I agree that there often seems to be SLI-80's available, but possibly because lots of new ones are sold. I can tell you I'm on my second one! I had the stock SLI-80 5 years ago; decided to get away from tube pwr and went with some really fine solid state amps. As of last fall, I'm happily back in the tube camp with a full triode F1 SLI-80 and loving every minute of it!!
There are lots of great amps out there, both tubed and ss, and IMHO its all about system synergy and personal preferences. I'm sure the SLI-80 isn't the best tubed integrated available, but it is really versatile, provides many options for tuberolling/sound shaping and is solid performer for my taste.
I've been back and forth with and without tubes. I think the hastle of owning tube amps is the reason for the frequent sales. As much as I love the sound, I'm ready to let my tube amp go again. This time in favor of a multichannel music and movie SS system. This may be the reasons, at least it is for me.
I just sold my $16K Krell Evo 402 amp to downsize to a Cary SLI-80 F1. I thought it was going to be a major let down but to my surprise the Cary sounds so good. I am using a pair of JM Lab Electra speakers. I had the regular SLI-80 before, but absolutely love and highly recommend the F1 version.
I think you see lots of them for sale for Cary do sell more tube amps than other smaller companies. People might sell them to upgrade to seperates is another factor. I dont think it's the amp itselft. Just buy a used F1 and see for yourself. You can get most of your money back if you dont like it.
IMO... it's simply popularity. Value. Sales, of course, but primarily it's a good value piece. Adequate power, tube sound, all in one box simplicity.
There's lots of BW speakers available... McIntosh gear too... always up for grabs online. That doesn't make it bad. harder to sell maybe, but not bad.
The only other thing I've noticed without regard to Cary Audio, is when a newer itteration is due out, folks so inclined to move into newer, sell older. So that's something to consider wehn a whole bunch of one thing shows up for sale too.
They are there because they sell a lot of them and you know we want strawbery one day chocolate or vanilla the next.I own and EAR 40 watt but think my buiddy has a much better amp in his Cary 80 which he has upgraded to F1.There are really good integrateds out there from hybrid companies like Pathos and Unico or iof not into same old same old and need lot's of current that new Wyred looks good based on reviews of amp and pore (6moons doing Int review soon).But for tubes Cary is great,I just wish like VTL Cary had a matching amp to go with to bi-amp.VTL and a Marchand x-over makes VTL something to look for but for power for dollar Cary has it beat.My buddy runs his 89 db B&W's just fine in triode.Wish my EAR had a pre-out and triode option.If it's one piece you want with right speakers some decent output tubes and maybe some NOS drivers it's great.I want to go SS for a while but if I do go back to tubes might swap my EAR 834 for the Cary.
The Cary SLI-80 is a gateway drug. Proceed with caution. I had one with all the F1 upgrades and a set of upgrade tubes from Upscale. Heck, the HEADPHONE AMP was almost worth the price of admission...
I ran it with the 306 SACD into Triangle Celius's for a year and a half. Extremely musical. Fed the system all Nordost Valhalla, I liked it so much (I don't know why more audiojunkies don't do this. Used high-end cabling SO maintains its value...). Made the mistake of upgrading the speakers to Coincident Super Eclipses. This opened the floodgates. I bought a pair of Frankensteins, and that woman wouldn't let me keep the Cary.
I still miss it; but its the 300 SEI that gets me salivating these days. Imagine the headphone amp THAT thing would have.
Any time I stop by a local dealer, I always have to pause and listen
to the Cary SLI-80 driving the booksheld JM labs and always have an urge to order one. Clean, clear and musical..yes, the Cary SLI-80 could be very addictive as Azaud said, indeed, it is a very good drug. Dunno why they are on the used market but if you are not a headbanger type of listener, you will appreciate what the gem it is.
YOU sound as if you were happy with the Cary what caused you to switch to the Frankensteins and how do they compare?
I too had a sli-80, and had no intentions of selling it. One day I had a Mcintosh 2500 power amp walked into my room. It was a friends who wanted me to sell it for him. Out of curiosity I hooked it up with some sub par speaker and power cables I had laying around. It sounded amazing, ( I had an old c-30 preamp as well) the most "real" sound I had yet to hear out of my Spendors (my then speaker) so I had no choice but to sell the Cary. But, I used that money to buy a slp-98 preamp. I owned another Cary preamp long ago, and I have always liked their sound. I think some speakers ( like my Vandersteen 3a's) might need a bit more power then what the sli-80 is capable of, or it may just be a synergy/voicing thing. If you like the Cary sound and your speakers are fairly efficient, I'm sure you'll love the sli-80. If you have been thinking about sli-80's you will definitely see more of them around. They are beautiful.
I appreciate all the responses. They are helpful. Once I owned a pair of Cary 572SE amps and they were incredible. All the hype about tubes was really true! They ended up being a major hassle, though, because of the downfall of the Svetlana 572-3 triode. I went through about 12 defective tubes in 3 months (at about the same time, Dennis Had pulled the amp off the market). I moved to an upgraded McCormack solid state amp and life was easier, but I've never forgotten the seductive sound from those tube amps. The SLI-80 seemed like a relatively painless way to get back in, so I've been giving it a lot of thought. Now I'm thinking even more!
I answered Charles by email; but thought I'd answer the thread also. To continue the drug analogy, the SLI-80 is like snorting.
The Frankensteins are like breaking out the pipe.
Since I don't snort or smoke I will keep my AES Super Amp MkII. It is sweet, musical, authoritative. The new design is cut from the same cloth as the Cary CAD-120S w/ unscale transformers not used in older Cary designed gear. This power amp is unbelievable.
Mjcmt, good for you . The bong and the Columbian Gold were left behind along with the Woodstock era. We are clean audiophile people. "Lucy and the Sky with Diamond" is a just a part of the history . Now, let's converse some more.
misterbill i don't think you'll regret the purchase if you have compatible speakers in fact I think you'll be really happy like myself who bought one over 4 yrs ago w/some new tube friendly speakers & have been content ever since. i've owned much more expensive separates from Pass, ARC, Classe, Cary & a couple good integrateds ARC vsi55, Rogue Cronus Magnum & tried the MAC 6900 (these integrateds didn't hold a candle to the sli-80 in my rig) & enjoy this simple, versatile setup overall much more. w/the right speakers I say go for it!
You guys are brutal! Its an analogy; not a lifestyle recommendation >
Its not too speaker sensitive, and it has a switch for 4 or 8 ohms, and not the usual extra binding post. I think though, that if using it at 4 ohms, I would stick to monitors.
The founder has mentioned liking Spendors with the SLI-80.
I'd say if your snorting or burning the rock your audio gear (and your car,house,and wife and kiddies) will all be down the pike soon anyway.Unless your Kieth Richards circa 1973. or one of Maddow's clients who goes to his local ATM in Zurich.Maybe it's better to describe it as the test monkeys experience with drug administered orally or having it wired into brain (I was with my father wh0o was a physician and saw a monkey in a cage with amtal block with wired going into his head as a 7 years old and it really freaked me out.Now I think "hey maybe that's better than a pair of Stax headphones).Man what you guys really tell your kids what the 60's was like and YOU did must be some poack of .........
Chazzbo, I was in a "wrong" club few months ago, man tell me about the young generation and re-creation drugs. You think the 60s/70s were BAD, think again. Prescription drugs and alcohol are the NO-NO but.... it's wild outhere in a different form. At least, for them the punky music sounds better than it is .
Maybe it's my Lipitor but my lack of coherence and spell check indicate some kind of stupor from last post.But yeah these kids who listen to the crap that's re-cycled and recycled to say "It's the thing" you have to be high.Make me want to do a post of a survey "when was last "new thing " really new.In Jazz or any genre really.For me I think late 70's New Wave was the last thing around dend of Punk.Then it's grunge which retreads territory from ealy 70's Stooges et.al.Jazz (fortunately left Fusion and than went neo-con back to ealry 60's.etc etc
Lipitor ? You can do better than that !
But I have to agree with you on the music thing . Back in my day (yes it is a little fuzzy) the message was to think for yourself : don't listen to the establishment , do your own thing , peace and love , save the environment and respect your fellow man .
These days I hear the music telling its listeners what to think , how to be and what to do : kill , rape , maim and be a thug . I see so much disrespect from grade schoolers up to the 30's crowd just doing what the music tells them .
Nobody taking responsibility for their actions .
Ok , I now return this station to its regularly scheduled programming .
Happy Tunes .
>I'd say if your snorting or burning the rock your audio gear (and your car,house,and wife and kiddies) will all be down the pike soon anyway.Unless your Kieth Richards circa 1973. or one of Maddow's clients who goes to his local ATM in Zurich.Maybe it's better to describe it as the test monkeys experience with drug administered orally or having it wired into brain (I was with my father wh0o was a physician and saw a monkey in a cage with amtal block with wired going into his head as a 7 years old and it really freaked me out.Now I think "hey maybe that's better than a pair of Stax headphones).Man what you guys really tell your kids what the 60's was like and YOU did must be some poack of .........<
As usual with Chazz I just have to say HUH?!?!?!?!?!?