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Mainline: New Bottlehead Premium Headphone Amp! - Page 3

post #31 of 61
Thread Starter 
Awesome, can't wait to see the build-logs/impressions come in
post #32 of 61

The first couple months worth of Mainline kits ordered just left in the brown truck.

post #33 of 61

Awesome - thanks for sharing the good news Doc!  Already received my shipping notification as well beerchug.gif  I'm really looking forward to the fun of putting together another bh kit - and the many years of listening pleasure thereafter!

post #34 of 61

Keep folks updated for those who ordered.

post #35 of 61
She has arrived!

post #36 of 61

^ Nice, congrats on the new amp.  Looking forward to hearing how it fares against the Crack with the HD800.  I'm secretly hoping that Bottlehead will cook up an electrostatic amp of similar caliber to the Mainline.  I recently picked up and SR-507 and finding it hard to leave it even for another HD800.  

post #37 of 61

I am green with envy!  I see by their webpage that orders through July 20 had shipped.  Of course, I placed my order on July 21, argh!


Let us know how the assembly is going....did you get any sleep last night?  Good luck!

post #38 of 61
More Mainlines will ship as soon as some needed parts arrive.
post #39 of 61
Work ended up consuming the better part of my weekend, but I did manage to squeeze in a little build time late last night and again tonight. My basic hardware assembly is now complete, and I just stuffed and soldered the C4S boards.

True to form, Bottlehead's manual and layout are outstanding, and I'm thoroughly enjoying myself! Hoping to be able to carry on with the next few steps tomorrow evening (work, wife and child permitting). Pics below:

post #40 of 61
Fantastic please post some impressions once you're done. Very impressed with the build.
post #41 of 61
Thread Starter 


Any progress?

post #42 of 61
Sorry for the prolonged silence. I've been totally buried at work for the last couple of weeks with a writ trial, but things are finally easing up - meaning I'm getting to spend a bit more time on my build.

All four of my boards are now stuffed and soldered and I've moved on to start the point to point. I finished the psu wiring and initial testing (passed!) over the weekend and also wired the inputs late last night.

This amp has about 10x as many wires and components as the crack, and I'm trying to be disciplined about physically crimping each lead to its terminal before soldering. The going is slow but satisfying! Manual assembly and soldering of all the resisters into the fine and coarse stepped attenuators is next up.

Will try to provide another update in the not too distant future. In the meanwhile, the bh forums have a couple of threads by much faster builders/posters who have already completed their mainlines: http://www.bottlehead.com/smf/index.php/board,39.0.html
post #43 of 61

Cross-posted here and in the Bottlehead comparison thread:


I'm thrilled to report that my mainline is up and running as of this afternoon, and my early impressions are extremely favorable. Having sat back with my hd800's and listened through a sampling of my favorite tracks this evening (from Oscar Peterson and Jazz at the Pawnshop k2hd to Emma Kirkby and the Choir of St. Martins, and from Alison Krauss to 2Pac)  - I have to seriously applaud the team at bottlehead on their new flagship.  This amp is technically excellent and thoroughly enjoyable with every genre you can throw at it, and that is most definitely not a statement that I would make about many widely recommended "TOTL" headphone amps.  


To provide something a bit more concrete - here are a few preliminary impressions of what I'm hearing in reference to Pierre Fournier's brilliant performance of Bach's Cello Suites.  I've probably listened to this album a hundred times on various systems and can't ever recall hearing it sound this good.  Transients are simply effortless - so fast and clean.  Timbre is rich and lifelike, and the audible micro-detail and texture as Fournier digs deep into the strings on certain notes are absolutely amazing.  More generally, on albums across the board, bass presentation is faultless - deep, impactful, and incredibly tight.  Possibly the best I've heard from any tube amp?  Trebles are detailed and nicely extended, but never strident.  For example, I tend to prefer my crack with the anax mod in place.  But to my ears, the pairing with the mainline doesn't need it and hd800's have more air without.  


From a comparative standpoint, I will always love my crack (an incredible value which will soon take up residence in my office) - but for anyone who has been sitting on the fence awaiting comparisons, be assured that, at least to my ears, the mainline absolutely takes it to the next level.

post #44 of 61
Thread Starter 

Congrats on finishing the build & thanks for the initial impressions.  I look forward to hearing more impressions as the amplifier breaks in.

post #45 of 61
Thanks dsound! do you post as "dcham" over on bottlehead? if so, how are you enjoying your mainline?

I recently posted a few additional impressions over in the bottlehead comparison thread that I will try to remember to copy over here when I'm not working from a phone.

Also Doc B posted some great comments about the development of the mainline in that thread that we should make sure to cross reference here for future readers.
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