Simple Headphone Setup.

2»

Comments

  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,201
    Ended up getting the Bravo v2 instead of the ocean. I don't like the open design but the blue on the ocean killed me.

    Should arrive today for me to get some first listening sessions in, more than likely will upgrade the stock tube in the near future.
    Living room

    Mains: SDA 2B Studio
    Lows: Velodyne CHT12
    Power: Marantz SR7000 Preouts to Yamaha AV34
    Tv: Samsung UHD 55' Curved

    2 Channel/Bedroom

    *under construction*
    Polk TSI 200
    Power: Marantz PM235
    CDP: Technics SL-PD688
    TT: Pioneer PL510

    Noggin Rockin'

    Grado SR80e
    Harman Kardon CL
    Little dot 1+/GE JAN 5654w

    Closet of Dreams:

    Harman Kardon AVR130
    Yamaha HTR5590
    Paradigm Monitor 90
    Polk RTA11TL
    New Large Advents 25th Anniversary Edition
    Bravo V2/RCA Clear top Conn branded 12AU7

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
  • MrBuhlMrBuhl Posts: 1,944
    Let us know how she sounds! Looks like its also 12au7. Lots of cheap options, that blue, yea, its a deal breaker.
    VA HT HK AVR20II, Sony S9000ES CD/DVD/SACD, Polk Audio RC80i / Polk Audio CSi3, 60" Panasonic Plasma, Nordost / Signal Cable A2 / Wireworld / Pangea / Magic Power
    VA 2 Channel , McCormack DNA 0.5 (SMc Gold) Amp, MFA based Cocci Tube Preamp, Polk SDA2BTL (fully modded), A/L 1000VA Dreadnought, Canare 4s11 SDA cable, Sony S9000ES CD/DVD/SACD, Music Hall mmf 5.1 Turntable, Vincent Pho-700 Phono Pre, MIT S3 IC's / MIT Shotgun S3 Speaker Cables / Pangea & Signal Cable MP power
    Noggin Schiit Valhalla, Pangea, Phillips Fidelio X1, Polk UF8000
    LA Toobs Dodd Audio 50wpc Dual Mono Amp, Eastern Electric MiniMax Preamp, Polk LSIM705, Marantz DV8300 SACD, VPI Nomad Turntable w/Ortofon 2M Bronze, MIT AVt3 Speaker & RCA Cables, Pangea & Signal Cable MP power

    Dodd Mid Level Preamp ("on the bench" w/Charlie)
    Polk SDA1c modded
    Soundcraftsmen PCR800
    Yamaha YP-D6
    Bottlehead Foreplay (modded)
    Signal Cable Silver Resolution IC's
    Audible Illusions L1 Preamp
    McCormack DNA-1 Power Drive Amp
    Eastern Electric Minimax CDP
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,201
    MrBuhl wrote: »
    Let us know how she sounds! Looks like its also 12au7. Lots of cheap options, that blue, yea, its a deal breaker.

    Will do! I plan on upgrading the tube for sure. Going to do some research on affordable reliable warm sounding tubes.
    Living room

    Mains: SDA 2B Studio
    Lows: Velodyne CHT12
    Power: Marantz SR7000 Preouts to Yamaha AV34
    Tv: Samsung UHD 55' Curved

    2 Channel/Bedroom

    *under construction*
    Polk TSI 200
    Power: Marantz PM235
    CDP: Technics SL-PD688
    TT: Pioneer PL510

    Noggin Rockin'

    Grado SR80e
    Harman Kardon CL
    Little dot 1+/GE JAN 5654w

    Closet of Dreams:

    Harman Kardon AVR130
    Yamaha HTR5590
    Paradigm Monitor 90
    Polk RTA11TL
    New Large Advents 25th Anniversary Edition
    Bravo V2/RCA Clear top Conn branded 12AU7

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,201
    edited May 22
    Opening thoughts and gear used

    Package received today, no damage bit a little but of glue on a capacitor in the back. I easily peeled it off but worth mentioning. I expected the tube to NOT be installed upon arrival but it was, I can only guess people breaking it not knowing what they are doing previously initiated this change.

    Overall she is pretty and better looking than I anticipated by the photos. The tube's label is simply "12AU7 CHINA" in red lettering.

    Turning it on for the first time started the blue (under tube) and red (behind tube) LEDs and I let it warm up for a good 10 minutes before I plugged my IPad Pro 3.5mm to RCA into the amp. Streamed via Spotify at "Extreme Quality 320kbps", headphones used were Grado SR80e via 1/4 in adapter.

    Sound

    Off the bat I know these Grados aren't the best and are a wee bit bass shy to some but not I. The open back design I feel gives a great sound stage at least beyond my experience with cans. The first song I started off with is one I have been listening to a lot lately:

    #1 Linda Ronstadt - Tracks of my tears

    This being the first song I didn't know what to expect and you know what I thought it sounded JUST like plugging into my Yamaha AV34, obviously some doubt crept in but hope was still there. The sound was nice but just nothing different with decent solid state sound just a tad Brighter than the aforementioned AV34 which I did not like.

    #2 Houndmouth - Otis

    This was the artist I wanted to specifically test with this tube pre. Starting the song off was still a bit sterile but about half way through more warmth was introduced and the highs tamed a little, bass was nice and controlled but not heavy. The soundstage started to open up more and I heard ambient noise that I couldn't hear though my SDAs. Starting to get impressed.

    A couple songs later...

    #6 Fleetwood Mac - Silver Springs (Early Take)

    This is where I started to float away with the beautiful atmospheric guitar and Stevie's raw voice tearing through the middle. At this point it was when I thought I made a wise investment. The highs were there but never too fatuiging although could be more detailed, mids were silky smooth and seldom too forward. The bass is hard to judge as it is also the headphones I was using that contributed to the lack of bass but it was still present just not pronounced when sometimes it needed to be. No tone controls either. :(


    Overall First Impressions

    I feel my money was very well spent on this amp and getting some new tubes in I believe can fix most of the SQ gripes I may have however few I listed. There was some crackling in the music from time to time which I figured was the tube breaking in so I didn't worry too much. If anyone is thinking about one of these simply as a nice little cheap amp I would say snatch it up. Just wat h out because this thing gets hot in very little time, mostly on the heat sinks as the tube's top stays cool to moderately warm.

    Like I said she is purty though...

    3h8lzio14cow.jpg

    Living room

    Mains: SDA 2B Studio
    Lows: Velodyne CHT12
    Power: Marantz SR7000 Preouts to Yamaha AV34
    Tv: Samsung UHD 55' Curved

    2 Channel/Bedroom

    *under construction*
    Polk TSI 200
    Power: Marantz PM235
    CDP: Technics SL-PD688
    TT: Pioneer PL510

    Noggin Rockin'

    Grado SR80e
    Harman Kardon CL
    Little dot 1+/GE JAN 5654w

    Closet of Dreams:

    Harman Kardon AVR130
    Yamaha HTR5590
    Paradigm Monitor 90
    Polk RTA11TL
    New Large Advents 25th Anniversary Edition
    Bravo V2/RCA Clear top Conn branded 12AU7

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 379
    Very cool review @codycatalist ! A couple days later now, is the tube starting to warm up the sound? Maybe bringing a little more bass/midbass to your OB headphones?
    2ch rig:
    Speakers: Polk Signature S20
    Integrated Pre: Parasound P5
    Power Amp: Parasound A23
    CDP: Pioneer DV-563A; the Denon is riding shotgun.
    Cables: Wireworld Equinox 7 ICs, Wireworld Ultraviolet 7
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,201
    HzTweaker wrote: »
    Very cool review @codycatalist ! A couple days later now, is the tube starting to warm up the sound? Maybe bringing a little more bass/midbass to your OB headphones?

    Thank you! Yesterday I threw some more genres at it and experimented with some of the same tracks I did initially. I only have maybe 2 hours into this tube but it is starting to warm up the sound a bit and reinforce the bass. I still feel it could be better but once again that can be attributed to the headphones themselves.

    I'm not sure of the "normal" warm up time for tubes but usually I will turn it on when I get home and start listening about 20-30 minutes later, I have yet to listen to it without giving it some time to start up.

    I still plan on trying some other tubes to experiment with the sound and try and get it closer to my ideal sound. Will report back when that happens as well.

    I still reinforce the value of how great this little amp is for the money.
    Living room

    Mains: SDA 2B Studio
    Lows: Velodyne CHT12
    Power: Marantz SR7000 Preouts to Yamaha AV34
    Tv: Samsung UHD 55' Curved

    2 Channel/Bedroom

    *under construction*
    Polk TSI 200
    Power: Marantz PM235
    CDP: Technics SL-PD688
    TT: Pioneer PL510

    Noggin Rockin'

    Grado SR80e
    Harman Kardon CL
    Little dot 1+/GE JAN 5654w

    Closet of Dreams:

    Harman Kardon AVR130
    Yamaha HTR5590
    Paradigm Monitor 90
    Polk RTA11TL
    New Large Advents 25th Anniversary Edition
    Bravo V2/RCA Clear top Conn branded 12AU7

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
  • concealer404concealer404 Posts: 7,453
    Thanks for trying that amp. Been looking at one for awhile under the "Little Bear" brand.

    I'm currently running a Modi2/Magni2 Uber Schiit Stack with some ISK HD9999s (Hilariously nice for $80), but i never really thought to swap out the old USB cable i rummaged around to find sitting in a dusty box.

    Think that's something i should look into getting? Schiit has one for $20, or is there any others i should be looking at besides the one you got?
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

    Living Room: B&K Reference 5 S2 / Parasound HCA-1000A / Emotiva XDA-2 / Pioneer BDP-51FD / Paradigm Legend V.3 / Polk RT16

    Desk: Schiit Magni 2 Uber / Schiit Modi 2 Uber / ISK HD9999
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,201
    Thanks for trying that amp. Been looking at one for awhile under the "Little Bear" brand.

    I'm currently running a Modi2/Magni2 Uber Schiit Stack with some ISK HD9999s (Hilariously nice for $80), but i never really thought to swap out the old USB cable i rummaged around to find sitting in a dusty box.

    Think that's something i should look into getting? Schiit has one for $20, or is there any others i should be looking at besides the one you got?

    I don't have experience with any other budget tube amp/pre amps so I can't say with confidence which to choose or look out for. I basically had some prereqs.

    1. Looks good (I don't like the open design but it looks good enough)
    2. Easily replaceable tube for decent prices
    3. Lots of options for tube replacement
    4. Cheap

    I feel I hit all of that with the Bravo v2 although the v3 with tone controls would be nice but I have that @F1nut philosophy "If it is good enough speakers and equipment you don't need tone controls". The main selling point on the v2 was the 12AU7 tube, I know I can find plenty of them online in all price ranges in all makes and models. That alone made it worth it.

    I read about a couple other amps (mostly Nobsound, other bravos and little bear) but either the price was too high for me to test the waters or the tubes were not as easy to find as the 12AU7.

    Hope this helps some.
    Living room

    Mains: SDA 2B Studio
    Lows: Velodyne CHT12
    Power: Marantz SR7000 Preouts to Yamaha AV34
    Tv: Samsung UHD 55' Curved

    2 Channel/Bedroom

    *under construction*
    Polk TSI 200
    Power: Marantz PM235
    CDP: Technics SL-PD688
    TT: Pioneer PL510

    Noggin Rockin'

    Grado SR80e
    Harman Kardon CL
    Little dot 1+/GE JAN 5654w

    Closet of Dreams:

    Harman Kardon AVR130
    Yamaha HTR5590
    Paradigm Monitor 90
    Polk RTA11TL
    New Large Advents 25th Anniversary Edition
    Bravo V2/RCA Clear top Conn branded 12AU7

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,201
    Sound warmer and bass better. Soundstage is good but could be better. We will see how it progresses.
    Living room

    Mains: SDA 2B Studio
    Lows: Velodyne CHT12
    Power: Marantz SR7000 Preouts to Yamaha AV34
    Tv: Samsung UHD 55' Curved

    2 Channel/Bedroom

    *under construction*
    Polk TSI 200
    Power: Marantz PM235
    CDP: Technics SL-PD688
    TT: Pioneer PL510

    Noggin Rockin'

    Grado SR80e
    Harman Kardon CL
    Little dot 1+/GE JAN 5654w

    Closet of Dreams:

    Harman Kardon AVR130
    Yamaha HTR5590
    Paradigm Monitor 90
    Polk RTA11TL
    New Large Advents 25th Anniversary Edition
    Bravo V2/RCA Clear top Conn branded 12AU7

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,201
    Scratch that. Just put on Soon of a preacher man covered by Aretha Franklin... HOLY S*@$ that is a huge soundstage.
    Living room

    Mains: SDA 2B Studio
    Lows: Velodyne CHT12
    Power: Marantz SR7000 Preouts to Yamaha AV34
    Tv: Samsung UHD 55' Curved

    2 Channel/Bedroom

    *under construction*
    Polk TSI 200
    Power: Marantz PM235
    CDP: Technics SL-PD688
    TT: Pioneer PL510

    Noggin Rockin'

    Grado SR80e
    Harman Kardon CL
    Little dot 1+/GE JAN 5654w

    Closet of Dreams:

    Harman Kardon AVR130
    Yamaha HTR5590
    Paradigm Monitor 90
    Polk RTA11TL
    New Large Advents 25th Anniversary Edition
    Bravo V2/RCA Clear top Conn branded 12AU7

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 379
    Thanks for trying that amp. Been looking at one for awhile under the "Little Bear" brand.

    I'm currently running a Modi2/Magni2 Uber Schiit Stack with some ISK HD9999s (Hilariously nice for $80), but i never really thought to swap out the old USB cable i rummaged around to find sitting in a dusty box.

    Think that's something i should look into getting? Schiit has one for $20, or is there any others i should be looking at besides the one you got?

    @concealer404 If your curious about cables Skip @DSkip is the guy to talk to. I tried wireworlds entry level USB A to mini (the Chroma) and found that it improved the headroom and made the sounds stage slightly wider. IMO that isn't a bad upgrade for ~$20-30 shipped. Of course the sky is the limit.
    Sound warmer and bass better. Soundstage is good but could be better. We will see how it progresses.

    Thanks for checking back.
    Scratch that. Just put on Soon of a preacher man covered by Aretha Franklin... HOLY S*@$ that is a huge soundstage.

    ^Awesome!lol
    2ch rig:
    Speakers: Polk Signature S20
    Integrated Pre: Parasound P5
    Power Amp: Parasound A23
    CDP: Pioneer DV-563A; the Denon is riding shotgun.
    Cables: Wireworld Equinox 7 ICs, Wireworld Ultraviolet 7
  • concealer404concealer404 Posts: 7,453
    Cool, thanks!

    Yesterday i realized where my cable came from: My vinyl cutter. I'm sure sonic clarity wasn't in the requirements when produced.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

    Living Room: B&K Reference 5 S2 / Parasound HCA-1000A / Emotiva XDA-2 / Pioneer BDP-51FD / Paradigm Legend V.3 / Polk RT16

    Desk: Schiit Magni 2 Uber / Schiit Modi 2 Uber / ISK HD9999
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,201
    Upgraded to a little dot 1+. Hehe digging it with GE JAN 5654w tubes, much more controlled than the bravo v2.
    Living room

    Mains: SDA 2B Studio
    Lows: Velodyne CHT12
    Power: Marantz SR7000 Preouts to Yamaha AV34
    Tv: Samsung UHD 55' Curved

    2 Channel/Bedroom

    *under construction*
    Polk TSI 200
    Power: Marantz PM235
    CDP: Technics SL-PD688
    TT: Pioneer PL510

    Noggin Rockin'

    Grado SR80e
    Harman Kardon CL
    Little dot 1+/GE JAN 5654w

    Closet of Dreams:

    Harman Kardon AVR130
    Yamaha HTR5590
    Paradigm Monitor 90
    Polk RTA11TL
    New Large Advents 25th Anniversary Edition
    Bravo V2/RCA Clear top Conn branded 12AU7

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
  • msgmsg Posts: 3,500
    you junkie B)
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,201
    msg wrote: »
    you junkie B)

    r8l8801dn1wx.jpg
    Living room

    Mains: SDA 2B Studio
    Lows: Velodyne CHT12
    Power: Marantz SR7000 Preouts to Yamaha AV34
    Tv: Samsung UHD 55' Curved

    2 Channel/Bedroom

    *under construction*
    Polk TSI 200
    Power: Marantz PM235
    CDP: Technics SL-PD688
    TT: Pioneer PL510

    Noggin Rockin'

    Grado SR80e
    Harman Kardon CL
    Little dot 1+/GE JAN 5654w

    Closet of Dreams:

    Harman Kardon AVR130
    Yamaha HTR5590
    Paradigm Monitor 90
    Polk RTA11TL
    New Large Advents 25th Anniversary Edition
    Bravo V2/RCA Clear top Conn branded 12AU7

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 379
    Upgraded to a little dot 1+. Hehe digging it with GE JAN 5654w tubes, much more controlled than the bravo v2.

    Wow that little dot 1+ looks fantastic! Hope it sounds as nice as it looks. The tubes you mention, I'm guessing they are not factory? How many listening hours do you have on them now? @codycatalist
    2ch rig:
    Speakers: Polk Signature S20
    Integrated Pre: Parasound P5
    Power Amp: Parasound A23
    CDP: Pioneer DV-563A; the Denon is riding shotgun.
    Cables: Wireworld Equinox 7 ICs, Wireworld Ultraviolet 7
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,201
    edited September 15
    Nah they come shipped with Chinese 6J1s, got the GEs on the advice of @ZLTFUL. I use it at work as I don't get much time at home to dedicate to listening anymore. If I had to guess probably close to 23 hours so far as I got it on Monday and listened for a good 3-4 hours that night and roughly 5 a day at work. I've got to say I absolutely love this thing. The changes weren't apparent at first but the bass is more tactile and controlled (for Grados that's saying something), sound is more rich in my opinion as well. I do miss those clear tops though.

    *EDIT* Thinking of eventually getting Mullard CV4010 when money allows.
    Living room

    Mains: SDA 2B Studio
    Lows: Velodyne CHT12
    Power: Marantz SR7000 Preouts to Yamaha AV34
    Tv: Samsung UHD 55' Curved

    2 Channel/Bedroom

    *under construction*
    Polk TSI 200
    Power: Marantz PM235
    CDP: Technics SL-PD688
    TT: Pioneer PL510

    Noggin Rockin'

    Grado SR80e
    Harman Kardon CL
    Little dot 1+/GE JAN 5654w

    Closet of Dreams:

    Harman Kardon AVR130
    Yamaha HTR5590
    Paradigm Monitor 90
    Polk RTA11TL
    New Large Advents 25th Anniversary Edition
    Bravo V2/RCA Clear top Conn branded 12AU7

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 379
    Very cool. @ZLTFUL is a col guy. I can't see him ever pointing anyone of us in the wrong direction. Especially when it come down to managing Bass. Keep burning those Tubes in @codycatalist . Five hours at work listing time is pretty awesome. I bet a lot of us here (including myself) wishes they could do that.
    2ch rig:
    Speakers: Polk Signature S20
    Integrated Pre: Parasound P5
    Power Amp: Parasound A23
    CDP: Pioneer DV-563A; the Denon is riding shotgun.
    Cables: Wireworld Equinox 7 ICs, Wireworld Ultraviolet 7
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,197
    *blushing* Thanks for the kind words guys.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    2 Channel: Silverline Audio Sonatina MKI, Monitor 5 Series II, DIY Seas based bookies
    LR 2 Channel: LSi7, DSW-MP2000
    HT: JTR Triple 8 LCRs, DIYSG Volt 8LX Surrounds, DIYSG Volt 6LX Atmos, 6 SI HT-18D2 Subs
    Guest BR 2 Channel: Swans D1080MKII
    Deck: Pyle BT Speaker pair with upgraded woofers
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