New tube amp: the Cayin HA-1A MK2
Jun 16, 2017 at 10:48 AM Post #121 of 978
I disagree with your design decision I have two tube amps within arm's distance from where I sit at my computer, and I have no issues at all with the tubes. In fact I have purchased extra equipment to make the tubes on my Schiit amp stick out further to allow for easier access.

What would be very innovative would be easy access to the tubes with a lid on the case that rolls back or flips up with a hinge, and some sort of locking mechanism like a magnet or click latch


Well, I have no problem that you disagree with our take on the issue, no design decision will please everyone. :beerchug:

As I mentioned previously, we want to achieve operational safety and aesthetics at the same time, and I think HA-1Amk2 has achieve a pretty well-received result on these two issues.
 
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Jun 16, 2017 at 1:35 PM Post #122 of 978
I just want to chime in here if I can.

First of all I had the stock tubes in that unit. Those tubes are said to suck. The Cayin is also said to respond to tube rolling very well. All that being said. At the price it is at now brand new It is at a very good price. No schilling .... scouts honor. In fact if it weren't for me pinching pennies for the Eddie Current Afficianado I would have already bought one.

The good thing about the Cayin is that it has a very warm and tubey sound with a distinct lack of compression. But at the same time the treble, while smooth in balance, is actually crisp and snappy. It is not the most resolving but the way music sounds open on it and far from compressed is really stellar. It sounds more organic than any of the tube amps I have here. The Torpedo III is a bit more snappy, resolved, and is almost as organic but the Cayin is a little more melodic.

I did have some noise though with the high impedance selected.

So as TSAV ramps up for distribution here in the States we are moving toward a lower retail on the Cayin Desk Top headphone amplifiers. As of now the price is $999 for the tube amp. Our goal is to get this price down 10 or more % to make it easier for the tube rolling gang to get into this very cool low cost product.
 
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Jun 16, 2017 at 9:04 PM Post #123 of 978
I disagree with your design decision I have two tube amps within arm's distance from where I sit at my computer, and I have no issues at all with the tubes. In fact I have purchased extra equipment to make the tubes on my Schiit amp stick out further to allow for easier access.

What would be very innovative would be easy access to the tubes with a lid on the case that rolls back or flips up with a hinge, and some sort of locking mechanism like a magnet or click latch

Good input Allan. I think Cayin should put that on their "Good Idea" list for future products. The MkII is too far along to change that dramatically but I think your contribution is cool. Never the less these desk top amp/DAC products are pretty impressive for the money. You've met me, you know I favor well made products at a good value.
 
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Jun 27, 2017 at 1:15 AM Post #126 of 978
Has anyone tried Ecc802 as replacement of 12au7 and El844 as replacement of El84?

ECC802 can be used as replacement of 12au7 in HA1amk2.

We haven't used EL844 so far, technically it can be used as replacement of EL84 in our amp., the tube claims to be an 25% improved version of EL84, so I'll advice you to proceed with care because HA1Amk2 is a high power tube headphone amp. to start with.
 
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Jun 27, 2017 at 2:29 AM Post #127 of 978
ECC802 can be used as replacement of 12au7 in HA1amk2.

We haven't used EL844 so far, technically it can be used as replacement of EL84 in our amp., the tube claims to be an 25% improved version of EL84, so I'll advice you to proceed with care because HA1Amk2 is a high power tube headphone amp. to start with.

Thanks Andy. It would be nice to have a chart/list of compatible tubes.
 
Jul 12, 2017 at 1:55 PM Post #128 of 978
Hello @Andykong. As i said earlier it would be nice to have a chart/list of compatible tubes.

Since 12dt5 tubes are hard to find Is there any alternative as replacement? Also i'm wondering if i can use 12bh7 as replacement of 12au7?
 
Nov 30, 2017 at 5:47 AM Post #129 of 978
Recently got this tube amp and encountered the same issues with hiss/hum/usb microphonics, but in my case it wasn't caused by any defect or internal damage.

I managed to solve all the issues by using an external powered usb 3.0 hub to plug my dac there instead of directly to the pc, followed by plugging the tube amp and dac on a power conditioner in a separate wall outlet away from my pc.

It seems tube amps are quite sensitive unlike solid state amps/dacs! This was quite a learning experience and I'm glad I'm finally able to enjoy this underrated tube amp without getting distracted with noise/distortion even with changing the impedance selector!
 
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Dec 1, 2017 at 2:51 PM Post #130 of 978
Recently got this tube amp and encountered the same issues with hiss/hum/usb microphonics, but in my case it wasn't caused by any defect or internal damage.

I managed to solve all the issues by using an external powered usb 3.0 hub to plug my dac there instead of directly to the pc, followed by plugging the tube amp and dac on a power conditioner in a separate wall outlet away from my pc.

It seems tube amps are quite sensitive unlike solid state amps/dacs! This was quite a learning experience and I'm glad I'm finally able to enjoy this underrated tube amp without getting distracted with noise/distortion even with changing the impedance selector!

Interesting, please show us a photo of your system and the power supply tricks you have employed, that should be very interesting.

So you use the USB 3.0 hub as a USB cleaner? Wander if Schiit Audio WYRD or iFi iUSB3.0 will do a better job for you?

The switching power supply of a desktop PC is indeed the source of power contamination, if you have a notebook around, try to sue that as your source and see if you can experience a darker background?
 
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Dec 2, 2017 at 12:06 AM Post #131 of 978
Interesting, please show us a photo of your system and the power supply tricks you have employed, that should be very interesting.

So you use the USB 3.0 hub as a USB cleaner? Wander if Schiit Audio WYRD or iFi iUSB3.0 will do a better job for you?

The switching power supply of a desktop PC is indeed the source of power contamination, if you have a notebook around, try to sue that as your source and see if you can experience a darker background?

Like I said earlier, I'm no longer hearing any hiss/hum/buzz so the background is pitch black!

With my HD800 set at 151-300 impedance, I only start to hear the amp's noise floor creeping up around 10 o'clock, but fortunately that's eardrums/drivers killer volume level. I'm usually staying around 6-7 o'clock on the dial no matter the impedance selected. This amp is seriously powerful and scary if you're not careful with the volume dial.

Just to summarize again, here's the things I did to solve the hiss/buzz/microphonics issues:

- External powered USB hub (I'm using my monitor's built in usb 3.0 hub) instead of plugging directly to the PC.

- Removed the amp and dac from sharing the same wall outlet/surge protector with my PC and relocated it to its own dedicated wall outlet with a surge protector. (I briefly tried a power conditioner but I didn't really hear any difference so I returned it)

- Swapped out the stock 12au7 to Gold Lion and the stock EL84 to Sovtek (TBH, I'm not sure if this helped the noise but it sounds better than the stock for sure!) and soon I'll try out the EL84 with Gold Lion!

37891396445_32a39059a4_b.jpg

24904869408_4009372d1f_b.jpg
 
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Dec 2, 2017 at 4:21 AM Post #132 of 978
I went deeper and now I'm able plug the dac directly to my motherboard without hearing any hiss/buzz/microphonics by disabling C1E + C3/C6 + EIST on my motherboard bios BUT I still needed to have the amp/dac on a dedicated wall outlet.

Watch this for more info:

 
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Dec 2, 2017 at 11:37 AM Post #133 of 978
Like I said earlier, I'm no longer hearing any hiss/hum/buzz so the background is pitch black!

With my HD800 set at 151-300 impedance, I only start to hear the amp's noise floor creeping up around 10 o'clock, but fortunately that's eardrums/drivers killer volume level. I'm usually staying around 6-7 o'clock on the dial no matter the impedance selected. This amp is seriously powerful and scary if you're not careful with the volume dial.

Just to summarize again, here's the things I did to solve the hiss/buzz/microphonics issues:

- External powered USB hub (I'm using my monitor's built in usb 3.0 hub) instead of plugging directly to the PC.

- Removed the amp and dac from sharing the same wall outlet/surge protector with my PC and relocated it to its own dedicated wall outlet with a surge protector. (I briefly tried a power conditioner but I didn't really hear any difference so I returned it)

- Swapped out the stock 12au7 to Gold Lion and the stock EL84 to Sovtek (TBH, I'm not sure if this helped the noise but it sounds better than the stock for sure!) and soon I'll try out the EL84 with Gold Lion!
37891396445_32a39059a4_b.jpg

24904869408_4009372d1f_b.jpg

Nice move, I changed my HA-1Amk2 to Gold Lion too. The ECC82 swap is so obvious, I strongly recommend this tube to HA-1Amk2 users. Switching to Gold Lion EL84 becomes relatively subtle, so maybe there better options out there somewhere.

Gold Lion Tubes for HA1Amk2.jpg
 
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Dec 5, 2017 at 11:50 PM Post #134 of 978
Nice move, I changed my HA-1Amk2 to Gold Lion too. The ECC82 swap is so obvious, I strongly recommend this tube to HA-1Amk2 users. Switching to Gold Lion EL84 becomes relatively subtle, so maybe there better options out there somewhere.


It definitely adds a pleasing smooth texture with the Gold lion EL84/12au7 combo which goes really well with HD800, but might be a bit too smooth for my "dark" Nighthawk (still very musical/textured but slight loss in transparency).

I also resolved the channel imbalance on very low volume by using my nfb28.38 (discreet dac/amp) to bypass all volume control from the amp to be fully controlled by the dac. The added benefit is the ability to use the gain settings on the nfb28.38 and most importantly, the remote!

38864988101_c1e6e9cb05_b.jpg
 
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Dec 9, 2017 at 1:52 AM Post #135 of 978
A bit too smooth for liking with the Gold Lion EL84 so back to stock Electro Harmonix again to synergize better with my "dark" Nighthawk.

Crazy how this tube amp is so sensitive to tube rolling!
 
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