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CAD-300SEI Tube Amp Customer Review

Cary Audio customer, Doug, wrote an amazing review on the CAD-300SEI integrated amplifier

“Greetings Cary Team! My CAD-300SEI was delivered just over five months ago now and was immediately installed in my main system where it is fed by a Jay’s Audio CD transport/Denafrips Pontus 2 DAC/Decware CSP325 preamp combo, and where it drives Pure Audio Project Quintet speakers. It has played an average of two hours per day throughout the five months and has provided roughly 300 hours of music.  

So how does the system sound? It produces incredibly beautiful and lifelike music. The CAD-300SEI amp is very powerful, very fast, very detailed, very musical, and brings out previously unknown subtleties in every single recording I listen to. It’s sound staging abilities are outrageous! I am currently listening to Nicholas Roth playing Grieg Lyric Pieces on a huge Steinway Model D, and the two 7 feet tall Quintet speakers have completely disappeared. I am staring directly at the right speaker from the listening position, trying as hard as I can to hear sound coming from it, but there is no sound at all. Same goes for the left speaker. Where is the sound? It’s in a space approximately 7 feet wide right in the middle of the speakers that are spaced 10 feet apart. This amp accurately portrays the size and space of recording venues and performers like only a few other amps I’ve owned. It’s most impressive.

In my 50 years of chasing the best two channel audio I could assemble, I’ve owned amps from several highly respected tube amp builders, and a few solid state amps, also from top builders in their field, and no other amp provided the overall musical enjoyment that the CAD-300SEI does. Not even my 2nd favorite amps of all time (my Cary CAD-2a3SE monoblocs directly coupled to a sweet little Cary SLP-50 preamp, which I used for 15 years in my main system) delivered the musicality that the CAD-300SEI does.

The CAD-300SEI never runs out steam, even though the Quintets with eight 15 inch woofers have an efficiency rating of just 95 db at 1 watt. Demanding orchestral passages are a breeze for the CAD-300SEI. It’s quite thrilling to experience the massive dynamics this amp is capable of delivering.

Instrument timbre and vocal reproduction is simply top notch. I doubt any other amp in the $5,000 price range can top it.

Here’s one last comment about the CAD-300SEI, though I could easily go on about many other of it’s excellent characteristics. It is, by far, the quietest tube amp I’ve owned. With an ear within an inch of the Voxativ drivers, the most minute tube noise can be heard, but more than an inch away and you hear nothing.  The same is true when placing your ear right above the amp. This thing is amazingly quiet.

I am so happy with my Cary Audio CAD-300SEI. I highly doubt that it will ever leave my home.”

– Doug, Cary Audio Customer

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