Cary Audio Seeks to Eliminate Maintenance With Its Latest Solid-State Amplifiers

The Cary Audio SA-200.2 ES and SA-500 ES amplifiers are the latest additions to the company’s range of solid state line of amps.


Known for its tube-based products, the Cary Audio SA-200.2 ES and SA-500 ES amplifiers add a greater choice of solid-state amplifiers to its line of products.

Cary Audio states the SA-200.2 and SA-500.1 ES solid-state amplifiers represent the latest engineering developments related to its SA series of products. 

“They embody a modular approach that ensures consistency in performance and ease of manufacture and serviceability,” says the company in a press release. 

“In implementing the new designs, we have dramatically improved performance and current handling capacity over the previous models, while still maintaining the highest levels of sonic quality.”

Related: Cary Audio’s All-in-One-System (AiOS) Is Designed for New Generation of Audiophiles

Cary Audio notes that one of its primary goals in creating the SA-200.2 and SA-500.1 ES amps was to develop new amplifiers that were reliable and eliminated the need for maintenance. In performing its due diligence when designing the amps, the company examined everything about the amps, including the components used to assemble the products. 

“For example, we use high-precision metal film resistors in almost all our circuitry, even in places where their use is not required,” the company comments. 

“We have overbuilt the output stages and increased the heat dissipating capabilities of the amplifiers by as much as 50 percent over previous designs. The changes encompass almost every part of the designs, down to the choice of thickness of the chassis sheet metal. The monolithic front end brought major advantages to the amplifier designs with improved temperature stability, low offset, and a substantial reduction of all types of distortion across the full frequency spectrum.”

A Closer Look at the Cary Audio SA-200.2 ES and SA-500 ES Amplifiers

The SA-200.2 ES is a stereo amplifier rated to produce 200 watts into 8 ohms and 350 watts into 4 ohms. The amp includes balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) inputs, providing integrators with a choice of connection methods.

The SA-500.1 ES is a monoblock, single-channel amplifier rated to produce 500 watts into 8 ohms and 1,000 watts into 4 ohms. The SA-500.1 monoblock amp, like the stereo SA-200.2 ES, also offers a choice between balanced and unbalanced inputs. 

Both amplifiers are able to produce high current levels, and both are stable with low impedance loads. 

“In our quest to dramatically improve them [the new amps] over our previous efforts, we compared them to some of the best of the competition, often at higher price points,” admits the company. 

“This took months of research and development time, but we would not rest until we were satisfied that we had surpassed our previous models by a wide margin. The improvements in the power supply have brought gains in bass performance, which is now much more visceral and controlled even into difficult loads. Reducing the noise floor, increasing the isolation between channels, and especially redesigning the sensitive front end of the amplifier has improved imaging sound staging and depth retrieval.”

About the Author

Robert Archer
Robert Archer:

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass.