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Crack;Bottlehead OTL - Page 464

post #6946 of 6956

Listening to the HD600 and with a 5998, I've actually had a really hard time deciding whether the Genalex Gold Lion or the Hewlett-Packard branded Amperex (made in Holland) I got sounds better. I really love the Gold Lion, personally. It was the most unimpressive at first, but once it opens up it's really holographic and has great mids and bass, it has a somewhat rich sound in the mids that reminds me in a way of the LCD2 and is a tinge mid forward. The Amperex is just starting to open up after a few nights of burn-in and the clarity and extension in the treble are really impressive, beautiful mids, everything sounds natural through and through. I still like the bass and soundstage of the Gold Lions better though.

I have to say that the Clear Top doesn't impress me as much with the HD600, the bass is too lean. Reminds me of the Etymotic HF5. On the HD650, however, it's a different story: wow wow wow, what a combo. I almost want to keep my HD650 and Clear Top just because it sounded so freaking good.

post #6947 of 6956

The Gold lion was the first tube i bought don't really like it with the HD800 nice mids and bass like you mentioned but it kinda rounds off the sparkle that the HD800 has. In fact i preferred the stock GE 12au7 provided over the gold lion. Currently using the RCA clear tops and to my ears it seem to be slightly more spacious and more crisp.

post #6948 of 6956

I just ordered a Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball and stepped attenuator from the forums here.  Very excited to give it a try w/ my Senn HD 650.

 

I'm a longtime music lover, but young kids make stereo listening very limited these days and brought me to headphones.  This is my first tube amp for headphones or otherwise.  Is there Bottlehead 101 user guide (or for tube amps in general)?  Fortunately someone else built mine so the work is done, but I also want to make sure I use and maintain it correctly.  I know enough to keep it far away from the kids and have picked up some great recs on tubes, but that's about the extent of my knowledge.  Will continue reading the threads here and on the BH forum but a lot of the stuff will be useful down the road but is above my head right now, so if there's an intro guide or list of do's an don't that would be very helpful.

 

Thanks  

post #6949 of 6956

I'm trying to set up my stuff to make for a quick and easy A/B test of amps. Here's what I have set up, and I'm interested in opinions on if this is valid. My concern is if the common elements of this set up can degrade the sound such that an A/B test is not valid.

 

Mac -> USB -> Dac-IT -> RCA cable splitter ->

 

RCA cable splitter -> crack -> Fiio HS2 switch

RCA cable splitter -> NAD D3020 -> Fiio HS2 switch

 

Fiio HS2 switch -> headphones

 

I'm using identical cables between the dac and the amps, and between the amps and the HS2 switch.

 

This set up, once SPL leveled (by ear) allows be to play a track and simply switch the HS2 between 1 and 2 to hear the different amps.

post #6950 of 6956
Quote:
Originally Posted by coastal1 View Post
 

I just ordered a Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball and stepped attenuator from the forums here.  Very excited to give it a try w/ my Senn HD 650.

 

I'm a longtime music lover, but young kids make stereo listening very limited these days and brought me to headphones.  This is my first tube amp for headphones or otherwise.  Is there Bottlehead 101 user guide (or for tube amps in general)?  Fortunately someone else built mine so the work is done, but I also want to make sure I use and maintain it correctly.  I know enough to keep it far away from the kids and have picked up some great recs on tubes, but that's about the extent of my knowledge.  Will continue reading the threads here and on the BH forum but a lot of the stuff will be useful down the road but is above my head right now, so if there's an intro guide or list of do's an don't that would be very helpful.

 

Thanks  

 

I'm rather new to upgrading stuff too but here are some of the mods i'm aware of. Some of which i've completed.

 

1) Speedball (Highly recommended and should be the first thing you add imo)

2) Tube rolling

3) Changing stock potentiometer with a stepped attenuator 2 types available the regular ones and the shunt type (IMO shunt type better)

4) replacing capacitors *don't replace for the sake of replacing* cos stock caps are alr of good quality. Film type capacitors are good but takes up tonnes of space so make sure they all fit. Also take note of the voltage rating and all.

5) Add bypass caps for the last power supply cap.

6) Replace the last 270 ohm resistor in power supply with a choke (need to drill 2 holes to mount the choke) Choke to use is triad C-7x

 

Last but not least in my built a killer custom case to make your crack look sexy and unique to you and only you ... lol

 

hope this helps i'm still new to all this and still researching. Bottlehead forum has tonnes of information too.

post #6951 of 6956
Quote:
Originally Posted by coastal1 View Post
 

I just ordered a Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball and stepped attenuator from the forums here.  Very excited to give it a try w/ my Senn HD 650.

 

I'm a longtime music lover, but young kids make stereo listening very limited these days and brought me to headphones.  This is my first tube amp for headphones or otherwise.  Is there Bottlehead 101 user guide (or for tube amps in general)?  Fortunately someone else built mine so the work is done, but I also want to make sure I use and maintain it correctly.  I know enough to keep it far away from the kids and have picked up some great recs on tubes, but that's about the extent of my knowledge.  Will continue reading the threads here and on the BH forum but a lot of the stuff will be useful down the road but is above my head right now, so if there's an intro guide or list of do's an don't that would be very helpful.

 

Thanks  

 

As far as do's and dont's here's a few helpful tips that pertain to the BH crack (and tube amps in general)

 

-Give the amp a few minutes to warm up before listening, it will sound it's best after about 15-20 minutes

-Always power down and unplug the amp before swapping tubes

-Give your tubes about 10-15 minutes to cool before unplugging them

-Try to keep the amp far away from digital devices and routers to minimize tube noise

-With the Crack it's not necessary to unplug your headphones when powering it on/off but I at least turn the volume knob all the way down first

post #6952 of 6956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allanmarcus View Post
 

I'm trying to set up my stuff to make for a quick and easy A/B test of amps. Here's what I have set up, and I'm interested in opinions on if this is valid. My concern is if the common elements of this set up can degrade the sound such that an A/B test is not valid.

 

Mac -> USB -> Dac-IT -> RCA cable splitter ->

 

RCA cable splitter -> crack -> Fiio HS2 switch

RCA cable splitter -> NAD D3020 -> Fiio HS2 switch

 

Fiio HS2 switch -> headphones

 

I'm using identical cables between the dac and the amps, and between the amps and the HS2 switch.

 

This set up, once SPL leveled (by ear) allows be to play a track and simply switch the HS2 between 1 and 2 to hear the different amps.

 

That's pretty much the exact A/B setup I use (just with a different switch)

 

If you want to get the volume exact between both amps to the headphones a nice trick is to download a decibel meter app onto your phone. Lay your phone mic next to the driver and use a 1K sine wave like this to level both amps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yQcXlvccCI

 

Doing A/B tests like this really reveals quite a bit in my opinion. Sometimes the differences in sound between amps isn't at all as big as we think.

post #6953 of 6956
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunyunBreath View Post
 

 

As far as do's and dont's here's a few helpful tips that pertain to the BH crack (and tube amps in general)

 

-Give the amp a few minutes to warm up before listening, it will sound it's best after about 15-20 minutes

-Always power down and unplug the amp before swapping tubes

-Give your tubes about 10-15 minutes to cool before unplugging them

-Try to keep the amp far away from digital devices and routers to minimize tube noise

-With the Crack it's not necessary to unplug your headphones when powering it on/off but I at least turn the volume knob all the way down first

 

Thanks, very helpful.

post #6954 of 6956
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunyunBreath View Post
 

 

As far as do's and dont's here's a few helpful tips that pertain to the BH crack (and tube amps in general)

 

-Give the amp a few minutes to warm up before listening, it will sound it's best after about 15-20 minutes

-Always power down and unplug the amp before swapping tubes

-Give your tubes about 10-15 minutes to cool before unplugging them

-Try to keep the amp far away from digital devices and routers to minimize tube noise

-With the Crack it's not necessary to unplug your headphones when powering it on/off but I at least turn the volume knob all the way down first

 

I used one of them fancy infrared "gun" thermometers, and my power tube was way over 200 degrees! Be careful.

post #6955 of 6956
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunyunBreath View Post
 

 

That's pretty much the exact A/B setup I use (just with a different switch)

 

If you want to get the volume exact between both amps to the headphones a nice trick is to download a decibel meter app onto your phone. Lay your phone mic next to the driver and use a 1K sine wave like this to level both amps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yQcXlvccCI

 

Doing A/B tests like this really reveals quite a bit in my opinion. Sometimes the differences in sound between amps isn't at all as big as we think.

 

Yep. I hardy hear any difference between the crack and the D3020, but I'm over 50 :-). My 23 year son says there is a very slight difference, and he actually has pretty good hearing. We used DT-770-250, DT-990-250, and Audeze LCD-3 (pre-fazor) to test. The reviews of the D3020 are pretty good, and report a "tube like" warmth, so maybe it is. Also, I'm using all stock stuff and no speedball (yet). I look forward to doing this test at the Denver meet.

 

To tell you the truth, I got the crack for fun and "cool" factor. Sort of like this comic:

 

post #6956 of 6956

Perfect combo! 

 

 

5998 + Siemens 5814a

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