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Bottlehead Amplifier Discussion / Comparison Thread: Crack, SEX & Mainline - Page 28

post #406 of 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoatsArt View Post
 

Mainline vs WA2 - Any comparions?

:popcorn:

post #407 of 834
Thread Starter 

I'm yet to try the Woo range unfortunately (except for Fireflies). The local retailer is difficult to deal with.

post #408 of 834
I will have to be cautious when I deal with them then. Any particular complaint?
post #409 of 834
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoatsArt View Post

I will have to be cautious when I deal with them then. Any particular complaint?

 

Not sure if it's who you'd use from NSW, but if it is they are not particularly personable, can be a bit unresponsive (I waited for about half an hour for help there one day), and they've now banned me from their shop because I'm friendly with the owner of a competing shop and assisted him at a trade show last year. That last one shouldn't affect anyone else directly, but gives a sense of their approach to business.

post #410 of 834
A little shop in Kew and frequent user of Headfi advertising space distributes Woo gear - I have used them in the past and intended doing so in the future. Have not had any problems to date.

Sounds like things get pretty personal in the Melbourne audio retailing scene. A2A vs NM?
post #411 of 834
Lachlan you have me chuckling. I feel I need to step in here and say that you are just a great guy to deal with - because some guys who have been banned from doing business with various MOTs are complete lunatics.

My favorite dealer story - maybe 18 years ago I built some DIY speakers that I wanted to hear with 300B amps. I took the speakers to a dealer in Seattle try to some out. He asked what they were called, and I replied that we jokingly called them the Superwhamodynes. He went on about what a terrible name it was and how he could never sell a product with that horrible a name.

Ten minutes later a guy walked in asking for some small speakers for his kitchen. The owner replied "I have just the thing. They're called Owies."
post #412 of 834
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc B. View Post

Lachlan you have me chuckling. I feel I need to step in here and say that you are just a great guy to deal with - because some guys who have been banned from doing business with various MOTs are complete lunatics.

My favorite dealer story - maybe 18 years ago I built some DIY speakers that I wanted to hear with 300B amps. I took the speakers to a dealer in Seattle try to some out. He asked what they were called, and I replied that we jokingly called them the Superwhamodynes. He went on about what a terrible name it was and how he could never sell a product with that horrible a name.

Ten minutes later a guy walked in asking for some small speakers for his kitchen. The owner replied "I have just the thing. They're called Owies."

 

Great story, Doc. People never fail to amuse me with our various complexities.

 

Thanks too for your kind words. I like to form relationships with the people I deal with because I like to be able to discuss the things I'm passionate about and receive suggestions / recommendations and also just share a passion with likeminded people (I do this with music, coffee, all sorts of things including headphones). I was pretty shocked when they wouldn't let me come in to auditíon some LCD 2s because I was too friendly with a competitor.

 

Long and short of it, I made mention of it because my less-than-ideal (but not awful) experiences had previously prevented me experiencing many of the products on offer with the retailer and now I'm not allowed in there (although I don't know what they'd do if I turned up one day - it's not my style to create unnecessary conflict) so I can't share comparisons. I need to check though and see if they are offering the Woo products to other retailers now as I know some of their headphones are at Tivoli Audio in Hawthorn now.


Edited by Loquah - 2/15/14 at 5:56pm
post #413 of 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoatsArt View Post
 

Mainline vs WA2 - Any comparions?

 

Honestly, there's no comparison as I hear them.  Mainline is in a different league from the standpoints of both sonics and design.  I owned a WA3 for many years, which is a lower powered, slightly lower resolution version of the WA2 (which I have also spent some time with).  As others have attested to in the crack thread, the crack w/ speedball generally outperforms the WA2/WA3 in both detail and dynamics, making for more engaging listening.  Woo's OTL house sound is a bit more full, tubey and laid back (which some perceive as slow), with more obvious bass bloom.  Consider the circuit: notwithstanding the price tag, Woo does not load its driver tubes with constant current, a la speedball, and there isn't room in the chassis to add nice low ESR/low dissipation film output caps, which are a very common user upgrade to crack.  (Take a look at http://www.diyhifisupply.com/opcart/index.php?route=product/category&path=179_90_99 for the difference in signal dissipation between electrolytics, or even blackgates, and the affordable obbligatos I'm running in my crack.)

 

Mainline respectively bests a hotrodded crack's sonics, as it should, across the board (see my detailed description on page 1).  Recall that mainline is very similar in design to the ecp l-2, which sold for $2,500.  To me, there's simply no contest between the mainline and WA2/WA3, but as always, there is a high degree of subjectivity in this hobby, and reasonable minds can differ as to what they find most pleasing.


Edited by skeptic - 2/15/14 at 4:29pm
post #414 of 834
Bottlehead here I come, right back where I started from......

Give me a year of saving my pocket money and I will have Mainline gracing my desk and pleasuring my T1s.

Tube rolling is limited, right? Don't want to go broke through tube and cap rolling again frown.gif
Edited by MoatsArt - 2/15/14 at 4:54pm
post #415 of 834
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoatsArt View Post

Bottlehead here I come, right back where I started from......

Give me a year of saving my pocket money and I will have Mainline gracing my desk and pleasuring my T1s.

Tube rolling is limited, right? Don't want to go broke through tube and cap rolling again frown.gif

 

You'll love it!!!

 

And yes, tube rolling is completely limited. There are no alternatives to the 6C45s that I'm aware of and the 12AU7 is a power regulating tube only which brings no rolling benefits (I'm actually choosing to use new Genalex 12Au7 rather than putting hours on a Cleartop because the Cleartop bring no benefits in the Mainline circuit that I can hear)

post #416 of 834
Anyone want to get me an early 40th birthday present? wink.gif
post #417 of 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
 

 

Honestly, there's no comparison as I hear them.  Mainline is in a different league from the standpoints of both sonics and design.  I owned a WA3 for many years, which is a lower powered, slightly lower resolution version of the WA2 (which I have also spent some time with).  As others have attested to in the crack thread, the crack w/ speedball generally outperforms the WA2/WA3 in both detail and dynamics, making for more engaging listening.  Woo's OTL house sound is a bit more full, tubey and laid back (which some perceive as slow), with more obvious bass bloom.  Consider the circuit: notwithstanding the price tag, Woo does not load its driver tubes with constant current, a la speedball, and there isn't room in the chassis to add nice low ESR/low dissipation film output caps, which are a very common user upgrade to crack.  (Take a look at http://www.diyhifisupply.com/opcart/index.php?route=product/category&path=179_90_99 for the difference in signal dissipation between electrolytics, or even blackgates, and the affordable obbligatos I'm running in my crack.)

 

Mainline respectively bests a hotrodded crack's sonics, as it should, across the board (see my detailed description on page 1).  Recall that mainline is very similar in design to the ecp l-2, which sold for $2,500.  To me, there's simply no contest between the mainline and WA2/WA3, but as always, there is a high degree of subjectivity in this hobby, and reasonable minds can differ as to what they find most pleasing.

 I agree with this 100%. The bottlehead crack is no joke and very hard to beat. I'm a little mad at myself for letting it go. I guess the mainline will be my next amp.

post #418 of 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

.  Recall that mainline is very similar in design to the ecp l-2, which sold for $2,500.  

Mainline was derived from our own $7500 6C45pi based 'big preamp/headphone amp' from 2003, designed quite a few years before the l-2 came about. And of course the spud concept goes back to the original WE417A based spud amp, built at a VALVE meeting in my basement around about 1994-5. Mainline is not a spud, as we use a hybrid shunt regulator that adds one more tube to the amp. I wasn't aware of the l-2. It is rather flattering to see others use a topology we have pioneered.
post #419 of 834
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc B. View Post


Mainline was derived from our own $7500 6C45pi based 'big preamp/headphone amp' from 2003, designed quite a few years before the l-2 came about. And of course the spud concept goes back to the original WE417A based spud amp, built at a VALVE meeting in my basement around about 1994-5. Mainline is not a spud, as we use a hybrid shunt regulator that adds one more tube to the amp. I wasn't aware of the l-2. It is rather flattering to see others use a topology we have pioneered.

 

Doc, can you confirm in layman's terms what the 12AU7 is doing in the circuit? I understand that it's involved in power management of some sort, but would love to have a better basic understanding.

post #420 of 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc B. View Post


Mainline was derived from our own $7500 6C45pi based 'big preamp/headphone amp' from 2003, designed quite a few years before the l-2 came about. And of course the spud concept goes back to the original WE417A based spud amp, built at a VALVE meeting in my basement around about 1994-5. Mainline is not a spud, as we use a hybrid shunt regulator that adds one more tube to the amp. I wasn't aware of the l-2. It is rather flattering to see others use a topology we have pioneered.

 

Very cool!  I recalled reading about your 2003 statement amp but had no idea the mainline's roots reached back to the early 90's.  Also, thanks for clarifying to the extent my post caused any inadvertent confusion about the origins of the design.  I only thought to mention the l-2 because its gotten a fair amount of positive attention on Innerfidelity, etc. and helps to affirm (in my mind at least) the quality and value of the mainline. 

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