News: Not receiving your account activation email? Contact [email protected]
December 03, 2020, 09:24:46 PM

Author Topic: Our new preamp kit - Smash  (Read 8768 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Doc B.

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8304
    • Bottlehead
Our new preamp kit - Smash
« on: April 18, 2014, 10:43:18 AM »
We have had many requests for a replacement for the much loved, now retired Foreplay preamp. While we feel that we have learned enough over the years that even our $99 Quickie battery powered DHT preamp design sounds a little better than everyone’s old favorite Foreplay, we understand what people are asking for.  And so we have created a new AC powered preamp that fits very nicely between the budget minded Quickie and our top line BeePre 300B preamp.

Smash is a directly heated triode design like our other preamps and it incorporates many features found on the BeePre –
•   Three pairs of inputs
•   Two pairs of outputs
•   Separate volume and balance controls
•   Shunt regulation of the high voltage supply
•   Regulated filaments

The Smash uses directly heated 4P1L tubes wired for triode operation as voltage amplifiers. Cathode bias is achieved by our tried and true HLMP6000 LED method. Shunt regulation of the solid state high voltage supply (using ultrafast recovery rectifiers) is via a 0D3 gas regulator and filament supply regulation is via an L200C regulator. The audio circuit is completed with the simple addition of high quality plate resistors and output capacitors.

Three pairs of inputs allow for multiple sources and two pairs of outputs allow for the connection of two amps per channel for multi-amping speakers, or a single power amp for speakers and a separate subwoofer amp or dedicated headphone amp. RCA jacks are gold plated.
We have had many requests over the years to incorporate a balance control into our preamps. We introduced a balance control in the BeePre 300B preamp and we have carried that implementation over in this preamp.

The chassis arrangement is similar to our other kits. We provide the usual high quality level of American made transformers, an American manufactured 10” x 10” chassis panel with our cool new random brushed artisanal finish and lovely Pacific Northwest milled alder wood base that glues together easily and looks great with a wide range of builder-applied finishes.  Sockets are ceramic.
 
Specifications:

Gain @1kHz: 10dB

Maximum output: 7Vrms

S/N:  -88dB @4V rms output

Channel  Separation:  120dB @500Hz

Input impedance:  56Kohms with volume and balance controls centered

Output impedance: 1.6 Kohms

So how does it sound? Just as its price indicates the sonic character of the Smash falls between the Quickie and the BeePre in terms of resolution. It has the same “DHTness” - that sense of delicacy and realism - as our other two preamps. It will make a great match to the Reduction phono preamp, will work nicely with Paramounts and, yes, we have plans for the introduction of a new power amp to fit this middle price range in the near future.

Why Smash? One day Grammy winning mastering engineer Paul Stubblebine came to Bottleheadquarters for some listening, and he asked to hear the new preamp prototype. Josh brought the preamp up from the lab and on the way to the listening room it slipped out of his hands and Smash! It looked pretty sad with a big bend in the chassis but it fired right up and sounded great.

The regular price for this kit will be $399. As an introductory offer we are pricing the first 20 Smash kits at $349. We have yet to write the manual and get all the parts in stock, so it will be an estimated six weeks before we deliver the first kits.

http://bottlehead.com/smash-dht-preamplifier-kit-specs/
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 02:31:41 PM by Doc B. »
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline xcortes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 995
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 12:13:51 PM »
Amazing. Congrats on the new oroduct!
Xavier Cortes

Offline mcandmar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1530
  • Not all engineers are civil
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 01:25:48 PM »
Very nice kit, and an interesting sounding circuit too. Are those regulators the funky purple variety?
M.McCandless

Offline JamieMcC

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 02:32:18 PM »
Interesting can we see a under the hood shot?
Shoot for the moon if you miss you will still be amongst the stars!

Offline Doc B.

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8304
    • Bottlehead
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 02:35:50 PM »
Yes, it uses a 0D3 gaseous regulator like we supplied in the Foreplay III, with the characteristic pink/purple glow.

We will have a shot of the underside when we complete the production prototype. The functional prototype in the photo looks slightly different than the production version on the underside.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline airdronian

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 14
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2014, 07:58:50 AM »
Nice !  Time to sell the preamp the Quickie has been beating up on, and get one of these ordered.
Mark Bridges

Offline Natural Sound

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 905
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 06:23:36 AM »
Does this design use AC or DC heaters? -Thx.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2014, 06:30:12 AM by Natural Sound »

Offline Natural Sound

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 905
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2014, 06:34:25 AM »
I really like the ventilation slots around the tube sockets. Nice touch.

Offline Paul Birkeland

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13917
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2014, 06:37:01 AM »
Does this design use AC or DC heaters? -Thx.

DC.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline xcortes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 995
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2014, 08:41:15 AM »
How microphonic is the prototype? vs BeePre? vs Quickie?
Xavier Cortes

Offline Paul Birkeland

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13917
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2014, 08:58:41 AM »
It's actually right in the middle between the Quickie and the BeePre.  The locking socket really grips onto the tube, so the approach to minimizing microphonics with this preamp will be more along the lines of lowering the resonance of the entire preamp as a whole. 
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline xcortes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 995
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2014, 09:40:02 AM »
Sounds logic. Thanks.
Xavier Cortes

Offline Koda

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 15
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2014, 11:09:32 AM »
The layout looks similar, but  is the Bee Quiet attenuator compatible with the Smash preamp?
Kevin Erickson

Offline Paul Birkeland

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13917
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2014, 11:16:18 AM »
The layout looks similar, but  is the Bee Quiet attenuator compatible with the Smash preamp?

Yes indeed!
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Jim R.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2194
  • Blind Bottlehead
Re: Our new preamp kit - Smash
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2014, 11:46:21 AM »
Nice. Looks like some very nice specs and design elements for $400 -- but that's what we'vee come to expect from BH.

Wish I could justify getting onee, but not at least until the backlog is taken care of.

-- Jim
Jim Rebman -- recovering audiophile

Equitech balanced power; uRendu, USB processor -> Musette DAC -> 5670 tube buffer -> Finale Audio F138 FFX -> Cain and Cain Abbys near-field).

s.e.x. 2.1 under construction.  Want list: Stereomour II

All ICs homemade (speaker and power next)