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Smack;Bottlehead WOT - Page 2

post #16 of 30
Originally Posted by donunus View Post

Very Nice! Is that the stock tube on there?

Yes, stock tubes.

post #17 of 30

Im guessing it will be another few weeks before any impressions are in.  I too own a Crack amp but now im looking towards the Smack which should work better with the majority of the cans I own.  Did anyone who listened to it at the Seattle meet know which of the two presented more detail?  Im curious to hear about the nuances in sound differ.  Also here is something for those who like pics.


K500 + Crack



post #18 of 30

For any of you guys interested in getting a Smack amp, Doc is running a special that ends at the same time as RMAF.

Here's a link to the deal;



post #19 of 30

I had a chance to listen to the new amp "Smack" at RMAF/Canjam.  I previously had S.E.X. amp and currently have the Crack.  The S.E.X is no longer my favorite.  No review here other than to say I love the new amp.  I listened through HD650's and it sounded just fantastic.  I normally use HD600's with my Crack and found the new amp to be far better to my ears.  It is kind of pricey compared to Crack but with amp prices nowadays I guess it isn't silly expensive.  If you're in the area definitely give it a listen.  Doc brought his tape rig and has Tape Project tapes to listen to, probably the end-all in consumer analog.  He also has a pair of Paramount 300B monoblocks hooked up to some AKG K1000's.  That is a treat.  I had a pair of the amps but never found K1000's I could afford.


I didn't listen to everything there, but I heard quite a few rigs.  There is some beautiful, great sounding gear available these days.  I won't name any names but I also heard some beautiful looking expensive gear that sounded like ass.

post #20 of 30

Please warn us what those crappy expensive gears are hehehe

post #21 of 30

Did anyone try it with the HE-500?

post #22 of 30

Anyone on Headfi order a Smack?  I have not seen any impressions out besides those who got to listen at a convention.  I hope the Smack proves to be a step up from the Crack in sonic ability rather than just being geared for powering lower impedance headphones.



Edited by tdogzthmn - 1/12/12 at 10:21pm
post #23 of 30

Just picked up the Smack from Bottlehead Headquarters'. I listened to this amp before and really liked it with the HD 800's. Hook it with some nice IC's and power cables and see how this amp likes to rock. Just got AC/DC "For those about to rock" Cd a few days ago so am looking forward to listening to that.

post #24 of 30

The Crack + HD800 is really great and punchy sounding, but did not have the same precision and clearness as my solid state BCL does.  I'm hoping the Smack will be closer in these aspects but retain the better emotional impact which tube amps are great at producing.

post #25 of 30

The First CD I put in was Etta James "At Last". Soft and lush sounding amp, very nice!. With Senn 650's and a Stephan balanced senn cable. Also besides the arcam 73t hooked up to a custom dac have some DIY IC's made with Furutech gold RCA's with some 16AWG SPC in Teflon, then the amp has a custom Power Cable made with Cardas wire with Silver and Rhodium IEC's, Hooked up to a Tesla QLS-6, then it is connected to an Oyaide R1 in the wall. Tried to condense what the amp was connected to.

post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 

I'm done building my Bottlehead Smack and let me tell you that it is a great amplifier. You can read my review of it (and my other amplifiers) here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/503622/review-of-my-5-diy-amplifiers-added-2012-03-20-bottlehead-smack

post #27 of 30

^ Thanks for putting out a review.  I've been waiting for awhile to see how people are liking their Smack, and it's great that you have a variety of other amps on hand to compare it to.  Any chance you have been able to use its balanced outputs yet on any of your headphones?  

post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 

No, I don't have a single balanced cable.

post #29 of 30

Thank you for this review. I had purchased a Smack kit and later realized I do not have time to build it. An experienced tech put it together for me and I have just tested it enough to add to this. It is a great unit! It really takes control of my Denon 2000's and increases their focus very well. It is a stately companion for my Denon 7000's and all my Grado's  (Sr225, 325i and RS1i).  I tried it with

my HE-500's and it sounded sweet, but not enough power. (Doc B had told me that this would be the case...)   I also have a pair of BH Paramount 300B monoblocks which work very well with the HE-500's, as well as my EF-5 amp.


If you are using low-impedance phones this amp is a winner, very clear and well-developed.  The tech I used developed a lot of respect for Bottlehead products, as well.

post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 

It does very well with both low and high impedance headphones, the trouble is with low-sensitivity headphones like the orthodynamic headphones (Audez'e and HifiMan). It does manages to do a quite respectable job with them, but the Smack just can't control them as well as one of the high-powered hybrid or SS amplifier (like my EHHA).


What I'd really be interested to try is a high-powered, low impedance OTL amplifier like the Transcendent Sound SE-OTL. That's what I plan to build and modify next. I imagine it would not be too difficult to add a volume pot and a headphone jack to one.

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