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

Brand:| Model: V2
Overview
Enjoy the pure, non-fatiguing sound of Class A amplification with the Bravo V2 headphone amplifier!
Highlights
  • Includes high-quality Shuguang 12AU7 tube
  • Parallel 3.5mm and RCA stereo inputs
  • Gain control with Japanese ALPS potentiometer
Part # 
310-350
Weight: 1.32 lbs.  
OUT OF STOCK
Due In: 5/7/2014
List Price$79.99
Regular Price$69.80
You Save21%
Special Price
$54.96
Part # 310-350
Qty:  EA
Available Payment Methods

Product Details

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

Looking for a high-quality headphone amp or to dip your toes in the world of tube audio? The Bravo V2 headphone amplifier will let you do both! Smart, modern aesthetics and a small form-factor mean that this amp will find a home on any desktop.  A great deal of attention was paid to part quality on this amp, employing a well-regarded Shuguang 12AU7 tube, Japanese ALPS potentiometer and Chemi-Con capacitor, and numerous other high grade parts.

Signal input is through either RCA or 3.5mm stereo jacks. The output jack is 1/4" stereo, but an adapter is included for those using headphones with a 3.5mm plug. A 24 VDC 1A switching power supply is included.

Why Tube Amplification?

Many audio experts believe that technology is just now catching up with the sonic benefits offered by "old-fashioned" tubes. The simplicity of tube circuitry contributes to reduced parts counts and greater sonic clarity. Tubes use far less (if any) negative feedback compared to transistorized amplification circuits. If and when tubes do overload, their subjective sound quality is often preferred to the breakup characteristics of transistors. Although glass vacuum tubes appear fragile, they are robust electrically. They tolerate high peak voltages, and also withstand longer-term overload conditions better than their solid state equivalents.

Specifications: • Power requirement: 24 VDC • Input sensitivity: 100 mV • Input impedance: 100K ohm • Supported headphone impedance: 20 ~ 600 ohm • Gain: 30 dB • Frequency response: 10 Hz – 60 kHz +/- 0.25 dB • Dynamic range: 84.6 dBA (300 ohm), 89.8 dBA (33 ohm) • THD: 0.016% (300 ohm), 0.45% (33 ohm) • Dimensions: 3.11" L x 3.11" W x 1.73" H.



Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier
  • BrandBravo Audio
  • ModelV2
  • Part Number310-350
  • UPC848864000794
  • Product CategoryHeadphone Amplifiers
  • Unit of MeasureEA
  • Product Rating
    (28 Reviews)
  • Weight1.32 lbs.
  • California Prop 65

    Warning: California residents only. Please note per Proposition 65 that this product may contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

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Reviews

Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier
Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier is rated 4.4643 out of 5 by 28.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great piece..... butRight out of the box this unit sounds good but can be improved with better tubes than the stock one . I tried a JJ 12AU7, which was good , A Baldwin 12AX7, which was better, then an RCA black plate 5963 ( slightly lower voltage 12AU7 ) which was best . The input started shorting out on the 3rd day so I pressed the 3 exposed jack rings down, checked the input collar tightness and sprayed Craig's De-Oxit inside the jack. Works properly again . The on off switch feels very light duty and as noted by others there are some design flaws regarding the 25volt cap and LEd location. I would have been happy to pay a little more for a design without these flaws as this is a nice sounding piece of gear
Date published: 2014-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best $55. ever spent.I have to say it was hard to believe all the incredible things everyone was saying about this tiny tube headphone amp . There true . For the $55 I spent on this little wonder , I don't think I have ever been more impressed , or pleased .Now its hard to believe that incredible sound is coming from that tiny hand full of parts. I am hearing things in the music I have been listing to for years that I never heard on the same CD . The full robust richness and fine intricate detail is so pleasing to the ear , I have a hard time turning it off , just one more song" .If you don't have one yet , get one or two , before they go off sale . If you already have something that sounds better , you paid a lot more than what this amp cost .This just could be the best thing coming out of China today !
Date published: 2014-03-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from BuzzThis is my second V2. Plagued by poor components. Lots of buzz and hum which apparently can be reduced by replacing the tube. Although other forums recommend changing out just about every compoent. But... really... shouldn't this work relatively well out of the box?
Date published: 2014-03-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Mixed BagThe good news is that out of the box the V2 worked and drove my low impedance SONY MDR7506 and Grado SR125 as well as my high impedance Sennheiser HD580 and HD600. It has more than enough volume with all head phones. The mid and high frequencies are harsh using the supplied 24 Volt switching supply. I built a regulated 24 Volt linear supply and this cleaned up the V2’s harshness. Low frequency response is good but a little muddy in the low to mid–bass region. The heat sinks, especially those on the MosFet’s run very hot – too hot to keep your finger on for more than a second so be careful of this one. The bad news is that out of the box I think the V2 isn’t ready for prime time but if you are an electronics experimenter, have some decent test equipment and have experience modifying equipment the V2 is a great little platform to work on. With some minor component additions/changes, trace cutting/wire re-routing and sheet metal work on the heat sinks the V2 can be literally transformed into a very sweet sounding head phone amplifier worthy of the description “Audiophile Quality”.Brief Technical DescriptionThe V2 is a two stage “hybrid” design. Stage one is a 12AU7 dual triode tube with ½ of the tube used for each channel. The 12AU7 is set up to up to run in grounded cathode mode with a grid resistor used to bias into Class A operation. Gain of this stage is about 10. The tube is run in what is called “starvation mode” because of the low 24 Volt supply. Normal supply operation would be in access of 100 Volts. Bravo chose a 24 Volt supply most likely because of the low cost, easy availability and elimination of the liability of using a high voltage. Unfortunately 12AU7 tube manufacturers data sheets are not very helpful for this low voltage operation so Bravo must have done a lot of their own tube characterization before going with the 12AU7. Actually their choice of the 12AU7 compared to other tubes commonly used in high performance audio amplifiers of this type was a good one for a number of reasons I won’t go into here for brevity.The plate of the 12AU7 is DC coupled to the Gate of the MosFet output driver stage. The Mosfet is set up as a Source follower with a gain of just under one. The Mosfets operate Class A with around 160 mA of Source current – the reason the undersized heat sinks get so hot. The Source is then coupled to the output through a 1,000 uFd capacitor.The largest problem with the V2 design is the DC coupling between stages. Any variation in tube DC currents or voltages directly affects the MosFet operating point and tube filament voltage. This is true because there is an LM317 in the Source circuit which along with Gate voltage sets the Source current and filament voltage level. So any variation in tube characteristics or operating point directly affects the MosFet and any change in MosFet operating point directly affects tube operation. So “tube rollers” proceed with caution since changing tube types is not straight forward at all. Even dropping in another 12AU7 can have a negative impact on all DC operating points and sound quality.I spent a lot of lab time getting the V2 circuit to work well and got a good education on tube “starvation mode” in the process. Changing interstage DC coupling to capacitor coupling enabled me to optimize the operating point of each stage with no interaction. This modification along with other changes transformed the V2 into a very credible little head phone driver. I’m very happy with the end result. As I said earlier, the Bravo Audio V2 is a great little platform on which to build a very nice sounding head phone amplifier.
Date published: 2014-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brings my cans to life!I bought this little gem to feed my power-hungry Audio-Technica m50's. I am pleasantly surprised how little I have to turn the dial to get things cranking to ear-bleeding levels, without distortion. I loved it so much, I bought a second one for office.
Date published: 2014-03-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice little pre-ampFor the price, I couldn't resist trying this headphone amp/pre-amp, and it seems to be worth every penny. Sure, I'd change a few things... I'd get rid of the silly LED under the tube, and I'd put all the inputs and outputs on the back. But, those are just minor things. This sounds great, and there are numerous 12ax7 options for tube rolling.
Date published: 2014-04-10

Product Q&A

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

Can you explain the main difference between V1 and V2 apart from the different vacuum tube in use?

V2 is called "Class A - Multi-Hybrid" and V1 is stated as "Class A". What is the "Multi-Hybrid" aspect and how does it differ from the other version?
Asked by: Mister AtoZ
The V1 has bias adjustment pots on the circuit board which theoretically means you can use a wider variety of tubes in it, whereas the V2 can only use a 12AU7 tube. The V2 comes with a 6922, which some consider to be a better preamp tube. I find the 12AU7 to be perfectly fine. The tube used is predicated on the design of the preamp and either tube can be used to good effect in any particular design. Again, the V2 is designed for the 12AU7 only.Both the V1 and V2 are multi-hybrid meaning that they have a solid state input topology with a tube driven output stage.
Answered by: aseltzer
Date published: 2013-12-25

ease of replacing the tube

People are mentioning replacing the tube will improve the sound. How easy or difficult is it to change out the tube?
Asked by: duluth5
Can you chand a light bulb ? If so thats how easy it is .just make sure you get the right tube 12AU7The tube just pulls out and to replace simply push the new tube in . Really is that easy
Answered by: robrc12
Date published: 2013-12-25

Can it handle 4 ohm loads?

Is there any precautionary advice against using this amplifier with headphones that have a minimum impedance of 4 ohms?
Asked by: Thetwinmeister
no never heard of 4 ohm headphones
Answered by: Juice
Date published: 2013-12-18

How is the BRAVO V2 as a preamplifer only?

Anyone have experience with this as an AMPLIFIER only? Planning on hooking up an old onkyo m-5160 amplifier and using the bravo v2 as a preamplifier to power my arx a1b speakers. Also will changing the tube change the sounds of the whole product or will changing the tube only change the sound through the headphone amplifier output? THANKS!
Asked by: AUDIONOOB1
The headphone amplifier is also a preamplifier. It is actually advertised by Bravo as being a preamp, too. I have been using it as a preamplifier with the APA150 and it does give it a "warmer" sound.
Answered by: Sparrowhawk1161
Date published: 2013-09-07

Bravo V2 as a studio tool for adding warmth or maybe even distortion?

Anyone think this would be a good tool to run live level signals through for adding a little bit of tube warmth to synthesizers and such?I also was wondering if this device distorts in a pleasant way when overloading the inputs. Would a 12AX7 add more gain for better stereo tube distortion?Thanks!
Asked by: HI McDunnough
This is intended for use as a headphone amp so We would not recommend it for those applications.
Answered by: Chrisf
Date published: 2012-12-25

Since I know nothing of tubes, one thing I remember is that they often blew in the older type TV's and radios. How often do you need to replace them?

Asked by: Sparrowhawk1161
My step dad ran an appliance/electronic repair service from the mid 50s through the early 70s so I grew up around tube stuff. I remember that rectifier and other power tubes were the frequent culprits in failures. They worked hard, ran hot, and eventually failed. They could also be damaged by other components failing. Next were amplifier tubes but the failure rate wasn't near as high as others. TVs also generally ran longer than radios and both longer than audio gear.The thing to remember is that the circuitry that controls/converts the power from the wall plug to the various voltages & currents a device requires for its circuits aways work hard. Heat can be a killer, too and tube gear got hot. A lot of audio tube gear is a clssification of Class A. Class A does the most faithful job of reproducing an analog signal into a higher output signal. But, it is also the least efficient in that it takes a bunch of power, generates a bunch of heat, etc. Really, all an amplifier is is an adjustable output power supply.When any power circuit started to go, everything else will be affected. A lot of people used to play guessing games and replace tubes on a whim when their device began acting up. Eventually they'd replace the right tube. Maybe. I remember drug store having tube testers for people to bring in tubes from home and check them. Some even carried a few of the more common tubes.Hybrids, like this amp, use solid-state -transistors, chips, and the like- to handle the power creation chores. Those are much more stable as in they basically work or not and don't really get 'weak' like tubes can. They take heat better, too, although they are prone to many of the same types of failures as tubes were.In this amp the audio amplification is done by the tube which in a headphone amp shouldn't be taxed very hard. -WARNING- DO NOT touch tubes both because some will burn you and the oil from your skin can cause problems!) The tube should last ages if it's used correctly and treated nice. It's a fairly common tube often used for the same application so should you ever need one, which I doubt, it shouldn't be hard to find.If it develops a problem, you'll know. Just make sure it isn't your headphones, cord/plug, or hearing! (grins on the last one!)
Answered by: jimmyzen
Date published: 2014-01-03

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