Cayin - Official Thread

Glad I decided not to buy the one I was looking at then.


It’s all about the types of valves you use. I really want to push for deeper bass extension because of the 300b tube amps aren’t necessarily big on bass impacts, and I focused on that, getting the right combo for any Audezes (tested on LCD-X, LCD-3, and LCD-4). I have strong, impactful bass and mid-bass with a lot of control, texture, and timbre.

Also, I just switched to the XLR outputs from the TT2 into the HA-300, and it has even better dynamics now. Granted, we didn’t roll any tubes, so I can’t say how the other headphones will be on other combos, but that’s the great part w/ tube amps, you can customize who you want things to sound better.


I definitely plan to upgrade tubes for the Stratus when I get it. Sounds like you’re having a lot of fun!


By the way, I’m listening to Great White’s Rock Me (2005 Remaster), holy hell, this track is just incredibly well produced and tells you so much about your system, ESPECIALLY bass guitar texture! Highly, recommended.

Sounds fantastic on my system right now!


Super writeup @ValentineLuke. Lucky you I bet you had a fab time. What a great hobby we have. Nice to hear that folks can meet up and listen to each others gear.


Glad I found this thread and the write up about the HA-300. I have had the Cayin IHA-6 + IDAC-6 mk2 for about 6 months now and I absolutely love them. After waiting for a couple of months for the second run of the Cayin HA-6A to become available in the USA, mine finally came last week and I could not be happier with it. I use it with my LCD-3s as well and also with my Mr. Speakers Ether 2 and both sound incredible, but the LCD-3s seem like they were made for this amp. This is not just a baby HA-300, its a different amp that uses different tubes. Any recommendations on tubes? This is an area I do not know much about. It uses NOS RCA 22DE4 for power rectification, Electro-Harmonix 12AU7EH for voltage amplification and Genalex Gold Lion KT88 or Electro-Harmonix EL34EH for power amplification. Thanks!


That’s awesome, congratulations.

I do think Audeze pair really well with Cayin. :+1:t4:


Man I really want to try the Cayin Ha-6A !!! It’s on the list of potential upgrade amps for me!


What he said!
10 characters?

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If you are ever in the North Bay/San Francisco area, I have one you can listen to


Thanks man! I was a bit surprised by how well the LCD-3 pairs with it, as I was under a similar impression about dynamic headphones being better suited for tube amps. After reading your post a few days ago, I borrowed my friend’s Focal Clears and I think they sound great on it as well. They do sound better on ultra-linear mode where the LCD-3s sound better on Triode mode, but it is not drastic.
So, do you or does @JoeyGun have a preference on the Chord Hugo vs the Cutest ? I have been contemplating a Chord Hugo 2 or Qutest and would love to hear opinions on that as well as vs some other DACs with either of these amps. @JoeyGun, have you tried any other DACs with it?


I haven’t had a chance to listen to the Qutest yet, but I know Joey owned it previously to owning the TT2.

I’m sure he’ll post his impressions. :+1:t4:

I wonder how much the whole planar needs ss and dynamics need tubes is a myth. That was the impression I got when I first got in to these audiophile shenanigans so there is probably a basis for it to a certain extent. Outside of certain technical requirements, which apply to pretty much any headphone-amp pairing, it is just a headphone-amp pairing, listen and sort out the specifics afterwards. Im glad you are happy with your pairing, the HA-6A looks a serious bit of kit.

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I wonder how much the whole planar needs ss and dynamics need tubes is a myth.

In my experience, the majority of different headphones I’ve been able to hear on good tube amps, have sounded better on tubes. I found both dynamics and planars to benefit a fairly equal amount from tubes.

The main obstacle is that planars usually have a low nominal impedance and/or low sensitivity, while most OTL tube amps have a fairly high output impedance. Those high-OI OTLs generally don’t pair well with low impedance headphones because they’ll be underdamped too much to the point where things start to act funky. Underdamping causes an increase in demand for current, which in addition to the high current demand of many planars means they’ll not be able to pull enough current from the amp to maintain a sufficiently powerful signal. One of the most obvious things that start to occur is the bass will get flabby, like a car engine stuttering on its last few drops of fuel.

So to avoid all that good stuff from happening, you need a tube amp with a low output impedance. Transformer-coupled tube amps are one possible solution, but those tend to be expensive. Low OI OTL tube amps do exist as well though, like some of the more expensive Feliks Audio amps. I’ve actually ordered their Euforia last month specifically for my Empyrean, should ship some time next week hopefully.

So yeah, tubed planars can for sure be just as magical as tubed DD’s, you just need to be very specific about finding an amp that will have good electrical synergy with it, and then you’ll also need to ensure that the sonic characteristics of that amp complement your headphones in a desirable way. Or just buy your way out of the hassle and splurge on an AudioValve Solaris. All headphones I’ve heard on that amp somehow had their sound turned into liquid gold. From HD 660S’ to Susvara’s.


WOW!!! Have come across the name but just googled it.


And it sounds exactly as majestic as it looks. Wish I could justify purchasing it, but we can’t always have it all haha.


While I haven’t heard the Hugo 2 or original Hugo, by far I love the Hugo TT2 more than the Qutest. While the Qutest is already pretty darn accurate, the TT2 adds better musicality, timber, and dynamic range/volume.

I may get the M-Scaler, but my real dream is to get the DCS Bartok. That being said, I wouldn’t mind listening to PS Audio’s DirectStream DAC, though.


@Resolve Do you still rate the Cayin IHA-6? Be used to drive the Aeolus and maybe something else low impedance.

I’ve been looking for a Auralic Taurus MK2, but becoming rare down here, where as the IHA-6 still available.

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IHA-6 is great. It’s limit is that it doesn’t do well with highly sensitive headphones (and definitely not IEMs). It’s probably the perfect amp for low efficiency planars. For the Aeolus, for some reason I feel like a tube amp might be better. But the IHA-6 is versatile enough to drive it appropriately. It’s also got a high output impedance option which may be nice to try with high impedance headphones like the Aeolus.


I may keep my custom SET tube amp, may build a Bottlehead Crack, but for most use I’m hoping to go Solid State.

So things like Taurus, IHA-6 etc

Or a fuss free hybrid like the iCan Pro?

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