Bottlehead Stereomour

Discussion in 'Hardware Lounge' started by Mike B, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Installed

    Now in the place of honor displacing the elekit back to the shelf. With new 12AT7 tube, knob and a bottlehead badge covering up that unused hole for the selector switch.

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    The badge is pretty cool. Solid laser engraved brass. They don't give you these, you have to buy them, 6 bucks.

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    Cool logo eh? A blue collar man with a tube head. High end audio made affordible to blue coller men and you better know how to work too, 'cause it ain't gonna build itself.

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    The new driver tube is much less bright than the old one, just 2 little heater dots instead of lighting up the whole base plate. And the 2A3's have that sexy blue glow - :)

    I ran it 8 hours straight yesterday, 4 to midnite. Nothing (except the tubes) got hot. The warmest thing was the power transformer and that was not as hot as the transformer on the $200 kit amp. Nice conservative design.

    Now I check ebay everyday so see if Yu Audio shipped my EH gold grid matched 2A3's - :)
     
  2. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    So it would appear that the Bottlehead is the cats ass and whoops on the Dared and Electek. Whowsers.
     
  3. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    That's a fact Jack!

    Always wanted to say that line from Stripes - :)

    It does everything better except bass. It's a little light on the bass. So I raised the XO freq on the sub amp a little and the level just a tad and now it sounds right. It does wierd soundstage stuff. I was on the bed saturday listening and the sound was all around me. I mean a 180 degree panorama. The speaks are right in front of me about 5 feet apart.

    That's the first time I really got the "soundstage" thing.
     
  4. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    There was good stuff in my mailbox yesterday.

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    A perfectly matched pair of electro harmonix gold and the gold lion 12AT7

    I wasted no time.

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    The new gold grid 2A3's made all my problems go away. The balance problem was gone, both channels same volume. My 2 dB treble cut was not needed anymore, set it back to flat. So I was just laying there enjoying the sound when I noticed a little raspy coming from the right channel. Ooups, forgot to set the hum pots for the new tubes. Left was OK, the right was up to 6 millivolts. Ah-ha! Great to find the problem so easily. Adjusted for minimum and bye-bye raspy. Raptures of joy - :)

    The gold lion 12AT7 did not work so well. Mixed reviews. The bass was better, I could turn the sub off. The highs were smooth, no treble cut was needed. But it just didn't have that same clarity of sound as the other tube. Now that I've got 2 more, Ill tell you what is is. A Valvo E180CC, an NOS tube made in Holland in 1974. So the GL went back into the box and the Valvo went back in and I am grinnin' ear to ear.

    Beautiful, wonderful, amplifier. Highly recommended - :)
     
  5. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    That is sooo handsome Mike. I bet you are enjoying it all.
     
  6. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Thanks.

    This has been a good adventure, "Back to the Past"

    Actually a combo of high tech and old design.

    The speaks use a high tech multi-element neodymium motor, but they sound the best with old school zero feedback triodes from the 50's.

    The best of both worlds - :)
     
  7. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    I dont think I have ever heard an amp like this, maybe one day.
    I did get my wood today so cutting starts tomorrow. Should decide on an amp soon eh ??
     
  8. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Yup.

    Just send me the $600 and it'll be on the way - :)

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  9. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Had another package on my doorstep, all the way from China.

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    2A3 mesh plates. What a big fat tube eh? Should be cool to see the filaments glowing thru the mesh.

    Going to try these this weekend - :)
     
  10. chad

    chad Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Wonder if you can replace the tubes with LED. Probably save on your cooling costs too.

    ;)
     
  11. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    I got 4 LED's in my amp - :)

    Amazing eh? They are part of the "active load" circuit on the driver tube.

    These Bottlehead guys know their stuff. Like I said, there are a dozen solid state devices in this "tube amp". They use a blend of new tech to optimize old tech.

    And they put it all on a nice "old as the hills" wood base.

    Got wood? :)
     
  12. chad

    chad Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Every morning.
     
  13. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Dang...that is beautiful.
     
  14. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Don't worry, it goes away as you get older.

    You might be in the "piss avoidance" stage of life.

    That goes away too. You just need to get up 3 times a night.

    It's hell getting old. But at least you have more money, so you can get TUBES - :)
     
  15. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    I dont get wood and I dont have money but I do pee at night.
    Wonder what that means ??

    Start cutting for the Tang Band tomorrow.
     
  16. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Hey Jack, whass up?

    Start up a build thread on your TB's.

    As to amps, just go for the gusto if you can, get a Bottlehead.

    You asked about amps. I know I've been pestering you to buy that dared off me, but here is the logic.

    If you have any experiance with soldering, get the Bottlehead. If you don't, I recommend the $200 kit. Big open pads, no heat sensitive components, easy.

    Don't get the $300 kit. It won't sound as good as the dared and you still have to build it. Don't get the elekit. Same story, little tight pads, heat sensitive components, shielded cables to prep. It's a lot of work.

    If you want to DIY, get the K12-G. It will give the good sound. I can vouch for it. Then get the Stereomour and a soldering station with a fine tip.

    If you don't want to build amps, get the dared - :)
     
  17. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Hi Mike, thought about starting a thread but not sure anyone wants to see a second one but we'll see. Going with MDF so I can experiment for less and if I goof up, hey its a cheap fix. If I find I really like it, Birch may be the way to go.

    As far as the Dared, I have not ruled anything out...just thinking. I spend money stupidly and usually do not get what I really want...not sure why so I am not in any way saying no. It might be, as you point out, very very wise.

    No I am not the best kit builder, too much ADHD methinks. Although I did build several Knight Kits and I think the auto tune up kit was heathkit, but they were fun. So you are right, I am ok with the crossover bits now, but much more may get thrown across the room. Will decide soon, just found out I am not getting laid off like I thought, they actually fired my manager and another guy and said we be good...so I am getting a bit braver.
     
  18. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    If you built Knight kits and they worked, you can build Stereomour.

    You do need an iron with a fine tip. I use a Weller WLC100 station with the (not stock) fine tips you have to buy seperatly.

    And forget silver solder, use 60-40 or (even better) 63-37.

    You need good close vision. I used to use a ring floresent magnifier, but I got prescription reading glasses now and that does the trick.

    There are small tight pads, and excessive heat and solder bridges will fuck up a good day for sure.
     
  19. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Good close up vision :lol::lol::lol:
     
  20. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    I want to see a second one.

    I would love to see a speaker build that wasn't mine.

    I enjoyed that double wall sand filled thing you posted for the servo sub. I wouldn't have attempted that build - :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2013

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