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Crack;Bottlehead OTL - Page 89

post #1321 of 6142
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishsammy View Post

Hi everybody.  Just finished my first Crack build and plugged in my DT880/600's. 

 

Holy SH*T does this thing sound good.  eek.gif

 

 

 

That was my initial reaction as well.  Even in stock form, the crack is surprisingly detailed, punchy and dynamic for an OTL tube amp, and it only gets better with tweaks.  You have to love those rare moments in life when the reality of a product actually surpasses high expectations.

 

In any event, congrats and welcome aboard!

post #1322 of 6142

Thanks everybody for the comments. 

 

I used Minwax stain in the Ebony color for the base.  The alder wood they send you for the base is really nice so I hated to make it so dark but I just made a headboard for my wife where I used the same stain and it came out looking really, really good.  My base still doesn't have any polyurethane on it (I was too excited to finish the amp to do that part) and when you put that on, it lightens things up noticeably but it still has that nice dark wood look.  My speakers are finished in a beautiful dark African wenge veneer and I'm hoping to end up with something like that...

 

...when I can stop listening to this stupid thing!  Seriously...[insert cheesy "addicted to Crack" line here].  beyersmile.png

post #1323 of 6142
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

 

That was my initial reaction as well.  Even in stock form, the crack is surprisingly detailed, punchy and dynamic for an OTL tube amp, and it only gets better with tweaks.  You have to love those rare moments in life when the reality of a product actually surpasses high expectations.

 

In any event, congrats and welcome aboard!

 

I was shocked that I put the thing together correctly, let alone that it makes such amazing music.  It's enough to make you into one of those motivational If-I-Can-Do-It-Anybody-Can people.

post #1324 of 6142

I really like the look of the copper hammertone paint on mine. I tried to take some pictures, but I just can't capture the paint texture.

post #1325 of 6142

I went with the ebony minwax as well, with poly - hammertone black on the top.  I never put the badge on, I'm still noodling on doing something else to the finish. 

 

 

700

post #1326 of 6142

Hi Guys, 

 

I have read through some pages here and am leaning toward trying this AMP. I am not 100% Confident I can build it, but hopefully if I get stuck I can get some help. 

 

I have some questions if someone wouldn't mind;

 

1) What are the dimensions of this and the weight please?

2) What is the power supply? I am from NZ and we have 240v, do I need to specify at time of ordering?

3) I am thinking of pairing this amp with the O2 Odac, will this be OK? What connection will run between the ODAC and BHCA?

4) I am fairly close to my budget, and I have read the speed-ball upgrade is worthwhile, I'll be pairing this with my HD650's

5) I already have an Asus Xonar STX, which is apparently a capable Dac/AMP, is it reasonable to assume the BHCA will be a reasonably noticeable upgrade? I have just been conversing with someone who has the STX and the Dot III and they said listening they thought the Dot III was better, but in a blind test they couldn't pick them apart from the STX. I am concerned about spending $400 and not getting a noticeable improvement.

6) Which parts are most likely to get damaged in assembly, and should I order spares? I guess I am mostly concerned about parts getting too hot during soldering, and secondly damage caused by mis-assembly and having to wait weeks for replacements.

7) I was thinking about doing the wood in a black finish and polishing the metal to a high shine, anyone have any experience with this and recommend a method of it?

8) Anyone know of any other assemblies other than the Wooden Box?

 

Thanks for your time.

post #1327 of 6142
Quote:
Originally Posted by networkn View Post

Hi Guys, 

 

I have read through some pages here and am leaning toward trying this AMP. I am not 100% Confident I can build it, but hopefully if I get stuck I can get some help. 

 

I have some questions if someone wouldn't mind;

 

1) What are the dimensions of this and the weight please?

About 11.5" long x 7.5" w x 9" high (with tallish tubes). Weight is about 5 lbs. 

 

2) What is the power supply? I am from NZ and we have 240v, do I need to specify at time of ordering?

You need to specify 240V at the time of ordering. 

 

3) I am thinking of pairing this amp with the O2 Odac, will this be OK? What connection will run between the ODAC and BHCA?

That will be just fine. You will need a 3.5mm stereo to RCA stereo cable. Something like this:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021817&p_id=9767

 

 

4) I am fairly close to my budget, and I have read the speed-ball upgrade is worthwhile, I'll be pairing this with my HD650's

I don't think the speedball is a required upgrade. I'd wait - you can always add it in later. 

 

5) I already have an Asus Xonar STX, which is apparently a capable Dac/AMP, is it reasonable to assume the BHCA will be a reasonably noticeable upgrade? I have just been conversing with someone who has the STX and the Dot III and they said listening they thought the Dot III was better, but in a blind test they couldn't pick them apart from the STX. I am concerned about spending $400 and not getting a noticeable improvement.

An OTL Tube amp like the Crack does sound different to me (and I can pick it out against solid states in a blind test). Improvement may not be the right word - I like the sound. But I don't know if I could say it is better or worse, it is different. YMMV. 

 

6) Which parts are most likely to get damaged in assembly, and should I order spares? I guess I am mostly concerned about parts getting too hot during soldering, and secondly damage caused by mis-assembly and having to wait weeks for replacements.

It's a pretty simple build, I don't think you have too much to worry about. I expect the most fragile pieces would be the Diodes (LEDs in the input tube assembly, and those in the power supply). 

 

 

post #1328 of 6142
Hey guys, I just bought my Crack amp today with speedball, bottlehead's 15% off for Cyber Monday was too tempting. Not to mention the fact that I got an extra 10% off buying with a friend.

Now, any recommendations for boutique film capacitators to build inside? I'm thinking Mundorf Supreme and perhaps some Obligato Gold
post #1329 of 6142

Yup I jumped whilst everything was 15% off and got both the crack and speedball. I hope it's amazing!

post #1330 of 6142

I was going to jump on cyber monday sale as well...but I wasn't sure about building one myself  (don't want to solder etc... I'm just lazy redface.gif)

 

I've been thinking about trying some tube amps with my HD 800's that should be coming soon. I've been seeing that the Crack is something of a giant killer? Is this the tube amp that I should get for under $1k if I want to try the tube sound? 

 

Also, what happened to the Smack? o_o

post #1331 of 6142
From what I understood the Smack might come back but it was run to the ground (stock) mainly due to having the S.E.X which covered that range of headphone impedance. The SEX also drives speakers which made it better value at the same price point.

I guess it (the Smack) became too niche for the store. I enquired into modding the Crack to run High impedance cans - the cost would shift the unit to the SEX level (which is what the Smack was, from whati understand).

I got the Quickie per-amp on the Cyber Monday sale.



Wormwood
post #1332 of 6142
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordWormwood View Post

I enquired into modding the Crack to run High impedance cans - the cost would shift the unit to the SEX level (which is what the Smack was, from whati understand).

 

The Crack is designed for high impedance cans, >120 ohm if I remember correctly.  It works poorly with low impedance cans.

post #1333 of 6142
I totally blame posting before 7am and only on half a cup of tea.


biggrin.gif




Wormwood
post #1334 of 6142
When will my cyber monday order ever gonna shippppppppppppppppppppp.

Cant wait to start on it already.
post #1335 of 6142

I forsee a month or two :)

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