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Old 06-25-2019, 07:22 PM
Deckard Deckard is offline
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Default Cary VT-500 Phono Preamp

I'm considering some changes to my system. Does anyone have experience with the new VT-500 Phono Preamp yet? Any comparisons to the older PH 302? I haven't been able to find any reviews yet.

Thanks in advance.
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Main System: Wilson Sasha 2; Cary Audio CAD300SEI, Cary Audio VT-500 Phono Stage, AMG Giro turntable , AMG 9W2 tonearm, Benz Micro Gullwing SLR MC cartridge, Cary Audio DMS-500, Cambridge Audio CXUHD, Transparent Cable Gen5 Ultra speaker cables and interconnects.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:46 PM
Akira Akira is online now
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Here is a link to a review on Positive-feedback:

https://positive-feedback.com/review...-preamplifier/
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:40 AM
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The VT-500 will have to great to beat the PH-302, which is my favorite tube phono preamp. Good to see that it stays with the SUTs for MC input, which was a strong-point of the PH-302. Also good to see that it switches from my favorite small signal tube, the 6922, to my second favorite, the 6SN7/6SL7.
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:04 PM
Deckard Deckard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
Here is a link to a review on Positive-feedback:

https://positive-feedback.com/review...-preamplifier/
Thanks! Looks like it's definitely worth auditioning if I decide to move away from my Audio Research setup.
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Brett
Main System: Wilson Sasha 2; Cary Audio CAD300SEI, Cary Audio VT-500 Phono Stage, AMG Giro turntable , AMG 9W2 tonearm, Benz Micro Gullwing SLR MC cartridge, Cary Audio DMS-500, Cambridge Audio CXUHD, Transparent Cable Gen5 Ultra speaker cables and interconnects.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:01 PM
Deckard Deckard is offline
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So, with Cary's recent sale (30% off!), I went ahead and ordered a VT-500 direct from them. With a 30 day return policy, I also order a reverse RIAA filter so I could just stream from Tidal for the recommended 100 hour break in period, rather than playing vinyl to get it to a reasonable evaluation point to compare it to my Audio Research Ref Phono 2SE.

I had a friend over whose judgment I trust, and we spent a couple of hours playing records we both knew well. I have a test record with a 1000 Hz test tone so I could level set the two phono stages (the ARC has a 74dB gain for MC cartridges, while the Cary has 65 dB gain).

(The rest of my system, as in my signature, consists of a Cary CAD300SEI integrated amp - with all the upgrades from Cary and NOS tubes to replace the stock input tubes - an AMG Giro turntable with the AMG tonearm, a Benz Micro Gullwing SLR cartridge, Wilson Audio Sasha 2 speakers, and all Transparent Audio Gen5 Ultra speaker and interconnects. My room is pretty lively, with hardwood floors and no real treatments beyond soft furniture, window treatments and rugs).

At first, I felt that the only significant difference between was that there was more bass from the ARC. But after more listening back and forth, both my friend and I agreed that in comparison the bass from the VT-500 was more controlled and was actually overemphasized in the ARC. We also both felt as we listened more that the Cary was more revealing and detailed, without sounding artificial at all (that is to say, not clinical sounding as some "detailed" systems can to me).

Long story short - I'm keeping the VT-500!
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Main System: Wilson Sasha 2; Cary Audio CAD300SEI, Cary Audio VT-500 Phono Stage, AMG Giro turntable , AMG 9W2 tonearm, Benz Micro Gullwing SLR MC cartridge, Cary Audio DMS-500, Cambridge Audio CXUHD, Transparent Cable Gen5 Ultra speaker cables and interconnects.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:50 PM
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30% is a great deal for sure, thanks for your nice review Brett. Enjoy it for many years to come !
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:53 PM
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Nice! If it is better than their PH-302 series then it is truly a good one. I've tried to get away from tubes but am slowing migrating back (sort of like I'm trying the digital stuff but keep going back to vinyl) but will likely put another Cary phono-pre back into the system over the next year, or so. The built-in SUTs are such a great feature.
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