Cary 306 SACD

Has anyone heard this latest cd player from Cary yet? How does it compare to the 303/300? Thanks
Is it out yet? I think it's slated to be released after 303/300, but I could be wrong.
Yes it is. I ordered mine and will be getting it very soon but just couldn't wait... I was hoping someone could tell me what it sounds like.
Nick T
Well, I can't blame you for ordering it. I love my Cary 308T (better than the 303/200 which has better detail). I gotta have the tubes to make me happy and keep it musical rather than analytical. But Cary has done a wonderful job on all CD players. Let us know Nickt how it sounds after break-in.

What's the list price?
I just saw one today at The Audio Connection in Seattle, it looks very nice, it was a silver one and it had a very refined look to it. Didn't get a chance to hear yet, as I will have to go back for a sonic audition. I am scared that I might like it too much and then try and figure out a way of stealing enough money to get it.They said it was 6K.
Yep,MSRP $6000 and I'm pretty sure the 306 SACD is a completely different animal from the standard 306's,so no upgradability.Gary.
the cary 306 sacd has been getting rave reviews on audio asylum
I have owned the 306/200 (was in my system for 2 years and loved it) the 303/300 and I have also owned both the Esoteric one box SACD and seperates, amongst other very expensive playback set-ups and I now have the Cary 306 SACD. In my system there is no question that the new 306 is really in another league. I cannot believe what Cary is providing at the price point with this player-simply outstanding! To answer your question regarding differences between the 303-300 and the 306, I could go into great detail here but won't. I will say that the differences are immediate and large between them. The 306 is the best digital I have ever had in my system, period. If interested you can see my system for reference in the inmates systems on Audio Asylum as well as more in depth info about the player in my posts there if interested.
My first discussion thread on the site!
I have had the 306 SACD for a couple of weeks now and warming up nicely. However, when I switch between redbook, HDCD and SACD during the same listening sessions, the machine just locks up (particularly on SACD discs after playing redbook) and cannot read the disc. I have to either switch off and reboot so to speak or pull out the mains socket and plug back in. The dealer said that if the machine does not have ventilation it will do this as another customer, I was told, had the same problem. I think I have enough space on the rack at the sides for ventilation.

Can any new owner explain this and any way to rectify the problem as its a pain switching on and off.
Hi, I've had the 306 SACD for a couple weeks now and have not experienced this problem. My rack is fairly well ventilated, but I doubt that would really be a culprit. Is your player hot to the touch? Mine runs luke warm.

As for music making, it is in another league from the Cary 303-300 and the 306-200. Red book CD playback is amazing and SACD blows my socks off.

The sounds is liquid, with the swell and flow of live music. The bass end is sub-terranean and the high frequencies are smooth and extended. Really incredible to hear this level of performance.

The sound stage has opened up with break-in. It is as high, wide and deep as my analog playback.

All the audiophile attributes aside, it is a joy to listen to the 306-SACD.
When I tested the 306-200 it would not read the RW disc that I had brought with me. Does the 306 SACD read Rw discs?
Thanks for your answer.
Mine is about luke warm as well.
It just cannot read discs when I switch various disc formats sometimes and locks up with Cary SACD 306 on the display. Also takes about 10-15 secs to recognise when it does pick up the formats. so then I have to unplug or switch on and off, is this usual?

Maybe I just pass it back to the dealer to check?

My 306 SACD does read and play CD-RW just fine, just tried it last night.

My player will consistently switch between SACD and CD, detect the new format and play it. It takes several seconds (about 5) to read the disc, decode the format and then be ready to play (display CD or SACD). You can hear some switching clicks in the player.

I've had flawless operation, you should too.
yes this player is for real....just bought one.i prefer its sacd playback to my rega p/ruby 3 analog setup.
Sounds like Cary has quality issues. Same transport as the Sony SCD1 means you be replacing it in a few years, Slide motor will go bad, that is the only problem the SCD1 had.

Stick with the major players of digital audio, Sony, Accuphase are the top of the heap. They sound as good as most out there and will run forever.
You'd also be missing out on one of the best players out there.Cary stands behind their products...great people to work with.
Senna: are you saying that the strength of this player is SACD playback? I'm looking for a player that strength's lie in redbook mostly or at least is equally adept in both formats.
I was blown away by the redbook performance.Before hearing the cary i "tolerated cd playback" and much preferred analog.Now it doesn't matter .The cd playback is that good.Only when i listen to the best analog recordings i. e. DCC/CLASSIC RECORDS/ANALOGUE PRODUCTIONS do i feel that LP playback is clearly superior to the redbook playback.
To my ears SACD playback offers better control at the frequency extremes and better overall balance/poise.Sacd offers better seperation of the mutiple layers of music on a given recording.LP playback has impressive body and 3-d dimensionality.
Sad to say, I've had the same issue with 2(TWO) 306/300. That is, occassionally locking up when trying to access the SACD layer. The second one also had a distinct, less than smooth tray movement.

Ventilation is NOT a problem, as this one is seated in the turntable place of prominence with air all around it.

Sound is great, and I'm resigned to working with Cary to work this out....but QC or design seems to be an issue here. Is
zero problems with mine.FYI...there is no 306/300....the new player is called 306 SACD.I also know 4 other people with this problems....just fantastic sound.
Have any of you 306 SACD owners tried it with their new 306 amp (500 watt class D) and preamp? What results?
Senna (Or anyone else that has heard this player): what players were you looking at before and how did they compare?
I compared the Cary 306 sacd to my analog setup.(rega p9/ruby3/cary ph302).I felt the SACD playback had better control of the frequency extremes ,poise,balance and seperation of the layers of music than my analog setup.My analog setup still has a very slight edege in terms 3d imaging and body.But only on the best vinyl recordings i.e. 45rpm recordings from analogue productions/DCC/Classic records.
The differances are so close that I just go for the or analog no preference.
Previous to the Cary the best digital I had heard was from a theta transport/gen va.So,I had not heard the very best digital players out there.However,if you go to the audio asylum forum.There are several postings my new 306 cary owners who have compared it to highend digital playback and analog.
Its definately worth auditioning....even if you have to travel a bit to find a dealer.
Senna: I checked out the comparisons on Audio Asylum and most of what I found were comparisons against the 303 / 300 and the earlier 306 / 200. I'm a little disappointed that the player has not generated more excitement. Maybe its me but i expected more in terms of comparions against the competition (eg Marantz SA 11, Ayre C-5xe, DV-50s, etc.). Even comparions against the recent redbook players would be a help like the Lector, Meridian G08, etc..
The practical question is - how to arrange to hear these players side by side in the same system.

The 306-SACD has only been on the street for a month, not too many are around yet. For me, it is sufficient to have this player and I have not had an interest in the other players. As I have had other Cary players, comparing to them is rather easy.

Also, I really don't know anyone with really high end digital gear.

Any suggestions on how to arrange a comaprison?
Oldvinyl - If I recall correctly, you wrote some glowing reviews of the 303/300 on AA some months back. You say that the new 306 SACD is in another league compared to that player. Could you provide some more direct comparisons between the two when it comes to redbook playback?

I have both the 303/200 and 303/300 and am giving some thought to the 306 SACD, though I dislike the idea of joining the "newest player of the month" club. I enjoy the flexibility of the 303/300 output and could live with this player for some time to come, however... I always like to leave the door open for something special.

Also, could you give us some details of the system that your 306 SACD drives?

Wouldn't it depend on whether you want SACD or not?
System: Cary 211 AE mono's, Cary 1610 mono's, Ruark Excalibur speakers, Aesthetix Io Sig w/dual power supplies, AVID Acutus/SME IV/Benz LP. Power cords are PS Audio, interconnects and speaker cables Nordost Valkyrja (Valhalla for the 306-SACD). Digital is Cary 303-300 and now Cary 306-SACD (303-300 is going in second system).

I still really enjoy the 303-300 for CD. I was not at all prepared for the step up in playback of red book CD from the 306-SACD. It sounds more like analog playback than CD. All the typical audiophile attributes got better - air, soundstage, palpability, texture, bass.

The most obvious differences are the soundstage (wider, taller and deeper and extends in to the room) and the bass. The bass on the 306-SACD is really incredible. Thunderous, taut, agile and subterranean. The 306-SACD also has a smoother and more musical presentation than the 303-300.

It is hard to believe that these kinds of improvements are possible.

I used to have a 306-200 and 308T and always intended to have 2 CD players. These 2 are a paradigm shift in CD playback.

Also, SACD is just blowing my mind. It is way better than CD (for well mastered and recorded SACD's) and very close to analog in sound.

Check them out at your dealer and let us know your listening impressions.
Robm321 - All my software is redbook and I really can't see myself replacing hundreds of my favorite CDs with SACD - even if they were available in that format, which many are not. The quality of the redbook playback is what I'm interested in with the 306 and for me, the SACD is just an added feature that I may or may not use.
once you hear what it does with SACD'S you will use it.
How 306sacd is compared with other good cdplayers in redbook cds playback, for example the new audio aero reference, reimyo, esoteric, etc ?
Anyone know if the 306 SACD can play Dual Discs?
Why not just go for the 303/300 and save some money if SACD is of no interest.
From what people are saying it sounds like the 306 has better redbook playback than the 303/300. Of interest to me is the fact that it has a digital input, which I don't believe the 303/300 has. Anyone used the digital input on the new 306 SACD?
Oh, I see. Do you prefer solid state or tubed output?
Personally, I don't prefer tubes on a CD player (I do like a tube pre though), so I like that the 306 SACD doesn't have tubes. Though, I think it is great that the 303/300 gives people the option.