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November 25, 2020, 02:46:40 AM

Author Topic: A Kaiju comes to life  (Read 251 times)

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Offline johnsonad

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A Kaiju comes to life
« on: November 15, 2020, 07:06:39 AM »
It’s been hard to stay motivated in COVID, not that I had much of a life before the pandemic.  Call it a funk or mild depression, either way, I needed something to add the sparkle back.  I’ve been out of the audio hobby for a few years now.  It consumed me for a while and I ended up with a system that to this day surprises me how good it sounds. 

I’m a Bottlehead fanboy and everything in my system has started in someway from the BH teams’ brilliant designs.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a lot of gear in and out of my system but the amplified pieces that have stayed all originated from BH is one way or another.  Over the years, they continually refine their products and support the community via the forum and this is what keeps me loyal to the brand. 

My first amps from BH were a pair of the original Paramounts from DocB’s super system, the one driven by multiple pairs of the gold hammer toned amps if you recall that system.  They were prebuilt and at that time, I had not yet built one of their kits. I was alternating between a Fi X and McIntosh MC 75’s to drive Altec 19’s and after a short period, they were both sold.  The Paramounts were updated to the 1.1 drivers with 5670’s and that took them up another significant notch.  They were further updated with the MQ iron set at one point and the difference wasn’t enough to justify the cost so that iron found a new home.  The limitations of the amps, which was minimal, drove to me build my unusual take on the Paramounts and that pair of amps still reside in my main system.  There is a long thread about those somewhere on the forum if you’re interested in reading about them.

A few years later BH released the Kaiju which improved upon the original Paramounts and put it all in one stereo chassis.  I was fortunate to live close to BH and listened to the new amps many times in the BH system.  If you’re in the area, set up a visit and listen to that system.  You will be impressed to say the least.  After some horse trading with the boss, I ended up with a Kaiju kit before moving from the area and that kit has sat in a box for a long time.

A few weeks ago, after roaming around the house looking for something to do it hit me, why don’t I build something? The Kaiju in the box finally found the light of day and a few days of COVID was occupied by the smell of flux floating around the study. One significant thing had changed and that comes with being in my mid 40’s, my vision had gotten significantly worse.  With reading glasses on and a sewing magnifier, I got through the build cursing age every step of the way!  The new manual layout is fantastic and it went together much easier than kits of the past.  Testing voltages as you go makes the build seamless.

Historically I was obsessed with upgrading this and that for no real reason other than attempting to find that mythical holy grail of sound.  This time I put all that nonsense aside and focused on a stock build.  The Kaiju kit is upgraded in all the ways that are important.  From the Neutrix RCA panel jacks to the all-important iron, there was nothing that made me think I could improve on it by swapping parts. 

The amp came to life and what struck me first was how quite it was.  The new DC regulator is a significant improvement.  The noise floor is so low that I figured it would work well for headphones.  With HD800’s collecting dust, and after wiping up a quick banana to TRS jack, it was ready to go. The sound combo simply blew me away, I couldn’t be happier.

This project re-invigorated my love of this hobby.  If you’re like me with extra time on your hands, do yourself a favor and build something.  A big thank you to the BH team for continuing to improve on your product line and for supporting the community. 
Aaron Johnson

Offline Doc B.

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Re: A Kaiju comes to life
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2020, 09:07:52 AM »
Wow, thank you Aaron! I do miss our listening room hangs. I always appreciated that our tastes are similar, but just enough different that you could make me stand back and reconsider my perspective about a system. I think some significant improvements came about in the old listening room setup as a result.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: A Kaiju comes to life
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2020, 03:07:26 PM »
Aaron also makes me reconsider life choices ;)
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline johnsonad

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Re: A Kaiju comes to life
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2020, 04:21:50 PM »
Aaron also makes me reconsider life choices ;)

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
Aaron Johnson

Offline BNAL

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Re: A Kaiju comes to life
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2020, 09:36:09 AM »
Aaron,

Nice, I always found building BH kits so enjoyable. For me it's a form of meditation that centers me and helps me to winddown and relax. Building the kits provides a great feeling of accomplishment, especially when they sound so good.

Unlike you I needed reading glasses when I started on my first kit, the S.E.X. 2.0. We learn to adept and over come. Now I'm fighting my hearing loss, but I can say that I still enjoy listening to music and think I can still hear the differences.

Will have to look at a new kit in the future.     
Brad Nalitt
Iron Upgraded S.E.X. Amp 2.0
Foreplay III
Quickie w/PJCCS
Eros Phono
Blumenstein Orca Speakers, Baby Benthic Subs
S.E.X.y Speakers W/FT17H Horn Tweeters
Thorens TD 125 MkII W/ Shure M97xE JICO SAS Stylus

Offline johnsonad

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Re: A Kaiju comes to life
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 12:28:49 AM »
Brad,

It's good to hear from you!  I hope all is well in your world.
Aaron Johnson