help with harshness / brightness - cary 303-100


I'm really new to audio. I've just set up my first system. Its: plinius 82000 int. amp, well tempered classic TT with upgraded arm and platter, cary 303/100 cdp, energery veritas 2.3 speakers. I just added the turntable last night and the entire system sounds great. I am now wondering if I have a problem with my cd player fitting into my system or if there is a cable tweek that can help. The harshness that is present really makes me turn the volume down and after a short listening session ... loose interest and leave the room. I'm currently using the reference 2 monster cable for interconnects and monstercable 12 gauge flat wire for my speaker cables. I'm ready to purchase cables ... is there a cure? Or should I try another player for my system that is less bright? Room treatments?
andrew7540
You are missing : Tubes !
In that the Well Tempered is fine I doubt it's the room. I would try some other cd players before trying cables, this may help narrow the options
Being an owner of the 303/100 for some time now the last thing I find the player to be is harsh or bright.
Just my 2 cents, you may want to try the Harmonic Technology Pro Silway 11 ic's.
A much cheaper endeavor then switching around cdp's and there are a fair number for sale right here on Audiogon.
I know both the Cary and the Plinius, though not together. I can't imagine they would be bright. Something else must be going on.
How many hours of break in time do you have on the player?
It requires about 300 hrs. before it smooths out.

Set it to play on repeat and let it play continuously to
build up break in time when you not useing your system.

Check out the review on the Cary website. It covers a sim-
ular situation to yours, and describes the break in solu-
tion. WWW.positive-feedback.com/issue3/303.htm
There is no doubt that tubes are most effective solution. At least a tube preamp. If it is that harsh, cables and breakin are nothing. Maybe there is a CDP that won't burn your ears in comparison to your TT in that system, but tubes are a sure cure. I just added a nice tube pre to my Cary 303, and I am tellin' you, its it.
First off, I would be tempted NOT to ad Silver cabling to an ALL solid state system. Try one length of Cardas Golden Cross, between your amp and pre, or CDP and Pre. GC is very mellow, yet does not hide information.System synergy, with cabling is what the holy grail is all about. It takes some time, but is worth the effort.
The thought of adding a tubed pre, is very good advise also, but try some cable changes( borrowing from a dealer), and see what happens. Make sure the cables are broken in.
Tim
With all due respect to Ohlala, you do not need a tube preamp to get unfatiguing sound from the Cary CDP, especially with the Plinius integrated.
Well Drubin, he does have a fatigue problem with the Plinius-Cary combination. I have heard the Cary with other "nonfatiguing" SS amplification, and it was harsh. Tubes are a sure cure, so one does not have to search around for that certain special SS pre/amp. Sure Andrew could try other thing like different CDPs and whatever, but I suggested tubes b/c they rule with the 303. So yes I am sure you are right, but I did not say the Cary has to have tubes.
THANKS EVERYONE,

I GUESS THAT I HAVE SOME WORK TO DO. I'D WHICH DIRECTLY TO THE TUBES BUT ... THEN I'D HAVE TO GET BOTH A PRE AND AMP. SO I THINK THAT I'LL TRY SOME CABLE OPTIONS FIRST. IF THAT FAILS ... WHAT ABOUT THE CARY TUBED PLAYER? OR A DAC?

ANDREW
Soundlogic makes a good point about putting silver interconects into the system, a good quality copper cable may help you smooth out the harshness. Tubes are nice but they will also change the sound of your analog. Charliee also makes a good point about break in, some of the best components sound like you're dragging a cat behind a buick until they break in, which can take quite a long time.
I suggest that you change your weakest link first: the cheap speaker cables.
Stranded speaker cables have a reverse sinergy with digital, they emphasize digital's harshness, glassiness and sibilance, which most of the time is encoded in the disc during the (usually poor) production phase.
May not be fair to compare your TT with your CDP. Just a thought. Your Cary is a fine player. i am not sure you would be happy paying the difference to better you Cary. You may be amazed at what a Neuance shelf will do in improving this fine CDP. I think you will be very impressed if not amazed at what some of these isolation devices are capable of. Components will come and go, but my Neuance and Sistrum racks will always be part of my system. I also agree with those who mention tube gear. But I am a tube snob. Hope things work out for you.
I just replaced my Bettercables.com silver serpant speaker reference cables with Cardas Golden Reference cables and I can not believe the difference. Everything opened up and the music came alive. Get rid of those monster cables before you do anything else.
The speakers, not the CDP are the problem. Cary is not bright and is forgiving of brightness errors. IMHO.
I had the Cary cd player from 6 years ago. The one where you place the cd in upside down. While other people liked them I thought it was ultra bright and it WAS tubed. Very fatigueing. I am not sure if it is the same player as the one mentioned. He was using panasonic cd players and modifying then
I too thought the Cary and several others sounded bright. Try a Linn Ikemi, very smooth, especially with acoustic music.
In my last thread I claimed Cary was a modified panasonic. That is wrong. The modifications were done on a pioneer.