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Bigman80
05-07-2017, 18:50
Hi all,

Just a little update.

There has been a huge amount of listening time gone into picking the right components for the upgraded MK2. Several capacitors & opamps have come and gone. A whole redesign of the circuit has happened twice and in-between a few mods have been dropped in to the Vivant, so to say Alan has been busy is an understatement!

Finally, there is a prototype ready to listen to.

First of all, a big thank you to Charlie at SS-Audio for the Burson V5 Opamps and a big thank you to Andrew at Sparkylabs for his SS 3602 discrete opamps.

A write up of their specific units is on the way.

So, here's what I've found after a 24 listening period

First of all, we are using the Burson V5 opamps in the prototype. I'd love to keep them a secret but I can't because they look so distinctive (see pic).

These little gems are so fluid and airy that they really fit into the ethos of Alan's design principle. I have to say that the presentation of the music is sublime. In my opinion, there is a very real sweetness throughout. Big, punchy bass and treble that dances like moonlight on the sea. Stunning.

The "production" model will come with a STD opamp. The Supercharged version will come with Burson V5's. This decision was taken due to cost. Not Alan's costs. Yours. The Bursons are available for 60ish online and Alan Felt they would push the purchase price too high. We have a standard op amp which is, frankly, outstanding and performance is ridiculous from such a tiny object. For me, the Bursons add 20% extra quality.

Luckily, the OTP is going to be offered in a Supercharged package too, which will include upgraded capacitors, upgraded opamps and an upgraded front panel. I will post pictures as soon as it's back from the engravers!

One of the first bits of feedback from the MK1 is that it wasn't the quietest in terms of background noise. Alan has performed some surgery and we are now confident that this stage MUST be the quietest we've heard. The problem was due to how the opamp was being used to create gain for the MC stage of the board. This has now been rectified as a result of the circuit redesign and procurement of a better suited opamp. The noise level from the Opamp is now less than 1.0nv. (that's bloody low) 😂

The difference​ in low level detail is now apparent. The lower noise floor is revealing all of that detail in abundance. Vocals are undeniably better. And so is the percussion. More snap, focus and the placement of each skin is laid out further apart. Very satisfying to hear such realism.

It should also be pointed out that the power supply has been swapped to a UK safety rated wallwort. Initially, there was no need to move the transformer from the OTP itself, but once the extra circuitry became necessary, the decision was made to take it out and use a wallwort. I can say with certainty that this is a great move. No hint of hum or buzz.

So, when will it be ready for sale? Not yet!

Alan is still looking at how an upgrade package for the MK1 owners can be done. We are trying to do this in the cheapest way for you MK1 owners!

As it's still in the prototype stage, it may face a couple of further mods and once that's done, and the design is finalised, Alan can sort out the price.

Early signs from this phono stage are incredibly exciting.

More to follow!
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170705/cf29eab95431e363dc7ab81f1a63d10c.jpg

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CageyH
05-07-2017, 20:05
There has been a huge amount of listening time gone into picking the right components for the upgraded MK2. Several capacitors & opamps have come and gone. A whole redesign of the circuit has happened twice and in-between a few mods have been dropped in to the Vivant, so to say Alan has been busy is an understatement!

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Interesting stuff... It sounds like you guys are keeping busy.
Some bits are more interesting than other for me. ;)

Although probably not the right thread, I will be interested to know if any of these bits translate into the KIN as well.

Bigman80
05-07-2017, 20:15
Interesting stuff... It sounds like you guys are keeping busy.
Some bits are more interesting than other for me. ;)

Although probably not the right thread, I will be interested to know if any of these bits translate into the KIN as well.
Well, the KIN's phono stage is the same as the Vivant so whatever Alan has done to the Vivant can be done in the KIN. There are a set of Caps that I'm trying tob get Alan to try in the KIN so keep your eyes peeled for that if it happens lol

We have been busy and I have to say, the hours of listening to the same 30 secs of a song are paying dividends !!

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Bigman80
10-07-2017, 13:23
A couple of pictures. The Burson V5 pictured, won't be used or available as an upgrade. Listening tests have shown that there is a better suited alternative. Also, there will be no supercharged version. Alan has decided to only make the Supercharged spec OTP as standard!!!!

Early listening tests have proved to be quite incredible. The performance is outstanding.

More to followhttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170710/d9e20786b0da1ca2b2db3ff0ed174a97.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170710/be761282edfe315a3add80853140b857.jpg

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Shadow Moses
13-07-2017, 08:11
I have the pleasure of having one of these in my system at the moment, Alan kindly loaned me one for a few days.
It was set up around 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, half 10 last night I was still listening to it, it is very very good, superb in fact, I had some seriously eye opening moments.
Can't wait to finish work and have another listening sesh

Maouna
13-07-2017, 12:24
Oliver is there a upgrade path for the OTP MK1? And how would you compare mk1vsmk2 at this stage . It's great to hear that a mk2 version is coming out but at the same time disappointed as I've had my mk1 for 2 months and already the mk2 is on it's way .BUGGER .

Bigman80
13-07-2017, 13:03
Oliver is there a upgrade path for the OTP MK1? And how would you compare mk1vsmk2 at this stage . It's great to hear that a mk2 version is coming out but at the same time disappointed as I've had my mk1 for 2 months and already the mk2 is on it's way .BUGGER .
Don't worry! This is something Alan and I have anticipated and Alan is very keen to make the upgrade cost as low as possible. At the moment, it's still having a couple of bits experimented on. As soon as a final component list has been determined, a price can be set.

Comparison wise, the MK2 is the quietest phonostage I've heard. The background noise is non existent until I max out my volume control. Therefore, depth and low end detail is clean and clear. There is a sniper like accuracy to instrument placement and the sustain is far more evident. The lack of background noise has allowed this to happen in my opinion. The scale is very impressive, low low bass, almost sub level is delivered deliberately with attack. The MIDs are smooth and full, timbered and harmonic. But everything is very very clean.

Personally, I think the OTP MK2 is better than Alan's own Firebottle Plus phonostage.

I'll do a full write-up when it's in its final state.


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Bigman80
13-07-2017, 18:21
I have the pleasure of having one of these in my system at the moment, Alan kindly loaned me one for a few days.
It was set up around 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, half 10 last night I was still listening to it, it is very very good, superb in fact, I had some seriously eye opening moments.
Can't wait to finish work and have another listening sesh
It's very excellent isn't it!

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smangus
13-07-2017, 21:42
Watches thread closely ......:eyebrows:

Bigman80
13-07-2017, 23:41
Watches thread closely ......:eyebrows:
Andy! Glad to see you have found the thread. You are going to love the MK2.



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Bigman80
13-07-2017, 23:47
The final version of the FB-OTP MK2 is very close to completion.

There is one little piece of the puzzle left to fit and then it should be ready to build. There will be photos galore hahaha.

I'm also hopeful that I have a couple of impartial AoS members lined up to have a listen and provide some feedback which will also be shared via this thread.

More to follow!


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Shadow Moses
14-07-2017, 06:49
It's very excellent isn't it!

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It's fantastic!!!
Had another marathon session with it yesterday. Vocals at times were astounding

smangus
14-07-2017, 06:54
Andy! Glad to see you have found the thread. You are going to love the MK2.



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Hi Oliver, I like the mk 1, very much so this will be interesting to follow developments. Good to see FB progressing the design.

Bigman80
14-07-2017, 15:22
It's fantastic!!!
Had another marathon session with it yesterday. Vocals at times were astounding
Its that good, I've started buying vinyl again!!!!

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struth
14-07-2017, 15:27
but can it beat my el cheapo ;)

Bigman80
14-07-2017, 15:51
but can it beat my el cheapo ;)
Do you want to try it and see ? I think it will.

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struth
14-07-2017, 16:26
it probably does but you never know... i best not as i cant afford it lol

Bigman80
14-07-2017, 18:27
it probably does but you never know... i best not as i cant afford it lol
😂😂 you should hear it nevertheless mate,. Very impressive.

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Bigman80
18-07-2017, 19:37
Quick update:

Production model has moved slightly closer. Alan has had two enclosures engraved. One for the OTP2 and a Vivant he is building.

What do you think?

PS the screws in the Vivant will be black to match the casework.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170718/d1ee5671b9aff88e136d26e40fe42448.jpg

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Jimbo
18-07-2017, 19:44
Quick update:

Production model has moved slightly closer. Alan has had two enclosures engraved. One for the OTP2 and a Vivant he is building.

What do you think?

PS the screws in the Vivant will be black to match the casework.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170718/d1ee5671b9aff88e136d26e40fe42448.jpg

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Does the Vivant super linear tube phono stage use zotl technology?

smangus
18-07-2017, 20:05
Does the Vivant super linear tube phono stage use zotl technology?

Is that some kind of Dr who Alien tech? :D

Firebottle
18-07-2017, 20:05
Zotl, no as it is not a power amp.

Though there are no signal transformers used.

Jimbo
18-07-2017, 20:12
Looking very nice Alan, I should like to try the OTP phono stage.:) especially as Oli is so impressed with it.
How does it compare to the Vivant which is 4 times the price?

Bigman80
18-07-2017, 21:40
Having heard both quite extensively,The Vivant and OTP shouldn't have a 4x difference in price. The Vivant is better though and even though its 1100, it really is very good value for money. You can hear the directional movement of a bow on the Vivant very easily. I am not sure how this is even possible. It's there on the OTP MK2 but just not quite as pronounced.

I can bring my OTP over when i get to hear your lovely VPI Scout and Croft gear!

Bigman80
18-07-2017, 21:41
Quick update:

Production model has moved slightly closer. Alan has had two enclosures engraved. One for the OTP2 and a Vivant he is building.

What do you think?

PS the screws in the Vivant will be black to match the casework.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170718/d1ee5671b9aff88e136d26e40fe42448.jpg

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The more i look at these two, the more i am convinced Alan was right to go with the understated and classy style.

Jimbo
19-07-2017, 05:26
Having heard both quite extensively,The Vivant and OTP shouldn't have a 4x difference in price. The Vivant is better though and even though its 1100, it really is very good value for money. You can hear the directional movement of a bow on the Vivant very easily. I am not sure how this is even possible. It's there on the OTP MK2 but just not quite as pronounced.

I can bring my OTP over when i get to hear your lovely VPI Scout and Croft gear!

Any idea on pricing for the OTP yet?

CageyH
19-07-2017, 05:52
Quick update:

Production model has moved slightly closer. Alan has had two enclosures engraved. One for the OTP2 and a Vivant he is building.

What do you think?

PS the screws in the Vivant will be black to match the casework.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170718/d1ee5671b9aff88e136d26e40fe42448.jpg

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If I was being picky, I would question the different capitalisation of the two front panels.
In my opinion, they look better than the original Vivant.

smangus
19-07-2017, 06:03
I think that they look pretty smart, agree that they look better than the other Vivant style.

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 06:04
Any idea on pricing for the OTP yet?It's going to be 300 I believe.

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Bigman80
19-07-2017, 06:05
If I was being picky, I would question the different capitalisation of the two front panels.
In my opinion, they look better than the original Vivant.Would you have them all as capitals ?

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Bigman80
19-07-2017, 06:19
I think that they look pretty smart, agree that they look better than the other Vivant style.It's definitely got a "purposeful" look about it. The Vivant case will look better with the black bolts in. I'll get some photos with improved lighting Etc on here as soon as s I can, it's hard to photograph black casework with a phone camera.

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Shadow Moses
19-07-2017, 06:21
Took a loan unit back to Alan's last night and saw these in the flesh, very smart looking.
Pleased to say I'm gonna be the proud owner of one soon.

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 06:27
Took a loan unit back to Alan's last night and saw these in the flesh, very smart looking.
Pleased to say I'm gonna be the proud owner of one soon.Great news, Neil!

Maybe you can throw a few words in about your experience of the OTP?




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CageyH
19-07-2017, 07:13
Would you have them all as capitals ?

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I would draw both up and see what looks best, and then be consistent. ;)

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 07:15
I would draw both up and see what looks best, and then be consistent. ;)[emoji108]

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Shadow Moses
19-07-2017, 07:20
Great news, Neil!

Maybe you can throw a few words in about your experience of the OTP?




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Yep, once I'm home from work a bit later I'll share my thoughts

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 07:29
Yep, once I'm home from work a bit later I'll share my thoughtsSweet. I look forward to reading them!

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struth
19-07-2017, 08:10
maybe the p in preamp should have been same as others but i quite like the second one size wise. nice boxes

smangus
19-07-2017, 08:39
It's definitely got a "purposeful" look about it. The Vivant case will look better with the black bolts in. I'll get some photos with improved lighting Etc on here as soon as s I can, it's hard to photograph black casework with a phone camera.

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Maybe Alan can offer a pimped up bling option? Gold bolts and pink glitter casing for the laydees? :lol:

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 09:00
maybe the p in preamp should have been same as others but i quite like the second one size wise. nice boxesThanks for the input mate, Alan says the lettering is deliberately done that way. It's different which is what he wanted.

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Bigman80
19-07-2017, 09:01
Maybe Alan can offer a pimped up bling option? Gold bolts and pink glitter casing for the laydees? [emoji38]I am sure that can be arranged!!!

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YNWaN
19-07-2017, 09:45
For the first I would have 'Super Linear Phono Stage', not phono stage, unless you used 'super linear phono stage' - though I prefer the first.

For the second it should definitely be Preamp (perhaps Pre-Amp), not preamp. However, I also question why one is a Phono Stage and the other a Phono Preamp, they should both be called the same surely? Also, if you are going for black bolts I wouldn't use the shiny button but would use a black one instead (I know you can get that type in black as I used two for my turntable power supply).

Jimbo
19-07-2017, 11:15
Is the OTP a preamp or a phono stage?

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 11:35
Is the OTP a preamp or a phono stage?It's a phono stage. Sometimes known as a phono preamp.

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Firebottle
19-07-2017, 11:35
This is all quite amusing chaps.

I specifically stayed with the original wording that I came up with for both units, it provides a small emphasis on things and also provides a little differentiation.

It would have probably been better to not photograph and post the two units together.

The Vivant had the slight emphasis on the Super Linear, whereas the OTP is an OTP Phono, you never know I might use the OTP monica on other things :scratch:

@ Jimbo, the OTP is a phono preamp/stage, I use the words on an interchangeable basis.

@ Mark, the black button is only momentary whereas I need latching.

:D

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 11:36
For the first I would have 'Super Linear Phono Stage', not phono stage, unless you used 'super linear phono stage' - though I prefer the first.

For the second it should definitely be Preamp (perhaps Pre-Amp), not preamp. However, I also question why one is a Phono Stage and the other a Phono Preamp, they should both be called the same surely? Also, if you are going for black bolts I wouldn't use the shiny button but would use a black one instead (I know you can get that type in black as I used two for my turntable power supply).The black version isn't the same electrically. I can remember why.

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YNWaN
19-07-2017, 12:39
@ Mark, the black button is only momentary whereas I need latching.

:D

The ones I used were momentary but you can get them in latching too - I've just had a look on eBay and they are definitely there.

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 15:11
The ones I used were momentary but you can get them in latching too - I've just had a look on eBay and they are definitely there.Got a link?

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Bigman80
19-07-2017, 15:48
This is all quite amusing chaps.

I specifically stayed with the original wording that I came up with for both units, it provides a small emphasis on things and also provides a little differentiation.

It would have probably been better to not photograph and post the two units together.

The Vivant had the slight emphasis on the Super Linear, whereas the OTP is an OTP Phono, you never know I might use the OTP monica on other things :scratch:

@ Jimbo, the OTP is a phono preamp/stage, I use the words on an interchangeable basis.

@ Mark, the black button is only momentary whereas I need latching.

:DYes, probably a good point about posting both together.

Doh!

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YNWaN
19-07-2017, 16:11
Got a link?

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Just type in latching push button switch, there are loads of them.

Like these:

19mm and 22mm http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-LED-Self-locking-Latching-Push-Button-Switch-Flat-Waterproof-22mm-19mm-DY/311818467464?_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226&_trkparms=aid%3D555014%26algo%3DPL.DEFAULT%26ao%3D 1%26asc%3D44945%26meid%3Da703c8eab8134f47b13c0c2b2 80e49e6%26pid%3D100505%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26

Or these:

16mm http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Angel-Eye-Metal-LED-Latching-16mm-Black-Push-Button-Switch-12V-SPST-/251373136503?var=&hash=item3a8701aa77:m:meRu_Um8Cmy76Zw8v-NR0CQ

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 17:07
Just type in latching push button switch, there are loads of them.

Like these:

19mm and 22mm http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-LED-Self-locking-Latching-Push-Button-Switch-Flat-Waterproof-22mm-19mm-DY/311818467464?_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226&_trkparms=aid%3D555014%26algo%3DPL.DEFAULT%26ao%3D 1%26asc%3D44945%26meid%3Da703c8eab8134f47b13c0c2b2 80e49e6%26pid%3D100505%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26

Or these:

16mm http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Angel-Eye-Metal-LED-Latching-16mm-Black-Push-Button-Switch-12V-SPST-/251373136503?var=&hash=item3a8701aa77:m:meRu_Um8Cmy76Zw8v-NR0CQCheers, I'm pretty sure the one in the OTP was rated for 240v.

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YNWaN
19-07-2017, 17:19
It is!? Isn't it after the transformer?

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 18:55
Well, the power supply has changed since the original switch was purchased so I'd have to check.



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YNWaN
19-07-2017, 20:31
Well over to you, or Alan (who I thought was the designer and manufacturer of Firebottle stuff). I just think the shiny button looks incongruous if everything else is going to be black - but it's yours, or Alan's, design.

Bigman80
19-07-2017, 21:43
Ah, it's definitely Alans (You thought right!!) :D

Bigman80
20-07-2017, 20:11
A few pics of my new OTP

I was a bit hesitant when I saw the picture of the new outlay on the front panel. BIG MISTAKE! In the flesh it's very handsome. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170720/4cce5d8e6bfc842c7c394d9e3bd63015.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170720/075b4282ed1beb437986258457cc64cc.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170720/05fad73183ec2f87c54c4874ea3aef27.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170720/d0ebea417c121b2488560eaf42ef189a.jpg

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smangus
20-07-2017, 21:06
Nice, very swish.

Bigbird
21-07-2017, 09:36
Looks great Oliver.. is that a preamp underneath? Any news on the cost of the upgrades yet
Cheers

Bigman80
21-07-2017, 13:31
Looks great Oliver.. is that a preamp underneath? Any news on the cost of the upgrades yet
CheersYes mate, a little passive.

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Bigman80
21-07-2017, 13:32
Alan is the one to ask regarding pricing.

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Bigbird
21-07-2017, 22:37
Il get in touch with him mate .. is it still MM/mc switchable as I notice the toggle has now gone from the front panel

Bigman80
22-07-2017, 06:10
It's still got MM/MC Compatibility. The toggle switch on the front was for power. Thats been replaced by a new push button jobbie. Looks the business

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Bigman80
22-07-2017, 06:15
Nice, very swish.It is that!

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Bigbird
23-07-2017, 02:45
oh yeah , my mistake ..the toggle on the back was for the mm/mc switch!
iv spoken to alan now so hopefully will get it back to him very soon for a makeover.

Bigman80
23-07-2017, 07:34
oh yeah , my mistake ..the toggle on the back was for the mm/mc switch!
iv spoken to alan now so hopefully will get it back to him very soon for a makeover.[emoji3] [emoji106]

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Lee Henley
27-07-2017, 21:13
Heard this tonight at Firebottle towers, very very impressive to say the least, probably the best I've heard Alan's system sound by a country mile. I'm looking forward to hearing the OTP-MK 2 in my system in the not too near distant future.

Lee

Bigman80
28-07-2017, 19:53
Pleased to say the Firebottle OTP-MK2 is now finished !!!!

How's it sound? Well you can find out!!. There is to be a loaner unit doing the rounds which Alan will create a thread for.

All I will say is, I am very pleased to have been a part of the research that has gone into this.

Oddly, the hours I spent listening to Capacitors has been both fruitful and pointless. Alan has done away with the capacitors all together hahaha.

Still, it was great fun and I've loved it.

For me, it's been very beneficial to learn a lot of how these things are put together. I'm now listening to a few LPs and it's the best my system has sounded.

Sign up for a loan and see what you think!

If you are near Huddersfield on the 6th of August, it will be in a bake off at MCRU along with the KIN.

Should be a very good setup there too.



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struth
28-07-2017, 20:03
glad your happy. sure, knowing Alan it will be a good un

Bigman80
28-07-2017, 20:33
glad your happy. sure, knowing Alan it will be a good unThanks Grant.

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smangus
28-07-2017, 21:35
Watches moth fly out of wallet........:scratch:

Bigman80
28-07-2017, 22:09
Watches moth fly out of wallet........:scratch:Hahaha, that made me laugh mate. At least there's an upgrade path! Shouldn't dent the wallet too much?

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smangus
29-07-2017, 09:18
Hahaha, that made me laugh mate. At least there's an upgrade path! Shouldn't dent the wallet too much?

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I'm sure I'll go for it. Will have to wait until after summer .:)

Bigman80
29-07-2017, 09:55
Let us know what you think if you go for it!

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Lee Henley
31-07-2017, 22:35
Been playing with this for the last couple of days, it's very very good, lovely sense of space around the instruments and very well defined bass notes, well worth an audition IMO, this is compared to my fully modded EAR 834 with Telefunken valves !!

Bigman80
31-07-2017, 23:22
Been playing with this for the last couple of days, it's very very good, lovely sense of space around the instruments and very well defined bass notes, well worth an audition IMO, this is compared to my fully modded EAR 834 with Telefunken valves !!Not bad is it! I've been very happy with mine.

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brian2957
31-07-2017, 23:26
I'm waiting for Alan to build mine :) Hopefully get it soon , I'm really looking forward to getting the OTP into my system :)

Nickfna
06-10-2017, 12:47
Have had my upgraded OTP back with me now for a fortnight and it is absolutely stunning.
The original mk1 version is a great bit of kit but the upgrade takes it to a whole new level,
it's like another layer of the music has been revealed with a clarity and precision iv'e not heard before:).

I would advise anyone who has the orig OTP to get it of to Firebottle towers pronto,i promise you will not be disappointed.

Once again thanks Alan:cheers:

Nick.

spikey_w
09-10-2017, 11:57
I'm in the market for a phono stage and wondered if this OTP 2 is available for loan.

Mike

Spider
12-10-2017, 10:26
I've had the OTP mk2 at my house for a week on demo and will be sending it to the next demo on Monday.

Just to say, it is an excellent piece of kit for the price I would say it would be hard to beat in its price point.
If you are in the market for a good quality phono stage on a tight budget you should definitely listen to it.
In fact if your budget runs up a bit higher don't dismiss it. You should demo it.
The ability to use both MM & MC cartridges and load MC carts with loading plugs means you can use it with lots of different cartridges which is very useful.
Plus Alan is a really nice guy to deal with and the chance to try it in your own system before purchase is fantastic as you are not guessing what it will sound like you'll know because you lived with it for a few days.
Finally it looks great.
The box is really good to look at with really good looking front panel engraved with its name. Looks as good as any commercially produced product in my opinion.

brian2957
12-10-2017, 12:55
I've had mine for a while now and I'm extremely happy with it . It has opened up the music . The top end is clean and natural , the mids are beautiful , particularly voices which are now in the room , and bass is tuneful and deep . I've had a couple of phono stages in my system , nothing too expensive , and the OTP has markedly improved on all of them .

It's also very versatile , and looks great too .

The OTP is a keeper in my system for the foreseeable future and Alan is a real gent to deal with .

Intenso
27-10-2017, 19:01
Is this still available for a demo.

I'm really keen to get a valve Phono stage...

Bigman80
27-10-2017, 22:51
OTP is an Opamp based phonostage. There is a Firebottle2 on the the private exhibitions page and a Firebottle plus. They are both valve and excellent quality.

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