CARY Audio takes its solid-state journey into the next generation with the SA-200.2 ES and SA-500.1 ES power amplifiers, the first a stereo unit and the other, a mono block. The company says it has “dramatically improved performance and current-handling capacity over the previous models while still maintaining the highest levels of sonic quality.”
The SA-200.2 ES is a 200-watt amp (8 ohms, 350 watts into 4 ohms), while the SA-500.1 ES is a 500-watt monoblock (8 ohms, 1,000 watts into 4 ohms), both sporting balanced and single-ended inputs. Both amplifiers have very high current capability, are stable into low impedance loads, and feature 3dB of dynamic headroom.
According the the press release, “one of our primary goals was to create a product that would give years of consistent and reliable use without any maintenance. To achieve that goal, we took a hard look at the designs and choice of components. For example, we use high-precision metal film resistors in almost all our circuitry, even in places where their use is not required. We have overbuilt the output stages and increased the heat dissipating capabilities of the amplifiers by as much as 50% over previous designs. The changes encompass almost every part of the designs, down to the choice of thickness of the chassis sheet metal. The monolithic front end brought major advantages to the amplifier designs with improved temperature stability, low offset, and a substantial reduction of all types of distortion across the full frequency spectrum.
“Cary Audio has been known for almost three decades as a producer of some of the finest and most musical tube amplifiers in the world. Based on this heritage we have paid special attention to the sonic qualities of these new solid-state amplifiers, voicing them to have the proven attributes of the ‘Cary sound’ and testing them hundreds of hours with many different speakers. In our quest to dramatically improve them over our previous efforts, we compared them to some of the best of the competition, often at much higher price points. This took months of research and development time, but we would not rest until we were satisfied that we had surpassed our previous models by a wide margin.
“The improvements in the power supply have brought gains in bass performance, which is now much more visceral and controlled even into difficult loads. Reducing the noise floor, increasing the isolation between the channels, and especially redesigning the sensitive front end of the amplifier has improved imaging, sound staging and depth retrieval. The midrange is now more lifelike and palpable. One area of which we are particularly proud is what we have achieved in transparency, and the way images now hang in three-dimensional space. The amplifiers were designed to be equally at home in a high- performance music system or a home cinema setting.”
The retail price for the SA-200.2 ES is US$4,495 and for the SA-500.1 ES, US$4,995.
Both amps are now shipping – US and Canada residents can purchase directly from the Cary factory, others need to go through the authorised distributor in their respective country.