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Crack;Bottlehead OTL

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by ironbut, Mar 9, 2010.
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  1. Darthpool
    I really do need to finish my speedball upgrade....it is just sitting on my work bench lol
     
    Wes S likes this.
  2. LikeABell
    If you can, I'd suggest listening to a SB upgraded Crack before putting your Crack under the knife.
    I sometimes miss the euphonic sound of the stock Crack.
     
    Darthpool likes this.
  3. Wes S
    Interesting. I have euphonics in spades, with my Liquid Platinum, so I have that covered. However, I would like to hear a non speedball, just for kicks.
     
  4. Darthpool
    This is part of the reason I haven't upgraded it yet lol...maybe I need to buy another kit ...hmmm
     
  5. Wes S
    I actually did some research on this, before going with the speedball, and it seems about 95% of the people, preferred the Speedball upgrade. However, there are some that have stayed with the original, and are very happy. The big thing, that caught my attention, was that the Speedball upgrade is said to take down the noise to nothing, which really adds to the experience. My BHC speedball, is dead silent, with a black background, and I love it. With the only other OTL I have owned, the Valhalla 2, I always had a bit of hum in the background, and it drove me nuts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
    Darthpool likes this.
  6. L0rdGwyn
    I had the original kit for a few days, but I really enjoyed building, so I added the Speedball almost right away. I do remember having a "WOAH! That sounds different" reaction to the original circuit. Definitely a more "tubey" distorted sound. The Speedball lowers distortion significantly, gives the Crack more clarity and improves technical performance. I have thought about building another stock Crack to give that tubey-ness another try :) curious how the original circuit would sound with TOTL tubes, which I did not own at the time.
     
    Darthpool and Wes S like this.
  7. donato
    Yeah, I bought another kit just so I could build without speedball first to compare with and w/o speedball for awhile. Then I'd eventually upgrade it to speedball and start modding it.
     
    Darthpool and Wes S like this.
  8. Paladin79
    I did the same, and kept a stock Crack as a baseline while I modded the second Crack. I did a lot of A/B testing before I achieved the sound I wanted, then I started experimenting with tubes and 6sn7 variations. My favorite is twin 7A4 VT 192 tubes.

    crack.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
    Darthpool and donato like this.
  9. New Yorker
    I elected to have mine assembled. And yes, it added to the cost significantly. It’s not that I thought I couldn’t build it myself; I’m VERY patient and quite good at following well-written instructions. (No one can assemble IKEA furniture as well as I can, lol.) No, the problem was that I’ve never soldered before, and I own none of the necessary tools. Worse, I believe doing nice woodworking (I’ve never done any) requires some experience. So while I had no doubt that I could build a Bottlehead Crack that would probably work, I feared that it would LOOK like someone’s first ever electronic kit project. And I wanted mine to look factory perfect. Awaiting delivery now!
     
    Wes S likes this.
  10. Wes S
    It is an amazing amp, either if you built it or had it built. No shame, as I paid a pro, and could not be happier.
    [​IMG]
    I tend to worry about the smallest things, and just wanted to enjoy the amp, without thinking about cold solder joints, and whether I was getting peak performance. Now, that I have a perfect BHC, I would like to build one myself down the road, as I have benchmark to follow, and compare.

    The amp has speedball added and an Alps Blue Velvet pot, and is top notch.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    ekkstra, LikeABell, JamieMcC and 4 others like this.
  11. New Yorker
    Wow, that’s beautiful!
     
    Wes S likes this.
  12. L0rdGwyn
    I've seen that builder's work on Etsy/eBay, top quality looks great!
     
    Wes S likes this.
  13. Wes S
    Yep! Etsy, is where I got it, and the work is top notch, and worth the cost. This amp started as a kit, and is now heirloom quality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    Darthpool likes this.
  14. L0rdGwyn
    It really is, I've always wondered how they got the wire angles so precise, very clean.
     
    Wes S likes this.
  15. SilverEars
    Anybody know who designed Crack?
     
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