Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced
Jan 14, 2015 at 2:27 AM Post #1,171 of 5,032
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http://headphone.guru/the-violectric-hpa-v220/

Though, personally, I would classify it as fair rather than negative - but I think you'd agree that I've been critical where I felt it was warranted.  
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Originally Posted by Tony1110 /img/forum/go_quote.gif

That is a fair and balanced review.
 
Originally Posted by Xenophon /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
Warren, just read your review and I have no problem acknowledging that this is what imo a review should read like in terms of information offered, strong/weak points etc.  Congratulations! I still maintain my viewpoint on the V281 review that was published but I have no problem acknowledging that yes, the one about the V220 was thoughtful, critical and balanced.  

 
Thanks guys!  
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  I just wanted to point out that - like any review site - we all have different writing styles, viewpoints, etc.
 
Originally Posted by Tony1110 /img/forum/go_quote.gif

I took delivery of a single ended cable for my Alpha Prime headphones yesterday and have spent the last few hours comparing the SE and balanced outputs. Quite frankly, there is no comparison. I agree with you that the sound is smaller and more intimate and the 'out of head' sensation you get using the balanced out has pretty much vanished. The treble is indeed significantly rolled off (and you definitely can't say that about the balanced mode). So with these headphones there is only one way to go. The beauty of the V281 however is that it's essentially two amps in one. Ultrainferno said he preferred the SE output with his HE-560 because of the more intimate full-bodied sound you get. I can see others feeling the same about the HD800 l, T1 etc.

 
I have yet to hear the V281.  And with all the new gear shown at CES this year, I doubt I'll get to it anytime soon.  But most impressions seem to be favorable so there's that.  If I ever get a chance to try it out, I'll be sure to post impressions.  
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Originally Posted by Xenophon /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
It also more or less conforms to my opinion of the V200 that I own:  for me it's a bit too warm and not detailed enough (for my taste even with cans like the HD-800).  I'd like to try one just for kicks with my HE-6 to see what the extra juice does; the sound with the V200 is good but when I hook it up to a speaker amp it becomes clear what a couple extra W can do.

 
Hmm, I don't think you'd be happy with the V220 and HE-6 pairing either.  Likewise, I think you'd enjoy the HE-6 much more with something far more robust.  
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Originally Posted by Xenophon /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
Personally I never had issues with the jumpers (perhaps because I'm part German) and I abhor remotes and have no use for 2 headphone outs but that's a matter of taste.  For the price though I wouldn't get the 220, nor for that matter the V281 I guess (barring a sonic miracle and quicker/more detailed sound signature).  At the price point and if you actually own cans that benefit from the extra power, imo there are other options on the market.

 
I didn't think I would have a problem with the jumpers initially.  But once I realized that the procedure involved more than changing switch positions on the fly, I began to get a little annoyed with it... especially after trying every position with every headphone I used for the review, and a few headphones that I didn't mention.  It was just a tiny bit more complicated than I would have preferred.  As for the remote, I didn't think it was necessary, and still don't - though it was fun to use.  Hey, I just thought of something... had I been able to use the remote to change pre-gain on the fly, that would have been AWESOME!
 
Nonetheless, I agree with you, it's not something I'm inclined to buy at all given its price vs performance ratio.  
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Jan 14, 2015 at 2:47 AM Post #1,172 of 5,032

PleasantSounds

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I didn't think I would have a problem with the jumpers initially.  But once I realized that the procedure involved more than changing switch positions on the fly, I began to get a little annoyed with it... especially after trying every position with every headphone I used for the review, and a few headphones that I didn't mention.  It was just a tiny bit more complicated than I would have preferred.

 
Actually the procedure described in the manual is just a precaution. You can change the jumpers on the fly and they will work the same as with the amp turned off, volume pot turned to zero. Just be prepared for the jump in volume. You can also have different settings for L and R if that's what you want. 
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 4:10 AM Post #1,175 of 5,032

plakat

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Me too. Its perfect for some of my headphones (Abyss, T1, K812), fine with most. I only did not like the combination with the TH900...
Love that massive volume knob. One reason not to use the remote :wink: In fact I only got the relay-based volume option because I like the concept.
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 4:20 AM Post #1,176 of 5,032
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I didn't think I would have a problem with the jumpers initially.  But once I realized that the procedure involved more than changing switch positions on the fly, I began to get a little annoyed with it... especially after trying every position with every headphone I used for the review, and a few headphones that I didn't mention.  It was just a tiny bit more complicated than I would have preferred.

 
Actually the procedure described in the manual is just a precaution. You can change the jumpers on the fly and they will work the same as with the amp turned off, volume pot turned to zero. Just be prepared for the jump in volume. You can also have different settings for L and R if that's what you want. 

 
LOL, I figured that might have been the case (largely based upon the supposition that no engineer worth his salt would trust an end user to actually read and follow the manual)... but I still didn't want to take the chance of somehow damaging a review unit.  
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Jan 14, 2015 at 4:31 AM Post #1,177 of 5,032

plakat

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LOL, I figured that might have been the case (largely based upon the supposition that no engineer worth his salt would trust an end user to actually read and follow the manual)... but I still didn't want to take the chance of somehow damaging a review unit.  
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I think its really just a precaution to protect the users headphones and ears: going from 0 to +12dB might well damage a driver when volume is not turned down or even impair hearing when the headphone is in place.
 
Of course you're right... those reading the manual will take precautions anyway while the others will not read the manual :wink:
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 4:47 AM Post #1,178 of 5,032

mulder01

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So is there any difference between having the pre gain on +0 and the gain (volume knob) at +26 OR having the pre gain on +6 and the volume knob on +20?  I mean, to me it doesn't seem like there would be any difference, but I have heard some people say that certain amp/can combinations sound better with different levels of pre gain.  Dunno if it's a placebo or not.  I mean, I realise that some cans need more power, but does it matter how much of that gain comes from the pre gain and how much from the volume knob?
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 6:24 AM Post #1,179 of 5,032

Xenophon

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  So is there any difference between having the pre gain on +0 and the gain (volume knob) at +26 OR having the pre gain on +6 and the volume knob on +20?  I mean, to me it doesn't seem like there would be any difference, but I have heard some people say that certain amp/can combinations sound better with different levels of pre gain.  Dunno if it's a placebo or not.  I mean, I realise that some cans need more power, but does it matter how much of that gain comes from the pre gain and how much from the volume knob?


I'll go out on a limb here because I think in the end it largely depends on the way the volume pot is implemented in the circuit and the overall design quality (neither of which are afaik an issue with the Vio amps).  First of all, working with the pre-gain gives you more usable range and fine-tuning possibilities with the volume pot and sensitive cans; for harder cans it boosts the input signal and allows you to achieve sufficient volume.  If you use a source that outputs other than redbook levels it also comes in handy.  
 
Theoretically it should/could also be less 'noisy' to use pre-gain than working with the volume.  I don't know if/to what extent there is an audible difference regarding the sound, provided the SPL level at the phones reached one way or another is equal, given all the factors involved I don't think really demonstrating this one way or another would be easy without extensive blind testing.
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 2:33 PM Post #1,181 of 5,032

daerron

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A V220 review that wasn't wholly complimentary. I have to say that the Alpha Prime using the SE output did sound a tad...vaginal. The balanced output is a completely different kettle of fish as far as I'm concerned.

 
Rofl! You definitely did read the review, certainly made me scratch the V220 entirely.
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 5:33 PM Post #1,183 of 5,032
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  So is there any difference between having the pre gain on +0 and the gain (volume knob) at +26 OR having the pre gain on +6 and the volume knob on +20?  

 
Just to satisfy my curiosity... how might we go about discerning what is +26dB versus +20dB for the volume knob?  
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I'll go out on a limb here because I think in the end it largely depends on the way the volume pot is implemented in the circuit and the overall design quality (neither of which are afaik an issue with the Vio amps).  First of all, working with the pre-gain gives you more usable range and fine-tuning possibilities with the volume pot and sensitive cans; for harder cans it boosts the input signal and allows you to achieve sufficient volume.  If you use a source that outputs other than redbook levels it also comes in handy.  
 
Theoretically it should/could also be less 'noisy' to use pre-gain than working with the volume.  I don't know if/to what extent there is an audible difference regarding the sound, provided the SPL level at the phones reached one way or another is equal, given all the factors involved I don't think really demonstrating this one way or another would be easy without extensive blind testing.

 
Sounds plausible, I'd stretch out on that limb with you.  And for the record, those were simply my subjective observations, nothing more.  So for everyone concerned, please season them with appropriate sodium levels as you see fit.  
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So I come back after a few hundred unread posts and now we suddenly don't like the V281 anymore? What's the deal? 
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A V220 review that wasn't wholly complimentary. I have to say that the Alpha Prime using the SE output did sound a tad...vaginal. The balanced output is a completely different kettle of fish as far as I'm concerned.

 
Rofl! You definitely did read the review, certainly made me scratch the V220 entirely.

 
Lol, with any luck, maybe the term vaginal will catch on around here.  
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Jan 14, 2015 at 7:38 PM Post #1,185 of 5,032

Drewligarchy

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  Don't have a V281, but I've been using my XC's quite a bit lately with a Schitt Magni/Modi at work and I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary, so I don't think there's any inherent issue with the XC design and static electricity.

 
What's tough to pin down is whether it is the XC or the V281. I get no static charge when I use the XC with my Woo WA7, and I get no static charge when I use the V281 with any other headphone.
 

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