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    KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

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    RockyAM

    Posts: 24
    Join date: 2008-12-14

    KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by RockyAM on Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:25 pm

    I am considering one of Bob's Dynaco ST-70 kits OR one of the Bottlehead kits. The thing that gets me though is that on the Bottlehead web site they mention a 4 to 6 week wait before you get your kit. Bottlehead charges your credit card the DAY of your order and put you on a list! They claim that they can provide you with a "lower price" this way. Personally I have never heard of any company doing business this way and feel if they charge your card they should ship the item. They have your money for a month and you haven't received anything other than I assume an Email stating that your card has been charged. Has anybody heard of any other audio company or tube kit company doing this ? RockyAM

    bizi

    Posts: 7
    Join date: 2009-01-23

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by bizi on Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:07 pm

    I'm not sure I would go with Bottlehead. Their web-site is really tacky and lacks taste. In other words, totally unprofessional. I would look no farther than a Dynaco from Bob. I was in the market for a tube amp (preferably in kit form) and was ready to give up until I saw something on Canuck Audio Mart by some guy building a Latino amp. I had never heard that an entire Dynaco amp was offered anymore, nevermind a totally upgraded one. Once I am ready for an amp upgrade, this is where I'll be looking.

    Bill

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts: 1961
    Join date: 2008-11-26
    Location: Massachusetts

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by Bob Latino on Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:17 am

    Originally back in the '90's when Bottlehead was a struggling tube DIY company I can see where cash flow issues would cause them take in customer's money and then use the money to buy parts etc. They are a much larger company now and personally I see no reason for this "4 to 6 week wait" policy. A customer puts down his money and the product should be delivered in a prompt fashion. I know of no other DIY audio company that has this policy. I can see a slight delay if the customer is getting a wired and tested product but not for any "kit based" product in which all the vendor is doing is putting parts in a box with an assembly manual. Bottlehead is big enough to stock enough parts for the products that they sell. It doesn't seem reasonable to me to have a customer wait 4 to 6 weeks to receive his parts. They should STOCK enough parts and have enough workers to box the parts and ship to customers certainly within a week.

    Bob

    Dynaluva
    Guest

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by Dynaluva on Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:55 pm

    Hey Bob - You are right. I just called the Bottlehead people and asked them why they would charge my credit card a month before they would ship one of their kits. They were very curt with me and just said that was their policy as you mentioned. I was going to buy their Foreplay preamp kit to go along with my ST-70 amp but the hell with them. I am going to look more carefully now at thr Transcendent preamp and the tubes4hifi SP-8 preamp kit. Dynaluva

    Tube Nube

    Posts: 328
    Join date: 2008-12-06
    Age: 51
    Location: Calgary, AB

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by Tube Nube on Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:31 pm

    Wow!

    If there was any question in my mind about it being a legit practice ... well, a curt response to an honest enquiry about a practice that just invites question? Kinda tends to confirm ... a negative impression of the company.

    I, too, was considering one of their integrated amps for another system for the office. I think I'll skip that now.

    By the way, I've also got a Transcendent GG with my ST 70, and I'm sure enjoying how Sonny Rollins sounds through it as I type this.

    I don't have the strongest basis for making this comparative inference, so I'm out on a bit of a limb here. That said, from having read around a bit about pre-amps, I think on merit, Bottleheads, which I understand to be very good, really might not be as good a match for your Dynaco as the GG or the pre-amps put out by VTA.

    I'm quite curious, myself, how the SP8 would sound compared to my GG... I wonder how long I can resist the temptation?

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

    Posts: 998
    Join date: 2008-11-30

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by tubes4hifi on Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:46 pm

    4-6 weeks is an awful long delay, even if they are sourcing all their parts from China or who knows where.
    Now although I usually ship within 24-48 hours after receiving payment for a kit, on some special items (my SP8-SE preamp kit for example) I do have to order several of the parts, some of which take 2-3 weeks to get (custom made front and rear panels for example) but I still ship the PCB kit portion of it immediately, and let the customer know that the rest of the package will be delayed.
    I don't stock the larger and more expensive parts, like chassis and transformers, but certainly all the PCBs, resistors, and small parts. Sometimes I do have to order special capacitors or tubes, but I've never had a complaint when they know they're gonna get it for sure in 2-3 weeks max.
    So I can understand a delay, but waiting 4-6 weeks for nothing is too long a wait for anything!!!
    Roy www.tubes4hifi.com

    BaxterT
    Guest

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by BaxterT on Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:36 pm

    I bought a pair of their Paramour 2A3 SET kits about 3 years ago and yes they did charge my credit card immediately and I didn't receive the two kits until about 5 weeks later. In fact the credit card bill came in and I paid the credit card bill before the two kits arrived! This didn't set too well with me but they did finally ship the two kits. I built them and they sounded OK but I could never get all the hum out of them. They have a hum balance pot underneath the 2A3 tube you can adjust but it never got all the hum out. The constant hum bugged me so much that I wound up selling the pair of amps about a year later. Tom B.

    pro_crip

    Posts: 5
    Join date: 2011-03-08

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by pro_crip on Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:44 pm

    Yes, stay away from Bottlehead. This way I don't have to quite as long for their superior kits.

    RockyAM

    Posts: 24
    Join date: 2008-12-14

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by RockyAM on Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:07 pm

    Instead of a Bottlehead amp, I did wind up buying Bob's ST-70 kit almost 2 years ago. Excellent instruction manual, Bob ... MY ST-70 amp has worked flawlessly for 2 years. I play it a lot and I should probably think about some new tubes by now ? The other reason I didn't go with the Bottlehead amp was that they only make low powered SET type amps. The Bottlehead amps probably sound great but the lower power of their amps limits your choice in speakers. 8 watts just won't drive speakers of normal efficiency. I probably would have been forced to buy much higher efficiency speakers.

    One other thing .. Hey, Bob this ST-70 will play pretty LOUD for a 35 watt per channel amp. Are any of those parts in there that you sent me on steroids or something ? RockyAM

    WntrMute2

    Posts: 82
    Join date: 2010-11-21

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by WntrMute2 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:22 pm

    I ordered my ST-120 kit from Bob on New Years day (Sunday I think) IIRC, and it was waiting on my doorstep Tuesday. This was just the beginning of great customer service! Thanks BOB!

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts: 1961
    Join date: 2008-11-26
    Location: Massachusetts

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by Bob Latino on Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:47 pm

    To Rocky,

    The general consensus is that output tubes on the ST-70 should be replaced every 3000 hours or so. This is maybe 3 years at 2 1/2 to 3 hours a day of play time. Some listeners will get their 3000 hours sooner and some later depending on how many hours a week you listen. 12AT7 driver tubes generally last longer - maybe 5000 to 10,000 hours. Normally what people do is replace the tubes and keep the older tubes as spares to keep the music flowing in case a tube goes bad. Rectifiers - they are a whole other story. The rectifier in an ST-70 takes a lot of "high voltage abuse". Pins 4 and 6 look at 360 VAC and pins 2 and 8 look at about 440 VDC. Tube rectifiers made today are (sadly) not as "robust" as those made by Mullard, Amperex, RCA, GE etc. in the 1950's and 1960's. If you get a full year out a GZ34 rectifier made by JJ or Sovtek you are doing good. I have had better luck with the Chinese made Ruby and Shuguang GZ34's. The Chinese have come a long way in tube production in the past 5 years. I mentioned in another post that Shuguang's EL34B is what I would consider a "Best Buy" for an output tube. They are $55 to $70 a quad - not too bad in today's tube marketplace.

    RE: ST-70 on steroids. (LOL) The Dynaco VTA ST-70 amp kit will actually do 45 watts per channel over most of the audio band without clipping and with good square waves. One of the kit builders who has the proper test equipment tested his Dynaco VTA ST-70 kit and got 45 watts in ultralinear and 21 watts in triode mode without any clipping. See link below.

    Testing the Dynaco VTA ST-70 amp kit

    A few reasons why the increased power ..

    1. A better power transformer with higher current transfer capabilities
    2. More B+ DC power storage than the original ST-70
    3. A better driver board that can supply the needed "drive" at higher volume levels

    The same hold true for the Dynaco VTA ST-120. Although rated at 60 WPC, it will do 70 to 75 WPC over most of the audio band without clipping.

    Bob

    pro_crip

    Posts: 5
    Join date: 2011-03-08

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by pro_crip on Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:46 am

    I just want to apologize for any crankiness in my response, I certainly didn't mean to disparage anyone's kits. There is something else going on that deserved my ire, not audio related; and, unfortunately, that old post was low hanging fruit that could be reached while the real target can't. Again, I offer my apologies.

    Rich

    Tube Nube

    Posts: 328
    Join date: 2008-12-06
    Age: 51
    Location: Calgary, AB

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by Tube Nube on Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:50 am

    Hmmm. FWIW 'Crip, I heard it as humour and thought it pretty funny. Conveyed, on one hand, your decision to go with a BH pre, yet acknowledging on the other hand the issue of being made to wait 4 - 6 weeks from the time of payment.


    GP49

    Posts: 501
    Join date: 2009-04-30

    Re: KIT delivery time on Bottlehead amp kits - 4 to 6 weeks ???

    Post by GP49 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:20 pm

    Bob Latino wrote:
    2. More B+ DC power storage than the original ST-70
    Bob

    This won't make a difference in most steady-state testing, as the limiting factor is still the ability of the power transformer and rectifier to keep that storage reservoir full; but in real-world audio, it DOES!!

      Current date/time is Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:43 am