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Crack;Bottlehead OTL - Page 242

post #3616 of 6232
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTom View Post
 

lol, this is the second time that's been mentioned. Maybe someone could PM me the name of this "Lord Voldemort website".

Got it!

post #3617 of 6232
Quote:
Originally Posted by diaBoliQu3 View Post
 

I did search but no result. So far I only found the matte black and it's awesome. Can share the link for hammerite finish?

 

Stupid of me googling. Should have search in this thread in the first place. *facepalm.

 

I used Rust-oleum matte black for the metal parts on my latest Crack build and it looks pretty boss. But if you use that, make sure you have it laying on top of something soft while you're building the Crack because that stuff scratches if you just look at it wrong. Way easier to scratch than glossy paint. I'd use at least 3 coats of the matte black if you go that route.

post #3618 of 6232

Ok this has been a lot harder to put down than I first thought but here some impressions on the JFX film capacitors I fitted to my BHCrack.

BHCrack+Speedball+Valab+JFX film capacitors

Tubes Tung-Sol 5998 & Mullard 12au7

Headphones Beyerdynamic Tesla T1

The instantly most noticeable change to the sound has been clarity and it is really hard to put this into words just how much this has improved it is also a bit mind bending to think it wasn’t so clear before.

A visualization might be looking out over a scene on a grey day and seeing an area that is bathed in a shaft of sunlight which makes everything sharper, colours pop out and shapes are more clearly defined and focused. Everything within the area of sunlight is just more vivid.

The perception of sound stage with the T1’s is not much wider than before but it now has greater depth and a smoother and more seamless feel to it.  With the improved clarity I can look deeper into the soundstage and recording to focus on individual instruments within, this placement depth and resolution is very noticeable on live recordings.


For lack of better words music just flows better, it rises and falls as needed and washes over you with an effortlessness to the dynamics.

This is really hard to describe but its changed how the T1’s connect me with the music there is no more sense of viewing from say three rows back.

It feels much more like 'being there' I can be further back viewing a musical in a theatre listening to say Les Miserables taking in the whole scene or next find myself sitting across the table from Melody Gardot or Diana Krall, who are now singing just for me.  On another track I am right on stage right in the middle of the mix with musicians to the left and right and behind enveloped in sound (this really was a first for me and an amazing “Holy Cow I am on the stage” moment, thank you Florence).
 
This all makes for an increased feel to the atmosphere and venue on live recordings as the music flows out and fills the venues and gives a sense of air as a beautiful solo vocal floats up high into the vaults of a cathedrals ceiling, it’s just beautiful to hear.


Pretty much all instruments sound better, the distortion of an electric guitar, brushes on drums, the little metal cymbals of a tambourine as they vibrate on both sides when shaken these little details keep coming through, plucks on strings the woodiness of instruments the bounce back on kick-drum or a sense of hollowness to an acoustic guitar or the density of the wood castanets are made of. The transparency of those subtle nuances of tones and textures draw you into the music. To many times just one more track turns into one more album way into the small hours of the morning.

The capacitors sonics have definitely improved as they burned in. I had a strange intermittent buzz noise in the lower frequencies on some jazz tracks I couldn’t quiet put my finger on what it was. It was just not right I wondered if my headphones had started to develop a problem with reproduction of the frequency. After about 60hrs this buzz has become more defined and developed into a thrum resonance sound from a plucked double bass string.

The T1’s are a fantastic headphones in many respects but I was very pleased to hear after about 100hrs a welcome hint of soulfulness develop in the midrange and just a little more warmth, body and loveliness to vocals which I think they are the better for.

The T1’s have scaled well with the addition of the film caps and I continue to be amazed by the reproduction of music I listen to and those out of headphone experiences that catch you by surprise have become much more frequent. I have been very pleased with the results of fitting the film caps.

I hope some of this makes a little sense.


Edited by JamieMcC - 1/24/14 at 1:44pm
post #3619 of 6232
But new to the whole scene of audiophile territory but VERY interested in a Bottlehead a w/ Speedball (planning on getting hd600 headphone probably, have Akg k550s atm) can anyone advise on price for getting this into the UK? I think someone said on a few pages around £30 for customs, any other fees to think about/currency differences? I've only heard great things about this amp especially combined with the headphones mentioned, thanks in advance for any help!
post #3620 of 6232
Quote:
Originally Posted by KieranO View Post

But new to the whole scene of audiophile territory but VERY interested in a Bottlehead a w/ Speedball (planning on getting hd600 headphone probably, have Akg k550s atm) can anyone advise on price for getting this into the UK? I think someone said on a few pages around £30 for customs, any other fees to think about/currency differences? I've only heard great things about this amp especially combined with the headphones mentioned, thanks in advance for any help!

 

Shipping to the UK (October 2013) worked out at about £45 and the import fees mounted up to about £30 if I remember correctly.


Edited by JamieMcC - 1/25/14 at 1:18am
post #3621 of 6232

Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post

 

Film cap impressions (Click to show)

Ok this has been a lot harder to put down than I first thought but here some impressions on the JFX film capacitors I fitted to my BHCrack.

BHCrack+Speedball+Valab+JFX film capacitors

Tubes Tung-Sol 5998 & Mullard 12au7

Headphones Beyerdynamic Tesla T1

The instantly most noticeable change to the sound has been clarity and it is really hard to put this into words just how much this has improved it is also a bit mind bending to think it wasn’t so clear before.

A visualization might be looking out over a scene on a grey day and seeing an area that is bathed in a shaft of sunlight which makes everything sharper, colours pop out and shapes are more clearly defined and focused. Everything within the area of sunlight is just more vivid.

The perception of sound stage with the T1’s is not much wider than before but it now has greater depth and a smoother and more seamless feel to it.  With the improved clarity I can look deeper into the soundstage and recording to focus on individual instruments within, this placement depth and resolution is very noticeable on live recordings.


For lack of better words music just flows better, it rises and falls as needed and washes over you with an effortlessness to the dynamics.

This is really hard to describe but its changed how the T1’s connect me with the music there is no more sense of viewing from say three rows back.

It feels much more like 'being there' I can be further back viewing a musical in a theatre listening to say Les Miserables taking in the whole scene or next find myself sitting across the table from Melody Gardot or Diana Krall, who are now singing just for me.  On another track I am right on stage right in the middle of the mix with musicians to the left and right and behind enveloped in sound (this really was a first for me and an amazing “Holy Cow I am on the stage” moment, thank you Florence).
 
This all makes for an increased feel to the atmosphere and venue on live recordings as the music flows out and fills the venues and gives a sense of air as a beautiful solo vocal floats up high into the vaults of a cathedrals ceiling, it’s just beautiful to hear.


Pretty much all instruments sound better, the distortion of an electric guitar, brushes on drums, the little metal cymbals of a tambourine as they vibrate on both sides when shaken these little details keep coming through, plucks on strings the woodiness of instruments the bounce back on kick-drum or a sense of hollowness to an acoustic guitar or the density of the wood castanets are made of. The transparency of those subtle nuances of tones and textures draw you into the music. To many times just one more track turns into one more album way into the small hours of the morning.

The capacitors sonics have definitely improved as they burned in. I had a strange intermittent buzz noise in the lower frequencies on some jazz tracks I couldn’t quiet put my finger on what it was. It was just not right I wondered if my headphones had started to develop a problem with reproduction of the frequency. After about 60hrs this buzz has become more defined and developed into a thrum resonance sound from a plucked double bass string.

The T1’s are a fantastic headphones in many respects but I was very pleased to hear after about 100hrs a welcome hint of soulfulness develop in the midrange and just a little more warmth, body and loveliness to vocals which I think they are the better for.

The T1’s have scaled well with the addition of the film caps and I continue to be amazed by the reproduction of music I listen to and those out of headphone experiences that catch you by surprise have become much more frequent. I have been very pleased with the results of fitting the film caps.

I hope some of this makes a little sense.

 

Great impressions, Jamie.  I haven't had a chance to hear a stock SB'ed Crack (only my custom Crack w/ the Erse Film caps and other mods), but all of what you describe mirrors the feeling I get with my Crack/650 combo.. especially all the talk about hearing minute detail in an effortless, natural manner.

I'm listening to an album that's practically woven into my childhood.. the Fugees' seminal album, "The Score".. it isn't "audiophile approved" around these parts.. heck it isn't even mixed/mastered all that well (but it's quite serviceable, in that respect).. following along with Lauryn Hill's passionate performance on "Killing Me Softly," the reverb and echo in the recording is so clearly distinguishable.  The production on this album is wonderfully murky, sparse, and atmospheric.. vintage (early) 90's hip hop.. but with the 650/Crack, I hear all sorts of details, transients, and recording effects I've missed in the past.. despite hearing this album too many times to count.


Edited by FlySweep - 1/25/14 at 1:35am
post #3622 of 6232
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post
 

 

Great impressions, Jamie.  I haven't had a chance to hear a stock SB'ed Crack (only my custom Crack w/ the Erse Film caps and other mods), but all of what you describe mirrors the feeling I get with my Crack/650 combo.. especially all the talk about hearing minute detail in an effortless, natural manner.

I'm listening to an album that's practically woven into my childhood.. the Fugees' seminal album, "The Score".. it isn't "audiophile approved" around these parts.. heck it isn't even mixed/mastered all that well (but it's quite serviceable, in that respect).. following along with Lauryn Hill's passionate performance on "Killing Me Softly," the reverb and echo in the recording is so clearly distinguishable.  The production on this album is wonderfully murky, sparse, and atmospheric.. vintage (early) 90's hip hop.. but with the 650/Crack, I hear all sorts of details, transients, and recording effects I've missed in the past.. despite hearing this album too many times to count.

 

Hi Fly Sweep that great that you made some sense of my rambling. It is also interesting that you mention Erse are they the Pulse X Caps by any chance? For some time I have had a sneaky feeling that ERSE’s Pulse X caps and the JB  JFX caps are both the same thing and manufactured by JB Capacitors in China, only branded differently the specs and advertising blurb looks identical for both with just the brands name changed in each case.

post #3623 of 6232
Quote:
Originally Posted by dxanex View Post
 

 

I used Rust-oleum matte black for the metal parts on my latest Crack build and it looks pretty boss. But if you use that, make sure you have it laying on top of something soft while you're building the Crack because that stuff scratches if you just look at it wrong. Way easier to scratch than glossy paint. I'd use at least 3 coats of the matte black if you go that route.

Hi... I decided to pick the hammerite finished. I love the stone like finishing. I prefer matte black but they seems so plain. Thinking of redo the wood casing again, adding more layer or paint them to a bit brownish.

post #3624 of 6232

I recently did a similar upgrade as Jamie to my Crack + SB (Mundorf MKP's and Alps Blue Velvet) and I would say his descriptions are very similar that I am hearing. 

 

I find the upgrade made the amp brighter (probably a poor use of the terminology).  What I mean is that it really opened up the treble and made it cleaner and more separated.  By brighter, I mean that the amp became less dark sounding.  For me, it was a welcome shift in the right direction.  It made the amp sound faster, and more airy. 

 

Separation was the biggest improvement to my ears.  I have a hard time saying it made the sound stage much bigger, but it helped define it better.

 

I agree that the Speedball is ultimately the biggest upgrade you can do to the Crack, but the caps do make a very noticeable improvement to the sound.   I originally found the amp a bit slow and too syrupy sounding to match well with the HD800’s and I think this upgrade helped that pairing a great deal.

 

One thing that I personally still struggle with is the believability of the sound, but I suspect it may be my DAC more than anything.

post #3625 of 6232

Hi Paul, I tried outputting via my cd player to the BHC and it didn't sound very good at all straight from the cd player. Streaming via my network players dac works much better. Try a different source dvd or blueray if you have one.

 

By the way a nos e80cc input tube arrived in the post to day I forgot that I had put a bid in on ebay for it until it flagged up for payment. I have tried it with the T1's and found it a bit bright for my liking with them. However with the HD650's its a different story and the E80CC seams to suit them. I don't know if tubes have a burn in period? But will put some hours on it and see what happens.

 

Edit my quickie also arrived yesterday, but will have to wait for the time being as I am quiet busy with work at the moment.


Edited by JamieMcC - 1/25/14 at 10:02am
post #3626 of 6232
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

Hi Paul, I tried outputting via my cd player to the BHC and it was not very good at all straight from the cd player. Streaming via my network players dac works much better . Try a different source.

 

By the way a nos e80cc input tube arrived in the post to day. I have tried it with the T1's and found it a bit bright for my liking with them. However with the HD650's its a different story and the E80CC seams to suit them. I don't know if tubes have a burn in period? But will put some hours on it and see what happens.

 

 

Yeah, flagships can be fickle!

 

I running an Audio-GD NFB12.1 (or something like that...  Too many numbers).  I'm currently waiting for Master 7's to be back in stock.  I figure if that doesn't do it, nothing will :bigsmile_face:

 

I'm running an ECC82 and I really like it.  Very smooth sounding, but still very detailed.  I think tubes have a burning period.

post #3627 of 6232
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

Hi Paul, I tried outputting via my cd player to the BHC and it didn't sound very good at all straight from the cd player. Streaming via my network players dac works much better. Try a different source dvd or blueray if you have one.

 

By the way a nos e80cc input tube arrived in the post to day I forgot that I had put a bid in on ebay for it until it flagged up for payment. I have tried it with the T1's and found it a bit bright for my liking with them. However with the HD650's its a different story and the E80CC seams to suit them. I don't know if tubes have a burn in period? But will put some hours on it and see what happens.

 

Edit my quickie also arrived yesterday, but will have to wait for the time being as I am quiet busy with work at the moment.


Yes tubes definitely have a burn in period, about 100hrs will do it with most of them.

post #3628 of 6232

Can I substitute in a 5U4GB, a 6BL7, a 6SR7GT, a 6SK7GT, or a 6SN7GTB into the power tube slot on my Crack? I was at an antiques store and bought a box of tubes for $40, these all fit, but not sure if they are substitutes.

 

Also, for the smaller tube (input?)

Will these fit?

6R39

12AT7

6AU6

6CB6

6C4


Edited by DutchGFX - 1/25/14 at 1:28pm
post #3629 of 6232
Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchGFX View Post
 

Can I substitute in a 5U4GB, a 6BL7, a 6SR7GT, a 6SK7GT, or a 6SN7GTB into the power tube slot on my Crack? I was at an antiques store and bought a box of tubes for $40, these all fit, but not sure if they are substitutes.

 

Also, for the smaller tube (input?)

Will these fit?

6R39

12AT7

ROP-IN EQUIVALENTS

Input Tubes (Original: 12AU7)

12AU7(A)(WA)
ECC186
ECC82
ECC802(S)
E8025
E82CC
CV4003
CV4122
CV491
5814(A)
6189(W)(WA)
6680 (WL6680)
6067
7489
7316
5963 (computer version of 12AU7)

Sort-of-Drop-In (but not equivalent - for best results, replace plate resistors with Speedball boards)

E80CC
12BH7

Power/Output (Original: 6080)

6AS7G
6080
6H13C
5998
7236
6N13

 

I stole that from a great thread on the Bottlehead forum.  It's well worth a read.

post #3630 of 6232

Ive read that, but these seam to be weird tubes, which is why I don't know if I can use them. Just because they aren't on that list doesn't mean they don't work, know what I mean? Thanks though :)

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