Cayin Audio's famed amplification packs up to join you back on the road in 2021 with the launch of C9, featuring 4.4mm and 3.5mm inputs and outputs. Headfonics praise it to the roof as it "revitalises tubes on the go, a traditional niche in our hobby that seems to be forgotten".
This battery-powered, tube and solid-state hybrid lands in time for use on your office desks and in hotel rooms, establishing your reference headphone listening anywhere you so choose. C9 is a fully-balanced, truly differential amplifier built upon the essentials establishing a device as basically thoroughly engineered.
A high operating voltage of more than eight volts and a reliance on discrete parts for over 90 per cent of the design means C9 is not only capable of putting out over 4 watts per channel, but also ensuring it is the cleanest, most linear kind of signal possible.
Achieving 125dB of signal-to-noise ratio would not have been otherwise possible in a discrete design, with all the benefits that brings, without exacting layout. The input section exists on the popular Nutube. C9's dual timbre circuit revolves around two of Korg's fluorescent triodes or toggled solid-state FETs, the philosophical transistor alternative.
The delicate input signal is then passed to a discrete solid-state output stage that can be switched between working in pure Class A mode or Class AB. Built with individual transistors of Cayin's choosing allows great control over tuning and an innately linear open-loop circuit, with minimal negative feedback, to be fashioned, while producing genuine current for demanding headphone loads.
C9 is a brute in ballet shoes, confirmed by the big volume pot controlling dual precise MUSES resistor ladder attenuator parts occurring after the driver stage, kept far from the input signal for maximum integrity.
Line outputs from Cayin's own N6II/E02, HiBy Music's New R6 and iBasso Audio's DX300 will never be better pampered than via C9. Use it in a mobile stack acting as the platform for Hedd's HEDDphone® – absolutely recommended, says Ear Fidelity – MYSPHERE 3.2, Rosson Audio Designs, plus any ABYSS or HiFiMAN, to shine.
"And while DAPs come and go", Twister6 believes "C9 should last you a while to enhance any source you pair it up with". Headfonia say it "should really be the first amp to look at to get four completely different sound signatures that's simply impressive".