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Crack;Bottlehead OTL

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by ironbut, Mar 9, 2010.
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  1. Jimmy24
    trust me already have :) my amp is pretty much full on hulk. Changed all caps, got the cree upgrade etc. Sounds exquisite!
  2. Jimmy24
    Btw have you guys seen what cshop87's selling on eBay? Beautiful, just beautiful.
  3. attmci
    It will be nice to build one by yourself.

    What tubes are you using?
  4. Jimmy24
    I got a TS 5998 and Siemens 5814a. I had the CBS Hytron 5814a which was actually a fantastic tube. I think I like it better than the Siemens 5814a but I haven't looked to get one yet
  5. attmci
    The best 12au7 is Lorenz Ecc82 (long plate, very rare) and Amperex 7316 (rare). Followed by many other nice tubes like Mullard blackburn ECC82 (long plate), TS black glass, CBS Hytron 5814a (with the bent getter, black plate), Amperex CV 491, Mullard CV4003, Telefunken ECC82.

    (Don't use this guy's price as reference for any tube: old_guy_radiola )
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  6. Paladin79
    Those are basic builds, no upgrades with a nice wiring job. It will be interesting to see if they sell since the kit on sale is what $275-$300 with speedball upgrade? Building the basic kit takes me about six hours, eight hours if I take my time so even at nine hours for the build that is ballpark $40 per hour. After my first build I got considerably faster so build time should decrease, the more you build. There is also the expense of spray paint and wood finishes. Not a bad venture if they sell, I suspect it will be a bit of a wait. I left out Ebay fees and they are including shipping so that is probably an investment of $3,000 to make similar money so still not bad.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  7. attmci

    How about these installations:

  8. Paladin79
    Very nice work. I definitely want to try several new tube builds in the upcoming year as time allows.
  9. Jimmy24
    Trust me I've built a few myself and considering that he also had to stain and finish the wood and chassis takes a long time. Look at the details on that angled wiring for those amps. I've tried doing something similar which was just too much work. He must have spent at least a few days building each one like that. I mean to do 10 of them, that's insane amount of work. I have also not seen anything quite as beautiful as them. Most have good stains but not great and the finishing is top notch as well.
  10. Paladin79
    I can only speak from experience and were I to do ten of the amps, it is easy enough to get the lengths and bends down to where you are doing the same steps to ten wires, or ten resistors or ten caps and things go quicker. Judging by the reflection in the cards it is a high gloss finish that appears to have been used on all boxes. Get the stains applied, spray all boxes at once and that step moves pretty fast as well. I apologize for thinking this way, I have done and currently do large production jobs. My amps are more complex, three copper plates, dual controls, dual vu meters but it is not as though I cannot do the simpler work. I did build one stock and combined two of the stock wooden cabinets so I have used the original materials extensively as well. I do a lot of project management and this person or persons are obviously experienced to keep wires at right angles to one another and to keep the consistency in the builds. I have seen plenty of the crack amps on ebay and some have Alps pots, walnut cabinets, selections of high end tubes, expensive capacitor changes and extremely good wiring and paint jobs. Even those sit for a while with prices not so much higher than the ten listed.
  11. Demoninja
    Those builds are absolutely beautiful but I think the asking price is way too much. You lose the value proposition of the Crack and I feel like a majority of people who would consider purchasing a prebuilt Crack wouldn't dare touch the insides of the amp. At $650 you're nearing the price of amps that blow an unmodded BHC out of the water (in my opinion)/
  12. bloodhawk
    Very true. Which would be those other amps though?
  13. Paladin79
    There are other OTL amps on the market of course, some out of China. I have not heard them all so it is a little tough to compare apples to apples. One thing about it, the person or persons building those is doing it as a business venture and that is a lot different than someone taking the time over a weekend to build their own amp. Those builds are quite nice and then need to be. I talked about it as a business venture because I do electronics professionally so I looked at it as if I were to take on building ten of those amps. IMG_1943 (1).JPG

    There is a lot of pleasure in building such a thing yourself and putting your own personal touches in it. My own preferences differ from what is offered on Ebay and that probably holds true for most of the folks in here. This is one of my crack builds, quartered oak, copper, and brass.
    DavidA and bloodhawk like this.
  14. Demoninja
    Cheating a bit by using some used prices but I'd say La Figarro 339 and Mjolnir 2 are both better purchases at that range.

    What do you guys do with tubes that have ringing? I have a couple lying around that i don't listen to because of that problem.

    Edit: added in Mjolnir 2 which I accidentally deleted before posting.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  15. bloodhawk
    Ah yeah that is a pretty good one.

    I personally haven't had Tube ringing on anything other than one Mullard 12AU7, which also for some weird reason went away after a few days. I would try using a foam/rubber feet maybe.
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