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Cary Audio SLP-05 Tube Analog Preamp With Upgrades

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Pickup currently unavailable at SkyFi 479

Cary Audio Slp-05 Tube Analog Preamp With Upgrades Preamplifier

Cary Audio SLP-05 Tube Analog Preamp With Upgrades

SkyFi 479

Pickup currently unavailable

479 South Broad Street
Glen Rock NJ 07452
United States


This SLP-05 underwent a recent factory "Ultimate Upgrade" which included significant improvements to the signal path and power supply components. Total cost for this upgrade = $1,595.

The customer also had a Bybee music rail device installed on the B+ Supply for the main preamp section, as another level of power supply ripple/noise reduction.

Then on top of the two upgrades mentioned above, it ALSO has the Kimber Kable upgrade for internal wiring ($275). 

The preamp comes to you complete like the day it left the factory, including all packaging, accessories, and remote control.

Cosmetically, this piece is a real looker. The blue lights and the silver faceplates and knobs really go well together. The top of the main section of the unit has a diagram of the inputs an outputs. The silkscreen here is a bit weak and does show some wear. (See Images).

It should be noted that the SLP-05 has a significant amount of gain, especially when using balanced inputs. This line stage pairs best with lower powered amplifiers. The balance controls on the front of the unit can be used to tone down the gain a bit if needed.

This piece underwent a rigorous test at our bench. It proved to be a very clean and low noise design. We verified all of the tubes on our modern and professional Amplitrex AT-1000 tube tester, and specifically positioned them in the circuit for best performance. Internal adjustments were also made to achieve a perfectly balanced output signal.

We also reconnected the L/R input level potentiometers to allow for fine tuning of gain.

Cary Audio SLP-05 Manual

The SkyFi Testing Process for Tube Amplifiers:
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and tubes are inspected for signs of stress overheating or cracking.

We then power up the unit carefully and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise. Finally we run the amplifier to its full rated power into the appropriate resistive load provided by our Sencore amplifier tester. If there is an issue, it will usually be noticeable at this point. If it all looks clean we will often test for THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) measured by our Keithley distortion meter, and compare it against the original manufacturers specifications. The amplifier the remains powered on to "burn in" on our test bench for a few hours to make sure there are no heat related issues. If there are balanced inputs available they will also be tested.

We also test all tubes for output gain and leakage on our calibrated B&K 747 tester against the original manufacturers specifications. If needed, the tubes will be replaced from our vast NOS (New Old Stock) vintage or modern inventory.

Final testing involves pushing actual music thorough the amplifier. We've learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage KEF speakers that we're very familiar with which quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some amplifiers will then move into our listening room where they are tested with our in-house reference speakers of choice.



Original Box







Yes - Power

Physical Condition


Working Condition


SKU: 102286