$5,495 Cary Audio Phono Preamplifier Boosts Vinyl Performance

Cary Audio combines two trending categories—high-end audio processing and vinyl—into one device.


Home audio has for years been focused on speakers and streaming solutions but gaining steam in the category are high-end processors/preamplifiers and turntables. Figures compiled recently by CE Pro for its 2019 Brand Analysis indicate healthy growth in both sectors, and market studies show a vinyl continues to be a popular music choice across multiple generations.

Even with the revival of vinyl, consumers are concentrating on quality and are demanding products that can enhance their listening experiences.

Here’s where a phono preamp can be your best friend, appealing to a burgeoning category of music listeners who want to take their vinyl listening experience to the next level. The signal coming out of a cartridge on a turntable is about 1,000 times lower than the signal coming from a CD player or a streaming device.

In order to hear music from vinyl through speakers or stereo system the signal needs to be boosted – via a phono preamp.

Offering a solution is that appeals to both audiophiles and the general music public is high-performance audio manufacturer Cary Audio. Its recent introduction of the VT-500 vacuum tube stereo phono preamplifier is dedicated to the playback of vinyl.

Related: Nielsen Data Shows Vinyl Sales Up 14.6% in 2018 Despite Streaming’s Dominance

The VT-500 utilizing four (4) 6SL7 dual triode tubes. The RIAA equalization curve is derived from a passive RC circuit located between the two gain stages. It uses a fully regulated power supply housed in a large separate heavy-duty external power supply chassis ensuring extremely quiet operation.

The MC section uses two high-quality step-up transformers providing enough gain for use with any MC cartridge with a very low noise floor.

The VT-500 offers inputs and selectable loading to match almost any moving-magnet or moving-coil phono cartridge. This will optimize the response to best match your cartridge.

Vinyl enthusiasts can use the VT-500 to take their music listening up a notch. It produces subtle shadings and exciting dynamic contrasts on all types of music.

The VT-500 has a list price of $5,495 and is now shipping. 

About the Author

Lisa Montgomery:

Lisa Montgomery has been a member of the CE Pro and Electronic House editorial teams for nearly 20 years; most of that time as the Editor of Electronic House. With a knack for explaining complex high-tech topics in terms that average consumers can understand, her style of writing resonates with people who are interested in adding electronic systems to their homes, but are unsure of the steps involved and the solutions available. From basic lighting control systems to full-blown automation systems, Lisa understands the home electronics market well, and is able to point consumers in the right direction on their quest for a smarter, more convenient, efficient and enjoyable home.

Over the years, she has developed close relationships with key manufacturers and seasoned custom electronics professionals, giving her a keen sense of what home technologies are hot now and what is on the horizon. She shares this wisdom regularly through feature stories, product roundups, case studies technology spotlights and comprehensive guides and books.


Cary AudioTurntableVinyl