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December 04, 2022, 01:41:49 AM

Author Topic: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's  (Read 2633 times)

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Offline charnich

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Hey all, I was wondering if there are advantages to sound quality upgrading to the crackatwoa (coming from the crack + speedball) if you're only going to use high impedance headphones like the HD 650. It seems to me that the crack is highly specialized for the high impedance cans. Will those cans sound better yet on the crackatwoa?
Chuck Nicholson

Offline Karl5150

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2021, 02:43:58 AM »
I seem to remember a thread in which Doc said a maxed Crack couldn't quite reach the C2As sonics due to the circuit design. I'm not sure how you would search for that thread/info.
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Offline Doc B.

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2021, 06:28:17 AM »
Yes, HD650s will sound better running with a Crackatwoa. The shunt regulation will give a sense of better bandwidth and if you install the TwoQuiet you will get better resolution.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Offline ALL212

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2021, 11:02:59 AM »
I’ve got two modified Cracks and a modified C2A.  All have approximately the same mods.  I have two pair of the Hd650, original and the HD6xx.

So I’ve got some listening experience with all of those.

The C2A is better.  Not by leaps and bounds but cleaner and maybe a bit clearer with just a bit of freq extension on both ends.

There are still days I like to throw the cans on a crack - there is magic there!

If you can swing it go C2A, you’ll enjoy the ride!
Aaron Luebke

Offline charnich

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2021, 12:58:31 PM »
Thank you for the insights. They are helpful. I agree that there's some magic in the crack and I'd hate to invest in the C2A with overly high expectations. Heck maybe I'll just go for the gusto and save up for a mainline....
Chuck Nicholson

Offline ALL212

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2021, 01:22:53 PM »
Yes!  And that’s a whole ‘nother level! 

Gots one a them also.  I have issues…  ::)
Aaron Luebke

Offline Markkr

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2021, 01:56:00 PM »
I also have a couple Cracks, and a C2A and concur with the previous poster… the C2A is a worthy upgrade if you can swing it.

I also have a Mainline :-), my advice, just order one of everything now… or pay shipping one at a time over the next 18mo.

Offline charnich

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2021, 02:29:28 PM »
I also have a couple Cracks, and a C2A and concur with the previous poster… the C2A is a worthy upgrade if you can swing it.

I also have a Mainline :-), my advice, just order one of everything now… or pay shipping one at a time over the next 18mo.

So may I ask which amp gets the most playtime, and is it by a large margin?

Chuck Nicholson

Offline ALL212

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2021, 04:23:02 AM »
Mainline - 80%
C2A - 15% (different room, different rig)
Cracks - 5% (one used for testing new or changed stuff)
Aaron Luebke

Offline Markkr

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2021, 12:58:03 PM »
So may I ask which amp gets the most playtime, and is it by a large margin?

Mainline 80%
C2A 20%
Cracks 0 (sitting in closet because I cannot part with them)

Offline charnich

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2021, 09:19:13 AM »
@Markkr, @ALL212 both of your responses are very telling. Thanks!
Chuck Nicholson

Offline FS

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2021, 10:26:43 AM »
Hi charnish,
Many years ago, I started with a Crack and have since then built another Crack for a friend and I have built a few additional Bottlehead kits. I don't have any super-expensive headphones, and my favorites are the Beyer Dynamics DT880 (600 Ohm), DT770 (250 Ohm), and the Massdrop version of the Sennheiser HD650. I also have the ORA Graphene headphones. I don not consider myself an audiophile, and I refrain from exalting audio products in flowery language... ;) I just like the sounds of various Bottlehead products, and I enjoy building them, too. A few years ago, I was in the same situation as you described. When I looked into additional headphone amps and what they would bring to the table, I searched and read through posts in the forum and ultimately decided against the marginal improvements over the Crack with Speedball that I would get from the C2A, and went with the Mainline instead. The Mainline has a slightly different flavor and can handle any headphone, including those with a high impedance. I still stand by my decision and enjoy listening to both the Crack (with Speedball) and the Mainline. Just my 2 cents...
Cheers,
FS

Offline Markkr

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2021, 01:37:05 PM »
I’ve been listening to the C2A for the past few days because of this thread. Its really good! Honestly you cant go wrong with either one.

Offline charnich

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2021, 02:45:43 AM »
Thanks for your insights FS. So in your opinion is the Mainline noticeably better sound quality than the Crack+SB or just a different sound profile?

Chuck Nicholson

Offline FS

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Re: Is the crackatwoa worth the upgrade if you are going to use HD650's
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2021, 11:17:52 AM »
I think that is is noticeable better as I (think) that I can hear more details, but it is still not all that different in terms of "sound signature". When I listened to it for a while I really started to appreciate it more and more. The amp sounds very natural to me. It still has the kind of sound that I liked with the Crack but more revealing, and it is very different from my Violectric SS amp. But then again, what do I know...As with all audio equipment, preferences are very subjective. I just know that I won't get any other headphone amp, I am set with what I have and don't think that I could improve my listening experience - my ears are my limits.