Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by fegefeuer, Feb 12, 2014.
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  1. zhgutov
    Secret feature?
    Violectric should add this to the list.

    Well, I use simple AC filter with the shielded power cables.
    It seems that the whole system sound better (in the similar way).
    But I am not 100% sure about that.
    I have not had A/B this.
    Just set it and forgot about that.

    Is there anybody who made A/B with power cables/conditioners?
  2. PHC1
    I have. Many times. Ranging from rather inexpensive to rather outrageously priced and the results have been from barely noticeable to outstanding. As with anything else in audio, the key is finding a good power conditioner that offers value to performance ratio you are comfortable with.
  3. PHC1
    As far as power cables. I found the best synergy with Wireworld Silver Electra 7 power cord so far. Also tried Shunyata Venon HC and it was better than the stock power cord but not quite as good as the Wireworld. Again, this is something that is up to each individual to determine and figure out the price to performance ratio they are comfortable with. :)
  4. Pharmaboy
    Fascinating post!

    Whenever my V281 is in the system and powered up (75% of the time), another amp is always on at the same time (dual RCA outputs from DAC allow this). I have a desktop UPS powering all audio gear, so consider that a big/bad power conditioner of sorts.

    The only interaction I've ever noticed is when one of the amps is the Audio GD SA-31SE (as preamp as well as amp). Only then will I notice distortion in lower frequencies when volume is above low-level. But I'm pretty sure that has to do w/AGD amp having shorted input plugs (it has 5 inputs; previous owner shorted 4 of the 5). Anyway, I've learned whenever I hear that distortion, just torn on the 2nd amp (doesn't matter which one it is)--back to perfect sound.

    That pretty obviously a different phenomenon that what you described, though.

    But I can believe anything about the V281. It's built like a NASA rocket ship.
    PHC1 likes this.
  5. zhgutov
    I don't know which UPS do you use, but I tried two different UPS with so called modified sine output (square wave or something similar).
    In this case this gear always sounded slightly muddy. Finally, I removed such devices from the chain.
    PHC1 likes this.
  6. reklov
    Hi FumblingFoo, I own the HPA280 and DAC850 (besides the PRE630 and PPA600 to connect my Rega to active speakers and HPA at the same time), and I‘m very curious how much the RS05 can contribute to even better SQ. Did you get one as you announced above?
  7. PHC1
    Yes, these types of products hardly ever do any good for audio. Unless it is a power conditioner that is designed with audio use in mind, I don't bother with them and it is not for the lack of trying. The muddy bass and overall lean sound that lacks body and meat on the bones as well as making the upper end sound harsh and brittle is the pretty typical result. I have yet to come across one that does not have that effect. Stick to "audio grade" power conditioners, they can and do make a rather noticeable and appreciable difference in sound quality.
  8. Pharmaboy
    My UPS is APC BR1500. It was the most powerful compact/desktop model available 8-9 yrs ago, rated for 1500V/865W output & ~30" runtime on battery (battery time is load-dependent) + automatic voltage regulation (useful during brown-outs) & impressive surge protection on all outlets.

    One advantage of using this lower-tier APC model is there's no circuitry to "rebuild" the sine wave or regenerate output power w/in specs needed by medical equipment or powerful servers. Thus there's zero audible effect of having this UPS between all my audio gear & incoming power.

    BTW, I use this UPS in a somewhat different manner than when I first purchased it. Then I was solely dependent on it to permit "orderly shut-down" of my computers. But 5-6 yrs ago I got a propane-fired standgy generator + automatic transfer switch (system is more than large enough to drive the entire house & all elec. systems). It takes ~8 seconds for the ATS to kick the generator on during a power outage--so now it's only during those 8 seconds that the UPS proves its value--keeping my computer & audio gear continue operating as if nothing was happening.

    Back to the V281--I have on various occasions heard it powered by just regular power outlets here (no UPS). If there's a difference between that and the sound powered by UPS, I can't hear it.
  9. PHC1
    I've been down that road with all kinds of UPS and audiophile grade power conditioners over the last 30 years. A well designed audio grade power conditioner is not something you will NOT notice. :) Of course everything else should be in order such as decent power cable, interconnects and of course the headphone cable itself. The audio chain is only as strong as the weakest link. By comparison to 2 channel audio, with headphones, the biggest obstacle to good sound which is the room itself and how your speakers interact in that acoustic environment is removed from the equation. That is both great and bad. Great because you are not dealing with all kinds of frequency anomalies of speaker to room interaction but bad because the headphones are also so revealing of upstream components. These differences in cabling and other components are sometimes lost or overshadowed by bigger problems with 2 channel audio but not in headphones. So it is very important that the whole chain of headphone playback is top notch. What "top notch" means is up to you and your budget to decide of course. :) One thing I can tell you with certainty, the amount of money one spends on a great headphone rig would cost 10-20x as much to even remotely come close to same sound quality and that is not taking acoustic treatments for the room into consideration. Great speakers do not come cheap and neither do great amplifiers, preamplifiers and DACs to drive it all.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  10. PHC1
    Getting back to Violectric V281. The reason I instantly fell in love with the V281 sound signature. Being into 2 channel, high end audio for so long, I've had many an amplifier grace my system over the years. The most elusive and coveted quality in 2 channel audio is an amplifier that can pull off the balancing act of sounding dynamic, transparent, resolving, having a great grip on speakers it is driving and at the same time to be smooth, grain-less, to have proper weight, body and soul. Being engaging and musical. These are the criteria for the long term listening satisfaction. This is a difficult task for the designer. Many amplifiers tend to nail some aspects but miss the others. Being dynamic but sterile, being smooth but boring and uninvolving, sounding extremely resolving and fast but missing the musicality and soul mark. Yes, I have come across, owned and auditioned many amplifiers and some of them cost as much as a new BMW. That is what it takes sometimes to nail the mark, perfection does not come cheap. I was grinning ear to ear when I received my V281, plugged in my headphones and instantly recognized all the sonic qualities I would have loved to carry over from my 2 channel audio days. Yes, the V281 nails it solid when it comes to all the sonic qualities coveted by seasoned audiophiles. How great is that to find such a product at multiples less than a comparable 2 channel amp? Love the V281. :)
  11. zhgutov
    Oh, it seems that your UPS has stepped approximation to a sine wave.
    This should be better than just square wave.
    But I have not tried anything like that yet.
  12. PHC1
    Guys, those UPS very often have terribly noisy power supplies. It is a crapshoot and often they do more harm then good when it comes to audio.
  13. Pharmaboy
    Apparently I'm winning this particular crap-shoot.

    Luck + ignorance (of electronics details) go together nicely.
    zhgutov likes this.
  14. zhgutov
  15. BLacklWf
    Their power cord is also very nice. I want to buy like 5 power cords from Arthur. :)
    PHC1 likes this.
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