Bottlehead Single Ended eXperimenter's Kit 2.1search

Bottlehead Single Ended eXperimenter's Kit 2.1

Bottlehead Single Ended eXperimenter's Kit 2.1

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Well, that sucks. Guess I'll just have to order from BH.
I'm the only one in :/ such a sick deal on this piece
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loled
gama
Worth a shot :) I'm ok with saving $50. Would like to get to $500 but it is what it is.
I see some cheap tubes, cheap binding posts, a standard IEC plug, some standard transformers which you can get custom made for cheaper than this kit, all of this for a 10% THD amplifier with tons of dead bug style soldering and a few dollars worth of PCBs. Amplifier designs are readily available all over the internet.
Halfdead
Cute. Every last thing you just said applies to the McIntosh MC60 and MC75 amps, too, and guess what - they still (rightfully) go for thousands of dollars online.
Also looks like you didn't bother to read my explanation of THD and tube amps above, so pardon me if I disregard your comments as from a questionably credible source.
I'd like to have the crack built and tested for a while before I could decide whether or not to jump at this.
Hello!
We've added an additional drop of 20 units @ $499.99. Let see if we can get this to go through.
Cheers,
Andy
andy
Should add more time for the drop since the lower price. I bet more people will bite.
I don't really care about the spec or whatsoever. I judge it with my own ear and SEX amp is a tremendous one! Great performance, great value, and great fun building it
There aren't many DIY tube kits out there that are a much better value. One of the great things about this piece and BH in general is the community behind it. All of their pieces are very customizable and the support is great. BH isn't for everyone but they have a solid following and quality products for the price. I'm personally looking forward to building a BH system.
It is a high quality device (whether components or design or sound), but the damn price is just too high lol as in the damn discount is too low
You can grab these junk parts for pennies on the dollar of what they're asking, it's highway robbery.
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Halfdead
That can go for any DIY amp kit. What kit would you recommend with similar specs and parts that is a better value?
Halfdead
Bottlehead tries to be efficient in terms of price/performance. Some things, like the bias LEDs and tube sockets, are quite inexpensive.
But if you tried to put this kit together from scratch you'd run into all sorts of problems. Like the fact that the power transformer, plate chokes, and output transformers are very good components and cannot be purchased elsewhere except as fully custom jobs.
dang. again, not many folks interested. BH didnt offer better discount. I think this one would fail.
10% THD at 500 Hz is audible. Is this a serious spec?
BiffsBiz
For you and other people who seem to get hung up about stuff like this, particularly with respect to tube gear:
THD is a spec which is dependent on the output of the amp. In a better time, when ratings were more honest, amps were often rated at multiple outputs. You might have a receiver rated at 80W from 20-20kHz with both channels driven into 8 ohms that has a THD of 0.03%, and that same receiver would be also advertised at 150W for a 1kHz tone burst into 8 ohms, with one channel driven, with a THD of 1%. Today, that amp would probably be pushed to about 250W with one channel driven at 1kHz tone burst into 4 Ohms, and be sold as a 250W x7 surround sound amp. That's a complete misleading lie, but nobody's yet brought a false advertising claim because the fine print does specify how testing was done.
What you're seeing with that spec is a characteristic common to tube designs: when they get close to their limits, they distort rather than clip. This is a good thing! It sounds better to the ear (NAD had a circuit to emulate this in their SS designs for years called "soft clipping") and it also protects your drivers, which clipped waveforms are more likely to destroy.
The problem is that people today seem to care more about the number on the spec sheet rather than the quality of the components. This is how Samsung keeps selling phones, and why Best Buy keeps selling grossly over-rated surround sound amps. Worse, tube designs are generally better at driving complex loads but they put out lower power, so their manufacturers are left with a quandary: Rate their amps low, with good THD figures, or rate them a bit higher with worse THD? It turns out most potential customers weight the watt count higher, so this is often the choice made. BH opted for this when detailing the THD spec.
This is further exacerbated by the fact that "modern" designs cheat by using a lot of global feedback in order to artificially reduce the THD spec. Ergo, the comparison is not apples to apples. This does work, but it doesn't generally result in better sound; it just pads the spec sheet. Sounding familiar? The S.E.X. is a ZERO feedback single-ended triode design, which is one of the best sounding architectures in all of audio. Period! This isn't a point up for discussion; go read about SET amps and come back if you're unaware.
This kit is one of the least expensive methods on the planet to experiment with SET architecture. Those who do, rarely go back. The quoted specs, including that THD measurement, are in line with other SET amps including the vaunted 45 tube.
tl;dr - Absolutely nobody should let the THD spec turn you away.
JDWarner
Thanks for the educated response. My bad.
A step up from Crack + Speedball. Nice! Will be watching this drop lol
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JD - did you happen to have any upgrades on the crack+speedball? I personally found that replacing the output caps, bypassing the third PSU cap, and modding to run a 5687 tube in place of the 12au7 did WONDERS for the crack, and I'm quite interested to see how these extra DIY upgrades compare to the stock S.E.X.
onelivewire
I did roll the 12AU7 to an RCA cleartop, which I thought evened out the bloom, but left the circuit alone.
The S.E.X. is more moddable/upgradeable on the component side, and less so on the tube rolling side. I concur with Loquah on Head-Fi that you could probably get a Crack to sound about as good as a stock S.E.X. with tube rolling and mods (which would probably make it more expensive at that point), but the S.E.X. is going to take a solid lead once you install the C4S and upgrade a couple of key caps.
My S.E.X. has both impedance switches and C4S upgrades, as well as upgraded film resistors in two key locations on the C4S board, two pairs of upgraded film/teflon caps, and another set of upgraded resistors.
It is, quite simply, the best amp I've ever heard. And I made it myself.
10% THD this is total garbage
Halfdead
You mean, "tonal" garbage. Ba dum tiss.
phait
phait Cracked me up
Hey Guys,
So we are scheduled to relaunch the Single Ended eXperimenter's Kit 2.1 that will run from the 7/24 to 7/31.
This time around, we are going to restrict sales to US only and offer 120V. This kit will be fully loaded and come with the C4S Upgrade and Output Impedance Switch Kit. We went this route because 94% of the orders last time opted for the fully loaded kit and we just want to make things simple with fulfillment on Bottlehead's end where they are only putting together one configuration instead of eight. If you want specialization, please go directly to BH and place your order there.
The good news, pricing will be same as the last drop. So keep sharing this page and save up those pennies and I'll see you all again in a week.
Cheers,
Andy
andy
Is it possible to join this drop for the 220v version? (US shipping)
Shay
Please read before you ask questions.
"US only and offer 120V" " If you want specialization, please go directly to BH and place your order there."
Looks like the Crack drop is going to be a success! *knock on wood* I hope we see another S.E.X drop soon, and with all the fancy upgrades !!
LQDForce
I'm with you! I hope they do a sex drop now that the crack did well. Especially since it was $30+ more than last time. I hope it restored some faith back at BottleHead HQ and they do another drop soon.
Can we get another one of these started?
Larry
I'm in for sure, Was hesitant the last time, but never again ;)
Quick note for people as these arrive:
Building it stock and then adding upgrades is definitely the way to go. But if you're doing a really great job on the stock build (winding/crimping wires, good solder practices, minimal extra leads, etc.), it's actually possible to make your life harder when installing the upgrade(s).
This happened to me with the Crack; I had a really clean build but I couldn't bend a couple of caps out of the way to make room for the Speedball. It resulted in a very difficult and lengthy desoldering job. Everything is good now, but that alone took me longer than the entire remainder of the Speedball upgrade.
So my recommendation is to read the upgrade manuals thoroughly before soldering the stock kit. That way you know what will come out later, what might need to be moved to make room, and can plan accordingly. Just one example: you can fasten the plate choke & output transformer using the Impedance Switch standoffs during the initial build to save you time later.
JDWarner
Thanks for the heads up! How are you liking it so far?
andrew.b
Finished the build today! The build is more demanding than the Crack, but I only had a single minor issue along the way including both upgrade kits. I took a bit of extra time to paint the transformer bell end and lay everything out just right inside.
I'm loving it. The clarity, finesse, and - yes - power from the HE-500+S.E.X. combo just surpasses anything else I've heard, and I've heard a lot. Apparently, you can have it all.
I'll say this: the S.E.X. has more than enough power to drive the HE-500s. Actually, almost too much if you wire for maximum power. I got the impedance switch upgrade, but for anyone that wants to use this combo who did not... the 32 ohm secondary option from the OT-2 transformers may actually give you too much power. My volume knob starts around 7 o'clock, and I can't turn it up much past 8:30 before it has too much power from the 32 ohm taps. Even from the 4 ohm taps, I don't range past 12 o'clock.
Congrats, i got a shipping notification for mine today so should have it next week. I feel like a kid waiting for christmas to come...
I got mine on monday (Chicago). I just finished building it. Plugged it in and prayed it wouldn't explode. IT WORKS! ITS AWESOME! THE TUBES GLOW! I couldn't be happier. I haven't put the C4S upgrade in yet but I'm going to enjoy it stock for a little while more before I take it to the next level.
I've never heard anything that really brought Self vs. Self by Pendulum alive. Not even computer or car speakers did a good job. This amp really brought it life through my HE-400's the guitars are crisp and the bass extends to where I can actually hear the bass guitar strums at the beginning. The vocals are really brought forward on all my music by this amp. I'm very impressed. Thank you Doc B. and Massdrop!
I would be happy with just an update, USPS says "Electronic Shipping Info Received" for the last five days. Has it been collected by USPS, is it on its way, will it arrive tomorrow, or is there a problem?
Still no tracking updates. I'm sorry if it seems demanding, but I don't think it's unreasonable for a customer to expect an item to ship sometime within a two-week period when it was advertised as "in stock." What else could "in stock" possibly mean? We were also told that 20 kits were "ready to go" after the drop ends. I would not have made this purchase if I had known it would take this long to ship.
Can you guys do anything to help us out? If possible, I would like to cancel my order and have my money refunded. I know that Massdrop generally doesn't allow order cancellations after a drop is completed. However, given the misleading information that was provided and the small number of orders at issue in this drop, I think an exception is warranted.
For the record, this kind of wait would be totally acceptable if we are told ahead of time. Most drops here state that it could take weeks before the item ships. People make their purchase decisions with estimated shipping time in mind.
Thank you, and I appreciate any help that can be provided. I've only heard good things about Massdrop and Bottlehead and I understand that you are both small businesses. It wouldn't be fair to expect Amazon-level speed, but it's also not fair to mislead customers in this way.
jc8503
Bottlehead ships things in batches once every 4 weeks. That's just how it works. You aren't being treated any differently than any other customer.
Look here: http://www.bottlehead.com/et/deliverystatus.htm - see how one product is over two months behind on fulfillment, with the note "waiting on Weber speakers"? That's what in stock means. They have the parts to assemble the kits on hand. Not that they've been hand assembled, just that the parts exist. It turns out there are a lot of parts!
This buy also had a lot of possible combinations (16, to be exact) due to the options offered. Assembly couldn't be finished until after the drop ended and MD handed the info over to Bottlehead.
Doc B chimed in above with the state of the orders exactly one week ago. Scroll up and read that; it's definitive. It seems odd that you jump from "hoping for an update, is UPS broken?" to suddenly wanting to cancel an order which is already in the shipping system.
JDWarner
That's fine, but I still don't think it's unreasonable for a customer to think that "in stock" and "ready to go," which is what we were told during the drop period, means less than a 2.5 week wait for shipment. Remember, this is in comparison to the other claim that if there were more than 20 kits ordered, it could take up to 4 weeks for those additional kits to be produced. Doesn't that at least imply that "ready to go" means a period of time significantly shorter than 4 weeks?
Like I said, it's totally fine to make people wait that long if that's their business model. But why not tell us the wait will be this long during the drop period? It seems odd that they would choose to tell us something that implies fast shipping, when what they really meant was "product could take up to four weeks to ship." Why not say that from the beginning to set expectations low? Every other drop will say something like "10 business days until shipment." It's generally good practice in business to underpromise and overdeliver.
The reason I went from wanting an update to now wanting to cancel the order is because I thought it would be unreasonable to want cancel my order at the one week point, especially since they're a small business. If it's still not shipped by now, then what's the harm in cancelling the order? Particularly when I'm getting it at a lower price than they normally would sell it. At this point I would just like to free up the money so I can spend it elsewhere.
I mean, maybe it's partially my fault for not asking for an exact timeframe for the delivery. But if I had done that, you'd probably think that I was being too demanding too. And they probably wouldn't have even been able to provide that information in any case.
I haven't gotten any updates on mine either (USA). I wonder if they are sending them out by when they were ordered.
Has anybody's order shipped yet? Mine still says "A UPS shipping label has been created. Once the shipment arrives at our facility, the tracking status--including the scheduled delivery date--will be updated."
jc8503
That's odd. My tracking notes several jumps already. Are you located in the USA, JC?
JDWarner
I'm in CA. Bottlehead is in WA so I thought it would have been here by now.
I just received my tracking notification too, thanks Mark.
Dont't talk to me about customs "duty" charges, once they've had their way with you they charge vat on top just to give you that final knee in the groin. Buy domestic they say, great if we actually made anything in this country. /end rant
Just got my shipping notification! Hope the custom forms are filled out properly - hope I don't get dinged too much with custom fees!
We sent the labels over to DocB yesterday, all the tracking has been uploaded to our site now so you should be able to access it in "My Transactions"
...waiting patiently. It should not take 11 days to provide a list of shipping address's unless they are hand written and sent via carrier pigeon.
We have kits here just waiting for Nelson at Massdrop to send us shipping labels so we can circumvent shipping to Massdrop first and instead ship right to their customers. Andrew was told when we negotiated this drop that we would commit to fill 20 orders, and that we had ordered the production of the parts for 20 units. That's what it said in the initial description. Then for some reason he said we had twenty ready to ship. I don't know why that confusion occurred. At any rate, kits will ship as soon as we know who Massdrop wants us to ship to.
DocB
Thanks for the update, Doc. I'm very much looking forward to receiving my kit! :)
DocB
It's unfortunate that there was miscommunication and ensuing confusion, but I would certainly take this simple & straightforward clarification over the initial explanation any day of the week. Thanks for coming back on & clearing the air, Doc - looking forward to it.
Any project to put the Mainline on Massdrop?
Units currently being produced by the manufacturer? I thought BH had 20 units ready to ship
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@andy @JDWarner Let's not try to treat the packing process like it's rocket science, as that's simply a sad excuse for BH not getting these out the door within a week's time if the parts were in fact pre-stocked to begin with. The kit components are compartmentalized according to different sections/groupings on a printed checklist & could all easily be bagged separately in advance, lined up on a shelf, and both of the add-ons are available as separate kits that could also easily be pre-prepped - there is no logical excuse for why this should take a competent/dedicated business longer than a few days for 17 if there were really already 20 'in stock, ready to go'. Hence why I asked late Wed afternoon, 3 full business days later - thought that was being pretty patient, actually.
Clearly, either someone in the chain misrepresented the level of preparedness, or the vendor is slacking & has an alarming disregard for the importance of delivery/service. It would be much easier to hear the latter of those two and just not buy from BH - hearing otherwise just makes me feel like the MD community members/customers come second to the vendors.
I go back to what I first casually noted in the Crack drop thread - this would be perfectly acceptable for a volunteer on a forum, but for an official, full-time, long-running business? It's a head-scratcher.
@andy , any chance we will get a general bottlehead drop with both the crack and s.e.x as options? Lots of people are interested in the Crack, but some of us want the S.E.X model. This type of drop will surely attract a lot of new customers (think online audiophile communities swarming over to massdrop for this one...)