Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced
Jan 14, 2015 at 11:21 PM Post #1,186 of 5,032

project86

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I enjoyed Warren's review as well. Don't agree with everything he said but I can see the point - V281 makes sense as an upgrade from V200. V220? Not sure about where it falls. I did often wish for more inputs/outputs and a remote when using the V200, but considering the pricing I would probably make the jump to V281 rather than V220. 
 
As for sonics..... I've often enjoyed the V200 with LCD-2, even the original darker model. HD650 too. So I don't completely agree with Warren's assessment. Which is cool, we all hear differently. I'm curious why he had a hum on the V220 though - my V200, and the SE output on my V281 have both been dead silent for me. I wonder if Warren has a mild ground loop issue or other power related gremlin. Those can cause slight noise and humming on any device and can be very difficult to completely eliminate. I will say that the balanced V281 output does have an ever present noise with IEMs because it has double the amps in play.
 
 
 
Quote:
   
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.

 
Well that's weird. Must be some tolerance issue between the headphone jack on the V281 and the plug of the XC.... conditions just right on each one that they don't line up quite right. I'd try an extension plug to see what happens.
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 12:10 AM Post #1,188 of 5,032

Drewligarchy

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Are you by any chance using an aftermarket cable? If so, what brand and moel?


This was happening on both the stock balanced and unbalanced Audeze cable. I bought a Moon Audio Balanced Black Dragon, got it today, and it seems to reduce the issue but still there.

I don't get it when seated, but when I stand up and walk across the carpet, to shut off the amp whether music is playing or not (but amp is on). Thing that's weird is I often wear XC in bed with the Woo on my nightstand, and nothing, and there is so much more potential for static there - but it's fine. It's winter, so obviously with heaters going adds to the dryness of the air, which had made matters worse recently. I've used the XC with a portable DAP and other amps but no problem.

My HD 800 balanced into the v281 is fine. Thought it might have to do with the low ohms and High sensitivity of the XC in comparison to the 800, and that there is more metal on the XC than the 800. Also fine with my RS2, with is low impedance but made of wood.

I'd rather not ship the amp or headphones back, especially if I can't tell which one is to blame! Project86, would trying a different cable as I did essentially be the same as adding an extension cable from a troubleshooting standpoint.

It also sounds so great, I'd hate to give this pairing up :)
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 12:17 AM Post #1,189 of 5,032

Drewligarchy

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Listening to XC through black dragon to the v281 via Chord Hugo - Star Trek: Into the Darkness score in 96/24. Sounds fantastic! Maybe I could get a plane ticket for Fried to come and take a look so I don't have to be without it.
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 2:14 AM Post #1,190 of 5,032

mulder01

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Just to satisfy my curiosity... how might we go about discerning what is +26dB versus +20dB for the volume knob?  
confused.gif

 
 

 
You don't - I'm just picking figures out of the air.  Let me say it like this -
 
If you normally listen to the volume around 12:00 on zero gain, or normally around say 10:00 on +6 gain, then the pre gain has pre added 2 'hours' worth of volume to the volume pot.  I prefer to have the pre gain down so I get more subtle increments out of the volume knob, but I noticed some people like to have their gain up and volume knob down around, say 9:00.  Just wondered if there was any benefit to having a higher percentage of your power coming from pre gain rather than from the volume knob.  Seems silly to me to have 300 odd degrees worth of rotation in your volume knob and have your minimum and maximum points only 80 degrees apart because each small movement would give a large increase of volume.  But I assumed there was a reason people do it.  Just wondering what it was.
 
My thoughts were along the lines of what Xenophon said, but yeah, just asking.
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 7:16 AM Post #1,192 of 5,032

Tony1110

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Well that's weird. Must be some tolerance issue between the headphone jack on the V281 and the plug of the XC.... conditions just right on each one that they don't line up quite right. I'd try an extension plug to see what happens.


There seems to be a lot of variance in how people hear the amp. I've read that it's too smooth, that it lacks bass, that it's too strident etc... People do indeed hear differently.

Edit: Quoted the wrong bit.
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 8:17 AM Post #1,193 of 5,032

lime51

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I have read with great interest this discussion, also for my situation.
I own a HD-800 and a Phonitor (first model) with a Bel Canto CD2 and Dac 2.5 as source. I am very happy with the result but there is still something to improve. The overall sound is satisfactory but still with some traces of sibilants or lightening.
Not sure if it is only a matter of tonal balance but maybe something related to distortion (or power line) because, for example, I noticed that even changing a power chord can reduce sibilants.
If you really think that Violectric V218 can solve this I can seriously consider a purchase because I mainly love the Hd-800 and I would make the rest of the chain subject to it.
Do you have any suggestions on this particular situation?  
Many thanks
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 9:18 AM Post #1,194 of 5,032

project86

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I'd rather not ship the amp or headphones back, especially if I can't tell which one is to blame! Project86, would trying a different cable as I did essentially be the same as adding an extension cable from a troubleshooting standpoint.

It also sounds so great, I'd hate to give this pairing up
smily_headphones1.gif

 
 
If you've already tried multiple cables then my idea won't help beyond that. I'm stumped. Email Fried perhaps?
 
 
   
You don't - I'm just picking figures out of the air.  Let me say it like this -
 
If you normally listen to the volume around 12:00 on zero gain, or normally around say 10:00 on +6 gain, then the pre gain has pre added 2 'hours' worth of volume to the volume pot.  I prefer to have the pre gain down so I get more subtle increments out of the volume knob, but I noticed some people like to have their gain up and volume knob down around, say 9:00.  Just wondered if there was any benefit to having a higher percentage of your power coming from pre gain rather than from the volume knob.  Seems silly to me to have 300 odd degrees worth of rotation in your volume knob and have your minimum and maximum points only 80 degrees apart because each small movement would give a large increase of volume.  But I assumed there was a reason people do it.  Just wondering what it was.
 
My thoughts were along the lines of what Xenophon said, but yeah, just asking.

 
 
Seems to me the higher setting on the volume knob helps take the potentiometer out of the equation. For some devices that's a good thing. Violectric uses a nice Alps pot so it may not matter so much.
 
 
  I have read with great interest this discussion, also for my situation.
I own a HD-800 and a Phonitor (first model) with a Bel Canto CD2 and Dac 2.5 as source. I am very happy with the result but there is still something to improve. The overall sound is satisfactory but still with some traces of sibilants or lightening.
Not sure if it is only a matter of tonal balance but maybe something related to distortion (or power line) because, for example, I noticed that even changing a power chord can reduce sibilants.
If you really think that Violectric V218 can solve this I can seriously consider a purchase because I mainly love the Hd-800 and I would make the rest of the chain subject to it.
Do you have any suggestions on this particular situation?  
Many thanks


 
Could be the DAC 2.5 - I've heard some mention of sibilance with other Bel Canto models, though I haven't spent enough time with the 2.5 to confirm or deny. Maybe try the CD2 by itself and see if that changes things.
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 9:50 AM Post #1,195 of 5,032

plakat

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  Seems to me the higher setting on the volume knob helps take the potentiometer out of the equation. For some devices that's a good thing. Violectric uses a nice Alps pot so it may not matter so much.

 
One of the reasons I really like the stepped resistor network...
 
Jan 15, 2015 at 6:18 PM Post #1,196 of 5,032

zhgutov

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Does anyone know what the specified maximum undistorted input level of 21 dBu actually means?
I have successfully connected V800 DAC via balanced output at 24 dBu to balanced inputs of the V281 with -12 dB pre-gain and unable to hear any distortion.
Does it mean what if I set 0 dB pre-gain the distortion will come up? Is it safe for V281 to experiment with such levels?
 
Jan 16, 2015 at 1:52 AM Post #1,197 of 5,032

Xenophon

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  Does anyone know what the specified maximum undistorted input level of 21 dBu actually means?
I have successfully connected V800 DAC via balanced output at 24 dBu to balanced inputs of the V281 with -12 dB pre-gain and unable to hear any distortion.
Does it mean what if I set 0 dB pre-gain the distortion will come up? Is it safe for V281 to experiment with such levels?


It means that the maximum signal it will accept is equivalent to 8.69 Vrms coming in.  Standard redbook output is 2 Vrms for 0 dBFS....  The problem is that the standard is really no standard.  Some sources go way below, some are higher (such as broadcasting standard in Germany).  Most gear is designed to handle up to 5 Vrms before things are either limited or go pear-shaped on the receiving end.  I don't see what you're trying to do here by combining such a high output only to dial it back down with regain on the input side.  Imo, unless you have a very good reason to fiddle with the pregain settings (see above) it's better to leave them alone.
 
Jan 16, 2015 at 8:51 AM Post #1,198 of 5,032

zhgutov

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It means that the maximum signal it will accept is equivalent to 8.69 Vrms coming in.  Standard redbook output is 2 Vrms for 0 dBFS....  The problem is that the standard is really no standard.  Some sources go way below, some are higher (such as broadcasting standard in Germany).  Most gear is designed to handle up to 5 Vrms before things are either limited or go pear-shaped on the receiving end.  I don't see what you're trying to do here by combining such a high output only to dial it back down with regain on the input side.  Imo, unless you have a very good reason to fiddle with the pregain settings (see above) it's better to leave them alone.

 
My reason to set output to 24 dBu is to transfer the signal with the maximum level possible from DAC to amplifier.
As I can hear there is no output signal degradation changing output level from 15 dBu to 24 dBu.
As the result of this change I can notice more defined and clear sound with better transients, clarity and speed.
I want to understand it, because this was not expected, and looks like the system issue.
May interconnection cable (XLR Supra EFF-IXLR, 1m) be the cause of this difference?
 
UPDATE:
I've tried 24 dBu output with 0 dB gain and this works well too.
I think that's because the connection is balanced and the amplifiers work independently.
As the result the level for each amplifier is 6 dB less, which is actually 18 dBu.
This looks correctly because in other case 15 dBu output with +12 dB pre-gain should not work at all.
Can anyone confirm this?
 
Jan 16, 2015 at 11:29 AM Post #1,199 of 5,032

maro73

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Hello Folks
I am really 100% satisfied with the V281
I started some wrtings here :
http://www.head-fi.org/t/748651/sennheiser-hd-800-and-headphone-amplifiers-dacs-chord-eximus-violectric-v281-dddac-point-of-view
 
With some more and more listening , I think that the balanced input of the V281 fed by the balanced output of the Eximus yields to some absolute low ground floor .. no noise at all
Besides , upper mid range and voices are more realistic than ever , to the point that the Eximus is relegating the Chord Hugo to only portable use
But again , the only headphone used is the Sennheiser HD800 , and most of are acquainted of its woes
Cheers
 
Jan 21, 2015 at 7:04 AM Post #1,200 of 5,032

korzena

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Would you recommend V281 for LCD-2/LCD-X to someone who thought V200/LCD-2 pairing wasn't too good due to excessive warmth and too little air/space?
 

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