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If you are still wondering about the tube sound ...

Joined
May 28, 2020
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#1
Please consider getting a Bravo Audio V1/2. Remember to get a multimeter to adjust biases, as the factory settings are super wacky on mine. :(
But after adjusting biases, this little amp really sings. It pairs very well with with highly regarded Sennheiser 5xx and 6xx. And it also offers a glimpse
of what you can get with tubes:

1) Very high output impedance. Koss PortaPro sounds like everything is sent down from attic.
2) It works with BA IEMs, such as Ety ER3/4, but the bass is even leaner.
3) It works reasonably well with Hifiman Sundara, the output is high current, but the details are simply lacking.

Best of all, it is only $70 new and $50 used. You really don't lose a fortune if you don't like it. And if you are more daring, you can try modding it to
sound like Garage 1217 amps. If you are tired of the super analytical sound of solid state, you can always retreat to the land of valves and transistors. :)
 

Wombat

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Nov 5, 2017
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#2
Transistors are solid state.
 

tomtoo

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#4
Oh yes transistors are super solid state. But who cares as long listening to music is fun? ;)
 

Thalis

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Sep 2, 2020
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#5
I have the similar Little Bear P-1. The warm sound is due to the MOSFETs being the IRF610. They roll off a bit early on the upper end. Being biased to Class A they are indeed outputting lots of juice.

Edited... oops I think I meant they were the IRF630.
 
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anmpr1

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#7
I remember when all this stuff began. Or at least when it became well known. Someone at Rolls (the inexpensive semi-pro gear guys) started selling their little Bellari branded tube phono stage. Mr. Analog himself, Michael 'you can call me Mikey', Fremer told everyone who would listen to him that they had to go out and buy one, because it was an inexpensive implementation of the classic tube phono stage.

It was only later that someone pried the cover off, and found out the circuit was an opamp with tube follower (sticking out of the top)--the tube not doing much in the way of amplification, but there to add that 'extra magic' you only get with glowing glass. When people discovered the trick, of course their opinions of the device changed overnight. They started to hear all sorts of horrible solid state artifacts, and so on and so on.

I will say that the Bellari device had some nice features. A kind of headphone amp, and switchable subsonic filter. You could mute it from the front panel. It was certainly not the quietest thing out there, from a S/N standpoint, I think they reworked the power supply (wall wart) to address that major issue.
 
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