Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Bottlehead Amplifier Discussion / Comparison Thread: Crack, SEX & Mainline
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Bottlehead Amplifier Discussion / Comparison Thread: Crack, SEX & Mainline - Page 44

post #646 of 834
Thread Starter 

Early impressions with the Auricaps installed is a slightly more transparent, cleaner sound. It's more subtle than something like the Mundorfs in the S.E.X., but that was kind of what I was aiming for to keep the Mainline as neutral as possible and it's succeeded.

 

The sound is clean, uncoloured and incredibly detailed. I thought I detected a slight amount of harshness at first, but that's with <5 minutes burn-in so I won't read too much into it.

 

I'll spend some quality time with the Mainline and T1s tomorrow and report back with more reliable impressions. Based on what I'm hearing right now though, I'm not going to be disappointed!

post #647 of 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tequilasunriser View Post

All due respect, but I highly doubt it makes a difference whether it's plated or not. Best not to get involved in cable dogma.

The best way to avoid 'cable dogma' is build some cables with the different materials and form your own opinions. This post seems rather out of place in a thread about DIY tube amps and trying different tubes and caps.
post #648 of 834

True! Some mods I see the virtue in, others I do not; however, I should probably keep those opinions to myself. After all, there's many aspects to this hobby and DIY audio, and the exploration is part of the fun.

post #649 of 834
Thread Starter 

I've had a chance to spend some time with the Burson Soloist (HA-160) recently thanks to @atsq17 and have enjoyed comparing it to my now-modified S.E.X. amp. At first I thought the Soloist was out-performing the S.E.X. (which made me sad after the time and love put into the S.E.X.), but over a few listening sessions I've found that the Soloist seems to over-emphasise the separation between instruments somehow. The sound, like an over-sharpened image, becomes edgy and a bit unnatural as a result while the S.E.X. manages to provide the same levels of detail and clarity, but with an engaging warmth and coherency that keeps the music sounding natural, real and engaging, but still accurate and detailed. I'm wishing now that I also had an un-modified S.E.X. to compare so I could tell if the teflon and silver / gold / oil caps were largely responsible for the S.E.X.'s outstanding performance versus the Soloist or if it's purely the virtues of the amp design.

 

By the way, I was comparing the 2 amps using my HE-500s which are a great match with both amps because of the available power. I didn't bother comparing them with the T1s or any other dynamic headphones because I use the Mainline for that purpose and the Mainline is miles ahead of the Soloist (IMO) in its refinement and quality of presentation.

post #650 of 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

I've had a chance to spend some time with the Burson Soloist (HA-160) recently thanks to @atsq17 and have enjoyed comparing it to my now-modified S.E.X. amp. At first I thought the Soloist was out-performing the S.E.X. (which made me sad after the time and love put into the S.E.X.), but over a few listening sessions I've found that the Soloist seems to over-emphasise the separation between instruments somehow. The sound, like an over-sharpened image, becomes edgy and a bit unnatural as a result while the S.E.X. manages to provide the same levels of detail and clarity, but with an engaging warmth and coherency that keeps the music sounding natural, real and engaging, but still accurate and detailed. I'm wishing now that I also had an un-modified S.E.X. to compare so I could tell if the teflon and silver / gold / oil caps were largely responsible for the S.E.X.'s outstanding performance versus the Soloist or if it's purely the virtues of the amp design.

 

By the way, I was comparing the 2 amps using my HE-500s which are a great match with both amps because of the available power. I didn't bother comparing them with the T1s or any other dynamic headphones because I use the Mainline for that purpose and the Mainline is miles ahead of the Soloist (IMO) in its refinement and quality of presentation.


Wow, that's interesting, Loquah. I once owned the HA-160 for about a week. As soon as I heard the Speedballed Crack driving the HD650, I immediately sold my HA-160 to fund my Crack setup. I guess perhaps the HD650s are not as great for the HA-160 as the HE-500s are.

 

Cheers.

post #651 of 834
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolus Kratos View Post
 


Wow, that's interesting, Loquah. I once owned the HA-160 for about a week. As soon as I heard the Speedballed Crack driving the HD650, I immediately sold my HA-160 to fund my Crack setup. I guess perhaps the HD650s are not as great for the HA-160 as the HE-500s are.

 

Cheers.

 

Yeah, I definitely think the HA-160 is a good option for planars rather than dynamics (IMO), but it still is a bit too hard edged for my liking, even with the organic-sounding HE-500s.

post #652 of 834

Are any of the Bottlehead SEX owners here also using them to drive speaker set ups?

post #653 of 834

Nope. I don't have any speakers efficient enough to use with it.

post #654 of 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieMcC View Post
 

Are any of the Bottlehead SEX owners here also using them to drive speaker set ups?

Yes, I did. I once tried to use the SEX to drive my Klipsch B-20 and the Onkyo D-202AII . The result was great, nice sparkling treble, clean and detailed mid, good imaging but the bass lacked a bit of impact and quantity IMO :)

post #655 of 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcandmar View Post
 

Nope. I don't have any speakers efficient enough to use with it.

The efficiency requirements are not strict, and depend on the environment.

 

I have a pair of Paradigm Studio 20 v.3 (sensitivity specced at 87dB anechoic, 90dB room) I was originally afraid to even connect. Based on various posts, I expected they would strain the amp or not have usable output. Eventually I just tried it, and used in the medium field I feel the S.E.X. drives them perfectly well across the spectrum at normal listening levels. Granted, this also depends on your musical preferences; I prefer jazz, classical, vocals, etc. so your mileage may vary. I'm very happy with the system.

 

The only issue is that I would like to go balanced with my HE-500s, and the binding posts are the easiest way to accomplish this...


Edited by SilverTrumpet999 - 5/13/14 at 12:17pm
post #656 of 834

Good to know, i might try it so and see how it performs.

 

As for the balanced connection, the speaker binding posts accept banana style plugs as well as being a screw down connector.  Basically if you re-terminate your speaker connections with banana plugs they would be quick and easy to switch out for a headphone adapter.

post #657 of 834
Thread Starter 

I drove some small bookshelf speakers for a little while and the sound was excellent in general, but the low sensitivity of the speakers led to a slight lack of bass. If you were using an active sub with a pair of monitors / bookshelf speakers, the S.E.X. can drive (slightly) lower sensitivity speakers without too much trouble.

 

As for balanced connections, I'm about to install a 4-pin XLR socket at the front of my S.E.X. so will share the tale once it's done - hopefully without incident! I've actually removed the binding posts from mine and used the holes to mount RCA sockets which allow me to share the single RCA signal from my DAC with my other amps (Mainline and Quickie)

post #658 of 834

I heard crack's output impedance is 200ohms. :eek:  Why do people use it?  That's 2/3 of Sennheisers impedance at 1k.  Does it give pleasant colors to the phones?

post #659 of 834
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

I heard crack's output impedance is 200ohms. :eek:  Why do people use it?  That's 2/3 of Sennheisers impedance at 1k.  Does it give pleasant colors to the phones?

 

I'm not sure if it's actually 200 ohms, but it is definitely around approx 150-160 ohms from memory.

 

Traditionally I am a stickler for lowest possible output impedance, but something about the OTL design I think makes the Crack pair beautifully with 300-600 ohm phones and has even been reported to sound good with select lower impedance options too. I wouldn't say that the Crack does much to alter the natural sound of the headphones other than lending it's own slightly warm signature - certainly not some of the nasty effects of high output impedance on other devices I've tried.

 

Perhaps someone can explain better why the Crack's output impedance doesn't have negative side effects to the sound because all I know is based on what I hear.

post #660 of 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

I heard crack's output impedance is 200ohms. :eek:  Why do people use it?  That's 2/3 of Sennheisers impedance at 1k.  Does it give pleasant colors to the phones?

 

I remember seeing the Crack listed as 120 Ohm output impedance with the 6080 tube and that it drops to around 70 Ohm output impedance with the Tung Sol 5998 tube.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Bottlehead Amplifier Discussion / Comparison Thread: Crack, SEX & Mainline