Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by fegefeuer, Feb 12, 2014.
  1. sahmen
    Thanks Fried : That is indeed a tour-de-force in well thought out explications, one which seems to break everything down about line level inputs and outputs, related questions of input/output impedance, and interconnects. There is a wealth of information in that post about these particular features that far exceeds what one can find in the manuals of the two units mentioned. Thanks, and much obliged! Yet, because of my own lack of technical expertise, I feel there are parts of the post that have gone over my head, and wish there were someone else who could explicate/translate those parts to me in simpler more layman terms.

    Still, this is me expressing my appreciation, rather than being un ungrateful pain... I truly feel lucky to own a machine like the V281. Thanks again.
  2. Pharmaboy
    Thanks for a comprehensive post! There is so much information here, that I keep reading & re-reading it.

    Besides the amazing sound, the best thing about the V281 IMO is its very flexible & diverse input/output features, adjustments, etc. Also the very granular gain adjustments, separate for headphone outs vs line outs. Never saw another line level audio product with this much flexibility.

    Now I have to ask you a question that has been on my mind ever since I got powered monitors w/balanced inputs (Zenpro modded Yamaha HS7s): can I use the XLR outputs simultaneously w/the RCA outputs to power the Yamahas (XLRs) and powered SVS SB-100 sub (RCAs)?

    The manual suggests this may result in degraded sound; but I understand some users use these outputs simultaneously w/good results & no apparent sonic degradation.

    I powered the Yamahas directly from the XLR outs one time (w/the sub not connected), and got the best sound I've heard so far w/the Yamahas. So I'd love to be able to do that 24/7, but w/the RCAs driving the sub.

    No matter what your answer is, I'm a very happy V281 user!
  3. sahmen
    Sorry that these questions escaped my attention. Yes I do have different sources for the different amps. I normally use the V281 with the Schiit Yggdrasil, the Audiogd NFB1amp, with an Audiogd Reference 5.32 with the Amanero USB module installed, the Bryston 2b LP with an Emotiva DC-1, and a Cavalli Liquid Carbon with a Metrum Acoustics Hex. You're indeed right that switching and doing different Amp/DAC permutations within these four pairings might generate some different interesting results for the He-6. For example, I tried pairing the Audiogd Ref. 5.32 with the Bryston once, and the results were pretty bad, not just for the He-6, but for some of my other cans as well. I do not know whether it was caused by a mismatched input/output impedance between the two units, or by some other technical deficiency, but I was convinced after about 5 minutes that this particular pairing was a bad idea. I would really like to experiment with different pairings, but that is going to take a lot of spare time I do not have yet. I am still keeping these experiments on my to-do list for the future.t In the meantime, the V281 pairs very well with the Yggdrasil for my all other needs, including listening other cans and to live speakers, so I do not think I am missing out on much with my present set ups.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  4. simomat
    I am selling my unit with stepped attenuator and XMOS USB.
    It's on the classifieds.

    PM if interested.
  5. fdg
    While Violectric V630, V800 and V850 offer dedicated drivers for the balanced and unbalanced outputs,
    V600, V220 and V281 do not. Here the unbalanced outputs are derived (connected in parallel) from the In-Phase signals of the balanced outputs.
    According to my post concerning the structure of line outputs this may lead to problems - but it must not.
    The issues are not that much based on the line outputs as these are very low impedance types.
    The are more caused by the input impedances of the following equipment which may interact between each other.
    My recommendation: check it out and hear what´s happening.
    Normally the influences a so small that they won´t be heard.
    You can´t destroy anything electrical, only the sound may be affected.
    Cheers, Fried
  6. Ultrainferno
    Yoga and ardilla like this.
  7. Pharmaboy
    Thanks for a most informative & even-handed reply! I will try it. Ears never lie...

    I have a sneaking suspicion the V281 could power an arc welding & industrial hair-dryers while simulteously driving everything on my desktop to perfection. However, I won't be testing those "extreme applications" anytime soon!
  8. Pharmaboy
    Terrific interview w/one of my favorite company's top man in the U.S. This is a must-read for anyone who's interested in quality headphone amplification.

    My favorite part: "When you attend classic concerts you will recognize that live sound is far from being as bright as the recording and the headphone manufactures make us believe."

    Such a relief to see this said out-loud/in print. Overly bright gear has dogged me for decades, first in the big living audiophile systems, and now in desktop audio & headphone systems. The great popularity of overly "accurate," "clinical" gear has always mystified me. It sounds nothing like what the symphony or chamber orchestra sounds in a well-designed, acoustically sound hall.

    On the other hand, Violectric & Lake People equipment (I own the V281 and the G109-A) sound very much like the real thing. This is visionary & courageous on the part of Mr. Reim--to be truthful to the real thing, despite the popularity of an opposite/paradoxical sonic preference in transducers...
  9. davidespinosa
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
    Ultrainferno likes this.
  10. Pharmaboy
    Didn't that...

    Just realized I got him confused w/Arthur from Violectric USA. Sorry Fried & Arthur!
  11. sahmen

    Now that's a relief! With my V281's Balanced XLR line outputs operating in Pre Fader/Fixed mode and feeding a pair of external monoblock amps via a pre pro, I hear no difference/deterioration in SQ when I use the RCA/SE line outputs to feed, simultaneously, a couple of Power Sound Audio powered subwoofers. All bass management is done on the subs themselves, and I get glorious and well-balanced full range 2.1 channel stereo music from my L/R front speakers and subs with bass management. I was a bit anxious about this set up owing to the warning in the V281 manual about using both balanced and unbalanced line outputs simultaneously, and am now very pleased to find out that the anxiety is unfounded, as the current set up enables me to exploit the versatility of the unit as an awesome SS headphone amp, and as an extremely transparent pre amp of sorts for 2-channel speaker listening, with an excellent workaround for getting Subwoofer bass functionality with bass management... What more could I guy want?
    Pharmaboy likes this.
  12. ardilla
    Thanks - A great read!

    I like that he is using the LCD-2 rev.1 - It's something special about that one - will be exiting to see how it compares to the "relaunched" LCD-2C
    Ultrainferno likes this.
  13. Badas
    For the first time I've used the V281 as a pre-amp.
    Why haven't I done this before????

    Sounds incredible.

    I wanted remote volume control into my tube amp (Woo WA22).
    So I had a light bulb moment and decided to wire the V281 as a pre-amp and use the V281's volume control.
    I wasn't expecting it to make the WA22 sound even smoother and clearer. Woo WA22 has never sounded so great.
  14. Pharmaboy
    I couldn't agree more. The V281 is a superb preamp. I have 3 headphone amp/preamps to choose from, but the V281 is the best: my powered studio monitors + sub never sounded so strong in the lower registers, clean & dynamic, top to bottom.

    When I get out of the sling from upcoming shoulder surgery, I'll do a preamp experiment I've been wanting to try: connect the powered monitors directly from the L/R XLR outputs; and the sub directly from the L/R RCA outputs. Sub gain balancing vs monitors is done by the sub's controls to begin with; the V281's volume pot will adjust the entire system up/down.

    I already tried the direct XLR connection once before, but w/the sub out of the system. It was the best sound I ever got from these monitors (Zenpro modded Yamaha HS7s). And I've already used the abundant gain controls on the V281 (separate banks for line out vs headphone) to gain-balance the whole, rather complicated system.

    The V281 is an amazing example of audio engineering. It sounds great and can do just about anything you want it to do...
    diabelli likes this.
  15. shapeshifter44
    I know there are many threads talking about pairing with HD800/HD800S. Just wondering, in summary, how would you guys rank the V281, Woo WA22 and Woo WA5 pairing with HD800/800S. Thanks

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