Cayin N3Pro DAP: Dual AK4493 and MQA with Vacuum Tube
Aug 1, 2020 at 4:34 AM Post #106 of 2,160

billyleungkt

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We want to extend our congratulations to @Cayin and @Andykong for the release of the N3 Pro!

We're big fans of how features of the N8 were trickled down to such an accessible price point!

Our guys happened to get their hands on a unit to get a feel of its pairing characteristics with our own products, and decided to take some glamour shots! Enjoy!

Cayin_N3_Pro_WechatIMG4540_2048px.jpg
Cayin_N3_Pro_WechatIMG4541_2048px.jpg
Cayin_N3_Pro_WechatIMG4542_2048px.jpg
Thank you for sharing. Any hisses for sensitive IEM in tube mode?
 
Aug 1, 2020 at 5:30 AM Post #107 of 2,160

Devodonaldson

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I don’t get the obsession with streaming when it comes to DAPs. I thought one of the advantages of standalone DAPS was that there was none of the interference that phones can suffer from. But if you start using WiFi/Bluetooth etc, aren’t you reintroducing a lot of that noise?
Streaming doesn't just mean connected to internet. Streaming is used as shorthand for streaming based services, such as downloading albums from Tidal music or Qobuz directly into your micro SD card, and playing them offline in the app. So, no emi because you're not connected to the internet, but you have a vast array of music you can download and have at your disposal
 
Aug 1, 2020 at 10:02 AM Post #109 of 2,160

originalsnuffy

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Agree, this is a good reason to pull the 3.5 cables out of the drawer.

If you are a tweakophile, this unit looks like a godsend.

I thought it was really smart of Cayin to pre-buy something like 40,000 of the tubes. A similar part bottleneck is what caused the early death of the N5II series (in that case it was displays); so stocking up was a great idea.

I already have two old school units that don't support streaming / downloading apps (the aforementioned N5II and the Shanling M2S) so I don't need another machine without streaming / downloading apps.

I have been impressed with how well the Amazon HD ecosystem has evolved and so that has become a killer feature for me. But I wish Cayin well on this unit and I suspect it will do well for them.

I date myself, but my first audio amp was a hand me down Sherwood tube unit. It sounded good but did have an annoying 60 hz hum. Fortunately tube equipment has evolved well since those days. Some of my friends had Dynaco tube amps and those were quite nice.

Note: In theory the Cayin N5II supports some streaming with Tidal. Since I don't use Tidal and Tidal on the N5II is quirky based on my Tidal trial it does not count in my book. I have come to accept the N5II as a old school unit. For what its worth, I also don't buy into MQA. Great marketing; MQA positions a slightly lossy compression scheme as an improvement to lossless.
 
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Aug 1, 2020 at 10:13 AM Post #110 of 2,160

RONJA MESCO

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Ah, there is a part of me that wishes this had a bigger screen. For the same casheesh it goes up against other daps with bigger screens .
 
Aug 1, 2020 at 10:34 AM Post #111 of 2,160
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Thank you for sharing. Any hisses for sensitive IEM in tube mode?

We haven't gotten that far yet! We were too excited to get our hands on it. If there's something untowardly to report, we'll do that.
 
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Aug 1, 2020 at 10:53 AM Post #112 of 2,160
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Just finish editing the English Specification tables, We try to provide data as accurate as possible, but we collect these information from our test production batch, so we, as usual, reserve the right to adjust the data without prior notice.

N3Pro Specification (Product Info).jpg

N3Pro Specification (Battery).jpg

N3Pro Specification (Headphone).jpg

N3Pro Specification (Line Out).jpg

N3Pro Specification (Digital).jpg
 
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Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
http://en.cayin.cn/
Aug 1, 2020 at 12:11 PM Post #113 of 2,160

alexlevn0791

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Will there be a leather case in the box like the N6ii? 🙂
 
Aug 1, 2020 at 12:49 PM Post #114 of 2,160

Whitigir

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Agree, this is a good reason to pull the 3.5 cables out of the drawer.

If you are a tweakophile, this unit looks like a godsend.

Depends on what you are tweaking, the last time i recalled, I dont think Cayin is much into Tinkerers. I may be wrong as it can be changed up at any given moment, but tinkering and Cayin never ring any bells for me.

The player look good! and priced good! I am excited for Cayin and the enthusiasts
 
Aug 1, 2020 at 4:58 PM Post #115 of 2,160

chaturanga

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I don’t get the obsession with streaming when it comes to DAPs. I thought one of the advantages of standalone DAPS was that there was none of the interference that phones can suffer from. But if you start using WiFi/Bluetooth etc, aren’t you reintroducing a lot of that noise?

If a player supports offline streaming you can turn off wifi completely after downloading. So there will not be a wifi interference on offline mode. In fact, I don't think online streaming makes a noticeable interference. (At least for my device) I have Opus#2 and happy with online listening too.

Only downside is online streaming consumes more power and that reduces usage time so I prefer offline.

Streaming capability is a must have function for people like me who always wants to check new albums or tracks.

It's not practical or economic to pay and collect every album or track on the device or sd cards. Streaming services are awesome for many reasons.
 
Aug 1, 2020 at 5:25 PM Post #116 of 2,160
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N3Pro stage 04 FHD.jpg


Fully Balanced Design

While Dual Timber is the focus of attention, but the audio design of N3Pro didn’t stay at that. N3Pro is a genuine fully balanced design Digital Audio Player.

Dual DAC: AK4493 x2

N3Pro is designed around the latest 32Bit DAC chipset AK4493EQ from AKM. The player can natively decode up to DSD256 and 32 Bit/384kHz and can playback all popular file format including direct handling of SACD-ISO disc image. It is very convenient to see the ISO file break down into track right in front of you.

To implement the fully-balanced design all the way through, N3Pro has incorporates two AK4493EQ instead of on3. Each DAC chipset is operated in Mono mode taking care of one stereo channel. The DAC will deliver better dynamic range, signal to noise ratio and channel separation in mono mode.

N3Pro PCB AK4493.jpg


N3Pro Music Format.jpg


Differential Headphone Amplification

The DAC outputs the hot and cold signal streams identically except for the polarity. These two signal stream will go through LPF (Low Pass Filter) and headphone amplifier in parallel, completing a fully balanced audio circuit.

When L+, L-, R+ and R- signal streams are transmitted and processed independently, common-mode noise and cross-talk reduction will be cancelled out. The differential headphone amplifier outputs the difference between the hot and cold signals, and this will increase the output power and channel separation significantly. In the case of N3Pro, the 4.4mm balanced headphone output will deliver 800mW, 220mW and 110mW at 32Ω, 150Ω and 300Ω respectively, these are very respectable output at loaded condition from a players at this size and price.

N3Pro Fully Balanced Design.jpg


To usability of the DAP is also an important factor in our product design. For this reason, we packed a custom design and built 4100 mAH (3.7V) Lithium battery into N3Pro. This will provide 11 hours continuous playback on 3.5mm single-ended headphone when Solid State Timbre is selected. The battery duration will drop to 9hrs continuous playback when you select Tube Timbre, or switch to 4.4mm balanced headphone output.

Flexible Input/Outputs Options

S/PDIF Coaxial Digital Out:
Cayin developed a proprietary solution to embedded the S/PDIF signal into the SBU (Sideband use) pins of the Type-C connector. These pins are NOT USED for in USB transmission, so they are not occupied in normal application and left out in normal USB-C cable. This implementation is plug and play, the S/PDIF bitstream is directly embedded into connector, it is NOT a conversion of USB Audio to S/PDIF. To get the S/PDIF out of N3Pro, you need a custom make Type-C cable by wiring the SBU pins to a coaxial cable. (CS-30TCR and CS-40TC35 from Cayin website)

USB Audio In/Out: N3Pro also support both USB Audio Out (USB Transport) and USB Audio In (USB-DAC) from the Type-C USB connector, you need an OTG Type-C cable to access these function. The USB Audio output is, from functional point of view, similar to the coaxial output but it offers noticeably better specification so if you need DSD256 or PCM upto 768kHz, you'll have to go for the USB Audio option instead of Coaxial.

N3Pro_V8A3743-1.jpg


3.5mm single-ended line out: The single-ended line out of N3Pro is a dedicated 3.5mm TRS port and users can set the output level to 2.0V, 1.5V, and 1.0V through the Audio setup menu. This single-ended Line out didn’t go through the headphone amplification stage at all, it is branched from the Solid-state Timbre buffer and is as clean as it should be. It is fit for audio equipment with input impedance higher than 10kΩ (which is fairly common in desktop systems).

4.4mm balanced line out: The balanced line out of N3Pro is a shared 4.4mm TRRRS port with the ground pin connected. This is a fixed voltage output from the 4.4mm headphone amplifier output and users can set the output level to 4.0V, 3.0V, 2.0V through the Audio setup menu.

N3Pro_V8A3718-1.jpg


Multipurpose Hi-Res Bluetooth

Wireless DAC:
N3Pro supports UAT, LDAC, AAC and SBC codec at BTv5.0 standard in both receive and transmit connections. This will enable the N3Pro to serve as a wireless player (to Bluetooth headphones and speaker) and wireless DAC with your mobile phone as music source. Since UAT (up to 192kHz) and LDAC (up to 96kHz) are Hi-Res ready, you can enjoy their streaming app such as Tidal and Qobuz on mobile and playback through N3Pro in UAT, LDAC or AAC. For your information, the UAT codec is developed by HiBy and it transmits upto 1.2Mbps audio signals from an Android mobile device to UAT compatible DAP, support up to 192kHz sampling frequency

HiByLink: The Bluetooth capability also enabled HiByLink, a feature in HiBy Music Player app that allow you to remote control. browse and playback your DAP music library remotely. The remote control concept is similar to regular Bluetooth remote that allow you to adjust volume and perform basic play/pause/next/prev control from your mobile phone.

The HiByLink is a resources sharing protocol, it reads the file header from the music library and fit into the HiBy Music App of your mobile phone. This will facilitate you to browse the music library content, manage music file, search and crate playlist from HiBy Music App. It can even display your DAP Album art on your mobile phone when you played a song on your DAP.

N3Pro Functional Framework.jpg
 
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Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
http://en.cayin.cn/
Aug 1, 2020 at 6:23 PM Post #117 of 2,160

PopZeus

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Awesome info!

Edit: NM I found them! :rolling_eyes:
 
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Aug 1, 2020 at 8:22 PM Post #118 of 2,160

BubbaJay

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I don't need a new dap at all but I really like they way this one looks and it has some cool features. If it's in the $400 area I might get it but not if it's closer to $500.
 
Aug 1, 2020 at 8:54 PM Post #119 of 2,160

joshnor713

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Interested in this but no access to Tidal is a deal breaker. Oh well.
 

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