Cayin HA-300MK2 (2022) TOTL Transformer coupled Direct Heated Triode Tube HeadAmp (Page 91)
Sep 5, 2023 at 11:52 AM Post #4,156 of 6,476
Sep 5, 2023 at 1:40 PM Post #4,158 of 6,476
Sep 5, 2023 at 8:21 PM Post #4,159 of 6,476
Depends upon how close they are. It is always better to have tubes matched fairly close for best sound performance.
That's a good point. When using adapters we have 2 different triodes instead of a single 6SN7 with perfectly identical pair of triodes.
My thinking would be the amp designers expected perfectly identical triodes in one socket therefore the amp would auto bias on one of them... but we need to look into schematics to answer for sure. Does anyone have schematics of Cayin ha300mk2?
That said if the triodes are matched well possible differences should not be audible.
 
Sep 5, 2023 at 8:46 PM Post #4,160 of 6,476
I wanted to share my experience with regards to components synergy and preferences.
Normally I use software equalizers to get to Harman curve with all my HF (HD800S, Dan Clark and Hifiman 2000SE - all well known). I know it may be heresy... but i liked it.
That said I was always wondering why people like exotic sounding tubes and other gear. If there is a certain character to the sound - that's a sign of imperfection (IMHO).
I've just got new TOTL HFs (Yamaha 5000se if that matters) and since I could not find equalizer settings for them - i disabled the equalizer and started using them.
And somehow I liked my old Sylvania tubes (trebles rolled off a bit, which I did not really like before) better than my beloved MELZ! But only with this HF. I still like 'MELZ sound' with all others!
That confirms to me a uniform/good sounding stack (perhaps even at the price of equalizing HF to Harman curve) is better than any gear with a 'character' sound - it saves time looking for synergy. (IMHO)
 
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Sep 6, 2023 at 5:28 AM Post #4,161 of 6,476
I wanted to share my experience with regards to components synergy and preferences.
Normally I use software equalizers to get to Harman curve with all my HF (HD800S, Dan Clark and Hifiman 2000SE - all well known). I know it may be heresy... but i liked it.
That said I was always wondering why people like exotic sounding tubes and other gear. If there is a certain character to the sound - that's a sign of imperfection (IMHO).
I've just got new TOTL HFs (Yamaha 5000se if that matters) and since I could not find equalizer settings for them - i disabled the equalizer and started using them.
And somehow I liked my old Sylvania tubes (trebles rolled off a bit, which I did not really like before) better than my beloved MELZ! But only with this HF. I still like 'MELZ sound' with all others!
That confirms to me a uniform/good sounding stack (perhaps even at the price of equalizing HF to Harman curve) is better than any gear with a 'character' sound - it saves time looking for synergy. (IMHO)
I was in the same boat with EQ for a few years, I stopped using EQ about 1.5 years ago when I started "finishing my system". I think both approaches are valid (using EQ and not using EQ). EQ allows you to compensate and often create sound that just wouldn't be possible without it ... but the cost is last 15% of performance you have to sacrifice (purity you could say).

That's why most people result to having "a system per headphone" (or speaker), to get exactly the sound they want. It takes time, it takes money, experience etc. going into taboo subjects like cables, power conditioning etc. but you can totally fine tune a system to be exactly how you want it, and then even better ... is it better than using EQ? you get that extra 10-15% performance from my experience, but you sacrifice flexibility and have to invest more and limit yourself. That's where tube gear proves to be invaluable, because you can fine tune (sometimes completely change and adapt) the same gear for many drivers.

I generally try to have a solid digita + dac + pure pre (hence May dac + Bliss as pre) and then an amp per headphone or speakers. If I can get away with one amp pairing with more than one driver then it's a massive bonus : ) I generally have Bliss for TC, HA300MK2 for Utopia and AN Vindicator for speakers ... but HA300MK2 drives speakers and TC great as well as a bonus, it really can be a jack of all trades and actually a master of all trades even when swapping out the tubes, cabling etc.
 
Sep 6, 2023 at 6:35 AM Post #4,162 of 6,476
My mk1 had a small issue (think its an internal fuse) plus a great trade in deal from my dealer and now I have a mk2. Its a lovely thing and sounds like there is less noise and hum straight out of the box. I love the soft start feature but while I like the Gold Lions I'd prefer something that lit up better. I know that got nothing to do with the sound but if I decide to upgrade then I'd like something with more drama!

Anyone got a sensible recommendation for an upgrade please? I don't want to spend more than say £550 GBP so no WE, Elrogs, TOTL PSvane, or Audio Note please.
 
Sep 6, 2023 at 7:29 AM Post #4,163 of 6,476
My mk1 had a small issue (think its an internal fuse) plus a great trade in deal from my dealer and now I have a mk2. Its a lovely thing and sounds like there is less noise and hum straight out of the box. I love the soft start feature but while I like the Gold Lions I'd prefer something that lit up better. I know that got nothing to do with the sound but if I decide to upgrade then I'd like something with more drama!

Anyone got a sensible recommendation for an upgrade please? I don't want to spend more than say £550 GBP so no WE, Elrogs, TOTL PSvane, or Audio Note please.
Anything Psvane (doesn't have to be TOTL) ... I became a fanboy in recent months. Everything I tried from them is at least good (and I've tried a number of sets from diffrent ranges from HIFI to ACME). Got Psvane WE300B replica recently and CV181T2 drivers and it is a reallly nice step up from the stock tubes without changing the overall character of the amp too much. It's pretty much the same sound but better in every way. I personally didn't like ER300B and ended up selling them after a few days of testing, having said that I will definitely get another pair in a few months when I want to change things up drastically and have a completely different flavour.
 
Sep 6, 2023 at 7:37 AM Post #4,164 of 6,476
I can second the recommendation for Psvane Acme. They’re surprisingly good, excellent tonality, and just missing that last degree of realism and “you are there” effect. A good balance with Takatsukis, when I get tired of the hi-fi sound.

But the call of Elrog still pulls me…
 
Sep 6, 2023 at 9:48 AM Post #4,165 of 6,476
Anything Psvane (doesn't have to be TOTL) ... I became a fanboy in recent months. Everything I tried from them is at least good (and I've tried a number of sets from diffrent ranges from HIFI to ACME). Got Psvane WE300B replica recently and CV181T2 drivers and it is a reallly nice step up from the stock tubes without changing the overall character of the amp too much. It's pretty much the same sound but better in every way. I personally didn't like ER300B and ended up selling them after a few days of testing, having said that I will definitely get another pair in a few months when I want to change things up drastically and have a completely different flavour.
Cheers I will have a look at them then. I have a pair of PSvane 6SN7 which I was using with my mk1 then swapped back to the stock before handing over the amp in PX. I do like the PSvane range so will see what prices are like here in UK.
 
Sep 6, 2023 at 10:35 AM Post #4,166 of 6,476
I generally try to have a solid digita + dac + pure pre (hence May dac + Bliss as pre) and then an amp per headphone or speakers. If I can get away with one amp pairing with more than one driver then it's a massive bonus : ) I generally have Bliss for TC, HA300MK2 for Utopia and AN Vindicator for speakers ... but HA300MK2 drives speakers and TC great as well as a bonus, it really can be a jack of all trades and actually a master of all trades even when swapping out the tubes, cabling etc.
I have been trying the Bliss as a pre since yesterday. How are you using? Do I need to maximize the volume on one amp and control from the other?
 
Sep 6, 2023 at 10:55 AM Post #4,167 of 6,476
I have been trying the Bliss as a pre since yesterday. How are you using? Do I need to maximize the volume on one amp and control from the other?
For me Cayin amps have non linear volume (tend to change FR and dynamics slightly) and tend to have a sweetspot arund 2pm ish ... so I set the volume on pre to be relaively low and "search" for the sweetspot on the Cayin. Its a trial and error thing for me.
 
Sep 6, 2023 at 7:29 PM Post #4,169 of 6,476
I can second the recommendation for Psvane Acme. They’re surprisingly good, excellent tonality, and just missing that last degree of realism and “you are there” effect. A good balance with Takatsukis, when I get tired of the hi-fi sound.

But the call of Elrog still pulls me…
I exist to post just this .gif...

I am inevitable.gif
 
Sep 6, 2023 at 11:47 PM Post #4,170 of 6,476
Just curious - can someone please explain why rectifier tubes in Cayin would affect the sound?
I kinda understand the idea for an integrated amp where say 274B is replaced with a more powerful tube to get better power supply effectively. But i am not clear why would it matter in an HF amp given mickey mouse current we drive through planar HF in the worst case.
Thank you!
 

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