Cary 306 SACD Professional

Has any one had an opportunity to listen or demo the new player from Cary and compare it to the competition?
I too was wondering about the new player.
I have not heard the new Pro model , but I picked up the last version now being discounted, the 306 SACD and the sound quality is awesome!
Ozzy, can you describe where the Cary and the APL are similar/different?
A friend of mine overseas just received this CDP (the Pro version, i.e.). I'm waiting to hear back from him.....
His previous CDP was the Gryphon Adagio, which I've heard several times - simply a superb/fantastic CDP!! I wonder how the 306 Pro will compare/contrast to the Adagio??
I have the new Pro 306 burning in. It is awesome. Bass, dynamics and ambience all improved over the 306-SACD. It is superbly musical too. It will need a good 300-400 hours to break in.

Have not had a chance to compare it to other players, only have other Cary models here.

I'll post more in upcoming weeks.
The Cary and the APL are both great machines.
The Cary has a deeper further back soundstage, the APL has a more up front presentation.
I also think the Cary has better frequency extremes.

Oldvinyl, that is fantastic!
As good as the 306 SACD sounds, and you say the Pro has that much more improvement, it must be the best sounding unit out there! Care to trade?

03-24-08: Ozzy
The Cary and the APL are both great machines.
The Cary has a deeper further back soundstage, the APL has a more up front presentation.
I also think the Cary has better frequency extremes.

I bought Ozzy's APL Denon 3910, and I previously owned an APL Denon 3910. My previous APL sounded considerably more open, extended and life-like than Ozzy's APL.

As it turns out, Ozzy's APL Denon 3910 was a first iteration player, and my previous APL Denon 3910 was a newer version (newer DACs, transformers, and upsampler).

My Modwright Sony 999ES is more extended than the APL Denon 3910 purchased from Ozzy, which is now being updated by Alex with new DACs, transformers and the new tubed output stage developed for the APL NWO. I expect the changes will have a profound effect on the player's performance.

The bottom line is that there are many iterations of the APL Denon 3910 players, and each version sounds somewhat different. I was surprised at how Ozzy's APL performed because it was nothing like the APL I remembered. It's now clear to me that the differences between APL versions can be more substantial than I realized.

Therefore, one should consider the various APL iterations when reading comparisons between APL Denon 3910 players and other brands/models.
Tvad, Not sure if what you just posted is true. I am not really sure of the version I had (there were so many versions), but I had it upgraded 3 times.
One of the last upgrades was well after you had sold yours, because I remember reading that you said yours was kinda of thin sounding when played straight to an Amp without a Preamp.
Ozzy, what I was posted is what I was told by Alex after he examined your player.
Tvad, My take on the 2 players as I owned them were they had different presentations, but both were very good.
There is no doubt that his new 32 bit versions will be an improvement.
What type of price discounting can normally be found on the Cary gear?
Cvman, Since the pro version came out, you should be able to pick one up for $5000 or less.
Have had the new Cary 306 SACD Professional Version player in the system for a couple weeks now. It has several hundred hours break-in, allowing the sound to fully develop.

The new 306 Pro improves on the 306-SACD in several ways. The player has better playback of the low level sound on the disc. Instruments and singers convey more timbre and harmonic detail. The best words I have is that the music seems to have more energy imparted to each and every sound in the soundfield. Ambience is enhanced, the soundstage is very dimensional. With well recorded discs (Reference Recordings HDCDs) the reflections from the rear walls of the venue are easily discerned.

Bass is tighter, high frequencies are very smooth and extended. This player is all music, foot tapping and ear-ear grins.

SACD playback still sounds better to my ears than CD. The high frequencies are smoother yet, more liquid and natural. Ambient cues in the soundstage are more realistic. This player improves SACD playback in every way over the earlier version.

Disc access time is about 9 seconds for CD or SACD from pushing the close button until the player is ready to start playing.

The player has been flawless in performance. Even after continuous play for two or more days, the case remains lukewarm to the touch.
Enjoy the music.
Oldvinyl thanks for the feedback. I have the older Cary CD306 (maybe we should dub it the "amateur" version since the new one is "professional") :)

My biggest irritation with this otherwise fine player is the drawer mechanism and transport. The drawer keeps on getting stuck on disk eject and needs a bit of manual help. Since I performed the Cary sanctioned upgrade, transport problems have largely gone away but the player still turns itself off if I give it too many commands via the remote (e.g. press "skip" 5 times in a row). Any such issues with the new player?
No problems with the drawer. I must admit, it would not have occurred to me to press the skip or any other button numerous times. That's just not my listening style. I usually put on a disc on listen to either a couple tracks or the whole disc.
Does the 306 pro's drawer eject completely out?? Or like 306 sacd with a little part left inside? I think the design of 306's drawer causes some little trouble when inserting or taking out a cd.

Has anyone compared the Cary 306 Prof with any of the following - Marantz SA-7, EMM Labs CDSA, Esoteric X-03, Ayre C-5XE, Audio Aero Prestige, Symphonic Line CD Ref? These are all multi-format (accept the last one) players of similar price points.

Also, reading the above seems to indicate Cary have quality problems - is this the case?
Is there any further views on this product - in particular how it compares with others at a similar price point?
This is a great CD Player.
Made in China - Finished in USA.
Great VFM product.

Currently I have 2 new CD Players in my set up;
Cary CD 306 SACD Professional & the Meridian 808i.2
Both are about 2 & 1 month old respectively.

As most persons have oberved, the Cary is a nice machine. Very very high on resolution. I prefer the play back on 192 Khz.
The Bass is 'taught' & goes rather deep. The 'resolution' is right up there with the best I may have auditioned.

The CD Drawer is still not as good as I would have liked. My player runs 'hot' [more than luke warm].

Power Cable change does not affect the sound on this machine. Tried various cords from Jorma Design to Transparent PLMM and the sound does not change;;

I recommend an audition to all. This might just be the 'value buster' amongst the 'new' age CD Players of the world.

I did not find SACD to be better than CD !!

Cary Audio CD 306 SACD [Serial # 08306PV6044]
Meridian 808i.2 Signature Referance CD Player [Serial # 808.200379]
Hi Schwinnindia,

A couple of questions on the 306. Others with experience are welcome to chime in to!

You feel it sounds best at 192KHz sampling. What is different about the sound at this level vs. say 44.1KHz or 768kHz sampling?

Have you tried both balanced and unbalanced audio connections? Which sounds better to you?

How long was run in on the 306?

You say resolution is up with the best. What else did you audition?
Hi Guys,

I now have 100 hours on my Cary and it sounds beautiful but
I added lassloss power cords to the amp and player and now
I have a 20% increase in everything - I have pics and the full story if any one is interested

Paul, i'm interested!! If you could post, it would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

I am also interested in your power cord experience with the Cary.