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Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by fegefeuer, Feb 12, 2014.
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  1. Fegefeuer
    It only affects the right channel. That's how it's supposed to work. Else you'd have to compromise crosstalk attenuation if you'd go with a full classic balance circuit.
  2. Bonddam
    So I got email telling me this is AB topology amplifier. I'm liking the amp more and more I listen to it. I don't know how to describe the difference between the V281 and HeadAmp GSX-mini. I'll say I'm happy owning both. If I try my hardest the gsx is more about the upper end and V281 is warm.
    My favorite headphone on the gsx is the Verite. Still haven't tested the Verite on v281.I switched back to the mini and bass was the same. It comes down to warm sound or not. I like both equally.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  3. Pharmaboy
    I need some help. My question may/may not have been discussed in the 291 previous pages here, but I can't find it.

    • I've been told that there are opamps in the back of the V281, near the inputs, which (unlike other opamps elsewhere in the circuit) can actually affect the sound. I've also been told that Sparkos SS360s opamps (URL below) can be used in the V281 in those positions.
    • https://sparkoslabs.com/product/dual-discrete-op-amp-ss3602/
    • This is very interesting because I've read much praise of these opamps in connection w/a class D amp (Nord NC500, which allows opamp rolling on input board).

    Before I take the cover off and try to identify the opamps, I can tell this will be challenging. Has anyone rolled opamps in the V281?

    These 2 shots are from a very comprehensive post by @Fegefeuer 5 years ago. They show what appear to the conflicting views of the back of the V281. Perhap the 1st is w/o a PCB in place & the 2nd is w/that PCB in place? Are the opamps the white rectangular components?


    RobertSM likes this.
  4. Geezer Rock 001
    I believe they are under the dac deck. You may have to loosen it to get to the op amps that you are looking for.

    Maybe someone can give you a tip on loosening the deck. My V100 does not have the dac.

    The Sparkos op amps really improve the performance on my V100!
  5. Pharmaboy
    FYI, my V281 does not have an internal DAC. So maybe that 2nd-level board is not even there?
  6. Geezer Rock 001
    Here is a picture of my V100 with no dac deck. The Sparkos 3602 is on the left and the stock Texas Instrument op amp is on the right.

    Pharmaboy likes this.
  7. Ichos
    Why not email Mr. Fried Reim and ask him directly?
    He always responds and is very helpful.
    Pharmaboy likes this.
  8. 111MilesToGo
    @Pharmaboy: Are you into DIY modding now? Interesting topic, and in particular that opamp rolling.

    A personal story of mine: I had a friend some 25 years ago, who did this for my then audio gear. All the beefing up of power transformers and power supply buffer capacitors, and assorted mods where deemed necessary including opamps, capacitors etc. It was a nice experience in that every step could be auditioned separately. In the end, it wasn‘t so nice because (a) we got apart from each other due to jobs, moving etc, leaving the final touches to my then preamp undone, and because (b) it caused a certain restless and unhappy state of mind which was the DIY kind of upgraditis.

    Just my personal historical story from 25 years back.

    Expanding on that: The main reason to sort of hibernate the audio hobby was not being able to overcome room effects with traditional (too) big speakers. Many years later, I am now more than happy to have computer audio with a USB DAC (Hugo 2), the V281 and headphones (Sennheiser HD800S, Beyer T1.2) as a ”minimalistic“ system.
    Pharmaboy likes this.
  9. phonomat
    ^ Have you thought about adding some nearfield spekers to your setup? My Genelecs monitors helped me take the room more or less out of the equation, and they play great with Hugo/V281. It's a nice alternative when I get tired of wearing headphones all the time.
    But I realize this is Head-Fi, so I'll shut up now. :zipper_mouth:
  10. RobertSM
    A very interesting set of questions. I'll be following this one closely as the idea of further improvement to V281 is of interest.

    The suggestion of reaching out to Violectric/Lake People is a good one. I was in communication with Fried last month regarding my DAC V850. I found him to very approachable and a pleasure to deal with. I'm sure, if you decide to seek him out, you'd have similar results. Please keep us posted.
  11. Pharmaboy
    @RobertSM, do you have Freid's email?
  12. RobertSM
  13. Pharmaboy
  14. Pharmaboy
    I'd never heard of "opamp rolling" until 2-3 years ago when I got the humble but nice-sounding M Stage Matrix HPA-1 headphone amp. It was reputed to sound way better w/any of several aftermarket opamps. I got the ones everybody raved about and they sounded awful. Never even made to full burn-in...way too bright. Then I got a highly praised, more expensive opamp, which proved to interesting: good sound, not bright, but the soundstage collapsed to the center. Finally I got a 3rd set that people rave about--and the 3rd time was the charm. Beautiful sound, less boomy bass, all sonic changes positive. A real success story IMO.

    All to say I know how much opamp rolling can improve sound--depending, of course, on the circuit involved.

    The opamp thing w/the V281 comes as a surprise: the sound of the V281 is already so fine that opamp rolling never occurred to me. But @Geezer Rock 001 swears by the benefits of Sparkos SS3602 opamps w/his Violectric V100. And as it turns out, that the very opamp I read so many positive things about in connection with a Nord class D amp that allows opamp rolling...and apparently one that fits the V281.

    Now if I can only figure out where the stock opamps live in the V281...
  15. Ichos
    Please keep us informed and if you contact Mr. Reim please be kind enough to ask about V280 too?
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