You are missing : Tubes !
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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-
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.
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.
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.
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.