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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
    Where did you buy the Alps pot? There are some Chinese imports I stay clear of.

    I have not experienced it with dual Alps but then my pots are mounted lower and do not get the full effect of the heat build up.
  2. larcenasb
    I got mine from a good dealer, partsconnexion.com. Curious if mine is just a bad pot, or if others are having this experience as well. Anyone?
  3. ProfFalkin
    My Alps pot has no such issue. Check for cold solder joints in the pot perhaps?
  4. larcenasb
    Thanks for the response! But how can a cold solder joint affect this? It seems like the heat loosens the grease or whatever is there for the turning tension. Since your Alps Blue doesn't have the issue, I'm very curious what's the deal with mine.

    It may be worth it to buy another Alps Blue and test to see if the problem persists for me.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  5. ProfFalkin
    Uhhh, pretty sure I misread your post. Sry. But no, mine is fine.
  6. larcenasb
    No worries, but just to be clear: you have an Alps Blue Velvet (100AX2) in your Bottlehead Crack and even after, say, an hour of listening, you can turn the pot and it still feels smooth and weighty just like when the amp is cold? Thanks for your time!
  7. Renato Fury
    Could you recommend a tube amplifier with a tube sound that can be used with the Sennheiser HD 598 ? Nothing too expensive but needs to be something that beautifies the sound like a tube amp can do.
  8. Paladin79
    Larsenasb I have two dual gang 100 k Alps pots that a vender gave me. I can send you one no charge to swap out your pot. If it helps it is yours. Private message me an address and I will have my people ship you one Monday. I only use Alps single gang in my builds.

    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  9. larcenasb
    It's good you specified the cans you use...because the Bottlehead Crack's OTL design actually isn't ideal for low-impedance cans (yours are only 50 ohms). For those, a Bravo Audio Ocean ($89.99) would be a good match--I used the Sennheiser HD 555 with it and it sounded warm and much more powerful than without it. For the beautification you desire, you can start tube rolling: get some romantic-sounding 12AU7s (Brimar 13D5, Mullard CV4003, and RCA black plates) and see which is most beautiful to you.

    Other options would be the Little Dot I+ ($100) and the Schiit Vali 2 ($169). These and the Bravo are all hybrid tube/solid-state designs that will be a more ideal match for your low-impedance cans than the (output transformerless) Bottlehead Crack.

    If you want to go more expensive: you could get Schiit's higher-quality hybrid, the Schiit Lyr 2 ($449), or a transformer-coupled design--but IMO they'd be overkill unless you look to get higher quality low-impedance cans in the future. A well regarded transformer-coupled amp would be the Woo Audio 6 ($699). Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  10. larcenasb
    Wow, the kindness. Thanks so much. :)
  11. Paladin79
    If you happen to build your own headphone cables or interconnects I will see what else I can include in the package.

    I like the Schiit Valhalla 2 For around $350. Works well with 50 ohm Alpha Primes. It is OTL as I recall but does high or low impedance cans.

    One day I will get a Micro Zotyl amp, but I will hear it first at the factory.
  12. larcenasb
    No, no, no! You're too kind! Just the pot is all I need. I do build cables but I don't need any atm. Thanks so much again!
  13. Renato Fury
    I intended to buy a Indeed G3 that has the same design as the Bravo Audio V2 only that improved and the Schiit Fulla 2 as Dac, but given all that I read it seems that a tube amplifier is not recommended for the HD 598 because I want to spend money to have no difference, I want something like night and day, so I ask you, are you sure that such a tube amplifier will make the sound hot ? Increasing the bass and midrange, controlling the treble and hiding to the maximum the imperfections that only a neutral headphone can reveal, this amplified you said can even provide me all that I desire ?
  14. larcenasb
    Lol, not all you desire! That's a lofty expectation! But tubes definitely alter the sound, "no difference" is something you shouldn't fear. Apart from the character of the tubes, the amp also boosts bass, dynamics, and loudness. A night and day difference would be getting better headphones, but a great amp powering them will only get you closer to audio nirvana.
  15. Renato Fury
    Have you seen the "Amp and Sound" amplifiers ? They look pretty much like Bottlehead's, but they're prettier, but I hope their amplifiers are built, too bad they're so expensive.
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