These are seriously Bad Boys and are not for the faint-hearted.

And aren’t they gorgeous!! ….

The simply Gorgeous Cary 572SE Monobloc Amplifiers

Power valves are 572-3 triodes.  They glow very brightly and are hugely impressive in a darkened room.  The full valve complement is 6SN7, 6DN7, 572-3 and a 5U4-GB rectifier tube behind the 572-3.


This is really a tale of taming these Bad Boys with valve-rolling, I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with these amps.

The Svetlana 572-3 power valves are a fixture, no-one else made these valves, so it’s the small valves that must perform the sound-tuning duties.  Internet rumour had it that the power valves were no longer obtainable – not true, I found a reliable and good value source in the USA quite easily and I got a spare pair of valves immediately.  Why don’t people use a decent search engine?

These are amazingly fast and transparent amps.  I mean … Whoa!!  Huge amounts of detail and, above the deep bass, these amps can start & stop in an eye-blink. … and, to be honest, it can be all a bit ‘inyerface’.

I used them with Leema Xavier floorstander speakers, which are also very fast and open sounding. (Wonderfully good speakers, actually, I must do a review!). But possibly not the best match in the world with the Cary amps, depending on your preferred presentation.  A less explicit speaker may well work rather better.

The Carys on the Rack

It turned out that the key to this amps presentation was the 6SN7 valve.

The amps came with JAN Philips, and in my view this was not a good thing.  A bit etched and forward, the listening experience became quite fatiguing after a short while.  Forum advice eventually led me to a good answer – Ken Rad 6SN7.  What a lovely sounding tube; not only nicely smooth, but very open and transparent as well, an unusual sonic mix.

So, once finely fettled a more relaxing and inviting presentation was to be had.  No, these will never be the amps to doze off to next to the fire – they just do not know how to make boring or laidback music.

Tonally, I guess these were a little on the lean side, not coloured, certainly not euphonic, clarity is given priority over tonal opulence.  Bass is taut and controlled well into the mid-bass region, but deep bass is a little light and also a little bloomy and less well-defined than the rest of the tonal spectrum.

Soundstaging is well focussed and with a good 3D image going way back behind the speakers.  I can’t abide a wishy-washy presentation image-wise, and these amps were right up my street!

If you want tonally lush and dynamically relaxed then a nice pair of Quad II may well be your dream come true.  If you want some musical excitement and pizzaz to enter your life, then the Cary 572SE monoblocks are well worth looking out for!

Author – Jerry

Technical Specifications

Power Output -20W (15W under 1% distortion)

Input Sensitivity – .750 volts for full output

Input Impedance –  150 000 ohms

Frequency Response – 15hz – 23 000hz

Weight 28lb

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