Bottlehead vs. Audionote Kits

Recently completed my second Bottlehead kit. I've now built a Crack headphone amp with Speedball upgrade and an Eros phono-pre. I couldn't be more delighted with both. First the challenge and fun of building has been a truly invigorating experience. The on going fun of tube rolling is great. Finally, both kits just sound terrific. I believe that I'm getting reasonable SOTA at a bargain price.

So here's my question. I'm thinking about building a SET amp for my second system. Do I go with Bottlehead Stereomour II with 3 1/2 Watts at $1,429.00 or Audio Note Kit 1 with 8 Watts at $2,325.00?

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Would love to hear from folks who've built or heard either.

Thanks in advance,



Congrats on this.

Curious dabblers like me like to know the benefits and pitfalls of DIY. I'd love to do this someday.
I built a pair of Bottlehead Paramours many years ago and really enjoyed the experience. Mine turned out really fantastic aesthetically and they sounded very good powering a pair of Reference 3A MM De Capos. Maybe not enough power for someone who listens to large scale orchestral music in a medium - large room, but they worked great for me.

Sold them here for a profit (bought the kit on closeout sale). Kinda wish I still had them, but that ship has sailed.....

Can't really help you with your choice, other than to say it would be pretty cool to have 4 Bottlehead boxes (HP, phono, pre, power) sitting on the shelf. 
I've built a Crack and a Quickie preamp. The process is lot's of fun and the products sound great. I never would've guessed the elcheapo Quickie would sound as good as it did. 

I had trouble with my crack build and the support from Bottlehead forum was amazing. Mine turned out to be a faulty tube socket which was fixed by blowing a bit of air in the tube holes. 

No experience with Audio Note; they seem a bit pricey to me.
Thank you all. Totally agree BH and the BH community via the forums are helpful and great. Fabulous how people will help you diagnose problems. 

Still hoping to hear from some ANers.

I may be wrong but in the low wattage SET amps, wouldn't 8 watts be a better choice than 3 1/2 watts?  What are your speakers and how efficient are they?.  I would think that  with low powered gear, every watt is precious.
Stereo5, Agreed. Current speakers are not particularly efficient, but that can be changed.
BH and see if it works for you. If not, sell it (for a profit!) and build the AN.
I own the Kit 1, but I had it built for me. I have read on the forums though that support for builders is very good, and when I have called Brian with questions he has always been quick to respond. The assembly manuals have also been improved over the years. One post above remarks on the high price of the kits, but the material quality is very high, and the sound quality is fantastic. I actually consider them a great value. I have heard of the Bottlehead of course, but have no experience with it.
The Kit 1 has been around for quite a while, and is considered a classic. If you are driving efficient speakers, I think that you would be delighted with it. They are good looking too. 
Both companies have earned very good reputations for support and value as well as good sound. The Audio Note is more expensive and for good reasons in my opinion. The chassis is larger and heavier to accommodate the big and high quality transformers (a crucial consideration for SET amplifiers). Power supplies are robust and parts quality is high. I have nothing negative to say regarding BH but I believe that the extra cost of the AN Kit is money well spent.

If you can afford the AN Kit I’d go for it and get upgraded coupling capacitors. In the long term these quality parts pay for themselves and yield superb sound. Their 300b SET amplifier is a true high end product. Just as Roxy accurately described  😊.
Thank you all for chiming in. Really appreciate the input.

I have owned a few pieces of ANK gear, though I have never built one myself, and have found them to be an extremely good value for the price. I currently have a ANK EL34 amp with the C-core transformers and I must say it is a wonderful unit. I have a friend that owns a ANK kit 1 and it is really an amazing amp, if paired with a nice set of high efficient speakers. I'm sold on the ANK gear. I must say however my experience with the BH units is very limited.
Hello Ranjan, interesting coincidence. Have been giving a lot of thought to the SET amps and alternatives. Just ordered the ANK EL34i with C-Core transformers. Should arrive in several weeks. Really looking forward to the build and listening. 
I've built the ANK EL34 (with IE transformers) as a power amp, the L4 remote preamp and the L3 phono. Also, a Bottlehead Stereomour, Quickie, and Foreplay 2. I'm waiting for delivery on the Bottlehead BeePre and Kaiju 300B pre and power amps. I think Bottlehead's manuals tend to be more complete and up to date, which has me leaning their way a little more lately. But the form factor is a little funky compared to the more standard ANK stuff. Nobody mentioned Elekit, but I love the TU-8200 integrated.  

My EL34 was originally built as an integrated but I had Digital Pete (the original builder) bypass the preamp and I now use an Audio Note UK M2 preamp into the EL34. Very nice sound. I also have a ANK L3 phono and a ANK 2.1 DAC that was highly upgraded (a gain by Pete) with Duolund caps and better resistors. All really very good gear. I wouldn't hesitate to buy more of the ANK gear and am seriously considering adding a ANK Mentor preamp to the lineup. If you have any questions on the ANK gear give Pete a call. Really nice guy who is very helpful. His number is on their website.