Cayin HA-6A Class A KT88/EL34 Tube Headphone Amplifier
Feb 24, 2022 at 8:27 AM Post #976 of 1,237

joseG86

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The hum may be caused by Ground Loop and you may try iFi Ground Defender on your HA-6A. I am having low frequency hum in my Fostex HP-V8 with D8000, and just got the iFi Ground Defender today and it is magic! The amp is now dead silent with all my headphones including D8000 and the ultra sensitive Focal Stellia.
I tried everything, I am back to Kinki THR-1 and the blackest background haha
 
Feb 25, 2022 at 3:07 PM Post #978 of 1,237

joseG86

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How does the kinki compare with the ha-6a? I’ve read some reviews and it seems to have some tube amp traits with all the usual solid state benefits. Is that your experience?
Hi there,

Compared to Kinki, the HA-6A destroys the Kinki in every sound aspect, specially with Psvane MK2 KT88 valves, with the Kinki it's like your seat is far away from the orchestra while with the HA-6A feels like front row seats haha, you really get the sense to be there, specially if the recording is really good (triode mode)
 
Mar 4, 2022 at 11:21 AM Post #979 of 1,237

itslikeboo

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Hi there,

Compared to Kinki, the HA-6A destroys the Kinki in every sound aspect, specially with Psvane MK2 KT88 valves, with the Kinki it's like your seat is far away from the orchestra while with the HA-6A feels like front row seats haha, you really get the sense to be there, specially if the recording is really good (triode mode)
I guess that’s not a huge surprise. Though the difference in power output between the Kinki and HA-6A must be pretty substantial.
 
Mar 11, 2022 at 1:25 PM Post #980 of 1,237

Loftprojection

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@Andykong with this big announcement of new amps, any chance we might see a new version of the HA-6A using a regular volume control or at least a stepped attenuator with way more steps than 24? I feel it is a shame to have designed such a great, flexible amp and use a 24 step attenuator! It may be very good sound wise but for people like me who like to micro adjust the level it is really bad.

Anyone here bought an HA-6A and subsequently installed another volume pot?
 
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Mar 13, 2022 at 1:41 PM Post #981 of 1,237

tinariwen

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Hey all,

Has anyone tried this amp with the Susvara? I've come across a pair for a decent price, but I really don't want to fall into the rabbit hole of trying out different speaker amps just for one set of cans. On paper the amp is powerful enough, but everyone who owns the Susvara talks about speaker amps and trying to get the most out of them.
 
Mar 13, 2022 at 2:00 PM Post #982 of 1,237

krude

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Hey all,

Has anyone tried this amp with the Susvara? I've come across a pair for a decent price, but I really don't want to fall into the rabbit hole of trying out different speaker amps just for one set of cans. On paper the amp is powerful enough, but everyone who owns the Susvara talks about speaker amps and trying to get the most out of them.
If you're not ready for a rabbit hole don't buy Susvara 🤠
 
Mar 13, 2022 at 2:15 PM Post #983 of 1,237

joseG86

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@Andykong with this big announcement of new amps, any chance we might see a new version of the HA-6A using a regular volume control or at least a stepped attenuator with way more steps than 24? I feel it is a shame to have designed such a great, flexible amp and use a 24 step attenuator! It may be very good sound wise but for people like me who like to micro adjust the level it is really bad.

Anyone here bought an HA-6A and subsequently installed another volume pot?
If I had the knowledge I'd change the pot instantly for a 48 steps, with D8000 Pro I rarely go past 9 o'clock using SE+RCA
 
Mar 13, 2022 at 4:40 PM Post #984 of 1,237

Nikols

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Hey all,

Has anyone tried this amp with the Susvara? I've come across a pair for a decent price, but I really don't want to fall into the rabbit hole of trying out different speaker amps just for one set of cans. On paper the amp is powerful enough, but everyone who owns the Susvara talks about speaker amps and trying to get the most out of them.
I ran susvaras off the ha-6a for a few weeks. The first thing i noticed was the VU's jump to the maximum and pretty much stayed there, constantly topping out. In terms of peformance the amp handled 90% of what the susvaras demanded of it but i think it was pushed to its limits and underperformed loosing detail on busier passages of music. I couldnt shake the feeling that i was asking too much it and in the end i opted for an enleum amp 23r. This amp demonstrated for me what the ha-6a was missing with the susvaras... the bass has so much more extension and punch, timbre and detail retrieval is on another level.

One definate positive was i had zero hiss with the ha-6a with the susvaras, it really was a joy. The soundfloor was non existant compared to my hd800s.
 
Mar 13, 2022 at 5:00 PM Post #985 of 1,237

Loftprojection

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If I had the knowledge I'd change the pot instantly for a 48 steps, with D8000 Pro I rarely go past 9 o'clock using SE+RCA
Yea, I've read a few reviews that complain about this 24 steps pot. I really wonder why they chose that direction for such a great amp, if they are really totally nuts about stepped at Cayin, at least put one that let's users micro adjust at that price bracket.
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 5:03 PM Post #986 of 1,237

krude

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I ran susvaras off the ha-6a for a few weeks. The first thing i noticed was the VU's jump to the maximum and pretty much stayed there, constantly topping out. In terms of peformance the amp handled 90% of what the susvaras demanded of it but i think it was pushed to its limits and underperformed loosing detail on busier passages of music. I couldnt shake the feeling that i was asking too much it and in the end i opted for an enleum amp 23r. This amp demonstrated for me what the ha-6a was missing with the susvaras... the bass has so much more extension and punch, timbre and detail retrieval is on another level.

One definate positive was i had zero hiss with the ha-6a with the susvaras, it really was a joy. The soundfloor was non existant compared to my hd800s.
I run HA6a with Susvara and TC for a few months now, yes you definitely push it near the limit but I think you can stay on the right side of the limit and still get amazing performance, especially for the money. Add to that that you can roll both KT88 and EL34 type tubes, and preamp tubes, 3 impedance levels, balanced and SE outputs and the triode / ultralinear modes and you've got a sound palette that is pretty much unrivalled. It will be a tube amp in the end, so not last word in detail etc. but that's what good solid state amps are for. As purely a tube amp I think you can get very good value from HA6a for all cans including Susvara and TC.
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 6:44 PM Post #987 of 1,237

Nikols

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I run HA6a with Susvara and TC for a few months now, yes you definitely push it near the limit but I think you can stay on the right side of the limit and still get amazing performance, especially for the money. Add to that that you can roll both KT88 and EL34 type tubes, and preamp tubes, 3 impedance levels, balanced and SE outputs and the triode / ultralinear modes and you've got a sound palette that is pretty much unrivalled. It will be a tube amp in the end, so not last word in detail etc. but that's what good solid state amps are for. As purely a tube amp I think you can get very good value from HA6a for all cans including Susvara and TC.
I agree with you about the performance.it wasnt lacking and i didnt find the susvaras subdued. I always found the ha-6a's real strength to be string instruments and female vocals. This only improved with the susvaras. The enleum has similar strengths, ive seen it descibed as having a tubey sound. It brought incredible bass extension and more refined detail retrieval especially with strings.

I bought the susvaras with the intension of running them off the ha-6a but moved it on as i felt uncomfortable that the amp did seem to be at its upper limit running them. Maybe i'm misguided, i just feel that if i'm pushing equipment constantly to that level it might shorten its lifespan... i was used to my hd800s asking very little effort of the ha-6a.
 
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Mar 19, 2022 at 6:54 PM Post #988 of 1,237

krude

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I agree with you about the performance.it wasnt lacking and i didnt find the susvaras subdued. I always found the ha-6a's real strength to be string instruments and female vocals. This only improved with the susvaras. The enleum has similar strengths, ive seen it descibed as having a tubey sound. It brought incredible bass extension and more refined detail retrieval especially with strings.

I bought the susvaras with the intension of running them off the ha-6a but moved it on as i felt uncomfortable that the amp did seem to be at its upper limit running them. Maybe i'm misguided, i just feel that if i'm pushing equipment constantly to that level it might shorten its lifespan... i was used to my hd800s azking very little effort of the ha-6a.
I found tubes and especially more complex designs like HA6a to be able to offer much more once you dig deeper. For example I was initially running it through balanced in, but learned that I can get much more headroom going through lower voltage single ended and using higher volume on the amp. Susvara gels very well for me with KT88 in both triode and ultralinear modes and TC with EL34.

On the subject of SS vs tube I went the other way pretty much. I mostly use the Soloist GT which plays to all SS strenghts and sounds nothing like tubes, and HA6a for the tube sound. Also HA6a needs to run for at least 15 minutes before the performance stabilises. It definitely requires experimentation but can yield shockingly good results if setup to use it's strengths.
 
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Mar 19, 2022 at 7:18 PM Post #989 of 1,237

itslikeboo

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I’m interested in this amp as well to drive my Susvaras but it feels a bit silly to turn it down based on just one pair of headphones I own. I see Cayin also sells the CS-55a, a similar priced tube speaker amp with upped wpc and a headphone output. I wonder how it compares to the HA-6A.
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 7:35 PM Post #990 of 1,237

Nikols

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I found tubes and especially more complex designs like HA6a to be able to offer much more once you dig deeper. For example I was initially running it through balanced in, but learned that I can get much more headroom going through lower voltage single ended and using higher volume on the amp. Susvara gels very well for me with KT88 in both triode and ultralinear modes and TC with EL34.

On the subject of SS vs tube I went the other way pretty much. I mostly use the Soloist GT which plays to all SS strenghts and sounds nothing like tubes, and HA6a for the tube sound. Also HA6a needs to run for at least 15 minutes before the performance stabilises. It definitely requires experimentation but can yield shockingly good results if setup to use it's strengths.
I ran mine from a single ended source too. Given the amp converts balanced input to single ended before creating a balanced output I didnt see the point in the extra step.

Definately agree it needs 20 mins warm up to settle, i'm in that habit now even with my new amp. The ha-6a is a phenominal amp, beautiful to look at and beautiful to listen too. My preference was kt88 in UL mode for my music tastes.
 
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