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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. arcorob
    I am new here so pardon if this has been discussed to death..
    I have a Bravo II Headphone amp (did a pretty in depth review on another forum) and have never experienced any sonic issues. The thing I liked best about it was it had a standard 12AU7 tube (Shugang) that I easily rolled with some NOS vintage tubes. Amazing, the different flavors ..Mullard, GE, RCA...
    I did use it as a buffer (improperly I am told) from a tablet to my main rig using the headphone jack to a pair of RCA's as an aux input to my Marantz pre. I was told NOT to do that as their were some nasty electrical variances coming out of that jack...
    Strictly as a headphone amp though, I think it sounds great with my Senn HD280 Pro headphone..no ..not top of the line, but decent. I think many people can benefit from the BRAVO ...Just as in other pieces of equipment ..there are the enthusiasts and the premium audiophiles...its all about the music , right ?
    I find the gain control to be just fine however; agree that too much (past about 1 oclock ) can introduce some distortion.
  2. money4me247 Contributor
    @arcorob, your images aren't correctly posted.
  3. arcorob
    OOps ..sorry...
    How about this
  4. HOWIE13
    Could anybody explain the electronic specifications and musical differences (if any) between 12AU7 and 6DJ8 tubes? 
    I ask this because there is a tendency to lump all Bravo amps into one category, yet both these tubes are used in different models. Or are the differences so small that the rest of the circuit matters much more with these Bravo Amps?
  5. UmustBKidn
    I'm not qualified. But I found these articles, hope this helps:
    The Suitability of the 6DJ8 for Audio
    Joe's Tube Lore
  6. HOWIE13
    Thanks for the links. Plenty reading there to keep me busy this morning.
  7. arcorob
    Perfect ! BTW...Joe's is how I first heard about Sylvania Gold letter 12AX7's(5751)...after trying about 12 other types..LOL
    I do know that in some cases the 6DJ8 and 12AU7 can be substituted for each other but in some cases, not a good idea. Goes back to the original question on the circuit. a 12AU7 can run with a 6v or 12v heater whereas the 6DJ8 is only 6V
    Hmm..Having said that...I am now thinking of something else for a Aune T1...
  8. UmustBKidn
    I suspect (though can't prove) that the Bravo's are all the same circuit, with a different heater setup for the different tubes, and an EQ for the V3. I have variously heard some people proclaim the V2 to be better than the V1, and others say that 6922 tubes are better than 12AU7's (also something I have no clue about). Still others buy the Ocean and proclaim it best (maybe because they paid more for it?)
    In my brief experience, I have found the 12AU7's and its variants to be (mostly) less expensive than the 6922's, but that could just be chalked up to random chance on eBay. I suppose like a lot of other things in this hobby, that's an entirely subjective observation. I like cheap, so I went with the V2.
    Personally, I'm not going to be buying a V1 or a V3 to find out which is best. I did toy with the idea of buying a V1 before I bought my second V2, but decided against it. The real reason I wanted two V2's was spare parts, lol. Just in case one of them blows up, or I goof up one of them when I finally get around to modding. Or in case the PS takes a dump, etc. In retrospect, I probably should have gone for something different. On the bright side, at least it wasn't an expensive mistake.
  9. HOWIE13
    Nice thing about the Bravos is that there is only one tube to roll. I wondered about a Little dot as the next stage up but I find the different versions confusing and there are more tubes to roll each time. Do you have any suggestions for a relatively inexpensive upgrade from the Bravos or would anything else significantly better break the bank?
  10. DefQon
    Dude the Bravo is an el cheapo, if you want a tube amp I'll just give you a Darkvoice 339 or something.
  11. HOWIE13
    They look interesting and review well with HD 600/650. Will need to save up to buy though, plus tube rolling expenses.
    Do you think Little dot are not worth considering then?
  12. DefQon
    Which LD are you referring to?
    If you can diy a bit with a soldering iron, own the HD600/HD650, Bottlehead Crack no questions asked. You'd have to pay over a $1000 to get that combo's sound performance.
    No bullschit siree.
  13. HOWIE13
    That looks good-it's for a novice DIY'er- that's me.
  14. money4me247 Contributor

    is this a real offer? lol! i'll take you up on it! :D
    another great option (IMO) to consider is garage 1217 tube amps! new project sunrise 3 out & project ember are both really highly reviewed :) 
  15. Evshrug

    It was a question I didn't expect you to know the answer to offhand, I asked not to trick you BUT to get you to think. Gotta know what "problem" is being solved, or find out if there really is a problem at all!

    Your HE-400, my AKG, my Etymotic, etc... All these headphones, in fact most of the ones I've heard or looked at, are barely affected by output impedance. I'd still suggest a look at graphs before a new headphone purchase, but overall I'd say this 1/8th rule was created by a guy picking at straws (assuming his Sennheiser represents the majority of the market... How does one become an Electrical Engineer, spend money on testing equipment, test one headphone and say "Technically a headphone with a flat impedance response would be unaffected, but I don't know of any headphone like that." !?? NwAv Guy readily picks on little things and flames other companies, but he's oddly narrow in scope.

    End rant.
    Listen to great music!
    Be more carefree!
    Have a happy holiday!
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