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Cayin Soul 170i Class AB tube integrated amplifier with up to two times 130 watts

The new Cayin Soul 170i Class AB tube integrated amplifier was developed on the basis of the Tungsol KT170 Power Tube and is thus capable of delivering quite remarkable performance for a tube amplifier. But even beyond that, an excellent representative of its genre is available.

Cayin Soul 170i, once again the company Zhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co. Ltd. presents with this solution a probably very fine stereo integrated amplifier of the Cayin Audio brand, which relies on tube technology and is aimed at quite ambitious HiFi enthusiasts. However, probably the most outstanding feature of the new Cayin Soul 170i is that it comes up with a remarkable performance.

Developed from the basis of the Tungsol KT170 Power Tube, the new Cayin Soul 170i is able to unleash up to 130 watts per channel.

Two powerful KT170 tubes

The new Cayin Soul 170i is designed in a Class AB push-pull configuration and relies on powerful Tungsol KT170 Power Tubes. Two of these glass bulbs are used per channel.

In addition, the developers used 22DE4 in the power supply of the new Cayin Soul 170i as a tube rectifier and also equipped it with ECC83S and 6SN7 in the input driver stage.

Triode mode or Ultralinear mode

The stereo integrated amplifier Cayin Soul 170i knows two operating modes, namely the triode mode and the ultralinear mode.

In triode mode, the Cayin Soul 170i is capable of delivering 75 watts per channel, which is more than sufficient for a variety of hi-fi chains, especially in combination with high-efficiency speaker systems.

This mode of operation offers the great advantage that with it a very fine-structured, soft and gentle as well as harmonious sounding performance is achieved, so the promise of the manufacturer. Thus, this mode is ideal for the reproduction of vocal and discreet instrumental music.

If, on the other hand, one selects the Ultralinear mode, the new Cayin Soul 170i brings up the full promised power of two times 130 watts and is thus perfect for a very powerful, yet always controlled playback, for example of music that requires appropriate emphasis and dynamics.

  • Foto © Zhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co. Ltd. | Cayin Soul 170i
  • Foto © Zhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co. Ltd. | Cayin Soul 170i
  • Foto © Zhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co. Ltd. | Cayin Soul 170i
  • Foto © Zhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co. Ltd. | Cayin Soul 170i

Toroidal transformer as the basis for the power supply

In order to be able to offer this performance without any problems, the Cayin Soul 170i relies on a generously dimensioned toroidal transformer for the power supply as well as EI output transformers with a wide bandwidth.

According to Cayin Audio, these are among the most important components of an amplifier based on tube technology, because they determine the capabilities of accurate imaging in the bass and treble range.

For this reason one manufactures the output transformers oneself and sets here on a complicated multi-layer winding with optimal impedance adjustment for the connected loudspeaker systems.

But also otherwise only high-quality components are used, as the manufacturer explicitly states, above all for the control of the volume, which is implemented via a potentiometer from Alps, as well as porcelain tube sockets or selected capacitors and carbon film resistors in the best quality.

Point-to-point cabling

The Cayin Soul 170i is said to be built using so-called point-to-point wiring, just like all of the manufacturer’s other amplifiers. In addition, the company states that the entire circuit is wired by hand using high-quality cables alone.

Integration into the HiFi chain and operation

The Cayin Soul 170i is equipped with three line inputs, designed as pairs of RCA jacks. In addition, there is a balanced input in the form of XLR sockets and and also a preamplifier can be integrated, so that the Cayin Soul 170i can be used as a pure power amplifier.

A subwoofer system can be brought into play via a stereo sub out, for example if you rely on compact speaker systems and want additional support in the low frequency range.

The controls include a centrally located, large rotary control for the volume as well as buttons for input selection, whereby LEDs clearly indicate the operating status at all times.

An infrared remote control made of metal is part of the scope of delivery, whereby the two operating modes of the Cayin Soul 170i described above can also be selected via it.

A display unit on the top of the solidly constructed housing can be used to monitor the bias voltage of the KT170 power tubes and, if necessary, can be easily adjusted by the user.

Prices and availability

The new Cayin Soul 170i is to be found already immediately in the specialized trade. The manufacturer for this new stereo integrated amplifier a recommended retail price of € 7.800,-.

Getting to the point

The new Cayin Soul 170i is a rock-solidly equipped stereo integrated amplifier based on tube technology, whose special feature is that it can come up with impressive performance. While in triode mode already two times 75 watts of power are available, this solution from the house of Zhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co. Ltd. of the Cayin Audio brand even delivers two times 130 watts in ultralinear mode.

Price€ 7.900,-
ManufacturerZhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co. Ltd.
DistributionCayin Audio Distribution GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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