Cary Audio DAC 200 ts Opinions


Does anyone have any experience with the Cary Audio DAC 200 ts in comparison to other $4k DAC's?

Have read the online reviews on Audiostream, Enjoy The Music and 10Audio but would like to hear from real life users here.

Initially, I was leaning towards the Schiit Yggradsil as my current DAC's are both R2R or multibit.

This one uses AKM AK4490EQ chips. 


If you just play Redbook the Schitt is the way to go, as it will convert redbook (pcm) "bit perfect".

But if you want to play dsd then the only answer is the Cary, and you'll take a bit of a hit doing redbook (pcm).

Cheers George 

The $870 DSD playing Delta Sigma Gustard X20 DAC sounds better than The Yggdrasil according to three who have A/Bed them. One of those three just sold his Yggy on this forum a couple of days ago. He is keeping the Gustard. The only truth is how something sounds, not an opinion based on non listening to the things being discussed. The Cary may be as good as the Gustard....maybe better. I have not seen a post by anyone who has listened to both. The Cary looks very nice. Those AKM DACs are suppose to be very good. Dual mono too.  I am doing mods to the take my comments on it as you like.  I am, however, quoting others who have posted on their own (non modified units).

Sorry to awaken this old thread but in some music content - especially rock, the Cary 200TS beats my Luxman D-06 dac. These two compliment each other very well as the Cary has a bit of a cool sound to it where as the Luxman is warm in the vocals. The Cary sounds like a $4k dac but the Luxman is overpriced at $5k. I think it would do better around the $3k price. I love the up-sampling capability of the Cary and what the Luxman does to vocals. I have many other dacs in the $1000 price range and under and these two cannot be compared to them. ESS dac based options cannot compare to the musicality offered by TI BB and AKM chips.  Everything I have by ESS I cannot listen to 30 minutes or so at a time where as the others I don't want to stop listening and have to force myself (mainly for the lack of time). 
Had mine almost 3 weeks now and my jaw drops every time I turn it on.
I agree with Audioman, it opens the music to another dimension. Upsampling really takes the sound to a new dimension.   Best thing I've done to my system in a while. 
Updating this. I bought and ended up selling the DAC 200ts.

It sounds OK - it has a full bodied sound but is somewhat lacking in inner detail and subtler nuances. On this front, the PS Audio Direcstream is way better.

It was the shortest lived piece of equipment that I ever had.

Basically, I got rid of it because there were niggling things with it that did not work. Using it with a streamer, there were loud pops and clicks when transitioning from PCM to DSD files and vice versa in a playlist. These could be damaging to speakers. In addition, the unit had problems from the onset with advertised features. The wifi connectivity took forever to get right with many software updates and factory resets having to be done with Dan of Cary's assistance. It did not decode DSD 256 files as was initially advertised when purchased. Cary had the nerve to announce an upgrade which corrected this as a new feature when it was falsely advertised to work from the onset. On top of that you had to pay for shipping to have it performed.

The iOS controller app also kept defaulting to a later product the SI 300d integrated amp and was a bother to switch from - it would work only intermittently.

After many emails and a big fat nothing done - the Cary staff themselves had no clue what was happening with their own product - I just gave up and sold it. They gave me the impression that they weren’t going to be responsible for a faulty product they manufactured, falsely advertised and sold as many of my messages were unanswered after long periods of time. Buyer beware - you and you alone will be stuck with a Cary product if it doesn't work even if it is new. I understand now why Cary products are sold at deep discounts and why so many of their digital products especially the DAC 200ts come up for sale so often.

There is another thread saying that Cary lost its soul when Dennis Had left. I believe that is very much the case. I wouldn’t buy another Cary product now, especially not the newer ones. The legacy ones are fine and I still use a SLP 05.

I have one and its excellent in my system - Supratek pre, custom GM70 monos with Duelund CAST caps etc, Devore 96's - basically a very high end system and the DAC200ts totally lifts the rig. Sorry to hear it did not work out for you, in your system, as far as i am concerned its an awesome DAC and Cary seemed decent sorts when purchasing. Just my 2cents..
I enjoy mine very much. I did use the Mcintosh MCD1100 as my DAC and it sounded very good but the Cary with its tube out option won me over
I like mine.  I haven't tried any DSD through it, unfortunately, but the choices of tube/ss stage and upsampling work well to tailor to different music.  The tube v. solid state isn't as quite as different as I thought it would be, but it's a noticeable and worthwhile tweak.  Using the tube stage with a passive is nice and an improvement over the internal volume control, although I've been told that it shouldn't be because of however Cary implemented it.

While fun, it can be a little bit of a distraction from the music to have the urge to fiddle with it.  Oooh, let's try the solid state with this, should try it again with the tubes and upsampled another step.