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Crack;Bottlehead OTL

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by ironbut, Mar 9, 2010.
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  1. Paladin79
    The owner of the company is on here occasionally, he should be the one to explain why he sells kits and not finished products. There are plenty of companies who sell finished OTL's but DIY kits allow the customer to save manufacturing costs and adapt the amp to their liking. Open up a prebuilt amp and start playing with it and you just voided the warranty. Want plug and play? Buy a Crack amp someone built.

    They are also a good way to learn soldering techniques and component recognition.

    There are plenty of things that make the Crack amp enjoyable, you have so much versatility in shaping the sound to match your tastes. It is not too hard to match headphones to the amp since you are starting out with high impedance headphones only. Try to think of another amp where folks try so many different sets of capacitors, tubes, control pots, and chokes to shape the sound. The fact that you build it lends itself to your going back inside and understanding later changes you might make. I own a Valhalla 2 and I can swap tubes, that is about it. DIY amps are more geared to those who like to tinker with them, if that is not for you, so be it.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
    attmci, larcenasb and ProfFalkin like this.
  2. larcenasb
    To reinforce what Paladin79 is saying...yeah, it's cool to get a finished amp and call it a day--maybe I'll one day own a Leben CS-300XS (they're just beautiful!). But as you can see in my pictures below, I've learned a whole lot over the years by going DIY, from internal tidiness to being able to pinpoint my musical preferences upgrade-by-upgrade. And I'm so, so, so happy for that--especially since the Crack is, relative to other great heights of hi-fi, quite affordable. Okay, maybe I've gone a little overboard with the tinkering :L3000: but the little improvements and tailorings to my preferences got me to both musical bliss and to the empowerment of understanding electrical trouble-shooting. Whatever your route, being able to enjoy good music and unwind on a Saturday like this...ah, that's what it's all about.

    *currently listening to Radiohead's The Bends* :)

    P1070071.JPG P1070075.JPG
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  3. Paladin79
    Nice job with the build, once I finish building four Cracks I will go back and start modifying the electronics in my own. I have not even installed the speedball upgrade in mine yet since I have been busy with cabinet designs. I am working on getting a large amount of Mundorf caps at a low price and I may check out other brands as well.
  4. Renato Fury
    That is, I can never have a Bottlehead amplifier, but is there an amplifier in the range of 500 to 600 dollars that reproduces the same quality of Crack or who knows a superior quality ? One that has obviously been built.
  5. larcenasb
    Thanks! I'm totally beguiled by the sound of mine, but I really want to try a 0.68uF Audyn True Copper Cap as my PS bypass--I know it's not the most efficient use of money but that'd be the cherry on the top. Audyn's explanation of it just had me dying and won me over:

    "No contamination by strange mixture of various metals and fairy-like oils."

    Each time I upgraded up to this point I kept it under $20 ($20 one month, $10 another, $20 a few months later)...so, this as a final upgrade at $50 isn't too outrageous. Your builds are just beautiful BTW. Cheers!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  6. Paladin79
    I am sure there are discussion threads on here about many tube type and OTL amps, I would search for those. If he still has it for sale, Allanmarcus talked about selling his Bottlehead Crack and he is a builder i would trust. He takes great care in all of his work and takes the time to learn. IMHO
  7. ProfFalkin
    A used Elise, maybe. I didn't like mine tbh.

    Why can you never have a Crack? I don't get that.
  8. Renato Fury
    Because unfortunately I live in a junk country called Brazil, if I lived in the United States I could even hire someone to build for me, but living here in Brazil who will build for me ? So it's out of the question to have any Bottlehead product, worst of all is that I enjoyed Crack, they say it's the best in this Sennheiser HD 650 price range.
  9. larcenasb
    Why not take the advice of Paladin79 and search for those on head-fi that would build it then send it to you? Or check out the for sale section on head-fi, or check ebay? If you really want it, you can find a way.

    And hey, this is my 100th post!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  10. Paladin79
  11. Paladin79

    Whether it is a kit or a completed amp, most likely it would be shipped from the US. Go to the used equipment portion of the site and mention you are looking for someone to ship a completed Crack amp to Brazil.
  12. Renato Fury
    The problem is not to send here, the problem is to send to the already built, I do not know anyone who lives in the United States who can arrange this for me.
  13. Paladin79
    Since it is against the rules to make a profit on such things here, go on the Bottlehead Crack website, ask around and maybe someone will offer to build and ship you one completed for six crisp $100 bills.
  14. attmci
    Then go ahead by an amp whic
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  15. larcenasb
    There's only one thing about my amp that's nagging me to make a change: Anyone else with an Alps 100AX2 pot notice the turning gets rougher as the Bottlehead amp heats up? At first, when cold, there's a luxuriously buttery resistance as you turn the pot, but once the amp is warm it becomes cheap-feeling.

    Anyone with a TKD, or any other nice pot, experience this?
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