Bring Back Your Dead

This thread is to discuss your current opinions and experiences with your oldest and crustiest gear.

  • How have you grown?
  • Have you learned anything?
  • Do you still like your starter equipment?
  • Are you embarrassed by it?

Make the dead sing and dance again:

A few weeks ago I dropped $9 on a new power supply for my Bravo Audio V2. I hadn’t used for a long time because the factory power supplied died. This was my first tube headphone amp (and I ran my HD-600s from raw notebook output before I knew better).

What did $50 for the amp and $30 spent long ago on a Groove Tubes GT-12AU7, plus $9 for a new power supply get me? I tested it with Focal Clears and Sennheiser HD-600s.

First, this is an insanely powerful, dangerous unit. Open construction always looks interesting, but isn’t practical in everyday use. Back in the day I shocked myself and zapped an old iPhone (and then got the red screen of firmware self-repair, requiring a full re-setup and app reinstall).

The power is crazy. With a standard DAC line-out, I barely cranked the volume a fraction of an inch (e.g., 7 to 8 o’clock position) for normal listening volume. One could likely blow the drivers of many headphones at the 12 o’clock position.

Using the factory tube there was no bass to speak of (in comparison with my newer amps), but the mid range tone was pleasant enough. The imagery, details, and separation were all weak. What killed it for me and has always killed me, is an ultra-high fingernails-on-a-chalkboard whine. I hear it more clearly as a single tone now, and used to perceive it as hiss (I now have more attuned ears).

In switching to the Groove Tubes GT-12AU7, the bass fell away even more and the mid and upper ranges became dominant. This is not a pleasant sound profile, but kind of replicates the Grado experience. It still had that horrible high pitched whine.

It’d probably be fine for use with dark headphones that can’t generate the painful high end. Overall, it was worth $9 to give it a listen again.


I’d have given you a :heart: on that, but for the side-swipe at Grado. However, you have thrown down the gauntlet, and eventually, I’ll do a re-look and listen to my Headroom Airhead, perhaps paired with some old headphones.

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I gave you a :heart: because of this comment. :blush:


Their V3 is currently on Drop for $45.

It’s a steal for 50 bucks. My only concern would be using it for a couple of times and then putting it in a drawer forgotten somewhere.

EDIT: to address my own concerns… The Discussions sessions tells a lot about this product (or toy?). I compare it to a $10 drone I bought on clearance in Staples, a few years ago. :smile:


Since when is a 6922 a “12au7 style” tube? What does that even mean?


Some small signal types. There are also power tube com parables as well.



No :heart: for you either! :roll_eyes:


I did not think a 12au7 was interchangeable with a 6922, at least in my Vali2.

Maybe with adapter but its always a crap shoot when you go off specifications, I’ve reached the point of “keep it simple, I may not be as smart as I think I am”.

My approach to life in general. The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.

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Owning the Bravo V2 for a long time, I beg to differ. The risk of accidental shock is real and the audio quality isn’t great. IMO the $100 Loxjie P20 plus a $30 tube swap is 10x the amp at 2.5x the price.

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I have a first version Channel Islands Audio 9v LPS. I broke the 2.5mm output plug. Fixed the thing and put it back in service. Works great driving my microrendu.

My only pre-2000 piece of equipment just was retired. Sony CDP-c601ES CD changer. Functional - purchased in 1993 for around $400-500. Current ebay value around $50. Traded it in on some PS Audio equipment. Got $350 trade in credit toward purchase of a new preamp. Cost me as much to ship it to them than it was worth, but figured $350 off was better than the expense of shipping it.

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What is your experience with LPS? I’ve been and am considering upgrading my power supplies.

My very first entry into the HiFi experience was getting a pair of HD 599s. Metal 571 called them the audiophile gateway drug. I wasn’t willing to get an amp/DAC, but got the headphones anyway because my phone at the time (the LGV20) was praised for being a great option for budget enthusiasts. I was completely in awe from first listen. Then on to the 6XX, and now I’m gradually saving up for things I never would have been able to convince my past self to buy. These days I’ve been looking to purchase a second pair of ZMF cans. Love the Atticus. It’s going to take another month of saving for the Bifrost 2. Halfway there. I think I got a really good value with the Asgard 3 and Modi Multibit. :grin: “Spend X amount for WIRED headphones?!” I’d probably react two years ago.


lol, did try to warn you about that. Have fun




The CIA is a good power supply. I bought it second hand. I had to replace the output jack since I broke it inserting the cable. I was trying to do it blind in the cabinet and damaged the plastic jack housing. Easy replacement for the most part. Well built. I also have a Wyred 4 Sound PS. It’s adjustable voltage and supports multiple devices. You buy modules for the devices.

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Next resurrection project: This old A/V receiver I have somewhere in deep storage. It impressed me at the time (circa 2000) for both CDs and home theater. It had a solid reputation as well. Worth the dig?

I do recall that the headphone out was far inferior to a recent phone or tablet.

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I’m going to do this in stages - Today I took some pictures. Most of the gear is in the 1998-2002 range. I’ve got a Headroom Airhead. I couldn’t find an intro date but the Wayback machine gave me this great rant of Tyll’s from 1998.

The Audio Technicas I bought new in the 1970s, I don’t know how I got the crimp in the headband, and I’m showing some detail so you can see how they’re put together and how crusty they are.

The Sennheiser’s also bought new. And the AIWA awesome for the time CD Player - Spinning the Evil Genius Orchestra’s Cantina Star Wars Lounge music with the pornstar artwork. (Jasmin St. Clair)

I will do some listening impressions as I get the time and will post here and refer back to these photos.

That’s it for now folks!


I love the look of the Audio Technicas!

I used to have a ‘micro‘ Aiwa stereo my brother had given me that he had purchased at the P/X down at Camp Pendleton in the late 90’s. That was a fun little stereo.