How many CaryAudio techs does it take to replace a lightbulb in a CAD-211FE?

I called tech support to ask about a replacement light bulb for my 211FE. Initially they told me I could get a replacement at Radio Shack. This morning, they suggested that I ship the amp back to them. 

Steve Witek 
5:05 AM (2 hours ago)
to me

Hi James,

If you need to have the bulbs replaced we certain can provide the service. 

If you would like is to perform the work please visit our website and request an RMA #.

Here is a quick instruction set on how to obtain an RMA# using our website. 

Please print the instructions and then go to our website to complete the process.

Cary isn't what it used to be since Dennis Had left. If this is the bulb for the front meter you probably can get it at RS. If you've basic competence with a soldering iron you can DIY. (I haven't looked inside the 211-FE but I own a pair of the 211-AE mono amps and have replaced many parts myself so it can be done ;)
This sort of thing is very frustrating.  However, thing about it from their point of view.  If they tell someone how to replace a bulb, and the owner gets ahold of a cap and gets a 1000 V zap, it makes them vulnerable.  There is no upside for them.   
Just imagine changing a light bulb in your car and the car runs over you. Encouraging amateurs to DIY can lead to things like re-wiring a refrigerator to be a nuclear power plant…changing the voltage of your sister…voiding the warranty on your toothbrush…molten solder in your shoes. Be afraid…be very afraid...
This morning, they suggested that I ship the amp back to them.
They are bad to deal with, I’m in Australia and had an older CDP in for repair, as the main board was double sided and was hard to fault find, so I needed a service manual or at least circuit diagram.
The answer was a flat NO even if I paid for it.
They wanted it shipped back to the US for them to fix at great cost, shipping plus their high labour rates would have been 2 to 3 x the worth of the unit. The customer put it in the recycle bin.

No reco from me.

Cheers George
I had a similar problem with Cary service with one of their CD players. I had to ship it to them for an estimate, and when they got it, they told me the entire board needed to be replaced.  The estimate for the repair and labor was higher than the used value of the player if in working condition. They ended up offering me $50 for the dead player, so they could "use it for parts"   The remote control was worth more than that! No more Cary products for me....
It's a shame what Cary has turned into since Dennis left.  He built high end reference level gear.  Now, it's a Chinese manufacturing clearing house chasing every trend under the sun.

Really sad to see.
I just trashed my CJ PV12 because they would not sell me a transformer, and all other shops said the thing cost too much.  I could probably buy two PV 12's for what they would have charged for parts and labor.
One. If it's an audio technician you're talking about, he just inserts it in his ego and the world revolves around him
@swingkid, how the CAD 211 FE sound?
I am planning to order that amp with BW 803 D3.
Might be more than a little irresponsible to call Cary Audio a 'Chinese manufacturing clearing house.' I've owned and still own Cary Audio gear since 1991 and have always enjoyed good service.  Recently they upgraded my PH302 phono pre to the mk II version. They also installed V caps and an external power supply.  Steve Witek, Dan Wemmer, and Billy Wright as well as their A/R person Chloe were all very responsive and straightforward.   Billy has been with Cary for at least 26 years and took over once Dennis moved on.  A real gentleman. The upgrades were done in Raleigh, NC which is where I believe they still produce their products.  They did a great job turning a nice phono stage into a great one.  Who has not owned a piece of gear with a problem that was not easily and cheaply remedied?  Even if, which I doubt, Cary gear is produced overseas, it would not necessarily diminish its quality.   Parasound gear is produced overseas and it too is excellent gear.  Many high end companies now outsource production overseas with great performance results and significant savings to customers.  Cary entering the solid state arena hardly makes them a 'trend chaser'.  They are just trying to offer more customers what they want, what the market is hungry for.   Never had a bad experience with Cary Audio.   

I had a Cary 306 SACD that from day one the CD drawer stuck. I sent it back several times while in warranty and they said they greased the sled.

Once out of warranty, they said I needed a whole new circuit board to fix the problem at a cost of $900!

NO MORE Cary for me!

The amps do sound really good, especially after improving the tubes. I replaced the smaller tubes with old school Amprex and Sylvania and it really opened up.
I'm driving Sonus Faber speakers and it seems to be a good match. The larger tubes have been failing and thats a concern. I lost an 845 and then one of the 300Bs. Mt last amp was the Marantz 8b. I had it for 12 years and never lost a tube. It's just a little under-powered.
I figured the amps were shipped with low-end basic tubes. I just ordered the 845-z Treasures, and I'm looking for some Takatsuki 300s. I'm hoping the hight end tubes will sound better and last longer.
I had a Cary CDP player, similar story, in that the quote to do the work was not worth it for me relative to the overall value of the player. I've seen people figure out replacement parts that work, but otherwise stuck with Cary doing the work with a high labor cost and markup on replacement drive.

I like the Cary sound, but short warranty on certain digital equipment combined with a proprietary replacement parts limits a consumer's choice.

Therefore I'm turned off to Cary.