A challenge to the king: Audio Research 5se vs Cary SLP05

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Comments

  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 6,814
    Dang it

    I stare at it and it is gorgeous.
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,964
    Synergy is where it's at. It's both the most elusive and rewarding part of the hobby and one has to really spend some time achieving it. Plus, the balance can be thrown off by changing just one piece.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,097
    I'd love to hear your main rig. I'm sure nothing short of amazing.
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 6,814
    My daughter enjoys it very much

    She listens to it as if it were just a soundbar

    “Moana again” she would request on Tidal.
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 975
    What are your main rig speakers now or is that a secret?
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 6,814
    stangman67 wrote: »
    What are your main rig speakers now or is that a secret?

    I’ll post some pics.

    It’s not as impressive as you would think.

    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 6,814
    I wish it were these

    Magico M6 (with a Boulder)

    co1hhilyiwmu.jpeg
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 12,320
    SCompRacer wrote: »
    Joey_V wrote: »

    You are the master sir.

    Nah, I just read and lust alot...lol

    As do I.
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,983
    Joey_V wrote: »
    My daughter enjoys it very much

    She listens to it as if it were just a soundbar

    “Moana again” she would request on Tidal.

    Hey man that title track from Moana is fantastically recorded! I know from experience as well.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 6,814
    ^^^ I know!

    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
  • mikeyb128mikeyb128 Posts: 2,784
    Congrats on the new preamp Joey! A friend of mine has A 5se.We have been trying to get together a have a pre-amp shootout. I remember watching your tube roll adventure, but from what I remember you only had the Pope’s in the cary’s positions 6 and 3, which are the balanced input buffers. Which in my opinion make the least difference on the sonic signature of the preamp. It is positions 1,4,2, and 5 that bring this preamp to another level! I don’t mean to rain on your parade. Just an observation, as I found the stock tubes to be a major bottleneck with the 05.

    But the AR is a nice unit. And synergy is the key.

    In all fairness the Cary is nicer looking unit! :open_mouth:
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • halohalo Posts: 4,748
  • halohalo Posts: 4,748
    heiney9 wrote: »
    Synergy is where it's at. It's both the most elusive and rewarding part of the hobby and one has to really spend some time achieving it. Plus, the balance can be thrown off by changing just one piece.

    H9

    Sometimes we just happen to stumble upon a combination that works. That’s where I am now :)

    No matter how you get there, once you’ve got it, flaunt it! :p
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 7,018
    Joey_V wrote: »

    I would say that if you take everything into account, the ARC 5se sounds more real and smooth like butter.

    FWIW, ARC switched to the 6H30 tube in the Ref 2 Mk 2 in 2000 ( a year after Balanced Audio Technology used the 6H30 tube) but really optimized it in the release of the Ref 3 (2004 - 2009). The 6H30 transformed the house sound of its preamps to being more neutral and transparent.

    The AR 6H30 pre's still have liquidity but there is no midrange fattening as with their 6922 based tube preamps. That didn’t please some folks who liked the fattening and claim the 6H30 pre’s are too SS like. However, you still have tube liquidity, smoothness and dimensionality with what I like to call an honest mid-range.

    YMMV and there are pre's available with qualities for everyone.

    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ & Pro 11+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS* Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *

  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 7,611
    SCompRacer wrote: »
    Joey_V wrote: »

    I would say that if you take everything into account, the ARC 5se sounds more real and smooth like butter.

    FWIW, ARC switched to the 6H30 tube in the Ref 2 Mk 2 in 2000 ( a year after Balanced Audio Technology used the 6H30 tube) but really optimized it in the release of the Ref 3 (2004 - 2009). The 6H30 transformed the house sound of its preamps to being more neutral and transparent.

    The AR 6H30 pre's still have liquidity but there is no midrange fattening as with their 6922 based tube preamps. That didn’t please some folks who liked the fattening and claim the 6H30 pre’s are too SS like. However, you still have tube liquidity, smoothness and dimensionality with what I like to call an honest mid-range.

    YMMV and there are pre's available with qualities for everyone.

    How does the 6H30P-DR Reflector compare to the top-shelf 6922 or 7308’s like for instance a 1950’s Amperex Holland 7308 d getter or one of the top shelf Amperex 6922? Curious minds want to know why some mfg’s went the 6H30 route? Especially when I’ve heard only the 6H30P-DR are worth considering over top shelf 7308’s or 6922’s.
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 7,018
    edited February 11
    dromunds wrote: »

    How does the 6H30P-DR Reflector compare to the top-shelf 6922 or 7308’s like for instance a 1950’s Amperex Holland 7308 d getter or one of the top shelf Amperex 6922? Curious minds want to know why some mfg’s went the 6H30 route? Especially when I’ve heard only the 6H30P-DR are worth considering over top shelf 7308’s or 6922’s.

    That's a good question.

    Victor Khomenko of BAT used to have a page devoted to the why he went with the 6H30 tube. As I recall, some reasons for the 6H30 "Super Tube" were higher amplification, higher transconductance, lower impedance and it being more linear compared to the 6922. The low impedance of the 6H30 tube can drive a signal more efficiently than several more common tubes in it's place. IIRC it was also quieter. A year later many of the big names followed suit with 6H30 offerings.

    In regards to the Reflector tubes, Reflector is a factory that made the DR tubes. ~ 1992 it was closed, purchased by Americans and reopened ~ 1999. The initial offerings were poor, then they greatly improved by ~2004. I think they make a regular and a DR tube now. The DR was a higher quality tube for military use. However, there are scammers out there that remark the regular 6H30 tubes as DR's. There are web sites devoted to ID'ing the fakes.

    The only time I ever paid over $300 a tube was with the ModWright SWLP 9.0 SE pre amp. It used two 5687 tubes. Like the Russian DR 6H30 made for military, Bendix developed a 6900 tube. It was a "Super" 5687 made for the military. It was used in ICBM’s. It had twice the transconductance of the 5687 tube.

    Due to needing five 6H30's (one for power supply, four for pre amp) I won't spend $1,500 for DR tubes, even if they were real. You can find two sides in forums, one says the DR's didn't make a difference and others say wow, couldn't live without them. Maybe some folks just got regular 6H30's marked as DR's.
    Post edited by SCompRacer on
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ & Pro 11+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS* Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *

  • sucks2bemesucks2beme Posts: 4,828
    The ARC stuff works well in that it sounds clean even with rotten material.
    Tubes with less of the tube sound. And they do it with non-nos tubes.
    I miss my vt-60 amp. The McCormack that replaced it is nice, but sometimes
    it throws a bad recording out right in your face. The VT-60 was more
    forgiving. My old listening space used to get way too warm with the vt-60 after a couple of hours. Other than that. I would of kept it. Bought it used at Audio concepts.
    I'll never see another one at the price I paid for it.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 7,611
    SCompRacer wrote: »
    dromunds wrote: »

    How does the 6H30P-DR Reflector compare to the top-shelf 6922 or 7308’s like for instance a 1950’s Amperex Holland 7308 d getter or one of the top shelf Amperex 6922? Curious minds want to know why some mfg’s went the 6H30 route? Especially when I’ve heard only the 6H30P-DR are worth considering over top shelf 7308’s or 6922’s.

    That's a good question.

    Victor Khomenko of BAT used to have a page devoted to the why he went with the 6H30 tube. As I recall, some reasons for the 6H30 "Super Tube" were higher amplification, higher transconductance, lower impedance and it being more linear compared to the 6922. The low impedance of the 6H30 tube can drive a signal more efficiently than several more common tubes in it's place. IIRC it was also quieter. A year later many of the big names followed suit with 6H30 offerings.

    In regards to the Reflector tubes, Reflector is a factory that made the DR tubes. ~ 1992 it was closed, purchased by Americans and reopened ~ 1999. The initial offerings were poor, then they greatly improved by ~2004. I think they make a regular and a DR tube now. The DR was a higher quality tube for military use. However, there are scammers out there that remark the regular 6H30 tubes as DR's. There are web sites devoted to ID'ing the fakes.

    The only time I ever paid over $300 a tube was with the ModWright SWLP 9.0 SE pre amp. It used two 5687 tubes. Like the Russian DR 6H30 made for military, Bendix developed a 6900 tube. It was a "Super" 5687 made for the military. It was used in ICBM’s. It had twice the transconductance of the 5687 tube.

    Due to needing five 6H30's (one for power supply, four for pre amp) I won't spend $1,500 for DR tubes, even if they were real. You can find two sides in forums, one says the DR's didn't make a difference and others say wow, couldn't live without them. Maybe some folks just got regular 6H30's marked as DR's.

    Thanks! Very insightful. I would only need one Reflector yet don’t want to shell out three bills on a whim. I’m very happy with my 7308’s. Never understood why they started going to the 6H30. Thanks again
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 7,018
    The 6H30 allowed for different circuit designs Victor could not do with the 6922/7308. I really like the 6H30 sound from my Ref 3.

    Victor Khomenko has said he purchased all the remaining NOS DR's when the Reflector factory closed. He claims the newer manufactured DR tubes had as high as a 40% rejection rate that eventually dropped to 20% while ALL the NOS DR's he purchased tested good.

    He posts in forums like audio asylum. He also said there are some circuits a poor testing 6H30 will work OK in, but not in a BAT or other high end manufacturers circuit.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ & Pro 11+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS* Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *

  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 7,611
    Gary Dodd told me that my selectable gain preamp was designed for the Reflector 6H30P-DR, which he said had an excellent high end, but he also told me that his all-around favorite in the preamp was a 1950's Amperex Holland pinch waist 7308. I wish there was a way to try a real Reflector before shelling out the dough in order to discern the difference between it and a 1950's Amperex 7308. Lol.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,964
    You may have to do what many do and shell out the money and if it doesn't meet your expectations, re-sell it. Probably the only sure way to know for sure. That's what I've done with many a tubes. Most I've kept even if they didn't work out as well as the hype.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 7,611
    Yeah. Except it’s a steep price! Maybe one of these fine days. Lol
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,964
    Yeah, this tube rabbit hole can get expensive.... :o
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
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