NEW: Picture Wednesday! – Week One

Yes, it’s new. Welcome Welcome Welcome!

Why oh Why?

We figured it was time for something new, something different, yet something you all like. But what could that be? We started thinking (it hurt) and came up with something.


1: Nathan is a professional photographer

2: I sometimes think I am and I daily post the result on Instagram

3: Picture posts on Facebook are the most popular

ResultPicture Wednesday!

From now on you will each Wednesday be treated to one or more of our favorite pictures, but there’s more. We will also share with you why we like a certain picture, why we think the gear is great (or not at all) or what we think of the unit ever since we reviewed it. It could be gear to keep an eye on or it just might be something we think will be a future classic. As I’ll be in San Francsisco for two weeks, I’ll go first. Nathan will be taking care of you next week. Welcome to Picture Wednesday!

Week One – The DIY Weirdness

Bottlehead Crack

Those of you who have been following us for a while surely recognize the amplifier. Yes, it is the sublime “Crack” from the well-known Bottlehead.

The OTL Crack has been on the market for several years now and it still is as popular as it was when it came out. Sure the Crack has become more expensive but this amplifier still has an impressive price-quality ratio. In other words: you get great sound for little money. Right now you can already get a basic DIY package starting from $299. Your High impedance headphones like your HDXXX Sennheisers and Beyerdynamics will love it.

Now here’s the funny part. You buy the Crack because it sounds great and most of all because it is a cheap DIY project. So what do we do once it is finished? We upgrade components, make beautiful cases for it and most of all we add expensive tubes – as the picture shows, I am guilty as charged. The tube in the picture is/was a NOS brown base GEC CV2523 and the CV2523 is a double triode with special properties and it is a 6AS7G replacement. On Ebay, if you can find them, these are going for a few hundred USD, that is more than you paid for the amp. The input tube – a 12AU7 – is a (RCA) Hammond clear top and it can be gotten for around $10-$20USD. I have to say this combination of tubes sounds really good but a simple RCA 6AS7G really is all that you need.

The Crack is easy to build and if you ever plan on getting a Senn or Beyer headphone, you owe it to yourself to have it in your collection. The Crack is one hell of a bargain and it will be a classic, if it isn’t so already. Get it!

Useful links: 

Crack: Review

Bottlehead: Crack Pictures

Sennheiser: HD650

Beyerdynamic: T90T1

GEC 2523: Data + Info

Ebay: GEC 2523


5/5 - (10 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

1 Comment

  • Reply April 7, 2016

    Barun C


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