• Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier
Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier

Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier

SKU:HAADR2DTG
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HK$ 755.00
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HK$ 1,258.00
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  • Includes high-quality Shuguang 12AU7 tube
  • Parallel 3.5mm and RCA stereo inputs
  • Gain control with Japanese ALPS potentiometer

Customer Reviews

I've got a nice set of PSB speakers for the main system but ...My background: Musician, not necessarily audiophile. I appreciate hearing the details in music. I've got a nice set of PSB speakers for the main system but with a wife and toddler I can't crank those up all the time.I have a set of Sennheiser HD250 Linear II's that apparently have developed a bit of a cult following. I'd had them for years and when we just recently moved I found them and decided to give them a shot. Years ago I remember them being way way quiet powered from an ipod or computer. I'd always thought of getting an amp but put it off. Well in honor of dusting them off I wanted an amp, but I wanted it to be less than $100 so I didn't have to sleep in the new guest room. These headphones are rated at 300 ohm and most of the completely solid state amps simply didn't have the specs to drive them. Compared several little tube hybrids and decided to give this one a shot. It has all the power I need to drive these headphones and they certainly sound better than they ever have.The stock tube IS harsh... I went ahead and ordered up an Electro-Harmonix and I will say that was exactly the sound I was looking for. I've been listening to several hours of Floyd and Rush and hearing amazing details in the FLAC files. For the moment it's connected to the headphone out of my Mac with no DAC but at some point I may add it. If you're not a diehard audiophile you will find this to be a worthwhile investment to drive better headphones. I'll try to remember to update this with impressions after this tube gets broken in a bit but so far I'm pleased, especially at this price point.5Originally sounded great, but began crackling a lot after 4 months. UPDATEDI purchased this amp in September and it sounded great. Really liked it and well worth the cost. But now, in January, conveniently after the 90 day warranty is up, it has begun making terrible scratchy noises and bad feedback. I've switched every component, including the tube, to see what the problem is, and it's the amp. I've tried multiple times to contact Bravo and they a have ignored my emails. I'm disappointing since it started out so great. Bad customer service is just the cherry on top of this unfortunate situation.UPDATE:Amazon had no problem returning it for me, and it wasn't until after that and this review that someone from Bravo contacted me. They were willing to help, but it was already taken care of by Amazon. What dropped this to a now 1 star review is that I was charged a restocking fee on an item returned BROKEN UNDER WARRANTY, which is crap. It's not my fault, so I should not be penalized. I had already repurchased the amp, because I have 12AU7 tubes and I don't want to have to get rid of my tubes or buy a much more expensive unit. But if anything happens again, I am done with Bravo.1Great little hybrid headphone amp that isn't pretending to be anything more. Love it!This little amp is treat to listen to my new Sennheiser HD-698 headphones with. After reading the reviews, I did order a Russian Electro-Harmonics tube to roll in for the stock Chinese tube it comes with. In the interest of full disclosure, while I could not hear a "life altering" difference between the two tubes as other reviewed have described experiencing, I have pretty flat spots in my hearing around 8000Hz and 20,000Hz from being around jet engines much of my life. For under $90 WITH the replacement tube, I bought this to set on an end table next to the reclining chair in my home office for times which I felt like shutting out the world and having a good eyes-closed, relaxing listen to either Spotify on my phone or classic rock and jazz albums on the Pioneer 518 XD turntable without bothering my family. For that purpose, this little thing fits the bill perfectly. I seems well constructed, given that it's mass-produced Chinese electronica, and while it is not a true Class A tube amplifier (it's a hybrid; there are solid state components in it) the sound it delivers is decidedly warmer and clearer, with more tone, than playing Spotify through my Note 3's audio dock or with the headphones plugged directly into the phone. It isn't anything like the McIntosh MC60 tube amps that power my home audio system, but this little amp doesn't pretend to be, nor is it priced to perform like that. This is just a very solid, tweakable, headphone amp (or a decent pre-amp for a higher powered amp) at an excellent value. There is a cult of modders out there that do all kinds of things to this amp, which I appreciate from an academic standpoint, but which is mostly lost on me because my hearing can't capitalize on hotrodding it beyond a simple tube swap. I might play some more with some different 12AU7 tubes I have for my other amps just to see if I can appreciably improve the sound, but already, out of the box, with the Electo Harmonics tube in it, the amp is just great. And, it looks very cool. Because all of the components are exposed, it was easy to explain its operation to my 10 year old daughter, who was mostly interested in the blue glow from the tube socket.5Cool little amp. Stock tube was bad.Stock tube was bad right off the bat. Loses one star for that. I have a boatload of 12AU7's so it was not a big deal for me to replace the tube.This little amp has a ton of gain. Better suited to headphones rather than very efficient IEM's but does work with all. Easily drives all my cans well beyond sane listening levels, including my high impedance cans. I am using this mainly with the line out of an inexpensive digital music player and over ear headphones which need an amplifier to drive to full potential. Not nearly as "tubey" (or as good) as my OTL headphone amp in the main headphone system but sounds good with my lower impedance phones that aren't compatible with the OTL amp.A couple of cautions is that the exposed heatsinks do get toasty. And, due to the open design with no chassis attachment to secure the jacks, plugging and unplugging will put some stress on the PCB. How it will up long term remains to be seen.I thought it would be cool to have a small "tube amp" on my desktop so this was kind of bought as a novelty for that purpose. It's not the end of the road in terms of sonics but it sounds good in it's intended use and I have no real complaints, especially considering the price.4Perfect Little Budget AmpI have limited experience with high-end home audio, but I do appreciate good sounds enough to invest in nicer equipment than most.The Bravo amp arrived in a little box, sealed up pretty well (pre-assembled), with the tube-amp wrapped in a bag. Everything was securely closed, and functioned right out of the box.Setup was pretty straightforward, I opted to use the RCA adapter (with a MediaBridge cable) instead of the 3.5mm jack. Plugged in DT990 at 250 Ohm, and away we went.Sound quality is pretty good--depending on source files, and a host of intermediary steps. Volume control is easy, sounds more or less linear, and rarely do I have to push it above about halfway for comfortably loud music.It's been with me for about two and a half years now, through a couple moves, without issue. I clean it out occasionally with compressed air (especially around the heat sinks, which can get WARM), but otherwise it just sits on my desk and doesn't complain.There is a noticeable difference between my laptop and the amp (and moreso between my phone and the amp), which is especially pronounced over longer listening periods.For the novice, or the budget conscious, I would say this works quite well. It's not too flashy, and does what it is supposed to without being exorbitantly overpriced.5I just like to listen to musicThis review is actually a simple comparison of 4 different Headphone Amps.First, I want to be clear that I am not an audiophile, not even close. I just like to listen to music, any kind of music that I feels right. So, this review just what I personally think about these products, nothing professional.Here are the 4 headphone amps (the DAC I am using is Logitech 980-000910 Bluetooth Audio Adapter, it will cost $21.98 from Amazon. And I know this is probably not the DAC you want to buy, you may want something recommend from z review or one of the most popular brand Fiio. But honestly, when I compare to those DACs under 100 USD, I just cannot tell the differenc. And the good thing about Logitech is they are Bluetooth and easy to re-pair to other devices. As I said before, I am not even close to Audiophile, that s why I can t tell the difference)1. Fulla 2 by Schiit: $99 plus $10 shipping, total $109.I know this is a DAC/AMP, and I know this is a solid-state Amp. But if you buy any of the Tube amp listed below, you probably will buy a DAC to pair with it, after you purchase DAC, the price will be very close. And all the tube amps I compared here are not real tube amp, they are all hybrid. That s why I also listed Fulla 2 here.2. SMSL T2 2X6J9 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amp: $59.90 from Amazon (Total with DAC $81.88)3. Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Integrated Amp: $50 from Amazon (Total with DAC $71.98)4. Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amp: $66.98 from Amazon (Total with DAC $88.96)So now you know all the price, seems like all tube amps are cheaper. But .if you bought tube amps, I am sure sooner or later you want to try tube rolling, please consider that s also your cost on amps. That s why I said the price of Fulla 2 is close to other tube amps.Price is the first thing I consider; the second thing is the power to drive headphones.I don t have a lot of headphones and this review is not about headphones, so please don t ask me any question about headphones. The headphones I am using here are Sennheiser HD600, HD6XX from Massdrop, Sony MDRV6, Sony MDR7506, Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus, Audio Technica ATH-AD900X, Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium 600 OHM, Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro-250 OHM, Bose QuietComfort 35, Fostex TH-X00 from Massdrop, Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth, Philips SHP 9500S, and Monster NTune.NO, I don t have Beats from Dre headphone. If you really want to know why, please GOOGLE.Some are cheap, some cost a bit more, some very easy to drive, some needs more power.Let s say the volume knob is from 7 o clock all the way up to 5 o clock. This way will be easier for me to show you how every amp provides the power on the volume. Yes, I know the headphone amp drive headphone is not just about volume but also how well it controls. But again, I am not audiophile, so I don t care about the tech issue and I don t want to see a lot of numbers calculating here. All I care is how the music sound and how loud it can be.All 4 amps with DAC give you a good sound, but tube amps are a little bit warmer. You won t tell the difference unless you compare them side by side.When using any headphone is under 250 OHM, you will love any of these 4 amps. They all do a good job. You won t go wrong on any of it. So, money wise, just buy the cheapest one you can find.Any 300 OHM headphone or above, you need to start choosing. If you use 600 OHM, you can forget about #2: SMSL T2 2X6J9 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amp. You can cross it out from the list, and that s what I did, I don t even bother to roll the tube.On 300 OHM headphone, Fulla 2, Nobsound NS-08E, and Bravo Audio V2 all give you enough volume makes you headache if you turn the volume all the way up (your ears won t bleed, not that loud), and I only need to turn the knob to 12 o clock. But not SMSL T2, I need to turn all the way to 4 o clock.On 600 OHM headphone, Fulla 2 and Nobsound need to turn to 2 o clock to my normal listening volume, from 2 to 3 only gains a little bit, and from 3 to 5, it won t gain any more (you can turn the knob and play back forward, nothing going to change). Bravo Audio V2 only need to turn to 1 o clock to reach the same volume, and from 1 to 4, it only gains a little bit. And when you turn to 5 o clock on Bravo, it did gain volume more, but it starts distortion, and I don t like how the music sound like that. On SMSL T2, the volume is like someone whisper to your ear even you turn all the way to max, and you need to push earcup real tight to hear what they try to say, maybe good for training your listening skills and how sensitive you are to the sound, but not very good for listen to music.So, if you want to use 600 OHM headphones and you don t want to spend a lot money to buy a High-end amp, then please choose Bravo.Now, I am going to talk about how much heat these amps will generate. Because I already cross out SMSL T2, so I only talk about the other 3. (If you really want to know, it s the same as Nobsound)Fulla 2, you can put your hand on it or just grab it. You will only feel a little bit warmer than your hand.Nobsound, you can pretend it s not hot and leave your hand on the case for a while and keep telling yourself it s not hot, it s not hot, it s not hot ..Bravo, you can put your hand on the glass part and do the same thing as Nobsound. But I dare you to touch the heat sink, it can fry eggs!!!!!!Why we talk about the heat here, it s a safety issue. I don t think you want to leave Bravo on when you go to work or any other reason that you need to leave your house for more than 3 hours, it s kind of like you forget to turn off your stove when you left your house (a very tiny stove). That means you need to power on and off every time you use it and before you leave.This is not a problem to me, but you might want to know.Then the headphone jack, Fulla 2 and bravo are both 1/4", Nobsound using 3.5mm. Personally, I like the 1/4 better.Then the input, Nobsound only has 3.5mm audio input, Bravo has both 3.5mm and RCA input, I didn t try to plug them with different sources and start the music at the same time, I just assumed that it cannot, but you are welcome to try it and let me know how it works. Fulla 2 has 3.5mm at front and USB input on the back. I like the Fulla 2 better here, I can just connect to computer and use it.Then the external power, both Nobsound and Bravo are using external power charger. Of course, you can carry a generator with you and make it portable. but I will just use it at home.Fulla 2 just use your computer USB to power it. But if you turn the volume over 3 o clock, you will need external power. You can use either cellphone mini usb charger at home or battery bank when goes out.Then function, Nobsound and Bravo are headphone amps only, there is no other output. Fulla 2 can use as pre-amp, DAC, and headphone amp. I use Fulla 2 connect to JBL LSR310S then LSR 305 and it works great, and from different connection on Fulla 2, you can use headphone and speakers at the same time but control the sound from computer not the knob on Fulla 2. (By the way, when you plug in headphone to Fulla 2, it will mute the speakers. But Schiit Jotunheim won t, you have to power off your speakers or unplug the speaker cables, that s Schiit company try to force you do some workout, not just sitting there the whole day, thank you Schiit, Jotunheim is really a nice piece of Schiit.)On tube rolling, Nobsound need a pair matching tubes, and sometimes it will cause some problem if you didn t buy them right. Bravo just need one.I can tell you that I tried a lot of different tubes on both tube amps and honestly, I don t feel a lot difference between tubes. I think stock tube works fine on both tube amps. If you really want to try different tubes, then I suggest Amperex on Nobsound. For Bravo, I suggest Baldwin>Sctron>RCA.Again, I really don t think you need to spend the money on tubes. These are not real tube amps, so the sound changing is not that much when roll tubes. But .. again , I am not an audiophile, not even close, so what can I say.Finally, I can tell you what I choose, but that s only me.I keep Fulla 2 and Bravo. One for portable (Fulla 2 with computer, not cellphone, and I usually carry a battery bank with me, so I can just use that as power supply for Fulla 2, or I just plug into computer. Cellphone I use Fiio E12), Bravo in my dining room, so I won t forget to turn off the stove when finish eating. For the price these 2 asked for, you really won t go wrong on any of it. Personally, I like Fulla 2 better, but I just can t say no to this cute but powerful Bravo.4Pretty cool!!! Have really enjoyed it so far!!!Pretty cool. I am about 85% satisfied with it after I installed an alternative tube (JJ ECC82 12AU7 gold pin) but I am confident that I can reach that full 100% after making the suggested modifications detailed on audio enthusiast forums! I am using this in combination with Grado SR80e headphones (modified) and a Topping D20 DAC hooked up to my laptop (Asus F555LA-AH51 --> DAC --> Bravo V2 --> Grados). There are a couple of things that I should note that account for the lost star: 1) this multi-hybrid tube amplifier is not shielded, so it does pick up noise from my iPhone and my computer (@ distances less than/equal to 12"), 2) like others, I would highly recommend swapping out the stock tube with an aftermarket one (I have thoroughly enjoyed the JJ tube I mentioned above), 3) the biggest disappointment I have in choosing this model over the V1 is that this model (V2) does not have trim pots to adjust the bias between the two channels (the volume levels of my left and right channels are not at equal with a bias towards the right channel. To date, my soldering/electronic skills have only been developed building custom speakers/repairing damaged wiring, so I am gearing up to get my arms into finer circuit board work with this amp and install trim pots to account for the lack of them on this model in addition to making the additional mods suggested on audio forums (some great info on Rockgrotto like others have mentioned).4Great for the price. Keep it away from router/cell phone.Decent amp for the price. I would definitely recommend upgrading the tube from the stock original. It powers my Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO (250 Ohm) headphones pretty well. I have it connected to a cheap, Fosi Audio DAC-Q5.Some advice if you own this amp or plan on buying one (I wish I knew about this a long time ago....): make sure it is 5+ feet away from any router, cellphone, etc. You will get a very annoying white noise, humming, buzzing, static, etc. from the signals they give off.Only other complaints I have are that it gets pretty hot after being on for a bit. I also am not a fan of the RCA cables needing to be put in the side of the amp instead of the back.4With the RIGHT tube, Bravo V2 gives good smooth sound (the noise goes away)Fresh out of the box with the kit tube from China, there is noise even after warming up. Burning-in does not help on the noise level. I changed the tube to the $20 Electro-Harmonix 12AU7 EH (from Amazon) with no improvement. I was about to give up. The situation, however, got resolved after a vintage RCA Blackplate had arrived. My Bravo V2 now produced great sound. So, some tube rolling pays off and I am planning to roll some more.As many has already mentioned, the Bravo V2 gets hot, I put a USB fan 6 inches behind it (from the same power surge that comes with USB and regular power sockets and with an on/off switch). Everything got cool off a fair bit, I feel to put the pair of 1" heat sink that I bought to stick on the existing ones as someone else suggested here.UPDATE: I ended up returning the Bravo V2 as there is only limited choices of tube that worked with my copy without making some high pitch noise on the right channel. I also tried the more expansive ($130) Indeed G3 from eBay. It works much better on the noise level (slightly larger in size). However, the volume knob generates a lot of static when adjusting the volume. The seller replied to my inquiry stating that the static is normal due to "carbon film friction." :-(2Great device with a tube upgrade - details of tube used in post.Wow I LOVE this little box. I have been eyeballing this thing for literally years, I bought the E10K instead of this 2 years ago. But I recently decided to give it a try just for the tube aspect of it. Let just say I am not a audiophile level reviewer however that is only because my budget doesn't allow for the expensive gear needed to achieve that level of hearing detail. However I have been into audio from car to home and now headphones for 20 years.The ONLY reason I took away a star was the stock tube is pretty much useless. It sounded tinny and muddy, I wasn't impressed at all. However once I changed that out for just a cheap upgrade the Electro-Harmonix 12AU7 EH Vacuum Tube for 20 bucks. Once I made that change it came alive, no more muddy low end and it just opened up everything. I have been able to test this side by side with my Fiio E10k, and this thing just sounds so much more creamy and raw. It gives string instruments and analog sounding synths a throatiness to it, just a raw sounding mid / low tone. It really bring them alive! Then overall the sound is just better, the lows are stronger and meaner while the highs are crystal clear. Another thing that surprised me was it made a overall improvement to movie audio. I feel like it's a more realistic audio reproduction from the movie, again was sorta surprised at the improvement that was actually noticeable.My testing is done with Audio Technica ATH-900x and Philips SHP-9500. Out of those two sets of headphones I like the sound of the 900x better, not by a huge margin but they just overall have a wider sound and more low end and detail. I have not experienced any sort of feedback noise at all outside of a little bit of click when changing volume level. Which is to be expected. I am using cheap 3.5mm to RCA cable from my DAC to the RCA on the box.I would recommend this little guy to anyone looking to make a improvement in the experience of your music and movies. I would say the overall experience I would call immersive, it's been fun and worth the money spent imo.One other thing - the device does get REALLLY hot. There are been many reports of them burning out in a year's time, and with that knowledge I decided to use a old PC fan to cool it. I have attached a picture of my setup for inspiration for yours. I do recommend a fan or some sort of cooling for longevity of the device. In my picture from left to right, Fiio E10k DAC that feeds the Bravo V2 and then a Coolmaster 50mm4
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Description
  • Includes high-quality Shuguang 12AU7 tube
  • Parallel 3.5mm and RCA stereo inputs
  • Gain control with Japanese ALPS potentiometer
Reviews

Customer Reviews

I've got a nice set of PSB speakers for the main system but ...My background: Musician, not necessarily audiophile. I appreciate hearing the details in music. I've got a nice set of PSB speakers for the main system but with a wife and toddler I can't crank those up all the time.I have a set of Sennheiser HD250 Linear II's that apparently have developed a bit of a cult following. I'd had them for years and when we just recently moved I found them and decided to give them a shot. Years ago I remember them being way way quiet powered from an ipod or computer. I'd always thought of getting an amp but put it off. Well in honor of dusting them off I wanted an amp, but I wanted it to be less than $100 so I didn't have to sleep in the new guest room. These headphones are rated at 300 ohm and most of the completely solid state amps simply didn't have the specs to drive them. Compared several little tube hybrids and decided to give this one a shot. It has all the power I need to drive these headphones and they certainly sound better than they ever have.The stock tube IS harsh... I went ahead and ordered up an Electro-Harmonix and I will say that was exactly the sound I was looking for. I've been listening to several hours of Floyd and Rush and hearing amazing details in the FLAC files. For the moment it's connected to the headphone out of my Mac with no DAC but at some point I may add it. If you're not a diehard audiophile you will find this to be a worthwhile investment to drive better headphones. I'll try to remember to update this with impressions after this tube gets broken in a bit but so far I'm pleased, especially at this price point.5Originally sounded great, but began crackling a lot after 4 months. UPDATEDI purchased this amp in September and it sounded great. Really liked it and well worth the cost. But now, in January, conveniently after the 90 day warranty is up, it has begun making terrible scratchy noises and bad feedback. I've switched every component, including the tube, to see what the problem is, and it's the amp. I've tried multiple times to contact Bravo and they a have ignored my emails. I'm disappointing since it started out so great. Bad customer service is just the cherry on top of this unfortunate situation.UPDATE:Amazon had no problem returning it for me, and it wasn't until after that and this review that someone from Bravo contacted me. They were willing to help, but it was already taken care of by Amazon. What dropped this to a now 1 star review is that I was charged a restocking fee on an item returned BROKEN UNDER WARRANTY, which is crap. It's not my fault, so I should not be penalized. I had already repurchased the amp, because I have 12AU7 tubes and I don't want to have to get rid of my tubes or buy a much more expensive unit. But if anything happens again, I am done with Bravo.1Great little hybrid headphone amp that isn't pretending to be anything more. Love it!This little amp is treat to listen to my new Sennheiser HD-698 headphones with. After reading the reviews, I did order a Russian Electro-Harmonics tube to roll in for the stock Chinese tube it comes with. In the interest of full disclosure, while I could not hear a "life altering" difference between the two tubes as other reviewed have described experiencing, I have pretty flat spots in my hearing around 8000Hz and 20,000Hz from being around jet engines much of my life. For under $90 WITH the replacement tube, I bought this to set on an end table next to the reclining chair in my home office for times which I felt like shutting out the world and having a good eyes-closed, relaxing listen to either Spotify on my phone or classic rock and jazz albums on the Pioneer 518 XD turntable without bothering my family. For that purpose, this little thing fits the bill perfectly. I seems well constructed, given that it's mass-produced Chinese electronica, and while it is not a true Class A tube amplifier (it's a hybrid; there are solid state components in it) the sound it delivers is decidedly warmer and clearer, with more tone, than playing Spotify through my Note 3's audio dock or with the headphones plugged directly into the phone. It isn't anything like the McIntosh MC60 tube amps that power my home audio system, but this little amp doesn't pretend to be, nor is it priced to perform like that. This is just a very solid, tweakable, headphone amp (or a decent pre-amp for a higher powered amp) at an excellent value. There is a cult of modders out there that do all kinds of things to this amp, which I appreciate from an academic standpoint, but which is mostly lost on me because my hearing can't capitalize on hotrodding it beyond a simple tube swap. I might play some more with some different 12AU7 tubes I have for my other amps just to see if I can appreciably improve the sound, but already, out of the box, with the Electo Harmonics tube in it, the amp is just great. And, it looks very cool. Because all of the components are exposed, it was easy to explain its operation to my 10 year old daughter, who was mostly interested in the blue glow from the tube socket.5Cool little amp. Stock tube was bad.Stock tube was bad right off the bat. Loses one star for that. I have a boatload of 12AU7's so it was not a big deal for me to replace the tube.This little amp has a ton of gain. Better suited to headphones rather than very efficient IEM's but does work with all. Easily drives all my cans well beyond sane listening levels, including my high impedance cans. I am using this mainly with the line out of an inexpensive digital music player and over ear headphones which need an amplifier to drive to full potential. Not nearly as "tubey" (or as good) as my OTL headphone amp in the main headphone system but sounds good with my lower impedance phones that aren't compatible with the OTL amp.A couple of cautions is that the exposed heatsinks do get toasty. And, due to the open design with no chassis attachment to secure the jacks, plugging and unplugging will put some stress on the PCB. How it will up long term remains to be seen.I thought it would be cool to have a small "tube amp" on my desktop so this was kind of bought as a novelty for that purpose. It's not the end of the road in terms of sonics but it sounds good in it's intended use and I have no real complaints, especially considering the price.4Perfect Little Budget AmpI have limited experience with high-end home audio, but I do appreciate good sounds enough to invest in nicer equipment than most.The Bravo amp arrived in a little box, sealed up pretty well (pre-assembled), with the tube-amp wrapped in a bag. Everything was securely closed, and functioned right out of the box.Setup was pretty straightforward, I opted to use the RCA adapter (with a MediaBridge cable) instead of the 3.5mm jack. Plugged in DT990 at 250 Ohm, and away we went.Sound quality is pretty good--depending on source files, and a host of intermediary steps. Volume control is easy, sounds more or less linear, and rarely do I have to push it above about halfway for comfortably loud music.It's been with me for about two and a half years now, through a couple moves, without issue. I clean it out occasionally with compressed air (especially around the heat sinks, which can get WARM), but otherwise it just sits on my desk and doesn't complain.There is a noticeable difference between my laptop and the amp (and moreso between my phone and the amp), which is especially pronounced over longer listening periods.For the novice, or the budget conscious, I would say this works quite well. It's not too flashy, and does what it is supposed to without being exorbitantly overpriced.5I just like to listen to musicThis review is actually a simple comparison of 4 different Headphone Amps.First, I want to be clear that I am not an audiophile, not even close. I just like to listen to music, any kind of music that I feels right. So, this review just what I personally think about these products, nothing professional.Here are the 4 headphone amps (the DAC I am using is Logitech 980-000910 Bluetooth Audio Adapter, it will cost $21.98 from Amazon. And I know this is probably not the DAC you want to buy, you may want something recommend from z review or one of the most popular brand Fiio. But honestly, when I compare to those DACs under 100 USD, I just cannot tell the differenc. And the good thing about Logitech is they are Bluetooth and easy to re-pair to other devices. As I said before, I am not even close to Audiophile, that s why I can t tell the difference)1. Fulla 2 by Schiit: $99 plus $10 shipping, total $109.I know this is a DAC/AMP, and I know this is a solid-state Amp. But if you buy any of the Tube amp listed below, you probably will buy a DAC to pair with it, after you purchase DAC, the price will be very close. And all the tube amps I compared here are not real tube amp, they are all hybrid. That s why I also listed Fulla 2 here.2. SMSL T2 2X6J9 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amp: $59.90 from Amazon (Total with DAC $81.88)3. Nobsound NS-08E Vacuum Tube Integrated Amp: $50 from Amazon (Total with DAC $71.98)4. Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amp: $66.98 from Amazon (Total with DAC $88.96)So now you know all the price, seems like all tube amps are cheaper. But .if you bought tube amps, I am sure sooner or later you want to try tube rolling, please consider that s also your cost on amps. That s why I said the price of Fulla 2 is close to other tube amps.Price is the first thing I consider; the second thing is the power to drive headphones.I don t have a lot of headphones and this review is not about headphones, so please don t ask me any question about headphones. The headphones I am using here are Sennheiser HD600, HD6XX from Massdrop, Sony MDRV6, Sony MDR7506, Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus, Audio Technica ATH-AD900X, Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium 600 OHM, Beyerdynamic DT-990-Pro-250 OHM, Bose QuietComfort 35, Fostex TH-X00 from Massdrop, Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth, Philips SHP 9500S, and Monster NTune.NO, I don t have Beats from Dre headphone. If you really want to know why, please GOOGLE.Some are cheap, some cost a bit more, some very easy to drive, some needs more power.Let s say the volume knob is from 7 o clock all the way up to 5 o clock. This way will be easier for me to show you how every amp provides the power on the volume. Yes, I know the headphone amp drive headphone is not just about volume but also how well it controls. But again, I am not audiophile, so I don t care about the tech issue and I don t want to see a lot of numbers calculating here. All I care is how the music sound and how loud it can be.All 4 amps with DAC give you a good sound, but tube amps are a little bit warmer. You won t tell the difference unless you compare them side by side.When using any headphone is under 250 OHM, you will love any of these 4 amps. They all do a good job. You won t go wrong on any of it. So, money wise, just buy the cheapest one you can find.Any 300 OHM headphone or above, you need to start choosing. If you use 600 OHM, you can forget about #2: SMSL T2 2X6J9 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amp. You can cross it out from the list, and that s what I did, I don t even bother to roll the tube.On 300 OHM headphone, Fulla 2, Nobsound NS-08E, and Bravo Audio V2 all give you enough volume makes you headache if you turn the volume all the way up (your ears won t bleed, not that loud), and I only need to turn the knob to 12 o clock. But not SMSL T2, I need to turn all the way to 4 o clock.On 600 OHM headphone, Fulla 2 and Nobsound need to turn to 2 o clock to my normal listening volume, from 2 to 3 only gains a little bit, and from 3 to 5, it won t gain any more (you can turn the knob and play back forward, nothing going to change). Bravo Audio V2 only need to turn to 1 o clock to reach the same volume, and from 1 to 4, it only gains a little bit. And when you turn to 5 o clock on Bravo, it did gain volume more, but it starts distortion, and I don t like how the music sound like that. On SMSL T2, the volume is like someone whisper to your ear even you turn all the way to max, and you need to push earcup real tight to hear what they try to say, maybe good for training your listening skills and how sensitive you are to the sound, but not very good for listen to music.So, if you want to use 600 OHM headphones and you don t want to spend a lot money to buy a High-end amp, then please choose Bravo.Now, I am going to talk about how much heat these amps will generate. Because I already cross out SMSL T2, so I only talk about the other 3. (If you really want to know, it s the same as Nobsound)Fulla 2, you can put your hand on it or just grab it. You will only feel a little bit warmer than your hand.Nobsound, you can pretend it s not hot and leave your hand on the case for a while and keep telling yourself it s not hot, it s not hot, it s not hot ..Bravo, you can put your hand on the glass part and do the same thing as Nobsound. But I dare you to touch the heat sink, it can fry eggs!!!!!!Why we talk about the heat here, it s a safety issue. I don t think you want to leave Bravo on when you go to work or any other reason that you need to leave your house for more than 3 hours, it s kind of like you forget to turn off your stove when you left your house (a very tiny stove). That means you need to power on and off every time you use it and before you leave.This is not a problem to me, but you might want to know.Then the headphone jack, Fulla 2 and bravo are both 1/4", Nobsound using 3.5mm. Personally, I like the 1/4 better.Then the input, Nobsound only has 3.5mm audio input, Bravo has both 3.5mm and RCA input, I didn t try to plug them with different sources and start the music at the same time, I just assumed that it cannot, but you are welcome to try it and let me know how it works. Fulla 2 has 3.5mm at front and USB input on the back. I like the Fulla 2 better here, I can just connect to computer and use it.Then the external power, both Nobsound and Bravo are using external power charger. Of course, you can carry a generator with you and make it portable. but I will just use it at home.Fulla 2 just use your computer USB to power it. But if you turn the volume over 3 o clock, you will need external power. You can use either cellphone mini usb charger at home or battery bank when goes out.Then function, Nobsound and Bravo are headphone amps only, there is no other output. Fulla 2 can use as pre-amp, DAC, and headphone amp. I use Fulla 2 connect to JBL LSR310S then LSR 305 and it works great, and from different connection on Fulla 2, you can use headphone and speakers at the same time but control the sound from computer not the knob on Fulla 2. (By the way, when you plug in headphone to Fulla 2, it will mute the speakers. But Schiit Jotunheim won t, you have to power off your speakers or unplug the speaker cables, that s Schiit company try to force you do some workout, not just sitting there the whole day, thank you Schiit, Jotunheim is really a nice piece of Schiit.)On tube rolling, Nobsound need a pair matching tubes, and sometimes it will cause some problem if you didn t buy them right. Bravo just need one.I can tell you that I tried a lot of different tubes on both tube amps and honestly, I don t feel a lot difference between tubes. I think stock tube works fine on both tube amps. If you really want to try different tubes, then I suggest Amperex on Nobsound. For Bravo, I suggest Baldwin>Sctron>RCA.Again, I really don t think you need to spend the money on tubes. These are not real tube amps, so the sound changing is not that much when roll tubes. But .. again , I am not an audiophile, not even close, so what can I say.Finally, I can tell you what I choose, but that s only me.I keep Fulla 2 and Bravo. One for portable (Fulla 2 with computer, not cellphone, and I usually carry a battery bank with me, so I can just use that as power supply for Fulla 2, or I just plug into computer. Cellphone I use Fiio E12), Bravo in my dining room, so I won t forget to turn off the stove when finish eating. For the price these 2 asked for, you really won t go wrong on any of it. Personally, I like Fulla 2 better, but I just can t say no to this cute but powerful Bravo.4Pretty cool!!! Have really enjoyed it so far!!!Pretty cool. I am about 85% satisfied with it after I installed an alternative tube (JJ ECC82 12AU7 gold pin) but I am confident that I can reach that full 100% after making the suggested modifications detailed on audio enthusiast forums! I am using this in combination with Grado SR80e headphones (modified) and a Topping D20 DAC hooked up to my laptop (Asus F555LA-AH51 --> DAC --> Bravo V2 --> Grados). There are a couple of things that I should note that account for the lost star: 1) this multi-hybrid tube amplifier is not shielded, so it does pick up noise from my iPhone and my computer (@ distances less than/equal to 12"), 2) like others, I would highly recommend swapping out the stock tube with an aftermarket one (I have thoroughly enjoyed the JJ tube I mentioned above), 3) the biggest disappointment I have in choosing this model over the V1 is that this model (V2) does not have trim pots to adjust the bias between the two channels (the volume levels of my left and right channels are not at equal with a bias towards the right channel. To date, my soldering/electronic skills have only been developed building custom speakers/repairing damaged wiring, so I am gearing up to get my arms into finer circuit board work with this amp and install trim pots to account for the lack of them on this model in addition to making the additional mods suggested on audio forums (some great info on Rockgrotto like others have mentioned).4Great for the price. Keep it away from router/cell phone.Decent amp for the price. I would definitely recommend upgrading the tube from the stock original. It powers my Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO (250 Ohm) headphones pretty well. I have it connected to a cheap, Fosi Audio DAC-Q5.Some advice if you own this amp or plan on buying one (I wish I knew about this a long time ago....): make sure it is 5+ feet away from any router, cellphone, etc. You will get a very annoying white noise, humming, buzzing, static, etc. from the signals they give off.Only other complaints I have are that it gets pretty hot after being on for a bit. I also am not a fan of the RCA cables needing to be put in the side of the amp instead of the back.4With the RIGHT tube, Bravo V2 gives good smooth sound (the noise goes away)Fresh out of the box with the kit tube from China, there is noise even after warming up. Burning-in does not help on the noise level. I changed the tube to the $20 Electro-Harmonix 12AU7 EH (from Amazon) with no improvement. I was about to give up. The situation, however, got resolved after a vintage RCA Blackplate had arrived. My Bravo V2 now produced great sound. So, some tube rolling pays off and I am planning to roll some more.As many has already mentioned, the Bravo V2 gets hot, I put a USB fan 6 inches behind it (from the same power surge that comes with USB and regular power sockets and with an on/off switch). Everything got cool off a fair bit, I feel to put the pair of 1" heat sink that I bought to stick on the existing ones as someone else suggested here.UPDATE: I ended up returning the Bravo V2 as there is only limited choices of tube that worked with my copy without making some high pitch noise on the right channel. I also tried the more expansive ($130) Indeed G3 from eBay. It works much better on the noise level (slightly larger in size). However, the volume knob generates a lot of static when adjusting the volume. The seller replied to my inquiry stating that the static is normal due to "carbon film friction." :-(2Great device with a tube upgrade - details of tube used in post.Wow I LOVE this little box. I have been eyeballing this thing for literally years, I bought the E10K instead of this 2 years ago. But I recently decided to give it a try just for the tube aspect of it. Let just say I am not a audiophile level reviewer however that is only because my budget doesn't allow for the expensive gear needed to achieve that level of hearing detail. However I have been into audio from car to home and now headphones for 20 years.The ONLY reason I took away a star was the stock tube is pretty much useless. It sounded tinny and muddy, I wasn't impressed at all. However once I changed that out for just a cheap upgrade the Electro-Harmonix 12AU7 EH Vacuum Tube for 20 bucks. Once I made that change it came alive, no more muddy low end and it just opened up everything. I have been able to test this side by side with my Fiio E10k, and this thing just sounds so much more creamy and raw. It gives string instruments and analog sounding synths a throatiness to it, just a raw sounding mid / low tone. It really bring them alive! Then overall the sound is just better, the lows are stronger and meaner while the highs are crystal clear. Another thing that surprised me was it made a overall improvement to movie audio. I feel like it's a more realistic audio reproduction from the movie, again was sorta surprised at the improvement that was actually noticeable.My testing is done with Audio Technica ATH-900x and Philips SHP-9500. Out of those two sets of headphones I like the sound of the 900x better, not by a huge margin but they just overall have a wider sound and more low end and detail. I have not experienced any sort of feedback noise at all outside of a little bit of click when changing volume level. Which is to be expected. I am using cheap 3.5mm to RCA cable from my DAC to the RCA on the box.I would recommend this little guy to anyone looking to make a improvement in the experience of your music and movies. I would say the overall experience I would call immersive, it's been fun and worth the money spent imo.One other thing - the device does get REALLLY hot. There are been many reports of them burning out in a year's time, and with that knowledge I decided to use a old PC fan to cool it. I have attached a picture of my setup for inspiration for yours. I do recommend a fan or some sort of cooling for longevity of the device. In my picture from left to right, Fiio E10k DAC that feeds the Bravo V2 and then a Coolmaster 50mm4
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