Mine did too at first. The odor was a sweet moth ball sort of smell. It has been a month and almost completely gone away. The sound just gets better-enjoy!
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Speaking of sound on the TA30, I just got mine 2 weeks ago. I had the EL34's changed to KT88's. I enjoy the sound but find the bass still a little too loose. I am using them on my Apogee Centaur Majors ( small listening room, 12 x 12 ), am I asking too much from this intergrated? I understand there is a break in period but my SS conrad johnson's sonographe sounded a lot better so far. Looks like the Apogees, even though they are Hybrid might be a little took much for the Cayin to drive. Thanks, John
Yep, I've owned 2 (one stock, one with FULL BizzyBee mods) and both gave off a little "heat" odor at first. It does go away! I don't know if it is the electronic components heating up or if it is the automotive type paint finish that is "burning-in", but it is noticable.
We need to get Paul to reply here for a definative answer!
I have only used the stock tubes to this point, so I can't comment on your kt-88's. Did you try the el-34? I am unsure how the kt-88 would effect the character.
I am using an unported sub to uphold the bass foundation of some small Dynaudio speakers. I notice the Cayin to have a different bass line than my SS. I live for the midrange, soundstage and overall presence I find the ta-30 produces. I am pretty sure it won't have the bass slam of your CJ which I think has something over 100 watts/channel.
I typically listen to late night vocal, acoustic music and classical, I like bass, but too boomy wakes wifepoo up and causes problems. I was playing Aretha Franklin gospel (Amazing Grace album from '72) last night, it had a huge bassline and I had to turn the sub off. I ended up plugging the rear bass ports to keep the sound from shaking her awake upstairs. I really like how this unit is working out, the complete sound is the best I have heard in my 'not the best acoustically' listening room. Of course, each room/ amp /speaker combo will react differently.
One thing I noticed about the ta was it showed limitation in the height of my room. It is a low ceiling (basement 7.5 ft) and I find the sound seems like it wants more room yet to expand. This I had never noticed before. The width of the room is 20 ft and it is 15 ft deep. Ideally I would reverse this with the spkrs at the far end to make the proper stage, but other reasons prevail. In a 12 by 12 room it might seem stifling especially since bass might take 20 ft to develop properly. Have you tried the ta in a larger room?
Sounds like there are some cayin converts out there. Rwbadley, thanks for the comments about room size. I have a 20x25' with cathedral ceilings that I am worried might be too big for the cayin. My musical tastes sound the same as yours. Think the cayin can handle the room size?
Also, anyone paired it with some GMA Europas? can't find a place to listen to the combo and would love some feedback.
I think it will depend on the speaker you are using, the music you listen to and the spl you require. With the right setup I would be certain of it's ability. I wish my room were larger...at least a higher ceiling.
I find the Cayin to have a very big sound albeit at somewhat less than earth shattering spl. It fills the room here like no other. My spkrs are not that efficient- I would guess only 86-87 db or so. I rarely run the volume higher than the 9 position, and most of my listening is at the 8 position. I may get a bit more room gain here and some reflections as the walls and ceiling are knotty pine.
My speakers are set a little wider than ideal at about 12' apart. This amp is the first one I found able to fill the center adequately. Especially the last amp tried (a pma 2000 80/160watts 8/4 0hm) left a gap in the center. It became obvious I did not need more power- just the right character from the power.
At the price of the Cayin I don't see how you could lose. I might avoid the sub out mod depending on your needs, but the focus mod, aural caps with bias adjust are very useful.
I use my Cayin TA-30 in the approx. 4 watt/ch. SE mode much of the time and it easily fills my 13X15 room. I rarely get the volume over about 25% (9 o'clock). My speakers are the relatively easy to drive Reference 3A MM DeCapo.
I would think that about any speaker over about 92-93 db efficient or greater would easily fill a large room when driven by a Cayin TA-30 in P-P mode (30 watts).
I would think that a pair of the larger Triangles, Coincidents or Silverlines would be great. On a budget, the highly acclaimed Athenas are on sale at AudioAdvisor for $349 including shipping! This should be a budget match made in heaven.
The Cayin TA30 is a very nice amp at its price point. If you are considering a move from SS to tubes, it is certainly worth a listen. Who knows, you might just fall in love with the sound and decide that 5 sources is one too many. All I can say is that after a week of listening to the TA30, my wife told me to sell the SS amp. I had made my mind up even sooner, but hey, who's to argue when the boss says sell.