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Bottlehead Amplifier Discussion / Comparison Thread: Crack, SEX & Mainline - Page 33

post #481 of 807

Thanks all! The work was done by John Rutter - the gentleman who makes the stock enclosures for all (I believe, not sure though) Bottlehead products. John was outstanding to deal with, a real class dude. As I suspected that other would appreciate his work, I asked if he'd be willing to do more of it for others. He is, and you can PM for his contact information. Of you do decide to pursue John for custom work, you must be patient. He runs a business during the day, so such efforts are done as time allows. Further, a finish like mine takes many, many coats with curing in-between. To anyone considering him, I wouldn't hesitate. Great job John! Here's a photo of Crack with matching enclosure:


Edited by Misterrogers - 4/3/14 at 8:21am
post #482 of 807
Yup, JR is the guy who makes our stock bases, and he has made many beautiful custom ones for customers over the years. Here's this week's shipment -



And yes, the control panel is laser engraved.
post #483 of 807
Thread Starter 

Loving the custom bases and getting mighty envious!!

 

Not meaning to change the topic, I have just finished a short comparison of the S.E.X. and Mainline driving the HE-500 headphones. A few pages back I think I wrote that the Mainline was superior to the S.E.X. with the HE-500s, but with further listening I think I've changed my tune. Here's what I just wrote in the HE-500 thread:

 

I had a few moments to directly compare the Bottlehead Mainline and S.E.X. amps driving the HE-500s this morning. Here are my quick impressions for those who are interested:

 

Mainline

 

  • More refined sound with a certain delicacy and texture to the mids that's not present with the S.E.X.
  • Seems to bring a slight emphasis to the treble that I find a little bit edgy at times (not that the treble itself is edgy, just that it seems to peak right where the HE-500s are already slightly peaky)
  • Soundstage more open and airy

 

S.E.X.

 

  • Smoother sound
  • More forward, creamy vocals
  • Lush and liquid sounding
  • Possibly slightly more bass presence and impact, but it's very, very subtle if at all and may depend on the output setting of the Mainline too

 

I think in the end, this is a question of preference. The Mainline is technically superior in it's reproduction, but the S.E.X. makes the HE-500s become everything that I bought them for - lush, liquid, engaging, but still detailed. If you were choosing one just to drive the HE-500s, I personally would highly recommend the S.E.X. as a bang-for-buck no-brainer. If you're looking for an amp that can also get the absolute most from flagship dynamic cans then I'd recommend the Mainline. Ideally of course, you could just buy both! :D

post #484 of 807
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

Loving the custom bases and getting mighty envious!!

 

Not meaning to change the topic, I have just finished a short comparison of the S.E.X. and Mainline driving the HE-500 headphones. A few pages back I think I wrote that the Mainline was superior to the S.E.X. with the HE-500s, but with further listening I think I've changed my tune. Here's what I just wrote in the HE-500 thread:

 

I had a few moments to directly compare the Bottlehead Mainline and S.E.X. amps driving the HE-500s this morning. Here are my quick impressions for those who are interested:

 

Mainline

 

  • More refined sound with a certain delicacy and texture to the mids that's not present with the S.E.X.
  • Seems to bring a slight emphasis to the treble that I find a little bit edgy at times (not that the treble itself is edgy, just that it seems to peak right where the HE-500s are already slightly peaky)
  • Soundstage more open and airy

 

S.E.X.

 

  • Smoother sound
  • More forward, creamy vocals
  • Lush and liquid sounding
  • Possibly slightly more bass presence and impact, but it's very, very subtle if at all and may depend on the output setting of the Mainline too

 

I think in the end, this is a question of preference. The Mainline is technically superior in it's reproduction, but the S.E.X. makes the HE-500s become everything that I bought them for - lush, liquid, engaging, but still detailed. If you were choosing one just to drive the HE-500s, I personally would highly recommend the S.E.X. as a bang-for-buck no-brainer. If you're looking for an amp that can also get the absolute most from flagship dynamic cans then I'd recommend the Mainline. Ideally of course, you could just buy both! :D

 

Nice balanced write up as always.

 

How are you liking the HE-500s in comparison to the T1's is there much between them, I do wonder just how different two makes of phone can be at this level?

post #485 of 807
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

 

Nice balanced write up as always.

 

How are you liking the HE-500s in comparison to the T1's is there much between them, I do wonder just how different two makes of phone can be at this level?

 

I'd say the HE-500s are a step behind the T1s in terms overall transparency resolution, and the soundstage is quite a bit smaller on the HE-500s, but the T1s can't match the HE-500s for their lush, liquid presentation of the mids. I've modified the grille and fabric on the outside of my HE-500s to remove the ringing and also keep them lush and intimate (I tried no fabric, but they became like a not-quite-as-good T1) so that now they are a great compliment for the T1s.

 

I have the T1s for my super hi-fidelity listening and my HE-500s my "kick back and just enjoy" listening. I also find myself reaching for the HE-500s quite often for gaming (when I'm not using the FA-011 LEs), but the T1s also hold their own here so it's not really a reflection on them so much as a pure preference towards the smoother sound of the HE-500s being preferable when there are slightly grating sounds (like gunfire or poorly recorded voices in the commentary for NBA 2K14) coming from a game.

post #486 of 807
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

 

I'd say the HE-500s are a step behind the T1s in terms overall transparency resolution, and the soundstage is quite a bit smaller on the HE-500s, but the T1s can't match the HE-500s for their lush, liquid presentation of the mids. I've modified the grille and fabric on the outside of my HE-500s to remove the ringing and also keep them lush and intimate (I tried no fabric, but they became like a not-quite-as-good T1) so that now they are a great compliment for the T1s.

 

I have the T1s for my super hi-fidelity listening and my HE-500s my "kick back and just enjoy" listening. I also find myself reaching for the HE-500s quite often for gaming (when I'm not using the FA-011 LEs), but the T1s also hold their own here so it's not really a reflection on them so much as a pure preference towards the smoother sound of the HE-500s being preferable when there are slightly grating sounds (like gunfire or poorly recorded voices in the commentary for NBA 2K14) coming from a game.


Thanks that's very interesting.  I did notice after the mods made on the Crack my T1's mids noticeably improved, though I could never call them lush they have definitely received a much needed kiss of life and a wee bit of soul in their presentation, though while ok prior they were definitely more on the cooler side and nowhere near as involving.    

post #487 of 807
Thread Starter 
Exactly! The Mainline really helped the T1s in that regard too (extra weight in notes), but interestingly something about the S.E.X. creates extra weight in the HE-500s whereas it's the opposite with T1s!?
post #488 of 807
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know the best place for someone in Australia (me) to order a high quality pot / attenuator for the S.E.X. I think Valab or similar is what I need.
post #489 of 807
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post

Does anyone know the best place for someone in Australia (me) to order a high quality pot / attenuator for the S.E.X. I think Valab or similar is what I need.

 


You can get DACT pots from Soundlabs Group http://www.soundlabsgroup.com.au/p/DACT-CT2-2/DACT+Stepped+Attenuator+-+Stereo. They are certainly a good quality, but not cheap. I don't know what value you will need, probably one of the higher ones. I have a 10k one in my solid-state headphone amp.

(edit: corrected URL link that was not displaying. M.S.)
Edited by murrays - 4/4/14 at 12:01am
post #490 of 807

I brought mine from here it was a 23 step 100k log stereo ladder one I believe the 50k ladder one will also work fine but suggest checking on the bh forum.

 

 

http://stores.ebay.com/Vintage-Audio-Lab?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

post #491 of 807
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by murrays View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post

Does anyone know the best place for someone in Australia (me) to order a high quality pot / attenuator for the S.E.X. I think Valab or similar is what I need.

 


You can get DACT pots from Soundlabs Group http://www.soundlabsgroup.com.au/p/DACT-CT2-2/DACT+Stepped+Attenuator+-+Stereo. They are certainly a good quality, but not cheap. I don't know what value you will need, probably one of the higher ones. I have a 10k one in my solid-state headphone amp.

(edit: corrected URL link that was not displaying. M.S.)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

I brought mine from here it was a 23 step 100k log stereo ladder one I believe the 50k ladder one will also work fine but suggest checking on the bh forum.

 

 

http://stores.ebay.com/Vintage-Audio-Lab?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

 

Thank you to both of you. Jamie, I'm currently asking the gurus on the BH forum and will share a summary of their wisdom over here. Murrays, thank you for the link. It might be slightly pricier than I wanted, but is some nice food for thought - maybe I'll hot-rod my S.E.X. with one of these uber attenuators and some uber caps!?

post #492 of 807

it was so hard to resist the urge ,...inbound 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/310919180801

post #493 of 807
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacequeen7 View Post
 

it was so hard to resist the urge ,...inbound 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/310919180801

 

Sweet looks like it will be a nice upgrade. Looking forward to hearing more when you have it installed.

post #494 of 807

I think you infected me with the "tweak flu" ...still waiting for my Dayton's to burn in and when that happen I will give Obbligato oil films a shot 

post #495 of 807
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
maybe I'll hot-rod my S.E.X. with one of these uber attenuators and some uber caps!?

 

Do it, hell i might even buy the caps for you, that's how much i want to hear your opinion on a modded S.E.X. amp :wink_face:

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