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Acknowledgment Thanks to @Tony-Hifi of HiFi headphones for making me review this desktop DAC/Amp as a favour. I love reviewing loaners, but it’s always sad to package and send them off...
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- Headphone Impedance
Bravo Audio - funny looking little tube amps - Page 159
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My Ocean has developed some nasty crackling :(
Not sure if it's the tube, or the caps or whatever :(
I was listening to it the other day, as usual and it suddenly started crackling. It used to be only when the amp warmed up, not it is constant.
It still plays music, but the crackling is pretty bad.
is it when your smartphone is nearby? i dont think the bravo amps are well-shielded.
Tried moving my mobile away from the amp, no difference. It came out of nowhere the other day. Thinking it may be the tube, as the filaments take a while to start glowing, before they would come on pretty much instantly. And the crackling has got worse.
My bravo gets a buzz whenever I get an incoming txt even if the phone is some distance away. It actually starts maybe 1.5 seconds before the phone actually alerts me of the new message so who knows. Also is it possible it could be your headphones? Maybe try plugging them directly into the source?
So I have a feeling its the tube, I don't have a spare on hand unfortunately, will get one soon.
Henry from Bravo thinks it may be the tube, or the power supply.
I'm looking to replace the stock tube in my V2, what suggestions would you have. I've heard good things about the Groove Tubes ST-12AU7 Preamp Tube Silver but I frankly know nothing about it.
There are some general impressions of different tubes with the Bravo V2 in this thread.
I personally avoid using all new manufacture tubes. They sound crappy compared to any vintage tube. You can quote me on that I honestly didn't know any better until I tried some vintage tubes. Then I realized just how tinny and thin sounding the stock tube sounds.
You can get inexpensive vintage American made tubes from eBay for just about the same price as the newly made stuff, but the vintage tubes (of ANY kind) sound better. The older, the better (of course, you'll pay much more for really old tubes).
There is of course the law of diminishing returns, especially with an inexpensive hybrid like the Bravo. Spending a pile of money on tubes for an amp that itself only costs you around $70 bucks does seem kind of silly. But considering that you'll pay $10-$15 bucks for a brand new Chinese or Russian tube, spending $10-$15 bucks for an old vintage RCA, Sylvania, etc. is perfectly reasonable. Yes, eBay is a bit riskier than Amazon.com. But it's improved a lot since I first started using it (a long long time ago).
So. Yeah. Read the thread above, then go shopping on eBay for a couple old vintage American tubes. I suggest trying a couple, they are usually quite reasonable. You will find that each tube changes the character of sound in its own unique way.
As long as we're at it, I should mention that the 12AU7 has quite a few plug-in substitutes, that do not require any rewiring. Brent Jesse's website has a nice list of the common 12AU7 plug-in substitutes. I have personally tried the 5963's, the 5814's, the ECC82's, and I think I have one 6189.
I ran into a guy on eBay selling 5963 tubes for $2.50 each last summer. I bought a half dozen, cost me less than $20 including shipping. Amazing deal.
Of the American tubes, the Tung-Sol's and the long black plate RCA or Raytheon tubes are all very nice sounding tubes (by long, I mean 17mm plates - the 14mm are considered "short" plates). If you find any of those, they are all worth the price. I picked up a long black plate Raytheon tube, 50's vintage, for $8 bucks. You just can't beat a deal like that. It's definitely worth shopping around on ebay.
hey guys, i just receive my mullard tube n try it but somehow the sound quality is worse than the stock tube tht came wit the bravo v2...i dn feel any power or anything at all, its lik there isnt any amp connected to the headphone...
Was this a new old stock tube ? 2 things come to mind
1) Check that it does say 12AU7
2) It might be a bad tube (spent)
Depending on the Mullard (especially Blackburn plant) it should sound amazing
- Bravo Audio - funny looking little tube amps
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