Bottlehead Single Ended Experimenters – Build Log
Ok, I originally planned to log the build, and got excited about how the amp sounds, so that post came first. Now, on to the build – my first – and though it’s not necessarily pretty, it sounds excellent.
This was really fun, and it’s inspired me to build more. I am already looking forward to my next kit -the Stereomour2! Need to save first. It took me about 12 hours to complete this kit – 4 nights at about 3 hours each.
I ended up putting 3 coats of stain on the base. One every 24 hours or so, while I was working on the build.
I had read much about the kits prior to buying, and one thing was stressed – go slow. This was key. My experience was this – what I thought was slow, wasn’t. About halfway through, I slowed down more and my quality improved.
I found my wiring runs to be messy. But, my joints were solid, so I decided not to re-run the wire. Better planning in future builds will fix this.
I made several mistakes, including swapping two resistors that looked similar. When all but one resistance reading met expectation, I was stuck for hours looking for the solution. Following the recommendations, I triple-checked my work, re-soldered most connections, and took a break. I went back several times before finally asking for help on the forums. One quick response had me set straight. Can’t say enough good about the Bottlehead community.
I was new to all of it – the soldering, the staining of the base, the resistance and voltage checks. But, the manual included in the kit is thorough enough for someone like me to successfully complete the build.
I did not go deep with the modifications with this kit. But my next build will have a couple mods and more cosmetic tweaks. The forum is full of excellent ideas from experienced builders. Very addictive.
I did order the C4S upgrade with the kit, though did not install it initially. When I went back to correct the resistor issue, I went ahead and installed it. The upgrade only took 30-45 minutes to assemble and install. This was my first pcb assembly. It went well, but I’m glad I didn’t get to it until I’d completed the amp kit first.
What a blast – I’m hooked. The utilitarian aesthetic appeals to me, and – more importantly – this amp sounds sweet. You can’t go wrong with Bottlehead.