[Official] Big Brain Stack - Owner's Thread



[Headphone Recommendations]

Recommendations for Laptop/Desktop/Tablet/Smartphone without S/PIDF out:

PCI-E: (Requires S/PIDF Header on Motherboard)

USB-A: (Support for PC & PS4)

Bluetooth (Support for PC & Mobile Devices)

Suggested Step-Up: (Supports USB-C)

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The K3 is ideal. It allows for digital control of the Optical and Coaxial volume, and it’s the cleanest. Unfortunately it’s also the most expensive.

If your motherboard has a SPDIF header, you can use one of these:

Sorry, I should have been more specific. I’m speaking more from a laptop. I also added both Syba Sonics for thoughts.

Also, feel free to add something else that may be in the $50 range. I think they’re great additions to the !bigbrainstack guide.

Oh shit I didn’t realize they made the Syba Sonic in black.

I still use mine, I’d recommend it. It’s a useful little unit.

the BBS = Audio Love… I am really enjoying mine and really appreciate the effort you took to kick my ass into one :slight_smile:

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Have any pics of your setup?

Here is a picture of da Stack
With a Cameo by my newest headphones:

Philips Fidelio X2HR Over-Ear Open-Air Headphone 50mm Drivers- Black
MASSDROP X SENNHEISER HD 6XX HEADPHONES with Free set of Earpads: Hybrid Velour


She may not be pretty but here it is

The Schiit SYS helped me get rid of buzz I was suffering on a different A/B switch.

So my setup looks like this:

2 PC sources both connected to Enog. One via coaxial and one via optical. I use the input button on the Enog to switch between the 2 PCs.

Enog ->

RCA out -> Schiit SYS switch:
A side: Loxjie A10 speaker amp-> Micca RB42 passive speakers
B side: Atom -> Fidelio X2HR/Sennheiser HD 598/Koss KPH30i/MP Modern Retro

XLR out -> P20 > balanced out to Sennheiser 6XX

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Damn. I didn’t think about the changes that I made to my recommendation post getting blown away doing the site fix. I’ll work on that sometime in the next day or two.

EDIT: The Recommendation Post has been updated.

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You need to get this for your SYS:

Now I have a use for the other knob from the 2 pack I bought for the Atom. Nice.

Either will work on the SYS. I bought that one first and it doesn’t fit the atom, hole is recessed too far.

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Ok we’re in business


Are the tube upgrade instructions somewhere else? I saw on the youtube comments to look here for more info.

I just ordered all the parts for the BBS, but I haven’t ordered the tube upgrades yet. Also, I was hoping to find a single vendor for both tubes, as opposed to ebay and tube-store.com. Anyone know what I need to be looking for specifically when purchasing upgrade tubes? It’s all well past my understanding at this point.

@ALANMAN is the tube guru, I’m sure he will be able to point you in the right direction.

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The reason why the 2 tubes listed were chosen is price and availability. Other tube equivalents can be found but not cheaply or easily.

The P20 accepts 4 equivalent tubes: 6N3, 5670, 2C51, and 396A.
Only 1 variant each of 2 different types are relatively cheap and readily available, the Reflektor 6N3P-DR and the GE 5670W.

The GE 5670W are the cheapest 5670 variant and also very good. There may be other brand variants worth trying for the 5670. I’m very interested in hearing the Raytheon 5670, as they seem to be the second cheapest and moderately available on ebay, averaging about 20-35 USD per tube. Other 5670 variants are very expensive, up to 100 USD or more per pair.

I have tried all of the 6N3P tubes available at tube-store. A few are OK at best, and a couple are not worth trying. The Reflektor brand DR are the best, and actually great. Everything about the DR variant goes well beyond any others listed on the site. It is also the most expensive, but at $6 per tube it’s an easy buy.

By far the most expensive of these equivalents is the Western Electric 396A. This tube is prohibitively expensive for me to try. The Western Electric 396A is said to be the warmest and most ‘tube’ like of all it’s equivalents, some consider it to be the best. This is well known and drives the price up. Used and dying 396A tubes still go for 60-100 USD per tube. New can go anywhere from 200-500 USD PER TUBE.

I am unfamiliar with specific 2C51 variants, but like each other equivalent, you’ll see the 2C51 name grouped in with the other types when doing a search.


One thing to note on the 5670W, they are quite a bit shorter than any 6n3 / 6n3p variants. If you have trouble removing them from your P20, just gently and patiently wiggle them back and forth until they come loose, it may take a few minutes. The seller also likes to use alternative ‘packing material’

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Got a tube upgrade delivered today! I’m utterly devastated that my applesauce packing peanuts are over a year expired. I was really looking forward to trying out the strawberry apple flavor.

I think that I’ve made an error in purchasing. I only bought one of each tube, thinking that they were to be used together as a Frankenstein pair. But you were meaning to buy two of each of the recommended tubes correct? Would putting one of each of the above recommended tubes in at the same time on the p20 be a bad idea, or not a big deal at all?

The tubes are meant to be used as a pair and need to match. There is one for each channel, Left and Right. Please DO NOT mix and match tube types, this will sound bad and can damage the amp.

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