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Anyone using a Bottlehead S.E.X. 2.1?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I'd like to know if anyone has had good success with the latest version of the Bottlehead S.E.X. amp.  I have sold my Crack + speedball which was a great amp for the money any I'm hoping the S.E.X proves to be an upgrade.

post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 

I'll answer my own post with an update.  I recently got my SEX 2.1 working in my new system and I'm very happy with it so far.  I have the impedance switches installed in mine (although I still have a few bugs to work out) and on the medium high setting everything sounds wonderful.  Lots of clean power for all the headphones I own plus the ability to drive speakers  is great.  Only other amp I have to compare against is a Lehmann BCL which is no slouch but I I find the SEX to be just as clean and detailed sounding but having more body.

post #3 of 23

I have a S.E.X. as well and have been using it with HD800s, LCD-2.2s, and HD650s.  It has sounded great with all of them.  I got this after hearing it at a meet.  One of the few times I went "Wow" when hearing something new.

 

Would you consider it an upgrade to the Crack, or at least as good?  

post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

Would you consider it an upgrade to the Crack, or at least as good?  

 

That is something I am interested to know, too. Subscribed. biggrin.gif

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

I would consider it a worthy upgrade from the Crack in that it has the ability to sound great with a large number of headphones and adds a bit more resolution and extension (at least with most cans I've tried).  

 

I was just at the bay area meet and was able to demo many headphones on my S.E.X. amp.  I did not come across a single headphone which seemed to be lacking the necessary power or resolve.  I should have re-listened to the Crack which another member had at the meet but my past experiences when I owned this amp was that it does work very well with the HD600/650.  My HD800 was too bright sound on my Crack with the 5998 tube but when I plugged in the HD800 to the S.E.X. I was much happier with the pairing.

 

If you own only high impedance headphones, are on a budget, and dont own speakers then the Crack is a solid option.  Otherwise I'd rank the S.E.X higher in every area.  Just a side note, my amp has the impedance switches installed which allows me to better adjust the amps output to the headphones i'm using.  I also plan on adding the CS4 boards too ;)

post #6 of 23

Thanks much for your impressions.  I ended up with a S.E.X. that also has the impedance switches, and the C4S already installed.  Different jacks, some Cardas wiring on the inside as well as a new Alps pot.  I think my problem is that I jumped straight to the S.E.X. without hearing the Crack first (since I knew the Crack wouldn't do well with my orthos).  There isn't a doubt that the S.E.X. isn't more versatile, I just wonder if it does as well as the Crack at its specialty of high impedance cans.  

 

Too bad there aren't really tube rolling options for the S.E.X. (or maybe that is a good thing - saves me money).

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

Thanks much for your impressions.  I ended up with a S.E.X. that also has the impedance switches, and the C4S already installed.  Different jacks, some Cardas wiring on the inside as well as a new Alps pot.  I think my problem is that I jumped straight to the S.E.X. without hearing the Crack first (since I knew the Crack wouldn't do well with my orthos).  There isn't a doubt that the S.E.X. isn't more versatile, I just wonder if it does as well as the Crack at its specialty of high impedance cans.  

 

Too bad there aren't really tube rolling options for the S.E.X. (or maybe that is a good thing - saves me money).

 

The S.E.X. 2.1 in my opinion is more neutral sounding and less colored sounding than the Crack.  The other amp I compared to the S.E.X was my Lehmann BCL + Firstwatt F5 combo, which is very clean and punchy sounding.  The S.E.X maintained the clarity soundstage of that combo but added the special tone and presence which tubes seem to do so well.  

 

Here is a good link with more description between the various abilities of the Bottlehead amps.  http://www.bottlehead.com/et/whichheadphoneamp.htm

post #8 of 23

Hey all,

 

I'm super intrigued by these amps and have thought about building one for awhile. Are you guys hooking up orthos or the K1000 directly to the speaker taps or using the headphone out? Does your unit have the resistors on the headphone out? Are you guys running the 2.1 or 2.0?

 

thanks

post #9 of 23
2.1 with the constant current and impedance switch boards. No resistor on headphone jack. Have run both HE-500, HE-6, and LCD-2 balanced from headphone out. HE-6 sounded great, with good, controlled bass. Others sounded good too, but not surprising since they didn't need the power available.

I didn't build mine, but I have been thinking about doing a rebuild and adding in some boutique caps to see if they change the sound. Still not sure if I want to drop $400 on the transformer upgrade despite claims that it takes the amp into top tier territory. It is already one if the best amps I have ever heard, though meet listening isn't always the most reliable.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

Hey all,

 

I'm super intrigued by these amps and have thought about building one for awhile. Are you guys hooking up orthos or the K1000 directly to the speaker taps or using the headphone out? Does your unit have the resistors on the headphone out? Are you guys running the 2.1 or 2.0?

 

thanks

 

Yes, this is one of the main reasons I went for this amp.  Sadly I sold my K1K but I'll be looking to pick up an LCD-2 in the near future.  

post #11 of 23

Use SEX 2.1 (with impedance switches & CS4) with my vintage STAX SR Lambda /SDR-7/SB.  Sounds good to me. 
 


Edited by Oberst Oswald - 3/7/13 at 3:48pm
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oberst Oswald View Post

Use SEX 2.1 (with impedance switches & CS4) with my vintage STAX SR Lambda /SDR-7/SB.  Sounds good to me. 
 

 

Which amp of yours do you use for the HD800 (ie are you using the S.E.X.)?  How does the Stello do for you in that setup - do you think it does the HD800s and the Stax setups justice?  It is very hard to sort through all the DAC options.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oberst Oswald View Post

Use SEX 2.1 (with impedance switches & CS4) with my vintage STAX SR Lambda /SDR-7/SB.  Sounds good to me. 
 

 

I was very close to buying a SDR-7 and SR307 combo but decided to go for an LCD2.  You would describe the pairing as good but not great?

post #14 of 23

Thanks for the info... I'm very tempted to grab one of these kits to build up. Are you guys hooking up everything through the headphone out? Is it giving enough juice for let's say a HE-500? 

 

Really the debate is between this and a Schiit Mjolnir. It's a tough call. 

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

Thanks for the info... I'm very tempted to grab one of these kits to build up. Are you guys hooking up everything through the headphone out? Is it giving enough juice for let's say a HE-500? 

 

Really the debate is between this and a Schiit Mjolnir. It's a tough call. 

More than enough juice through the headphone out for the HE-500 and LCD-2s to my ears.  Even the HE-6 sounds great (although I haven't heard them through any other powerful amps outside of meets).  I am not familiar enough with electrical engineering to know for sure, but I don't think you gain anything going through the speaker taps as opposed to the headphone out, especially if you have the impedance boards installed.  You could post over on the Bottlehead forum.  They are usually shockingly fast at answering questions, and quite friendly, too.  Very rarely are simple (maybe even stupid) questions responded to with snark or condescension.  

 

Unfortunately, I haven't heard the Mjolnir to compare.  Cutting edge SS value vs old school tube value.  From what I understand you won't be disappointed performance-wise for either option, but depending on your nature, you might appreciate the S.E.X. more after building it (and tweaking it if you want).  I plan to do a rebuild of sorts for my S.E.X. once I finish my B22 build.

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