Headphone Reviews and Discussion - Head-Fi.org
Sefelt103
Sefelt103
Excellent review ghostchili. I am surprised this amplifier has a little warmth, I would have expected no colouration from a amplifier like this. "In a perfect world the DAC and Amp should be totally transparent letting you hear the music as it was recorded." With human beings love of colour virtually no manufacturers ever produce DACs/Amps/Headphones devoid of it. I thought the V281 might be an exception to this. I don't know why they don't incorporate a hardware switch for people who don't want distortion.
ghostchili
ghostchili
Sefelt, I've never heard the V281 introduce any distortion. The V281 has a slight tube like warmth, not a bass boost. And yes amps should all be transparent but I feel the V281 is a close as you would want without sounding sterile.
marhol
marhol
I´m glad you like V281. I  heard it with LCD-X and LCD-2 and thought it sounded great. Smooth, musical, powerful and dynamic. An excellent amp that´s for sure.
jark
jark
Good review! But you've mentioned with the LCD-2 and the V281 set to 0db your listening volume is 2-3 o'clock ?really? I mean, really!!?...in my case with an LCD-2 (fazor) I can't go over 11, no way! My ears will explode at 2-3... Same with HD800, 11 is my absolute limit!...and allowed me to disagree when comes to the HD800, cause for me paired with the V281 is just brilliant. Cheers
ghostchili
ghostchili
Jark, Unless you are using the exact source and DAC there will be different input levels being amplified. The DirectStream DAC I used outputs 2.81 Vrms (+8dBV)/5.3 Vrms (+12dBV) if its set to MAX. If I set the DAC to Low I would probably have to keep the V281 on +6 to +12db. Feel free to disagree on the HD800, I go against the masses as I can't listen to them on anything other than a high end tube amp.
jark
jark
That's exactly my point mate. Don't get me wrong but posting the listening volume settings may be a bit irrelevant, precisely because people have different setups...in my case I use a NAD M51 which outputs 4.75V and 4.13V when at -1bB from the balanced XLR jacks...but I understand where were your heading with this...

And in regards to the HD800, the consensus clearly is that they sound better with tubes, not at all with solid state, and what I've said is quite the opposite...but once again everyone ears are different.

In any way, and for what matters I totally agree that the V281 is probably the best all rounder out there.
Cheers mate.
ghostchili
ghostchili
Jark, I should have mentioned that in the initial review so I just added a disclaimer. Thanks!
saidentary
saidentary
Excellent review.  Looks like a great amp.  Congratulations on achieving end game status for your amplifier.
ghostchili
ghostchili
Their is a site wide sale. I emailed them to see when it's ending and was told September 22.
eggmansr71
eggmansr71
You said your favorite with this amp are the HE-1000 and :LCD-X but in reading your reviews you really like the Ether too.  How would you characterize where the Ether's rank among these three?
ghostchili
ghostchili
Egg,
I would put the ETHER tied for 3rd with the LCD-3. When you listen to headphones in this top tier, you really need to demo them to decide based on your listening preference. As far as comfort, the ETHERS are #1.
Blackrain
Blackrain
Hi to all I have been reading and enjoying this website for over a year but just recently decided to join in.  About a week ago I received my V281 and V850 Combo.  I find that my findings using the HE-1000 and LCD 3F are very similar to yours.  In addition to the V850 I am also using a Wadia 321 DAC.  The V850 has more detail and dynamics in comparison to the Wadia 321 which retails for significantly more money.  Although I prefer the Wadia in my 2 channel system for its warmth. It is a bit overly warm sounding with the V281.  The V281 and V850 really complement each other very well with great synergy.  The detail and transparency of the V850 works very well with the slight tube warmth of the V281.  In comparison my Burson Conductor Virtuoso (Burr Brown Version) sounds good with both headphones but the V281 is a better performer on all levels.  The V281 just never seems to get rattle or lose its composure.  No matter how hard its pushed...it just seems to have an endless supply or power finesse and dynamics.  In addition as Ghostchili mention Arthur from Violectric USA is great to deal with.
leftside
leftside
Just a shame it's so ugly looking. Looks a little cheap.
reddog
reddog
A great informative review, especially liked all the headphone you used.
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