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

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by loquah, Sep 24, 2013.
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  1. Tom-s
    For an 8-Ohm speaker, the 4-ohm tap is preferred. So for speakers i'll use that.
  2. adydula
    Wow! Thats great...your going to have fun building these great amps.

    I find my hd600 sound so great with the Crack with speedball....IMO even better than with the mainline...which seems to be a much better
    match for my Beyer T90's and T1's...

    Each time in the past month listening to the 600's on the mainline its really good but there is some crazy magic going on for me with these cans and the crack....just so musical and just sooooo right to me.

    I have been thinking, just thinking of senn 800's in the future.....$$$$

  3. JamieMcC
    Had Crack + HD650
    Had Sex +T1
    Had Mainline + T1

    All the above amazing combos that sounded superb

    HD800 + Mainline takes it to a whole different level the synergy of the pairing is amazing.
    alphanumerix1 and Tom-s like this.
  4. adydula
    Jamie I assume you have the HD800 and not the "s" version?

    I keep thinking about getting a set of these, #$&*(^)%^&%* its only $$$!!

    ...and whats this "had!!" :>)

  5. Rhamnetin
    I took that as in he had a Mainline + T1 and now a Mainline + HD 800.

    One of the nicer things about dynamic headphones is that you can sail off into the sunset with a $1,200 Mainline or even a sub $1k Crackatwoa for high impedance models, and not miss out on much compared to amps with over double, triple the price.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  6. JamieMcC
    Still have Sex and Mainline
  7. adydula
    Yea!!! :>)
  8. NightFlight

    I was going to makes some point regarding the SR-009/KGSSHV, but I see that I'm preaching to the choir. I think the HD800/Mainline with a warm recording like Bavarian Fruit Bread or Cowboy Junkies is really where its at. You can crank out some impact from the Police's 'One World (Not Three)' 24bit HDTracks remaster too.

    I heard the SR-009/KGSSHV Carbon/Yggdrasil combo at a meet and I was pretty enamoured despite the conditions. The adage 'hearing new things' in a well known recording doesn't do that rig justice... I heard a track which I previously thought was a poor recording with noise in the background turn out to be fine detail the artist had hid there for your listening enjoyment. Listening to a recording and becoming part of it are two different things. The HD800 can do it if your in the right frame of mind. The STAX rig does it without warning or apology.

    In fact, here is that moment. I'm in the back with the SR-009 strapped on - lol
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
    slankoe and Rhamnetin like this.
  9. bigfatpaulie
    Looks familiar... :)
  10. JamieMcC
    Paul are you still having Speedball problems?
  11. bigfatpaulie
    Sadly, yeah... Thanks for asking. Basically, it works but I had to jump a few connections on the board and now the right side is quieter than the left.

    The guys over at BH really tried to help but there are ghosts in my amp. In the end the two options I have from them are:

    A) Sent it to BH for $160 and they will fix/replace things.
    B) Buy new parts from BH (essentially a new SpeedBall kit)

    The first option isn't a fit for me because the amp is hardly worth that amount.

    Option B is a bit frustrating as I'm not convinced that some of the parts didn't work out of the box (eg, the board). Doc did suggest that one of semi-conductors may be not working and I would rather buy them privately to save cost.

    So, yes, and no, still having issues.

    That said, my DAC can adjust balance so I can shove it over to the left and balance the sound in a manual sense which is what I have been doing and the sounds fantastic.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  12. adydula
    I have been reading your dilemma over at the BH forum and can sympathize with your situation! It sucks when a diy project doenst work for the first time.

    If you think one of the boards was defective from the get go, you could de-populate the board carefully and measure all the lands on the board for opens and or'
    shorts....a real pain etc.

    Sometime is really hard to measure parts in an actual circuit and they have to be removed to test properly.

    Maybe the least cost is to just get the parts to go back to the working basic Crack and start from there again?

  13. JamieMcC
  14. Loquah
    Nice to see this thread is going strong. I'm not here very often thanks to my mainline curing my upgrade impulses completely. I've added a Gumby and AudioQuest NightHawks over the years and the Mainline is a perfect complement. It's a testament to this amp that it suits neutral setups with HD800 just as much as warm setups like mine with NightHawks.

    I can't remember who posted about the Gumby to Yggy upgrade earlier (on phone so can't easily check mid-post), but would love to hear your impressions of the changes you heard via Mainline.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  15. Tom-s
    The upgrading bug has bitten me. I'd like to start with the S.E.X (can't afford a TOTL 10uf cap for mainline anyway (will go with NOS russian MBGCH's/ so)).
    - Stepped attenuator (for balancing low volumes and have one laying around, will use that).
    - Capacitors 1.5uf and 0.1uf to be found.
    - Other part, you guys suggest to change?

    I'm located in the EU and like to source local capacitors. There's Duelund but pricing holds me back.... xD.
    For the needed caps i've found Miflex, a Polish Paper/propylene / copper foil in oil capacitor that shows very good results in the Humble Homemade Hifi overview (my personal reference for caps).
    These: http://www.miflex.com.pl/assets/dokumenty/KPCU-01-ENG.pdf or these: http://www.miflex.com.pl/assets/dokumenty/KPCU-02-ENG.pdf
    The 1.5uf is 50mm diameter and 70mm long. The 0.1uf is 26mm diameter and 50mm long. Will these fit the S.E.X?
    As an alternative there's old stock russian K75-10 (500 or 750V) for the 1.5uf and FT-3 600V teflon for the 0.1uf caps, they are cheaper but a lot bigger.
    Found some more negative Polish reviews of the Miflex. Will reconsider.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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