CJ is great stuff, but I'm a huge Cary guy now. I love the warm sound it produces. All of the F1 stuff from Upscale Audio is stellar.
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Thanks again. I have not had the chance to audition them yet. I know what I like but have not had the chance to hear them both. The Cary seems to be more of a "pure" tube amp with P/P wiring and no circuit boards. Thereason I through the CJ in the mix is that for the same price as the F1 I could get 9/10 mid-level CJ pre (PV15) & amp (MV60SE w/6550 output tubes. I already have excellent Kimber interconnects. I have read all the reviews and I know that Dennis Had at Cary is one of the Grandaddy's of the tube scene and highly respected. But then so it CJ for simple circuits and top drawer parts. I just don't know the difference in sound. I guess I'm just programmed to think seperates are inherently better. Maybe I should look at Cary seperates?$$$$.
Jd thanks for the response. So you are very happy with the F1 triode. Did you worry about giving up the pentoide option? I have Dali Helicon MK'2 and am wondering if I wouldn't want to have that extra 40 watts in reserve for the right music and conditions. I would most likely spend most if not all my time in triode myself. Are the sonic improvements for straight triode worth giving up the switchability? Thanks
On paper the Helicon does not appear to be an ideal match for a tube system. If you are dead set on tube amplification, I know there are better candidates for speakers within the same price range. As I recall, Cary had a 120S powering Helicon speakers @ RMAF 07 and it was nothing special.
OTOH, if you are dead set on those speakers and amps, I would go with the Cary since it offers more power.