Cary 805 C or 805 AE?

I have decided to buy the Cary 805 monoblocks and now have two used on the hand.

One is the Cary 805 C mk II which is about 10 years old and with the 6SL7 input tube (only one) and without the possibility to change between the 845/211 tubes (this feature is not important to my since my speakers have a sensitivity of 107db and I don’t need the extra power that the 211 tubes can give).

The other is the Cary 805 AE which is about 2,5 years old with the dual 6SN7 input tubes.

There is a 2000 dollar price difference and I’m wondering if it’s worth the extra bucks. Instead I would rather spend the money on buying quality tubes like Sophia Electric.

So if anyone has experience in the difference between the two with 845 tubes please share.

I like the simplicity of the 805C and the use of the higher gain single 6SL7 as oppose to the dual lower gain 6SN7. If you do not need the flexibility of the 845/211 tube, then the 805C at the lower price is the way to go. Take the money saved by going with the 805C and reinvest the money with better caps (Mundorf Gold/Silver/Oil or Cardas Teflon) and resistors (Riken Carbon) for an amp that will sound better than the 805AE. Both the 805C and AE benefit with upgraded tubes.
Hello, do you happen to know the rationale as to why Cary went from single 6SL7 to dual 6SN7?
I would note that some speakers (like my Parsifal Encores) do change character when the 845s are pulled for 211s. The ability to preview with both 845 and 211 and stick with the better match for the speaker that you are using at that time (and that speaker may change over time) is valuable to me

Good Luck

Charles1dad, I will reiterate what a Cary "insider" told me. Cary had taken the 805C as far as they could, but the marketing department wanted an "Anniversary" edition of their fabled 805. Cary did not want to change the 300B driver nor the 845 tube as they found the 300b to be the perfect driver for the 845. Cary decided to change the 6SL7 for dual 6SN7 and added a switch to increase filament voltage for use of a 211 tube. Some will argue that the AE sounds better than the 805C and vice verse, but both are definitely within the same family of sound, which is excellent. Marketing departments within audio companies seldom loose arguments.
805c has lower sensitivity then 805ae. So if you are gain scaling your system its an important consideration. I run dac direct with 2.5v coming out of that thing. I wanted the newer amp but would have to digital attenuate too much
Thank you all for your responses!

@ Brf: I like the simplicity to and would go for both upgrading tubes and caps and resistors. Cary offer some upgrades - have you tried these?

@ Martykl: Good point but I prefer the 845 tube with my Avantgarde speakers and I will not be changing to other speakers for years - only upgrade within the Avantgarde Duo line.

@ Lewhite: I have the dCS Debussy dac and use the 6V output which works fine with the 805C. But plans are to get my hands on a Cary SLP 05 :-)
6v into a 1.7v to clip amp? Dac direct? or what pre?
Lewhite, the dCS Debussy dac has an adjustable level with a digital-domain volume-control. In a system with only digital sources, you can use the Debussy as a preamplifier.
Nobody seems to be considering the differences in iron between the C & the AE. See the stereophile review:

"Other features of the CAD-805 Anniversary Edition include a "new and improved" output transformer "to yield full bandwidth coverage at full power output." According to Dennis, the 805 Anniversary "plays deeper bass with more driver control"—a claim quickly verified with my review pair of Triangle Magellan speakers. Snazzy WBT speaker binding posts are supplied as standard."

Of course, there is no more important part in any SE amp than the output transformer. Better bandwidth means not just better bass & treble but also a faster amp. This is something you aren't going to "fix" in the C with upgraded caps & resistors.

Disclaimer: I have a pair of AEs for sale.
Hi Brf,

I own Cary 805C and thinking about upgrading the coupling capacitor to 0.22 Mfd Mundord Silver oil. Do we have enough space for this cap ? Which resistor do you replace with Riken ? I try Amtran which is similar material to Riken on my preamp, it is amazing. Please let me know, thanks.
Yes, there is space for the Mundorf gold silver oil caps. I put them in both my 805C and 805AE amps. I believe my tech replaced all the resistors. Not sure how many there are, sorry. If you need the info really bad I could look up my receipts.
Hmm Paul "new iron" I remember when VTL went to bifilar As i remember custom to deluxe. They claimed full power bandwidth. When I heard the improvement to my 300s I thought naah, Ill stay right where I'm at. Made a good tube amp sound like an OK sand amp. Although that was a pp amp, could the change be simular in a dhSET?

All others; mundorf silver in oil or silver/gold in oil? I too want to throw money.
Hey Brf, I`m in southern Ontario and was wondering who did the work on your Carys? I would like to get mine upgraded so any additional info would be great!
Thanks in advance.
Bert, send me a pm and I will send you the info requested.
Hi Brf, I feel a fool but I don`t know how to PM you. Help me please!
Bert, under the old Audigon system members could pm one another. I can't find that feature under the new Audiogon. If you feel comfortable about posting your email on this thead, I will respond to you directly.
There is one .22 from input to 300b and a 1.0 bypassed with .22 parallelled with the interstage trans to the output tube. Do you guys change the big cap too?
I try to locate the 2uF with .22uF bypassed between 300b and output tube but I swear I don't see it anywhere :(
I took some pics if you can help then I will send pics
My contact thuan2000 at hotmail dotcom
I do have schematic and this cap is there in the drawing :)
Cary 805C : Added 0.22 uF, 400V Duelund RS bypass capacitors at the 6SL7's. Stock caps were Jensen paper in oil. Also, added 0.22 uF, 600V V-Cap CuTF's that feed the 845's from the 300B's. Stock caps were Audio-One. Significant improvement in the Cary 805C. Considering removing the V-Caps and replacing with Duelund Cast PIO. The Deulund capacitor line is by far the most satisfying capacitors I have everueeen exposed to. One questionable Duelund capacitor to my liking is the Cu/Ag Hybrid. They seem to have a slight sizzle (unlike V-Caps) that my ears dislike but the jury is still out since these are still breaking-in. Duelunds appear to need a break-in period similar to V-Caps in 400-500 hour range. They are good out of the box but the magic really occurs after break-in. The best value by far is the RS which is a smaller CAST-PIO but these only are rated at 400V so you have to be careful where these are used. Thanks, M. Adams