Cayin MT-12N EL84EH Integrated Amplifier

Cayin MT-12N EL84EH Integrated Amplifier

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Product Description
In the latest version of Cayin’s highly regarded MT-12N amplifier, components take center stage. The biggest stars are four EL84 power tubes from Electro Harmonix—one matched pair per channel—famous for their sweet and musical tone Read More
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5.0
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cash1489
23
Apr 14, 2021
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Fun, well-built amp...perfect for secondary system or entry into tubes..
I'm loving this amp so far...its built well, silky smooth volume knob, smooth source selection knob. Love the sound, nice smooth highs and mids with great bass slam....9 w per channel go a long way...running 90db Triangle Genese Trios and I only turn the volume knob about a 1/4 turn to get them playing at a good volume...highly recommended!
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Would recommend to a friend.
Fayne
1942
Mar 25, 2021
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Everything I expected from a Cayin 10w EL84
The Cayin arrived double boxed with the full original kit. This includes manual, fuses, and gloves for handling the tubes. Preamp tubes are Cayin branded 6N1 and 12AU7, likely produced by Shuguang in China. Driver/Power tubes are Electro Harmonix EL84EH made in the New Sensor (Reflektor) plant in Russia. The amp is clearly marked as 120v/60hz in original print. This does not appear to be a unit made for 220v/50hz and hand modified to work in 120v. Good starting sign. Additionally the unit is extremely heavy for the size and output wattage. I've not had a chance to give it a full testing, but my initial impressions are pretty good. My testing setup for this is Roon -> RopieeeXL (on RPI4) -> Topping DX7s -> Schiit Freya+ -> Cayin MT-12N -> JBL Studio 570. I've been on an Astropilot kick, so Emotional Palette was the logical choice of smoke test song. I can tell right away that this wasn't a bad purchase, no hum on the speakers until the knob is well over 70%. I'm assuming they're not driving the tubes terribly hard at all considering the base circuit on these is originally for 6P1 tubes, which max out at ~250v, plus we're only getting ~10w. Sound wise, yeah, I've heard variants of this circuit before. It isn't bad, bass extension could be a bit better, but the mids and treble are bloody sweet and about as detailed as you can expect with a push-pull. More will come as I spend time with it, but so far I'm digging it. Here are some pictures of the unit before it was cabled up and turned on:
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And a few pictures of the amplifier in action:
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Edit 1 (3 days in): I've been using this amp at night and it is working wonderfully. Why burn hours on the big/expensive tubes (with all the power draw that comes with that) when I'm likely to fall asleep when I can use this cute little guy which only draws ~80w and is full of dirt cheap (relatively speaking) tubes. Sound quality is still pretty great for stock tubes, but I'm very much so about to step it up a bit. I'm starting with the 6N1 because I have a huge pile of them and want to stick with the tubes the amp was designed for. I could absolutely use a 6922/6DJ8 in place of the 6N1, but I'd lose out on the excellent low noise characteristics of the 6N1 when that is pretty important in the phase splitter tube. So I spent a bit of time testing and labeling 20 Voskhod 6N1P-EV tubes from 1981 to find as good as a match as I could to replace the stock Cayin 6N1. I'd have tested more, but holy crap that is mind numbingly boring.
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Tomorrow I plan to do the same with a pile of Reflektor 6P14P-EV that I've been sitting on for a long while, but have been rather loathe to break the neat looking Cold War era packaging on. They're probably made at the same plant as the stock Electro Harmonix EL84EH, but are the higher ratings and quality level variant made for use in military application. After that I'll probably stuff a JJ ECC803S in the V1 and call it a day. Still happy.
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Would recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
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