Cayin HA-300 Flagship Tube Headphone Amplifier
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ken6217

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I tried a pair of unused NOS Mullard ECC32 tubes tonight, and the sound seems to have some distortion. I know the tubes need breaking in but I hadn't heard this type of sound on new tubes before. Any ideas.
 
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I have not tried ECC32 tubes, are they a direct replacement? I think I remember seeing that these could be used but mayby not?
 
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Wondering if any long term owners of the HA-300 can speak to the amp's reliability - they've been out for a couple of years now. I have a Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP integrated amp which I believe is built in the same factory, which has been bulletproof for me for 2 years of very heavy use, just curious if there's anyone out there who's REALLY used their HA-300 for serious hours and can share their experiences - thanks!
Mine is about a year now, daily use, 500+ hours, sounds better and better.
I never use a headphone amp longer than a year.I usually went to try some different sounds at this point. But it seems I'm going to settle down with HA300 for a long time.
 
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I am curious about the HA-300. Does it have enough drive for the 1266 Abyss? How does it sound on the HP? I saw a post from Cayin saying it was ok not special on the Abyss.

Any feedback on this combo would be most useful.
GuyForkes is pretty much spot on. Abyss is a very unique headphones, I do find it suits more with SS. But HA300 with some tubes can make it a good amp with 1266. I tried JJ 300b, and Full music 300b/q can make 1266 sound quite beautiful. KR300B(newer version) on the other hand is not that good. So I think tubes with smoother treble(300bq) or darker signature ( JJ) can pretty much adjust 1266 more to my taste.
 
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I tried a pair of unused NOS Mullard ECC32 tubes tonight, and the sound seems to have some distortion. I know the tubes need breaking in but I hadn't heard this type of sound on new tubes before. Any ideas.
I tried a pair of NOS GE GTA. In the first few hours, they did sound rough, but after about 10 hours, they are just fine. I did switch back to my old tubes and another pair of NOS GTA to eliminate bias.
 
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I thought it was a bad match with the Abyss. I don't know the technicalities of how to describe it in terms of the impedance/voltage/current mismatch between the amp and headphones but it's definitely not the ideal match for Abyss.

The amp was excellent with Utopias but it does hum a little since the Utopias are sensitive. It transformed the HD800S. All of the HD800/HD800S owners out there that have never heard it on a high end tube amp don't know what it's capable of. This was my favorite match with the HA-300. There was lack of nothing with this pairing and it had good bass too.

I actually preferred the stock tubes. The aftermarket assortment I tried was too smooth sounding for me.
 
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I tried a pair of NOS GE GTA. In the first few hours, they did sound rough, but after about 10 hours, they are just fine. I did switch back to my old tubes and another pair of NOS GTA to eliminate bias.
Thanks for the reply. What did you mean about eliminating bias?
 
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How is the volume position if driving the Abyss, or Susvara? I am confused, but it seems the HA-300 outputs about 2W at 50 ohms, so well below it's rated 8W on the speaker 8 ohm taps.

Thus technically for headphones, we have a 3W head amp or lower? Or am I missing something?
 
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How is the volume position if driving the Abyss, or Susvara? I am confused, but it seems the HA-300 outputs about 2W at 50 ohms, so well below it's rated 8W on the speaker 8 ohm taps.

Thus technically for headphones, we have a 3W head amp or lower? Or am I missing something?
Tube works differently than SS.... When SS has less power with higher ohm, tubes may have greater output at high ohm... Lots of tubes active in 200, 300ohm environment hence they're great for high impedance HP but hit/miss for planars...
 
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How is the volume position if driving the Abyss, or Susvara? I am confused, but it seems the HA-300 outputs about 2W at 50 ohms, so well below it's rated 8W on the speaker 8 ohm taps.

Thus technically for headphones, we have a 3W head amp or lower? Or am I missing something?
I set the volume pot at 2 o'clock for Susvara and it's as loud as I ever needed to go. I set it at 12-1 o'clock for Abyss. I dont think the stated specs on the product page are telling the whole story here.
 
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ken6217

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Playing loud, and driving "effectively" are not the same thing. The amp very well may be driving them to their potential, but I just wanted to point out the distinction.
 
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How is the volume position if driving the Abyss, or Susvara? I am confused, but it seems the HA-300 outputs about 2W at 50 ohms, so well below it's rated 8W on the speaker 8 ohm taps.

Thus technically for headphones, we have a 3W head amp or lower? Or am I missing something?
Not what I'm getting.

V = √(P*R) = √(2 * 50) = √100 = 10 V

So 2 Watts into a 50 Ohm load requires 10 Volts

P = V^2 / R = 10^2 / 8 = 100 / 8 = 12.5 W

and 10 Volts into 8 Ohms would provide 12.5 Watts

Note that the 10V output shown above is actually higher than the voltage for the rated 8W @ 8Ω which comes out as 8V. And it implies that the amp could provide 1.25 amps of current, while the 8W @ 8Ω requires 1 amp output, and the 2W @ 50Ω requires only 1/5 amp. At some point, as resistance increases, current limitations reduce possible power output (the whole 'ideal amp vs real-world amp' thing).
 
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