Bravo V2 Headphone Amplifiersearch

Bravo V2 Headphone Amplifier

Bravo V2 Headphone Amplifier

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Hi Guys,
I have the AMP and im quite fun of it. The only issue i have is a small hum that comes every couple of seconds. Can you please advise on how to get ride of it?
*I changed the tube to the gold lion.
I have one, fun little amp. I swapped out the capacitors for 35v Panasonics, the big power cap and two larger filter caps, haven't swapped the coupling caps yet. Seems to have made the tube glow brighter? I have a pair of new transistors to swap in, but I need heat sinks first as the new ones run hotter, and the existing sinks are already on the small side. All of this should improve the high frequency roll off.
Keep you cell away from it, no shielding means you get to hear every text you get before the notification or vibration lets you know.
I had one of these and it had terrible interference in an office environment, ended up getting the FiiO E10K. I replaced the tube and liked the sound though. The plastic top came in REALLY scratched, makes you wonder about their quality control.
It looks cool, but there's no shielding which is pretty dumb.

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public
mine was picking up interference from a fluorescent lamp that was almost directly over my space at work. I found that just moving it a few inches eliminated the buzz. That being said, these are decent amps that deliver good power to your headphones. Just pair it with a decent DAC.
public
Just to try it try washing your board in rubbing alcohol or any other solvent for cleaning flux. Because my board that a hum and buzz for a while until I thought about just washing the board. And the hum and buzz just went away.
I bought one of these on Amazon so I wouldn't have to wait. It was only $8 more. My question is regarding a DAC. I'm using a Zorloo ZuperDAC that I picked up during the last drop. The question is what is the optimal way to use this combination. This is a setup for work so it did not have to be super high end. I have the volume turned up all the way on the ZuperDAC using my iPhone 6s Plus as the source. I only have to turn the volume nob up not even a quarter on the Bravo to get good volume output to my DT 770 Pro 80 ohm cans. Should the ZuperDAC only be at 1/2 volume since it has an amp also built in. Or should I get a DAC without an amp? I'm new to this stuff. I'm also going to try this out with Massdrop HD6xxx, and Hifiman HE-400i, and HE-560's.
If you like this form factor check out the originals at Garage 1217. They are pricier but also better as they are adjustable for whatever headphones you choose.
misterman14
thanks!
These Bravo amps are great fun but two quick bits of advice to potential buyers: Throw out the stock tube and get something half decent, or even better: spend a little more and get the Bravo Ocean instead; it's really worth it. (And then also throw out the supplied tube and get something better).
I was thinking of building a headphone amp based on a circuit like the one on which the Bravo V2 is based. Being kind of lazy, I just bought this version of the Bravo V2, instead. I'm comparing mine to an original version Objective 2 amp, which I built up from a PCB I got directly from NwAvGuy.
So, what do I think of this Bravo V2?
1) Its output impedance is too high. It loads down trying to drive my Fostex T50RP headphones with 60 ohm impedance. Driving those 'phones, the Bravo gets 'gnashy' sounding. Harsh highs, rubbery bass. It sounds kind of 'electronic.' However, driving my Sennheiser/Massdrop HD6XX 300 ohm headphones, the sound from the amp becomes acceptable. It's still a bit more harsh and electronic sounding than if I use the O2 instead. But at least it sounds on par with a typical PC laptop's headphone output when driving higher impedance headphones. That's a pathetically low bar to clear...
2) I'm not having any noise or channel imbalance problems. Mine seems good.
3) I expected the Bravo to sound mushy and 'tube-y.' Instead it sounds 'harsh,' even when driving high impedance headphones. I haven't tried any different 12AU7 tubes in it, which I will do. But unless the supplied Chinese-made 12AU7 is an utter piece of crap, I don't expect a different version 12AU7 will fundamentally alter the annoying sonic character of this amp.
I figure the amp is worth the cost of its constituent parts. At some point I'll try some of the mods people have suggested. But if you're shopping for a 'keeper' of a headphone amp, ignore this.
I'm still happy with my O2, so if an Objective 2 comes up as a drop again, I'd recommend that. This Bravo V2 doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the O2. Not even close. Sorry.
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When you upgraded the capacitors, what parts did you use? What manufacturer? Did you change the capacitance values? Did you change voltage rating? What temperature rating?
Electrolytic capacitors are pretty generic, so unless the originally installed parts are terrible-quality fakes (which is possible), I don't see why replacing one set of electrolytic caps with another pretty much equal-quality set would make any audible difference. Perhaps if you used really good quality, low-ESR, high pulse current-rated caps...
rongon
I ran a computer simulation of this amp's circuit, which told me that the amp will generate lots of high-order harmonics (distortion that lends an 'edgy' or 'brittle' sound to the music). It's interesting that the simulation predicts this, because when I first got this amp, I wrote:
3) I expected the Bravo to sound mushy and 'tube-y.' Instead it sounds 'harsh,' even when driving high impedance headphones.
So... It seems the actual sound of the amp agrees with what the circuit simulator predicted. Thinking that the simulator might help me improve the circuit, I tried some things. Nothing helped. I'm sorry, this circuit appears to be beyond help. It's not worth the effort to modify it. I'm not sure what this thing is good for, other than looking kind of cool on my desk at work . Unfortunately, it doesn't sound any better than the headphone jack on my work computer.
Oh well. Moving on now...
This is pretty much just a toy for me. The sound is BAD for K7XX and HE400i (even worse than directly using my cell phone). I don't have 300 or 600 ohm headphones, so I guess my feedback is biased.
I'll probably use this to teach my son what is an AMP. LOL
DareToBe
I have a pair of Fostex T50RP cans that are 60 ohm impedance, and a pair of HD6XX that are 300 ohms. I've played them both through the Bravo V2 I just got. I can tell you that this amp sounds pretty miserable trying to drive low impedance headphones. It gets kind of bright and nasty sounding. It sounds acceptable driving the HD6XX cans, but not as relaxed and clean as my original-version Objective2 amp (built up from the original run of PCBs). I agree, this thing is a toy. Maybe I'll do some experiments on it or something.
DareToBe
Update: I got a DUNU impedance adapter from ebay to add another 75ohm on top of my 35ohm HE400i. Now the sound becomes OK to me.
just received mine last week and tried it once and it had a huge amount of hiss in the background to the point of being UN-listenable especially at low volume. I saw something about burning in the tubes for a different brand but not sure that's what I need to do.
I really like it for work listening, and it's very pretty as well.
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crimsontime
What are you using for the DAC? Your MBP?
This vs the xDuoo TA-01 for Hifiman HE-400i.
I have one. I stopped using it. It was so biased to the left side at low volume, I couldn't use it with a lot of my headphones.
What are those extension posts called?
Is this unit somehow different than the one available in Chinese online stores like aliexpress.
Prashu
It's the same.
Has anyone looked into the actual engineering design of this amplifier? I found a schematic for it here: http://bilder.hifi-forum.de/max/415727/bravo-v2-schematic_691080.png It shows some interesting things, not all of which look particularly 'good.' I don't know if that schematic is accurate, or is representative of the units that are actually shipping.
1) The input potentiometer (volume control) is 100k ohms. That is a common value for vacuum tubes. However, R4 and R5 (grid leak resistors) are only 24k ohms. That means the input impedance is 100k||24k = 19k ohms. That's only a little higher than you'd see from a typical solid state headphone amp. Maybe this is not a problem in this instance. BUT...
2) The input capacitors, C1 and C2 are 1uF (one micro-Farad). That creates an RC high pass filter (HPF), with bass roll-off that is -3dB at 8.4Hz. That means this little amp can only be truly flat (-0.1dB) in the bass at about 80Hz, and probably -1.5dB at 20Hz. That is kind of high, and would probably be audible used with cans that go really low. This thing won't make really deep bass, but this is probably not a problem. People who buy this are probably not looking for that, but rather are looking for that 'warm tube sound.'
3) The LM317 (IC1 and IC2) current sinks in the sources of the output MOSFETs IRF510 (Q1 and Q2) are set to 167mA (0.167A). Just FYI.
4) The plates of the 12AU7 (triode tubes V1A and V1B) are running with very low voltage, only 16VDC. If you look at the characteristics for type 12AU7, you can see that it must be running with practically no grid bias. That would mean the control grid must be drawing at least a little current. When the tube is drawing grid current, its input impedance goes low. The grid's input impedance is in parallel with the grid leak resistance (defined by the volume control with R4 and R5 in parallel), which is already pretty low. Audio sources with low output impedance and the ability to sink some current into that load will be necessary for good sound.
At any rate, I can see that this design would be very, very sensitive to tube characteristics that the tube itself wasn't designed for. Tubes in general are designed to be used with plate voltages of 100VDC and higher (up to 250VDC is normal for the 12AU7). Characteristics at plate voltage of 16VDC are likely to vary a great deal between different 12AU7s. Tube rolling indeed!
This looks like a fun little "tube-ifier", but it doesn't look like a truly high fidelity headphone amplifier. I might pick one up just to play around with, maybe swap out a few parts, play with some minor modifications. Looks like it could be fun. I think I'd change that blue LED for an amber one. I'd want warm colors for a hot little 'tube amp.'
Anyone else with experience with tube amp designs care to take a look at that schematic and comment on it?
rongon
So I bought one. It's as expected. Not exactly hi-fi.
Compared to my Objective 2 amp, this Bravo V2 sounds a lot more aggressive in the upper mids. Low impedance (50 ohm) headphones playing straight from the PC line out sound less bright. But this amp is kind of cute.
This amp does sound better driving high impedance headphones, but still very colored sounding. Its bright and aggressive character remains, just less apparent than when driving low impedance cans.
Incidentally, the output MOSFETs are IRF630, marked as such on the PCB. The schematic I linked to says IRF510. I'm not sure how much difference that would make.
Oh well. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered. I might try some mods to see if I can lower the gain and/or get it to sound more mushy and tube-y. That would be nice for mellowing out the hashy highs from MP3 streams. I can't think of any other use for this thing...
rongon
Um... Right!! What you wrote sounds very good, but you might as well have said, "may I mumble dogfish to the banana patch?" Definitely way over my head :)
Interesting though.
BTW: quote is from Steve Martin
Electrocution chances with this one seem rather high.
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Any chance we'll see a Garage 1217 Project Horizon drop? I love the way this company's amps look, but their Ember, Sunrise and Polaris sound far better than the Bravo (in my incredibly humble opinion), and the Horizon is a Sunrise that doubles as a preamp. I tend to need amps that are also preamps.
Review: http://www.basshead.club/garage1217-project-ember-horizon-sunrise-review/
Varholiaglimp
I think Massdrop Alex Cavalli Tube Hybrid Amp (CTH) it's way better choice at the same price. Only advantage of Garage 1217 Project Horizon is that has output.
I had a variant of this made by a company called Indeed waaaaaay back in 2013. Either way the tiny Chinese sourced open air designs kinda sound similar. More warm and smooth than detailed, so they pair amazingly well with like a DT 880 or DT 990 , stuff like the ATH R70X and will likely do ok with AKG k70#, but higher impedance cans will sound best as they are noisy with lower impedance loads. Owners of the Sextetts!!!! These little buggers do pretty decent with the old school 600 Ohm K240s as well,
I was NEVER a fan of how these pair'd with Sennhesier HD 6## Open backs, but I imagine they'd do ok with the HD 800.
Not bad units, but I only even enjoyed them with thin sounding open back cans
Mshenay
I concur. These Bravos sound quite nice with DT 770s as well. It's too bad they're more expensive now than they were 4-5 years ago though...
Is this good pairing with the HD 6xx or should I go with the schiit magni 3 ? Would this gives more bass than the magni 3 on the 6xx?
edhahaha
I have the Bravo V2+ which has the Golden Lion tube in it, and it powers my HD6XX just fine. Sounds great too.
Photo: https://imgur.com/RxA3ujy
edhahaha
Same, tried it with HD6xx and Dt880 pro 250ohm. Same spec as @MrBig
As someone who owns the V3, I really can't recommend these Bravo tube amps. The amount of interference you'll pick up, even under the best and most careful circumstances, is unbearable.
Arcendus
Welcome to the tube lane. You have to love microphonics.
Just to clarify, this is a hybrid tube Amp, not a full tube Amp.
would this work on ps4?
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No
What are you trying to accomplish anyways?
Could this V2 handle the Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium 600ohm? It's another live drop.
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Good to know, thanks.
dave9527
should be able to. my bravo did for over a year and they have upgraded the main power capacitor since then. recommend rolling to a different triode tube if the included one is not high quality, although some of the responders in the forum say that they are now packaging with a better 12au7 tube
had one and gave it away no matter what i did and what tube was used it hissed. it was a bit quieter with 300-600ohm but annoying enough i couldnt be bothered. and with say 32ohm it was very noticeable. it didint sound terrible otherwise. def not something i would call higher end. imo for just a bit more go little dot or a bottle head
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I got a p8 I am using now and just love
What's up the the manufacturer's suggestion not to run the Little Bear for more than 1-2 hours at a time? That's...kind of horrible.
I've been using a Bravo V2 for 8 hours a day (consecutive, not in bursts) for about 4 years now, with no problems.
Does anyone know if you'll get a better sound/quality using the rca cables vs the 3.5 on this?
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They don't make a difference to answer your question.
Thujan
Thanks again! perfect!
Joined the drop to dip a toe in tube world (at the price, seems unlikely there would be a cheaper, simpler option). Im neither expecting long life nor outstanding performance but I’m curious about “tube rolling”. Is it simply a question of getting a compatible category (12AU7) or is there bias adjusting and other “maintenance” involved?
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Ovation
If it's 12AU7 you only need to pull out the old tube and plug in the new. The pins are arranged a certain way so it only fits in the right way, but they're not super strong so still good to look at the socket and put it in carefully.
KarlBirkir
Thanks. Looking forward to trying out the amp in a few different configurations. Probably will want to upgrade amp at some point but want to take a “baby step“ first.
I'm glad that people just browse and then ask questions but wouldn't it just be easier to look up what this amp is for? (I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to possible trolls here) It's a headphone amp designed specifically to drive higher grade headphones. The tube is for the preamp side to warm up the sound. High end headphones won't run properly on your Yamaha receiver. This is where the headphone amp comes in to play. They are capable of driving extremely high Impedence phones or as is the case with this one, audiophile grade low impedance headphones that require hi current amplification. Not sure what else to say. I do have this amp and have loved it. I even rolled tubes through it and ended up with a really nice sound from a 60 year old GE 12au7 tube.
Tompetz
So I did as you recommended. My first observation is that the Yamaha is not very specific about its headphone out. So I went to head-fi and found this thread:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/yamaha-rx-v663-amplifier-receiver.357437/
From their experience it seems to be able to properly run 600 ohms head-phones (from one particular quote the only amp doing a better job being a ray Samuels audio HR-2, which retails for 875 usd).
So here is my conclusion: Such an amp is only useful if you have very demanding headphones which is not my case: when I want to treat myself I use a p5 bower and Wilkins, it has low impedance requirements and sounds really nice. If one day I were to have such a headphone, I should first try it on my then actual setup before deciding on any further steps.
On another note: I wish I could try one of those high-end audiophile headphones with a 60 yo tube, that does sound like the stuff from legends
A 6CG7 might be a tight fit.
I am a novice in hi-fi. I don't really understand the purpose of such an amp. What would you use it for? I personally use a Yamaha rx-v1800 that I use for everything (everything is connected on it: pc, turn table, TV and DVD player). Would the Bravo be of any help to me?
Thank you!
I have one of these, but never use it any more. With low impedance headphones (AKG K450), there was a significant amount of background hiss. With DT-880 250 ohm, there was less background hiss, but it still was noticeable. Haven't tried them with Hifiman HE-400is, but I can guess they are somewhere in the middle.
It is possible that the mods can clean it up, but if you are looking for something great out of the box, go elsewhere. There are plenty of amps for <$100 that are much cleaner.