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Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced - Page 20

post #286 of 1066

So after some back and forth with Arthur who runs the Violectric USA store, I am now the first person in all of North America who has bought a V281. The other ones are loaners review units. It was a stroke of luck and perfect timing too, because I asked him only today for an update on pre-order status etc, and it just so happens he got the first 4 shipments in from germany just today, didn't even open the boxes yet, and out of those 4 only two of them are V281's and only one of those is in black, with standard volume, and gold feet, which is the version I wanted. The rest are all silver/varying volume options. And it will be 3 more weeks for another shipment after these.

 

I had no clue how few of these were in North America right now lol. I've never been the first person to buy an electronics product ever, so I feel good that of all things it was something as nice as a V281 made by a wonderful guy.

 

If everything ships well, I'll be hearing it by the end of the week. now just need to order the balanced cable for my lcd 2's lol.

 

Edit- I will post a review of the V281 shortly after I receive it and the cable to this thread as well as to the V281 head-fi product page.


Edited by saxelrod92 - 8/12/14 at 8:06pm
post #287 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by saxelrod92 View Post

So after some back and forth with Arthur who runs the Violectric USA store, I am now the first person in all of North America who has bought a V281. The other ones are loaners review units. It was a stroke of luck and perfect timing too, because I asked him only today for an update on pre-order status etc, and it just so happens he got the first 4 shipments in from germany just today, didn't even open the boxes yet, and out of those 4 only two of them are V281's and only one of those is in black, with standard volume, and gold feet, which is the version I wanted. The rest are all silver/varying volume options. And it will be 3 more weeks for another shipment after these.

I had no clue how few of these were in North America right now lol. I've never been the first person to buy an electronics product ever, so I feel good that of all things it was something as nice as a V281 made by a wonderful guy.

If everything ships well, I'll be hearing it by the end of the week. now just need to order the balanced cable for my lcd 2's lol.

Edit- I will post a review of the V281 shortly after I receive it and the cable to this thread as well as to the V281 head-fi product page.

I haven't posted in this thread but I've been keeping my eye on it with great interest. Congratulations and good luck. I look forward to reading your impressions. smily_headphones1.gif
post #288 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by JES View Post


I haven't posted in this thread but I've been keeping my eye on it with great interest. Congratulations and good luck. I look forward to reading your impressions. smily_headphones1.gif


Thank you :)

 

I just ordered the balanced cable, so it will arrive in about two weeks worth of business days. So I'll probably post first impressions using SE on here, and write the full review for the product page after the cable arrives and I hear it in balanced mode finally. The amp will be here by the end of the week most likely or first thing next week.

post #289 of 1066
Excellent! You will not be disappointed. Also, black with gold feet is a handsome choice. I can't decide which one I like more.

And yes, these are slow in coming out of the factory. Violectric does not outsource construction in the way some others do to save time/money. So each one is lovingly hand assembled by workers who earn a good wage, which is always something worth supporting when it comes to a "luxury" product like this.
Edited by project86 - 8/12/14 at 9:34pm
post #290 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Excellent! You will not be disappointed. Also, black with gold feet is a handsome choice. I can't decide which one I like more.

And yes, these are slow in coming out of the factory. Violectric does not outsource construction in the way some others do to save time/money. So each one is lovingly hand assembled by workers who earn a good wage, which is always something worth supporting when it comes to a "luxury" product like this.


Absolutely! The fact it was made by people who were happy and loved what they were doing definitely played a small role in my overall decision vs something else.

post #291 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 
16 ohms or 43 ohms are not unreasonable output impedances..... for a tube amp. 

Let's take a look at some of the current top solid state amps on the market. The Auralic Taurus is <1 ohm for SE output and ~3 ohms for the XLR. Questyle CMA800R is <1 ohm. V200, V220, and V281 are <1 ohm. Phonitor 2 is <1 ohm. GS-X 2 is <1 ohm. Do you see the trend?

What was Sennheiser thinking? I suppose it's not too terrible for damping factor on a 300 ohm model like HD800. Not quite ideal, especially with balanced output, but not terrible. But did they think nobody would want to use their own IE800? Or HD598? Or Grado, Audio Technica, Ultrasone, etc? 


Totally Agree!! That is very disappointing indeed. Why bother making an Amp with the characteristics and price of the HDVD 800 (or HDVA 600) if you're just going to mess it up with such an obvious and avoidable flaw? Well, so much for considering the Sennheiser Amp; Hasta la Vista! At least now I'm down to three, lol.

For now, my impression is that although the Taurus has an airier presentation then than my V100, I feel my Violectric to be more engaging and perhaps a tad more detailed from it's SE output. The Taurus' balanced output takes the lead, though. Anyhow, I'm not in a rush, so I'll keep listening to all Amps I can get my hands on to get more reference points. Next up is the Bakoon HPA-21.

Thanks Megalomaniak and Fegefeur for the valuable info on the HDVD 800's output impedance.


Cheers


 
Edited by Zkadoush - 8/13/14 at 3:30pm
post #292 of 1066

Trade-offs, Pros & Cons and difficult decisions.

When you finally have all the money to go and buy yourself a top-tier Amp, the difficulty to find the right Amp can soon take the juice out of your enthusiasm.
"To have all the money" - in my case - means 3K (I have another amount set aside for a Benchmark DAC2 D, Benchmark AHB2 and a pair of Benchmark SMS1s, if reviews for the monitors prove favorable and once more specs are provided). That rules out the most expensive flagship Amps, like Cavalli, Ray Samuels, Apex and Crayon, and leaves you with a fabulous bunch of Amps below the 3K mark, like the Auralic Taurus, Questyle CMA800R (or two), Headamp GS-XMkII, RedWine Cassabria & Bellina, and of course the mighty Violectric V281.

The reality is that no Amp is absolutely perfect, in the sense that no Amp will do everything perfectly, so basically you have to work your way through a maze of trade-offs and pros and cons until you reach a conclusion and hit the buy button. Besides that, most of these Amps are relatively esoteric pieces of gear that aren't at the hifi shop around the corner, and many don't even exist before you place an order with a juicy deposit. So, not only do the real-life limitations and vicissitudes of design, implementation, cost and manufacturer's business strategies make your final decision harder, but also real-life availability conspire to rob you of your initial enthusiasm. Then there's of course the new flagship released in the midst of you having managed to narrow it down to a well reasoned shortlist, and there you go again, back into the maze of trade-offs and your checklist.

I was initially impressed and enthusiastic about the Sennheiser HDVD 800. It includes an apparently decent D/A converter - no digital specs whatsoever provided by Sennheiser - and a fabulous match for my HD 800s. Then a couple of more conscientious and knowledgeable head-fiers drop the truth on me: the SE ouput of the Sennheiser has a 16Ohm output impedance, and the balanced output triples it! As much as I love my HD 800s above every other headphone, I still own a K702, a Q701 - that I want to upgrade for balanced mode - as well as the remote hope to find a decently imaging magnetic-planar headphone in the future (the Audeze LCD-X is the only planar-magnetic headphone I find enjoyable at all). Bad for the great match to my HD 800s, good for the further decantation of my shortlist. Talk about of trade-offs!

I do fancy the awesome build quality of the Taurus and its dead silent and pitch black background, but the presentation I get from the SE output is something I just simply can't come to terms with. This is most likely due to me being used to the more up close presentation of my V100 than anything else, but I get the feeling that some instruments, or even parts of instruments - being a drummer/percussionist I tend to focus on percussive cues - are drastically more distant. For example, the hi-hat of some tracks - and I'm talking about very good recordings - sounds as if it was being played at a different front to back localization than the drums. My guess is that what I perceive as an airier presentation of the Taurus is more instrument separation, and thus spatial cues are differently presented by the Auralic in comparison to my Violectric. Nevertheless, I sat there for nearly 2 hours and couldn't get used to it, pretty much the way your brain struggles with a new pair glasses the first week. The balanced output is a different story, it appears more coherent and more pleasantly and convincingly spacious than the SE output, and I could certainly live with it. But that's only half the Amp for the whole price.

I can't say much about the other contenders on my shortlist as I have no chance to audition any of them. But if I have to follow the trade-off balance and the pros and cons on my checklist, the V281 takes the lead in overall measured performance, features and functionality. Questyle and Headamp are a tie in build quality, although the CMA800R takes the lead in measured performance. They are also a relative tie in a matter of functionality, but since I'm looking for a Headamp and not really for a Preamp - despite both CMA800R and GS-XMkII including that functionality -, the dual mono CMA800R pair would probably score the highest in sheer SQ, which is what I'm out for.

The few dealers here in Auckland, New Zealand, that have serious Headamps (Audio Reference, Reference Audio (really!), NZAudio, Soundline and especially Computer Lounge) do have Headamp (Computer Lounge) and Violectric (NZAudio), but are currently not bringing in the GS-XMkII (which has a extra long waiting time), and anything above the V100. (Perhaps not so few dealers considering Auckland is dwarfed by any larger American city.) Nobody has even heard of Questyle yet, but I have insisted on the great reviews they have already earned, and shared the links in the hope that someone will take the leap. The other more far-fetched - if not outright ridiculous - option would be to grab a cheap $300 ticket to Australia to visit some friends in Melbourne and drive to Addicted to Audio, who are dead serious about their head-fi gear, and perhaps more likely to have the V281 and the CMA800R in store in the relatively near future.

Anyhow, I took my chances with the V100 without ever listening to it, and based only on measured performance and impressions of fellow head-fiers, and needless to say, it was an absolute bullseye. I could well do the same with the V281, but I can't help but wish for Fried to release a standalone balanced V281 (or V282) with better measured performance than the V181 and without the V220 in the same box. Such an Amp, along with the announced downsized version of the V800 DAC, or a pair of CMA800Rs with a couple of pre-gain settings; or a GS-XMkII with a SNR as good as the Taurus or the V281 would be my bullseye(s) right now. But as I began writing, it's a game of trade-offs and pros and cons, and I'll have to play by the rules no matter how arbitrary and unfriendly they appear to my hard earned bucks.

Cheers!


Edited by Zkadoush - 8/13/14 at 6:09pm
post #293 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zkadoush View Post

I do fancy the awesome build quality of the Taurus and its dead silent and pitch black background, but the presentation I get from the SE output is something I just simply can't come to terms with. This is most likely due to me being used to the more up close presentation of my V100 than anything else, but I get the feeling that some instruments, or even parts of instruments - being a drummer/percussionist I tend to focus on percussive cues - are drastically more distant. For example, the hi-hat of some tracks - and I'm talking about very good recordings - sounds as if it was being played at a different front to back localization than the drums. My guess is that what I perceive as an airier presentation of the Taurus is more instrument separation, and thus spatial cues are differently presented by the Auralic in comparison to my Violectric. Nevertheless, I sat there for nearly 2 hours and couldn't get used to it, pretty much the way your brain struggles with a new pair glasses the first week. The balanced output is a different story, it appears more coherent and more pleasantly and convincingly spacious than the SE output, and I could certainly live with it. But that's only half the Amp for the whole price.

I can't say much about the other contenders on my shortlist as I have no chance to audition any of them. But if I have to follow the trade-off balance and the pros and cons on my checklist, the V281 takes the lead in overall measured performance, features and functionality. Questyle and Headamp are a tie in build quality, although the CMA800R takes the lead in measured performance. The CMA800R and the Headamp GS-XMkII are a relative tie in a matter of functionality, but since I'm looking for a Headamp and not really for a Preamp - despite both CMA800R and GS-XMkII including that functionality -, the dual mono CMA800R pair would probably score the highest in sheer SQ, which is what I'm out for.

The few dealers here in Auckland, New Zealand, that have serious Headamps (Audio Reference, Reference Audio (really!), NZAudio, Soundline and especially Computer Lounge) do have Headamp (Computer Lounge) and Violectric (NZAudio), but are currently not bringing in the GS-XMkII (which has a extra long waiting time), and anything above the V100. (Perhaps not so few dealers considering Auckland is dwarfed by any larger American city.) Nobody has even heard of Questyle yet, but I have insisted on the great reviews they have already earned, and shared the links. The other more far-fetched - if not outright ridiculous - option would be to grab a cheap $300 ticket to Australia to visit some friends in Melbourne and drive to Addicted to Audio, who are dead serious about their head-fi gear, and perhaps more likely to have the V281 and the CMA800R in store in the relatively near future.

Anyhow, I took my chances with the V100 without ever listening to it, and based only on measured performance and impressions of fellow head-fiers, and needless to say, it was an absolute bullseye. I could well do the same with the V281, but I can't help but wish for Fried to release a standalone balanced V281 (or V282) with better measured performance than the V181 and without the V220 in the same box. Such an Amp, along with the announced downsized version of the V800 DAC, or a pair of CMA800Rs with a couple of pre-gain settings; or a GS-XMkII with a SNR as good as the Questyle or the V281 would be my bullseye(s) right now. But as I began writing, it's a game of trade-offs and pros and cons, and I'll have to play by the rules no matter how arbitrary and unfriendly they appear to my hard earned bucks.

Cheers!

I had the same problem with the AURALiC but it grew on my rather quickly after having it for 2 weeks to demo.  Don't get caught up on the specs (SNR in this case) of these amps, the GSX is uber quiet also.  All of the ones you mentioned are very quiet..  Why not see if Fried will let you demo it as someone mentioned he has a bunch out for demo?

post #294 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zkadoush View Post
 

Trade-offs, Pros & Cons and difficult decisions.

When you finally have all the money to go and buy yourself a top-tier Amp, the difficulty to find the right Amp can soon take the juice out of your enthusiasm.
"To have all the money" - in my case - means 3K (I have another amount set aside for a Benchmark DAC2 D, Benchmark AHB2 and a pair of Benchmark SMS1s, if reviews for the monitors prove favorable and once more specs are provided). That rules out the most expensive flagship Amps, like Cavalli, Ray Samuels, Apex and Crayon, and leaves you with a fabulous bunch of Amps below the 3K mark, like the Auralic Taurus, Questyle CMA800R (or two), Headamp GS-XMkII, RedWine Cassabria & Bellina, and of course the mighty Violectric V281.

The reality is that no Amp is absolutely perfect, in the sense that no Amp will do everything perfectly, so basically you have to work your way through a maze of trade-offs and pros and cons until you reach a conclusion and hit the buy button. Besides that, most of these Amps are relatively esoteric pieces of gear that aren't at the hifi shop around the corner, and many don't even exist before you place an order with a juicy deposit. So, not only do the real-life limitations and vicissitudes of design, implementation, cost and manufacturer's business strategies make your final decision harder, but also real-life availability conspire to rob you of your initial enthusiasm. Then there's of course the new flagship released in the midst of you having managed to narrow it down to a well reasoned shortlist, and there you go again, back into the maze of trade-offs and your checklist.

I was initially impressed and enthusiastic about the Sennheiser HDVD 800. It includes an apparently decent D/A converter - no digital specs whatsoever provided by Sennheiser - and a fabulous match for my HD 800s. Then a couple of more conscientious and knowledgeable head-fiers drop the truth on me: the SE ouput of the Sennheiser has a 16Ohm output impedance, and the balanced output triples it! As much as I love my HD 800s above every other headphone, I still own a K702, a Q701 - that I want to upgrade for balanced mode - as well as the remote hope to find a decently imaging magnetic-planar headphone in the future (the Audeze LCD-X is the only planar-magnetic headphone I find enjoyable at all). Bad for the great match to my HD 800s, good for the further decantation of my shortlist. Talk about of trade-offs!

I do fancy the awesome build quality of the Taurus and its dead silent and pitch black background, but the presentation I get from the SE output is something I just simply can't come to terms with. This is most likely due to me being used to the more up close presentation of my V100 than anything else, but I get the feeling that some instruments, or even parts of instruments - being a drummer/percussionist I tend to focus on percussive cues - are drastically more distant. For example, the hi-hat of some tracks - and I'm talking about very good recordings - sounds as if it was being played at a different front to back localization than the drums. My guess is that what I perceive as an airier presentation of the Taurus is more instrument separation, and thus spatial cues are differently presented by the Auralic in comparison to my Violectric. Nevertheless, I sat there for nearly 2 hours and couldn't get used to it, pretty much the way your brain struggles with a new pair glasses the first week. The balanced output is a different story, it appears more coherent and more pleasantly and convincingly spacious than the SE output, and I could certainly live with it. But that's only half the Amp for the whole price.

I can't say much about the other contenders on my shortlist as I have no chance to audition any of them. But if I have to follow the trade-off balance and the pros and cons on my checklist, the V281 takes the lead in overall measured performance, features and functionality. Questyle and Headamp are a tie in build quality, although the CMA800R takes the lead in measured performance. They are also a relative tie in a matter of functionality, but since I'm looking for a Headamp and not really for a Preamp - despite both CMA800R and GS-XMkII including that functionality -, the dual mono CMA800R pair would probably score the highest in sheer SQ, which is what I'm out for.

The few dealers here in Auckland, New Zealand, that have serious Headamps (Audio Reference, Reference Audio (really!), NZAudio, Soundline and especially Computer Lounge) do have Headamp (Computer Lounge) and Violectric (NZAudio), but are currently not bringing in the GS-XMkII (which has a extra long waiting time), and anything above the V100. (Perhaps not so few dealers considering Auckland is dwarfed by any larger American city.) Nobody has even heard of Questyle yet, but I have insisted on the great reviews they have already earned, and shared the links in the hope that someone will take the leap. The other more far-fetched - if not outright ridiculous - option would be to grab a cheap $300 ticket to Australia to visit some friends in Melbourne and drive to Addicted to Audio, who are dead serious about their head-fi gear, and perhaps more likely to have the V281 and the CMA800R in store in the relatively near future.

Anyhow, I took my chances with the V100 without ever listening to it, and based only on measured performance and impressions of fellow head-fiers, and needless to say, it was an absolute bullseye. I could well do the same with the V281, but I can't help but wish for Fried to release a standalone balanced V281 (or V282) with better measured performance than the V181 and without the V220 in the same box. Such an Amp, along with the announced downsized version of the V800 DAC, or a pair of CMA800Rs with a couple of pre-gain settings; or a GS-XMkII with a SNR as good as the Taurus or the V281 would be my bullseye(s) right now. But as I began writing, it's a game of trade-offs and pros and cons, and I'll have to play by the rules no matter how arbitrary and unfriendly they appear to my hard earned bucks.

Cheers!


As already mentioned don't take specs as the one and only deciding factor. A great example of this is anything using tubes. In the specs tube amps will seem like they should sound not so great compared to solid state, but in reality its those distortions and "bad" specs that end up creating that warmer sound signature that some people like. So same thing with solid state amps, it is much more important how the amp was built, and the design of the circuit, and the parts used, and the overall outcome of that which matters, even if the numbers don't blow everything else out of the water. Also as for a standalone V281 I don't know if it is actually possible to make it without also being capable of going SE simply because the way the V281 does balanced is simply by putting another whole V220 amp board on top of the first one. So you can't really have a balanced V281 without it also being able to go SE, it wouldn't change anything because it would have to be built the same way. Unless you imply for there to be an entirely different design that doesn't use two entire amps stacked on top of each other to achieve balanced operation? because in that case, your request makes sense. but from a business sense that would require creating a whole other third new amp from scratch and for it's balanced sound to match the one coming out of the current V281, even though it would not use two internal amp boards. Which would cost a good bit to figure out and ultimately make, as well as lots of time (these current amps took 2 years).

 

Otherwise I definitely feel you about the search for the right amp when you actually have the money for it. I just spent the last 6 weeks doing this search for anything 1900 dollars or less to match my lcd 2 and denon d5000 and any future additions. I always wanted a V200 when I first heard of them nearly 2 years ago, but at that time I didnt have the lcd 2, only just got the denons and didn't realize the importance of amps and dacs just yet. So at that time the V200 just seemed like this insane 1000 dollar super amp that everybody loved. Then it just sorta disappeared from my focus until recently when I got to this point of searching for an amp that is well over 1000 dollars, and thats where the idea to see what Violectric had to offer came from. coming full circle. My timing happened to coincide with the announcment/initial release of the V281/220, right as I was going to get a V200. The only other amp I was considering was the Taurus MK II. But after much reading, talking back and forth with a guy who I share a similar sound signature preference with who tried the Taurus, I was able to determine that with my setup, and my song genres that the Taurus could end up being a bit too light/bright/neutral/transparent. So I kept coming back to Violectric. The other potential amp to look at is the Schiit Ragnarok which after todays posts was hinted at being released within the coming 2-4 weeks or so. maybe less, maybe a tad more, but definitely very soon before fall. But for me that amp just might have more features than I actually will ever need, like the fact it can drive speakers with 100 watts in each channel, and come down to 9 watts in each channel for headphones when balanced, or like 4-5 watts SE (maybe less). Plus pre-amp, plus being huge in size, and just capable of doing way more than simply sitting on my desk and powering a pair of planar headphones. So that combined with a potential unknown wait time, led me to commit to the V281 yesterday. I'm the first person in North America to buy it, which totally caught me off guard lol. But thankfully I did, because there was only one unit that was configured the way I wanted it to be, and unless you want the configs of whatever is left right now, there is a 3 week wait time for the next shipment (for the USA store that is, but I figure this is relatively true for any of the international retailers). 

 

So I'd say if you keep coming back to your V100, then just settle for the V281 because I'm sure it will do all the things you like and more. Or you can wait a few more weeks to see how the schiit ragnarok turns out (if you are capable of receiving it there). Or try the Taurus for a longer period of time and go with that. If I was in your shoes, those would be the options, and considering two of those three options are amps that aren't even fully released yet, I'd say you can feel safe knowing there wont be something else new from these companies that matches this price point/performance point for a good little while. I mean after all the whole point in obsessing over the amp right now is so you can forget about it once it's in your system lol. because then you know it's doing it's job right.

 

Good luck man, try not to drag it out too long, you'll feel much better once you decide on something, trust me :)

post #295 of 1066

Thanks Byrnie,

I will consider your idea to ask Fried for a loaner. What has held me back so far is that here in New Zealand, you have to fill in a special form for any online purchase from abroad that is over NZ$1000, go through a specific "import" process and even pay extra fees that apply on top of the VAT, which is calculated including shipping costs! It's a very extreme case of a protectionist economy, and even gifts over NZ$100 will be taxed! That makes it all a bit unattractive and unfriendly, not to mention expensive and perhaps a bit unrealistic. I also think that Fried lends his Amps to guys that have more experience with gear than little me, and to highly experienced and sofisticated reviewers like project86, who also own a ton of gear as reference for realistic comparisons, etc. I guess it's worth a try, posing the questions to customs and doing the math. We'll see.

The reason I appreciate SNR in an Amp is with the same reasoning Benchmark released their AHB2 Power Amp:

"...an outboard DAC is only a partial solution to the High-Resolution Audio dilemma. A second key part of the problem is the performance of the audio power amplifier. A 24-bit audio system is useless if it passes through the typical power amplifier. It is nearly impossible to find power amplifiers that can deliver an SNR higher than about 102 dB. This is the equivalent of 17 bits (adequate for CD applications, but definitely not adequate for High-Resolution Audio). Anyone who thinks they can hear the difference between 16-bit and 24-bit digital audio through a "17-bit" power amplifier is fooling themselves." (John Siau http://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/news/13174001-what-is-high-resolution-audio-part-1)

I'm not absolutely convinced that a well done recording in the limited format of redbook 16/44.1 CD, is distinctively audibly different to a 24/96 recording done with the highest standards, gear and with no ulterior mixing, compression and mastering, and thus preserving the entire dynamic range and bandwith of the original recording. There are few labels really doing anything close to that (like AIX records, MA recordings, and Soundkeeper Records), and I have yet to hear a comparison that offers a real-life and clearly (sufficiently) audible advantages, and of course with gear that can actually reproduce the difference (like a Benchmark AHB2 Power Amp, or a pair of Mola-Mola Kaluga monoblocks). The Violectric Amps, the CMA800R and the Taurus are the few headamps that approach that performance, and that also offer vanishingly low THD+N measurements which are as or more important than SNR, and that approach the very limits of an Audio Precision Analyzer.

I think I was completely right to follow the measured performance when chosing my V100, and I have only come to confirm that, especially with really good recordings and sources. I think the next step beyond the performance of my V100 - which I bought when I only had my AKGs - is a balanced Amp and more voltage and current for my HD 800s and AKGs respectively, as well as a better D/A converter. Nevertheless, right now I'm trying to open up to the listening experience, as I have a chance to audition some very good Amps and try to form some reference points.

Thnkas also for your comment about the Taurus.

Cheers!



 


Edited by Zkadoush - 8/13/14 at 9:11pm
post #296 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zkadoush View Post
 

Thanks Byrnie,

I will consider your idea to ask Fried for a loaner. What has held me back so far is that here in New Zealand, you have to fill in a special form for any online purchase from abroad that is over NZ$1000, go through a specific "import" process and even pay extra fees that apply on top of the VAT, which is calculated including shipping costs! It's a very extreme case of a protectionist economy, and even gifts over NZ$100 will be taxed! That makes it all a bit unattractive and unfriendly, not to mention expensive and perhaps a bit unrealistic. I also think that Fried lends his Amps to guys that have more experience with gear than little me, and to highly experienced and sofisticated reviewers like project86, who also own a ton of gear as reference for realistic comparisons, etc. I guess it's worth a try, posing the questions to customs and doing the math. We'll see.

The reason I appreciate SNR in an Amp is with the same reasoning Benchmark released their AHB2 Power Amp:

I think I was completely right to follow the measured performance when chosing my V100, and I have only come to confirm that, especially with really good recordings and sources. I think the next step beyond the performance of my V100, which I bought when I only had my AKGs, is a balanced Amp and more voltage and current for my HD 800s and AKGs respectively, as well as a better D/A converter. Nevertheless, right now I'm trying to open up to the listening experience, as I have a chance to audition some very good Amps and try to form some reference points.

Thnkas also for your comment about the Taurus.

Cheers!

The Ragnorak is going to blow your k702 up lol.  I would think given how much wattage it has that if you sneeze while playing with the volume you could melt your low impedance cans lol.  The best advice I've gotten in this hobby is from @purrin and @project86, they were both saying basically the same thing, they were basically saying, "Get whatever gets you into the music the most".  Good luck with your decisions and feel free to shoot me a pm if you wanna chat.  Couldn't you just buy one of these devices in Australia and fly/swim back with it (I'm kidding about swimming of course)?

 

**Ooops you actually already mentioned taking a trip to Australia**


Edited by Byrnie - 8/13/14 at 8:15pm
post #297 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by saxelrod92 View Post
 


As already mentioned don't take specs as the one and only deciding factor. A great example of this is anything using tubes. In the specs tube amps will seem like they should sound not so great compared to solid state, but in reality its those distortions and "bad" specs that end up creating that warmer sound signature that some people like. So same thing with solid state amps, it is much more important how the amp was built, and the design of the circuit, and the parts used, and the overall outcome of that which matters, even if the numbers don't blow everything else out of the water. Also as for a standalone V281 I don't know if it is actually possible to make it without also being capable of going SE simply because the way the V281 does balanced is simply by putting another whole V220 amp board on top of the first one. So you can't really have a balanced V281 without it also being able to go SE, it wouldn't change anything because it would have to be built the same way. Unless you imply for there to be an entirely different design that doesn't use two entire amps stacked on top of each other to achieve balanced operation? because in that case, your request makes sense. but from a business sense that would require creating a whole other third new amp from scratch and for it's balanced sound to match the one coming out of the current V281, even though it would not use two internal amp boards. Which would cost a good bit to figure out and ultimately make, as well as lots of time (these current amps took 2 years).

 

Otherwise I definitely feel you about the search for the right amp when you actually have the money for it. I just spent the last 6 weeks doing this search for anything 1900 dollars or less to match my lcd 2 and denon d5000 and any future additions. I always wanted a V200 when I first heard of them nearly 2 years ago, but at that time I didnt have the lcd 2, only just got the denons and didn't realize the importance of amps and dacs just yet. So at that time the V200 just seemed like this insane 1000 dollar super amp that everybody loved. Then it just sorta disappeared from my focus until recently when I got to this point of searching for an amp that is well over 1000 dollars, and thats where the idea to see what Violectric had to offer came from. coming full circle. My timing happened to coincide with the announcment/initial release of the V281/220, right as I was going to get a V200. The only other amp I was considering was the Taurus MK II. But after much reading, talking back and forth with a guy who I share a similar sound signature preference with who tried the Taurus, I was able to determine that with my setup, and my song genres that the Taurus could end up being a bit too light/bright/neutral/transparent. So I kept coming back to Violectric. The other potential amp to look at is the Schiit Ragnarok which after todays posts was hinted at being released within the coming 2-4 weeks or so. maybe less, maybe a tad more, but definitely very soon before fall. But for me that amp just might have more features than I actually will ever need, like the fact it can drive speakers with 100 watts in each channel, and come down to 9 watts in each channel for headphones when balanced, or like 4-5 watts SE (maybe less). Plus pre-amp, plus being huge in size, and just capable of doing way more than simply sitting on my desk and powering a pair of planar headphones. So that combined with a potential unknown wait time, led me to commit to the V281 yesterday. I'm the first person in North America to buy it, which totally caught me off guard lol. But thankfully I did, because there was only one unit that was configured the way I wanted it to be, and unless you want the configs of whatever is left right now, there is a 3 week wait time for the next shipment (for the USA store that is, but I figure this is relatively true for any of the international retailers). 

 

So I'd say if you keep coming back to your V100, then just settle for the V281 because I'm sure it will do all the things you like and more. Or you can wait a few more weeks to see how the schiit ragnarok turns out (if you are capable of receiving it there). Or try the Taurus for a longer period of time and go with that. If I was in your shoes, those would be the options, and considering two of those three options are amps that aren't even fully released yet, I'd say you can feel safe knowing there wont be something else new from these companies that matches this price point/performance point for a good little while. I mean after all the whole point in obsessing over the amp right now is so you can forget about it once it's in your system lol. because then you know it's doing it's job right.

 

Good luck man, try not to drag it out too long, you'll feel much better once you decide on something, trust me :)

 

Thanks for your rich and encouraging comment, saxelrod92. I agree with you, specs are important but being able to listen to an Amp before buying, can be just as important. One good example of that, is that although the Taurus is fabulously well built, dead silent and sports impressive specs, it isn't exactly what I was expecting. This certainly makes me feel stronger about actually getting the chance to listen to Amps before you pull the trigger. I would also agree with you that if I like my V100, it is very likely I will love a V281. Right now, and without chances to get to listen to one, the V281 is probably my safest bet.

I understand what you say about it being difficult to design an V281 without a V220 in the same box, but I think Fried had something different in mind there, maybe I got it wrong. I mean the following comment/answer he made some posts ago:


"@ Zkadoush

There will be a upsized and a downsized version of V800 in the future.
If there will be a low feature V281 in the future I can not say in the moment. We must first check what the customers think about V281.

Also, the noise figure and the damping factor will not alter with such an amp, perhaps there will be improvements concerning crosstalk.

In the moment the response for V220 / V281 is amazing but this should stay for several months/years."

Right now I'm concentrating on taking the time to listen to as many different Amps as I can with my HD 800s, but in the end I will pull the trigger on one or the other... I think most likely a V281 or a pair of CMA800Rs

Cheers


Edited by Zkadoush - 8/13/14 at 9:41pm
post #298 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zkadoush View Post
 

 

Thanks for your rich and encouraging comment, saxelrod92. I agree with you, specs are important but being able to listen to an Amp before buying, can be just as important. One good example of that, is that although the Taurus is fabulously well built, dead silent and sports impressive specs, it isn't exactly what I was expecting. This certainly makes me feel stronger about actually getting the chance to listen to Amps before you pull the trigger. I would also agree with you that if I like my V100, it is very likely I will love a V281. Right now, and without chances to get to listen to one, the V281 is probably my safest bet.

I understand what you say about it being difficult to design an V281 without a V220 in the same box, but I think Fried had something different in mind there, maybe I got it wrong. I mean the following comment/answer he made some posts ago:


"@ Zkadoush

There will be a upsized and a downsized version of V800 in the future.
If there will be a low feature V281 in the future I can not say in the moment. We must first check what the customers think about V281.

Also, the noise figure and the damping factor will not alter with such an amp, perhaps there will be improvements concerning crosstalk.

In the moment the response for V220 / V281 is amazing but this should stay for several months/years."

Right now I'm concentrating on taking the time to listen to as many different Amps as I can with my HD 800s, but in the end I will pull the trigger on one or the other... I think most likely a V281 or a pair of CMA800Rs

Cheers


Yea I saw that quote earlier, so I figure he meant a totally different third amp then, which as he also says would be in the not too soon future. Anyways though good luck with the listening trials, and hopefully you'll find just the right amp :)

post #299 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by saxelrod92 View Post

 

Otherwise I definitely feel you about the search for the right amp when you actually have the money for it. I just spent the last 6 weeks doing this search for anything 1900 dollars or less to match my lcd 2 and denon d5000 and any future additions. I always wanted a V200 when I first heard of them nearly 2 years ago, but at that time I didnt have the lcd 2, only just got the denons and didn't realize the importance of amps and dacs just yet. So at that time the V200 just seemed like this insane 1000 dollar super amp that everybody loved. Then it just sorta disappeared from my focus until recently when I got to this point of searching for an amp that is well over 1000 dollars, and thats where the idea to see what Violectric had to offer came from. coming full circle. My timing happened to coincide with the announcment/initial release of the V281/220, right as I was going to get a V200. The only other amp I was considering was the Taurus MK II. But after much reading, talking back and forth with a guy who I share a similar sound signature preference with who tried the Taurus, I was able to determine that with my setup, and my song genres that the Taurus could end up being a bit too light/bright/neutral/transparent. So I kept coming back to Violectric. The other potential amp to look at is the Schiit Ragnarok which after todays posts was hinted at being released within the coming 2-4 weeks or so. maybe less, maybe a tad more, but definitely very soon before fall. But for me that amp just might have more features than I actually will ever need, like the fact it can drive speakers with 100 watts in each channel, and come down to 9 watts in each channel for headphones when balanced, or like 4-5 watts SE (maybe less). Plus pre-amp, plus being huge in size, and just capable of doing way more than simply sitting on my desk and powering a pair of planar headphones. So that combined with a potential unknown wait time, led me to commit to the V281 yesterday. I'm the first person in North America to buy it, which totally caught me off guard lol. But thankfully I did, because there was only one unit that was configured the way I wanted it to be, and unless you want the configs of whatever is left right now, there is a 3 week wait time for the next shipment (for the USA store that is, but I figure this is relatively true for any of the international retailers). 

 

 

Wow, you just described myself.

 

Years ago, I bought the Matrix M-Stage HPA, my first headamp (as before I was using an Integrated Estereo Amp from Technics, which has power but 20-30 of output impedance), one of the very first versions out of ebay when it was almost hidden here in the forums and a few brave ones bought it. I got a nice deal (200€) from ebay and read a review that classified it as a "lehmman bcl clone", so I pulled the trigger.

 

Back then I only wanted to move mid-fi dynamic headphones such as K701, DT880, HD600, DT770, HD650, etc. so no better amp was wanted. But around 2 years ago I started to read about the mighty planar magnetic LCD-2 headphones and its fabulous sound, and also, the V200 came up in the readings, so I started to dig in how the LCDs performed until I finally tried them and... Bought them.

 

So of course after that, I needed a new amp and after trying some, going after the V200, found out that the V220 and V281 were coming out in a few months, and now Im a proud owner of the V281.


Edited by Megalomaniak - 8/14/14 at 12:56am
post #300 of 1066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalomaniak View Post
 

 

Wow, you just described myself.

 

Years ago, I bought the Matrix M-Stage HPA, my first headamp (as before I was using an Integrated Estereo Amp from Technics, which has power but 20-30 of output impedance), one of the very first versions out of ebay when it was almost hidden here in the forums and a few brave ones bought it. I got a nice deal (200€) from ebay and read a review that classified it as a "lehmman bcl clone", so I pulled the trigger.

 

Back then I only wanted to move mid-fi dynamic headphones such as K701, DT880, HD600, DT770, HD650, etc. so no better amp was wanted. But around 2 years ago I started to read about the mighty planar magnetic LCD-2 headphones and its fabulous sound, and also, the V200 came up in the readings, so I started to dig in how the LCDs performed until I finally tried them and... Bought them.

 

So of course after that, I needed a new amp and after trying some, going after the V200, found out that the V220 and V281 were coming out in a few months, and now Im a proud owner of the V281.


wow that is indeed very similar to my story lol. Back when I was buying the denons (which were my second pair of over ear headphones ever after my now sold dt 990) I too was not looking at powerful/expensive amps because they were sensitive headphones and I didn't fully understand how amps and dacs affected the sound as much yet. So my first amp was actually a fiio e11 and man is that amp bad lol. Like take into consideration that I never heard headphones out of an amp before and yet I still could tell it was bad. it just ruins soundstage and adds tons of harshness. either way after that, one year ago, I finally got a proper amp, the burson soloist SL. which was a massive improvement, and by now I had also gotten the lcd 2, but it just was not cutting it in terms of power and the sound was a bit too dull and lifeless. So my search a couple months ago began, and here I am waiting for a V281 to arrive on friday :)

Also 2 years back when I was originally researching the denon d5000 I came across some sort of very long review/comparison of the Audeze models at the time, and before then I didn't even know such a thing as planar dynamic headphones or electrostatic headphones existed. But the whole idea of a big flat surface just moving back and forth between magnets to create the sound seemed so unique and special and fancy and expensive and true high end lol. Again once I learned how much they cost I quickly ignored them and went back to my 400 dollar denons (i got a good deal on them). Thankfully I was able to save up enough money in the last year to actually get a lcd 2 and now V281. I sometimes think back to how I perceived these products back then, and realize I now own them and can enjoy them any time I want (because back then I seriously thought to myself that I would never be able to hear what a planar dynamic or electrostatic headphone sounds like, not to mention actually own one). Puts things into perspective and really makes me appreciate how awesome these products are, since it can sometimes be very easy to get caught up in the expensive stuff and talk about their minor flaws and we forget how great they actually are and it allows us to just step back and enjoy them instead of feel like we need to upgrade from them all the time.

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