Cayin iHA-6 - US Tour and reviews
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grizzlybeast

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I really want to see what others think of the combination. 
 
Jim has the iha6 right now and says compared to his mjilnor (first edition) it has more brilliance, and is more detailed sounding. He likes it with the Vali as well. 
 
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When will a person be able to order these online in the US ? Sorry if I have overlooked answer to this question . Thanks

Not exactly in US but close enough to put this up for reference.

Our Canada dealer AUDIONATION will include iDAC-6 and iHA-6 in their Cayin collection, please drop them a line if you are interested in the Cayin combo in Canada region.

http://www.audionation.ca/
 
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http://en.cayin.cn/
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ebiscaia

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Hi,
 
A little late but thanks for everyone for answering my questions.
 
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As mentioned previously, the iDAC-6/iHA-6 is in the middle of a bundled tour with Kennerton Vali headphone, I would like to share the first impression of the Vali tour with iHA-6 users and those who are interested in iHA-6:

I listened to Seal's first album start to finish with both the Vali and my newly-acquired HE-6 (modded), and while I am still getting used to these, they are a world apart. The bass of the Hifiman is spectacular, but not only in quantity. I have heard textures among the different types of basses played by a variety of artists now, textures, which no other headohones have revealed to me before. I'm not qualified to give grandiose impressions of the HE-6 yet, but with a great amp, these are spectacular, and the fine detail cues are present in every part of the spectrum. Going back to the Vali, the finest details are a bit more rolled off, but the experience is still very pleasant and engaging. Other music that has been a part of this back and forth includes Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, Rush (24/96 FLAC for all of these), Chick Corea, Toy Matinee, Norah Jones, and others. Amplifiers used are the Schiit Mjolnir (first gen) and Cayin IHA-6. The Cayin is a particularly nice mesh with the Vali, since the Cayin is extremely detailed, and has a bit more brilliance than my Mjolnir, which makes it blend nicely with the slightly darker Vali.

The build quality of the Vali is high-quality, and there is a bit of a steam-punk vibe about the industrial looking metal parts combined with the wood cups. This is a pretty heavy headphone, and the pads could be a bit softer, but it is not an uncomfortable combination overall.

This is my first time reviewing gear, so please forgive the wandering commentary through this. I'll try to tighten up my writing and opinions and add my thoughts on the Cayin gear later.

I hope Jimkrell can spare sometime to expand his writing and thoughts on the Cayin amplifier later, his impartial opinions will be a valuable advise to readers of this thread. :beerchug:
 
Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
 
http://en.cayin.cn/
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rigo

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Is it normal to have slight noise when using the stack single ended? I only hear it on high gain and for some reason I can't recall if it has been there the entire time. It is very low coming through my Senn 650s and I don't hear it running balanced.  It is not audible when I turn up the music and doesn't affect the sound any.  I've tried two RCA cables and it doesn't make a difference.  It was suggested that I may need to buy RCA cables with better shielding. I have a few others at home that I can test out, but does anyone else have slight noise running single ended?  
 
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exsomnis

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  Is it normal to have slight noise when using the stack single ended? I only hear it on high gain and for some reason I can't recall if it has been there the entire time. It is very low coming through my Senn 650s and I don't hear it running balanced.  It is not audible when I turn up the music and doesn't affect the sound any.  I've tried two RCA cables and it doesn't make a difference.  It was suggested that I may need to buy RCA cables with better shielding. I have a few others at home that I can test out, but does anyone else have slight noise running single ended?  
 
I certainly hope it isn't normal. Though I wouldn't be too surprised that they de-emphasized the single ended output design, since the primary objective was a balanced amp. Will give mine a test once I receive it, hopefully by next week.
 
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project86

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I don't hear any noise on mine but you do have to watch your setup for ground loops (not specific to these Cayin products, just in general). 
 
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rigo

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  I don't hear any noise on mine but you do have to watch your setup for ground loops (not specific to these Cayin products, just in general). 
 
I will have to do some reading on ground loops...
 
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Any chance this is interference? electro or RF?
 
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I've got the iDAC-6 + iHA-6 stack along with the Kennerton Vali headphones right now. I'm mainly doing this out of curiosity, as I'm much more of a portable audio listener (DAP + IEM). My personal headphone setup consists of DAP COAX OUT -> Aune X1S DAC/AMP -> modded HE400. Unfortunately, my HE400 are out for a headband mod right now. Hoping to get them back before I move the Cayin + Kennerton kit up to Seattle.

So with that preamble out of the way, here's my experience with the tour setup...

I first listened to Cayin N5 DAP via LO ->iHA-6 -> Vali. It was too bright / edgy for me with noticeable sibilance hiss after each S and soundstage was pretty closed in. I didn't last long before pulling the plug on this experiment.

Moving right along, I switched to N5 via COAX OUT -> iDAC-6 -> iHA-6 -> Vali. Playing around with the settings a bit, I settled on Vacuum Tube + Slow Filter on iDAC-6 and Low Current and Low Gain out of the High SE 1/4" HO. Whew, there's A LOT to play with!!! Be prepared to get your audiophile geek on :L3000:

Before I started playing around, I was getting a brighter / edgier sound than I liked. After finding my preferred (at least for now :wink: ) settings, the sound is now smooth and enjoyable. Soundstage isn't anything to write home about with this setup, though. I have the feeling Vali is the limiting factor as far as soundstage goes, though.

Not much else to say about the setup right now. I might go back and try out N5 LO -> iHA-6 with High SE, though. I'd tried it via Balanced Out before. Maybe High SE will make a difference.
 
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I've got the iDAC-6 + iHA-6 stack along with the Kennerton Vali headphones right now. I'm mainly doing this out of curiosity, as I'm much more of a portable audio listener (DAP + IEM). My personal headphone setup consists of DAP COAX OUT -> Aune X1S DAC/AMP -> modded HE400. Unfortunately, my HE400 are out for a headband mod right now. Hoping to get them back before I move the Cayin + Kennerton kit up to Seattle.

So with that preamble out of the way, here's my experience with the tour setup...

I first listened to Cayin N5 DAP via LO ->iHA-6 -> Vali. It was too bright / edgy for me with noticeable sibilance hiss after each S and soundstage was pretty closed in. I didn't last long before pulling the plug on this experiment.

Moving right along, I switched to N5 via COAX OUT -> iDAC-6 -> iHA-6 -> Vali. Playing around with the settings a bit, I settled on Vacuum Tube + Slow Filter on iDAC-6 and Low Current and Low Gain out of the High SE 1/4" HO. Whew, there's A LOT to play with!!! Be prepared to get your audiophile geek on :L3000:

Before I started playing around, I was getting a brighter / edgier sound than I liked. After finding my preferred (at least for now :wink: ) settings, the sound is now smooth and enjoyable. Soundstage isn't anything to write home about with this setup, though. I have the feeling Vali is the limiting factor as far as soundstage goes, though.

Not much else to say about the setup right now. I might go back and try out N5 LO -> iHA-6 with High SE, though. I'd tried it via Balanced Out before. Maybe High SE will make a difference.

Did Lee pass the N6 to you as well? If you were to use DAP as line source for desktop Headfi system, N6 line out will do a much better job. Base on your description (edgy, noticeable sibilance), the system need to improve on the detail and density of music data. In additiona, the line out of N5 and N6 are significantly different because the line out of N6 bypassed th volume control chip and the headphone op-amp, but the line out of N5 is a fixed output value after headphone amplification op-amp.

Using digital out should be a lot easier to manage, the only trick is to make sure the coaxial cable meet the 75ohm specification requirements.

Looking forwards to your impression on the setup, should be very interesting. :beerchug:
 
Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
 
http://en.cayin.cn/
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Been Running my IHA-6 with HD800S on balanced. Will probably get another amp soon so I can compare. But compared to my CDM, It sounds bigger, cleaner and has a vocal that spreads around me which is the reason I got it :D
 
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zeissiez

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Excellent reviews here by John Grandberg http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/cayin-idac-6-and-iha-6-dynamic-duo#l64haWW2Qsiju2vp.97
 
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grizzlybeast

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John is the worst reviewer of all time. I don't like how he is so accurate.:triumph:

For example

I thought I was just really stumped at the current settings and tried to leave it out of my review then he said.

"I also couldn't tell a significant difference in the high or low current settings. Every time I thought I heard a slight change, a counterexample would present itself, so the ultimate worth of this setting eluded me
Read more at http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/cayin-idac-6-and-iha-6-dynamic-duo-page-3#QQru8wtwsuRmg0hu.99"

Ahhh validation :blush::blush::blush:

Sike! John is great and I heard the amp practically the same and preferred it balanced with most headphones.

I however dont hear the idac6 as warm but that's prob because I had a NOS DAC as a reference.

Glad to see it on the WOF it definitely deserves it. I really want one and may get one eventually.

Great Job john

Congrats Cayin!
 
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project86

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Ha! Thanks, I deliberately stayed away from your review until today. We do indeed hear them fairly similarly. As I mention in mine, if you prefer a NOS sound then you won't find the Cayin particularly warm. I didn't mention it but I suppose the other end is true as well - if you wanted a super-brilliant reference type sound, the Cayin in SS mode still isn't as bright as say my Esoteric D-07x or Calyx Femto. So it's all relative.
 
Your review is very well done too though, great reading. 
 
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