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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    A new CAD280 owner with general questions

    As a recently retired guy looking to get started in a long anticipated hobby (and brand new to Audioshark) , I purchased my first piece of tube audio equipment......a Cary CAD280SAV12. I've had it a couple days and am enjoying all the many qualities this amp seems to possess. So here's a couple questions for those of you who know this equipment. The amp has only one thing that's not working properly. The blue "bias" LED on the front panel for the right bank of tubes stays dark. All the red BIAS LEDs work as expected. Once I got the amp home, I turned down all the bias, let it warm up and then followed the bias setting instructions in the USERS manual. All the "reds" fired up just as expected....but for the single blue front LED. As vague as the USER manual was in respect to the purpose of the blue LED, I wonder if it would be logical to assume its a bad LED and not an electrical problem. Does anyone have experience with this? Next, how is Cary about providing schematics? Will they? I've emailed them for schematics and any service documentation, but haven't heard anything. Not that anything's wrong, but rather so that I have a complete set of related docs. Will they send me parts or specifications for upgrades (such as for the couplers upgrade) And last, I've been building a preamp from scratch and now that I've picked the 280, wonder if Cary would sell a matching chassis. Not necessarily painted or even punched, but enough that I could make my pre-amp match the physical dimensions of my 280. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Re: A new CAD280 owner with general questions

    Welcome to the forum
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2013
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    St. Louis, MO, USA
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    Re: A new CAD280 owner with general questions

    Welcome. I never dealt with Cary service. They have a positive presence on social media I'd expect them to be responsive to your inquiries.

    I would definitely contact them with your biasing Issue, seeing the importance of biasing and having a reliable way to do it.
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  4. #4

    Re: A new CAD280 owner with general questions

    I had this amp a few years ago and it was one of the best sounding amps I ever owned. I only used the red led's next to each tube to bias, never even looked at the blue ones on the front so I can't tell you how they are used. I made a meter to plug into the back to read the values when biasing the tubes, the red lights are close enough, don't bother worrying about a meter. You can run the amp with either 6, 4 or two tubes on each side. In triode mode it's 50 wpc with 6 tubes per channel, 25 wpc with 4 per channel and about 17 wpc with 2 tubes per channel. The amp sounds better in triode mode (but still sounds bad ass in ultra linear) and sounds the best with 2 or 4 tubes per channel. Btw, the 3 amp fuse (fuses?) on the back should be 4 amp slow blow per Cary. The techs at Cary can instruct you on running 2, 4 or 6 tubes per channel and biasing as noted above. It's a great amp.

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A new CAD280 owner with general questions

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