Bottlehead Crack

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by OJneg, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I sent a pm to someone regarding SEX vs Crack and thought I'd share it here.

    This SEX amp is good, very good. The big distinction between the SEX and Crack is that the Crack is really tailored to the 6x0. Essentially hardware EQ specific to that headphone. The crack doesn't work very well with other headphones with a few rare exceptions. If you only own that headphone, I think that the Crack can be an end game amp.

    But if you own lot's of headphones including dynamics and planars (yours truly) then the SEX is easily more versatile. It really took the MrSpeakers Aeon open to the next level. And that doesn't even take into account the fact that it will drive speakers. I am skeptical about the usefulness though. It almost seems like an add on or bonus feature. Until I've tested it with speakers I really can't say. But if given the choice, I would have taken some "upgrade" to the amp over speaker function, ymmv and all that.

    Regarding specific differences between the crack and sex. The SEX is more neutral, has gorgeous tone and offers detail in an effortless fashion. It's a great amp and I'm enjoying it very much. The crack, will always be a one trick pony of sorts for the 6x0...but it pulls off that trick in a magical way. Very addictive as the name implies.

    The SEX excels with 650, 800 and AFO. The signature is effortless and refined. Offering a fatigue free all day listening experience.
     
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  2. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    The Crack also works very well with the higher impedance beyerdynamic line. It really makes the T1 sing, when the right tubes are used. I'm not sure it was designed for the Senns as much as for high impedance headphones.

    I'm gonna make another one (on order) with pure silver solid core wire for the entire signal path, a choke, and an alps pot. My hope is to find tubes that synergies well with the HD650 (read, much less warm). I'm not holding my breath, and it it doesn't work out, I will sell it.
     
  3. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Never liked the Beyers. Too V shaped for me. I will take your work for it though. :D
     
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  4. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Hence the need for a good tube amp:)
     
  5. Steakface

    Steakface Acquaintance

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    Thanks for the great comparison. I've always been kinda curious about the SEX but never felt the need to buy it. If for some reason I one day bring the HD800 home with me, I'll consider it as a replacement for the Crack. With the HD660S and its 150ohm impedance releasing soon, the SEX might make a better pair than the Crack... but we will have to see about that, I'll be holding out for reviews.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  6. Ice-man

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    My SEX is not quite done but it's getting close.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    I like what you've done with the base
     
  8. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Yes that base looks amazing and actually gave me an idea to change my crack, if you don't mind.
     
  9. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Please go right ahead. I've decided to inlay some darker strips in those grooves to provide some contrast, probably a darker wood like walnut. Then I'll add some better feet and a nice aluminum volume knob. And that should do it.

    The beauty of the SEX amp is that there is no need for tube rolling. I already have the C4S upgrade so really that's it. SEX sounds great with both dynamics and planars. Just a wonderful balance of tone and power for both types of headphones. I was completely caught off guard when I auditioned the amp. I had NO intensions of buying it.

    Honestly, this is the kind of tonality and versatility that I was hoping for when I owned the Mainline. But it just quite get to the finish line for me and left the itch unscratched.
     
  10. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Wait, you like the sex more than the mainline or did I misread?

    I am looking into something with brass details in the grooves (like the ones you have) of darker wood. That or just have virtual grooves with said brass/copper details.
     
  11. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Yes, you read right. SEX 3.0 with the C4S upgrade sounds better than the mainline to me. It's been a year since I've owned the ML so my memory is a little foggy. But I certainly remember being somewhat disappointed by the Mainline. I'll see if I can go back and dig up my notes on the ML.
     
  12. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    I'll join in the chorus, that looks great. And really interested in more Mainline/S.E.X. comparisons.
     
  13. attmci

    attmci Rando

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    A fully upgraded crack (premium caps is a must) with top tubes (421 a, GEC 6as7g, clear-top 5998, ecc33, fivre 6as7g, TS BGRP 6SN7 etc) will beat a S. E. X for sure (for 650 & 800).

    You may try to use two 6bx7/6bl7 with an adapter for 660 in the future. (AT UR OWN RISK).
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  14. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Care to explain why or are we simply to take you at your word?
     
  15. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I've had two crack amplifiers maxed out and one sex 3.0. The sex is by far superior in my opinion.
     
  16. attmci

    attmci Rando

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    Crack is DIY, so you have to try it by yourself. No need to take my words.
    Enjoy ur day!
     
  17. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    Oh sweet jesus...
     
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  18. attmci

    attmci Rando

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    Suggestion taken. lol
     
  19. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    In human language?
     
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  20. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    @attmci, some folks here are not newbies and likely have done their fair share of tube rolling. One could take your post as a suggestion, but it seems more of an affirmation with not much behind it to substantiate it. "Try it by yourself" or "because I said so" are not going to cut it as reasons behind your claims to some folks here.

    As far as I know, you can only go so far with tube rolling. Perhaps a different sound for better of for worse, but I feel you will reach a threshold (if you ever stop tube rolling and find the right combo for you). I believe the S.E.X. is there to move that threshold higher in a way tube rolling can't.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017

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