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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. ostewart
    I'll be getting my Ocean soon, will get into tube rolling I think. Not sure which is the best way to go if I want a fairly balanced sounding tube
  2. adnrew
    Hello, I was wondering if anybody would be able to shed some light or supply some insight/tips on an issue I am having with a new Bravo V3.

    It arrived in the mail this afternoon and I was super stoked to get to listening. (I was reading up about them and knew about burn in times ect...so I was expecting to have to wait for the sound to blosom...) but I loved the sound...was very full and great...until about halfway in to song 2. so maybe 5 minutes of playing. the red and blue led's turned off and there was a loud pop then a whole lot of awful crackling. this happened a few times in a row after letting it sit unplugged for a bit. 
    I was getting frustrated and started reading up fixes...but didn't really find anything...all I assumed was it was a power or heat issue. when I crank up the voluem when the tube is out but the power is on its crazy crackly but still the music is audible.   at this point i started blowing on the heat syncs and then the leds came back on after a few seconds...

    I now have a desk fan hooked up next to the amp and that seems to be keeping it running fine. and the sound is great. I have the option to return it to the supplier...but that would mean a few months turn around. I've been waiting a month  and my HE-400's are due tomorrow or the next day. 

    Are there any known fixes for the V3 overheating? or mods that can be made relatively eaisily to the case and or the heat syncs to let it run at room temp. (my study is quite warm from multiple pc's running 24/7) 

    I've also adjusted the voltage dials? on for each chanell to drop the heat down...they are sitting at about 14.5 each. (they were set around 20-22 from the supplier...)

    Thank you in advance for you advice/wisdom.
  3. HOWIE13
    I had something similar. I presumed it was damp or condensation after the journey from China and lying in a cold store room and delivery van. I just left it switched on with no audio signal input for 4 hours and also took a hair-dryer and blew warm air all over the connections, including into the tube sockets.
    After the 4 hours I tried again and the problem was gone, and has not returned.
    Good luck-it's worth persevering for the excellent sound. 
    Failing that you could try another tube, just in case there is a problem with one of the pins of the tube provided.
  4. MDR30

    Checking and cleaning the pins of the tube (fine grade abrasive paper) sometimes does the trick.
  5. UmustBKidn
    Curious. I wonder if there was moisture on the board somewhere. Has it rained in your area recently? The mail carriers sometimes get packages wet in the rain. Some moisture lurking somewhere might explain this. So the fan might have been drying it out, not necessarily cooling it off. I suppose this is one of the dangers of having an open chassis design.
    The Bravo does warm up pretty fast. Personally I ordered a small cooling fan for my V2. I keep the fan running at a moderate speed, it doesn't need to be going full blast. Just something to get the air moving over the heat sinks seems to keep mine at a moderate temp (e.g. I can touch the heat sinks without getting burned). It doesn't generate any RFI noise that I can detect.
    I would attempt to dry it out a bit and see if things improve. If not, I'd send it back. Even if your cans are coming soon. Otherwise you might end up stuck with an amp that doesn't work - and you'll need to spend money for another.
  6. DefQon
    Sounds like damaged tube or short somewhere on the board
  7. White Lotus
    Just received my V3. Pleasantly surprising. I didn't expect the EQ to actually work, or have semi-decent channel balance. 
  8. HOWIE13
    Yes, and the overall sound is not degraded by the equaliser either. Different headphones and tubes respond differently to the equaliser. It's great at cutting back harsh edginess on badly digitally remastered classical recordings..
  9. UmustBKidn
    If you like the sound with the stock tube, you're really in for a pleasant surprise when you get something better. The 6922 tubes are a bit more expensive, which is one reason I preferred the V2s (the 12AU7's are cheaper to replace). In any case, I would expect a NOS 6922 tube to really improve the sound.
  10. UmustBKidn
    Curious question:
    Has anyone tried driving speakers with their Bravo?
    These things have so much gain, it would seem that it might be possible. I haven't tried - just wondering if anyone has.
  11. HOWIE13
    The stock tube that came with mine was in fact a 6922.
    I have not noticed any real difference in sound signature/quality between 6922, E88CC and ECC88 tubes by the same manufacturer, but there is certainly a difference between different manufacturers' tubes. Even so, these differences are not usually huge and the V3's equaliser can sometimes create similar changes in sound, which could save you money buying too many different tubes. But then, part of the fun of tubes is rolling them.
  12. money4me247 Contributor
    hey guys, what tube would you recommend for reducing sibilance? I have the HE400 and I am still adjusting to the silibance. I found EQ-ing works quite well, but I want to see if perhaps different tubes can cause sucha drastic improvement in sound.
  13. HOWIE13
    I haven't used the HE400, and sibilance isn't a problem I have met with so far, but I seem to recall that quite a few people have commented on the need, in general, to equalise the treble with the HE400 to reduce sibilance and other high end issues.  If it's any help, and it's only speculation, you might try the gold pin version of the supplied EH-6922, or a vintage Bugle Boy, Mullard, or GE 'dark glass' as they are all smoother at the top, but it's really just a question of trial and error and it can get quite expensive.
  14. ostewart
    Just got my Ocean amp in. Very powerful for the size, using line out of a Fiio X3 or iPod with Beyerdynamic DT990 600ohm I'm only just passed the imbalance of the volume knob and its still a little too loud.
  15. UmustBKidn
    Sibilance. If you've ever been annoyed by the "Ess" sound being sssssung in sssssome cheap ssssounding headphonesssss, then you have heard sssssibilance. Lol.
    If you spent $400 bucks on cans (those HE-400's) and you are only spending $89 bucks on an amp, then you aren't getting the most out of those headphones. That's the problem. Forget tube rolling and equalizers. You need to spend more money on a better amp and a DAC.
    Equalization. Some say it is A Bad Thing, to be used only with audio that already sounds bad, or perhaps gear that really sucks. Most high end audio gear doesn't come with tone controls, nevermind an equalizer. Then again, the Bravo's aren't high end audio gear [​IMG] We are firmly planted in Budget-Fi land here.
    If you haven't heard much difference in tubes yet, then perhaps it is the case that you haven't tried many tubes yet (or any really good ones). Similarly, if you think an equalizer is a good sssssubstitute for tube rolling, may I propose that it may also be the case that you need to try more tubes?
    You may also find others saying that it's kind of silly tube rolling these amps. After all, they need to be modified to sound their best, right? And by the time you go spend some money to buy some really good tubes, you could just go buy a better amp to start with. That, frankly, is the best argument against tube rolling these things.
    Unless you haven't heard what "Better" sounds like yet. Or you're stubborn, or perhaps bored. Or you're curious. Maybe a little of all of it.
    An equalizer modifies frequency response. It may also introduce noise, phase shift, and other Bad Things. It is not the same thing as tube rolling. And it's not going to eliminate sibilance.
    When you're swapping out preamp tubes (which is what the tube is used for in these amps), you are altering the character of the amplifier. There are a lot of other effects on sound quality introduced with different tubes. I'm not going to attempt to discuss it all here, you're just going to need to read the rest of this website [​IMG] But I think I can reasonably state that it's not the same. If you doubt, please bring your question up in some of the other forums.
    One thing I've noticed about audio gear at the budget end of the spectrum, is that there is a really huge variation in quality. The other thing to keep in mind is, we're not all listening with the same set of headphones. Or the same DAC (if you're even using one). Or the same set of ears (they are all different). Improvements in sound quality are all over the map in Budget-Fi land. Some folks will even tell you that all amplifiers are the same (though I couldn't disagree more).
    Beyond a certain point, the law of Diminishing Returns comes into play - the more you spend, the smaller the improvements get. Which means, the biggest improvements can be heard on the low end of the scale. So the trick is, finding the biggest bang for the buck. You need to spend enough money to get decent sound (because the cheapest amps just aren't worth it). Basically if you're spending $100 bucks or less on any single component in your system, you (like me) are on a budget.
    But since we're all in this particular forum, please recognize that we're talking Budget-Fi. If you have good cans, then get a better DAC and a better amp first. That's the problem.
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