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Bottlehead Amplifier Discussion / Comparison Thread: Crack, SEX & Mainline - Page 37

post #541 of 989

My SEX amp to SRD-7/SB to STAX 507 setup is fantastic.  It would be nice to compare it against the HD800 or other headphone of high resolution.

post #542 of 989
Thread Starter 

I received a matched pair of Electro-Harmonix 6C45Pi tubes last week and have now had a chance to do some comparisons with the stock Sovtek tubes supplied with the Mainline.

 

 

As smooth and beautiful as the Mainline sounds with the stock tubes, it's even cleaner and smoother with the EH tubes. There not more rolled off or anything - the details all still there - but it's like a tiny amount of distortion has been removed. It's subtle enough that I wouldn't have picked it listening just to the Sovteks, but there is a noticeable difference if I install a Sovtek in one channel and an EH in the other.

 

Apparently these are getting harder to come by, but that might not be true. Either way if you have a Mainline and want it to sound like double cream laced with butter then you should get you some of these ;)

post #543 of 989

Thanks skeptic, no worries about taking a while to reply. You don't owe me anything, but I do thank you for your input. I am not too worried about where the volume knob is in terms of gain, as long as the mainline is not compressing the signal or starting to sound grainy as it drifts out of Class A. The ADs are a bit difficult to drive, distinctly more so than Audezes. So, I may build a SEX amp and use some of the difference in price for another toy like some Blumenstein Orcas to go with it :-)


Edited by KmanChu - 4/14/14 at 7:07pm
post #544 of 989
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KmanChu View Post
 

Thanks skeptic, no worries about taking a while to reply. You don't owe any of me anything, but I do thank you for your input. I am not too worried about where the volume knob is in terms of gain, as long as the mainline is not compressing the signal or starting to sound grainy as it drifts out of Class A. The ADs are a bit difficult to drive, distinctly more so than Audezes. So, I may build a SEX amp and use some of the difference in price for another toy like some Blumenstein Orcas to go with it :-)

 

Given that information ^^ I would highly recommend the S.E.X. as it's extra power makes the HE-500s sound better on the S.E.X. than on the Mainline despite the Mainline's technical superiority.

post #545 of 989
Quote:
Originally Posted by KmanChu View Post
 

Thanks skeptic, no worries about taking a while to reply. You don't owe me anything, but I do thank you for your input. I am not too worried about where the volume knob is in terms of gain, as long as the mainline is not compressing the signal or starting to sound grainy as it drifts out of Class A. The ADs are a bit difficult to drive, distinctly more so than Audezes. So, I may build a SEX amp and use some of the difference in price for another toy like some Blumenstein Orcas to go with it :-)

 

Just to correct one thing. I think that all Bottlehead products never drift out of class A. Crack, S.E.X. and mainline are all Single Ended "Class A" designs, as opposed to other classes that use push pull design for higher output power. You have a maximum output voltage before clipping, which many find less harsh with tubes.

post #546 of 989
Quote:
Originally Posted by KmanChu View Post
 

Thanks skeptic, no worries about taking a while to reply. You don't owe me anything, but I do thank you for your input. I am not too worried about where the volume knob is in terms of gain, as long as the mainline is not compressing the signal or starting to sound grainy as it drifts out of Class A. The ADs are a bit difficult to drive, distinctly more so than Audezes. So, I may build a SEX amp and use some of the difference in price for another toy like some Blumenstein Orcas to go with it :-)

 

I'd highly recommend the CS4 upgrade if you go with the SEX.  I noticed a welcomed improvement to the noise floor and the bass which really shows with my Orca's and with my STAX headphones.  It has plenty of gain for every headphone I have used and the sound is just superb. 

post #547 of 989
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdogzthmn View Post
 

 

I'd highly recommend the CS4 upgrade if you go with the SEX.  I noticed a welcomed improvement to the noise floor and the bass which really shows with my Orca's and with my STAX headphones.  It has plenty of gain for every headphone I have used and the sound is just superb. 

 

+1 - the CS4 on the S.E.X. does even more for the sound than the Speedball on the Crack IMO

post #548 of 989

Yeah, I had planned on getting all the options with the SEX, the CS4 and the impedance switches. 

 

 

tdogz, 

 

How do you like the Orcas? I would be getting them purely based on the references to them on the Bottlehead website. My main loudspeaker system veers toward the more analytical side so I was thinking a desktop system with a tube amp might be a nice change of pace. 

post #549 of 989

Where did you purchase these mate?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

I received a matched pair of Electro-Harmonix 6C45Pi tubes last week and have now had a chance to do some comparisons with the stock Sovtek tubes supplied with the Mainline.

 

 

As smooth and beautiful as the Mainline sounds with the stock tubes, it's even cleaner and smoother with the EH tubes. There not more rolled off or anything - the details all still there - but it's like a tiny amount of distortion has been removed. It's subtle enough that I wouldn't have picked it listening just to the Sovteks, but there is a noticeable difference if I install a Sovtek in one channel and an EH in the other.

 

Apparently these are getting harder to come by, but that might not be true. Either way if you have a Mainline and want it to sound like double cream laced with butter then you should get you some of these ;)

post #550 of 989
Thread Starter 
The place I bought from has none left I'm afraid frown.gif I checked yesterday after a few people asked me.
post #551 of 989

I just found a place where I can get them for around $27 a piece. Unfortunately there is a month wait to get them shipped... :(


Edited by swich401 - 4/17/14 at 7:08am
post #552 of 989
Thread Starter 
Wow! Are they making them themselves?? wink.gif
post #553 of 989

They must be getting them hiked in by foot from the most northern peak of Alaska... After I called the store it took them half a day to track down a supplier to get the tubes, and they said they had to manually create a new SKU to process my purchase request. I was really excited when they quoted that price and gave no minimum or maximum number of tubes that I would have to order :D

post #554 of 989
Or they getting them from Russia
post #555 of 989

There are plenty of 6C45's on eBay, mostly from Russia and Ukraine. Also, the Tube Superstore has Cryoed ones for $34.95. They appear to be Russian also. I have ordered tubes from Russia before and always received them, just takes a little while.

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