Primarily a DIY effort. Tube amplification from Bottlehead and Heathkit. DIY open baffle speakers featuring Voxativ 1.6 full-range drivers. The signal goes out from the Bottlehead preamp into a Marchand crossover I built several years ago. Bottlehead 2A3s power the Voxativ drivers supplemented by Fostex super tweeters. The Voxativs are mounted on an open baffle that acts as a mechanical high pass filter at approximately 250 Hz. A pair of vintage Heathkit UA-2s drive the 15" Fostex woofers.

I recently added bass traps from Auralex and GIK Acoustics.These made a huge contribution to the clarity and detail of the system.

Components Toggle details

    • Michell Engineering Gyro SE
    Superb sound, a classic work of art
    • Michell Engineering Technoarm
    Rega 250 modified by Michell
    • Shelter 501 Mk II
    low output moving coil cartridge connected to a 15:1 step up transformer from Bob's Devices
    • Lexicon RT-10
    CD, SACD, universal format
    • Bottlehead Eros Phono Stage
    built from a Bottlehead kit in December 2014
    • Botttlehead BeePre 300B Preamp
    300B driver tubes and stepped attenuators. Supremely quiet and articulate.
    • Marchand 2-way Crossover
    Solid state, built from a kit. Crossover frequency of 250Hz.
    • Bottlehead Paramour 2A3
    Single ended, built from kit.
    • Heathkit UA-2
    Vintage EL-84 amplifiers from the 1960's, approximately 10 wpc. These drive high efficiency Fostex 15

Comments 11

Very nice! Love the bottlehead and high efficiency stuff and your room looks nice and relaxing. Perfect for listening.


Hello, your thoughts on the RCM sensor 2 ?


Very nice system! Good to see that a 2A3 can drive the 1.6 from 250Hz and up. At what frequency do you cross over to the tweeter?
I'm also into DIY and OB, although my system is fully active and was wondering if a 2A3 could drive a midrange in OB. Obviously they can drive your Voxativs!
What kind of music do you listen to?


Stunning system.


It is both fun and cost effective to build one of these kits. I have not heard that many other tube preamps, but I can say the BeePre is the best I have heard and definitely a step up from my previous solid state model. Of course, there is potential for improvement by upgrading transformers, capacitors and tubes and the layout of the kit facilitates this option more than a factory built unit. In other words, you can tune the preamp to your own taste and preferences. You would definitely not be wasting your time.


How does thebeepre compare to commercial offerings? I've been wanting to build one but I do have a vacuum state svp2 that I love. It is a 6dj8 based pre that retailed for around 7k.
Will I be wasting my time?


Check this out:


Thanks Kpeoples for your in depth response. I will look into your system and try to get a 2" solid maple shelf under my BeePre to see if that will help w/ the microphonics. Also good to know that the stock EHx tubes are a good pairing with the BeePre. I had read such good reviews about the EHx Gold 300B tubes that I just started with them. I got my EHx Gold 300B tubes from Jim McShane.


What a cool system! Must be a daily source of pride and enjoyment.


I am using the stock Electro Harmonix 300B EH tubes provided by Botttlehead. I think they sound great, with no hint of microphony. Good detail, imaging, etc. My preamp sits on a 2" solid maple shelf, which may have a lot to do with the lack of vibration induced noise. The Mapleshade rack has spiked feet anchored on a solid bamboo floor over a concrete slab. The 2A3 amps picked up a little bit of vibration when mounted on previous racks, but they are also quiet now.

I love my Bottlehead pieces. They are not cheap, but with a little sweat equity they have to be the best bargain in audio.


Sweet looking system Kpeoples. What 300B tubes are you currently using in your Bottlehead BeePre?

I'm using Electro Harmonix Gold 300B tubes which is a nice pairing. My only issue with the BeePre is the microphony. I hope in your system you don't have micophonic or ringing issues with the BeePre. When the system is warming up and I sneeze near my system I can hear a slight ring through the system.


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