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Crack;Bottlehead OTL - Page 233

post #3481 of 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

At this rate he's probably going to recycle those funds into building their monoblocks...

LOL. No. While the S.E.X. and Crack are different enough to keep both, the signature and presentation of the Crack and Mainline are very similar so the Mainline renders the Crack redundant in my collection.

That and I really want to sample some other cans with the Mainline.
post #3482 of 6573

Are any of the Little Dot tube amps at the same level as the BHC with the HD600/HD650?

post #3483 of 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTom View Post
 

Are any of the Little Dot tube amps at the same level as the BHC with the HD600/HD650?

Interesting question as i have a Littledot mk3 running 6SL7octals 6DJ8 AND 12AX7 type tubes with adapters and Senns HD800. and  also interested in the BHC amp and how the 2  would compare .

post #3484 of 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTom View Post
 

Are any of the Little Dot tube amps at the same level as the BHC with the HD600/HD650?


Well, I have owned the MK II and MKIII in the past and I can say that while I enjoyed the MKIII's warmth, neither of them had the dead-quiet background or spaciousness of the BHC, at least not with the HD 650. It's been a while, so I can't articulate exact differences, all I can say is I never had the "wow!" moment until I listened to the HD 650 on Crack (even with the stock tubes).

 

Of course, I was running Amperex tubes in my Little Dots as well. Experiences could differ by rolling other tubes.

post #3485 of 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

Soon to be installing new caps in my Crack.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/284863/orgy-of-capacitors-the-cap-thread/360#post_10143998

 

Sexy caps!  Looking forward to your impressions on how they sound once you get some hours on them.

post #3486 of 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by dxanex View Post
 


Well, I have owned the MK II and MKIII in the past and I can say that while I enjoyed the MKIII's warmth, neither of them had the dead-quiet background or spaciousness of the BHC, at least not with the HD 650. It's been a while, so I can't articulate exact differences, all I can say is I never had the "wow!" moment until I listened to the HD 650 on Crack (even with the stock tubes).

 

Of course, I was running Amperex tubes in my Little Dots as well. Experiences could differ by rolling other tubes.

Can anyone compare the more expensive Little Dot amps to the BHC?

post #3487 of 6573

Valab 23 step attenuator musings

BHC+Speedball+Valab
 
Instillation
 
Firstly although this should be a fairly straight forward modification if you are doing this after you have built your Crack + Speedball it requires a bit more work than if you had installed it at the start of your build. Because the valab is quiet tall and the connections are located on its top I had to disconnect and replace all of the connecting wires with longer ones.
 
This meant un-mounting the small speedball boards (but not disconnecting the wiring) to gain enough access to the octal pins at A7 and A2.  Space is restricted, de-soldering and reattaching longer wires is a fiddly and time consuming task. I was very pleased to have an illuminated magnifying glass to check clearances and solder joints with as the speedball boards make it a bit darker and restrict your angle of view.

Fitting of the valab 23 step attenuator is quiet straight forward the standard volume pots hole needs to be enlarged by about 1-2mm. The smaller locating pin hole requires elongating slightly a dremel made quick work of these mods.
I initially thought the Valab would not fit but it did there is only just enough clearance for the Valab and it only fitted because the smaller A/B board can slot between the  small gap between the Valabs upper and lower banks of resistors (see pic).

Initial impressions with a few hours listening.
 
Tubes, Mullard 12au7 and Tung-sol 5998

Most noticeable is an improvement in clarity particularly to the mids and top end.  Music seems to have more of a crispness and openness and to it.

Placement within the soundstage seems a little more precise. Instruments have a little more attack and bite to the leading edges of notes.

I can hear some woodiness texture to certain wind instruments I had not noticed before.
 
Listening as I type to Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham’s “I’m so afraid” one of my favourite tracks, is more forceful, darker the bass is tighter and has a touch of presence to it rather than just hearing it.

My low level volume channel imbalance has gone.

I was not sure how I would like the volume steps compared to the Cracks standard smooth action pot which I was familiar with in contrast the Valab seemed notchy when trying it before fitting and not very nice at all from a tactile point of operating (I came close to not fitting because of this and had an Alps Blue pot at the ready). This impression improved once fitted and I was adjusting the Valab with the knob fitted.

I am really pleased with the Valab I have had it in my draw for a while and had been a little daunted as to fitting it because of the amount of de-soldering and rewiring that was required in my case and not wanting to wreck my perfectly working Crack in the process.

IMHO the Valab has taken my BHC+Speedball +Tung-sol 5998 to a level of refinement above which I had been experiencing when running with the 6AS7G GEC brown base without the Valab fitted. My perception of performance of the GEC is likewise improved.



post #3488 of 6573
I think I may have damaged my headphone input when soldering and as a result would like to try another to see if I can solve the issues I am having with sound quality.
 
Due to the fact I am in NZ and Shipping Cost and Time it would take, I thought I'd try and locate a suitable unit locally, but need to know what exactly I need to order?
post #3489 of 6573

Kia ora, try looking for "phone jack female component"

post #3490 of 6573

Great write-up, Jamie!

 

That sounds like an excellent modification to make. Roughly how much is a Valab attenuator?

post #3491 of 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by networkn View Post
 
I think I may have damaged my headphone input when soldering and as a result would like to try another to see if I can solve the issues I am having with sound quality.
 
Due to the fact I am in NZ and Shipping Cost and Time it would take, I thought I'd try and locate a suitable unit locally, but need to know what exactly I need to order?

 

Pretty sure that this one will do it from Jaycar: http://www.jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=PS0192&w=6%2E5mm+stereo&form=KEYWORD

 

The only question is whether the Crack needs a switched one or not. This one isn't switched, but there is an equivalent, switched one for 40c more. I think switching is only required for shorting speaker outputs like on the S.E.X. Here's the link for the switched one though in case you need it: http://www.jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=PS0190&w=6%2E5mm+stereo&form=KEYWORD

post #3492 of 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

Great write-up, Jamie!

 

That sounds like an excellent modification to make. Roughly how much is a Valab attenuator?

Hi Loquah thanks, about AU $28.00 delivery to UK was AU$5 they have been available on ebay from the Vintage Audio Lab shop for some time but it looks like they are updating the shop as they don't have anything listed at the moment and normally there are a fair amount of components listed.

 

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Vintage-Audio-Lab?_trksid=p2047675.l2563


Edited by JamieMcC - 1/9/14 at 4:40pm
post #3493 of 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

Hi Loquah thanks, about AU $28.00 delivery to UK was AU$5 they have been available on ebay from the Vintage Audio Lab shop for some time but it looks like they are updating the shop as they don't have anything listed at the moment and normally there are a fair amount of components listed.

 

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Vintage-Audio-Lab?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

 

Awesome! I might get one for the S.E.X. if it will fit... (which I think it will)

post #3494 of 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

 

Awesome! I might get one for the S.E.X. if it will fit... (which I think it will)


Fits perfectly Loquah, i have some info/pics posted on the BH forum for it ;)

post #3495 of 6573

I have been listening with the Valab for about 4hrs now and err its just gone 1am here, I am going to have to get some sleep soon, insomnia seems a normal side effect of Crack addiction.

 

By the way I started listening with the Beyer T1's and in the last hour switched over to the HD650 the improvement in clarity to the top end goes well with the HD650.

 

Night Night all

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