I chatted with Fried the other day and got some updates about their plans for the future - and he gave me the go-ahead to share it here. This is all tentative, nothing set in stone yet and no hard dates available (sorry).
The first news is about the upgraded USB option. Apparently customer feedback indicates that people do want a quality USB input, making the device a viable all-in-one DAC/amp. Fried considers the current 24/96 solution to be pretty good but this new version will be "top notch". It's a 24/192 capable design based on the PCM1798 DAC and the Tenor TE8802 USB chipset (coaxial and optical models will also be available). Fried says they beefed up the analog output circuitry so it's a lot more sophisticated than the current version. Pricing will be higher, maybe double what the current option goes for. The target for release is "hopefully by the end of the year".
Aside from that, the big news is the upgraded V-2xx series amps. The current plan is for a single ended model called the V220, and a balanced model called V281. These use a double-height enclosure which is equal to stacking a pair of V200s, and the depth is greater too (maybe 12 inches). The basic design builds off the V200 but has double the output transistors (so 16 per channel!), a significantly beefed up power transformer (25W instead of the current 10W), a front panel knob for left/right balance control as well as inputs being selectable from the front panel. V281 will have XLR and 1/4" outputs just like V181 did. Similar to outfits like Woo or HeadAmp, Violectric intends to give the user options for volume control - a "basic" version using a quality pot, or a motorized pot with remote capability, or a high-end option using a 128-step relay-based design (each step is .75dB) that is also motorized. Depending on options, pricing starts at 1100 Euro and goes to over 2000 Euro "fully loaded" which I assume means the on-board DAC option as well (which will also be updated, see my V800 thread for info on that).
This is all in the planning stages for now, not sure if anything will change or how soon they can pull this off. It's tricky because although some of us may be more excited about these new V2xx models (and I know I am!), it probably makes more business sense to get the lower priced Lake People DAC models out the door first. Lake People/Violectric is still a small firm, has hired some more people but they won't be cranking this stuff out at the same pace as some of their Chinese competitors. Still, I'm excited to see (and hear) this stuff when it does eventually become available.
Edited by project86 - 9/27/13 at 8:28am