Cayin iHA-6 - US Tour and reviews
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grizzlybeast

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  Digital filters are great to have for subtle tuning of the sound. But as mentioned they make a very small contribution.... some people expect big changes and that's not the case at all. This is the case for any DAC, not just Cayin. 

I really hope you compare these guys to the BMC PURE DAC/AMP all in one unit. 
 
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tassardar

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So I went to my retailer today and they brought it in. With the he hd800S it's totally fantastic. Wide soundstage with energy. It's like the headphone is finally free. I tested things like wa5, wa22, burson conductor, fostex hpa4 and questyle cmr800 and my own CDM. Bought it immediately
 
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tassardar

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Just the Amp. 
 

 
All I want is my HD800S to be at its best haha. 
 
Probably write a review this weekend. This amp is worth my time on it. And take some better pics.
 
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Just the Amp. 




All I want is my HD800S to be at its best haha. 

Probably write a review this weekend. This amp is worth my time on it. And take some better pics.
I look forward to your review. Assuming you've owned or tried the HD800, I would appreciate some comments on how you think it might pair up with it.

And if you are familiar with the HE6, them as well.

Did you get to try the DAC as well?

Thanks.
 
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tassardar

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I tried with my he500 and there it does quite a good job with it. I didn't try the dac since my retailer here didn't bring them in.
 
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project86

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I really hope you compare these guys to the BMC PURE DAC/AMP all in one unit. 
 
 
That will be tough as I no longer have the PureDAC here. I've got the UltraDAC but that's over twice the cost of the Cayin stack so a tough comparison. 
 
I'm listening to the Dharma in balanced mode right now, going back and forth between the Cayin amp and my Auralic Taurus mkII. So far they are VERY similar, at least with the Dharma. Will keep rotating through headphones to see if I can find a larger difference.
 
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grizzlybeast

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That is somewhat of a positive impression for the cayin when I know what you think of the Taurus since I have read ypur review.

I pretty much have my impressions of this amp honed in but the DAC less so since I don't have my own DAC ATM because my mussette hasn't arrived.
 
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tassardar

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Tried on a couple of my headphones. HD800S, HE500, RS1, K701. Except the K701, the rest are on balanced.
 
On general HD800S sounded fantastic. Great sound stage and smooth sound. Best I heard so far.
HE500 had sound good. Good power and finesse. However something in me tells me it could be even better hmm.
RS1 on balance is surprisingly well behaved on the amp. 
K701 no matter what setting still felt too bright for me on this amp (Single Ended)
 
I also tried the LCD 3 and HE1000 on this amp at the shop for about an hour.
 
the LCD3 somehow felt like it lost some energy in the mids on this amp. My ALO CDM in balanced sounded better to me no matter what setting.
HE1000 sounded great on this thing. But like the HE500, I have a feeling it could be better. A feeling of this last bit of energy that is not there. Then again I never heard a amp other then Studio Six that gave me that feeling.
 
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Subscribed. This combo sounds very interesting and now that I just picked up the HE6, even more so.

Can't wait to see project86's review. I really enjoy his reviews. Very thorough but also understandable to guys like me that are not up to speed on the technicalities.


Can't wait to see project86's review X2 :D

If you have HE6 and is looking for a very cost effective solution to setup a system around this headphone, you got to give it a try, trust me, there is some synergy surprise with the HE6, it just click in amazingly.
 
Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
http://en.cayin.cn/
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What about the filter settings?  Sharp, Slow etc.  What change does each one cause?  I've been listening a lot with the Sharp setting.  

Sorry @grizzlybeast I posted the question before seeing that you stated your filter settings. But I'm still wondering what each one specifically does.
the sharp filter provides a more crisp take on the sound coming from the DAC. Slow can slightly help those headphones that may be a little fatiquing and sound unnaturally fast. This is the same concept as having a slower sounding headphone vs a sharp one. These filters are not as drastic as you would think and are tastefully done to more so invoke a feeling rather than totally change the recording. I think @Andykong should really chime in and break down all of these options but on the DAC thread as to even correct me and others where we are wrong. 
 
Sharp
Slow
Short Delay sharp
Short Delay slow
Super Slow. 
 
I have yet to really sit down and try to hear differences between  the short delay options. I have been messing mostly with the current settings, gain settings(iha-6) and phase settings on the Idac -6. 
 
While not nearly close to the caliber of reviewer(not really gonna call myself a reviewer) that @project86 is. I can really say that this gear is extremely well thought out and sounds like it.

I have give it a try, maybe we can continue our discussion on the DAC setting at the iDAC-6 thread.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/797583/cayin-idac-6-a-killer-new-dac-with-tons-of-options-on-board/45#post_12524807

The Phase setting is a different issue, it is meant for recording with inverted phase and will invert the polarity of the signal. Assuming your system is properly setup and the soundstage/imaging are reasonably good, when you run into a particular CD or music file that produce a very off centered soundstage/imaging, you can use this function to remedial the situation. I am not an expert of this and I have not used this function so far, please correct me if I am wrong.


Digital filters are great to have for subtle tuning of the sound. But as mentioned they make a very small contribution.... some people expect big changes and that's not the case at all. This is the case for any DAC, not just Cayin. 

Indeed the digital filters are subtle, we have implemented these filters in our DAP, and they are consider difficult to hear the different. The effect on iDAC-6 is audible but it won't affect the overall impression in most cases.
 
Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
http://en.cayin.cn/
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Yes the iDac6 thread. I consider my stack "one" so I forget to differentiate between the two threads.  Just for kicks I tried my PM-3s, which I usually only use for portable use and there rare times when sound leakage is an issue.  Holy c&*p, the bass was impressive.  Didn't know these phones had it in them.  I was actually okay with the bass before, but I'm not sure if I can listen to them straight from the phone any more.  May need a portable amp now...

PM-3 is a portable headphone but it is also a planar, and I think most, if not all, planar headphone will be benefited by amplification with more current in the chain. So being portable will means it can be done, but not necessarily the optimized setup.

In fact, some of the more scalable or demanding IEM will demonstrate similar characteristics, try to drive IE800 or ER4S with iHA-6, you'll be surprised what an IEM can achieve when stretch to limit.
 
Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
http://en.cayin.cn/
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So I went to my retailer today and they brought it in. With the he hd800S it's totally fantastic. Wide soundstage with energy. It's like the headphone is finally free. I tested things like wa5, wa22, burson conductor, fostex hpa4 and questyle cmr800 and my own CDM. Bought it immediately


Just the Amp. 




All I want is my HD800S to be at its best haha. 

Probably write a review this weekend. This amp is worth my time on it. And take some better pics.


Tried on a couple of my headphones. HD800S, HE500, RS1, K701. Except the K701, the rest are on balanced.

On general HD800S sounded fantastic. Great sound stage and smooth sound. Best I heard so far.
HE500 had sound good. Good power and finesse. However something in me tells me it could be even better hmm.
RS1 on balance is surprisingly well behaved on the amp. 
K701 no matter what setting still felt too bright for me on this amp (Single Ended)

I also tried the LCD 3 and HE1000 on this amp at the shop for about an hour.

the LCD3 somehow felt like it lost some energy in the mids on this amp. My ALO CDM in balanced sounded better to me no matter what setting.
HE1000 sounded great on this thing. But like the HE500, I have a feeling it could be better. A feeling of this last bit of energy that is not there. Then again I never heard a amp other then Studio Six that gave me that feeling.

So this is love at first sight, or first audition? :D

Jealous that you get to hear iHA-6 paired with HD800S, looking forward to check this out. I have HD800 in my collection, my rating with HD800 + iHA-6 is above average but not extraordinary. When you said the HD800s + iHA-6 is the best you heard and you have heard a lot already, especially when I notice you are a WA22 owner and you have included WA5 in the list. Looks like iHA-6 and HD800S has demonstrated some synergy effect. I am looking forward to read your report on this combo. Best of HD800S and affordable? This is so attractive indeed.

RS1 on balance is surprisingly well behaved? This is new to me, RS1i or RS1e? I have heard the RS1 but not particularly interested, but my friend suggested me to try the older version of RS1 saying that probably will suit my taste better.

You didn't get to hear the iDAC-6 as a combo? Do you audition the iHA6 in US? New York/New Jersey? I am not surprised if you have heard iDAC-6 but not iHA-6 because some traditional HiFI shops has stocked IDAC-6 but not the headphone amp., but to headfi shops, we almost also demo the iDAC-6 and iHA-6 as a combo. The iDAC-6 offers versatile setup to improve the mix and matching with more headphones.
 
Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
http://en.cayin.cn/
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tassardar

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So this is love at first sight, or first audition? :D

Jealous that you get to hear iHA-6 paired with HD800S, looking forward to check this out. I have HD800 in my collection, my rating with HD800 + iHA-6 is above average but not extraordinary. When you said the HD800s + iHA-6 is the best you heard and you have heard a lot already, especially when I notice you are a WA22 owner and you have included WA5 in the list. Looks like iHA-6 and HD800S has demonstrated some synergy effect. I am looking forward to read your report on this combo. Best of HD800S and affordable? This is so attractive indeed.

RS1 on balance is surprisingly well behaved? This is new to me, RS1i or RS1e? I have heard the RS1 but not particularly interested, but my friend suggested me to try the older version of RS1 saying that probably will suit my taste better.

You didn't get to hear the iDAC-6 as a combo? Do you audition the iHA6 in US? New York/New Jersey? I am not surprised if you have heard iDAC-6 but not iHA-6 because some traditional HiFI shops has stocked IDAC-6 but not the headphone amp., but to headfi shops, we almost also demo the iDAC-6 and iHA-6 as a combo. The iDAC-6 offers versatile setup to improve the mix and matching with more headphones.

I'm from Singapore so the shop I patronize only carried the iha6 and not the idac. If only I can get a demo somewhere haha. So far I'm not too into dac since even between Hugo and my CDM, once I remove the amp out of the equation, I can't really tell much difference.

Yeah I'm sure it's a synergy effect with hd800s. Most will say it's different from the hd800 (it has a tamed treble and a little more bass) Since I actually don't quite like lcd3 on this amp for example. Yeah and I'm pretty sure to my ears, the iha6 made a difference. Almost every other amp (portable or desktop) I compared cost almost twice as much.

Mine is the old rs1. The rs1 that's buttonless. Not the I or E which people say is different. In balanced they are different too.

 
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