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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. Mhumbach
     Thanks for the recommendation. I see you have the HE400's how does the ocean do powering those? I know its a completely different sound just curious. 
  2. amigomatt
    I would say that, despite it sounding smooth and warm, which is good for the he400, it still doesn't have quite enough oomph to drive them to loud enough levels for me without distorting with some music.
  3. Mhumbach
    Sounds good thanks. I know my turntable amp would be able to power all these but i'm going to use the ocean to power my digital collection. Ill keep my search up for a suitable phone.
  4. amigomatt
    Yeah, they power my Grado SR80, NAD HP50, Sennheiser HD598 etc all wonderfully.  I love having the option of that tube sound as well.  Good luck!
  5. UmustBKidn
    The Bravo amps are completely un-shielded, so you should expect that any kind of transmitter, like your cell phone, will induce RFI in the unit. This should come as no surprise to an electronic technician. There is nothing wrong with the amplifier.
    Personally, I like the indication that comes from the RFI because it tells me I'm about to get a phone call or a text message.
    Move the phone a couple feet away and it will stop.
  6. UmustBKidn
    You may not have totally cut the circuit traces. Take a close look at the board with a magnifying glass.
  7. UmustBKidn

    No. Clipping means you're pushing an amp beyond its design limits. Replacing a tube will not eliminate clipping. Try using headphones with a lower impedance. Or try buying a better amp (suggest Bottlehead Crack).
  8. RFtech53
    I moved the phone away from the V2 the next day after my original post, and as you previously posted, the noise went completely away. 
    No surprise at all from this FCC licensed technician ... though it's somewhat natural to suspect the new piece of equipment when you've never heard the same noises from anything else. Then again, what other amplifiers around a house are so open and un-shielded.
    I'd even written the manufacturer, and he'd suggested sending me a new power brick, suspecting it was the likely source of the ticking and other weird noises.
    Thanks again for the heads-up. 
  9. Evshrug
    Bravo probably suggested the power supply because a few of them had grounding issues and DID introduce background noise, but as a different kind of technician (phone software/hardware troubleshooting... All kinds of technicians in today's world!), I can confidently say that sometimes previous experience biases us into misdiagnosis. I can only hope that by the time I have as much experience as you and Cirric, I'm as gracious and curious about new things as you two!

    If I recall correctly, GSM cellular like AT&T uses (and other companies) produces a little more noise, but my CDMA cellular Verizon iPhone will still cause my tube amp (Single Ended Triode tube amp, not a bravo) to produce buzzing, squeals, and clicks. I think I experimented once but I forget if the issue still happens when I turn off cellular data...

    If you've got the soldering experience and enjoy tinkering with benefits, the early part of this thread is rich with mod ideas and their effects. I particularly would point out JudgeBuff's posts (just don't call him Buffy!). Larger capacitors, film resistors, trim pots, etc.
  10. amigomatt
    Thanks for the straight up answer.  As it's not my main amp, I'll just keep it for my appropriate headphones when I want that taste of tube sound.
  11. UmustBKidn
    1) I use T-mobile, and when I had a Bravo V2 at work, my cell phone was kept within a foot or so of the amp. I could always tell when I was about to get a text message from one of my kids, or a phone call, because there would be a distinct pattern of noise audible over the top of whatever song I was listening to. The closer the phone was to the amp, the louder it got. At 3 feet away, the sound was practically inaudible.
    2) I have two Bravo V2's, one modified with most of the enhancements listed earlier in this thread, and one stock. I can tell you right now that for the most part, the modifications ARE NOT worth the effort. Some day when I have the energy I shall attempt to create a new post about my adventure with modifying one of my V2's. For now suffice it to say that my modified V2 is more accurate, but has lost some of the bottom end, and was much more expensive to modify than it was worth. I am guessing that one of the capacitor mods is probably to blame, but that's only a guess.
    When I get REALLY ambitious one day, I may replace the caps with something else, to see if I can reclaim some of the bottom end that I lost. Don't hold your breath waiting though :)
  12. XipeTotec
    I bought a V2, can't wait for it. Going to make some tweaks, anyway I would ask a method to connect it to my laptop. Is it worth to buy a DAC like FiiO?
  13. UmustBKidn
    Yes. Any DAC will improve the sound. Some think the DAC is a much larger sonic improvement than the amp. Compared to just amplifying an ipod, phone, or laptop, I have to agree.
    Now, IMO when we're talking about budget systems, you want to keep the price down (otherwise you'd be using a totally different amp too). I have used a Schiit Modi DAC with both of my Bravo V2's, and it's a perfectly good DAC to drive this amp.
    (I'm not big on any Fiio gear; the only Fiio item I ever bought was junk, so I've avoided them since).
  14. XipeTotec
    Yes I was taking a loot to the Schiit Website and I like the products they offer. I took a look on the specs and they seems good, on paper. I think I'll give em a try, I must only understand if I should buy from the US website or from an European reseller.
  15. XipeTotec
    I was trying to figure out something about tubes, anyway.
    I am searching ebay for some good deals and I'm seeing they use different codes to mark different kind of tubes. So, I'm just trying to understand for example, the difference between a 12AU7A and a 12AU7 and the difference between ECC82 6189 5814A.
    Any tips for the newbie?
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