Cayin HA-3A Tube Headphone Amplifier
Flexibility might be the first topic discussed with the lightweight and compact HA-3A, but compromise in quality was never an option.
Cayin's point-to-point wiring is de facto again for signal integrity, and the EI core output transformers utilise their shape to take the transparency of 6V6 power tubes out beyond the human hearing range.
These power tubes popularised by their use in Gibson and Fender electric guitar amplifiers are run in single-ended Class A.
Linearity is a given through the holy grail of bias operation, even at this price point, while tube operating voltages allow for large operating points.
Distortion is below even the threshold of HA-3A's bigger HA-6A and HA-300 MKII brothers – clipping theoretically only occurring beyond the former's maximum power envelope.
And any distortion will be of the even-order variety expected of tube amplifiers, for a smooth, warm and holistic sound. Tube rectification rounds out HA-3A's fully-regulated linear power supply built around Cayin's in-house toroidal power transformer.
In there is Cayin's promise – for low cost of entry, weight and size, the flagship trappings of HA-3A are impossible to deny.
A fully-regulated linear power supply, Class A bias, high tube operating voltages, low capacitances, even-order harmonics and EI core output transformers ensure Cayin's baby of the bunch gets mentioned over similarly-priced solid-state competitors, and even higher-priced tube alternatives.
For those shopping with limitations to size and weight, HA-3A absolutely sounds like an offering without limitations. Particularly if Audio-Technica, Sennheiser and ZMF Headphones are your typical port of call.