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dudleyperkins's picture
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Cayin valve amps

Anyone heard a Cayin valve amp, either the EL34 or KT88 integrated?

The build quality looks good from the photos on their web site.

They don't seem to have a UK dealer any suggestions as to where I could hear one?

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RE: Cayin valve amps

You are right, they do not appear to have any distributors in the UK. I may be wrong.

However, until there are I would suggest you look at the like of Icon Audio if it is a decent valve amp you want.

Much better to get here if you do want decent waranty, easy repairs, and a good amplifier to boot.

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: Cayin valve amps

Not heard any Cayin amps, but also worth a look are Icon Audio, Ming Da, Puresound and Audion all probably around the same price new, quite a few dealers around that do them as well.

Have you heard a KT88 or EL34 amp before? Quite different presentations between the two valves IME.

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RE: Cayin valve amps

Hi, well I am very happy that Cayin is starting to get recognition in this forum. I am a proud Cayin user, you are right, they are solidly built and make most tube amps at the same money look cheap. Its not just the build either, they sound beautiful and are more flexible with speakers than the average tube amp. Cayin does have dealers in the UK, musicarch and audiosanctum. May I ask, what is the rest of your kit and whats your budget?

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RE: Cayin valve amps

shafesk wrote:

Hi, well I am very happy that Cayin is starting to get recognition in this forum. I am a proud Cayin user, you are right, they are solidly built and make most tube amps at the same money look cheap. Its not just the build either, they sound beautiful and are more flexible with speakers than the average tube amp. Cayin does have dealers in the UK, musicarch and audiosanctum. May I ask, what is the rest of your kit and whats your budget?

Audio Sanctum are no longer trading and Musicarch don't list them as a brand.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Cayin valve amps

CnoEvil wrote:

shafesk wrote:

Hi, well I am very happy that Cayin is starting to get recognition in this forum. I am a proud Cayin user, you are right, they are solidly built and make most tube amps at the same money look cheap. Its not just the build either, they sound beautiful and are more flexible with speakers than the average tube amp. Cayin does have dealers in the UK, musicarch and audiosanctum. May I ask, what is the rest of your kit and whats your budget?

Audio Sanctum are no longer trading and Musicarch don't list them as a brand.

my apologies, I didn't know....well there is one more I could find http://www.bigearsaudio.org.uk/valve_amps/caylin.html   Amazon UK also sells some Cayin gear.

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RE: Cayin valve amps

I owned a Cayin A55t (KT-88's). Very good sound (for the money)!

Airport Express (still analog!), Artephonos Energa (tube-amp), Peitho 303 (infinite baffle speakers)

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RE: Cayin valve amps

Shafesk, currently I have Kef IQ5 speakers, Arcam CD17 and Arcam A28 amp and a budget of around £1600.

The Kefs sounded better with a Fatman 182 valve amp, but it was unreliable and replaced by the Arcam.

The Fatman was single ended and the Cayin is a push-pull design and therefore will sound different.

A Simply Italy from Unison Research is within my budget and is single ended.

People have told me the build quality of the Cayin is better and the sound is excellent.

I can buy a Cayin directly from Germany, but would be doing so without a demo, which I'm not keen on.

My hifi room is quite small, about 9ft by 12ft so a low power output is ok.

I've considered Icon Audio's SE20 but they would not supply my local dealer, who sells Icon with a demo model.

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RE: Cayin valve amps

dudleyperkins wrote:

Shafesk, currently I have Kef IQ5 speakers, Arcam CD17 and Arcam A28 amp and a budget of around £1600.

The Kefs sounded better with a Fatman 182 valve amp, but it was unreliable and replaced by the Arcam.

The Fatman was single ended and the Cayin is a push-pull design and therefore will sound different.

A Simply Italy from Unison Research is within my budget and is single ended.

People have told me the build quality of the Cayin is better and the sound is excellent.

I can buy a Cayin directly from Germany, but would be doing so without a demo, which I'm not keen on.

My hifi room is quite small, about 9ft by 12ft so a low power output is ok.

I've considered Icon Audio's SE20 but they would not supply my local dealer, who sells Icon with a demo model.

Well if it helps, I have recently compared the Cayin to a hegel 250 (2500 pounds), gryphone (12000 pounds)! I think tubes are a personal preference and I can't see myself every owning a solid state again, vocal realism is just something solid states, even the best ones don't quite do, although the power and dynamic range you get from the other two amps is just ridiculous. I wouldn't buy the Cayin if my primary tastes are electronic music. I haven't heard the Unison Research but have heard its praises, I have heard competing Icon Audio amps and have always prefered the Cayin. Buying blind is a big ask, but I honestly haven't heard a 1500 pound amp that sounds as good with vocals. If you are willing to buy blind, I have tried almost all the Cayin amps and I think the a-55t is the sweet spot and it is 1500 pounds, alternatively you could go for the a-50t which has a softer sound and less power but less expensive. The more powerful a-100t sounds very big and punchy but it is not what you would call "the tube sound" it sounds quite like Audio Research kit.

Could you not contact the last dealer I mentioned? Maybe you could ask Cayin Germany whether you could return the amp if you didn't like it?

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RE: Cayin valve amps

Thanks, I've emailed bigearsaudio. Waiting for a reply. Cayin have a dealer in Holland, I'm visiting my son soon who lives there so I can try to hear one during my visit. I want to get this right so there's no hurry.

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RE: Cayin valve amps

i have 2 cayin amps - a kt88 with 120 valves and a 265ai and they are both fantastic in every respect. 

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RE: Cayin valve amps

I am running Cayin A100T with very inefficient Kef 201/2. Upgraded from stock Chinese Kt88 tubes to Tungsol KT 120s and the preamp tubes to Genelex and Electroharmonix. This gives me the mid and high end of Tubes and a big tight bottom end. Phenomenal. This is the first tube amp I have owned but I have not experienced the slow flabby bass a lot of people associate with tubes. Really punchy and big sounding. Inner detail is also much better than what I was getting with my 150wpc ss amp. I don't see myself going back to SS but you never know. I put my old amp in the system last week just for a comparison after a year. I could not even listen to it for more than a couple hours. Just sounded thin and digital in comparison. 

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RE: Cayin valve amps

Potatoe masher, how would you describe the sound of the 265 vs the A88-T? I am. I am currently living in Shanghai and can pick one up for quite a great price. What speakers are pushing with it? 

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