Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced
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project86

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I'm always hesitant to use such generalizations - devices using Sabre chips can sound wildly different, as can those with AKM DAC chips. There are good and bad examples of each.
 
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scottcocoabeach

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The V281 can be a little bright too, so having a DAC thats also bright is not a good combo. I have the Oppo HA-1 which has a Sabre chipset and its not a good combo as a DAC feeding V281 at its pre-out to Pre-in on V281. If the IDSD micro is bright and harsh, it might not be a good combo. I found Schiit Yggdrasil to be a really good DAC with V281, its just perfect and V281 amplifies its output just with pure musicality Ive never heard before. 

I also reviewed Hegel HD25 and HD30, being HD25 the better one for V281. THe HD30 is too crisp and sharp even though it goes deep, not harsh. HD25 is like the Schiit Yggdrasil.

I do believe the other Schiit DACs will be paired with V281 just fine too.

Mabye look for AMK chipset, which is known to be well balanced even to the deeper end of the spectrum. Sabre chipsets might be too bright.

I pair the V281 with the Gunginir Multibit and think it's outstanding. I am tempted to try Yggdrasil in the future, but it's actually hard to imagine how it could sound better than it does now. But the imagining will probably get to my wallet eventually :)
 
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ken6217

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The V281 can be a little bright too, so having a DAC thats also bright is not a good combo. I have the Oppo HA-1 which has a Sabre chipset and its not a good combo as a DAC feeding V281 at its pre-out to Pre-in on V281. If the IDSD micro is bright and harsh, it might not be a good combo. I found Schiit Yggdrasil to be a really good DAC with V281, its just perfect and V281 amplifies its output just with pure musicality Ive never heard before. 

I also reviewed Hegel HD25 and HD30, being HD25 the better one for V281. THe HD30 is too crisp and sharp even though it goes deep, not harsh. HD25 is like the Schiit Yggdrasil.

I do believe the other Schiit DACs will be paired with V281 just fine too.

Mabye look for AMK chipset, which is known to be well balanced even to the deeper end of the spectrum. Sabre chipsets might be too bright.

You might be the only person that thinks the V281 is bright.
 
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mulder01

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You might be the only person that thinks the V281 is bright.
 
I was thinking the same thing - the general concensus on this forum seems to be that the 281 is fairly neutral.  A friend of mine was saying to me the other day that on another forum (can't remember which one) the general opinion was that it was very much on the warm side.  So I am definitely surprised to read that you considered it bright.
 
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TonyNewman

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Neutral-warm I would say, when compared to the Auralic Taurus, which I would call neutral-bright.
 
If someone thinks the V281 is bright I wonder how they would describe the Taurus or GSX-Mk2 etc? Ultra-super-bright? The V281 is not bright.
 
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manpowre

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Hehe, well I wrote "can" be a little bright, and some dac's "might" not be paired well with v281 and might be somehow bright. I think my norwegian native is talking a little here as we have it saying like this understood in a slightly little differet way.
 
So let me elaborate. As Ive tested a bunch of different DACs I found the HD25 and Yggdrasil to be paired at its best out of those DACs Ive tested. (I havent tested bricasti, totaldac or hugo dac's). The V281 is so well made that it enhances the richness of the type of sound, like the Oppo HA-1 sabre chip that sounds too bright and sometimes make cutting upper mid-range somehow uncomfortable, at the same time sloppy bass. V281 enhances this and with that sound bright and not paired with the amp at its best.
Then you have the HD25 which goes deep down and well balanced from bass through mid-range with nice accurate high notes. Unfortunately the reason I didnt keep the HD25 was due to an issue with USB but thats another story.
The HD30 was crisp, too accurate and didnt sound natural, and some instruments were uncomfortable. V281 reproduced this extreme richness to an extent where it wasnt musical anymore.
 
The Yggdrasil, reaches further deep down in the register than I heard on HD25, and also very controlled throughout the whole spectre. V281 reproduces this and amplifies this to a great extent.
 
So what I meant was that V281 paired with a bright dac might not be the best as it enhances those specific audio quality parts and can sound un-natural. V281 paired with a rich sounding dac neutral throughout the sound spectre enhances this and makes it sound great.
 
So what you feed the V281 you also get out amplified. That brings me back to people really have to review dac before purchase. Also it depends on type of headphone and to some extent analogue cables. 
 
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ChrisIsAwesome

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I got my v281 two days ago, does anyone else find it to have reduced highs/peaks. To me the music sounds almost smoothed out.
 
Its good in the sense that it doesn't cause fatigue, I've listened to it for a whole day straight. But it feels as if the music is missing something, there are no peaks or harsh sounds that should sometimes be present in music such as heavy metal with bright distorted electric guitar.
 
I'm not the best at audiophile terms but this is what i hear and it's been bothering me quite a bit since i really love every other aspect of the amp.
 
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manpowre

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  I got my v281 two days ago, does anyone else find it to have reduced highs/peaks. To me the music sounds almost smoothed out.
 
Its good in the sense that it doesn't cause fatigue, I've listened to it for a whole day straight. But it feels as if the music is missing something, there are no peaks or harsh sounds that should sometimes be present in music such as heavy metal with bright distorted electric guitar.
 
I'm not the best at audiophile terms but this is what i hear and it's been bothering me quite a bit since i really love every other aspect of the amp.
In respect to what I wrote just above, what kind of DAC are you using, and type of headphone ?
 
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ChrisIsAwesome

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AK100II and AKG 7xx.
I'm able to comparing listening straight from the Dap where the treble is really sharp and clear whereas the v281 sound smoothed out, almost tinted. As I've read other say, it could be interpreted as warm.
 
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JeffMann

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  I got my v281 two days ago, does anyone else find it to have reduced highs/peaks. To me the music sounds almost smoothed out.
 
Its good in the sense that it doesn't cause fatigue, I've listened to it for a whole day straight. But it feels as if the music is missing something, there are no peaks or harsh sounds that should sometimes be present in music such as heavy metal with bright distorted electric guitar.
 
I'm not the best at audiophile terms but this is what i hear and it's been bothering me quite a bit since i really love every other aspect of the amp.
 
I definitely don't think that the V281 has a reduced treble energy problem and that it is too smooth!!!
 
Jeff.
 
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zeissiez

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I got my v281 two days ago, does anyone else find it to have reduced highs/peaks. To me the music sounds almost smoothed out.

Its good in the sense that it doesn't cause fatigue, I've listened to it for a whole day straight. But it feels as if the music is missing something, there are no peaks or harsh sounds that should sometimes be present in music such as heavy metal with bright distorted electric guitar.

I'm not the best at audiophile terms but this is what i hear and it's been bothering me quite a bit since i really love every other aspect of the amp.

I definitely don't think that the V281 has a reduced treble energy problem and that it is too smooth!!!

Jeff.

This is my concern with the v281 driving the HE1000. The HE1000 need special treatment to the leading edges. With some warm sounding amps, like the Teac UD-503, the leading edges were grossed over and the images lack outline. The GSX II amp which has a very slight upward tilt in the treble response, and has sharp transient edges, and is said to be the perfect match for the HE1000. So can someone comment on how the v281 and He1000 pairing fair in transient edge performance?
 
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project86

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  AK100II and AKG 7xx.
I'm able to comparing listening straight from the Dap where the treble is really sharp and clear whereas the v281 sound smoothed out, almost tinted. As I've read other say, it could be interpreted as warm.
 
 
The AK devices don't have what is usually called a "true" line-out. The output is placed after the volume stage, and at that point there's some degredation from running it through essentially two amplification stages (the AK, then the V281). That could result in some bad behavior.
 
Also are you listening via the 1/4" output on the V281? Because the single ended output is also slightly darker or less resolving than the balanced out. 
 
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S Crowther

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AK100II and AKG 7xx.
I'm able to comparing listening straight from the Dap where the treble is really sharp and clear whereas the v281 sound smoothed out, almost tinted. As I've read other say, it could be interpreted as warm.
Also don't forget the amp needs about 50 hours to burn in. There is a noticeable improvement after that.
 
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ChrisIsAwesome

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I'm running from single ended at the moment and continuing to burn in.
I've run the AK through other amps, also I've tried both line out function and 85%volume as i know it doesn't bypass the internal amp. Along side my old iPod touch. 
 
Since I'm only running single ended at the moment, does that mean only one of the amp sections is burning in not both?
 
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