Cayin C9: Dual Nutube, Fully discrete Fully Balanced Class A/AB Portable Headphone Amplifier
Sep 25, 2020 at 7:11 AM Post #16 of 2,876

Nostoi

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Never really seen tubes carries out successfully in a portable amp format other than the Fostex HP-V1, but this looks intriguing. Personally, I think the design is quite attractive.

Eager to know the power output....
 
Sep 25, 2020 at 11:40 AM Post #18 of 2,876

seamon

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And I assume probably replaceable too?
The Abyss guys said that people like to roll 18650 batteries. Some of them have better SQ.

Never really seen tubes carries out successfully in a portable amp format other than the Fostex HP-V1, but this looks intriguing. Personally, I think the design is quite attractive.

Eager to know the power output....
Check out Oriolus BA300s. Portable Tube amp.
I am using it as a Preamp in my setup.
 
Sep 25, 2020 at 1:15 PM Post #19 of 2,876

Nostoi

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The Abyss guys said that people like to roll 18650 batteries. Some of them have better SQ.


Check out Oriolus BA300s. Portable Tube amp.
I am using it as a Preamp in my setup.
I had the BA300s and sold it (along with the ALO CV5). It was pretty nice and paired well with my WM1A, but I somehow didn't feel terribly attached to it. The idea of a fully balanced portable tube amp, however, is a great one and I really hope Cayin can pull it off.
 
Sep 25, 2020 at 1:17 PM Post #20 of 2,876
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Never really seen tubes carries out successfully in a portable amp format other than the Fostex HP-V1, but this looks intriguing. Personally, I think the design is quite attractive.

Eager to know the power output....

Cayin has used vacuum tube in DAP, which IMHO is more demanding then portable amp application.

The C9 use KORG Nutube 6P1, a dual-channel Triode vacuum tube from Japan, this is a very different form factor from traditional vacuum tube and they use LED to replacement the filament in the tube, makes it more robust against shock and vibration, but the microphonic problem remain unchanged. We have used this vacuum tube in our N8 DAP with very good result, check it out if you run into a N8 in a store or CanJam event. We have designed a Spring-loaded Suspension System to eliminate the microphonic effect of the KORG Nutube 6P1 so that it can be used for portable application, and we have solved another dozen of technical problems before we can deliver a reference level implementation.

Our spring-loaded Suspension installation device to enable Nutube in portable application are further explained in HERE and HERE.

We have also installed a pair of JAN6418 into our N3Pro DAP, we can't eliminate the ringing and microphonic effect completely, but we can manage to make it work for typical on-the-go scenario such as. You can check out the vacuum tube implementation of N3Pro HERE.
 
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Sep 25, 2020 at 1:27 PM Post #21 of 2,876
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Very exciting! Is it going to be powerful enough for those power hungry headphones?

If power hungry headphones includes HiFiman HE6, Susvara, AB1266 Phi, AKG K1000, Audeze LCD4, ... sorry, we are not powerful enough for these.

IEMs remain as the primary target of C9 portable headphone amp.
 
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Sep 25, 2020 at 1:29 PM Post #22 of 2,876

Nostoi

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If power hungry headphones includes HiFiman HE6, Susvara, AB1266 Phi, AKG K1000, Audeze LCD4, ... sorry, we are not powerful enough for these.
What about something like a Beyer DT770 600ohm (which I find thrives on tubes).
 
Sep 25, 2020 at 1:36 PM Post #23 of 2,876
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What about something like a Beyer DT770 600ohm (which I find thrives on tubes).

In my personal experience, no portable amp can handle 600ohm headphones SATISFACTORY. C9 probably is one of the better options, but the voltage swing of 600 ohm headphones are far from feasibly to battery driven amplifier.
 
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Sep 25, 2020 at 1:45 PM Post #24 of 2,876

seamon

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If power hungry headphones includes HiFiman HE6, Susvara, AB1266 Phi, AKG K1000, Audeze LCD4, ... sorry, we are not powerful enough for these.

IEMs remain as the primary target of C9 portable headphone amp.
Abyss Diana V2?
42 ohms and 91dB/mW
 
Sep 25, 2020 at 1:45 PM Post #25 of 2,876

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IEMs remain as the primary target of C9 portable headphone amp.
I am new to this, but if the C9 is aimed at IEMs then how does that differ to just using IEMs out of the N8, N6ii or N3 Pro?
 
Sep 25, 2020 at 1:47 PM Post #26 of 2,876

seamon

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I am new to this, but if the C9 is aimed at IEMs then how does that differ to just using IEMs out of the N8, N6ii or N3 Pro?
You get the added inconvenience of carrying a brick with you. Makes you look like a true audiophile, not like those posers with DAPs.
 
Sep 25, 2020 at 1:55 PM Post #27 of 2,876

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I had the BA300s and sold it (along with the ALO CV5). It was pretty nice and paired well with my WM1A, but I somehow didn't feel terribly attached to it. The idea of a fully balanced portable tube amp, however, is a great one and I really hope Cayin can pull it off.
This should easily be much better than the ALO and BA300.
 
Sep 25, 2020 at 1:58 PM Post #28 of 2,876
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Sep 25, 2020 at 2:01 PM Post #29 of 2,876
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I am new to this, but if the C9 is aimed at IEMs then how does that differ to just using IEMs out of the N8, N6ii or N3 Pro?

if you heard the C9 and prefer the N3Pro, N6ii or N8, then yes, you are right.

Unfortunately, there is a long wait before anyone can hear the C9 in action, so this will remain a myrth for a while :sweat_smile:
 
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Sep 25, 2020 at 2:04 PM Post #30 of 2,876
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I am new to this, but if the C9 is aimed at IEMs then how does that differ to just using IEMs out of the N8, N6ii or N3 Pro?

It's another option to color the sound with a different tonality. Amplifiers don't have to be used just to boost the output. Especially when you have tubes involved, they could color the sound, add texture, give more analog tonality, and improve the overall pair up synergy of the source with your IEMs.
 

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