View Full Version : Audiophile on a Beer Budget!

Big Jim 007
August 13, 2013, 10:40 PM
If you can follow instructions and are handy with a soldering iron, Bottlehead will allow you to custom build a true High-Fidelity tube system for a mid-fi price.

Bottlehead.com (http://www.bottlehead.com/)

I have no affiliation other than owning a Bottlehead preamp!


August 14, 2013, 02:14 AM
Hey Jim, I just quickly explored that link, pretty cool man! :cool:

* I'll have another longer look eventually, thx.

October 8, 2013, 06:03 PM
For your consideration............ "beer budget"..............
Prolly be a good investment regardless of electronics, combined with the mentioned link above, "hard to beat period"!:snicker:
No affiliation what so ever, but I live 80 miles from Bob.:woot:
Prolly my next purchase (CNC cabinets at least).
I plan on paying him a visit sometime this winter and picking his brain.

Cornscala? | Critesspeakers.com (http://www.critesspeakers.com/cornscala.html)

October 14, 2013, 11:06 AM
Those prices are still high for a DIY kit, but they might be a higher standard after build. In other words, it might be a $1200 item for $750 or something. It's an interesting idea, but my biggest problem with it is the fact that if I got one of those, I WOULD screw it up!

October 14, 2013, 05:17 PM
At the moment this is on my radar. I am slowly, repeat, very slowly teaching myself electronics so I can tinker with d.i.y. This is something that really interests me, I would love to build it & then compare it to my uber expensive Soulution 520 preamp in my system. My system is begging of a tube preamp too.

November 11, 2013, 05:42 PM
My son recently graduated from a GE SuperRadio to the following root beer budget system:
Sony Playstation -> Bottlehead Quickie Preamp -> Dayton T-Amp -> Advent /3 speakers.

November 11, 2013, 06:07 PM
Welcome to the forum Mortsnets!

Thank you for joining.

November 11, 2013, 08:32 PM
I have to agree with MusicDirector i would diffiinitely screw this up :(

November 11, 2013, 08:45 PM
My son recently graduated from a GE SuperRadio to the following root beer budget system:
Sony Playstation -> Bottlehead Quickie Preamp -> Dayton T-Amp -> Advent /3 speakers.

Hey welcome indeed! :hi:

November 11, 2013, 09:08 PM
Welcome to AS, Mortsnets!:hi:

November 21, 2013, 09:17 PM
I have a few budget components that sound awesome. The first is the Dayton DTA100a digital integrated amp, I paid $59 for it on sale from $89 at Parts Express. I have it connected to an old Denon 1910 DVD player and Monitor Audio S1's. The sound is airy, transparent, dynamic with deep bass. It sounds like a high end system if not played too loud as the S1's aren't the most efficient. With a better source (like my 2 budget tube DAC/Pre's) the sound is spectacular for a budget amp.

My other budget pieces are my Class D Audio CDA 254 amp, Grant Fidelity DAC-11 tube Pre/DAC that I paid $325 for and my Maverick Audio tube DAC/Pre that I paid $220. Both units make great budget DAC's and good preamps. The Grant just needed a tube upgrade from 6922's to 6DJ8 vintage 1960 Telefunken or 1960 non A-frame Holland made Amperex. I am running the Grant with the CDA 254 amp (250 wpc at 4 ohms) which I bought used for $189 (it was a Kit but retails for about $500 pre-built) and my Magnepan MMG speakers ($550pr) with a Yamaha DVD S-1800 SACD player as a digital source except for SACD which I run analog (paid $79 new as a closeout off Amazon, it use to retail for $450) . You would be hard pressed to find a better sounding system for the cost of all the components. The Grant is smooth and liquid sounding with a rich midrange and good transparency. The CDA amp has a tube like quality and has a huge sound stage and a very black background.

As for the Maverick, it is not as good at the Grant and I needed to upgrade the stock op amps for $10 each along with a tube upgrade. It sounds very good as a DAC and Preamp and adds that tube richness. It rocks with the CDA amp and my Parasound A21 hooked up to a pair of PSB B6 speakers

October 3, 2014, 10:56 AM
I agree very enthusiastically about Bottlehead! I purchased a pair of Paramount 300B monoblocks that they had assembled and used, and with new tubes they have been and still are really intoxicating! I then purchased a Smack headphone amp kit, thinking that I could assemble it...
After reading the manual I realized that I would screw it up.... I found a local tube expert and he did a perfect job of assembling it at a reasonable price. With my Grado PS500 phones it is magic, unfortunately they discontinued it after the one run. Doc B and Queen Eileen are the real deal!

March 21, 2015, 07:30 PM
Bottlehead preamps YES but amps you better have very efficient speakers or else it's a big no no.

March 26, 2015, 12:30 PM
Very true! My 96dB Canterburys work well, however.

March 26, 2015, 05:17 PM
I've followed the bottlehead products for some time. It's super subjective if you haven't heard things or we lack sufficient test data to support a good decision.

My contribution is this:

listen with headphones 720p (HD) for proper effect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26fH2APyQyY