Crack;Bottlehead OTL
Sep 10, 2021 at 9:45 AM Post #11,207 of 11,226

DenverW

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Sep 10, 2021 at 5:21 PM Post #11,208 of 11,226

muscleking

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1. Eikon and other high impedance headphones pair very, very well with the crack, as it is OTL.
2. Your u12 would not, it is much better on solid state amps.
3. There is no Chinese equivalent, and if there were, I wouldn’t direct you to a site ripping off Bottlehead.
4. Part of the magic of the amp is building it yourself, and upgrading it.
5. That was a tough stream of consciousness post to decode.

thanks man. yeah I have tendency to hoard gears and can't decide which one is better than the other. i spent some more time with hugo and eikon and they pair quite well. still the U12 has some strong bass. it is definitely a keeper. so small and light and powerful.

i'll keep an eye for the crack for sale. saves me time building it and likely cheaper too than buying new.

i had a little dot iii and rolled tube for quite a while and it didn't sound too good. so a bit skeptical on tubes amps. i think i ran the SMSL M8 as dac with it and later the SMSL amp that came with it and couldn't tell too much sound differences. i would love to attend some meet ups but too bad i am in small city in Canada. maybe down the road go work in US for a bit and can listen to more gears.

so the parts alone is worth it for the crack? it looks very simple. so if i to build one, you recommend using silver solder?
 
Sep 11, 2021 at 3:05 PM Post #11,209 of 11,226

DenverW

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thanks man. yeah I have tendency to hoard gears and can't decide which one is better than the other. i spent some more time with hugo and eikon and they pair quite well. still the U12 has some strong bass. it is definitely a keeper. so small and light and powerful.

i'll keep an eye for the crack for sale. saves me time building it and likely cheaper too than buying new.

i had a little dot iii and rolled tube for quite a while and it didn't sound too good. so a bit skeptical on tubes amps. i think i ran the SMSL M8 as dac with it and later the SMSL amp that came with it and couldn't tell too much sound differences. i would love to attend some meet ups but too bad i am in small city in Canada. maybe down the road go work in US for a bit and can listen to more gears.

so the parts alone is worth it for the crack? it looks very simple. so if i to build one, you recommend using silver solder?

Non otl tube amps tend to sound more solid state like to me. The crack has a tubey Goodness that made me fall in love with the sound. I would advise against buying used if possible. The experience gained building the amp gives knowledge and confidence for upgrading the amp and for other projects. If something ever happens to the amp you’ll have the knowledge to troubleshoot and take care of it, there is also a certain pride from listening to something you built. It doesn’t take that long.
 
Sep 11, 2021 at 3:28 PM Post #11,210 of 11,226

Galapac

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Plus you will never get a BHC cheaper than the kit…once built there is the added premium for the builder’s time and materials and any mods added. Like @DenverW said, better to build yours from scratch with the knowledge gained and pride that you built something that sounds really cool, even without any mods IMO.
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 1:00 PM Post #11,211 of 11,226

muscleking

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Non otl tube amps tend to sound more solid state like to me. The crack has a tubey Goodness that made me fall in love with the sound. I would advise against buying used if possible. The experience gained building the amp gives knowledge and confidence for upgrading the amp and for other projects. If something ever happens to the amp you’ll have the knowledge to troubleshoot and take care of it, there is also a certain pride from listening to something you built. It doesn’t take that long.
Plus you will never get a BHC cheaper than the kit…once built there is the added premium for the builder’s time and materials and any mods added. Like @DenverW said, better to build yours from scratch with the knowledge gained and pride that you built something that sounds really cool, even without any mods IMO.

what is the most expensive component in here that make it cost over 400USD? i am thinking the wooden enclosure must took a lot of time to make. the other stuff, capacitors, resisters and small transformer can't be that hard to source?

the bottlehead mainline was listed for 1300 cad and sold in minutes. now i know how much that one is worth.
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 4:47 PM Post #11,212 of 11,226

Galapac

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Most expensive component is the transformer. If you bought the BHC last month it was $300 but regularly sells for $350, not over $400, unless you buy the speedball kit along with it, but not necessary.
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 4:59 PM Post #11,213 of 11,226

DenverW

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what is the most expensive component in here that make it cost over 400USD? i am thinking the wooden enclosure must took a lot of time to make. the other stuff, capacitors, resisters and small transformer can't be that hard to source?

the bottlehead mainline was listed for 1300 cad and sold in minutes. now i know how much that one is worth.

You could ask that question about pretty much every amp, dac, or headphone on the market. Sometimes things are greater than the sum of their parts.
 
Sep 14, 2021 at 8:14 AM Post #11,214 of 11,226

Wes S

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Trying out a new tube tomorrow. Found an old welded plate Lorenz circle getter from a seller overseas. The seller set it up for auction and no one recognized the differences in this tube vs the standard newer lorenz. Doens't look like much ,but Potentially one of the best 12au7 tubes of all time.

Also going to try some 6cg7 tubes, as thats a variant I haven't rolled before and I have an adappterer. (The 2nd P is silent).

Nice tube! I recently discovered the Tungsram welded plates myself, and I am loving them. I have never seen a Lorenz rebrand though, that's a nice find. If you like the grey welded plate version, I highly suggest keeping an eye out for the earlier black welded plate version as well.

20210517_173049.jpg


20210517_173117.jpg
 
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Sep 25, 2021 at 3:29 PM Post #11,215 of 11,226

Galapac

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Trying out the E-1148 Franken tubes today…timing couldn’t be better with Halloween 🎃 right around the corner.
Fall is my favorite time of year when the air is cooler, crisper…the leaves are falling…and the tube amp keeps me warm while I enjoy my music.
Pure bliss!

1632598164851.jpeg
 
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Sep 25, 2021 at 3:39 PM Post #11,216 of 11,226

DenverW

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Trying out the E-1148 Franken tubes today…timing couldn’t be better with Halloween 🎃 right around the corner.
Fall is my favorite time of year when the air is cooler, crisper…the leaves are falling…and the tube amp keeps me warm while I enjoy my music.
Pure bliss!

1632598164851.jpeg
Looking forward to your thoughts! I liked that variant.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 7:12 AM Post #11,217 of 11,226

HTSkywalker

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Trying out the E-1148 Franken tubes today…timing couldn’t be better with Halloween 🎃 right around the corner.
Fall is my favorite time of year when the air is cooler, crisper…the leaves are falling…and the tube amp keeps me warm while I enjoy my music.
Pure bliss!

1632598164851.jpeg
You definitely sound happy with this combination 😍😍
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 11:21 PM Post #11,218 of 11,226

Astral Abyss

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Trying out the E-1148 Franken tubes today…timing couldn’t be better with Halloween 🎃 right around the corner.
Fall is my favorite time of year when the air is cooler, crisper…the leaves are falling…and the tube amp keeps me warm while I enjoy my music.
Pure bliss!

1632598164851.jpeg
This is pure madness!
 
Oct 3, 2021 at 3:40 PM Post #11,220 of 11,226

Dawgfish

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I'm new to the Bottlehead club and I'm really digging the Crack. Currently I'm running a RCA 6AS7 for power tube and an RCA Clear Top 12AU7 for the input tube. The only other power tube I have for it is a Raytheon 6080 which sounds quite good also.

I rolled a bunch of 12AU7s in this yesterday including Telefunken, Mullard, Amperex, EI, CBS-Hytron 5814, RCA Triple Mica BP 5814, Sylvania BP, and a lot of others. To my surprise I liked the RCA Clear Top the best.

I have to caveat that I'm running not only the HD600 family of cans but also Beyerdynamic DT1990s and Amiron Homes on the Crack also. On the DT1990s and Amiron Homes most of the tubes were a little too thick in the lows so the two best 12AU7 types to counter this were the Telefunken Smooth Plate and the RCA Clear Top. If I were running just the HD600 family of cans I would lean towards either the CBS-Hytron 5814, Amperex 12AU7, or Mullard 12AU7.

As good as the Crack sounds with the HD600 and 6XX, I must say I'm enjoying it with the DT1990s more. Granted I eq'd the nasty mid-treble spike the 1990 has and I'm also running Dekoni Elite Hybrid pads on it. The 1990 paired with the Crack is fantastic! The tube sweetness does wonders for the 1990s presentation (especially in addition to eq). In this configuration it's smooth and warmly-tilted while retaining the 1990s amazing detail and dynamics. The soundstage is very wide and deep also with fantastic imaging. To my ears this combo does everything right with every type of music I've listened to on it while being highly listenable.
 

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