Crack;Bottlehead OTL
Jun 22, 2021 at 3:37 PM Post #11,056 of 11,214

Bimbleton

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Posts
177
Likes
157
Thank you all for the advice. My hesitancy is that the cost of the unit has increased, and I've heard I'll need $150+ of equipment to even build the thing. Is there any truth to the latter -- do you really need $150 of equipment to build one?
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 3:44 PM Post #11,057 of 11,214

DenverW

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 22, 2019
Posts
1,231
Likes
1,575
Location
San diego
Thank you all for the advice. My hesitancy is that the cost of the unit has increased, and I've heard I'll need $150+ of equipment to even build the thing. Is there any truth to the latter -- do you really need $150 of equipment to build one?

You will need a soldering station, solder, wire strippers, needle nose pliers...perhaps a helping hands, magnifying glass if you’re old like me..

someone else can chime in if I’m forgetting something. So yeah, the components cost. I will say that I’ve used all of the stuff from my first build to do plenty of other diy projects, so it’s not just an added cost onto my first crack.

Besides, if you want to upgrade a component, or if something happens you need to fix, how will you do that?
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 4:22 PM Post #11,058 of 11,214

cddc

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Posts
1,183
Likes
981
You will need a soldering station, solder, wire strippers, needle nose pliers...perhaps a helping hands, magnifying glass if you’re old like me..

someone else can chime in if I’m forgetting something. So yeah, the components cost. I will say that I’ve used all of the stuff from my first build to do plenty of other diy projects, so it’s not just an added cost onto my first crack.

Besides, if you want to upgrade a component, or if something happens you need to fix, how will you do that?

Agree, I will add that you don't have to use wire strippers if you know how to strip the wires with a blade, though using a blade can potentially leave some cuts on the copper if you apply too much force (not a big problem at all). But wire strippers work the best, and I do have one myself. So all you need is a soldering iron and some solder, and needle nose pliers to bend the wires, maybe $20 tools in total if you really want to go cheap, that's it, you can build the kit if you follow carefully the Bottlehead instruction, even if you have no experience at all in electronics. Some auxiliary equipments might help if you have them, like wire strippers, digital multi-meter, etc.

The major part of the fun from Crack is coming from building it by yourself. You can learn some thing about the project and be proud of it, as Doc B. said. If you build the Crack by yourself and you want to do some mods later, you'll know where to start; and if there is any problem, you can possibly know how to solve them (just like what @DenverW did) instead of having to send the amp to some "amp doctors".

If you pay hundreds of $$$ to some Crack leech to build it, then you lose the major part of fun from the Crack project. And if there's anything going wrong inside, you will have no idea where it is. Your life and tubes can be jeopardized if you happen to find some charlatan to build the Crack for you.
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 4:50 PM Post #11,060 of 11,214

wabibito

New Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 13, 2021
Posts
41
Likes
68
Location
US
You will need a soldering station, solder, wire strippers, needle nose pliers...perhaps a helping hands, magnifying glass if you’re old like me..

someone else can chime in if I’m forgetting something. So yeah, the components cost. I will say that I’ve used all of the stuff from my first build to do plenty of other diy projects, so it’s not just an added cost onto my first crack.

Besides, if you want to upgrade a component, or if something happens you need to fix, how will you do that?

A fancy helping hand isn't really needed. I got myself a cheap 30 dollars soldering station (on sale on amazon) with two clips on the side and it been working great building my friend's Crack. that comes with solder suction pen etc. Also for wire strippers, i am using one of these and it on sale for 18 dollars right now.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...800bc2ead178cde80INT&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

As for upgrading parts, I would build the crack first and upgrade on top of it. Most of these parts it is not easy to damage, it just take time to unsolder and resolder. The tricky part will be the led in the 9pin tube.

One thing really help me is i spent a lot of time looking at people build pictures and reading the sticky on the crack official forum. this way you are familiar which what goes where and learn on how to organizing things.
 
Last edited:
Jun 22, 2021 at 5:01 PM Post #11,061 of 11,214

cddc

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Posts
1,183
Likes
981
I think folks can find some cheap $10-ish soldering iron from HomeDepot, though a fancy soldering station works better.

Building a Crack by yourself is not at all difficult IMHO, the Bottlehead step-by-step instruction is well written and easy to follow, just follow the instruction carefully and anyone can build a Crack.:)

Here is a great video from our old friend Tyll (InnerFidelity), in which he shows how easy it is to build a Crack:

 
Jun 22, 2021 at 5:22 PM Post #11,062 of 11,214

Mightygrey

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Posts
1,548
Likes
1,444
Location
Sydney, Australia.
I'll leave a comment here that as someone who'd never used so much as a soldering iron before ordering my Crack, it was pretty easy to figure out. But, it was without a doubt one of the most satisfying things I've ever done. Well worth it.
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 5:37 PM Post #11,064 of 11,214

Mightygrey

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Posts
1,548
Likes
1,444
Location
Sydney, Australia.
Thanks for all the responses y'all. Good combo with a ZMF Aeolus? At least that's what the Aeolus folks told me.
It's a terrific pairing with all ZMF dynamics.
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 9:14 PM Post #11,065 of 11,214

L0rdGwyn

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Posts
3,561
Likes
5,944
Location
Cleveland
Thank you all for the advice. My hesitancy is that the cost of the unit has increased, and I've heard I'll need $150+ of equipment to even build the thing. Is there any truth to the latter -- do you really need $150 of equipment to build one?

If you enjoy the experience, you will then have much of what you need for other DIY projects :) how far down the rabbit hole you go is up to you, but you could also build your own headphone cables, for instance.
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 9:44 PM Post #11,066 of 11,214

Mightygrey

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Posts
1,548
Likes
1,444
Location
Sydney, Australia.
If you enjoy the experience, you will then have much of what you need for other DIY projects :) how far down the rabbit hole you go is up to you, but you could also build your own headphone cables, for instance.
I've definitely caught the DIY bug since building my Crack and I've picked-up some invaluable skills in the process. I've built several cables, which can be done pretty affordably simply by sourcing parts from Aliexpress. I've also modded more than the odd Grado to make their cables detachable too.
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 11:07 PM Post #11,067 of 11,214

DenverW

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 22, 2019
Posts
1,231
Likes
1,575
Location
San diego
If you enjoy the experience, you will then have much of what you need for other DIY projects :) how far down the rabbit hole you go is up to you, but you could also build your own headphone cables, for instance.

So true! From crack to crack mods to DIY alpha dogs to cables to rewiring Sony z7 to crackatwoa! It’s a gateway drug to making everything sound better!
 
Jun 22, 2021 at 11:35 PM Post #11,068 of 11,214

cddc

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Posts
1,183
Likes
981
gateway drug to making everything sound better!

matrix-redpill.gif
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 7:45 AM Post #11,069 of 11,214

L0rdGwyn

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Posts
3,561
Likes
5,944
Location
Cleveland
Yes! And if you take the time to learn about the circuit, you might even start on your own amplifier designs! Just takes a lot of reading a learning.

Sorry in advance since I've probably reposted it like five times, but I sort of miss my Crackatwoa lol I spent an absurd amount of time polishing that top plate...never again.

IMAG0519 (1).jpg
 
Jun 23, 2021 at 10:36 AM Post #11,070 of 11,214

CaptainFantastic

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Posts
1,690
Likes
1,774
Location
W Europe
Yes! And if you take the time to learn about the circuit, you might even start on your own amplifier designs! Just takes a lot of reading a learning.

Sorry in advance since I've probably reposted it like five times, but I sort of miss my Crackatwoa lol I spent an absurd amount of time polishing that top plate...never again.

IMAG0519 (1).jpg

Wow. How did you achieve that? Is that the stock top plate and you just went at it? Didn't even know it was possible.

And why go on and sell it after that? :) I can picture what those tubes and their reflection look like in the evening...
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top