Cary SLP-05 or ARC LS-26

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abhijit

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I just upgraded my speaker from SL3 to Summit (Dark Cherry & Black). What a sound! She has just done about 50 Hrs. I am looking forward to upgrade my pre-amp Line 1 (Siemens NOS 6922 tubes) to either Cary SLP-05 or ARC LS-26. I have also added a phono pre-amp from Trigon Electronic's ADVANCE. I am awaiting for SME 10 TT with SME Sr V arm. I will be using Shelter 501 Sr II PHONO cartridge. I mostly listen to Jazz.
Can anyone help me in selecting the pre-amp mentioned above?
 

aliveatfive

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Those people who are fans of Cary will tell you to go with that brand. Those who are fans of ARC, will tell you that the LS 26 is best. You must listen with your own ears to decide which is best for you. That having been said, I would recommend ARC. BTW, I have an SME 10 with Shelter 90x. I use an ARC PH7 phono preamp which is fabulous.
 

abhijit

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Unfotunately I dont have the luxury to audition the preamps. I have to pay upfront to get the stuff in Kuwait. That's why I am very much dependent on the user reviews. BTW, where did you get the cover for your SME turntable? Can you close the top lid and play ?
 

Spike

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If you already have a phone-stage, I'd go with the ARC-LS26 and get the most bang for your hard-earned $$$. As much as I am a Cary fan (over ARC), I think that you're wasting money on the phono-stage as well as the headphone output of the Cary. Now, if you want to compare phono stage or that you like to have the flexibility to listen to headphones, then by all means, go with the Cary.

Good luck
Spike
 

aliveatfive

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Unfotunately I dont have the luxury to audition the preamps. I have to pay upfront to get the stuff in Kuwait. That's why I am very much dependent on the user reviews. BTW, where did you get the cover for your SME turntable? Can you close the top lid and play ?
There was a thread on this board (some time ago) in which one of our members listed the name of a firm in NYC which does custom covers for various types of equipment, etc. I purchased the dust cover, custom made, from them. I never use it while I am spinning vinyl - too much to vibrate and interfere with the equipment.
 

Joey_V

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This is a good comparison, IMO. You really need to audition both, but I know that's almost impossible.

The closest thing would be to scour the internet for a ML owner who has heard the LS26 (or a close match in the ARC lineup) and the Cary 05 (or another close lineup in the Cary house brand).

I have the Cary 98, the previous Cary reference tube preamp before the 05 showed up..... and I will tell you that it's amazing!

Joey
 

twich54

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It's a shame you can't audition both, but i will say as an owner of the ARC LS-26 it is excellent. it is true what has been said and written that it is 80-90% of the ref3 at 60% the price. Given the fact that you already have your phono pre I think the savings afordedby the LS-26 over the Cary makes sense. Besides anybody who flatly knocks either piece is nuts !!!

ps - this thread should be moved to the other forum
 
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Joey_V

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It's a shame you can't audition both, but i will say as an owner of the ARC LS-26 it is excellent. it is true what has been said and written that it is 80-90% of the ref3 at 60% the price. Given the fact that you already have your phono pre I think the savings afordedby the LS-26 over the Cary makes sense. Besides anybody who flatly knocks either piece is nuts !!!

ps - this thread should be moved to the other forum

I say... I will someone should send the 05 to Dave so he can give you an idea of how it sounds. Or maybe I can send him my 98.

Hmmmm...

Joey :clap:
 

twich54

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I say... I will someone should send the 05 to Dave so he can give you an idea of how it sounds. Or maybe I can send him my 98.

Hmmmm...

Joey :clap:

Joey, As my grandmother used to say..." I'll take anything but a bath" , yes I would love to audition the "05" !! or for that matter when you come East to watch my trains run bring you "98" !! Remember what I've said before about the ABC's !!! (ARC, BAT,CJ,Carey) I wouldn't turn down any of them !!!!
 

tonyc

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My bias in this matter falls with ARC. While I haven't heard the Cary I have heard the ARC and it rocks (I own a Ref 3). What you really need to think about is which ouput impedence of the two fine preamps you are considering best matches the input impedence of the amp you intend to use. Generally ARC's like to see >20k. My Rowland's is only 30K.
 

abhijit

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If you already have a phone-stage, I'd go with the ARC-LS26 and get the most bang for your hard-earned $$$. As much as I am a Cary fan (over ARC), I think that you're wasting money on the phono-stage as well as the headphone output of the Cary. Now, if you want to compare phono stage or that you like to have the flexibility to listen to headphones, then by all means, go with the Cary.

Good luck
Spike
BTW Cary SLP-05 do not have phono stage. I am wondering about the gain 8db (BALANCED) and 10 db (SE) should be enough or not.
 

stesom

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I have an ARC LS-26 in my system now

I just replaced my Classe CP-60 with an ARC LS-26. The CP-60 was and is a great pre but was always too two dimensional for me. It got the soundstage left right and center including high and low but never really displayed much depth. At times it would show the palpability of the singer and/or individual instruments but not as much as I wanted based on what others had described in their systems.

The ARC is a whole new beast. It provides a wide and deep soundstage and an immediacy that really puts you closer to the music. Instruments and vocals truly hang in the air and have a more fleshed out texture. I keep thinking fireworks when listening due to the immediacy and clarity of the sound. It just makes you listen as if you have not heard the recording before. I know this is all very subjective on my part but the LS-26 is so good that I have to see if the Ref-3 can better it. Make time to get a demo in your home I think you to will be very impressed with what this will do for your overall system........Steve
 

Joey_V

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I just replaced my Classe CP-60 with an ARC LS-26. The CP-60 was and is a great pre but was always too two dimensional for me. It got the soundstage left right and center including high and low but never really displayed much depth. At times it would show the palpability of the singer and/or individual instruments but not as much as I wanted based on what others had described in their systems.

The ARC is a whole new beast. It provides a wide and deep soundstage and an immediacy that really puts you closer to the music. Instruments and vocals truly hang in the air and have a more fleshed out texture. I keep thinking fireworks when listening due to the immediacy and clarity of the sound. It just makes you listen as if you have not heard the recording before. I know this is all very subjective on my part but the LS-26 is so good that I have to see if the Ref-3 can better it. Make time to get a demo in your home I think you to will be very impressed with what this will do for your overall system........Steve
Love it! We got another tube pre convert here! Welcome to the gang, Steve! We've been waiting for you... :).

Joey
 

roberto

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Love it! We got another tube pre convert here! Welcome to the gang, Steve! We've been waiting for you... :).

Joey
To my ears, ARC is better balanced with the system that I did listen it...the Cary had better deeper bass, but did lack the 3D that the ARC did. Also, the highs were a little bit more liquid and crystal with the ARC...both are great preamps, and I will live with their sound with no problem...the power amp was a ARC 100 MK III, and it did match better with the 26, perhaps a Cary amp will do better with the 05, I can not say anything here...I listenen the Summits with Harmonic Tech cables and the new ARC tubed cd player...happy listening,
Roberto.
 

Joey_V

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To my ears, ARC is better balanced with the system that I did listen it...the Cary had better deeper bass, but did lack the 3D that the ARC did. Also, the highs were a little bit more liquid and crystal with the ARC...both are great preamps, and I will live with their sound with no problem...the power amp was a ARC 100 MK III, and it did match better with the 26, perhaps a Cary amp will do better with the 05, I can not say anything here...I listenen the Summits with Harmonic Tech cables and the new ARC tubed cd player...happy listening,
Roberto.
Really?

Hrm..

Hey Roberto, can you tube roll the Arc 26? I found that tube rolling the Cary brought me a much better sound than with stock Chinese tubes... I know you can tube roll the 05.
 

stesom

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Love it! We got another tube pre convert here! Welcome to the gang, Steve! We've been waiting for you... :).

Joey
I thought buying the Summits was going to be the last upgrade for a while but the 5 year itch has got me bad. So what the heck, we will go all tube for the next five years and see what new things are out by then. Still think I will need Willson MAXX IIs by then unless Martin Logan does a super Summit :devil: :D :devil:
 

twich54

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Really?

Hrm..

Hey Roberto, can you tube roll the Arc 26? I found that tube rolling the Cary brought me a much better sound than with stock Chinese tubes... I know you can tube roll the 05.
Joey, the 6H30P tube in the LS-26 is is an "offshoot" of the 6922 but with much lower plate resistance. The availablity with respect to mfg brands is limited to one or two I believe (Sovtek being one), so tube rolling not a big option. That's OK for it dosen't need to be since nobody in their right mind would buy this preamp thinking it needs different tubes, it is that good !!
 
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roberto

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Really?

Hrm..

Hey Roberto, can you tube roll the Arc 26? I found that tube rolling the Cary brought me a much better sound than with stock Chinese tubes... I know you can tube roll the 05.
The guy who brought the Cary here is a factory guy...only what the factory says...and he does not want to make any changes. I think his sound is great!...I also found that the Cary has better micro-dynamics than the ARC. The soul of the musician is more palpable, but I could be wrong. Both are great preamps, with oustanding musical presentation. I am more used to ARC sound, so perhaps that´s why I chose it. The truth is that at this level, everything sings, no matter the brand. Happy listening,
Roberto.
 

stesom

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The guy who brought the Cary here is a factory guy...only what the factory says...and he does not want to make any changes. I think his sound is great!...I also found that the Cary has better micro-dynamics than the ARC. The soul of the musician is more palpable, but I could be wrong. Both are great preamps, with oustanding musical presentation. I am more used to ARC sound, so perhaps that´s why I chose it. The truth is that at this level, everything sings, no matter the brand. Happy listening,
Roberto.
The thing that is interesting to me is that at this price point and technology level you would think they all should start to sound the same as we close in on "Straight Wire With Gain". So it seems in some ways we do not want complete accuracy or the path to get there continues to show slight variations of the truth. Also I decided to go with the Ref-3 the Summits deserve no less :devil: .....Steve
 
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roberto

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The thing that is interesting to me is that at this price point and technology level you would think they all should start to sound the same as we close in on "Straight Wire With Gain". So it seems in some ways we do not want complete accuracy or the path to get there continues to show slight variations of the truth. Also I decided to go with the Ref-3 the Summits deserve no less :devil: .....Steve
Hola Steve...IMHO I think that with very expensive gear, you can listen better the design of the good. The path that the designer has taken to get to the real thing. The level of these preamps are breath taking, and you can listen many new nauances that are in the recordings, you can listen easy all the musician(s) with the right sense of 3D soundstage. I did listen "Flamenco" by Pepe Romero. On this particular recording (philips) on track NO. 2 there is a dancer on stage and a guitar player at left front. You can listen very clearly all the notes and effects of the guitar and also listen how far the dancer from the guitar is at the begining, and when he starts dancing all over, you can sense the stage and how big it is!! Perhaps I am too demanding, but why not?...I assure you that I will live with both, and they are not perfect. They do have the quality sound of both brands and the truly sound of both brands too. Cary has its own sound and also ARC has its own sound...both are very, very good...happy listening,
Roberto.
 
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