Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced
Oct 14, 2017 at 1:07 PM Post #3,151 of 5,160

Pharmaboy

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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

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!
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 1:23 PM Post #3,152 of 5,160

Pharmaboy

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Our interview series continues. This week we chatted with Fried Reim. CEO of Violectric and LakePeople

https://www.headfonia.com/q-n-a-saturday-violectric/

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...
 
Oct 14, 2017 at 4:01 PM Post #3,155 of 5,160

sahmen

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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


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?
 
Oct 15, 2017 at 8:19 AM Post #3,156 of 5,160

ardilla

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Oct 21, 2017 at 5:44 PM Post #3,157 of 5,160

Badas

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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.
 
Oct 21, 2017 at 5:58 PM Post #3,158 of 5,160

Pharmaboy

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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.

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...
 
Oct 24, 2017 at 11:04 PM Post #3,163 of 5,160

13713

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I only have WA22. Want to buy either V281 or WA5LE as my next amp.

Have you listened to a V281 I mean honestly I cannot recommend blind purchases in this price range without an audition or a great return policy. The WA5LE is pure magic and I personally own a V281/V850 stack. With that said my bias of course is with the V281 as I purchased it and have used it since late 2015. It is paired with HD-800 connected with a Forza balanced cable. I enjoy my setup a lot and would recommend it to anyone but I really do suggest an audition with the equipment before purchase. The amps you mentioned are in completely different price ranges as well... What is your end goal? What are you looking for? Is this a transition to something greater or are you keeping it? What other headphones will you be using with the setup?
 
Oct 24, 2017 at 11:10 PM Post #3,165 of 5,160

Badas

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For HD800S, how is V281 compared to WA5LE? Thanks.

It was far too long ago to comment now.

At the time I liked the V281 better. However the WA5 was fitted with what I call lean tubes. A little on the dry side.
I might have liked the WA5 better with different tubes.
 

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