Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced (September 2023 Update: Limited Reissue Edition up for preorder!)
Feb 12, 2014 at 4:53 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5,733


Headphoneus Supremus
Mar 17, 2011
After many requests Violectric will release a limited edition of the V281: the exact same sound, a few updates!

reed relais volume now
new pre-gain gradiations
new remote
some other features t.b.a.

Order yours at Power Holdings with worldwide shipping:

The Violectric V281
Balanced Headphone Amp





(all above photos by user: Gipsy)



(photo by user: jark)


(photo by user: zkadoush)

technical insight and explanations by Fried Reim:

Why not to use certain adapters to hear SE Headphones on the XLR out:

Pin configuration for the case you want to build a proper one

About different kinds of potentiometers (volume control)

About balanced control inside V220/V281/V600

About line in- and outputs, levels, impedances and cables between.

About balanced and unbalanced signals

A bit of technical advice and setting recommendations:

Recently we have seen many posts relating to the recommended gain settings for specific headphones, and the recommendations vary quite wildly. It is important to realise that there's no one universal setting that will suit everyone, as there are several more variables that impact it, e.g.:
- strength of the input signal
- listening volume preference

The best approach is to set it to one's own preferences, taking the following into consideration:
- if your input signal can be regulated, you should keep it relatively high. This will ensure that noise and interferences picked up by the cables as well as the noise level of the amp will be kept to the minimum. V281 is quite tolerant of strong signals, so there's minimal risk of overloading the input.
- keep the gain settings as low as possible, while ensuring that the volume pot has enough of useful range. Ideally your regular listening volume should be around 12 o'clock. If you have several headphones with varying sensitivity, set it so that the more sensitive hp (i.e. the one requiring less power) is around 12 o'clock and crank up the volume for the other one (of course if there's not enough volume for the more power hungry hp, you will have to increase the gain). You should avoid using very low volume pot settings - below 9 o'clock you won't have enough range to precisely set the volume, and channel imbalance is more likely to occur.

user impressions:

Project86: (vs. Liquid Fire/Glass) (vs. Svetlana 2) (vs. Auralic Taurus) (vs. CMA800R)

TonyNewman: (V281 vs. Auralic Taurus) (V281+Ether C) (V281 vs. MA 430HA) (vs. 430HA (vs. 430HA)

PleasantSounds: (summary between the V281, BHA-1, Taurus mk2 and p700u, using HD800)

Frank I:






Video Reviews:

@Mediahound review:

External Reviews:

Originally Posted by fdg /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Finally we managed to measure V220 and V281.
For a better comparison we added the data from V200.

Technical DataHPA V200HPA V220HPA V281
Input impedance10 kOhm10 kOhm10 kOhm
Amp Gain+8 dB+8 dB+14 dB
Pre-Gain-12 / -6 / 0 / +6 / +12 dB-12 / -6 / 0 / +6 / +12 dB-12 / -6 / 0 / +6 / +12 dB
Amp Gain + Pre-Gain-4 / +2 / +8 / +14 / +20 dB-4 / +2 / +8 / +14 / +20 dB+2 / +8 / +14 / +20 / +26 dB
Frequency Range5Hz … 70 kHz (-0,5 dB)5Hz … 70 kHz (-0,5 dB)5Hz … 70 kHz (-0,5 dB)
Noise unwtd.-98 dB-98 dBu-92 dBu
Noise A-wtd.-101 dB-101 dBu-95 dBu
Dynamic Range129 dB129 dB129 dB
Output impedance< 0,083 Ohm< 0,1 Ohm< 0,2 Ohm
Damping Factor ( 50 Ohm Load)> 600> 500> 250
Crosstalk @ 1 kHz-122 dB-120 dB-105 dB
Crosstalk @ 15 kHz-113 dB-113 dB-103 dB
THD+N @ 1kHz / 1W-100 dB-102 dB-102 dB
THD+N @ 1 kHz / 0,5 W-103 dB-100 dB-100 dB

... and here is the output power (always all channels driven !)
Please take a closer look to the V281 data @ 600 Ohm.
40,2 Vrms looks like world record :wink:)

Pout max. V / mW / dB @ THD < 0,1 %HPA V200HPA V220HPA V281

Best Regards

Fried Reim

A few photos from the Munich High End Show 2014:


Black front


Black V220


HE-560 to listen to via V281/V220




Remote control, could be fully tested and works like a charm.


A few pictures of the internals:

Last edited:
Feb 13, 2014 at 12:00 AM Post #3 of 5,733
This is going to be the amp of the year!  Can't wait for it
Feb 17, 2014 at 5:38 AM Post #5 of 5,733
Will u be starting a pre order list?

I don't know yet if they want to do such a thing on Head-Fi, I've just asked about it. There is huge worldwide interest on these though so they'll be quite busy.
Feb 17, 2014 at 12:55 PM Post #6 of 5,733
any hint on the v220 pricing?
looks like the v282 is going into really competitive waters with that price tag
i like the extensive work done to improve usability in the input/output section, and the pot options are really exhaustive, as well as the upgraded dac options but i'm more interested in the new standalone dac offerings
any hint for the upcoming dac devices (v800 successor)?
Feb 18, 2014 at 4:26 AM Post #7 of 5,733
V220 will be around 1000€ basic and more depending on your upgrades. No news about V800 successor, I guess the USB option will be upgraded first before any new model.
*updated the OP with more pictures and new prices* (thank you Arthur!)
Feb 18, 2014 at 9:18 AM Post #8 of 5,733
And the v200 less expensive :atsmile:
Feb 20, 2014 at 2:26 AM Post #9 of 5,733
Oh boy... dilemma. Wait for the new V220 or get a V200?

Sent from my SHV-E300S using Tapatalk
Feb 20, 2014 at 3:15 PM Post #10 of 5,733
Here is some info i posted in the v200 forum earlier, but since Fegefeuer asked to repost:
I was in touch with Fried Reim in December and i asked him about the new amps. I hope he doesn't mind, if i share  it with you guys.
About amps to come ...
We are working on successors of V181 and V200, named V281 and V220.
To save costs V220 will be the base of V281.
They will have double height cases so 2 "standard" units will meet the height of the new amp(s),
also the cases might be a little deeper.
The basic V200 circuitry will remain and will be implemented into the balanced V281.
The transformer will be bigger to have a bit more amp-juice and the ability to feed some nice options.
The inputs (balanced, unbalanced and the optional digital input) are selectable from the front.
There will be a (balanced ?) line output on the back.
This can be set to be adjustable or fixed to the input source.
The basic version will have a manual volume control and a manual balance control.
1st option is the remote control with motorized potentiometer for the volume and for input selecting.
2nd option is a 128-step relais based volume, also together with the inputs remote controlled.
Finally 1 of 6 digital input options may be chosen: USB/Opto/Coax with up to 96 or 192 kHz sample rate.
We hope to release these new amps middle of 2014.
Also there will be some nice priced but high featured Lake People DACs to be released soon
to establish Lake People even more as a "budget" solution under Violectric.
Well, I'm waiting for the v281 without question
Feb 20, 2014 at 11:09 PM Post #11 of 5,733
Wait is my advice...if you can 
  At the very least the prices of the V200 on the used market will come down substantially.  I'm sticking with my V800/200 combo, have a speaker amp under way to power my hungriest beast (HE-6, the 200 powers it well but there's better to be had from even more power, curious about the specs on the upcoming model).
Very happy with Violectric but with the new pricing they're entering in some serious heavy hitters' water, I'm very curious to see how the new units will stack up.
Anyway, thanks for the info, I'm subscribed!
Feb 21, 2014 at 2:50 AM Post #12 of 5,733
I thought the V281 was dead in the water for not hearing anything about it for so long.
I even made a speculation thread about the V281 back in 2011!!!
The balanced one looks very promising!
Is there an early adopter pre-order bonus program???

Feb 21, 2014 at 3:08 AM Post #13 of 5,733
YEEES, sell yours v200's on the used market !!!! :wink_face:
Feb 21, 2014 at 3:45 AM Post #14 of 5,733
For those lacking the virtue of patience (I'm a platinum club member myself):  take a look on
If you hunt patiently you'll find an attractively priced one for sure, they pop up regularly there.  Or at , they regularly clean house of demo units and it's possible to get a hefty discount.
Feb 21, 2014 at 3:52 AM Post #15 of 5,733
Too bad I have to stick with !! I see good other deals on also but I can't order, RESTRICTION :ph34r:

Agree thomann is a very good store around here but I only see B stock to get the v200 less expensive

Can't wait anymore !!!

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