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Cayin N6ii, Unlimited Possibilities: a fully modularized smart DAP

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Andykong, Apr 7, 2019.
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  1. SteveOliver
    https://www.acquitek.com/difference-between-class-a-and-class-ab-amplifier/

    "The difference between a Class A and a Class AB amplifier is simply the point at which the transistors are biased. In the case of Class A, the transistor is biased so that over the entire cycle of the RF input, the transistor is operating within its linear portion. In the case of Class AB, part of the cycle of the input is actually turning the transistor off.
    This means that in the case of a Class A amplifier, the output is a faithful reproduction of the input signal whereas, in the case of Class AB some distortion is inevitable."
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
    davidmolliere and LoneRanger like this.
  2. Mastermind
    Thanks for the good news, everything looks intriguing. Battery life seems to be reasonable too. Expected less, judging from what was said before.
     
  3. Andykong
    Cayin announced the E01 Audio Motherboard today. We didn't put Nutube into E01 Audio Motherboard, but we offer something better, in our humble opinion. The E01 Audio Motherboard is a discrete component based pure Class A (Switchable to Class AB) DAP audio system. We consolidated our N8 audio system into A01, and we pushed the envelope or our N6/N6mod design to become the T01, the E01 on the other hand, is new Frontier that Cayin has decided to venture into with determination and decades of analog audio experience. This is our ultimate audio design within the physical and electrical limitation of N6ii architecture.

    A01 T01 E01 family _V8A2369.JPG

    The DAC section of E01 Audio Motherboard is designed around the ESS ES9038PRO. This is an 8-channel DAC chipset and we have set it up to output in differential current mode. To optimize the output performance, we have connected four DAC output channels in parallel as an audio channel. The stereo output will then go through IV conversion and LPF circuitry as in other current mode output DAC design.

    ES9038Pro in E01.jpg

    When we formulated our Audio Motherboard roadmap, we have set our mind to offer Pure Class A headphone amplification at some stage, and after two general-purpose full-features Audio Motherboard A01 and T01, we think this is the perfect timing to introduce a special purpose limited-feature Audio Motherboard, and E01 become the perfect platform for this plan. To put this into the context of DAP, we have designed an innovative, first of its kind, DAO (Dual Amp. Operation) Mode circuit that allows user to switch between Class A and Class AB instantly through menu control.

    Since it is not possible to implement a Class A headphone amplifier with off-the-shelf highly-integrated Op-Amp, we have to build the E01 headphone amplification circuit with discrete components. We use low-noise audio grade JFET (Junction gate Field-Effect Transistor) and BJT (Bipolar Junction Transistor) and the result is a jaw-dropping portable system that offers impressive current output capacity and outstanding control a difficult load.

    E01 Claas A FHD.jpg

    One of the very tough requirement to implement Class A amplification with discrete components is to make sure amplification in each channels are in near-identical gain, and this can only be achieved with manually matched critical components such as BJT and manually installed them to the PCB before reflow soldering.

    The other critical point is to make sure the static current are well-controlled so the that BJT will maintain perfectly stable operation in saturation mode. There are loads of factors that will affect the static current: the resistors in peripheral circuit, the internal resistance of the PCB itself to name a few. The difference may sometimes cause a slight deviation in the static current and affect the operation of BJT, not necessarily significant from electrical safety perspective, but audible in audiophile application. Therefore, in order to ensure the stability and consistency of the static current, we have added two adjustable resistors in the circuit. After we stuffed the PCB, we need to test and fine tune these adjustable resistors manually in order to make make the static current of the PCBA is consistent with the reference value defined by our R&D Engineers.

    In view of these manual procedures in the E01 manufacturing process, and the relatively high BOM cost due to discrete components (when compare to highly integrated Op-Amp), the production capacity of E01 will be fairly low when compare to the A01 and T01 Audio Motherboards.

    E01 Spec Phone FHD.jpg

    The N6ii with E01 can playback 7.5hour continuously at Class A mode, and 9.5 hours continuously at Class AB mode. This is consider impressive battery duration for power-hungry ESS DAC chipset and Class A discrete components.

    The suggested retail price of E01 is US$419.00 and it will be available through our international distributor network next week. Please check with your Cayin dealer for local retail price and date of availability (varied in different location).

    The E01 Audio Motherboard will be demoed in the following shows:

    6-8 December 2019, Guangzhou High End Audio Visual Show (7/Fl, Dong Fang Hotel)

    6-8 December 2019, Taipei Headphone Festival (3/Fl, CITYLINK Songshan Mall)

    12-14 December 2019, Portable Audio Festival at Akihabara(Kandaeito building 4-6-7,Sotokanda)


    E01_V8A2314.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://en.cayin.cn/
    fokta, Vitaly2017, amahikas and 5 others like this.
  4. msiekkb
    @Andykong You listening with this module, I very curious about sounds signature and difference between A01? I thinking about change Sony ZX2 to N6 II, but on N6 II with A01 there are worst than ZX2 in terms details, texture, layers, controlled bass, organic and vocals. Maybe on E01 will be better than ZX2, WM1A.
     
  5. davidmolliere
    @Andykong This is great!

    Does that mean only few units will be available at a time?
    Or (let’s hope not) a limited edition?
     
  6. PuppyCat
    I just purchased a Cayin N6ii on Black Friday from musicteck. This is my first DAP. I haven't even had a chance to open it up yet but I'm very excited to use it.
    These additional motherboards are what drew me to the N6ii in the first place.
    This E01 module sounds very intriguing. I'm looking forward to other N6ii user opinions.
     
    davidmolliere likes this.
  7. mashuto
    I saw some of the discussion earlier about the class a stuff. Does that really just imply no distortion that could otherwise be introduced by other amp types since they are not powered on at all times?

    Genuinely trying to understand the practical benefits here as someone who is mainly an iem user. Are there any other audible differences? Will this be cleaner? I realize that any changes are likely going to be marginal compared to the a01. I know nobody outside of cayin has heard it yet, but I personally just don't know what real audible benefits a class a amp could bring over the a01.

    I also understand the dac is different and the tuning may not be the same, but the price is a bit ask here so I am looking to educate myself on what this genuinely brings to the table.
     
  8. TheHighlander
    Andy kong. How is the performance of E01 with sensitive iems like solaris or andromeda? I feel hiss with A01. But with this discrete circuit and capacitors how is the noise in E01 with sensitive iems?
     
  9. Andykong
    I just updated the E01 announcement with better photo. :beerchug:

    The E01 Audio Motherboard will be demoed in the following shows:

    6-8 December 2019, Guangzhou High End Audio Visual Show (7/Fl, Dong Fang Hotel)

    6-8 December 2019, Taipei Headphone Festival (3/Fl, CITYLINK Songshan Mall)

    12-14 December 2019, Portable Audio Festival at Akihabara(Kandaeito building 4-6-7,Sotokanda)

    We'll send out the first batch of E01 immediately after the Guangzhou High End Show, UK and Thailand will be the earlies location to receive E01. I am sure other location will jump onboard very soon if you call them up and tell them you are interested. :ksc75smile:
     
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://en.cayin.cn/
  10. Andykong
    We provide detail information about our product, as much as we could, but we try to avoid subjective comment on our product. We won't comment on our competitor or compare our product with competing models subjectively, this is neither professional nor allowed in HeadFi forum. We'll leave this to our customers and reviewers. :beerchug:
     
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://en.cayin.cn/
    msiekkb likes this.
  11. Andykong
    No, it is NOT a limited edition, we don't do that unless we really have a good reason or a manufacturing limitation that we can't resolved.

    What I mean is the E01 will require a much longer time to produce, hence longer production hours (higher labor cost), and longer lead time between batch. We won't put a limit on production number of E01 but customers might need to wait for a longer time once we sold out a batch.
     
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://en.cayin.cn/
    amahikas and davidmolliere like this.
  12. Andykong
    We have Andromeda and Solaris as our IEM reference, we didn't detect any audible hissing with E01 during music playback, but we don't perform hissing test specifically such as turn the volume up at quiet passage or using silent file to "highlight" the background noise. We only test the combination at regular music playback.

    On the other hand, I can only hear hissing with A01 and Andromeda when I purposively look for it. I honestly didn't hear any background during routine usage but YMMV. If you consider the A01 background noise as not acceptable, please try the E01 in person before you go for it.
     
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://en.cayin.cn/
    fokta, davidmolliere and msiekkb like this.
  13. Doug2507
    I'm actually excited about hearing this board, over the moon with Class A and not tubes. Should be a good combo with sabre, going by A01 / T01, implementation should be top notch again from Cayin. Too early to sell the other boards...? :D Pre order already in thanks to Phil@AudioConcierge... :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    davidmolliere likes this.
  14. gazzington
    I'm wondering how close to an n8 will this take the n6ii to. I'm a big fan of the n8 but here in the UK the n6ii is probably more popular
     
  15. MrLocoLuciano
    I do share this interrogation too. I feel N6 with T01 is really good but there is still a gap for me with N8.
     
    Vitaly2017 likes this.
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