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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. NightFlight
    Seriously. I will hit you.  Don't make me come down there. :wink:
     
  2. DDDamian
     
    Always a pain - the older I get the less I want to move lol.
    Scotch, HP's and dames - all sure to spawn reactions lol.
     
    On a more BH note: one thing I'm just loving more and more on the HP odyssey is the PRaT, dynamics and "live" sound. Warmth is great and all, but I guess what hit me about the LCD's and other planars is how well they hit those SQ characteristics so well. Absolute slavery to FR is a part of the game, but only a part. There's so much more to music than a flat-FR or Nyquist will ever describe.
     
    I've seen a lot of posts on the Mainline that the detail is there. Sometimes words like refinement make me a little worried about some of the above for more lively, or indeed live, music. A good fit?
     
    DavidA likes this.
  3. DavidA

    Sorry, not a scotch drinker [​IMG], poison of choice is Vodka for me when out at a bar, wine at home, usually cabernet or pinot.
     
  4. DDDamian
    Merlot or Shiraz here, if cornered [​IMG]
     
  5. NightFlight
     
    Johnny is a whiskey....... sigh. If you like to quantify your rang... than high end whiskey is the tool.
     
  6. DDDamian
    We're all pretty provincial lol - whiskey is a mis-used term. In the UK it refers to Scotch, in Canada to rye whiskey, in the US to either bourbon or rye depending on where you live. To some there "rye whiskey" is the same as "Canadian whiskey" and bourbon is distinct, to others there whiskey only refers to the bourbons. In the north of the USA from prohibition on Canadian whiskey was the king, leading to the rum-runners and that old boat stuck on a rock just above Niagara Falls.
     
    To our UK friends anything less than Scotch whiskey is a sacrilige (poor buggers lol). But they lay ultimate claim so all good :wink:
     
    Yikes, runs from rampant OT [​IMG] 
     
  7. DavidA
    When I'm out I call whiskey, bourbon, scotch, cognac "Brown Stuff" since I can't remember what is what.  But have started to like Louie XIII, JW Blue & Crown Reserve.
     
    Relating to amps for me:
    JW Blue: BH Crack, just smooth
    Crown Reserve: Project Ember, very versatile
    Grey Goose Pear: Lyr2, strong smooth kick
     
  8. DDDamian
    Crown Royale: smooth, easy to savour: HD650
    JW Blue: the bite and peaty earthiness of Scotch seeped in age, demanding appreciation: HD800
    Wild Turkey: aggressive yet smokey and deep, reeks of blues: LCD2.2
     
    DavidA likes this.
  9. JamieMcC
     
    I know that I have used the refinement word in the past for describing the Mainline and by it have really been meaning beautifully balanced.  So often when listening to different systems or headphones they have some kind of emphasis which can lead to lack of balance such as treble emphasis giving the impression of detailed but week in bass. U shaped perceived treble details powerful bass (recessed mids) etc. So by refined for me this means superb neutral balance which for me  makes for a more natural sounding experience.
     
    The Mainline is seriously good when it comes to conveying that energy and rawness live music has. Listening to live recordings is one of my favourite aspects of the amp and they make for the staple of my daily play list.
     
    Like others here who have been down the hot rodded Crack and modified Sex route. The Sex for the money is a really a damn fine amp and fitted with aftermarket stepped attenuators and expensive boutique caps makes for a even more amazing listening experience. But then you plug into the Mainline and it really is just on a different sonic level.
     
    Crack and Sex have been great fun and are still very enjoyable. One things for sure I would have never ever even contemplated a Mainline build if it where not for the confidence and enjoyment building them instilled and like stepping stones they have lead to that Mainline final destination.
     
    DDDamian likes this.
  10. DDDamian
    That is one of the best posts I have read yet on Head-Fi.
     
    I guess I shoudn't have had any doubts when it came to Bottlehead gear: the Crack is well-named as an entry-level marvel and at higher levels a true gem with a limited repertoire of headphones.
     
    The SEX just goes to the next level of (ugh) "refinement" in that it really does bring added dynamics and feeling across the board. That's a big blanket statement given just how far you can take a Crack and the many possible sounds you can get from it.
     
    Along the journey I'm valuing more and more that feeling in the real world of sitting in a room with performing artists (and especially musician friends) playing only to me - I hope everyone gets that experience at least once) and the magical moments that can bring. Re-capturing that is the holy grail of music. Not the mega-performance by a rock band in a re-purposed stadium or even a symphonic display from the 33rd row.
     
    Our language isn't great for audio description, and words like refinement (yes I've used it for the S,E,X) are the best we have. Your description helps bring some depth to that few letters. Awesome, and just tells me that the Mainline is where I'm looking to go!
     
    One last thing, out of place, I haven't stopped listening to this partly due to it's "refinement" on the S.E.X and HD-800, and partly because it just screams for it's acoustics and raw musical energy. Turn it up until the hiss is present and really listen to the emotion and "rawness" of the in-the-room experience. The more I get from that the happier a "sono-phile" I am....
     

     
  11. JamieMcC
     
    Emma Mcgrath, not heard of her before but she looks all set to go along way. If this is the sort of genre you enjoy listening to you are absolutely going to love the Mainline.
     
  12. i luvmusic 2
    Back when i used to experiment with tubes and amps this two bottles made my tubes and amps sounded really really good(or maybe i was too drunk to listen:)).
    DSC_3150.jpg
    DSC_3182.jpg
     
  13. DDDamian
    ^^^ a true Bottlehead'er :wink:
     
  14. i luvmusic 2
    Those were the days before i become a CRACKHEAD and SEX addict:)
     
  15. JamieMcC
    I can confirm Grey Goose is best served straight from the freezer with a platter of sliced fresh fruit on the side. All served at the snap of the fingers by a pair of 21 year old blond *nieces* wearing leopard print bikini's!  Well that's what my Russian acquaintances introduced them both to me as [​IMG] 
     
    DDDamian and DavidA like this.
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