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Crack;Bottlehead OTL

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by ironbut, Mar 9, 2010.
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  1. Astral Abyss
    Wouldn't we all... :)
    Wes S likes this.
  2. isitaheadset
    I know this gets asked a lot of times, but for the people who built it, is it too difficult for someone that had pretty much 0 experience with electronics? How long does it take to assemble it?

    Edit: oh my god, someone revived this really old post and I commented here too, sorry mods :S
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  3. L0rdGwyn
    As long as you have the necessary tools and follow the directions carefully, anyone can do it. I would not recommend it someone who is impatient though, as it is possible to make a mistake and can be frustrating to go back and fix it. I would say it can be done in three sessions for the circuit, plus another for finishing the wood base and top plate. Maybe four evenings during a single week. Keep in mind you want to do the finishing of the base and top plate before assembling the circuit. You can always leave them as is though if you don't care about aesthetics.

    Need to haves:
    Soldering iron
    Soldering wick or solder sucker (for solder removal)
    Wood glue
    Wire strippers

    Nice to haves:
    Wood finishing supplies (stain, top coat, foam brush, sand paper)
    Top plate finishing supplies (spray paint is the most common method)
    Bent nose pliers (these will make the whole process 100x easier, I like these ones: https://xuron.com/index.php/main/consumer_products/5/34)

    The nice thing about building yourself is you can reuse these tools for other projects. For example, you have just about everything you would need to build your own headphones cables, besides the raw materials of course.
    DavidA, LikeABell, Darthpool and 2 others like this.
  4. isitaheadset
    Thank you so much for these detailed instructions!! I’ll buy one very soon and I appreciate that you took your time to write this. I’ll give this a go since I’m studying Electrical engineering at college, so most of these tools I’ll end up buying either way.
  5. Spareribs
    For people who have no experience with a soldering iron, it’s not a bad idea to practice with a small cheap circuit board kit that’s designed for students. You probably can find them at Amazon.com. Even if you mess up those little student kits, it does not predict you can’t build a tube amp.

    My first practice soldering circuit kits and circuit board projects were disasters but I did successfully build a guitar tube amp anyway and it worked fine.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  6. Darthpool
    YouTube is your friend! also don’t heat the solder, but the joint =) the crack was my first foray into soldering and it was pretty easy....that being said I would do it again and I’m positive it would look nicer as I learned a lot during the process.
  7. L0rdGwyn
    No problem, happy to answer any questions you may have. I have built the Crack + Speedball and the Crackatwoa, both great amps.

    IMAG0024.jpg IMAG0035.jpg
    IMAG0519.jpg IMAG0118.jpg
    DavidA, jamwagon, Wes S and 2 others like this.
  8. isitaheadset
    Thank you everyone for the replies. I'll be getting some practice kits for sure!
    Darthpool likes this.
  9. Tom-s
    I'm a Bottlehead addict and the next kit is on it's way.
    In 2013 i've build my first Crack kit. When i got, i first had to go to the local hardware store and buy a soldering station and learn how to solder.
    Since then, i've build various BH amps and DIY amps. Crack was my gateway drug.
    I'm also a student but have no electronic or engineering background as you do, you'll be fine.

    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  10. Tom-s
    A few month ago this video was posted on Vimeo. It tells all about the Bottlehead company.
    Beyond that, it shows the whole process of building a kit.
    A must watch imho!
    Oh and here's one on Blumenstein Audio!
  11. LikeABell
    This is so good, thanks for sharing!
    Darthpool and Tom-s like this.
  12. L0rdGwyn
    Really cool video! Thanks for posting.
    Wes S and Tom-s like this.
  13. Wes S
    And I found one! From a forum member:o2smile:
  14. Wes S
    Thanks for posting this! I really enjoyed, both videos.
  15. Wes S
    On another note, I finally have my BHC Speedball and tubes (Mullard ECC82, Long Plate 57' Blackburn & Tung Sol 5998), all burned in, and the sound is amazing. The sound is wide and deep, with warmth, yet plenty of detail. Natural and real, are two words that come to mind. This amp and tube combo, is stunningly magical, with my ZMF Aeolus!

    ZMF Aeolus + Schiit Gungnir Multibit + BHC/Speedball = ENDGAME
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
    L0rdGwyn and Darthpool like this.
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