CES 2013: Cary Audio

Cary Audio brought one, two, three new digital toys to the show at CES this year! The first is the DMC-600 Digital Music Server ($4,995), shown above, which includes a CD transport, 384kHz sampling on all interfaces including its asynchronous USB interface. That interface also supports DSD! A user-selectable output stage can flip between tubes and solid-state. Did I mention it also supports Bluetooth?

The DAC 100 ($2,495) and DAC 100t ($2,995) are 24bit/192kHz converters are listed as being a joint collaboration between Cary Audio and Wavelength‘s Gordon Rankin. The difference is the “t”, and yes, this means “tube”.

None of this was in the main system, which was a huge pair of Tannoy Kingdom Royals fronted by a pair of CAD-211 monos, a SLP-5 preamp, and a 303t SACD/DAC. WyWires cables were used throughout.

In the adjoining room, gear from Audio Electronics by Cary (Cary’s low-cost, entry-level, direct-to-consumer line) was on display, including a Hercules amplifier ($1,895), a Constellation preamp ($1,495), and a Lightning DAC ($1,295). The Lightning DAC is solid-state only, but does come with the same Wavelength-sourced 24/192 support found in the other new converter products.

All of this is very exciting, and it’s especially interesting to see Cary try a dual path-to-market, leveraging dealers for its high-end gear and creating a manufacturer-direct program for its offshoot brand. We’ll have to check in on them in a year or so to see how this channel works out for them.

Getting around to the sound in the room — I couldn’t really say. This is another of those “I want to hit folks with a hammer till they shut up” rooms — which is another way of saying there was lots and lots of traffic in and out. I think the big room was making great sound, but without my mallet, I really couldn’t say for sure. Ah, well.

Cary Audio is one of those brands that’s been on my to-do list for years … perhaps we can make 2013 the year. What say, Cary Audio?