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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. L0rdGwyn
    I don't have the space for a large collection of amps! Not to mention, tube collecting is quite the money hole, I tend to go all the way to the top as far as tube choice goes. I've thought of building a Mainline or looking at another parafeed topology (the upcoming ECP T4 looks pretty interesting). I mentioned Ampsandsound, have not heard many SET amps and don't know how they compare to a good OTL. I have a Violectic V100, but it doesn't get much use, I prefer tubes.
  2. adydula
  3. NightFlight
    Anyone see a review of a Mainline and Mojo comparison? A buddy and I are planning to compare the two. It's just a matter of finding the time.
  4. itsikhefez
    I have them both right now side by side (although the Mojo is on the way out soon).
    Isn't this like an apples to tofu comparison?
    One is a tube amp with balanced outputs, second is a portable battery powered DAC and headphone amp.

    Do you plan on strictly comparing the headphone sections of each?
    Wes S and ProfFalkin like this.
  5. NightFlight
    My bad, I meant the Schiit Mjolnir-2 vs the Mainline. I refer to it as the Mojo because I have to look up the spelling... every... single.... time. Buddy has the Mjolnir/Gungnir stack and I have the Gungir/Mainline stack.

    I offered to swap for a week or so, but he'd rather compare side by side.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
    DavidA and itsikhefez like this.
  6. Tom-s
  7. SmashBruh
    So, how worth it is the gold pin Electro Harmonix tube roll in the Mainline? Would you say it's worth spending $100+ on a pair? Or should I just stick with the Reflektors? Also, how much of a hit on the mids would you say the swap makes? I love smooth mids but everyone calling the Mainline polite worries me just a touch and I wonder if tubes with a bigger frequency extension might be better?

    Also, for those who have painted their transformer bells- are there any special considerations I should take with it?? I was thinking about gilding it, but worry that the size and sealing lacquer I'd need to use might melt if the transformer bell gets too hot...
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  8. NightFlight
    The tubes really don't have that much influence on the signature like other amps.
  9. SmashBruh
    Does that include the 12AU7 tube as well? Does that mean I can pop in any cheapy 12AU7 and it'll perform equally?
  10. cspirou
    The 12au7 especially. That's for the voltage regulator and not part of the signal path.
  11. JamieMcC

    I use my Eros + Mainline + hd800 combo quiet regularly for listening to vinyl. I have a few choice upgraded parts in the Eros like matched Teflon capacitors in the RIAA stage. Duelund Cast copper PIO output caps strategically placed Kiwame resistors Telefunken ef86 silver/chrome plates tubes etc. Mainline has upgraded caps.

    In all honesty its an epic combo imho and best used in conjunction with very clean vinyl investing in or building a diy ultrasonic cleaner is a good idea as the results are fantastic.
    Tom-s likes this.
  12. Tom-s
    Just a heads-up! The Bottlehead Stereomour II is on Sale this week! 245$ off!

    I know it's not a headphone amp as-is, but some folks are really happy with it as a headphone amp for LCD's.

    Ordered one. I'll try to make some comparisons with the Crack, Mainline and S3X (with HD800's).
    JamieMcC likes this.
  13. JamieMcC
    Look forward to hearing more about that your build
    Tom-s likes this.
  14. bagwell359
    Just finished up with a crack/speedball on loan for 10 days with a Senn HD-600 (lightly modded).

    Summary: very nice, perhaps great for the $. My comments will be vs the same Senn on a low cap XLR cable out of a Rag and the stock cable.

    Plus: Bass 20-35Hz well more then the Rag, and with good timbre, very quiet, wider soundstage, good centerfill with good depth, mids under 1kHz really special.

    Negative: upper mids up lacking detail; Rag can be somewhat bright, but even factoring for that, it's not the tube v transistor thing. It's not usable with low impedance cans such as the HE-500 - but you knew that...

    If I had a tight budget and a pair of HD-600's, then here you go...
    Tom-s and omniweltall like this.
  15. omniweltall
    Any comparison with other tube amps, bagwell? Or any other amps, other than Raggy? I can't remember how the Rag sounds.
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