Cayin N3Pro: Vacuum Tube DAP
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twister6

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Guys/gals, N3Pro is non-Android DAP for PURE MUSIC PLAYBACK, just like Cayin's flagship N8. For those who want Android DAP with access to Google Play to install streaming apps, you will need to step up to their modular N6ii model or look into other Android based DAPs.

If you want local on/off-line streaming, N3Pro is not it. If you want to use N3Pro while streaming to drive your IEMs/headphones, you can pair it up with your smartphone or laptop to use as a hi-res (LDAC) wireless Bluetooth DAC/tube amp.
 
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When can I buy one? Very curious on the ZX507 and N3Pro comparison.
 
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Guys/gals, N3Pro is non-Android DAP for PURE MUSIC PLAYBACK, just like Cayin's flagship N8. For those who want Android DAP with access to Google Play to install streaming apps, you will need to step up to their modular N6ii model or look into other Android based DAPs.

If you want local on/off-line streaming, N3Pro is not it. If you want to use N3Pro while streaming to drive your IEMs/headphones, you can pair it up with your smartphone or laptop to use as a hi-res (LDAC) wireless Bluetooth DAC/tube amp.
Oh man. I loved the N6ii. The N3Pro seems very interesting, but I got addicted to streaming.
 
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I wonder what the limit will be for sd card storage capacity on this unit?
 
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HuoYuanJia

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I wonder what the limit will be for sd card storage capacity on this unit?
Fun fact: The limit is usually always the highest currently available capacity, or the highest tested one. In most cases, the size is not the issue and most old DAPs that officially only supported 256GB actually have no problems at all with 500+ GB.
 
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Very intriguing announcement and a potentially very versatile everyday beater player. I'm impressed with what's on offer at this price point.

I've nothing to add which hasn't already been said but having owned a couple of Cayin's mid-fi players and their N8, Cayin tends to have a good handle on DAC implementation so performance will come down to the amp sections.

As for Jan tubes, when I first got into DIY Audio, about 15 years ago, CMOY amps (altoid box amps etc) were all the rage but along with that was a slight variation on the CMOY circuit which used Raytheon Jan tubes as a pre-amp, which looks similar to the implementation in the N3 Pro. My first DIY design was one with a Baxandall equaliser implemented into it and for the £50 it cost to build from scratch with a case, it performed well.

Performance wise that implementation's sound quality is influenced much more heavily by the solid state post amplification in the circuit so the Jan tubes are more there to add a bit of 'tubeyness' to the sound signature (unless Cayin uses these tubes differently).
You could also do some limited amp rolling with those. The market was flooded with them from where Jan tubes were used in old hearing aids but had come to be replaced with solid state amplifiers.

In terms of how it performed those Jan tube designs worked as well as you'd expect a sub $100 DIY amp to perform so that's to say nothing with a huge SnR, a little hissy but still a very pleasant, smooth, musical performance with plenty of tube like harmonics.
I'm not expecting the tube section of the N3Pro to be replacing any dedicated portable tube amplifier (or perform as well as the Korg Nanotube either) but if the solid state headphone out performs as well as other Cayin mid tier players, having a nice tube output for something different is a nice bonus.

My main concern is that I remember having to put rubber grommets around the Jan tubes because they suffered from ringing and movement would cause this to be heard in the audio line. Hopefully Cayin have dampened the vibrations enough to prevent this occurring in normal usage.

Very interesting and I'm happy to see a respected manufacturer not focusing their attention on pushing market prices up with incremental releases for a change.
Colour me intrigued.
 
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Battery Life? OS? Output Power? Info please!
 
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twister6

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holsen

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@twister6 has explained the issue very clearly (HERE). N3Pro is running on our proprietary operation system, it is Linux based, not Android based, you cannot install Android APP or APK on this DAP.

N3Pro supports multiple bluetooth codec, including UAT, LDAC and AAC in receiving mode, you can "stream" your mobile phone content to N3Pro through bluetooth, with that N3Pro will function as a portable wireless DAC/Amp. This is the only way to play Tidal or Qobuz content on N3Pro right now. We have selected this strategy to support streaming function for N3Pro, and we didn't intent to develop a client of Tidal or Qobuz specially for N3Pro Operation System, this is beyond our reach. If you haven't try streaming content from your mobile phone to DAP via UAT or LDAC, maybe you can wait till you have the opportunity to try this out with N3Pro, or when there are more user impressions that shared their experience on these applications.

We are sorry that N3Pro have disappointed some of the users regarding streaming support in this forum. If you need a DAP that can run streaming app directly, N3Pro is probably not your priority choice, there are plenty of Android based DAP for you to choose from, including our N6ii, or R5 and R6Pro from good friend HiBy Music.

Cayin has always tried our best to explain our product. We are happy to answer any question, but we sincerely hope this thread will remain a N3Pro product thread. :beerchug:
 
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@twister6 has explained the issue very clearly (HERE). N3Pro is running on our proprietary operation system, it is Linux based, not Android based, you cannot install Android APP or APK on this DAP.

N3Pro supports multiple bluetooth codec, including UAT, LDAC and AAC in receiving mode, you can "stream" your mobile phone content to N3Pro through bluetooth, with that N3Pro will function as a portable wireless DAC/Amp. This is the only way to play Tidal or Qobuz content on N3Pro right now. We have selected this strategy to support streaming function for N3Pro, and we didn't intent to develop a client version of Tidal or Qobuz specially for N3Pro Operation System, this is beyond our reach.

We are sorry that N3Pro have disappointed some of the users regarding streaming support in this forum. If you need a DAP that can run streaming app directly, N3Pro is probably not your priority choice, there are plenty of Android based DAP for you to choose from, including our N6ii, or R5 and R6Pro from good friend HiBy Music.

Cayin has always tried our best to explain our product. We are happy to answer any question, but we sincerely hope this thread will remain a N3Pro product thread. :beerchug:
Hi Andy,

1. I saw a photo that the tube light can be seen in the front. Is it true?
2. The tubes are user replaceable? If not need to send back to Cayin and how much the replacement cost?
3. Since Tube timbre mode only on SE 3.5mm. Would the noise floor not as black as 4.4mm Balanced? (I worry my sensitive IEM Audiosense T800 or those with Campfire solaris...etc.)

Thank you!

Cheers,
Billy
 
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HI @Andykong...will there be a cheaper iteration release for the N3 instead of the pro? I have the original but the price jump for the DAP is a little more than i'm willing to spend...will there be a N3ii possibly coming with just the the dual dac and balanced out without the tubes etc which might mirror the original N3? Thanks.
 
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Arion128

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Seems that it will come with a transparent case inside the box. There is also a separate leather case that you can buy for those interested. This is from inside sources.

arionsreview
 
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Hi Andy,

1. I saw a photo that the tube light can be seen in the front. Is it true?
2. The tubes are user replaceable? If not need to send back to Cayin and how much the replacement cost?
3. Since Tube timbre mode only on SE 3.5mm. Would the noise floor not as black as 4.4mm Balanced? (I worry my sensitive IEM Audiosense T800 or those with Campfire solaris...etc.)

Thank you!

Cheers,
Billy
Yes, we have installed a glass panel in front of the JAN6418, you can see the tube filament glowing when you use the DAP at a slightly dark environment.

The tube are NOT user replaceable. You need to send the DAP back to factory. The tube are not expensive, it is cheaper then a lot of IC components in the DAP, the labour , logistic and tax consequence are the major cost items, the overall cost will be very much similar to replacing a LDO or a pair of power filter capacitors.

I understand your concern on the product life of vacuum tube. We all know vacuum tubes in power amplifier or headphone amplifiers are consumers and some of them are having a relative short life time of several thousand hours only. That actually depends on how you use the vacuum tube, i.e., the voltage and current that go through the tube. In the case of N3Pro, the JAN6418 is used as a buffer only, there is no power amplification involved, so we are using it at a much lower current that other field applications. We didn't perform actual test on the DAP, but base on stimulation, at the current voltage and current setting, we estimate the JAN6418 can sustain in N3Pro for 30,000 to 50,000 hours.

The noise floor on 3.5mm Tube Timbre are indeed higher then SE3.5mm Single-ended and 4.4mm Balanced. I am reluctant to describe the background noise problem because it is subjective and related to music content and ambient environments. It really doesn't mean anything when I told you it don't affect my listening. If you are using very sensitive IEM and worried about the background noise, please wait till reviews from reputable source or user impression in this forum.
 
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