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Author Topic: WOW! A Quick review  (Read 4677 times)

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Offline Clark B.

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WOW! A Quick review
« on: October 20, 2012, 07:16:19 PM »
Once again, BH has done it again - far surpassed my expectations.  I am not just saying that the Quickie is merely "better than I thought" that an acrylic chassis $100 dollar kit would sound... its just raised my bar for a pre amp, actually, and I'm not embarrassed to admit it.

Its the best battery powered pre amp I've heard to date and the sound comes very close to, and perhaps trumps my stock Foreplay III in certain areas.  The Foreplay III is great - don't get me wrong.  I don't have the eXtented version either and I know that makes a big difference.  

But for my system, I have a very high output DAC (Echo Mona), and the convenience of a smooth volume control as opposed to the stepped attenuator, and, well, just the hilarity of the way the Quickie looks juxtaposed against its highly refined and totally involving sound, I am just blown away.  I can't really pick out any definitive traits of its sound (which in my book is a good thing - its neutral).  So, other than its neutrality, warmth, and total blackness of background, I think it sounds simply natural and non fatiguing with my Fostex and Feastrex speakers.  Yes, this little thing is my choice pre amp for a ~$5000 pair of fullrange drivers right now and I'm not ashamed to admit it!

So there you have it.  Another A+ job from Bottlehead.  To anyone needing a preamp to be your "little wheel" (Quickie) till your "big wheel" (BeePree) comes ......    .....  I say, look no further.  This thing is a way more serious performer than you'd think.

I can't wait to try some mods - swap out the POT for an ALPS, add the PJCCS, one of my bamboo wooden bases, take out the input selector switch from the signal path, and do a little tube rolling.  But for now, I am just sitting back to enjoy and mentally digest what a hilariously ironic "WTF" this preamp is in terms of sound quality/price.

Cheers,

Clark
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 07:24:29 PM by Clark B. »

Offline earwaxxer

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 06:44:58 AM »
Clark -

Thanks for chiming in! For awhile I seemed to be number 1 wacko out there that just continues to be blown away by what the Quickie has done for my listening pleasure! Its good to have a bit more company!

The mods do make a difference. I have both stock and modded, and what you get with boutique parts is increased air, definition, resolution, soundstage, punch, separation and all of those kind of characteristics that usually come from a higher end piece of kit. Its the kind of change, though, that you are not aware of it being missing until you hear the difference. Kind of like, I was not aware of what I was missing from my Transporter used as a preamp, until I added the Quickie.

What I expect, is that the bee pre will add that additional jump in the above over the modded Quickie. Of course, then there is the thought of the 'modded bee pre'. The sky's the limit!
Eric
Emotiva XPA-2, Magnepan MMG (mod), Quickie (mod), JRiver, Wyrd4sound uLink, Schiit Gungnir, JPS Digital power cord, MIT power cord, JPS Labs ultraconductor wire throughout, HSU sub. powered by Crown.

Online Paul Birkeland

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 07:24:55 AM »
Ah, I see where my black/yellow Quickie went (Bumblebee).  You should have taken the line powered/shunt regulated Quickie in the display case closest to Doc's office!

-PB
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Wormwood

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 09:55:26 AM »
Clark,

So will we see a Quickie Case on your site for sale?




@Anybody,

Can someone please explain or link to an explanation as to what the benefits of a per-amp is - where its used etc. I am still fuzzy on the detail.

Cheers,

Wormwood

Online Paul Birkeland

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 10:10:12 AM »
So will we see a Quickie Case on your site for sale?

Clark does indeed make bases for the Quickie. 
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Grainger49

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 10:41:01 AM »
Wormwood,

I used to call a preamp a control preamplifier.  Back in the 70 they controlled the volume, bass, treble, source selection, added loudness curves and facilitated tape dubbing and monitoring.  It did all the controls.  That is a benefit. 

In addition an active amplifying stage gives music "drive" that most passive controls don't have.  An active stage will drive long interconnects between your preamp and power amp without rolling off the high frequencies.  Most sources don't want to see more than 2-6 feet of interconnects.

In the 70s the power amp was left to add the power needed for your particular speakers.  Interestingly enough, well to me anyway, some power amps also had some form of volume control. 

Offline earwaxxer

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 10:46:49 AM »
Yep - separate amp/pre amp were popular in the 70's. I remember a particular 200wpc twin that I had. Made by SAE. Quite a brute!
Eric
Emotiva XPA-2, Magnepan MMG (mod), Quickie (mod), JRiver, Wyrd4sound uLink, Schiit Gungnir, JPS Digital power cord, MIT power cord, JPS Labs ultraconductor wire throughout, HSU sub. powered by Crown.

Offline Wormwood

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 12:02:42 PM »
So a preamp with a S.E.X? For headphones? Speakers (Orcas)?


Cheers for the insight.


Stephen
Wormwood

Offline Grainger49

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 12:53:22 PM »
The preamp is not necessary, per se.  The SEX will work without the preamp, but... there is always a but, many SEX owners have reported a more lively sound with a preamp in front of it.  I don't remember anyone who bought a preamp and preferred the SEX without it.

Offline tuffy_puppy

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 02:06:44 PM »
including me!!  very much!!  don

Offline Clark B.

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2012, 09:56:16 AM »
Paul, sorry for that, man!  I'll get it back to you and pick up a kit soon. 

Yup, we do make a Quickie bamboo base now.  I had to pick up a blank chassis plate from Dan during my last visit on Thursday to check the fitment, and it turned out to be ok to go. 

By the way, I've tube rolled my Paramour II's to make the most of the Quickie.  JJ 12AT7's for the drivers and then EML Globe 45s for the power tubes.  In my living room Orca system, this really does the trick!  It doesn't hit the highest volumes, but it is sweet heaven of overall system tonality.  Having something with a nice, quiet calm battery power supply seems to flavor the sound of the overall system and its like the best of all worlds.  Battery power (relaxed sounding) pre-amp, C4S driver stage(super fast, a little solid state), Big Bottle SET flavored output (gloriousness).  They all come together seemlessly in the final sound.  I spent maybe another 5 hours listening Sunday night after I'd destroyed my body wrenching on tools all day.  So recharged now from this sound!

Earwaxxer: I got to hear the BeePree fed by master tape then into Paramounts and then into my Feastrex speakers that I brought over to BHQ on Thursday.  That was actually a new paradigm for me.  The Paramounts are so good (One of the best amps into the Feastrexes that I've EVER heard), and they are within my price range so I am definitely saving up for them now.  As you might imagine, I've heard some pretty exotic gear running Feastrexies and they can really have a way of shaking down an amp.

So yeah, I'd say the BeePree/Paramounts are doing some amazing things.  I cannot wait to explore this route further in my home system.

Yet in comparison, the Quickie is also not to be overlooked.  Back home, I could still hear so much magic in the microdynamics and just general "placement" of instruments and vocals.  The Quickie made my power amps (The Paramour 45s with Specos) sound like the limiting factor rather than the pre amp. 

I have this philosophy that "if it sounds good, it is good"... I know I know, this philosophy would seemingly make sense for everyone to adopt by now, but after getting back last week from RMAF, I am realizing that the industry is still brimming at the seams with a vast majority of "looks first" audio gear - meaning if it ain't shiny, big, heavy, and make the lights dim when you turn it on, then it can't sound good...right?  Malarkey!

To me, the key to attaining good sound is to have power come only in proper proportion with delicacy and nuance.  This means you have to have balance as the biggest "part" of the "piece." And this philosophy is imminently audible at the heart of the Quickie. 

So in conclusion: that the quickie costs only a hundred bucks and looks like a science fair project I just don't care.  I don't need prestige, I just need my system to sound really effing good.  And now it does.  'Nuf said!

Bottlehead should be very proud, this thing is a work of art, IMO!

-Clark

Offline earwaxxer

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Re: WOW! A Quick review
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 02:22:12 PM »
Earwaxxer: I got to hear the BeePree fed by master tape then into Paramounts and then into my Feastrex speakers that I brought over to BHQ on Thursday.  That was actually a new paradigm for me.  The Paramounts are so good (One of the best amps into the Feastrexes that I've EVER heard), and they are within my price range so I am definitely saving up for them now.  As you might imagine, I've heard some pretty exotic gear running Feastrexies and they can really have a way of shaking down an amp.

So yeah, I'd say the BeePree/Paramounts are doing some amazing things.  I cannot wait to explore this route further in my home system.

Yet in comparison, the Quickie is also not to be overlooked.  Back home, I could still hear so much magic in the microdynamics and just general "placement" of instruments and vocals.  The Quickie made my power amps (The Paramour 45s with Specos) sound like the limiting factor rather than the pre amp. 

I have this philosophy that "if it sounds good, it is good"... I know I know, this philosophy would seemingly make sense for everyone to adopt by now, but after getting back last week from RMAF, I am realizing that the industry is still brimming at the seams with a vast majority of "looks first" audio gear - meaning if it ain't shiny, big, heavy, and make the lights dim when you turn it on, then it can't sound good...right?  Malarkey!

To me, the key to attaining good sound is to have power come only in proper proportion with delicacy and nuance.  This means you have to have balance as the biggest "part" of the "piece." And this philosophy is imminently audible at the heart of the Quickie. 

So in conclusion: that the quickie costs only a hundred bucks and looks like a science fair project I just don't care.  I don't need prestige, I just need my system to sound really effing good.  And now it does.  'Nuf said!

Bottlehead should be very proud, this thing is a work of art, IMO!

-Clark

Well said Clark! More bee pre observations if you please!
Eric
Emotiva XPA-2, Magnepan MMG (mod), Quickie (mod), JRiver, Wyrd4sound uLink, Schiit Gungnir, JPS Digital power cord, MIT power cord, JPS Labs ultraconductor wire throughout, HSU sub. powered by Crown.