Violectric HPA V281 - Vorsprung durch Balanced
Feb 16, 2015 at 6:58 AM Post #1,276 of 5,032

Megalomaniak

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  There was some collateral damage from soldering iron...but nothing major..
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Braiding was very fast and easy, but soldering that mini XLR took me half day...
Anyway, pleasure when I finally  connected my old and good AKG 702 with my new cable to Violectric V2∞1 payed it off..
There was NO any difference to OEM cable that I can tell but at least looks fresh.
Beauty of this Tasker cable is in different color wire where 1 is tinned and other not.
I did use tinned one for common ground and copper once for hot port and starboard
beerchug.gif

 
Once braided and mixed light makes all the work by reflecting differently to make pearl like effect.
 
How did you come after this Tasker cable anyway??
 
Now looking for some cheap Ohno cooper wire for Audeze.

 
Haha, you get used to those injuries after much soldering :p
 
I came across this cable in a local shop by pure chance. I was looking for local/internet dealers of Mogami or Canare cable but every single one I spoke with (and there were many) only sold it in 25 metres pack minimum (some even in 50) which was not nice.
 
I've worked with Mogami cables before, but I just went to the local shop and asked for microphone balanced cable and there it was, it didnt sound familiar to me at the moment but since it was the same price as Mogami dual microphone cable, I bought a few metres of it for testing. Then I did a little research and it appears to be a very very fine cable (as they told me in the shop, and I couldnt tell the difference from the outside vs a mogami cable in terms of build quality) so profit.
 
Fun fact: This local shop used to work with Mogami but due to problems with dealers they switched to Tasker.
 
Also, I dont believe in audio differences between cables if they are pure and fine done, the only cables I believe modify the sound are those with strange impedances or variable ones (or uncommon ones), and I dont like that since thats coloring.
 
I did use tinned one for ground too :D
 
Feb 17, 2015 at 5:59 PM Post #1,277 of 5,032

headfiaddict

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I was wondering if anyone has or had a Ray Samuels Dark Star and has heard the V281. I can get a deal on a Dark Star so let's assume I can get it for the same price as the V281. I am trying to decide between the 2. I have a wide range of headphones and might add the HE-6 or the HE-1000 (that one is a big if.) I need a balanced end game amp so i can focus on headphones and music. Should I even be comparing these 2?
 
Feb 17, 2015 at 11:49 PM Post #1,278 of 5,032

Tobes

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My 281 arrived and I've done some listening, comparing the he-500 in SE and balanced modes.  I've also compared with the SE output of my Grace 903 dac/amp. Source is a Mac mini, Audirvana +, iFi usb power/gemini cable into the 903 dac.
 
Firstly, the 281 (in SE mode) easily betters the Grace 903 HF output. By comparison the 903 sounds tonally flat, less dynamics/impact, less detailed, less spacious - it sounds veiled in comparison. In balanced mode the v281 pulled even further ahead.
 
Comparing the v281 SE to balanced with the he-500, I agree with previous comments that the SE sounds a bit darker, less lively and spacious.The SE mode sounds fine enough until you start comparing to the balanced - then it's hard to go back.
 
I also did some brief listening with my Q701's on the SE output. These sounded excellent - punchy, very open and smoother sounding than with the Grace HF output. When going back and forth between the he-500's I still much preferred the latter on the 281 - the richer balance and superb bass is simply more musically realistic. When connected in balanced mode the he-500 gains extra spaciousness, cutting its deficit in this area with the q701. The perspectives are still quite different, the q701 more distant the he500 more up front.
 
The 281's bass wallop, jumpy dynamics and spacious clarity are what first impresses - but I think it may be the extra layers of fine detail that make this amp such a big step up for me.
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 2:34 AM Post #1,279 of 5,032

Xenophon

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I was wondering if anyone has or had a Ray Samuels Dark Star and has heard the V281. I can get a deal on a Dark Star so let's assume I can get it for the same price as the V281. I am trying to decide between the 2. I have a wide range of headphones and might add the HE-6 or the HE-1000 (that one is a big if.) I need a balanced end game amp so i can focus on headphones and music. Should I even be comparing these 2?


You'll have to try them and decide for yourself, for the cash involved I believe that's the best strategy.  I don't know the DS and it might very well be a brilliant headphone amp but what always bothered me was the lack of clear technical specs and measurement data.  The massive gain is emphasized but getting gain is not the issue.  My personal philosophy:  if you have esoterics like the K-1000 or HE-6 in your stable then bang/buck and if you have the space for it, a quiet, low power speaker amp is the way to go.  But obviously ymmv.
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 2:47 AM Post #1,280 of 5,032

Ultrainferno

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If all goes well my V281 should be back with me today after reparations, the Line Out L and R were indeed faulty. Don't you just love 5 year warranty :)
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 3:04 AM Post #1,281 of 5,032

Xenophon

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  If all goes well my V281 should be back with me today after reparations, the Line Out L and R were indeed faulty. Don't you just love 5 year warranty :)


Yeah but I love it even more if I don't have to make use of a warranty.  Am I getting the wrong impression reading this thread or are there a higher than average number of faults in the V281 units?
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 4:09 AM Post #1,283 of 5,032

plakat

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  If all goes well my V281 should be back with me today after reparations, the Line Out L and R were indeed faulty. Don't you just love 5 year warranty :)


Glad to hear that! And yes, a no-questions-asked 5-year warranty is a nice thing to have in case something does go wrong. I think I remember its even transferable in case one sells the amp, isn't it?
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 4:14 AM Post #1,284 of 5,032

mulder01

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Yeah, I kinda agree with @Xenophon - I always thought there were quite a few people complaining of faults on this thread.  No real way of telling if the amount of complaints is out of the ordinary for the number of units sold though.  eg. You don't know if there was 1500 of these sold and they have a 1% problem rate and almost every person with a problem posts about it on here (12 or so people complaining), and another amplifier may sell 200 units and have a 5% fail rate but not many people write their complaints on head fi because there's not a very active thread for that particular amp (3 or 4 people complaining even though the failure rate is 5 times higher)... So it's a bit hard to tell.  Of course I have pulled all of these figures out of my arse but I'm just saying... If it helps, there's nothing wrong with mine and it sounds awesome :p
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 4:23 AM Post #1,285 of 5,032

plakat

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I think its normal that people tend to complain in a forum as happy owners only go here if they use it regularly anyway. Others are often simply looking for help with their problem, that might skew the overall picture.
 
Another thing is a conceptual error, i.e. the same error occurring on many instances: that might indeed indicate a real problem in the sense of 'many faulty units', not an oversight in a single unit (bad as that is for the respective owner of course).
 
Feb 18, 2015 at 6:29 AM Post #1,286 of 5,032

Megalomaniak

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Well, I think most complains come from pre-order units or first units that had problems while shipping due to temperature and that stuff like my unit. My problem was the volume knob loose itself but the solution was easy and fast by Violectric, no problem here afterwards.
 
But this unit is built solid as hell, so nobody should worry about it lasting 50 years. German stuff is done well.
 
Feb 19, 2015 at 4:00 PM Post #1,288 of 5,032

Ultrainferno

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Is it me ....have I missed the review of project86 ?
don't want to hurry you,but am between the ragnorak (rather not) and the violectric!!


was he going to review it? Frank and Lieven reviewed the 281 and another guy reviewed the SE one
 
Feb 19, 2015 at 4:09 PM Post #1,289 of 5,032

rnsto

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I haven't heard the Liquid Gold yet but the V281 easily outperforms the older Liquid Fire, as well as the Liquid Glass (though I realize the Glass is not necessarily a direct competitor). 
 
Glad you enjoy the V281 as much as I do.
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks! I talked about the USB DAC a few pages ago in this thread, but to summarize - quite good for the price, certainly better than any dedicated $240 USB DAC I've ever heard. It's not the last word in resolution or extension when compared to my usual DACs (normally in the $1k or much higher range) but it's not offensive either. Tonal accuracy is good and it isn't all boxed in like a lot of budget DACs can be. I enjoy it quite a bit. Definitely good enough to start enjoying the amp while saving up for a top tier DAC. 
 
 
 
 
 
The biggest step up is soundstage. Even with single-ended headphones, I notice a slight increase, but balanced mode is significantly more spacious. And then the top end seems more articulate while still keeping that killer Violectric house sound. 
 
I'll have a full review up at InnerFidelity eventually, and I'll explore all this in more detail. 

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Feb 19, 2015 at 4:15 PM Post #1,290 of 5,032

project86

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Sorry everyone, I'm just way backed up on reviews. Still very much impressed by the V281 though! I'll get around to the full review once I'm caught up. I happen to have here the review loaner with the motorized Alps volume, sitting along side my own unit (that I ordered after falling in love with the loaner) with the maxxed out volume upgrade. I'm trying to nail down the differences and see how much improvement is achieved by the upgrade. 
 

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