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Oustanding Chinese Headphone Amp: Cayin (Spark) HA-1A [Review] - Page 5

post #61 of 80
The other thing that can effect noise floor of course, are the tubes themselves.
post #62 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab
The other thing that can effect noise floor of course, are the tubes themselves.
I went back and played with the tubes I already have, and found that I can make the noise floor even lower now. At this point, Cayin HA-1A is very usable with SR225, because the noise level is now similar to analog tape hiss heard on CDs. It is there when there is nothing playing, but it does not intefere with the music itself. Now I really like SR225 with Cayin HA-1A on pop music such as Beatles or Carpenters, versus two other solid state amps I have. I will try to get some more quality tubes and see if I can make the noise disappear.

I have revised my original review (#1 post) to reflect my new finding about HA-1A's noise issue and in response to its new pricing in the US.
post #63 of 80
Thread Starter 

Another US dealer of Cayin HA-1A

New York Sound has Cayin HA-1A for $500, much cheaper than Acoustic Sound's price
http://www.nysound.com/exec/servlet/...01007&formID=0
post #64 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferbose
New York Sound has Cayin HA-1A for $500, much cheaper than Acoustic Sound's price
http://www.nysound.com/exec/servlet/...01007&formID=0
240V though.

TtVJ is selling them as well now. Though listed on his site at $749.
http://www.ttvj.com/index.php?main_p...roducts_id=810

Does anyone know if there were any changes in design for the US market?
post #65 of 80
anyone tried using it as a preamp? Compared to other preamps, are they of the same standard?
post #66 of 80
not to hijack this thread but has anyone here heard the little dot 3? it appears to be another stunner and a bargain to boot. it can be used as either a headphone amp or to drive efficient spkrs. and if sounds anywhere near as good as some initial report(s) seem to indicate it should be a winner. i wonder how it would compare to this amp. if it's close and given the price diff, it could be a no brainer. also, i wonder if either of these would work some magic with akg 340s.
post #67 of 80
I purchased a 'Chinese' version of the HA-1A about a year and half ago. It seems to be the second iteration with the shielded toroid. Components inside, when compared to 'export' versions seem identical. Maybe a resistor or two may be different, but everything else looks identical to me. Quality of work and construction is first rate.

When the amp first came out a few years ago, I did notice there were 2 cosmetics packages. One was silver case with yellow led, the other was black case with blue led. Distributor says they were identical inside.

There's a lot of talk about 'export' versions of Chinese audio gear. Besides allowing for 110V, I found that most China market and export gear are identical. If the few cases where there is a distinct difference, its in component selection. Add up the cost to replace the different components and it may still be cheaper to buy the China market product.

Along with the K1000, I power a pair of 98dB Supravox's with this amp. Can get pretty loud on a few watts.
post #68 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeliao
I purchased a 'Chinese' version of the HA-1A about a year and half ago.
...is that the Ming DA MC 66AE ??? They look almost identical.
post #69 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by m8o
...is that the Ming DA MC 66AE ??? They look almost identical.
No, they are not related ASFAIK.
post #70 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by m8o
...is that the Ming DA MC 66AE ??? They look almost identical.
Nah, the Spark is much taller than the Ming Da, and uses split-level construction.

Spark:



Ming Da:

post #71 of 80
Ah. Silly silly me. Thanx for being kind in light of my dopeiness.
post #72 of 80
I can't believe no one pointed out before that this amp isn't Chinese, it's German. Well, Cayin is German anyway, I'm not sure about Spark Audio.
post #73 of 80
Er, I think Cayin is a China-based manufacturer. Their parent company is Zhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co., Ltd.

Cayin means "triumphant sound" in Chinese.
post #74 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr
I can't believe no one pointed out before that this amp isn't Chinese, it's German. Well, Cayin is German anyway, I'm not sure about Spark Audio.

I believe that Cayin is the German designers and Spark is the Chinese manufacturer. I was told this by the local dealer.
post #75 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodentmacbeastie
I believe that Cayin is the German designers and Spark is the Chinese manufacturer. I was told this by the local dealer.
No, Cayin and Spark are both brand names used by the company called Zhuhai, which bracnhed off Chinese Air Force electronics department. Since they are used to working with tube-loaded MIGs, they certainly can design their own products.

BTW, I got a chance to listen to ES-1 driving HE90 at my home alongside my HA-1A driving K1000. K1000 can outperform HE90 on classical but not with other genres. I was extremely happy with the result and felt that HA-1A is totally adequate for driving K1000, and lost the desire to search for amp upgrades to my K1000.
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