Time for a new tube system.


Hello everyone,
I bought my tubes stereo system about 15 yrs ago, BW804N, Cary 805 monoblock amps, Cary SLP98P, Rega CD player.
Now I have more time, and would like to buy new tubes system. On the list, BW803 D3, Cary CAD211 FE, bought VPI prime turntable, may keep SLP98P or sell/trade to newest Cary SLP98P.
My room is 13W x 23L x 10H.
Any feedback, please post.
Thanks.
kd8606
Cary is a respected manufacturer and offers repair as well as upgrades.
Why don't you call them to see if your amp can be updated?
Though if you get the B&W you probably need more power, especially with the 3ohm minimum.
If you are looking for something different, I can unequivocally recommend Atma-Sphere amps.
Bob
Look at some of the Canary Audio pieces too, excellent amplifiers which unfortunately does not the the recognition  they deserve.  

I have several pieces listed here and would be happy to fill you in on details about them or any other equipment you'd like.

Good Listening

Peter

Look at the look at the Linear Tube Audio ZOTL40. They also have them in mono blocks.

Lance

Nice system. I used to own a pair of Cary 805s too. Can’t go wrong with Cary amps. But instead of the B&W speakers, I’d be inclined to put Devores with them, especially the new Gibbon X. Something to think about:
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/649326123-devore-fidelity-gibbon-x/
I agree with Mani-2, keep your amps and buy new speakers! Something a bit more sensitive? some horns maybe?

Dennis Had is no longer part of Cary and I would suggest searching the threads for customer experiences in the last few years. My vague impression is that some here posted disatisfaction with either the newer team/support or the newer gear. 

Agree w/posts that if you move up to the bigger B&Ws that those 211s might not be powerful enough to be a good match. I'd at least find some B&Ws who can confirm good results w/similar amps. 211s, 845s etc. can sound great, but they prefer a fairly efficient speaker with a relatively flat impedance curve ~8ohms+ in general. If somebody uses them with lower impedance speakers and gets good results, that would be good to post about. Cheers,
Spencer 
I recently tried out the ZOTL 40's. I wasn't sold.
@rothwea, matching speakers with amps is critical and not every pairing works.  What speakers did you try with the ZOTL40s? 
Easy to drive 8 ohm Devores
B&Ws are traditionally not tube-friendly speakers. IME, a fair bit of performance of the tube equipment in use in this system already is left on the table on account of the speakers being harder to drive.

When shopping for speakers, look at what the manufacturer uses. You don't have a lot of power here, so you want a speaker that doesn't need much. Eight ohms would be the least impedance (particularly in the bass region- stay away from speakers that have dual woofers unless you know that the combo of woofers is 8 ohms or more) and the efficiency should be at least 92 db in most rooms (if a small room less efficiency might work). 
^I agree with the gist of Atmasphere's post above.
 I suggest that the OP consider ss amplification for use with B&W's.
Considering your speakers, maybe consider a hybrid tube amp?

I'd recommend Blue Circle amps.

Here's  a pair of Blue Circle Audio AG-8000 monoblocks for $5,998.

 * Four separate chassis: 2 monaural amplifiers, each with its own separate external power supply.
 * 150 watts into 8 ohms
 * True balanced topology
 * Tube input stage (two 6922's), Blue Circle's new solid state output stage  
Second the recommendation for different speakers with either the 805 or the 211fe. But, whether or not it’s a good technical match or what anyone else thinks, if you’ve been running the B&Ws with the 805s for 15 years and like the combo to the exclusion of other gear, maybe it just works for you.

Seems you prefer tubes, but another consideration along Nordic’s line might be a used set of 500MBs, if you really like Cary-ish sound. I recently picked up a pair, here. They are said to be voiced/sound like the 211s. I think that is very much an overstatement, but they certainly have a hint of that flavor. I suspect they would probably work better than the 805s or 211s with the B&Ws, as would probably most any other decent medium to high power SS or hybrid amp.

@sbank and OP. I’ve heard lots of stories about "changes" in Cary support over the past few years, too. I was worried about that when I had an issue with a recent new amp from them. In the end, a little frustrating, but they made it right.


Edit:  OP, I see from another post you went with the 211fe and started rolling tubes.  What did you decide with your speakers?