Violectric HPA V550 - Blue's Brother and the successor to the V281
Oct 21, 2021 at 12:28 AM Post #256 of 290

monkey4054

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The relay pot offers precise volume adjustment per fixed increments and minimal channel imbalance at low volume settings.

Regarding the sound I prefer the V500 over the V281 because it is more clear/clean, faster, better dynamics and more precise/transparent without losing the analogue/organic house sound.
Thanks for your reply. In your opinion is the Pro version worth the extra $800 or just save the money?
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 12:35 AM Post #257 of 290

Ichos

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Thanks for your reply. In your opinion is the Pro version worth the extra $800 or just save the money?
Since I have reviewed the V550 and I found the volume pot excellent regarding the adjustment and I didn't experience any channel imbalance, my opinion is get the V550 and save the money.
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 1:30 AM Post #258 of 290

Giru

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Can anyone tell me whether the Pro version is worth it or not? Where I am it costs about $800 more for the Pro version. What difference does the relay volume pot make compared to the stock volume pot? Also, would it be worth also owning the V281 as well, or is the V550 better? Lastly, has anyone tried the V550 with the HE-6/SE yet? Any thoughts? Thanks.
Can't say if the extra 800 for the Pro is justified but if you don't upgrade your gear often and have already auditioned (and liked the 550), I think getting the Pro would not be a bad idea in the long run.

As far as 550 vs 281 is concerned, the 550 is defintely a more modern sounding amp. More clean and agile. While the 281 sounds more organic, cohesive and powerful. It's more akin to a vintage ss amp in that regard. Completely boils down to your personal taste and partnering equipment.

Good luck with your purchase! Cheers!:)
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 3:27 AM Post #259 of 290

ROMEROTECH

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Before anyone blows £2600 on a Vio 550 Pro, is anyones' volume pot noisy? Mine is, easily audible and distorts the sound quite badly at times as it's moving round until it stops. I think it's getting worse. It's wasn't this loud or prominent when i first bought it. The Benchmark HPA4 i auditioned had a tiny crackle as it went through each step but that was it and it was a well used amp.
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 5:21 AM Post #260 of 290

bouscadie

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I have a 590 pro and I had noticed it, apparently no one else had this problem, I was very surprised, I hope everyone was sincere. Yes it does make noise, I feel it less and less in my case, but I don't know if it's because I'm getting used to it and I like it a lot. Also I made an output gain adjustment by attenuating. Frankly now I have no problem with the pot, although I almost sent it back at the beginning because of that.
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 7:39 AM Post #263 of 290

ROMEROTECH

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I know these kinds of pots have some noise, apparently it's unavoidable and just the way it is. Compared to the Benchmark which had exactly the same level of quiet crackle for every step from 0-max the Vio is very loud and really does interfere with the sound quite badly until it stops turning and It's worse when using the remote. I think this might be a job for Vio tech support/repair as has been suggested. Lucky for me i haven't sold my other HPA so not such a biggie for this to go back but still it's bit of an inconvenience and i wasn't expecting to have to do this at all never mind so soon. I feel disappointed because it's not a cheap amp and i expected better. It's a fabulous sounding amp and i know i'll miss it if it has to go away but i have a big problem with the noisy pot that is getting worse. 😭
 
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Oct 21, 2021 at 10:38 AM Post #265 of 290

Delta9K

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In your opinion is the Pro version worth the extra $800 or just save the money?
I opted not to go for the Pro version. The V281 I have doesn't have the stepped pot and I never felt like I was missing anything so, I could not justify the extra $600 USD for the Pro option for the V550 when I ordered mine. I'm still content with out the stepped pot and normal or not, any audible noise from using the stepped pot would bother me personally, so avoiding it all together was the best option for myself.
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 4:49 AM Post #266 of 290

Fatdoi

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some on this thread said the Pro 256 step relay volume improves the audio quality.. but i'm not sure if that's true or not as most of us when buying amps, we only get one or the other and mostly impossible to compare the 2 versions except maybe during head fi meets...
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 5:15 AM Post #267 of 290

Fegefeuer

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Ok, so what's your actual point now or what do you want to imply?

Volume controls are no joke and an essential part of amp design. It's not something that just gives you volume, unnoticable crosstalk, channel balance after a certain threshold and then you're good.

What about ensuring maximum bandwith at any position (low impedance too), low distortion, linearity etc? The reed relais gives you plenty that. Of course you can go beyond that. Look at autoformers for instance as controls for power amps. You're at 2k already with some designs, "just" for volume.

Does one lose out? No, the US4/5, v550 are still damn good, but if you want to maximize there is no way around it.
500 Dollars is less than what most people who shop in these waters spend for cables and here you're buying a more critical component.

Btw. The Niimbus which came before the V5, V3 generation came in three versions before production, all quite different in their volume control design. Unfortunately the most exciting (just from a rarity perspective) turned out to be rather lifeless sounding, blunted in the treble, cold. Volume controls always impact the sound.
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 7:13 AM Post #268 of 290

townes

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I wonder if the step relay volume control in the V550 has been improved compared to the one in the V281?
I am asking because:
I had the V281 (with step relay vol) and sold it a few years ago. The only reason was, that I found the noise caused by volume adjustments very disturbing. The noise was mixed into the audio signal, i.e. you heard the noise through the headphones, sometimes both channels, sometimes only one channel. Even more disturbing was that the noise sometimes did not yet stop after volume adjustment was done/finished. The irregular popping noise could easily last for several seconds more. It felt like the step relay control was in a fuzzy state, like not knowing for which of the 256 step it should decide (depending on the pot position).

If the step relay volume control is technically still the same as in the V281 amp, I will select the V550 Non-pro version. It's really not about the price difference.

500 Dollars is less than what most people who shop in these waters spend for cables and here you're buying a more critical component.
I agree to this.
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 3:01 PM Post #269 of 290

bouscadie

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I don't know what it says when it's translated, but in French they say: "le mieux est l'ennemi du bien".
I'm a bit of a maniac, and often the sight of this perfect world I'm looking for has played tricks on me and often disappointed me. Sometimes you have to compromise. That's what happened with this "special" pot: in fact Fried's machine is very, very well tuned, it's a great daily pleasure that makes life better, and it's rare. I don't regret at all that I was able to accept it when I was ready to send it back. Trust it, relax, and you won't be disappointed, the cocktail is valid.

tchin tchin :)
 
Oct 30, 2021 at 3:27 AM Post #270 of 290

ctrlm

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I opted not to go for the Pro version. The V281 I have doesn't have the stepped pot and I never felt like I was missing anything so, I could not justify the extra $600 USD for the Pro option for the V550 when I ordered mine. I'm still content with out the stepped pot and normal or not, any audible noise from using the stepped pot would bother me personally, so avoiding it all together was the best option for myself.
I see you have both the V281 & V550.

Could you describe the differences in both SQ and operation?

Thanks.
 

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