Highlights of N8ii features
1. Dual DAC Architecture
The N8ii is designed around a pair of ROHM BD34301EKV 32Bit current mode DAC chipset. The DAC chipset was announced back in February 2021, a perfect timing to rescue our AKM based project. The AKM fire was one of the hardest hit to our industry and Cayin started to look for new DAC solution almost immediately. At the time of writing, this DAC chipset has never been used by any portable DAP so the N8ii might well be the first modern DAP with ROHM DAC chipset. We are aware of LUXMAN's SACD player project but we are basically working under the same time frame, our engineers have spend a lot of resource to learn, experiment and find tune the supporting system of this new DAC chipset from scratch. We are truly satisfied with the result so far, and we are looking forward to share our ROHM development with our users.
2. Fully-Balanced Dual Timbre
Our Vacuum Tube/Solid State Dual Timber feature shook the world back in May 2018. We solved the microphonic problem with innovative techniques and for the first time, facilitates choice of vacuum tube and solid state timbre in a portable DAP. Unfortunately we can only install one Nutube 6P1 in our N8, so the vacuum tube is only available to Single-end headphone output. We received loads of comment and request to make the vacuum tube timbre available to balanced output as well, and we have explained repeatedly that the Nutube 6P1 is a double Triode tube by design, it can used as left and right channel of stereo amplification, we cannot achieve true balanced amplification with only one Nutube 6P1.
Naturally, when we start our N8ii project, one of the priority requirements is to upgrade the Dual Timber feature to support balanced output. The Dual Nutube implementation in N8ii is even more challenging than C9 because we have to take care of a 5" OLED screen at the same time, so we have to be very innovative in circuit and component placement in order to accommodate everything in a compact hand-held solution.
3. Fully-discrete Dual Output Mode
This is a unique feature that only available in N8. We alter the operation voltage of headphone amplification to increase output power, handling capability and sound signature of the circuit and allow users to choose between standard P mode and High Output P+ mode through a pull down menu. We'll keep this feature in N8ii and better still, we upgraded the headphone amplification circuit to fully-discrete design. As a result of that, the P+ mode in N8ii will offers more dramatic different from the standard P mode.