VE RUNABOUT Impressions Thread
Sep 10, 2015 at 1:19 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 323

nmatheis

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Hello fellow headfi'ers. I'd like to introduce you to a new portable / transportable amp from VE, a relatively new Chinese company that's already started to shake up the earbud scene. In reviews, their flagship Zen earbuds have been compared favorably to mid-range Sennheiser headphones. In addition to the Zen, VE has unleashed a midrange earbud called Asura, an entry level earbud called Monk, and an IEM called The Duke. All of these have been released in a relatively short amount of time. I've been lucky enough to hear all of them and have been damn impressed with VE's initial efforts in this space. You're definitely going to be hearing more from these guys, so keep your eyes peeled.
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Breaking News: @Hisoundfi just released the first REVIEW of the VE RUNABOUT!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Ok, back to RUNABOUT, which VE affectionately refers to as RA. That's much easier to type, so I'm going to adopt that shorthand name and call it the RA, too. So what exactly is the RA?
 
Well, it's named after this:


Being a Star Trek fan, I can deeply appreciate this! But, we're not here to discuss Star Trek. We're here to discuss the RA amp from VE, so on with the show...
 
The RA was designed by VE to complement the Zen earbuds and Duke IEM. I've found that it does indeed complement both nicely and sounds great with Asura, as well. In fact, this relatively powerful, clean sounding amp has sounded quite good with whatever I've thrown at it. Following are some official pics and specs.
 
FRONT

 
BACK


Ok, so those of us who've been in the game for awhile immediately recognize that this looks more like a DIY amp than a lot of the current portable amp offerings on the market. What's going on here? Well, what's going on here is a lovingly-crafted amp designed by VE to meet their sonic criteria without compromises that would give you a smaller amp. The VE crew aren't messing around here, folks!
 
VE's description of the RA:
 
RUNABOUT(RA) is Venture Electronics' first portable amp. It is a classical OP + BUF design with two gain settings (Low Gain=3.4X, High Gain=5.7X). The output voltage swing is 3V RMS. Driving 32Ω @ 150mW and 300Ω @ 55mW, it is designed to work with most dynamic driver based earphones and headphones.
 
RA uses a single 9V battery (6F22 type), DC to DC voltage boost, replaced by a virtual grounds / 3 channel headphone amp design. This is a very classic design and has been implemented in many successful amps from various established brands. While using TLE2426 as the power managing chip, we chose BUF634 to be RA's buffer & isolation chip. Not only it can effectively solve the capacitive load caused by self-excited oscillation and related issues, it also became the solid foundation of the implementing high-current OP / BUF for the amp section.
 
T
he amp section consists of 2 x JRC4556AD, a low voltage, high output current OPA chip. Along with its input stage BJT design (similar to more popular OPA chips like OPA2604, OPA2132, etc.), this design offers less background noise and increased stability with low impedance audio source. RA uses a large negative feedback loop, and resistors are added between the OPA chips to regulate and isolate the current. The added bead design in the output section further ensures its stability.
 
SPECS
  1. Output voltage swing 3V RMS
  2. 32
    Ω @ 150mW / 300
    Ω @ 55mW
  3. Low Gain=3.4X, High Gain=5.7X
  4. TI TLE2426, BUF634, JRC 4556AD
  5. VISHAY wafer chip resistors and MBB0207 series resistance
  6. BC Low ESR high current filter capacitor, opa pins SMD AVX tantalum decoupling
  7. Handpicked BI potentiometer
  8. Taiwan SH gold seal power switch, (life span=100k times)  (SPL amp also use the switches from SH)
  9. Japanese OTAX small sealed switch for
     gain adjustment
  10. TYCO fully shielded headphone jack
  11. KEYSTONE 590 battery shrapnel
  12. All RC components are hand-picked +SMIC soldering.
 
INTERNAL BEAUTY SHOTS

 

 

 

 
Thanks for taking the time to check out the VE RUNABOUT. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it, fellow headfi'ers!
 
Sep 10, 2015 at 4:19 AM Post #6 of 323
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Carbon fiber
blink.gif


Woot, woot!!!

Carbon fiber ftw and @Wokei for president!
 
Surely that picture is crappy enough for you :wink:
 
Sep 10, 2015 at 4:41 AM Post #7 of 323

Wokei

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Seem I was mentioned as the Black Carbon Fibre Master  ...LOL....FTW Wokei Style
 
Any RA amp for me to do me magic on them ..muahahahahahahahahahaaaaa 
 
Not RA but ....
 

 
 
 
Sep 10, 2015 at 3:36 PM Post #12 of 323
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