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Bravo Audio - funny looking little tube amps

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by ear8dmg, Sep 9, 2009.
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  1. cheaphifi
    Don't melt Sunrise and Bravo/Indeed in terme of sound quality the Project Sunrise is one or two step above any Bravo/Indeed, even when intensively modded at its best...
    Comparing a Bravo and a Sunrise is like comparing the cheapest Little Dot Vs a Woo Audio WA6, it's not really the same category.
  2. mvrk10256
    You know I really wish I could get some time on a surise. I am curious if its actually better than my modded Bravo. 
  3. cheaphifi
    If you don't Need preamp and RCA output, you can go for the Project Starlight, it's powerful enough to drive even a vintage AKG K340 and it's cheaper (190$ for a built Starlight, 250$ for a built Sunrise, kit are 35$ cheaper but you need skill to build them).. it's almost the same sound (perhaps less Bass-slam than a Sunrise).
  4. Mshenay
    for around $250 ur getting into LIttle Dot MK Iv used territory. There are much better amps at that price point, now if you want a Hybrid. I have no clue. But pure tubes, around $250 there a a lot of them. Still I've always thought of my hybrid tubes as gateways into pure tubes. Still if u really dig the hybrid. Then I'm sure the Sunrise might be good stuff! For the price but stop brining that up in this thread. This thread is for the Bravo [and the indeed since they are same price point and goal essitanly] 
  5. mvrk10256
    I feel like for ~200-250 I would get a Little Dot MKIII and call it good. Buddy has one, and I love the sound. 
  6. Godthul
    The Sunrise is miles ahead of the bravo.  I modded my bravo, and it still does not compare to the Sunrise ii.  The bravo really struggles when faced with headphones that are hard to drive, like the fostex t50rp or AKG k702s.  The sunrise is putting out almost a watt in that range, and drives them with ease.
    Another great thing about the Sunrise II is tube rolling.  It fits an obscene amount of tubes--both 12v and 6v.
    The Sunrise II also allows for proper baising of the tubes which is impossible on the bravo even with mods.  
    The amp just sounds fantastic.  I don't have any experience with the Little Dot MKIII for comparison though.  
  7. cheaphifi
    Sorry I was a little too enthusiastic about the sunrise and I forgot that I was not in the right thread.

    I would be careful in the future.
  8. mvrk10256
    That not true. You can set up the bravo to control biasing. I dont have the link in front of me but its on the rock grotto modding thread. 
  9. DefQon
    Ok where to start as there seem's to be a lot of miss-information here.....
    The Sunrise, Bravo, Indeed are all based on the same class a 12AU7 circuit with the original Sunrise a bit modified taking into account of no limitations and skimping out on quality with price ratio.
    The P-S is indeed a step above the Bravo and Indeed but with extensive modding and fixing the flaws of the circuitry of the Bravo and Indeed where they skipped out due to cost on the Bravo and Indeed, the latter two are not very far off behind the Sunrise.
    This is coming from someone who has built and modded over 4 Project Sunrise II amps, over a dozen Indeed G2, G1 and Bravo v1, v2 and v3 amp's.
    There comes a saying you get what you pay for and this applies exactly to the Bravo and Indeed line of amp's. The Indeed G3 is almost neck to neck against P-S overall. 
    What else is disappointing is that I'm currently rebuilding my Bravo v2 in a full sized enclosure with a regulated 24v power supply, change of resistors, pot, hp / rca jacks etc to better parts to see how far I can take a $50 hybrid tube amp to. Measuring the cheap resistors used show alot of drift from my DMM away from it's original rated values which is obviously 1 factor to decreasing the sound quality as the rated resistance is all over the place. 
    As with Little Dot vs Woo WA6, that depends on which Little Dot amp you're talking about, the LD MK 1,2 and 3's are nothing special as evident from there prices, just for references, my LD MK VI+ wipes the floor compared to all the dynamic Woo amp's up to the WA5, an amp that cost 3.5x as much as my VI+, and they are both neck to neck on some area's of sound. There is also nothing special about Woo amp's except the cost you're paying is a good build and fancy enclosure, the circuitry are bog standard ones that have been around for decades modified from time to time, in this case a circuitry that Jack has thrown a bunch of fancy boutique parts thinking it will dramatically improve the sound of. Very much alike as some experience posters here saying Ray Samuals Darkstar amp is nothing but a hot rodded (fail infact) gainclone amplifier costing much less.
    Tell me you're joking with this post? T50RP and AKG K/Q70X headphones are not hard to drive end of story. A bee's dick Fiio E5 can even drive the K702's, they don't need power, same can be said for the stock woeful T50RP's. If you're finding it hard to drive them, then it mean's you failed to mod your Bravo properly or have a broken unit, because I can tell you, these can drive 600ohm high z Beyer DT990 Prem's no problem or my LCD2's for that matter.
    Indeed the Bravo can be modded for biasing, you need to remove the two small Rubycon caps next to the tube socket in between the volume jack, 1 trimpot for each channel. Rockgrotto has extensive information on the exact value of the trimpot you need. 
  10. UmustBKidn
    Well, for sure the i-20 bypasses the internal iPod DAC, and it isn't noisy per se. What it is, is very bright. It does bring a level of detail to my setup that I can hear even in a Bravo V2. I just can't crank it up as much as I like [​IMG]  It also does a nice job of holding up the iPod, as a stand - so if that's something you need, it does that quite well. The other two DACs I mentioned in my review don't have that feature. I am not sure what else to recommend. There are not many choices when it comes to an iPod DAC. My next choice would have been the Nuforce Icon Ido (which I believe uses some sort of 30-pin connector, not a dock or stand, to connect the iPod).
  11. UmustBKidn
    Gentlemen, I have a question. You raise an issue I noted in my comparison: I could not use my Beyerdynamic DT770/250 cans, because the bottom end response disappeared when using the Bravo to drive them. I assumed this was an impedance issue, and did not investigate further. Now you're making me wonder.
    My Sony MDR 7506 cans (63 ohm impedance) can be driven nicely with the Bravo V2, and exhibited surprisingly good bottom end response during the comparison. All combinations of the two DACs and two amplifiers drove the Sony cans equally well. I can't say the same for the Beyerdynamic cans. This makes me wonder what I am hearing ... is there a defect in either my Bravo or my Beyers? Is there an impedance issue going on? Can the Amp/Dac combination effect this? I am curious to hear your opinions.
    Thank you kindly.
  12. UmustBKidn
    I'm sorry, but I kind of have to snicker at this. I think I bought some 30-odd tubes, of several types, for my Bravo V2 tube rolling exercise. I think that's obscene enough. After all, if you're going to go to the expense of spending what, another hundred bucks on tubes (even if you get them cheaply, like I did), then one must question, why not get a better amp, as DefQon said? I mean, this is almost the same logic as dropping a v-8 engine into a golf cart. Even if you could get it to work, why not spend the money for a better amp? It's just simple economics. By the time you spend $150-200 for any Sunrise amp, and another hundred bucks on tubes, you could buy a Bottlehead Crack or a Schiit Valhalla, both of which would outdo any of these little hybrid amps, from what I can tell.
    I am also getting kind of tired of the constant Bravo Bashing going on. Quite frankly I'm tired of hearing about how awesome you guys think these Sunrise amps are. Even if you're right, I'm not reading this thread to listen to your constant preaching. Thank you for your understanding.
  13. techboy
    Hi guys, I have a few doubts regarding Bravo Ocean (I do own one at the moment though):
    1. Does this amp drive the following headphones really well?
    a) AKG 7xx series
    b) Senn HD 600 and HD 650
    c) Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm
    d) Mr.Speakers Mad Dogs
    e) Mid level orthos like yamaha and Mad Dogs etc
    By really well I don't mean the volume alone, but also the quality, tonality and dynamics. And how well does it fare in the sub $150 non DIY market for these headphones?
    2. I know it is not meant to drive high end phones, but does it at least make them sound better than mid range phones out of itself? Like HD 800, LCD 2, HD 500 etc?
    3. How does Bravo Ocean compare to Indeed G3? to Project Sunrise II? to Schiit Magni? to O2? Is the difference huge or fairly small?
    4. Which are the best tubes which are mid focussed with rich lush and forward mids?
  14. DefQon
    @uMustBeKiddn: I had no problems driving a pair of DT990 600ohm's on my Bravo before it was even modded, I've had my Bravo little over 2 years now so.
    It can drive all those headphones. If you're going to use high z (greater than 250ohm headphones) I'd look at the Bottlehead Crack which is light year's ahead of any of these amplifiers. 
    Bravo Ocean is similar to the original Bravo v2 but improved in a lot of ways, it is about on par with the G3. The G3 is not far off behind the Sunrise II. The Schit Magni and O2 sounds boring, bland, clinical and cold compared to the funness of the mentioned tube amp's.
    Mid range tubes with good detail and forward mids would have to be the green letter Sylvania 12AU7's or RCA Clear Tops (1950's with pinched tip) or Valvo/RFT ECC88 equivalents but these can fetch for a lot of money.
  15. techboy
    Do you think going from a Bravo Ocean to a Project Sunrise II is a huge upgrade? For me the total cost including shipping and customs is $100 for Ocean, $400 for PSII and $700 for Schiit Lyr. Do you think an upgrade makes sense at these rates? Is the difference big enough? I already have the Ocean.
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