Crack;Bottlehead OTL
Dec 18, 2010 at 7:42 PM Post #436 of 11,276

WyldRage

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Quote:
Quote:
I just installed the Speedball upgrade last night. Wow. For lack of a better word, the resolution was amazing. The changes were subtle yet not; like little micro details were restored to the music. I'm not even talking about "things I've never heard before" trope... no, more in the sense that I could now hear how each note would sing just a little sweeter, and have just that touch of air and vibrato. For acoustic and vocals, this was simply magical. If you listen to music where the breath between notes is just as important as the music itself, then this is a highly recommended (if not mandatory) upgrade.
 
That said, I couldn't hear much of a difference when playing some heavy and "crowded" music. In these cases, that sense of detail and intimacy was not so much lost as it was obscured. Nowhere to "breath" so to say.


Which headphones are you using?
 
I'm on the list for the group buy for the Crack with Speed and my current headphones are Grado SR-60, which I will still use for work.  I'm looking to upgrade to either the Grado HF-2, Senn HD-600 or 650.
 
James
 


Get one of the Senns then: the Crack won't play well with Grados, since they are low impedance. But I must add that I prefer my HF-2 to my HD600, I simply never use the Crack for the former.
 
Dec 19, 2010 at 1:45 AM Post #439 of 11,276

Armaegis

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The high end Senns are generally well regarded with the Crack, and my experiences are no different (though sadly I've never tried the 800, though I've tried the 580/600/650). Grados were ok, but didn't impress as well as the Senns (though an impedance cable made it better).
 
My favourite headphones to pair with the Crack is my Sextett (MP). I've gone through a fair bit of gear this past year, buying and selling stuff all over the place looking for a certain sound, and this combo has stuck with me through it all. I've even got a 2nd pair of Sextetts (LP) I want to sell... *cough*
cool.gif
I was going to try and collect all three, but then reality and mortgage payments brought me back down to earth.
 
Dec 25, 2010 at 3:29 PM Post #440 of 11,276

Beefy

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I finally got around to uploading some photos of my Crack......

External:
crtop.jpg


Upskirt, mostly stock:
crstock.jpg


Plus Speedball and film output caps:
crupgrade.jpg


Highlights:
TKD 2CP2511 50kohm pot
50kohm 1W PRP resistors in series with the pot for approx -6dB pre-attenuation
Speedball with a couple of resistor upgrades
Axon 91µF/250V film output coupling caps
Cardas RCA jacks (rhodium plating is a BITCH to solder)
Teflon tube sockets plus PCBs (Woo Audio branded)
2.2µF Axon film bypass cap on the last electrolytic filter cap
Better PSU filter resistors
PRP resistors for bleeding DC offset
Neutrik jack with chrome ferrule

The wood was finished with Watco Danish Oil in cherry, while the top plate and transformer cover were finished with Krylon hammered metal finish. All the screws were replaced with stainless steel socket cap jobbies. It is currently running a JJ ECC802S and a Cetron branded 5998. With the HD650, it gives a very different presentation to what I am used to from the AD900 or SR-Lambda, but it is definitely growing on me - particularly for anything with brass or woodwind. All in all a great intro to PTP and tubes!
 
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Dec 25, 2010 at 3:39 PM Post #441 of 11,276

Armaegis

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Gorgeous work. Boy, I'm glad I never took pics of my internals; it looks like rubbish compared to you guys.
 
Dec 26, 2010 at 1:35 AM Post #442 of 11,276

Armaegis

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So I've got this crazy though of hooking up two cracks to run balanced headphones... bad idea?
 
Dec 26, 2010 at 9:56 PM Post #445 of 11,276

Beefy

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Thanks, HF9. I took a lot of inspiration from your build, with just a sprinkle of my own personal flavour 
smile_phones.gif

 
Quote:
Love it! Very nice work.



Speedball went in today as well. No concrete listening impressions yet...... but it did decrease the B+ current draw from ~81mA to ~71mA. So everything runs a tad cooler now, which is pretty handy.
 
Dec 27, 2010 at 12:13 PM Post #446 of 11,276

Armaegis

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Quote:
The gain would be pretty damn high......



You say that like it's a bad thiing.
 
 
Quote:
Speedball went in today as well. No concrete listening impressions yet...... but it did decrease the B+ current draw from ~81mA to ~71mA. So everything runs a tad cooler now, which is pretty handy.

 
I was quite impressed with the speedball in my system (I think I posted about it earlier). It gave it just a tad more resolution. Now I just need to get some quieter tubes.
 
Dec 27, 2010 at 4:28 PM Post #447 of 11,276

SilverS

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Hey I have a question about the Crack, I have one on backorder, but I've just picked up on how they don't work to well with Grado's Headphones. Is it worth the extra $250 to jump up to the S.E.X. or will I be ok with the Crack? Also note that I have a Quickie so I don't want to go to far out of my range here with a S.E.X. being fed by a Quickie.
 
Dec 27, 2010 at 4:37 PM Post #448 of 11,276

Beefy

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Well yes, it is. I've got pre-attenuation in my system, and still barely turn the volume knob to get things too loud with the HD650. With most balanced sources, the gain is doubled...... you would have no play on the volume knob at all.
 
Quote:
You say that like it's a bad thiing.



 
Dec 27, 2010 at 4:48 PM Post #449 of 11,276

WyldRage

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Quote:
Hey I have a question about the Crack, I have one on backorder, but I've just picked up on how they don't work to well with Grado's Headphones. Is it worth the extra $250 to jump up to the S.E.X. or will I be ok with the Crack? Also note that I have a Quickie so I don't want to go to far out of my range here with a S.E.X. being fed by a Quickie.



I don't have a S.E.X., but I do own a Hagerman Castanet, another transformer-coupled SET. I must say that it should be well worth it to go from an OTL to a SET for a Grado. The much lower output impedance will greatly improve the quantity and control of the bass.
 
Dec 27, 2010 at 5:55 PM Post #450 of 11,276

Armaegis

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Really? I've run both the 580 and 600 off my Crack and would have the knob up to 2 or 3 o'clock before things were "too loud". Source is my iBasso D10 lineout or HotAudio DacDestroyer lineout.

 
Quote:
Well yes, it is. I've got pre-attenuation in my system, and still barely turn the volume knob to get things too loud with the HD650. With most balanced sources, the gain is doubled...... you would have no play on the volume knob at all.
 
Quote:
You say that like it's a bad thiing.


 



 

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