Violectric HPA V550 - Blue's Brother and the successor to the V281
Jul 12, 2021 at 6:28 PM Post #181 of 290

ROMEROTECH

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That's the Niimbus, the V590/V550 absolutely leans towards a slight warmth, especially in the lower mids. It's just inbetween V281 and the Niimbus.
I've seen the price of the flagship Nimbus+, it ain't cheap and as much as i'd love to try one out i don't think i want to spend that much on an HPA. The Benchmark is about the upper level for me at £3600 with the remote control.
 
Jul 13, 2021 at 12:23 AM Post #182 of 290

monkey4054

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What's everyone's opinion on this amp compare to the V281?

Currently deciding between the V550 and V281 for driving the Focal Clear, Final D8000, and Fostex TH-900.
Looking to add an Abyss AB1266 and/or HE6SE in the future.

Also, anyone have any suggestions for a good DAC pairing with the Violetric amps?

Thanks.
 
Jul 13, 2021 at 1:36 AM Post #183 of 290

Ichos

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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.
Maybe an SPL Phonitor will suit you better.
 
Jul 13, 2021 at 1:46 AM Post #184 of 290

vonBaron

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What's everyone's opinion on this amp compare to the V281?

Currently deciding between the V550 and V281 for driving the Focal Clear, Final D8000, and Fostex TH-900.
Looking to add an Abyss AB1266 and/or HE6SE in the future.

Also, anyone have any suggestions for a good DAC pairing with the Violetric amps?

Thanks.
For this set of cans i recommended Sonnet Morpheus, i have tested D8000, 1266 TC and TH-900 with V590 (it's V550 with DAC) and all of them sound very good.
 
Jul 13, 2021 at 2:32 AM Post #185 of 290

ROMEROTECH

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Maybe an SPL Phonitor will suit you better.
If i decide not to go with the Vio i'll stick with the Benchmark. I haven't auditioned the Phonitor although i've seen and read reviews just like i did for the Benchmark and Vio.

I decided to audition the Benchmark and Vio because of reviews i felt were honest and genuine and it looks like i made the right choices.

I auditioned the Topping A90 as well out of curiosity, i knew i wasn't going to buy it, i just wanted to know what all the hype was about. The hype was total BS and just goes to show what a load of dishonest rubbish a lot of these reviewers talk. They have other agendas at play that have nothing to do with honest and unbiased reviewing. After auditioning the A90 i knew for sure it was a sound i didn't want.

I wouldn't purchase a high end high value hpa without auditioning, and you have to draw the line somewhere otherwise you'll never ever buy anything.

I'm very pleased with my choices and whichever one i plump for i know will keep me very happy for at least the next 5 or 6 years. I'm not one for following fashion or trends, i bought my last HPA 6yrs ago so the timing is just about right for me.
 
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Jul 13, 2021 at 2:43 AM Post #186 of 290

Ichos

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I agree with you and I can assure you that I write only unbiased and no secret agenda reviews.

Sometimes I read reviews for units I have reviewed or owned and I wonder that I must be deaf...

Anyway both amplifiers you test are high end stuff to keep you happy for more than 5 years.

Since I have reviewed both 550 and Phonitor 2 , I give the edge to 550 but I liked very much the matrix implementation of the Phonitor.

BTW if you don't need the preamp out then the V340 is essentially the same amp sans the preamp.
 
Jul 13, 2021 at 2:56 AM Post #187 of 290

bouscadie

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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.
then it is certain that your comparison between the Violectric and the Benchmark is much better understood in the light of the upstream tubey devices !
 
Jul 13, 2021 at 8:30 AM Post #188 of 290

ROMEROTECH

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I agree with you and I can assure you that I write only unbiased and no secret agenda reviews.

Sometimes I read reviews for units I have reviewed or owned and I wonder that I must be deaf...

Anyway both amplifiers you test are high end stuff to keep you happy for more than 5 years.

Since I have reviewed both 550 and Phonitor 2 , I give the edge to 550 but I liked very much the matrix implementation of the Phonitor.

BTW if you don't need the preamp out then the V340 is essentially the same amp sans the preamp.
I know we can agree and disagree on stuff without tearing chunks out, that is what is so refreshing about coming to this forum to read other peoples points of view without taking offence if someone writes stuff you don't agree with, you just have to put your point of view across without taking offence. After all it's just someones opinion and that's all it is.

I'm not an expert, i just know what i like and i really like both Vio and Benchmark, i wish i could buy both but then someone might say,
"forget that, just buy the Nimbus+". 😂

We all hear things differently, it's a very subjective hobby and i'm always happy to be educated. I love music and i care about the sound. I think many of you feel the same way and that's why we're here.

I really like the pre-out on both amps, they both go some way to taming the warmth of my DAC and monoblocks and my Harbeth SHL5's are also a tad warm too so i'm very happy these amps have this facility.

I haven't listened to my Cyrus CD transport on the Vio yet, it's very neutral so it should be an interesting session tonight.

ETA: Ichos, one of the reasons i chose to audition the Vio is down to this thread on the Vio that i felt gave honest opinions about this amp. It was likely reading some of your posts that went a long way to persuading me the Vio was a good choice so many thanks for your input. 👍
 
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Jul 13, 2021 at 5:28 PM Post #190 of 290

Delta9K

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HPA V550
"Maximum power (balanced output, both channels driven): 6.4 Watt @ 50 Ohm"
How is this supposed to be read, is it 3.2 Watt per channel total 6.4 Watts or, 6.4 Watt per channel total 12.8 Watts?
 
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Jul 17, 2021 at 7:00 PM Post #193 of 290

Giru

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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.
Interesting observations.

Frankly, I personally never understood why people call the Violectric amps to be "warm". This was one of the reasons why I never auditioned the Violectrics when I was looking for a solid state amp. This presumption broke when I actually listened to the V281 (which BTW I now own) and I wouldn't call it warm at all. It's pretty neutral. The same holds true for the V550.

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.
I was just at a meetup with a few friends for a TOTL DAC shootout and we had a HPA4 in the chain. There are 8 people who'll like to strongly disagree with you with regards to the power output of the HPA4. It had a hard time catching up with a gsx mini, I can only imagine how it would fare against the V550; never mind the V281.

The difference is more obvious when using balanced connections. The HPA4 just couldn't keep up. We had to constantly crank up the HPA4 just to get the same output as the gsx mini; even at higher gain setting. Anyway this was to be expected since the HPA4 is not technically a balanced HPA by design. Infact I feel the HPA4 is more of a do it all device than a dedicated headphone amp.
 

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