and would like to know how to run tube vs SS, as I'm still gathering manuals etc.
Sounds great so far after fixing a ground and a belt for the eject. I keep the top unscrewed to give it a nudge to open the CD drawer.
What are all the available configuration options with this player?? How to configure them. Sorry I'm a fledgling in the Audiophile world.
The guy I acquired this from had amazing music and had some left in and around His Collection of Audio components. Just wished I found them before most were gone. I know this is an old thread. Thanks for any guidance. I have other Receivers and amps but am heading in the Legacy direction, not the 25K+ direction.
Speaker_ Don't give me S- but CW DC9, Klipsch Heresy, MK's, NHT's and almost, maybe Klipsch K Horns. Working on that. ( I like my Jazz and Rock) Hassle me if you want I have thick skin and limited budget! :-)
Hey skibrain1 - go to Cary Audio website at top go to "Support" then "Product Support" and you can download owners manuals for any of their past or present models. I'm still using my 303/300 although awhile back I had to change out the laser drive unit (did myself that I bought from Cary). I can't be much help w/upsampling - I always use mine in SS mode w/upsampling off. Enjoy!
I owned both the 303/200 and the 303/300, and preferred the sound of the non tube 200, most likely because it used a true PCM1072 Mulitbit dac converter, instead of the 300's hybrid PCM1792 Delta Sigma/4 bit converter.
Also the 200 had a PMD-200 hdcd filter chip and for me it really stepped another notch again when it played hdcd discs.
You're right George that is a great player however if I'm not mistaken it doesn't have the internal analog volume control which is why I like the 303/300. I owned the 306/200 way back which had the same DAC which was great but stupidly sold it to try some other players. Wish I still had it. The 303/300 in SS mode direct into my Music Reference RM10 MKII is a bad ass simple setup. If I didn't have this player I'd probably be using your lightspeed passive.
I was lucky as my total system gain allowed me to use the digital domain volume control of the 303/200 in the top 25% of full so there was no "bit stripping".
Otherwise the 303/200 was full up and I used my Lightspeed Attenuator passive pre.
I did a I/V (current to voltage) mod for it on diyaudio forums if your interested, took it to another level, as I think they all used the same i/v stage, it was a big hit with those that used it. I eventually stacked 3 of them in that thread for even better i/v conversion/sound.
George I could swear I remember hearing or reading the 303/200 didn't have a volume control & I was told the 303/300 & 306/200 had analog volume controls but I'm not a tech person just a music lover. Anyway at some point I'll have to do something else perhaps move into the 21st century with some kinda computer based rig. Vinyl is not an option. Or buy a newer reliable kick ass cd player & get your passive - just hate to lose the simplicity ie less wires & remote capability.
I was told the 303/300 & 306/200 had analog volume controls
I think? you can tell from my last link pic that the 303/300 doesn’t have analog vc. There are some reviews that say it has, but I think they got it wrong.
You can see from this pic for it to have analog vc it would have to go after the OPA2604 lp filter, but all there is a two transistor buffers, the valve stage and the muting relays before the output rca’s/xlrs’
And the 200 definitely did have digital vc.