Tube lovers are saying very good things about the Blue Circle NSCS solid state integrated.
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I read a rumor somewhere, maybe over on AA, that Pass was coming out with an integrated this year. If so, thats one that will be worth the wait while you, um suffer, with your Cayin.
By the way, there is nothing wrong with switching the system on for 10-15 minutes prior to listening to let things warm up. Been there done that.
Dlwask, I understand that if you have ''Been there done that'' and so have I, by the way. You probably already know then, know that most tube amps that sound better after a 10-15 min warm-up, sound better still after around an hour or so...and this has nothing to do with the Cayin or course. I always like to get the most from my equipment, but in the case of any tube amp, there is a bit of time involved...
Not the same price, but if you want a "tube" sound, whatever that is, nothing much approaches the Lavardin IT or IS reference. I use an IT in the Summer and a SET for the winter, to toast marshmallows. Neither were new, but the IT was half the price of the SET new and equals it in quality, though the sound is very different. Unfortunately Lavardin amps don't come up often and get snapped up fast, but that would be my choice. I also like the music fidelity integrated amps, the A£ and Nuvista
SonicBeauty, What is your price range? If you can spend a lot more than the amps so far discussed cost, you may want to give the new Gamut Di-150 a try. It's a nice sounding SS integrated with some of the depth, smoothness, and coherence one often finds in tubed units. Fairly full-featured: Two fully balanced inputs (I believe), two or three RCA ins, pre-amp outs (RCA), tape loop, remote control, and theater by-pass.
The Dussun V8i is interesting. 250 wpc. Dual mono. Copper chassis. Preamp and amplifier sections can be used stand-alone. Built by the same folks who build Red Rose/Levinson amps. $1598 with a 30 day trial.
06-15-06: BartokfanNot so odd when you read question that lies at the core of the author's thread:
My question is this: Given the A 88-T's amazing price versus performance ratio, is there a solid state integrated amplifier out there that could equal or better the Cayin in a significant manner for around the same money?
Reading is Fun-da-mental.
That Dussun looks mighty impressive.
AAA Audio, who distribute Dussun in the US, had one of my favorite rooms at HE2006. They were using other amplification, however.
I have a Cayin A88-T. As you've probably read elsewhere, there's a lot to be gained by substituting another preamp. Why is the preamp section in this integrated not better? Sounds like an opportunity for a modder.
If I'm going to bypass the preamp, does Cayin have a power amp that sounds as good as the one in the A88-T?
You could try Cayin's TRI 88 the big brother to the A**. I think price is another 1K, but not avaliable in the US, like most of Cayin's products are not. Thats yrs down the road. btw I could complain about the Jadis pre section, its not the best, but as in all things audio, the pres of the Cayin and Jadis are better than any other for the price. What cdp and speakers do you have?
"clearly shows the limitations of Cayin's preamp section". Ahhh let me ask you, how much does one pay new/used for a Rowland? Is this a tube pre?
Lets get to the bottom of the story.
I've never heard of either a APL , faintly a Harbeth. But thats beside the point. Its this Rowland vs cayin I'm interested in. I'll google Rowland right now , see what this pre is.
Before I bypass the pre on the A** for another pre, I'll just invest more $'s in a bigger Cayin. All this tweaking stuff sounds awefully "fishy" to me.
IOW I ain't buying.
I;'ll look at Rowland now.....be right back....