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Bravo Audio V2 Review - Big Sound in a Small Package - Page 2

post #16 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

http://www.head-fi.org/t/633555/tubes-for-project-sunrise-ii#post_8859620

 

The second post by me outlines a detailed report on some of the 12AU7 tubes I have tried in the Sunrise Amp, the Sunrise amp and the Bravo are similar (the Sunrise a slightly more superior one) both able to tube role 12AU7 tubes. Also changing few resistors on the circuit for trim pots is an extra option but is not necessary, you can simply take out and tube and tube roll another one and it be fine. O getter, long grey or black plates pair best with the Bravo after the mod's I've mentioned are performed, I don't remember the sound of a stock Bravo V2 so yeah.

 

The cost of mod's won't involve more than a few hours and roughly $15-25 max, cheaper if you already have extra part's such as capacitors lying around, of course one can change every resistor and components to high grade audiophile one's and the modding ceiling to the sky with unlimited amount of options, but this is the same for other amp's as well bare that in mind. Just for a comparison, my Bravo V2 tube amp performs better with an array of headphones I have with different genre's then the $180 Hifiman EF-2 tube amp, and there isn't much more mod's for that amp as well.

 

By the last bit I meant the treble sound either too bright or recessed, I tried shortening it into one sentence so ya, bit of confusion lol.

... I see that you build Tube Amps, I do not have the skill to mod hard ware... I am NOT a DIY guy... I might like to be but right now... NO MEGUSTA. SO what would you charge me to well sell me a Modded Bravo V2 , it's about $70 stock and let's say $30 for the upgrades... then add like

 

Oh you live in Austrailla... well that sux.

 

Still other than Tube Rolling I don't have the time or skill e.e [I have a friend that does ironically] still this is my first Tube amp then I'm aiming for a Hifiman EF-5 Tube or something in that price range... so I only really want Sub $100 tube tbh... I might Roll the Tube if I get kinda broke... but I don't aim for this to be MEGA Transparent just a nice intro into the Tube Sound, until I get mah Check in le Spring, which will allow me to buy some SERIOUS gear

post #17 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by RAZRr1275 View Post

Can this thing power or play nice with the K702, Denon D2000 and/or Grado SR80i? I might get it and mod it at some point down the road as a long term project

Not sure about the K702 or SR80i, but the D2000 won't pair well with the/a tube amp. the DX000 series pair best with low power solid state amps.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/619181/list-opinion-amp-recommendations-for-denon-headphones

post #18 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

... I see that you build Tube Amps, I do not have the skill to mod hard ware... I am NOT a DIY guy... I might like to be but right now... NO MEGUSTA. SO what would you charge me to well sell me a Modded Bravo V2 , it's about $70 stock and let's say $30 for the upgrades... then add like

Oh you live in Austrailla... well that sux.

Still other than Tube Rolling I don't have the time or skill e.e still this is my first Tube amp then I'm aiming for a Hifiman EF-5 Tube or something in that price range... so I only really want Sub $100 tube tbh... I might Roll the Tube if I get kinda broke... but I don't aim for this to be MEGA Transparent just a nice intro into the Tube Sound, until I get mah Check in le Spring, which will allow me to buy some SERIOUS gear

That's basically what I was getting at in my last post... A lot of us want to/need to spend our weekends on other things for personal growth and entertainment than tinkering with electronics. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around, right? In fact, I would guess that MOST of us aren't the type to have "spare capacitors lying around."

Mshenay, you may want to look into eBay store fred_fred_2004, they have 2 different finished tube design amps and good feedback. Actually, seems like he just posted another 1-off (i.e. quantity = 1) tube design in a... Unique enclosure tin. He's also based in Australia, but since he builds them himself it's not really different from buying from China, unless you have political reasons. I almost pulled the trigger on his desktop amp:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Desktop-12AU7-JRC4556-Valve-driven-cmoy-RA1-headphone-amplifier-amp-warm-tube-/190721696228?pt=AU_Electronics_Audio_Amplifiers&hash=item2c67e621e4
Then, there also the Millett Starving Student tube amps people make. But, as you may remember from MLE's thread, I went with a new amp from a DIY'er gone commercial, which should be arriving within days. It's in http://www.head-fi.org/t/402067/a-super-simple-6dj8-headphone-amp/285 this thread, I specifically linked to a page with interesting mention of the Bravo/Indeed amps.

It's the eternal consumer question: buy a decent product at a great value price, or spend a little more and get something that reaches another quality threshold.
post #19 of 84
P.s. while I still see the Bravo & Indeed amps decent for cheap-as-possible tube hybrids, this review was what got me curious about the Super Simple: http://www.slugsite.com/archives/1289
post #20 of 84

Hmm well I really like my JDS Labs cMoy and the mention of cMoy with Fred_Fred_2004 with his hybrid Tube makes me curios... I may just jump on that instead! As I hear his build quality is usally pretty solid. He has a "make an offer" listing in which I can MAYBE get his amp for around $80, because it stands at about $107 with shipping and what not... so hopefully he will agree ;3. But with only 1 sold and 8 avalibe. I'm not sure he's in a position to argue to much lol.

post #21 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

Hmm well I really like my JDS Labs cMoy and the mention of cMoy with Fred_Fred_2004 with his hybrid Tube makes me curios... I may just jump on that instead! As I hear his build quality is usally pretty solid. He has a "make an offer" listing in which I can MAYBE get his amp for around $80, because it stands at about $107 with shipping and what not... so hopefully he will agree ;3. But with only 1 sold and 8 avalibe. I'm not sure he's in a position to argue to much lol.

I saw you talking about your JDS Labs cmoy on Clie OS's round-up. Fred_Fred_2004's 3 channel amp was his favourite sub-$100 amp, so I'm very curious if the Tube amp is similarly pleasing.

He has 1 sold 8 available... from this listing. I've been watching, he regularly sells out, and then builds another batch of amps to sell. I doubt you'll get the desktop model for under $100 US. It's still a bargain, but not cheap like the Bravo/Indeed amps. Fred_Fred_2004 has a smaller tube hybrid that costs less. Dunno how any of these amps compare to eachother though.
Edited by Evshrug - 11/16/12 at 4:57pm
post #22 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


I saw you talking about your JDS Labs cmoy on Clie OS's round-up. Fred_Fred_2004's 3 channel amp was his favourite sub-$100 amp, so I'm very curious if the Tube amp is similarly pleasing.
He has 1 sold 8 available... from this listing. I've been watching, he regularly sells out, and then builds another batch of amps to sell. I doubt you'll get the desktop model for under $100 US. It's still a bargain, but not cheap like the Bravo/Indeed amps. Fred_Fred_2004 has a smaller tube hybrid that costs less. Dunno how any of these amps compare to eachother though.

Blag they dont compare well... hence is why it's like half the price! But I think he'd sell it to me for $20 less than what he has listed! If not then I can just see if he'll go under $100 seeing as it's about $108 with shipping! But we will see soon enough :D

post #23 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

Blag they dont compare well... hence is why it's like half the price! But I think he'd sell it to me for $20 less than what he has listed! If not then I can just see if he'll go under $100 seeing as it's about $108 with shipping! But we will see soon enough biggrin.gif

Can you show me the comparison? I would guess that the smaller one is almost the same as the amp in this review in design.
post #24 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


Can you show me the comparison? I would guess that the smaller one is almost the same as the amp in this review in design.

look on the sellers page, the dektop amp has an additional wiring or something... ethier way... the $50 is much smaller so that makes me think... some thing has been comprimised! 

post #25 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

... I see that you build Tube Amps, I do not have the skill to mod hard ware... I am NOT a DIY guy... I might like to be but right now... NO MEGUSTA. SO what would you charge me to well sell me a Modded Bravo V2 , it's about $70 stock and let's say $30 for the upgrades... then add like

 

Oh you live in Austrailla... well that sux.

 

Still other than Tube Rolling I don't have the time or skill e.e [I have a friend that does ironically] still this is my first Tube amp then I'm aiming for a Hifiman EF-5 Tube or something in that price range... so I only really want Sub $100 tube tbh... I might Roll the Tube if I get kinda broke... but I don't aim for this to be MEGA Transparent just a nice intro into the Tube Sound, until I get mah Check in le Spring, which will allow me to buy some SERIOUS gear

 

I don't build amp's for profit, rather just build my own amp's on pre-available kit's or so thing's like the Beta 22 or the parafeed Torpedo etc, nothing like I'm designing my own amp's no chance lol. The Bravo V2 has potential and it's a great way to dip your feet wet into the world of tube's, alternatively you can also just shoot for something higher-range say $250-650 price bracket but really depends on how much your willing to spend, but as always and I exercise to people is that do your research on the equipment your buying before pulling the trigger, read review's from our contributors here and other websites objectively and subjectively as well as the technical side and the components used, a lot of head-fi'ers have no experience with the gear they state they have listened to and just regurgitate what other's have written, it's a shame but it's avoidable at best. 

 

Tube rolling is just as fun as building amp's which is pretty fun too. bigsmile_face.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by penmarker View Post

Not sure about the K702 or SR80i, but the D2000 won't pair well with the/a tube amp. the DX000 series pair best with low power solid state amps.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/619181/list-opinion-amp-recommendations-for-denon-headphones

+1, the K/Q70X range suits anything tube based, bit bright with certain mid range SS gear. Haven't heard the SR80's but if it's anything like the MS1i's I had while ago then it pair well with both SS and tube gear. As much as a recessed fart cannon the D2k is, it won't pair well with a tube amp that has a very strong warm signature.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


That's basically what I was getting at in my last post... A lot of us want to/need to spend our weekends on other things for personal growth and entertainment than tinkering with electronics. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around, right? In fact, I would guess that MOST of us aren't the type to have "spare capacitors lying around."
Mshenay, you may want to look into eBay store fred_fred_2004, they have 2 different finished tube design amps and good feedback. Actually, seems like he just posted another 1-off (i.e. quantity = 1) tube design in a... Unique enclosure tin. He's also based in Australia, but since he builds them himself it's not really different from buying from China, unless you have political reasons. I almost pulled the trigger on his desktop amp:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Desktop-12AU7-JRC4556-Valve-driven-cmoy-RA1-headphone-amplifier-amp-warm-tube-/190721696228?pt=AU_Electronics_Audio_Amplifiers&hash=item2c67e621e4
Then, there also the Millett Starving Student tube amps people make. But, as you may remember from MLE's thread, I went with a new amp from a DIY'er gone commercial, which should be arriving within days. It's in http://www.head-fi.org/t/402067/a-super-simple-6dj8-headphone-amp/285 this thread, I specifically linked to a page with interesting mention of the Bravo/Indeed amps.
It's the eternal consumer question: buy a decent product at a great value price, or spend a little more and get something that reaches another quality threshold.

As much as I like Fred's stuff, that amp will not be in the same performance league of a stock Bravo V2 amp at all. Correct me if I'm wrong but the last time he listed one of those he stated that the tube is there for look's as it doesn't actually contribute to the sound from the circuit. 

 

If you can do bit of DIY, fwiw, skip the Bravo and go for the MMSS (Millett Max Starving Student), great way to learn about amp's as you go, DIY and knowledge base wise on the technicalities involved and even more important you feel proud of yourself when you finish the working unit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

Hmm well I really like my JDS Labs cMoy and the mention of cMoy with Fred_Fred_2004 with his hybrid Tube makes me curios... I may just jump on that instead! As I hear his build quality is usally pretty solid. He has a "make an offer" listing in which I can MAYBE get his amp for around $80, because it stands at about $107 with shipping and what not... so hopefully he will agree ;3. But with only 1 sold and 8 avalibe. I'm not sure he's in a position to argue to much lol.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


I saw you talking about your JDS Labs cmoy on Clie OS's round-up. Fred_Fred_2004's 3 channel amp was his favourite sub-$100 amp, so I'm very curious if the Tube amp is similarly pleasing.
He has 1 sold 8 available... from this listing. I've been watching, he regularly sells out, and then builds another batch of amps to sell. I doubt you'll get the desktop model for under $100 US. It's still a bargain, but not cheap like the Bravo/Indeed amps. Fred_Fred_2004 has a smaller tube hybrid that costs less. Dunno how any of these amps compare to eachother though.

 

Pa2v2 is hard to beat, goes for less when in the F/S section and sound's better. Fred's stuff are not cheap considering it is just a Moy or RA1 based amp, which technically is a Moy itself.

 

Btw, what is a 'Me Gusta'? I see troll's use it sometimes but I guess I'm showing my age now by not having to keep up with these 'kid' terminologies these day's.


Edited by DefQon - 11/18/12 at 9:53pm
post #26 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

Pa2v2 is hard to beat, goes for less when in the F/S section and sound's better. Fred's stuff are not cheap considering it is just a Moy or RA1 based amp, which technically is a Moy itself.

 

 

On some sense, many amps have a cmoy root. However, that's because ChuMoy designed the first cmoy using the reference amp topology in the datasheet, not because he invented the cmoy topology. It will be silly to think because it has a cmoy like topology than the amp must be inferior, since the same topology has been used on higher end amp as well. If you think of it, That is only that many way you can reinvent the wheel, so to speak, PA2V2 uses the similar topology recommended on the amp chip's datasheet as well, the same one on Boostaroo v2 no less. However, many of Howard's amp topology ain't cmoy actually. The 3 Channels is buffered A47 to be exact, but that can be argued as a modified cmoy of course. Then again, it was inspired by a datasheet reference as well, IIRC.

post #27 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

 

On some sense, many amps have a cmoy root. However, that's because ChuMoy designed the first cmoy using the reference amp topology in the datasheet, not because he invented the cmoy topology. It will be silly to think because it has a cmoy like topology than the amp must be inferior, since the same topology has been used on higher end amp as well. If you think of it, That is only that many way you can reinvent the wheel, so to speak, PA2V2 uses the similar topology recommended on the amp chip's datasheet as well, the same one on Boostaroo v2 no less. However, many of Howard's amp topology ain't cmoy actually. The 3 Channels is buffered A47 to be exact, but that can be argued as a modified cmoy of course. Then again, it was inspired by a datasheet reference as well, IIRC.

 

I never said he invented the Cmoy topology and as it stands from a schematic point of view, it is a 'Cmoy' in a way.

post #28 of 84

Of course you didn't. But my curiosity is, we all know what a cmoy looks like, but where is the point when we stop saying a circuit is a cmoy but rather something else? Arguably, many of the RSA and iBasso amp are actually cmoy with a different opamp and perhaps an enhanced power section. They might use mostly SMD parts, but the topology doesn't different that much from a cmoy.

post #29 of 84

Well the big issue I have is I'm a Cullinary Art's guy... I cook I don't do eletronics xD. As much as I'd like to learn I don't have the time or resources to get into building and moddifying my own amps e.e I'm a listening kind of guy, I do like learning how the stuff works but to actually work on it... no thanks

 

I would how ever love to ask you to build a MMSS amp for me and I'd love to pay you for everything at cost as well as the shipping!

 

But once again, aside from Tube Rolling I don't plan to get into building and modifying amps to much e.e, trust me working in a hot kitchen for 10 hours is pretty exhuasting and when I get home... I'm not in the mood to build an electrical Circuit. I'm to tired mentally for the task, cookings pretty intense...

 

But I've got a little extra Cash for once now so I hope to get something in the next two weeks!

post #30 of 84
DefQon,
I would actually love to build an amp. I would also like to build an R/C plane, learn to be my own car mechanic, finish my engineering degree, solve the design issues of Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles (seems to be picking the right chemical catalyst to strip electrons from hydrogen while introducing Oxygen to end up with electricity and water, there has been much progress on that, the main problem is actually hydrogen distribution and the power of oil companies). I really would love to have my hands in all of these things. But first, I must add to my other experience and learn more advanced uses of Dreamweaver and HTML coding, so I can make money.

I thought about the Millett Max Starving Student amp, buying or building would be great fun. But while researching both these Bravo amps and the Millett (sorry if I'm spelling his name wrong just now), I came across references to the quality of the Super Simple amp referenced above. It costs more money, but it has great potential, and I've read others in that thread that preferred it to the MMSS amp. It was a bit of a gamble, but someone agreed to build one for me, and it arrived today! Of course I missed the postman and signature, so I won't actually have it in my hands until tomorrow, BUT! I've been looking forward to it! Review and pics tomorrow!
]
My review in it's own article, of course. We've derailed this one enough, which is a massive shame because it was very well written. Which is why, even though I haven't heard the Bravo (just the majority opinion), I'd still say this is definitely an amp to consider if looking for a cheap tube-hybrid and/or modding opportunity, though the "Indeed G3" brand- version of this amp has a better track record for power switch reliability and power supply.

"Me Gusta" is Spanish for "I like," so not particularly bound to trolls, but I wouldn't be surprised if some hipsters/trolls use the phrase because they saw others using it with those "memese" cartoons and just try to use it the same way. Also, the closest reference I've read to what you're saying about Howard's tube hybrid in the Hammond case is that the tube is just there to color the sound, while the solid state part of the show does the gain and power amplification... which is how all tube hybrids work to my knowledge. Howard also built a USB hub with a tube in it as a joke, that was an absolutely "transparent" tube, lol.

ClieOS,
Thank you for lending your experience and analysis.
I agree with what you are saying, and take it further - there obviously is more to an amp than the inspiration for the design (like CMoy or Sidjosae). There is implementation, circuit layout and design, component choice, power usage, heat dissipation, case design, quality control... Music could be considered limited by note variety and key, but then not all musicians play scales on piano! Action or romance stories could all be considered to be the same! I think everybody gets the picture. Have you seen any reviews on Howard's tube hybrids?

I get my amp tomorrow I get my amp tomorrow! I wish I could share it with you and see what you would think of it. I have a general idea of what to listen for and how to describe it, do you have any suggestions for how to write my review so that it will be understood and useful to others?

Mshenay,
I hear ya buddy. I've had work in the food industry 3 different times, and had other jobs that just bum wore me out (never ate so much and slept so hard as when I was in landscaping though), and if I learned anything it was to be respectful for how demanding jobs are for the blue-collar man. A Bravo (or Indeed, seriously) would probably be fine, although the gain sweet spot is small on the volume pot, and it may take up to a month to arrive from Hong Kong. So, just manage your expectations.

I'm a little disappointed you haven't actually found a review or comparison, basically just assumed the cheaper Fred_Fred_2004 amp is inferior to the Bravo/Indeed/Muse design because both are smaller or have less "wiring" than Fred_Fred (Howard's) desktop amp. I don't actually follow what you're thinking, so to be on the same page, without reading a direct comparison review I would chose Howard's for about the same price because he hand-makes them with better build quality than the factory that makes the amp for Bravo/indeed/Muse to sell. The Bravo clones do have the advantage of RCA inputs and outputs. I don't know the advantages of Howard's desktop other than the addition of RCA input and upgraded parts listed on the eBay page, though I have faith he did have a reason for charging more. Did you hear back on what he'd sell it to you for?
Edited by Evshrug - 11/20/12 at 1:20am
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