System advice and upgrade path?

Hello, I’m in upgrade mode and would like your input.

My system currently consists of Cary CAD-50MKII Sig. monoblocks, Cary SLP 50 preamp (with oil caps), Reference 3a MM de Capo-i monitors and Rega Planet (2000 model) and Rega P-3 table. Kimber Kable throughout.

It’s a very good sounding system, but recently I started to long for a bit of the bass control and air that I had with a McCormack DNA1 and Merlin TSM-SE’s I used to own.

I want to keep the de Capo’s, but I am thinking of a new amp set up. As you can see I’ve swung between the SS and TUBE camps, and of course I am looking for the “best of both worlds”. I’m thinking along the lines of either SimAudio W-5 or BAT VK-55 (tho I have not auditioned either) or something similar (Rouge, Edge etc.?).

Would the Cary SLP 50 mate with either of these amps? I might also forgo the SLP 50 because good NOS input tubes are getting so expensive.

I have also considered getting a REL sub for the existing system in hope of some bass control/ reinforcement that way.

I tend to listen to acoustic music (roots/bluegrass/folk) female vocalist, some melodic jazz and some classic rock/reggae.

So many options, which way to go?
p.s. my budget contribution to the upgrade would be aprox. $1,500-2,500.

Comments/Suggestions welcome.

first upgrade should be a new cd player. always start with source component.
Corina, I sound like the preverbal broken record may be able to get closer to audio nirvana by controling vibrations especilly for your CD. May I suggest a Bright Star Audio Air Mass/Big Rock combination as a start for around $350 and you should be quite surprised with the results. I started with just the Air Mass for 2-3weeks before I introduced the Big Rock 3 and each change was quite amazing for detail and focus, especially if your going to introduce sub(s). I'm just in the midst now of setting up another Big Rock for my integrated amp as well, just my opinion on a much overlooked improvement.
Corina, call David Schulte, owner of the Upgrade Company
at 1-269-665-7433. He upgraded my Marantz SA12S1 and saved me about $5000.00. I would not be able to find the same performance from a off the shelf unit at twice that amount.
I would put this unit up against anything out of the box.
My Arcam AV-8 will be the next component for him to upgrade
and then the Proceed HPA amp. He can do it all! I was sceptical at first but that passed quickly.
Thanks for the suggestions folks.
I was hoping to get some information on amps
that might be compatiable with my current set up.

WRT CD upgrade, I have had my eye on an Electrocompaniet (SP?) player. I have heard one of these and it was excellent.

But thats for another day...

Of late I have been experimenting with room treatments and if you have not consider them before it may be worthwhile doing this before any equipment upgrades. I have neglected this in my system far too long and on hindsight I would have preferred to have done this many years ago.....
Good luck.
1. Room treatments
2. Dedicated lines
3. power conditioner
Thanks again,

1. Room Treatments -got'em in place.
2. Dedicated lines -not yet (difficult in my space).
3. Power conditioner -got it for the sources, run my amps and pre direct.
Unfortunately, I don't know what works with the Cary pre. could try the tube pre/ss power combo. It works nicely for me (VTL/Krell). A used BAT VK 3i w/VK 200 maybe. I've heard this on B&W and Vienna Acoustics with very good results. BAT also has a new VK 3ix with a VK 250. Both of these would be plenty of power for the de Cappo's. I did audition the Rogue 120 monos w/Thiel 3.5's and their bass control was adequate, not great, but acceptable. How about the Quicksilver V4 monos? Haven't heard 'em but they get great reviews. Last suggestion is to look at the VTL stuff. Because the DeCappo's are so efficient, I would think that the VTL MB 125's would work pretty well. Those amps have EL 34's. The VTL ST-150 has a bit more power and uses 6550's, so I imagine you would get better bass control with that. The pre also has some influence on bass and the VTL's do a wonderful job in that area. Another idea....a Sophia Electric KT-88 integrated. I heard one driving Wilson Benesch Curves.Oh, man, excellent!!! ALso, you could query the A'gon and AA folks and see if someone is using a ss with the Cary. I'm starting to ramble. Good luck.
I've recently added a Ming Da MC-7R tube preamp to my SimAudio Moon W-3 and Reference 3a MM de Capo-i monitors. I'm very pleased with the results.

The Reference System uses the Copland CTA-305 tube preamp with the SimAudio Moon W-5LE.

For other possible winning combinations you might also want to check out the De Capo owners web site;

For owners of Reference 3A loudspeakers.