Violectric HPA V550 - Blue's Brother and the successor to the V281
Jun 25, 2021 at 2:47 PM Post #166 of 312

goldwerger

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Yes the HPA4 did not impress at all. Glad to know that people have started to atleast acknowledge this. Over at the hpa4 thread I was lietrally lynched by owners who didn't like my opinions😅😅

Some great set of cans you got there! I had the Odin for a while but since then have moved to the Erzetich Phobos. My main pairs are the Phobos, 800S and the Fostex TH909 (Soon to be replaced). I'm considering the VC too but let's see. Nothing set in stone yet.

I haven't heard any Audiovalve amps yet but have certainly read and watched a lot of good things about them. They certainly look cool😅

But I guess for that budget there are some more "serious" tube amps makers to consider (ampsandsound, eddie current, DNA, Alo audio; just to name a few).
Yes indeed. And tube amps arr a rabbit hole i haven’t yet committed to digging. I’m afraid I will be digging too deep 😂😂

how are the Phobos btw? Been curious about them but honestly the weight has been a deal breaker to date
 
Jun 25, 2021 at 2:55 PM Post #167 of 312

Giru

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Yes indeed. And tube amps arr a rabbit hole i haven’t yet committed to digging. I’m afraid I will be digging too deep 😂😂

how are the Phobos btw? Been curious about them but honestly the weight has been a deal breaker to date
It truly is a rabbit hole😅

The Phobos are probably the most neutral Planars I've heard. They have the punchy bottom end but still the bass doesn't bleed into the mids at all unlike some planars. It may not be as overly melodious as the LCD4 but it's defintely more detailed and dynamic. It's the type of can that sounds inoffensive regardless of what you're playing. A big plus in my books.
It's Weight and size is a different story though. Also the pads could've been better (not saying they're bad but still). Also the finish of the headphones is very rustic and understated (no furniture grade wood finishes here). On the flipside the stock cable is excellent and of very good quality. So yeah, a very balanced overall package. Don't have the urge to upgrade from this for a while.
 
Jun 25, 2021 at 4:32 PM Post #168 of 312

goldwerger

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It truly is a rabbit hole😅

The Phobos are probably the most neutral Planars I've heard. They have the punchy bottom end but still the bass doesn't bleed into the mids at all unlike some planars. It may not be as overly melodious as the LCD4 but it's defintely more detailed and dynamic. It's the type of can that sounds inoffensive regardless of what you're playing. A big plus in my books.
It's Weight and size is a different story though. Also the pads could've been better (not saying they're bad but still). Also the finish of the headphones is very rustic and understated (no furniture grade wood finishes here). On the flipside the stock cable is excellent and of very good quality. So yeah, a very balanced overall package. Don't have the urge to upgrade from this for a while.
Thanks!!
 
Jul 6, 2021 at 7:45 PM Post #169 of 312

Delta9K

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I may be a little premature, but I've ordered another DAC (Holo Spring 3 KTE). Obviously I've not been able to listen to that DAC with my current amplifier (V281) yet, but thinking ahead I'm wondering if those two pieces together may be a little too warm, and that's what brings me here. My current shortlist of potentials for a new amplifier include the V550 and GS-X MKII.

Just wondering what thoughts there might be with a Holo Spring and V550 matchup, especially if anyone happens to be using/used a Spring2 (closest obvious comparison) with a V550?
 
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Jul 7, 2021 at 12:31 AM Post #170 of 312

Ichos

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The V550 is source and headphone agnostic.
There is no such thing as "matching" with this amplifier.
It matches with everything and you get what you have be it good or bad with all the extra benefits of high end amplification.
That is analogue timbre , astounding dynamics , full bodied and controlled bass , spacy mids , excellent treble extension without tonal artifacts , natural decay and texture , excellent timing , holographic soundscape and headroom to spare.
 
Jul 7, 2021 at 1:06 AM Post #171 of 312

Slim1970

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The V550 is source and headphone agnostic.
There is no such thing as "matching" with this amplifier.
It matches with everything and you get what you have be it good or bad with all the extra benefits of high end amplification.
That is analogue timbre , astounding dynamics , full bodied and controlled bass , spacy mids , excellent treble extension without tonal artifacts , natural decay and texture , excellent timing , holographic soundscape and headroom to spare.
Sounds like the perfect amp :)!
 
Jul 7, 2021 at 6:28 AM Post #173 of 312

ROMEROTECH

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I'd like to echo what's been said about THX amps. I auditioned a Topping A90 before the Benchmark and i thought it was rubbish. It doesn't bother me how good it measures, good measurements don't equate to good sound. I felt it was harsh, cold, a bit bright, and imho didn't sound very nice with any of my cans.

Youtube reviewers are not to be trusted, they are mostly all full of crap and are only interested in maximum subscribers, views and money. Only a couple of very low subscription unknown reviewers that borrowed gear from friends told the truth.

The Benchmark i auditioned for 3 weeks doesn't come across the same as other THX amps, it wasn't cold, harsh or bright sounding with any of my sennheisers or my closed back Audeze. It sounded best with the Audeze, and just a bit too neutral with my modified HD800 but no complaints about the power output, soundstage, no distortion whatsoever even when turned up to ear splitting levels, they were clear and zero noise.

It's a heck of an HPA. Now i've heard it i would recommend it if you run warm sounding gear.

There is such a thing as too warm and they go a long way to taming overly warm cans or speakers. My Harbeth SHL5's are a bit on the warm side, the Preamp on the Benchmark did a wonderful job of taming some of the warmth and boominess of the Harbeths and equally warmth/darkness of my Audeze LCD-XC.

The Violectric is turning up this afternoon and chomping at the bit is an understatement. It's refreshing to hear you guys giving your honest impressions and your feedback on the Violectric which is telling me i'm probably going to like it a lot. If it turns out not to be the case i think i'd still be pretty happy to buy the Benchmark.

There is another amp i've been reading lots about with interest, Pathos InPol Ear Hybrid HPA. Triode tube input stage with solid state Class A output.

Does anyone know very much about this amp. Steve Guttenberg on youtube rated it highly. He comes across as one of the more honest plain speaking reviewers, i like his laid back style.
 
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Jul 12, 2021 at 5:09 AM Post #175 of 312

ROMEROTECH

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My initial impressions of the V550 Pro after some running in...

It has a ton of power and voltage so it does run both the LCD-XC and the HD800 with zero problems and i doubt there is a set of dynamic driver or planar magnetic it can't run however, i prefer the HD800 on the Vio and LCD-XC on the Benchmark. The Benchmark has more slam and impact at lower volume, the Vio has to be cranked up to get near similar amounts. The Vio is on the warm side of neutral and that's great for the HD800 but not so much for the XC. Lovely preout though, really nice presentation and great soundstage, a touch warm through the Harbeths but still lovely. I think i prefer the Vio preout because it sounds so good.

Both amps deliver fabulous soundstage and imaging however, the Benchmark is a bit more detailed, and voices are are slightly forward which i like compared to the Vio slightly recessed voices that sometimes disappear into the music. It could be the Vio just needs more time to run in but it's been running almost continously since it arrived.

In an ideal world and if money was no object i'd have both, one for the XC and the other for the 800. I'm very much still in two minds about which one i'll buy, i need more time with the Vio before i pull the trigger on either.

My Mrs prefers the Vio for the warmer presentation, i'm a detail lover so we'll see what happens. To be honest i am slightly leaning towards the Benchmark at the moment but i really would like to give the Vio a chance to change my mind so watch this space.

Someone wrote the Vio is headphone agnostic, that's not what i'm hearing.
 
Jul 12, 2021 at 6:26 AM Post #177 of 312

Ichos

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My initial impressions of the V550 Pro after some running in...

It has a ton of power and voltage so it does run both the LCD-XC and the HD800 with zero problems and i doubt there is a set of dynamic driver or planar magnetic it can't run however, i prefer the HD800 on the Vio and LCD-XC on the Benchmark. The Benchmark has more slam and impact at lower volume, the Vio has to be cranked up to get near similar amounts. The Vio is on the warm side of neutral and that's great for the HD800 but not so much for the XC. Lovely preout though, really nice presentation and great soundstage, a touch warm through the Harbeths but still lovely. I think i prefer the Vio preout because it sounds so good.

Both amps deliver fabulous soundstage and imaging however, the Benchmark is a bit more detailed, and voices are are slightly forward which i like compared to the Vio slightly recessed voices that sometimes disappear into the music. It could be the Vio just needs more time to run in but it's been running almost continously since it arrived.

In an ideal world and if money was no object i'd have both, one for the XC and the other for the 800. I'm very much still in two minds about which one i'll buy, i need more time with the Vio before i pull the trigger on either.

My Mrs prefers the Vio for the warmer presentation, i'm a detail lover so we'll see what happens. To be honest i am slightly leaning towards the Benchmark at the moment but i really would like to give the Vio a chance to change my mind so watch this space.

Someone wrote the Vio is headphone agnostic, that's not what i'm hearing.
I wrote it and I am still of the same opinion.
Can't hear any signs of deviation regarding frequency response linearity , so can't agree with your remarks regarding the mids.

The amp is a touch warm not because it favors some certain frequencies but because it deals with harmonics in a "tubey" way.

But it is not warm in the sense to spoil the experience with warmish headphones like for example the Empyrean.

It is as good with the "brightish" Elex as is with the Empyrean or the HD650.

Cannot also feel that the amplifier is lacking in resolve and details depth.
But this is not the "served at your face" kind of details.

As always you opinion may vary and after all you are the one who is buying the product.
 
Jul 12, 2021 at 3:48 PM Post #178 of 312

jlbrach

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My initial impressions of the V550 Pro after some running in...

It has a ton of power and voltage so it does run both the LCD-XC and the HD800 with zero problems and i doubt there is a set of dynamic driver or planar magnetic it can't run however, i prefer the HD800 on the Vio and LCD-XC on the Benchmark. The Benchmark has more slam and impact at lower volume, the Vio has to be cranked up to get near similar amounts. The Vio is on the warm side of neutral and that's great for the HD800 but not so much for the XC. Lovely preout though, really nice presentation and great soundstage, a touch warm through the Harbeths but still lovely. I think i prefer the Vio preout because it sounds so good.

Both amps deliver fabulous soundstage and imaging however, the Benchmark is a bit more detailed, and voices are are slightly forward which i like compared to the Vio slightly recessed voices that sometimes disappear into the music. It could be the Vio just needs more time to run in but it's been running almost continously since it arrived.

In an ideal world and if money was no object i'd have both, one for the XC and the other for the 800. I'm very much still in two minds about which one i'll buy, i need more time with the Vio before i pull the trigger on either.

My Mrs prefers the Vio for the warmer presentation, i'm a detail lover so we'll see what happens. To be honest i am slightly leaning towards the Benchmark at the moment but i really would like to give the Vio a chance to change my mind so watch this space.

Someone wrote the Vio is headphone agnostic, that's not what i'm hearing.
if the amp didnt have enough power to drive the xc it would be useless so that doesnt say much..I did have it for a brief time and power wasnt an issue
 
Jul 12, 2021 at 6:13 PM Post #179 of 312

ROMEROTECH

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I'm so glad we don't all feel the same way, specially when it's a not insignificant sum of money being spent.

It's most definately all down to personal preference and i mark the HPA4 slightly ahead at the moment but i haven't had enough time with it and maybe it takes time for the Vio to run in.

As regards power, it certainly does have a baring on impact and slam but thats not the whole story. The fact that the Benchmark delivers more of that at lower volumes than the Vio just tells me the Benchmark designers intended it to be that way and vice versa the Vio.

I never said the Vio is underpowered, in fact i really like that both amps have more than enough power to drive just about any can, they do however deliver that power differently. To use an automotive analogy it's a bit like saying the Vio has more bhp but the HPA4 has more Torque. I'm a torque junky, i may feel differently a couple of weeks from now.
 
Jul 12, 2021 at 6:23 PM Post #180 of 312

ROMEROTECH

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I wrote it and I am still of the same opinion.
Can't hear any signs of deviation regarding frequency response linearity , so can't agree with your remarks regarding the mids.

The amp is a touch warm not because it favors some certain frequencies but because it deals with harmonics in a "tubey" way.

But it is not warm in the sense to spoil the experience with warmish headphones like for example the Empyrean.

It is as good with the "brightish" Elex as is with the Empyrean or the HD650.

Cannot also feel that the amplifier is lacking in resolve and details depth.
But this is not the "served at your face" kind of details.

As always you opinion may vary and after all you are the one who is buying the product.
I know all about solid state with a tubey flavour, my DAC, Monoblocks and current HPA are Graham Slee. I'm trying to move away from that tubey flavour dark side and trying to steer towards a more neutral listening experience.

I don't know right now if i want to keep a little of that warmth however, if i stay with that in mind i'll likely opt for the Vio. It has to be said compared to my Graham Slee hpa the Vio is a much cooler customer.
 

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