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Enjoy the Music.com High-End Audio Contests

Enjoy the Music.com's February 2020 Contest


Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amplifier Kit Win an OTL vacuum tube headamp valued at 315!


Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amplifier Kit
Win an OTL vacuum tube headamp valued at $315!


Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amplifier Kit Win an OTL vacuum tube headamp valued at 315!


  Bottlehead and Enjoy the Music.com are giving away their easy-to-build Crack 1.1 OTL vacuum tube headphone amplifier kit ($315 on up depending on options). For decades, Bottlehead has been providing wonderful DIY kits, usually based around vacuum tubes (hence company's name Bottlehead), and with kit naming being a bit, ummm, edgy. From Wikipedia: "Crack affects the brain chemistry of the user causing euphoria, supreme confidence, alertness, increased energy and a craving for more crack."

That was pretty much Doc Bottlehead's (Dan Schmalle) experience when they built and listened to this new bang for the buck headphone amplifier. Their initial goal was to come up with another easy to build, great sounding design that would harken back to Bottlehead's early days. Crack is the company's version of classic OTL (Output TransformerLess) designs. OTL is a type of vacuum tube audio power amplifier that removes the use of an output transformer for the purpose of greater linearity and fidelity. OTLs use one of two primary methods for output stage coupling: direct coupling (DC) or capacitive coupling (AC).


Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amplifier


With that said, Bottlehead's Crack 1.1 harkens back to one of their headphone amplifier designs from several years ago that were hailed as some of the best sounding of their day. Comparison of their prototype with the $10,000 Bottlehead Reference headphone amplifier was a bit disturbing. It showed them why the OTL head-amps from a few years back were so highly praised. The new kit wasn't quite as good (whew!), yet it was much closer than they expected it to be.


Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amplifier


Their Crack 1.1 is what Bottlehead calls a Skill Level 1 kit, perfect for first time builders. The circuit is so simple you can build it in an evening or two. A simple circuit also means a low parts count, which keeps the price low, too. Crack is an output transformerless amp designed specifically for running higher impedance (200 Ohms or higher) headphones like the many Sennheiser, AKG, and beyerdynamic designs.


Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amplifier


It comes with a universal power transformer and can be used worldwide by following the wiring instructions within the owner's manual. Please note that international customers will need to provide their own non-USA power cord.


Upgrade from the standard black molded IEC power cord to the Bottlehead Power Cord Kit (for 120VAC mains only) and save $5 over the regular price ($79)

A Bottlehead Badge is not included with this kit, but you can add one for their cost ($8)


Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amplifier

Want To Upgrade?
Bottlehead's Speedball 1.1 for Crack is only $115 and is said to yield an even more intense experience than Crack. The most hardcore users say it's a Speedball. Speedball is the company's Camille Cascode Constant Current Source upgrade for the Crack headphone amplifier. The 22.1 kOhm plate loads of the 12AU7 input triodes are replaced by C4S loads, as are the 3 kOhm cathode load resistors of the 6080 triodes. The PC board for the loads on the 6080 tube has very ample heat sinks to assure high reliability.



One winner will receive Bottlehead's Crack 1.1 OTL headphone amplifier kit valued at 315!


Want to learn more? Visit their website at Bottlehead.com


How To Enter For Your Chance To Win
You can enter our contest by clicking here and joining our mailing list.

We also ask you to like us on Facebook and Instagram too.


One entry per person please. Contest entry time ends February 29th, 2020.


NOTE: If you are currently a member of our mailing list then you are already entered for your chance to win. Remember to join us on Facebook and Instagram too.


Click here for contest rules.




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