Anyone even own one of these amplifiers?
14 responses Add your response
i have similar taste in music; if the 265ai is similar to its big sister, the h80a, then you may be quite pleased. however the h80a is a hybrid integrated - tube input stage, solid state poweramp stage. and of course, twice the power rating, but high current nonetheless. i must say cayin has stunning rock solid build quality, and performance to match.
I can 2nd the Cayin. I owned the 265Ai for about a year. Its very powerful for 40 wpc and packs a good punch. The only flaw I found is it can be a little sterile if your other components are on the cool side. Do you like the presentation of the AR Complete? Is it too laid back or about right? If its too laid back or warm then I recommend the Cayin. The Cayin is not bright or fatiguing by any means so don't let me scare you off. I had Tyler Acoustics Decade speakers for reference. I have not heard the Bada so can't comment.
Yes, I own Bada Purer 3.3SE and love it. I am a former owner of an Ayre K-3x pre and Aragon Palladium Mono's. I sold them for financial reasons and do not miss them at all. This integrated amp is an incredible bargain. Better sound at about 1/6 the cost. Make sure you upgrade main fuse in back with Hi-Fi fast blow fuse as this makes a big difference in performance for only about 40 dollars( you just pop it in and out of the back of the unit...no need to open it up). Wywire Juice power cord works wonders with this amp too.
Like Tuffy I also have a Bada Purer 3.3se and am very pleased. Unlike Tuffy I can't claim much experience with expensive amps. The Bada was a massive improvement for me replacing a modest Nad 325bee integrated. And I mean massive - I was really shocked at just how much better it was. It's driving some vintage 4ohm Mk1 Linn Kans, 86 Db, which are not an easy drive, they like current. These very fast, musical little monitors are sounding fabulous with the Bada (to me at least, and other friends who are more audiophile types than I also tell me they like the way it sounds). The amp has incredible dynamics, detail and excitement - I never realised just how fast the little Kans are. I love being able to try different 12au7 tubes in the preamp. I have been running Philips JAN 6189's from Cyroset - very nice balanced sound top to bottom - and have some vintage 1960's French tubes on the way, seeking a little more smoothness. The amp took a good 4 months to run in - some early top end brittleness has completely gone. It takes an hour to warm up and sound its best. With my Kans the Bada has them peaking low/mid 90 db and is probably still comfortably in its 30W class A mode. That's plenty loud enough for me and as much as the little bubba speakers will take. The amp itself its idling, I'm rarely past 11 o'clock. Like Tuffy, I think this amp is great value. It will certainly bring out the best bass your mains are capable of delivering. I've heard my kit with an expensive tube pre and a ARC VT60 all tube power amp. Better sound, certainly more controlled/refined, but the Bada wasn't disgraced and is one seventh the price, and I personally prefer the simplicity of an integrated amp. If you like a very polite even sound then it may not be for you. Hope this helps, and good luck with your choice.
Nice too see some feedback on this amp. Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking the cayin and Bada amps are probably both good choices, with the cayin being a little safer (longer track record) But the bada is tempting. Just a side note, I picked up some Clear day speaker cables (Solid siver, double shotgun) From Paul in tucson, These baby's are the real deal. Took about 10 days to burn in but now they are fabulous, Seacrest Out
This the best amp I have ever owned! And I have owned to many to count: including the top of the line Krells, PASS Labs, Ayon, Response Audio modded (Teflon capped) Hurricanes, four other versions of the Hurricanes, a CARY SLI80 F1, Dared 300b mono blocks, a Airtight 300B (with WE 300bs), etc...
The Purer 3.3SE was made in at least three versions - the very best ones were the earlier version with those incredibly sweet Toshiba MOSFETs (Wow!) and 6922 pre tube. The later version with the Hitachi outputs was too dry for me, and lacked the sweetness of the MOSFET version. Same goes for the last version (and current) with the 12ax7 tubed pre and Sanken outputs, very dry sounding.
I have two of these - one I bought on Audiogon from a guy who got it from Pacific (the 120V) version and a 110V from CattyLink. I can not hear a difference between these two.
Very Important - to get these amps sounding their best you HAVE to ditch the stock Chinese pre-tubes. I went through a year of tube rolling, and settled on the Siemens CCa (very expensive) and the EVEN better Vintage 1987 6H23N Russian Rockets (with saucer getter, these are quite reasonable in price.
With these tubes this amazing integrated is taken to a whole other level. Run it in A2 mode = Class A up to 30 watts then crosses over to A/B - very, very sweet sound! (I used a watt counter and it really is Class A - the current at idle doubles when run in this mode versus A1).
A good power cord is a necessity, I like the Synergistic Research X2. Other tweeks SR gold/silver fuses and good isolation - I use the SR MIGs to good effect.
With a little tweeking this amp is world class - at it's price Ridiculous. I directly compared it to my then reference the Response modded ASL Hurricanes($10K) driven by a Conrad Johnson ACT2 pre (16K), SR Apex ICs ($3K) in between. The 'Canes had $1000 of NOS tubes, special stands, etc...
This amp was quieter, sweeter, more dynamic - and had an amazing tight bottom end - like no tube amp I have ever had displayed. Rock solid to 20Hz (On my Talon Firebirds).
But it was the 300b richness and sweetness in the mid range that sold me. I am very picking about etchy, fatiguing sound (Krell!!!). With these amps in both my systems now for 4 yrs, never - even on the worst recordings have I had to turn off the music. Sound stage is wide and deep, with a holographic imaging. Realistic Dynamics. Rock solid build and reliability (tube amps -Ugg!!!). Hit the power button, wait for the safety relay to click and enjoy the listen bliss.
I have a headphone system (for late night listening) - a pr of Senn HD800 (Warren Audio cable) and a tricked out (new caps) Woo Audio WA6SE (tube rolled to perfection), custom ICs = a very nice headphone system. Very, very sweet, detailed sound.
The Bada 3.3SE with Reference 3A speakers - crushes it!
I am looking for 3rd one of these to try some cap rolling, silver wiring, Harris Diode, Precision Resistors, etc...Just to see if I can't take it up a notch.
I would also like to try the NEW Bada 3.8MK (uses the same Toshiba MOSFETs) with a different pre configuration and more power. CattyLink has them for $1145 deliver - insanely low price!!
Funny - I have never seen a formal Audio Mag review of these -SAD!!
Rb99 you have peaked my interest. I have been thinking of an amp up grade which may include class D or solid state. I am using a Consonance preamp and Sherbourne p160. Does the Bada heve good attack and transients? I had a class A amp ss that was sweet but also veiled, slow and poor bass. Also does Cattylink have a return policy?