Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced
Jul 26, 2015 at 4:34 PM Post #1,531 of 5,016

Gibsonmac

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I personally think it has to do with sound sig just as much as ability to drive. I've heard a Schiit Lyr 2 do a reasonably good job, and I've heard a different Lyr 2 sound terrible, so it clearly had to do with the tubes being used along with the associated gear in each system.

The lyr2 with different tubes did a good job with the HE6? I never would have guessed that would have been possible, it is pretty responsive to rolling though.

I have very mixed feelings about the HE6's. The craftsmanship, on my pair at least, is God awful considering the price. They do sound killer though through the right amp.
 
Aug 24, 2015 at 11:20 AM Post #1,532 of 5,016

ghostchili

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I just posted a review on the V281 focusing on the amps versatility with different headphones. I planned on having it done sooner but I had to wait on my HE-1000s and the Nighthawks. If you guys have any questions that I didn't answer in the review just ask.
Let me know what you guys think and thanks for reading!
http://www.head-fi.org/products/violectric-hpa-v281/reviews/13835
 
Sep 17, 2015 at 8:53 PM Post #1,535 of 5,016

ab_ba

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Hey Violectric fans, you've got to go check out the latest post on innerfidelity!
 
http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/big-sound-2015-brian-na-blur#1OyWEEuL851w4XLI.97
 
Listen to the end. 
 
I'm hoping soon to post my own impressions of the V281 compared to the other amps in the room at Big Sound 2015, but here's the bottom line: if I had to blind-test the V281 against almost any amp that Tyll had there, I am pretty sure I would not have been able to pick it out consistently. (Note that that was done with the HE1000 - I didn't compare amps with any other headphones. Also, I only listened in balanced mode.) Unblinded, at loud volumes, I preferred the Ragnarok. At normal-listening volumes I preferred the Violectric.  As for interface, I liked the feel of the Moon's volume knob a tad better than the Violectric. I am talking the tactile feel of the volume knob, not its sound - I did not listen quiet enough to compare channel balance.
 
I will be keeping my Violectric for a long, long time. And more importantly, I won't be buying any other amp either :)  This thing works beautifully with every headphone I own, plus the ones I might buy...
 
Sep 22, 2015 at 12:56 PM Post #1,537 of 5,016

project86

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Alright, Big Sound 2015 is over (as far as the listening phase) so my v281 is in the mail headed my way. I've missed it! Should be fun to pair with the HE-1000 again, as I've been running that with other amps in V281's absence. 
 
On another note, if anyone needs a new DAC.... the V800 v2 can be had for a great price right now. Since V850 is out, V800 v2 got a price drop to $999. That's $440 off the original price. And then that 15% off deal is still going, so effectively $850 for a V800 v2 (v2 means the new 24/192 USB input). A very good deal imho, and should sound great with V281.  
 
Sep 22, 2015 at 10:18 PM Post #1,538 of 5,016

JeffMann

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This post is dedicated to V281 owners who use the Sennheiser HD800 as their only (or primary) headphone.
I have recently modified my HD800 headphones with dramatically positive results, and this post can be conceived to be an altruistic gesture targeted towards other HD800 owners who may also want to improve the sound of their V281-HD800 combo by experimenting with this modification.
 
Some background. I am not an headphone fanatic (like ghostchili) who owns multiple headphones. I simply want to own the "best" headphone that I can find to listen to classical and opera music.
 
I previously owned an AKG 701 headphone, but I replaced it with a HD800 headphone about 5 years ago, and I have never listened to the AKG 701 headphones since their replacement. I have only one complaint with respect to the HD800 headphones, and that relates to their excessive treble energy that makes them sound excessively/unaturally bright. I originally purchased a V200 amp about 4 years ago because its was reputed to tame the HD800's tendency to exhibit an exaggerated treble response, and I replaced my V200 amp with a V281 amp about 1 year ago. Although the Vioelectric amps tamed the HD800's exaggerated treble response, it didn't quite eliminate the problem. I was therefore thinking of replacing my HD800 with a more neutral headphone if I could ever discover a headphone that had the positive qualities of a HD800, but with a more neutral treble range. I was thinking that the new HiFiMan HE1000 may be good replacement choice, but there is no dealer in Salt Lake City, so I have never been able to audition them. I was also worried about its quality of construction. My personal inclination to consider replacing my HD800 with another headphone (like the HE1000)  has basically disappeared since I modified my HD800 last week and totally eliminated the exaggerated treble response problem.
 
I used the Anaxilus-mod as described by Tyll Hersten - see  https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=956&v=NuhZyubY9pI
 
I read about this Anax-mod about 2 years ago, but I wasn't tempted to try the mod because I was sceptical that it could possibly work. What changed my mind?
 
I decided to experiment with the Anaxilus mod after recently reading a series of blog posts by Tyll Hersten of innerfidelity.com relating to his Big Sound 2015 experiment where he invited a number of audiophiles to participate in blind testing of headphones and headphone amps, and to also choose their favorite headphones. What really surprised me is that a number of the participants selected the HD800 headphone as the best, or one of the best, headphones - even though it is a 6-year old design that had to compete against two different Stax electrostatic headphones, two different Audeze headphones, the HE1000, the Mr. Speakers Ether and the Abyss. However, I noted that the participants who really liked the HD800 headphone all specified that their positive feelings about the HD800 only applied to Tyll Hersten's Anaxilus-mod version of the HD800. That prompted to perform the Anaxilus-mod (as described by Tyll Hersten in his video). It only cost me $15 to get the needed craft supplies and it only took me 30 minutes to perform the modification. What effect did the modification have on the sound of my V281-HD800 combo?
 
The audio/sound results were totally stupefying. The Anaxilus-mod completely eliminated my HD800's excessive treble energy problem. I cannot even begin to comprehend why such a simple modification (basically involving a 5mm ring of foam/felt around the perimeter of the driver) can have such a salutary/positive transformative effect. I significantly underestimated how much excessive treble energy still existed in my V281-HD800 combo, and how much better it could sound when this excessive treble energy is eliminated. My V281-HD800 combo now sounds "musically neutral". There was also no negative effects due to the modification eg. bass or mid-range colorations or a decrease in transparency or the speed of transients. In fact the musical soundstage seems to have been "scrubbed even cleaner" as a result of the modification and there is an enhanced level of transparency in the mid-treble range.
 
I would strongly encourage V281 owners who use the HD800 headphones to perform this modification as an experiment. It only costs $15 to get the necessary craft supplies and it only takes 30-60 minutes of work effort to perform the modification. Most importantly, the Anaxilus-mod can easily be reversed and the HD800 headphones can be restored to their original (unmodified) state if the sound results are not favorable from the perspective of each individual HD800 owner.
 
Jeff.
 
Sep 24, 2015 at 11:54 PM Post #1,539 of 5,016

JeffMann

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Project86,
 
Have you got a lot of experience of the V281 combined with the HiFiMan HE1000? If affirmative - what do you think of that headphone relative to other headphones that you regard highly?
 
Jeff.
 
Sep 25, 2015 at 2:33 AM Post #1,540 of 5,016

Klonk

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  This post is dedicated to V281 owners who use the Sennheiser HD800 as their only (or primary) headphone...............................................
Id the HD800 headphones can be restored to their original (unmodified) state if the sound results are not favorable from the perspective of each individual HD800 owner.
 
Jeff.

After reading Tyll Hersten Big Sound 2015 account I felt the same way about wanting to mod my Sennheiser HD-800. However I am not very handy I must admit, moreover I don't think I can buy the craft supplies needed for the Anax mod in Europe.
So I was wondering if there is a place/person where you can buy ready made Anax mods item?
 
@JeffMann  enjoy your new headphones, I suppose they feel like a new headphone. 
smily_headphones1.gif
 
 
Sep 25, 2015 at 6:39 AM Post #1,541 of 5,016

Ultrainferno

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  Project86,
 
Have you got a lot of experience of the V281 combined with the HiFiMan HE1000? If affirmative - what do you think of that headphone relative to other headphones that you regard highly?
 
Jeff.

 
I'm not John but it's my fav amp for the HE1000, in balanced mode. My review should be up in a week or 2
 
Sep 25, 2015 at 9:52 AM Post #1,542 of 5,016

JeffMann

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I don't know of any ready-made supplier of the Anaxilus-mod. I am sure that you get the equivalent craft material in Europe, although the brand name may be different. It only consists of 2mm thick felt and 2mm thick foam, and it requires double stick adhesive sheets to bond them together.
 
Jeff.
 
Sep 25, 2015 at 1:05 PM Post #1,543 of 5,016

project86

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  Project86,
 
Have you got a lot of experience of the V281 combined with the HiFiMan HE1000? If affirmative - what do you think of that headphone relative to other headphones that you regard highly?
 
Jeff.

 
I'm working on a review of the HE-1000 as we speak (er... type, you get my point). It's not perfect but I love it, and V281 drives it incredibly well. It's the first (full size) headphone I've heard which lets me forget about my Stax rig, for the most part. NOT cheap, but not unreasonable either considering the cost of a top-flight Stax rig. 
 
Sep 25, 2015 at 1:42 PM Post #1,544 of 5,016

hennessys

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  However I am not very handy I must admit, moreover I don't think I can buy the craft supplies needed for the Anax mod in Europe.

 
Don’t sweat it. I just walked in into a small office supply store, I picked a two sided tape and three normal felt with different thickness.
 
I even tried binding different materials together, but felt did the magic for me.
 
I gave two weeks to each and I put my favorite at the end.
 
Sep 25, 2015 at 11:16 PM Post #1,545 of 5,016

JeffMann

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Ultrainferno and Project86,
 
I look forward to your review of the HE1000.
 
Please let us know when the review is publically available.
 
Anax-mod update:
 
After many more listening sessions, I came to realise that the Anax-mod that I constructed didn't really produce a neutral sound. It actually damped the treble energy too much and the treble was too subdued-sounding. I needed to make a new mod that didn't damp the treble so much and that allowed for some treble sparkle without any excessive treble brilliance/brashness. I therefore made the same shaped mod as before, but I only used a single 1mm thick layer of felt, and I didn't add an additional 2mm base layer of foam under the felt layer (as described by Tyll Hersten). This new version of the Anax-mod may result in the desired effect and my initial listening results are very positive, but I need to listen a lot more to confirm my very favorable initial impression.
 
It is amazing that a 1mm layer of felt, that is only applied over such a small surface area of the inner cup of the headphone, can have such a positive treble-reducing effect. I didn't previously realise how complex the sound wave energy/pattern must be in the enclosed area between the concave surface of the headphone cup and the side of the head/pinna. According to Tyll, the distance between the side of the head/pinna and the HD800 headphone's driver is equivalent to the wavelenth of a 6,500Hz signal and that it is primarily responsible for the increase in treble energy in that frequency range. That explanation sounds oversimplistic, and I could imagine that this issue is much more complex and poorly understood. I don't know why there should be such a clearly discernible difference between the two versions of the Anax-mod that I have tried.
 
Jeff.
 

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