Cary CAD-211AE tube rolling

I have done a search but have been unable to find a similar thread. I am after opinions from people who have tried tube rolling their CAD-211's.

I have replaced the standard Chinese output tubes with a quad matched set of Shuguang Psvane 845's from Grant Electronics. They took a long time to burn in, but once they did they are a definite improvement over the stock tubes. Wider soundstage, more detail, and better dynamics.

I have also replaced the no-name 6SC7 input tube that came with my amp to an Electro-Harmonix 6SC7, and then a vintage RCA 6SC7. The EHX was a downgrade from the standard Chinese tube, sounding muddy despite burn-in. The RCA is a definite improvement, with much better micro-dynamics, resolution, and a more lush presentation.

I am now after a new 300B. I would like to try the KR, but these are now very expensive. Emission Labs make a few (including a drop in replacement for the Western Electric 300B) - these are available in plate and mesh forms.

Cary 211 owners - what 300B's have you tried in your amp? Or for that matter, what tubes have you tried?
I know you're asking about the Cary 211 and I have the Cary 805 AE's but I think they might be close enough to comment. For the 300b, I like the Sophia Princess mesh and the EML solid plate. I also have the WE and KR balloon but the two I mentioned are my favs.

Have you ever experimented with setting the bias a little lower? I'm finding I like the low 50's better than the recommended 60 mA.
Thanks Onemug. I had an 805 before "upgrading" to the 211 (more of a sideways move, really). What do you like about the Sophia and EML? In what way are they better than the KR and WE?
The harmonics seem to float a little more with the Sophia meshes. The EML solids just seem to sound right overall. I am on the hunt for EML meshes, very curious how they would sound.
I have heard that you can't use EmL mesh in this location with this amp.
Lewhite, I wondered about that too. The EML meshes take the least amount of dissapation I have heard of. On the Cary 805 AE's, you can adjust the bias of the 300b so I am thinking I can "dial" it in, maybe run it in the low 50 mA's but I have 300b amp that specs out fine for them so I hope to try them in the near future.
I thought I would bump my old thread with a report on rolling the 845's. I have compared the standard Cary supplied 845 with the Shuguang Psvane 845T, and the KR Audio 845's.

Cary no-name 845's: rather thin sounding with the most lacklustre tone of the three. Good dynamics, especially good microdynamics.

Shuguang 845B: AVOID! DO NOT USE THIS TUBE IN YOUR CARY! I have tried this tube on two occasions and each time, the amp blew up. The first time, it actually burnt out a resistor and the bias pot. The second time, the fuse exploded and took out the fuse holder. That's right, the fuse did not just blow - it exploded. I had to remove shards of glass from the fuse holder. It was not a faulty tube - these were 845B's supplied by different people. The base is physically thicker than any of the other 845's, and it is a bit of a tight squeeze to get it into the socket. The internals look to be better built than its more expensive cousin, the Psvane 845T.

Shuguang Psvane 845T: sounds horrible out of the box. Needs 100 hours of burn-in, then this tube REALLY opens up. This is an exciting sounding tube, with excellent dynamics and a wide, deep soundstage. Tonally it is richer than the Cary 845's in the midrange, but the top end can be a little glaring. This is an impressive looking tube - it is physically larger than most 845's, is heavy, and glows very brightly.

KR 845: also sounds horrible out of the box, and needs 100 hours of burn-in. Tonally the best of the lot - the bass, midrange, and top end are incredibly lush and rich, with no hint of the brightness of the Shuguang Psvane. The sound is simply beautiful - going back to the Psvane after listening to this tube is a bit of a jarring experience. Dynamics are not as good as the Psvane. These valves glow very dimly - the Psvanes shine like a 20W lightbulb. The KR 845's emit a dull orange glow.

Best tube of the lot: KR 845 if you like tone, Psvane 845T if you like dynamics.
I realize this is slightly off topic, but I was wondering if you could characterize the differences between the Cary 805 and the 211M.

Thanks much!
Hi No Regrets - certainly.

The 211AE comprehensively beats the 805 when it comes to bass, macrodynamics (though not microdynamics), and versatility. Beyond that, it is much of a muchness. The 211AE's bass is more plentiful, and it is much better controlled. Because there is more power on tap, you can use it with more types of speakers. With my speakers, the 805AE always seemed to run out of juice, and it would sound compressed whenever the orchestra reached a fortissimo. The 211AE is a much more impressive sounding amp.

In the midrange and top end, you can take your pick. The 211AE sounds richer and fuller, but the 805AE sounds more transparent, ethereal, nimble, and light. The 805AE also has a beauty of tone that absolutely kills the 211AE in the midrange. Not to say the 211AE is bad, but the 805AE is better. Microdynamic shading is better on the 805AE (provided it is not being run too hard).

With the 211AE, tube matching is critical. If you use a pair of mismatched tubes, you will run into all sorts of weird problems. The soundstage will never sound centered - adjust it to center with a mono disc, and it will pull to the left or right with the next disc. Carefully matching tubes is essential.

Both are fine amplifiers, but for me the 211AE won out because I can listen to more types of music with it. The 805AE is a small ensemble / vocal specialist - if your music is of this type only, the 805AE will slaughter the 211AE. But with anything bigger, the 211AE has it all over the 805.
Thank you for the excellent reply. Your comparison between the two amps was very helpful!
You are welcome, No_regrets :)

For everyone else - I am curious what 300B's you are using in your 211AE's or 805AE's. Surely the sample on A'gon can't be that small. What 300B are you using, and how does it compare to the standard Cary 300B's?
I know this is an older post but I was also hoping for some experience or suggestion on the 300 B for the Cary 211 FE
Hello :-)

I have a pair of Cary CAD 211 AE, which have been fully modified inside, believe me the result is simply incredible, beyong what I imagined !
There were obviously some limitations coming from the caps and power supply. Fortunately the transfos are quite very good so it allows some tweaks without reaching the red line.
I also removed the cat's eyes which draw 1,5A from the power supply, for nothing than just a green light, and put a nice big blue led instead (1500 mcd - 16mm diameter).

The tubes I selected are :

Shuguand 845B
EML 300B (XLS for me but normal version is perfect)
NOS RCA Red base (6SL7)
NOS Siemens EL34 (6CA7)

Biggest improvement on voices comes from both 6CA7 and 6SL7, I have been totally astonished when I change the original EH EL34 with Siemens.
I've made a mistake when ordering the 300B's, I took the XLS instead of the normal ones, XLS can support up to 500-550V when the available tension in the Carys is around 370V, so the XLS are not working at their best, but anyway they work fine.

I did not imagine that a simple current source tube (EL34) could provide a so big analogic effect.