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post #1066 of 6246

Finished up the Speedball.  Another fun build.  Very, nice upgrade.  Noticed better bass extension and seperation.  Really sounds great.  Overall a "cleaner bigger" sound.  If that makes sense.

post #1067 of 6246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinster View Post

Lucky the one that got in before the price increase. It's now $279 + $125 = $404 before finishing products. Now the WOO 3 doesn't seem that expensive. Anyone tried both with 600 ohm Beyer? Comments would be appreciate.

 

A few comparative comments for you:

 

I have a Woo 3 in my office, and a modded Crack w/ speedball in my main rig at home - both running well regarded tubes (specifics in profile).  While I certainly still enjoy my Woo (on a daily basis, in fact), the Crack is the better amp.  I found this to be true even when my Crack was still in stock form.  It is simply a more detailed and dynamic amp, with a better defined bottom end. 

 

I haven't had a chance to hear the 600 ohm Beyers with either amp, but the above holds true with all of my high impedance cans: HD800's, 650's and DT880 (250 ohm). 

 

This is no knock on Woo Audio.  I've heard every amp in their lineup, excluding the new reference monoblocks, and they make wonderful gear - especially their high end stuff!  The Crack is just an absolute steal even after the minor price bump.  Also, FWIW, when considering cost, nice nos input tubes for the Crack (like clear tops and bugle boys) can be had fairly cheaply on ebay.  Premium tubes for the WA3, like the 7308 pq's I'm running, are selling for pretty absurd amounts these days.

 

post #1068 of 6246

I just checked out your profile and I'm wondering if by chance you tried the 7236 in your Woo3 in your Crack just to see if there is much difference.  I just ordered a 7236 for the crack as a 5998 is impossible to find at a decent price.  I found a 421a but it was costing more than the crack.

 

Thanks Bill

post #1069 of 6246

Bill - I did try it, and the 7236 sounds really nice in the crack.  I still prefer 5998's by a slight margin (in both of my amps), but I agree the pricing has gotten absurd.  On the other side of the coin, there are also headfier's who strongly prefer the sound of the 7236: http://www.head-fi.org/t/393811/woo-wa2-tube-rolling-recommendations/135

 

I can't imagine ever cashing out for a 421a.  For that kind of money, you could probably get your hands on a GEC 6as7g - which is supposedly the real holy grail of the family of tubes (according to veterans like skylab).

 

All that said, I did most of my b-socket tube rolling before putting in my speedball.  I know Beefy (and maybe others?) have commented that the differences between power tubes are much less audible once your unit is receiving constant current.

post #1070 of 6246

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazybill View Post

I just checked out your profile and I'm wondering if by chance you tried the 7236 in your Woo3 in your Crack just to see if there is much difference.  I just ordered a 7236 for the crack as a 5998 is impossible to find at a decent price.  I found a 421a but it was costing more than the crack.

 

Thanks Bill


The 7236 is the computer rated version of the 5998A, which you may be able to get at a better price.



Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

I can't imagine ever cashing out for a 421a.  For that kind of money, you could probably get your hands on a GEC 6as7g - which is supposedly the real holy grail of the family of tubes (according to veterans like skylab).


The 421A is just a hand-picked 5998 anyway. I can't ever imagine that they would be worth the price premium.


Edited by Beefy - 3/2/12 at 4:36pm
post #1071 of 6246


Thank you Skeptic for your feedback on these two amplifier.  I'm probably going to sell my MAD Ear+ Purist HD with my gizzilion tubes. I don't think I'll go back to Grado sound. Ever since I got the T1 I can't get use to the lack of soundstage anymore. Crack & Speedball will be coming home. biggrin.gif

 

Can I dare asking if anyone have compared the Crack/Speedball to the Decware CSP-2 & Woo 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

 

A few comparative comments for you:

 

I have a Woo 3 in my office, and a modded Crack w/ speedball in my main rig at home - both running well regarded tubes (specifics in profile).  While I certainly still enjoy my Woo (on a daily basis, in fact), the Crack is the better amp.  I found this to be true even when my Crack was still in stock form.  It is simply a more detailed and dynamic amp, with a better defined bottom end. 

 

I haven't had a chance to hear the 600 ohm Beyers with either amp, but the above holds true with all of my high impedance cans: HD800's, 650's and DT880 (250 ohm). 

 

This is no knock on Woo Audio.  I've heard every amp in their lineup, excluding the new reference monoblocks, and they make wonderful gear - especially their high end stuff!  The Crack is just an absolute steal even after the minor price bump.  Also, FWIW, when considering cost, nice nos input tubes for the Crack (like clear tops and bugle boys) can be had fairly cheaply on ebay.  Premium tubes for the WA3, like the 7308 pq's I'm running, are selling for pretty absurd amounts these days.

 



 

post #1072 of 6246

Thanks guys for the come back.  No I wouldn't spring for a 421a, just happen to see it while looking for a 5998.  On the other hand I guess I didn't read far enough on tube spec.  I took the 7236 to be the computer 5998 not the 5998a.  I can find plenty of 5998a's.  Oh well live and learn.  I guess it will probably still be better than the stock 6080(actually the stock tubes sounded pretty good til' you hear something better).

 

Thanks again for the info.

Bill

post #1073 of 6246
Quote:
Originally Posted by lextek View Post

Finished up the Speedball.  Another fun build.  Very, nice upgrade.  Noticed better bass extension and seperation.  Really sounds great.  Overall a "cleaner bigger" sound.  If that makes sense.


 

lextek - Just got mine installed tonight as well.

 

I've had the Crack for about a year and a half now.  Speedball came in from Bottlehead on Wednesday.  Got it installed tonight, didn't bother with voltage checks yet (too excited to listen). All I know is that the lower frequencies, while do not overpower, do have more presence and fill out tracks well, as well as adding more detail in the low range.

 

Leaving technical descriptions aside and in summary, I definitely find every track in my 'playlist' much more enjoyable to listen to with Speedball.

 

 

post #1074 of 6246
Well I almost got the speedball finished today. A few voltage checks were off(1 and 5), the LEDs on the little boards did not light, and the turn on voltage spike hit 30. Gonna touch up the little boards tomorrow in the daylight and get everything runnin'.

263 263 263 263
Edited by Draygonn - 3/2/12 at 11:15pm
post #1075 of 6246

Whats the word on helping hands vs vise? From what I understand, helping hands would be a better choice for cables. What im wondering is if there is any down side to using helping hands on a circuit board. Are the little clips conductive, potentially damaging the board. etc/

 

I always thought they were more expensive so i was leaning toward helping hands but now that i found the holy "$5 vise", things got interesting :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draygonn View Post

I'm finally getting around to finishing the speedball. I picked up a tiny clamp from Fry's for $5 to hold the boards while I work on them.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

263

 



 

post #1076 of 6246
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnman1116 View Post

Whats the word on helping hands vs vise? From what I understand, helping hands would be a better choice for cables. What im wondering is if there is any down side to using helping hands on a circuit board. Are the little clips conductive, potentially damaging the board. etc/

 

I always thought they were more expensive so i was leaning toward helping hands but now that i found the holy "$5 vise", things got interesting :)
 



 


Just finished mine last night.  The boards aren't very complex, and I don't think you could damage anything unless you're cutting through connections.  (They are pretty robust).  I used a smaller locking pliers that had enough weight to it so the board wouldn't move around with too much force applied when soldering.  Just grab the ends of the board where you won't be soldering and you're good to go.  A vice like johnman1116 has may be a "better" option, but definitely not necessary, especially since the 3 circuit boards require minimal soldering and do not take long at all.

 

post #1077 of 6246

I should add that I found the most complex part of the Speedball assembly was removing Crack components and installing it into the circuit.  I don't know about others, but I find solder joints that hold multiple connections can be a pain.

 

I'd say Speedball (the entire assembly) took me 5 hours to complete, and the only soldering experience I've had is building the Crack in 2010.  I didn't need any other tools outside of what I used for the Crack... might want a solder wick or some type of remover if it comes to that.


Edited by Mak333 - 3/3/12 at 8:31am
post #1078 of 6246
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnman1116 View Post

Whats the word on helping hands vs vise? From what I understand, helping hands would be a better choice for cables. What im wondering is if there is any down side to using helping hands on a circuit board. Are the little clips conductive, potentially damaging the board. etc/

 

I always thought they were more expensive so i was leaning toward helping hands but now that i found the holy "$5 vise", things got interesting :)
 



 


I put some heat shrink over the clips.  You could also use some silicone tubing I guess.

hhands.jpg

bench.jpg

 

post #1079 of 6246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mak333 View Post

I should add that I found the most complex part of the Speedball assembly was removing Crack components and installing it into the circuit.  I don't know about others, but I find solder joints that hold multiple connections can be a pain.

 

I'd say Speedball (the entire assembly) took me 5 hours to complete, and the only soldering experience I've had is building the Crack in 2010.  I didn't need any other tools outside of what I used for the Crack... might want a solder wick or some type of remover if it comes to that.



I thought soldering the lugs of the heatsink to the PCBs was a pain.  I was afraid of overheating the board.

post #1080 of 6246
Quote:
Originally Posted by lextek View Post



I thought soldering the lugs of the heatsink to the PCBs was a pain.  I was afraid of overheating the board.


I was most nervous around the small red LED's because they seemed so fragile. And on Speedball, I soldered some wires through the wrong holes and had to des older with wick. That was stressful as well as desoldering is something I'm not very good at.
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