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bwright
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Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Aug 2 2006 - 8:54pm
Cayin Integrated A-88T

After an extended search for an integrated amp, I figured I should post this.

Over the past year and a half, I listened all the top lines available in the immediate area, and came down to a few finalists - the Ayre AX-7e, Simaudio I-5.3, Marantz PM-11S1, and the McIntosh MA2275. All were superb, and had their own signature sounds. The Marantz in particular has been overlooked by the audio press, which is puzzling - a fascinating product, relaxed, highly detailed and musical.

I eventually arrived at the Analog Room in San Jose, an audiophile-friendly establishment with a hand-picked inventory of the very best products. I listened to a variety of impressive high end systems, then wandered over to the Cayin. I was curious, but not particularly hopeful - I had heard other Chinese products which hadn't been all that remarkable.

Holy crap. Was I wrong. This amp blew the doors off everything I had heard up to that point. The sound was deep and warm, yet highly detailed with a perfect tonal balance across the spectrum. It handled everything - electronica, rock, jazz, acoustic, soul, vocals, classical. The low watt rating was deceptive, as it effortlessly drove a pair of demanding speakers. I returned with my money in hand the very next day.

If you are in the market for a new integrated amp, check this out. You'll be amazed.

Monty
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Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: Cayin Integrated A-88T

I've read nothing but good things about the Cayin integrated. The Chinese are producing some outstanding tube gear these days at a fraction of the cost of American and European designs.

I recently stumbled into a chance to hear a few of the Dared products while visiting a local tube geek's place. I left thinking that if I were a manufacturer of high end tube amplifiers I would be terribly concerned about the next couple of years. Not only did the Dared stuff sound very musical, they did so at about 1/4 the cost of equivalent Euro/American designs.

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