Cayin HA-300MK2 (2022) TOTL Transformer coupled Direct Heated Triode Tube HeadAmp (Page 91)
Sep 4, 2022 at 6:51 AM Post #2,146 of 6,113
Hey, thanks to the posters who have mentioned the GE rectifiers, and @Wes S in particular of course.

I'm running them in now for the first time, and they sound very good. The differences I'm hearing remind me of the kind of changes that can be had by rolling the power tubes, and easily as important. Only costing 5-20x less to do so :upside_down:.

After my first 45 minutes of listening, I'm quite impressed.
That's great those G.E.'s are working out for you!

As for some more rectifier talk and another one to keep an eye out for, I actually just finally received the first NOS 22DE4 tubes I ever purchased after a month long wait, and with what I am hearing they were worth the wait. Say hello to the Sicte 22DE4, of which I am running a full quad of and they seem to combine the incredible stage expansion of the the RCA's and the speed, impact, and detail of the Raytheon Black Plates, and they look cool as heck too.

These Sicte are NOS made in Italy from 61', and look so nice they look like they have been kept in a museum. The inner construction from tube to tube is very consistent, and the build quality looks first class. You can immediately tell upon first glance in person, these tubes were made with extreme care and high attention to detail, as even the labels are all on the same side.

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The tube glow from the Sicte 22DE4 is quite special as well, just like the sound. :grin:

20220903_053005.jpg


Happy Hunting, Rolling and Listening!
 
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Sep 5, 2022 at 12:52 PM Post #2,147 of 6,113
Hey, thanks to the posters who have mentioned the GE rectifiers, and @Wes S in particular of course.

I'm running them in now for the first time, and they sound very good. The differences I'm hearing remind me of the kind of changes that can be had by rolling the power tubes, and easily as important. Only costing 5-20x less to do so :upside_down:.

After my first 45 minutes of listening, I'm quite impressed.
I struggled to tell the difference when I switched from stock to GE rectifier tubes on the HA-300. I kept the GE tubes in but it wasn’t far from 50/50 to my ears. Sylvania metal base 6SN7W and Western Electric new production WE300b tubes took the HA-300 to another level.

I experimented with a much cheaper pair of Ken Rad VT231 6SN7GT tubes last week after reading they were the best 6SN7 tube for bass. They were very nice, definitely better than stock, bass was a little fuller, but I preferred the Sylvania 6SN7W clarity and treble sparkle.

I got a used SMSL SA-400 Class D integrated amp last week after reading this review.

https://soundnews.net/amplifiers/smsl-sa400-review-power-overwhelming/

This little fella can blow your hat off with Susvaras and 1266 Phi TCs. It can’t compete with the tonality and refinement of a souped up HA-300 but if you want to hear what your TOTL headphones can do with obscene amounts of power for 10% of the cost of a fancy pre and power amp combo or integrated, it’s superb.

This Sigma 2022 dance remix is my test track for bass slam and dynamics.

https://www.qobuz.com/gb-en/album/give-it-to-me-sigma/cjg63bzxid0pb
 
Sep 5, 2022 at 2:34 PM Post #2,148 of 6,113
For me, I hear pronounced differences going from the stock RCA rectifiers to the GE rectifiers. In contrast, I sometimes struggle to hear much influence from various, random driver tubes in this amp (I probably shouldn't admit that, lol).

The GE is darker, and with a more bounded soundstage. But images are meatier and more defined, the bass is better, and the most interesting quality is that textures in the bass are more noticeable. And I hear more layering and depth in the bass and midrange, which is something I'm always looking for.

Not sure if the character will evolve with more burn-in, though. Has anyone here burned in their "alternative" rectifiers for many hours yet? If the GEs retain this character generally, I would call the RCA's more reference-sounding, and the more appropriate set between the two to choose as "stock".

The next phase for me after burning these in a little more is to keep them in while trying other combinations of driver and power tubes. Right now I'm using Ken Rad 6SN7s and KR HP300Bs, so the combination of all three is probably bending the stick too far in terms of a meaty, bass emphasis, lol (but that bass though....).

But yea, I'm really enjoying the GE's at the moment. It's bringing something new and interesting to the table that I haven't quite heard before with this amp. Currently doing most all my listening with the Atrium.
 
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Sep 7, 2022 at 5:26 AM Post #2,150 of 6,113
They were my favorite when I had it. Even prefer it over the Tung Sol 6sn7gt black glass round plates.
Those were both (TS BGRP and Sylvania W) some of my favorites, until I heard the RFT Welded Plates with Ceramic Spacers, of which smokes them all. Bass, mids and treble are all in full effect with this one, and it's truly in a league if it's own. Honestly, with how insanely good this tube sounds, I am kind of shocked it's not more well known. RFT made some killer tubes with Telefunken tooling back in the day, and in my opinion they improved upon the Telefunken "house sound" by having insanely deep, textured and hard hitting bass, as well as the magical mids and highs. The bass is so good on this tube, it makes the KenRad VT231 sound bass light and bloated. The RFT 6SN7 combined with the Elrog ER300B is truly like doubling down on pure magic, with perfect balance, insane dynamics and slam, and all the detail/transparency one could ever want.

20220907_042333.jpg
 
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Sep 7, 2022 at 1:04 PM Post #2,152 of 6,113
Sep 7, 2022 at 4:37 PM Post #2,154 of 6,113
Thanks - I forgot.

Do you still have the same impressions regarding their sound quality today as you previously described them at that time? What about its noise level?

Jeff.
That's a good question. I've been listening to the new tube combo for a few weeks now and I've gotten used to the leaner but more clear sound. It's a different listening experience and now I think if I went back to stock I would miss the refinement this combo offers. My ideal sound would be this but with slightly more weighted notes like I had before, not sure if that makes sense.

The noise level is dead silent, but then again I'm using Susvaras which are so insensitive they wouldn't pick up on tube noise unless it was super present.
 
Sep 7, 2022 at 5:49 PM Post #2,155 of 6,113
That's a good question. I've been listening to the new tube combo for a few weeks now and I've gotten used to the leaner but more clear sound. It's a different listening experience and now I think if I went back to stock I would miss the refinement this combo offers. My ideal sound would be this but with slightly more weighted notes like I had before, not sure if that makes sense.

The noise level is dead silent, but then again I'm using Susvaras which are so insensitive they wouldn't pick up on tube noise unless it was super present.
How do you like this amp overall for Susvara? I've got them but also have some ZMF VCs coming in, and am trying to find a good fit for both.
 
Sep 7, 2022 at 5:52 PM Post #2,156 of 6,113
How do you like this amp overall for Susvara? I've got them but also have some ZMF VCs coming in, and am trying to find a good fit for both.
Honestly I really like it. I had a WA33 before and while it was great this is not far behind, esp. with upgraded tubes. I do miss the preamp function which the Cayin unfortunately doesn't have but otherwise it drives the Susvaras really well, is very well buil, looks beautiful... Can't complain.
 
Sep 7, 2022 at 5:55 PM Post #2,157 of 6,113
Honestly I really like it. I had a WA33 before and while it was great this is not far behind, esp. with upgraded tubes. I do miss the preamp function which the Cayin unfortunately doesn't have but otherwise it drives the Susvaras really well, is very well buil, looks beautiful... Can't complain.
Ok, that's great to hear that it's not far behind the WA33, especially considering the price. Thank for sharing!
 
Sep 10, 2022 at 2:55 AM Post #2,158 of 6,113
For the past 2 weeks I have been listening to my HA300 as a speaker amp and it is fantastic. I have ended up buying a lot more LPs and then it really comes alive. I mean streaming on Qobuz is also great but there is an ease and organic delivery that is exquisite.

Thanks to my sons and wife for being away!!!
 
Sep 10, 2022 at 4:00 AM Post #2,159 of 6,113
For the past 2 weeks I have been listening to my HA300 as a speaker amp and it is fantastic. I have ended up buying a lot more LPs and then it really comes alive. I mean streaming on Qobuz is also great but there is an ease and organic delivery that is exquisite.

Thanks to my sons and wife for being away!!!

You can only fire up your speaker when your sons and wife are away? I am sure we all understand that feeling when we cannot afford a man cave in our house. The HA-300 (and MK2) is a very "delicious" speaker amplifier if pair it with a pair of sensitivity speakers. We are glad that our HA-300 has offered an extra musical experience on top of your regular headphone system. Keep it going.
 
Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
http://en.cayin.cn/
Sep 10, 2022 at 4:04 AM Post #2,160 of 6,113
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Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the full moon of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. In Chinese Culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness, therefore, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for friends and family to come together and appreciate the union and completeness of our life. This might be a small wish that we take for granted in the past, but COVID has taught us to treasure every moment of gathering and reunion, and we wish all our users and friend a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival.

I want to share a personal plan with all my partners and friends in HeadFi forum. I'll take a long break later this month, and this will probably last till the end of 2022. I'll stay out of the radar completely and will resurface when I feel confident that I am fit to handle my job again. @Cayin will take over my role for Cayin audio and I'll hand over my ongoing activities and responsibilities to them gradually next week. So if you need to PM me on a Cayin-related issue, please include or address your problem to @Cayin. I really enjoy my time with the HeadFi forum and am looking forward to meeting with you again after my long vacation.
 
Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
http://en.cayin.cn/

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