New tube amp: the Cayin HA-1A MK2
Feb 20, 2017 at 2:01 AM Post #91 of 978
   
 
Closest I have come is with several of the T50RP-based mods - Alpha Dogs, old Thunderpants, etc. It does a very good job, better than most tube amps out there likely due to stout current delivery. Tube choice will determine your final results of course.

 
Thanks, but probably not close enough as T50RP is planar, NH and Atticus are dynamic
 
Mar 27, 2017 at 3:51 PM Post #92 of 978
 
Oh boy.... I thought Cayin would've fixed this by now. The mk2 has a design flaw (imo) which I'll try to explain. I'm no expert but I do have a mechanical engineering background. Plus the problem is easy to see.

Had hoped my issue was unique and, since (til now) no one else mentioned having the same problem, I didn't post too many details (didn't want my experience to have an overly negative impact). But now, here goes.....
 
Here's a pic inside the original HA-1A:


Notice the dual transformers up top and the supports along the bottom.


Now here's an internal pic of the defective mk2 I had:




The braces are gone and at least one of the transformers has been relocated to the bottom under two large metal shields (basically, more mass below). The lower portion of the amp has caved inward from the extra weight. Probably happened during shipping where the structure wasn't strong enough to prevent permanent flexing and the L-shaped bottom rails are more prone to bending inward than outward (especially if the amp/box is upside down when the package is 'bouncing' in transit).

The mk2 weighs 22 pounds (compared to the original's 15) so it makes no sense why it has even less structural support.

I went back and forth with several emails between myself, the manufacturer, and dealer. Seems those covered transformers along the bottom are now too close to the circuitry above. Hence the hiss/hum that I heard and you are now hearing.

I advised them that their engineers needed to restore the supports or other amps could have the same problem. Unfortunately, seems my words were ignored.

To anyone else thinking about the mk2, I recommend immediately flipping the amp over and taking a look. If it looks anything like below, walk away. I'm guessing the bottom was perfectly flat when it left the factory with the QC sticker on it (at least I hope it was).




Well, we didn't know if the unit that was in question is having the same structural problem or were it acquired before your unit. Do you happen to know the date of purchase for sure when you pointing finger to Cayin?

Thanks for your detail report with photo, we have been extremely careful in handling every HA-1Amk2 dispatch ever since, offering extra protection and padding/double box depends on the logistic arrangement.

Sine you have raised the issue, maybe I can share a bit more on what Cayin has done after we received the case.

HA-1Amk2 was launched in China at 2015-12-4, it is a fairly popular units and we sold hundreds of them at domestic market. The HA-1Amk2 is less popular in oversee market because of the high logistic course and care-taking requirements. Most retailer will prefer iHA-6 over HA-1Amk2, especially when they are selling at the same price (i.e., similar cost before shipping and logistic). Since the logistic cost in China Domestic market is fairly low when compare to the international market, the availability and popularity of both headphone amplifier are more less at the same level.

The structural damage as exhibited in your case is the first of its kind out of our HA-1Amk2 track record, we have had exterior damage on corners and bad tubes but in most cases the boxes shows sign of damage. We finally can replicate similar damage after a series of drop test, several units of HA-1Amk2 were written off in due course, and we believe logistic is the cause of the damage in your particular case. For this reason, we have step up our logistic handling for oversee transactions. Domestic market is not affected because we have not receive similar instance report after 1 years of sales history. Long term solution will involve reinforcement of structural design as this is cheaper then extra logistic cost in the long run. However our new structural design will involve revising some of the components in the framework and this will take several months before we can roll out the revised design in our production line. Yes, it takes that long when we have to go through the proper design modification procedures, ISO process and related supply chain, and we only have one production batch of HA-1Amk2 in every 2-3 calendar months.


Any progress to report on a "version 2" of the Mk2?
 
May 22, 2017 at 10:54 PM Post #96 of 978
Well thanks to Jason of the Source @TSAVJason I have this amplifier in house for a review.

I must say that I believe some of my impressions of this amplifier will differ from what I have read. That is a good thing. Not perfect but more up my alley than a lot of gear I have tried, including the iHA6.

The first five minutes have my jaw slightly slacked open.
 
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May 22, 2017 at 10:59 PM Post #97 of 978
Has anyone used this amp with the AQ Nighthawk or the ZMF Atticus? Thanks
testing it with the Atticus.

Makes the Atticus punch harder than any of the tube amps I have plugged it into. A bit more bloomy though and enhances the Atticus' etheral qualities. Basically whatever you like about the Atticus it will accentuate, its flaws too though.
 
May 23, 2017 at 1:01 PM Post #98 of 978
testing it with the Atticus.

Makes the Atticus punch harder than any of the tube amps I have plugged it into. A bit more bloomy though and enhances the Atticus' etheral qualities. Basically whatever you like about the Atticus it will accentuate, its flaws too though.

Pretty good observations! Look forward to a more informative review from you.
 
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May 23, 2017 at 4:12 PM Post #99 of 978
testing it with the Atticus.

Makes the Atticus punch harder than any of the tube amps I have plugged it into. A bit more bloomy though and enhances the Atticus' etheral qualities. Basically whatever you like about the Atticus it will accentuate, its flaws too though.

Hey Grizzly ... will you be testing it with the Eikon? If so, any early impressions?
 
May 23, 2017 at 4:28 PM Post #101 of 978
Jason, have you heard any word on a revised version of this amp that solves the structural issue with sagging transformers?

I haven't heard a word on that topic. Tell me more.
 
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May 23, 2017 at 4:29 PM Post #102 of 978
Hey Grizzly ... will you be testing it with the Eikon? If so, any early impressions?

Now that combo I have spent time with and it absolutely doesn't suck. It's a great pairing
 
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May 23, 2017 at 4:41 PM Post #103 of 978
I haven't heard a word on that topic. Tell me more.

In the first post of page 6, @gr8soundz shows how the weight of the transformers can cause the chassis the flex inwardly which. Andy the Cayin rep said a few posts later that they were revising the design to fix this problem and that it would be a few months. Since you have a direct line of contact to Cayin, it would be awesome if you could ask them about this revision and when it might be coming stateside.

Also, do you have an HA-1A MK2 set up at your Torrance location to demo?
 
May 23, 2017 at 4:44 PM Post #104 of 978
In the first post of page 6, @gr8soundz shows how the weight of the transformers can cause the chassis the flex inwardly which. Andy the Cayin rep said a few posts later that they were revising the design to fix this problem and that it would be a few months. Since you have a direct line of contact to Cayin, it would be awesome if you could ask them about this revision and when it might be coming stateside.

Also, do you have an HA-1A MK2 set up at your Torrance location to demo?

It appears that problem is resolved and Andy was still awake when I texted him. ....that's crazy at 15 hours ahead of us.

Yes we do have the mk11 on display along with the 6's.
 
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May 23, 2017 at 4:48 PM Post #105 of 978
Hey Grizzly ... will you be testing it with the Eikon? If so, any early impressions?
I think that would be a perfect match. Also for a grand I can't think of a better pairing I would choose... BUT my Eikon is on loan right now. Also possibly by the time I get it back my time with the Cayin will be up (not sure on my time). I will put my full review up at Earphiles.org when I am finished.
 

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