Cayin Audio Distribution TA-30 Integrated Amplifiers

4.92/5 (13 Reviews) MSRP : $800.00


Product Description

35W x 2, 2 x 12AU7, 2 x 12AX7, 4 x EL34 in a push-pull configuration, 4 line inputs, ALPS potentiometer, silver wiring, removeable power cord.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tubehed a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I'd just like to add a little to what's already been shared in the previous reviews. I have the basic stock version of the TA-30 with none of Paul's mods (although I did purchase it from Paul at Bizzy Bee). I've done absolutely nothing to it; stock tubes, coupling caps, power cord, etc. I'm a modder at heart and have tweaked every other piece of equipment in my signal chain to some degree. However, I've resisted the temptation to alter the TA-30 because I love how it sounds the way it is and can't bring myself to take a soldering iron to such a beautifully made piece of equipment. I'm pretty certain that some of the mods (especially the Auricaps) would yield an improvement in sound quality, but it just sounds so RIGHT as-is.

Not only is the chasis nearly identical to the Prima Luna integrateds (different face plates) so is the curcuit and components. If you turn each amp over to examine the "guts" of the Prologue I and the TA-30, you'll find that they are virtually identical. The only real difference between the two is the Primaluna's adaptive autobias curcuit (which actually is a very cool feature and probably improves sound quality to an extent). The transformers may also be different, as well.

I was originally in the market for a Prologue I, but after researching this product a little, I luckily stumbled onto the TA-30 which worked out to cost exactly half of what I would have had to pay for the Primaluna. For $550 less I can live without the autobias feature!

This is not a put down of Primaluna products, because they are still an amazing value and are probably, to a certain degree, better sounding than the stock Cayin TA-30. It's just that some people may not be aware of how truly similar these two amps are.

I'm still amazed that a high quality, hand built, point-to-point wired, tubed amplifier can (or at least could) be be had for such a low price. Even the most esoteric, stupidly-priced piece of high end exotica will not feature better workmanship. Better quality materials and parts, maybe, but not better workmanship. This amp is a steal!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   Bizzy Bee



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris Sherman a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 17, 2005

Bottom Line:   
The best value in tube amps period. This chinese built piece is all point to point wiring, using very high quality parts. They can be had on audiogon for around $675, be sure to get one of the Bizzy Bee fully modded versions with Auricaps, side mounted bias pots, focus control,(negative feedback)and sub out.I am currently using mine as a power amp paired with a tube preamp with remote. Sound is outstanding for an inexpensive amp.Upscale audio purchased the rights to this chassis and is selling an improved version with autobias and other upgrades for $1095-1345.I own a Prologue II and it is a better amp , of course I paid more for it. I tried Jolida and ASL and had quality control problems with both brands. They are inferior build quality , circuit board based tube amps. The Cayin is built more like a Cary amp, than the other tube amps you will find in it's price range, or even double it's price.I've had zero issues with my Cayin or the Prima Luna.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $675.00

Purchased At:   Audigon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by el34eh a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 28, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Hi All: " This is my honest opinion to what most of us know was one of the best kept secrets until last year. I've owned everything from: Amber B50 - Naim Nait original version thru mk.3. - Onix OA21s - Sugden A21a - Densen Beat 100 & DM10 - Audio Innovations Series 500 & Audion Sterling ESTE. As you might have noticed?, I like integrated amps. As I've since 1984 found them to offer more bang for the buck. Upon purchasing this amp last year I've had nothing but pleasure listining to it upset quite a few other SS & Tube Integrated amps. The key to this amp is finding the means to enchance it sound by means of either Coupling Caps, A.C. Cords or the Tubes themselves. I've done all + more. The secret is to begin with a sound that you & your system finds to be the best match in overall sonics. On the tube side in my system I've found that by matching the strenghts of both Sylvania 12au7s - Carbonized Black Plates NOS 1957 - W/ either Tesla ECC803s - Frame Grid Short Plates Gold Pins NOS 80s- or TFK Smooth Plates Ecc83/12AX7's. There seems to be an added refinement to this amp that can't be matched in my 14 months of tube rolling said amp.[ For some of the best sounds again consider trying either RFT 12AU7 or Tungsram 12AU7s.[ As I'm sure this will lessen my hopes in obtaining more of the tubes mentioned. I felt the need to share the TRUTH.] I sure you might be surpised at the differenence these can make to your overall enjoyment of this amp!!!!!.] This isn't so much as a review per se. But merely a means to share with others something others weren't willing to share. As for power tubes there are only three choices: SED "winged C" EL34s - Mullard EL34 "New Reissues" & Ei KT-90 "Mk.1 or Mk. 2 versions only" As these were the most reliable made ones from this Company. And please don't be cheap on upgrading the power cord & Isolation devices.[ For my Isolation recommendations research both: Yamamoto Sound Craft BP9/ BP10 Set & VertexAQ Isolation methods.] As they do make a very big difference as well. Sometimes we can all buy somethings at a good price point, yet don't realize how much more is there waiting to be unlocked. [ Why spend $600-$1035 on an amp. Yet one can't invest $300. more on enchancing said amp. To show its truest & fullest potential?.] The good thing about something being well designed to begin with, is that with a few more quality upgrades one can only expect to bring out the hidden beauty of any given piece of electronics. Food for thought is it not?. Remember ones purchased & properlly maintenaced this amp should out live its user. So, spend the money on this amp that it deserves. Trust me !!!!!!!!. Do it right to begin with & it needs only to be done once. [ Read between the lines, if you may.] This amp is made to LAST & MEANT to be enjoyed by all whom love music. Do not make a mistake of not trying to better this amp with some false hopes of newer equals better. [ Just different.] Truly listen to this amp. I beleive in order for one too better it means something alone the lines of Audio Note - BAT - Audiomat - Pathos & Cary Designed Amps. [ I for one only know of three different integrated amps that I'd replace it with. And they are as follows: Art Audio Jota - Border Patrol P20 & Red Rose Music Model 5 That's it as far as I'm concerned. PERIOD.] Just wanted to share my views & insight on this subject. Thanks for viewing." Oscar L. Johnson

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $575.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by hifichicago a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 27, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Just to add to this great amp, if you are a music listener this giant killer will make your music sound better than it ever did with solid state gear. i swtiched from a yamaha rx-v1000, and also had a consonance m99 tube int as well. you'll also want to pair it with a good cd player or good universal dvd player. i use it with a music hall cd-25 and it's the best i've heard of anything i've owned. used a denon dvd-2200 with it as well. which is a very good CD/SACD player, very good universal player for the money. and as previously mentioned, Paul, the guy who sells these amps, is wonderful to work with. i wish more people supported their products like Paul.
one of the cool things about this amp is not only can you use the stock EL34's, you can use KT88's, and you can remove 2 of the tubes to run in SET (single ended triode) mode at 4watts/ch. very versatile amp, especially with the external biasing feature. you can bias the tubes from the side of the cayin.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Bizzy Bee - Tube Aud



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by FatJer a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 26, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I don't want to waste your reading time by going over how great this integrated sounds, especially for the price, the other contributors have pretty much said it all. I want to review this amp. with a new addition that will take it to a new level. I first purchased my TAD TA-30 back when Paul first became the distributor, and it was sold as Cayin. Stock it was a great integrated, and Paul of www.2baudio.com was and remains one of audio's nice guys. Things began to "Pop" for Paul and he began to do some custom mods for his Cayin amps. I had him retro-fit my Cayin and thus it became a TAD TA-30 integrated. The stock amp. is great for the buck, better yet with Paul's mods. But hold on, he just introduced his very own TAD-150 pre-amp, tube of course, and it is a winner. What does it have to do with the amp? everything! Paul told me I could use it with my TAD-30 integrated. I followed his directions: hook up the TAD-150 pre-amp to the TAD-30 amp via the amps CD line input, select the CD input position on the front of the amp, crank up the volume control all the way up, and let the pre-amp control the functions while the TAD-30 integrated now acts like a dedicated stereo power amp. Oh m' gosh, it took this amp to a new level. The highs improved, and the sound stage really opened up, and on top of all that, I now have remote capability. Check out this new TAD-Pre at his web site and you will notice the list price is $1,600.00, but he has been selling them at auction on AudiogoN for about half that price. I'm not in ANY WAY connected to Paul except I'm a customer who discovered a way to take this affordable amp to a level you won't believe. Run, don't walk, you won't be unhappy.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Purchased At:   Tube Audio Designs




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