Please help me with a Cary Audio tube question

I am the lucky owner of a pair of Cary Audio CAD 40M Signature Edition mono Amps. They have 2 EL34 tubes each and I am wondering if I can change this two for KT88 or even better KT90. I have ask Cary Audio without ant repond, hope someone here can help me!!!!
You can but it will require surgery and some changes, how good are you with a hot iron.

Cary is a good company, they will probably respond, and probably even offer to do the mod for you, they are slow on e-mail. Give them a couple of weeks if they haven't responded and you might follow up with them again.

you could wait for a response,
OR just Call????
If you want a KT-90 amp, then why not sell the CAD-40M Signatures and buy the design that you really are after?

You'll probably spend less money, and end up with a better result.

I can understand your desire to move away from those tubby EL34's. They certainly aren't my favorite power tube, either.
I am living in a country (Denmark in europe), where it is impossible to find other Cary Audio!!!!!
So if it doesn't need big changed, i would try KT 88/90 or if it need big changed I will keep the EL34
I have previously inquired about what I believe to be the same amplifiers as yours - with the same question. My concern was not having enough power to drive the speakers I was intending on in the future.

I called Cary directly(you should try), and was put in touch with a very helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable gentleman. He informed me that this was no problem. The only issue was to make sure to bias the amp correctly for the type of tube.
Why do you want to change tubes in your sweet sounding Cary´s?
In my opinion it´s one of the best compromises between transistor- and tubesound. I have a pair myself, and coldn´t dream of doing anything. They´re as perfekt as can be!
'Lucky'? I was looking for a tube amp that had any kind of reasonable specs (low distortion) and found the popular brands did not even come close.

To avoid distorting the source material beyond recognition through speakers with any kind of accuracy, <0.1% THD over a 5-50k frequency range is needed. The ATI line of SS amps for instance spec at <0.005%. I think the Cary line is pretty much 1-2% (at 20hz-20khz). You do the math.

You like a 'warm' soft sound? Put cotten in your ears. It will accomplish the same thing. Really.

'Supposedly, there exist a few triode amplifier designs of exceptional transparency. Usually their power output is below 20W and insufficient to drive most speakers' (Seigfried Linkwitz).

The very low distortion Hafler DH-200/220, Muse 160, ATI, (and Bry$ton or the really $$ Jeff Rowland) solid state designs start looking good about now.

You aren't a SS fan, are you?

To each their own. Some people like to put cotton in their ears. Keeps them from hearing diehard ss fan's endless preaching.

You do know that spec's are not the end all, don't you?

No offence, and nothing personal. But I am a fan of 'true to the original' sound in my playback system. I want to hear what is on the CD: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Believing it is not rational to use the system as a mixing device for what I do not like in some recordings. Well, many recordings. OK, most recordings.

But once I do, its set, and can only changed by replacing some component, tweak, or wire (the industry loves it when I do $$$). And I then have no option to hear the magnificance of life like sonically superior recordings that can be very close to being there. Few though they be, there are enough, and certainly well worth the minning necessary to dig them out.

Tubes can make progress to that end, and if I could find a tube amp with low enough distortion to, and enough power to drive may upper/mid range drivers, I would be there.

Your characterization of my motive so missed the mark, you just embarrass yourself.

Be polite, even if you disagree.

As I stated previously, to each their own. I will also reiterate that spec's are not the end all. As for who has embarassed themselves, well, we will just leave that determination to the readers that come across this thread.

I am suprised you utilize CD playback considering your quest for "being there". Vinyl is supposed to be truer to the source, yes?


I was looking for a tube amp that had any kind of reasonable specs (low distortion) and found the popular brands did not even come close.

That's fine, but that's not the way everyone buys amplifiers.

Is there an 'end all'?
I have noticed that those manufacturers, and the writers who review them, who's spces are not very good tend not to address them, but when they are indicitive of superior quality in the component, they do get empahsised. Hmmm.

If I may suggest: that there are say two approaches to audio most commonly taken by audiphiles. One is to mix and match the individual components, cables, and tweaks, of their system to create a 'sound' they like.

The other, to achieve the lowest distortion possible in their system to reveal as accurately as possible what is recorded on the source material. Becoming very selective of which recording they spend their money on, and may even write letters to the industry complaining about the incompentantcy demonstrated in blatently producing inferior recordings of even great performances by gifted and talented artists.

The one is ever fretting about say the sonic characteristcs of even the wire that connects two components together, the other tends to concern themselvs with obtaing revealing, transparent speakers, appropriate to the space they will operate in, their setup, and a distortion free amp sized to power them. Then searches out source material with tolerable sonic characterists becasuse they can now hear the differnces in the various tracks on the recordings available.

The one uses their system to mix out characterists they do not like, and imagine they are mixing in qualities provided by even a copper or silver wire, a brass or plastic cone under a component, and so on, that it improves the music the artists created on their intruments, oblivous to the 'psycho-acoustic phenomenon' that enabled the popular opinion of the newly invented telephone to be that, 'it sounds just like the person is there' (of course that quaility is not present to this day).

Some are immersed in cables, vibration isolation and room treatment devices, the poetic descriptions of alleged sonic chAracteristis all such devices, components, and methods ---the language of which soon tends to all sound the same, and becomes annoyingly repetitive, about each item, while others are enjoying the relative realism of music they love in the privacy and comfort of their own home.

As the Frost poem (The Searcher) depicts: the man searching cannot find what he is looking for because it would end his search.

Digital, analog, copper, silver, golden mean, this room ratio or that, Acme, Ajax, Smith, Jones, device upon device, etc., etc., etc.

Find revealing speakers appropriate to your listening room that do not unnecessarily excite those pesky room modes you are hard pressed to do anything about (which box speakers are the most famous for), a setup of which does not require a vice for your head so as not to lose the very precise and limited 'sweet spot', find the setup that allows them to perform at their best in that space, power them with a low distortion amp, get a large roll of Radio Shack wire in case they end up in an unlikely spot, then use whatever other components you have a particular fetish for (Vinyl records if you enjoy balancing a feather on the head of a pin), AND ENJOY THE MUSIC.
That is too bad. Sad, really.