Cayin N3Pro DAP: Dual AK4493 and MQA with Vacuum Tube
Aug 10, 2020 at 8:28 AM Post #241 of 2,364

rbf1138

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am I missing something, this is just 1 paragraph quick impression, not even sure if this is a final product or engineering sample or it had any burn in?

It looked liked that to me too until it somehow loaded and it’s actually much longer.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 8:33 AM Post #242 of 2,364

NewEve

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It looked liked that to me too until it somehow loaded and it’s actually much longer.

@twister6

Capture.PNG
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 11:07 AM Post #243 of 2,364

kenz

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Based off a decent google translation, sounds like it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Not overly negative but certainly not calling it a giant killer or punching above its weight.

It would be puzzling to consider the N3 pro, a potential "giant killer".
Considering its numbering (and suggested hierarchy in their portable line), i'd stretch the idea no further than a competitor of the FiiO M11?

And that might also be a stretch considering Cayin also has an N5 and i5 tier in their portable.

Kinda like expecting the 1 2 3 Kid beating the Undertaker ... in a straight and fair fight (wrestling reference). :dt880smile:
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 11:12 AM Post #244 of 2,364

rbf1138

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It would be puzzling to consider the N3 pro, a potential "giant killer".
Considering its numbering (and suggested hierarchy in their portable line), i'd stretch the idea no further than a competitor of the FiiO M11?

And that might also be a stretch considering Cayin also has an N5 and i5 tier in their portable.

Kinda like expecting the 1 2 3 Kid beating the Undertaker ... in a straight and fair fight (wrestling reference). :dt880smile:

Maybe I was expecting too much. Considering the ibasso dx160 stands toe to toe with the m11 and costs less than the N3Pro, I don’t think it’s unfair to expect a lot from it. Especially when considering that the focus on this Cayin is not a super fancy screen and it has a custom OS
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 11:13 AM Post #245 of 2,364

Zambu

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It would be puzzling to consider the N3 pro, a potential "giant killer".
Considering its numbering (and suggested hierarchy in their portable line), i'd stretch the idea no further than a competitor of the FiiO M11?

It's not supposed to compete with the likes of Fiio in anything UI related, the use cases are quite different. The main draw is in sound quality, "tube experience" and a streamlined music experience with hopefully your own files on SD card. For that it can be really good and I'm somewhat interested, but not quite "blind purchase" interested as of yet :D
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 11:21 AM Post #246 of 2,364

rbf1138

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It's not supposed to compete with the likes of Fiio in anything UI related, the use cases are quite different. The main draw is in sound quality, "tube experience" and a streamlined music experience with hopefully your own files on SD card. For that it can be really good and I'm somewhat interested, but not quite "blind purchase" interested as of yet :D

As long as the sound quality is on par with something like the m11, I’ll buy one. The streamlined music experience is a selling point for me! The sound quality has to be competitive, as well though.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 11:56 AM Post #247 of 2,364

monsieurfromag3

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Those are low, low expectations guys. At $500 with no Android (therefore no matching hardware) and no smartphone-like screen the N3Pro should compete technically with the M11 Pro, the Shanling M6 Pro, the A&K SR25, Sony ZX-507 etc. which all have baggage outside of audio pushing their price higher.
I pre-ordered the N3Pro instead of buying the aforementioned DAPs because of its tube implementation which, if done in a way that suits me, will elevate it for me much higher than its price range in terms of listening pleasure and immersion.
The 5iiS is on its way to becoming a legacy device, it’s an Android DAP anyway, and the original MSRP was lower than that of the N3Pro. Take the “Pro“ in the new N3 seriously 🤓
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 12:00 PM Post #248 of 2,364
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It would be puzzling to consider the N3 pro, a potential "giant killer".
Considering its numbering (and suggested hierarchy in their portable line), i'd stretch the idea no further than a competitor of the FiiO M11?

And that might also be a stretch considering Cayin also has an N5 and i5 tier in their portable.

Kinda like expecting the 1 2 3 Kid beating the Undertaker ... in a straight and fair fight (wrestling reference). :dt880smile:

I think Andy mentioned in one of the previous posts that they are hitting the reset and re-aligning to be more clear with a focus on 3 tiers: N3Pro being their lower-tier non-Android tube/solidstate output model, N6ii being their mid-tier Android modular model, and N8 being their upper-tier flagship non-Android model. I'm intentionally not using "entry level, mid-fi, and summit-fi" because it is hard to call N3Pro an entry level like the original N3 or something like R3 Pro. There is definitely a gray area of what we can call entry level nowadays.

Expecting to receive N3Pro by the end of this week, and hopefully after a burn in over the weekend can start sharing some impressions next week.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 12:00 PM Post #249 of 2,364

rbf1138

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Those are low, low expectations guys. At $500 with no Android (therefore no matching hardware) and no smartphone-like screen the N3Pro should compete technically with the M11 Pro, the Shanling M6 Pro, the A&K SR25, Sony ZX-507 etc. which all have baggage outside of audio pushing their price higher.
I pre-ordered the N3Pro instead of buying the aforementioned DAPs because of its tube implementation which, if done in a way that suits me, will elevate it for me much higher than its price range in terms of listening pleasure and immersion.
The 5iiS is on its way to becoming a legacy device, it’s an Android DAP anyway, and the original MSRP was lower than that of the N3Pro. Take the “Pro“ in the new N3 seriously 🤓

^^^ This.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 12:08 PM Post #250 of 2,364

kenz

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I think Andy mentioned in one of the previous posts that they are hitting the reset and re-aligning to be more clear with a focus on 3 tiers: N3Pro being their lower-tier non-Android tube/solidstate output model, N6ii being their mid-tier Android modular model, and N8 being their upper-tier flagship non-Android model. I'm intentionally not using "entry level, mid-fi, and summit-fi" because it is hard to call N3Pro an entry level like the original N3 or something like R3 Pro. There is definitely a gray area of what we can call entry level nowadays.

Expecting to receive N3Pro by the end of this week, and hopefully after a burn in over the weekend can start sharing some impressions next week.

Looking forward to your impressions. :L3000:

And yup, my comments were based solely on sound quality.
And agree we should stop using the terms "entry level", "mid-fi" and such. Smartphones are starting to catch up to what we know as entry level sound quality.
Any portable player maker expecting to make and sell truckload of entry level players with entry level sound quality (although there are some practical use cases), need to reconsider this option. Just look at the "point and shoot" camera market.

So in this sense, we should expect a certain degree of excellence in sound quality even in low tier players going forward.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 12:17 PM Post #251 of 2,364

rbf1138

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I think Andy mentioned in one of the previous posts that they are hitting the reset and re-aligning to be more clear with a focus on 3 tiers: N3Pro being their lower-tier non-Android tube/solidstate output model, N6ii being their mid-tier Android modular model, and N8 being their upper-tier flagship non-Android model. I'm intentionally not using "entry level, mid-fi, and summit-fi" because it is hard to call N3Pro an entry level like the original N3 or something like R3 Pro. There is definitely a gray area of what we can call entry level nowadays.

Expecting to receive N3Pro by the end of this week, and hopefully after a burn in over the weekend can start sharing some impressions next week.

Looking forward to your thoughts and review! Even as their entry level, it's priced more alongside the mid-tier of DAPs, with the N6ii still double what those other mid-tiers are. If the ideas is that the N3Pro is meant to compete with $450 up to even somewhere close to the N6ii it should matching up with $800-900 DAPs.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 1:07 PM Post #252 of 2,364

Light - Man

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Looking forward to your thoughts and review! Even as their entry level, it's priced more alongside the mid-tier of DAPs, with the N6ii still double what those other mid-tiers are. If the ideas is that the N3Pro is meant to compete with $450 up to even somewhere close to the N6ii it should matching up with $800-900 DAPs.
I have to agree about Cayin's new price structure for their DAPs!

I had the Cayin N5 for a short while a few years back and it cost me 250 UK pounds.

Now they are charging $450 US for the new N3ii................???

Surely it would have made way more sense to have called it the new N4.

However, we are all interested to hear what people have to say about it and to see if it can justify its price.

Cayin should remember that the new Hiby R3 Pro is about $200 US.

Guess what guys, I reckon that I won't be getting a free review sample of the new N3 anytime soon! :ksc75smile:
 
Aug 11, 2020 at 12:42 AM Post #254 of 2,364

Silent Xaxal

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Can I run an HD650 or T50rp on this without need for external amplification?
 
Aug 11, 2020 at 3:44 AM Post #255 of 2,364

NewEve

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Regardless of where the N3 Pro sites in a lineup of DAPs, I personally don't find the difference in-between DAPs worth their price differences.

Pass the USD750 mark, I find that the law of diminishing return hits really hard, especially for DAPs. It's no science but I'll put that mark at around USD1000 for headphones and IEMs.

For better or worse, what I'm expecting from the N3 Pro is the tubes to sound radically different from anything else.

The AKM DACs probably won't even be turned on short of curiosity as I never was a fan of their sound signature.

We'll see I guess.
 

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