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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. cobyatch
    Yup I agree that the 6F8G is definitely more microphonic than my other tubes, however this is much different from the common tube quirks. This is like a really loud 150Hz buzz being played at 80% volume. The first time it happened I thought something had shorted within the amp and was genuinely concerned I had damaged my headphones (and ears) lol. Only happens with the RCA 6F8G with the volume knob is turned down fully, and as soon as I turn it up a little bit the noise is radio silent and music quietly starts to come through.

    Will try cleaning the pins again with some isopropyl alcohol, only gave them a quick brushdown when I first got the tube but that could definitely be the problem. FWIW, I did replace the volume pot with a stepped attenuator from eBay, but didn't think it'd be the problem since I don't experience the same thing with the other tubes.

    Edit: Very interesting development, cleaning the leads didn't help remove the problem, but now noticed that it only happens with my 1/4" to XLR adapter made from the original HD800 cable. I reterminated both my HD6XX and HD800 by adding XLR males and females to the cables. I get the buzzing sound to play through both headphones using the HD800 1/4" to XLR adapter but not with the one I made from the HD6XX cable. Will double check my soldering job, but really weird that this problem only happens with this tube and adapter.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  2. cddc
    from what i read one more thing you can check is the grounding problem, which can also lead to static.

    if you are using a power cord extension, make sure it is grounded. you can try to plug directly into a power outlet instead of using extension or change to another power outlet which you think would possibly have better grounding, and see if the static would go away.
  3. cddc
    from your new development i would now guess it's the joint problem or grounding problem.

    check grounding first, since it's easier.
    cobyatch likes this.
  4. bagwell359
    Resistors don't make any real difference. Transistors and caps do for sure. Transistors for instance in a 25 year old tuner when there have been newer versions brought to market. Caps. Firstly every power input cap should have a high pass filter. In non critical areas of the circuit, if the unit is over 20 years consider replacement to avoid leaking at about 27+, but don't spend big. However in the audio paths, if you can fit something bigger and better do it. If you don't understand the circuit, pause until you do.

    In speakers it inductors and caps.
  5. itsikhefez
    I'm not sure why you quoted my post but I didn't write anything about resistors.
  6. bagwell359
    That's the way the site grabbed the text, sorry for any confusion.
  7. bagwell359
    I agree with SilverEars - and I had access to both of his BH's. The only advantage of the mainline is that it could drive my HEX v2 (very nice under 500 Hz), but my HD-600 sounded clearly better on the Crack than the mainline.
    Tom-s likes this.
  8. SilverEars
    Yeah, I think the so called 'improved' technicalities are questionable, and the main real improment is compatability with wide range of headphones. But, there is also SEX as well, which sounds closer to Crack which is compatable with other headphones like Mainline, and with much greater output power output, and both Crack and SEX are significantly lower priced.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  9. SmashBruh
    Are you guys sure it's not the HD600 bottlenecking the mainline? That set definitely has some great synergy with the Crack, but to say that the BHC+S is on the same level as the mainline seems a little silly if you're only using a mid-fi headphone to compare them...
    Tom-s and JamieMcC like this.
  10. bagwell359
    HD-600 might be mid-fi in terms of price but it is remarkable in terms of capturing instrument timbre. In particular it handles piano from top to bottom that I haven't heard any can under $1k do.

    Also a number of posters have noted the affinity of the crack with the 600.

    I have a Ragnarok 1 that gets less out of the 600 than the crack
    attmci and Wes S like this.
  11. SmashBruh
    Like I said, the HD600 is a FANTASTIC headphone. It and the HD650 can't be beat in terms of price vs performance however it's technicalities aren't up to snuff when compared with say the ZMF Auteur/Verite or the Focal Clear/Utopia all of which play fantastically on the Mainline. That said; the wonderful synergy between the BHC+S and the HD600/650 really can't be overstated!
    Tom-s, JamieMcC and Wes S like this.
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