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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. saxophone
    I guess the only way I'll know for sure is by bringing my headphones to a meet and seeing what I prefer. Thanks, @spacequeen7
  2. i luvmusic 2
    I have the DT880 600R nothing special about it with the CRACK not like the HD650 and CRACK.
  3. JamieMcC
    If looking at Beyers consider a pre owned T1, with the stock Crack its ok but if running a modded Crack it makes for a superb combination.  I hardly ever listened to my HD650's afterwards.
  4. wwmhf
    I really wanted to know this. Thanks for sharing.
  5. saxophone
  6. JamieMcC
    Couple of pics of my how my original Crack ended up with a stock version alongside for comparison.
    Changes were film out put caps with Teflon bypasses in place of the stock electrolytic ones, Valab stepped attenuator, choked power supply (replaces one of the cement resistors) and the last electrolytic capacitor in the power supply swapped for a film one. The Speedball pcb's also have switchable operating points to optimize for running 12au7 12bh7 and E80cc input tubes.
    All these mods are essentially pretty easy to do and really involve no more than swapping out one part for another or adding a small switch and a couple of resistors for the Speedball mods.  All these Mods were taken off of the Bottlehead forum essentially I just implemented what a few others had done before.
    Roughly the changes mounted up to around $150 worth of components but these costs and the modifications were spread over about twelve months.  I found with both the hd650 and T1 they both scaled well up to a point when the hd650 kind of plateaued but the T1's just continued improving. 
    I might add the enjoyment  factor of building and then hot rodding the Crack was right off the scale, its a really satisfying and rewarding process and the end results were well worth the effort. I definitely would never have contemplated building a Sex or Mainline if the Crack hadn't paved the way.
    M3NTAL, bigfatpaulie and grausch like this.
  7. JamieMcC
    Just noticed there are two Mainlines listed in the classifieds that must be a first! Its a pretty rare occurrence to even see one listed. 
  8. skeptic
    No kidding - and George's asking price is an incredible steal.  I'm half tempted to buy a second one for my office.
  9. NightFlight
    And miss out on the joy of building one? :wink:
    I've thought about building another and auctioning it off on ebay just for kicks.
  10. JamieMcC
    You know you could take those Teflons out and probably get $400-$500 for them alone. The 10uf value is incredibly hard to come by only a very limited amount were ever available in the first place due to a mix up in a batch order originally produced  by RTI for Audio Research then discreetly moved on by TC tubes who are based close by.
    A few of which were snapped up by Bottlehead builders [​IMG]
    If you google image search "Audio Research Teflon" you can pull up a few pics of them in $20k plus amps!
    If it was 240V I think I might have been very tempted myself.
  11. GeorgeNapalm
    Thanks skeptic, I'm not trying to make a profit here, just want to pass the amp to the next Bottlehead enthusiast.
    skeptic and grausch like this.
  12. Kyno
    And your Crack sounds as good as ever by the way, still here safe & sound [​IMG]
  13. JamieMcC
    Hey thanks your reply gave me a big smile [​IMG]  its great to hear its still going strong and being enjoyed, I had a blast building it.
  14. Loquah
    I wonder where my old Crack has made it's way too.
    I've been quietly contemplating relinquishing my SEX recently as it doesn't get much use, but that might be a bridge too far...
  15. theblueprint

    I am now the happy owner of George's Mainline. George's work is not only extremely beautiful, but has been a monumental upgrade in sound quality for my HD650.

    It actually feels pretty weird to be at the summit, with not much to look forwards to (without spending thousands more). Haha.

    Can't wait to try an HD800 on the Mainline too, but I'm pretty certain that I'll be sticking with the HD650.
    grausch likes this.
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