Violectric V200 vs o2 amp for HD800
May 9, 2015 at 4:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

leithen

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I'm curious about people's thoughts on a Violectric hpa v200 versus and o2 for solid state options, paired with the HD800. I'm interested in the v200 based on people's comments about it pairing really well with the HD800, but I am not sure its really worth the cost over an o2?
 
May 10, 2015 at 11:08 PM Post #3 of 14

Shaffer

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It's like comparing a moped to a liter bike. The O2 is perhaps the worst sounding component I've heard that was aimed to the audiophile market. It sounds opaque and grainy. It lacks full dynamic contrast, resolution, and transparency. The Vio, OTOH, is an opposite of that with the addition of a warm, inviting tonal balance. Good luck.

Edit: Out of sheer curiosity, how did you decide to choose between a $100 and a $1000 amplifier? Surely there are other options in the huge gray area in between.
 
May 10, 2015 at 11:25 PM Post #4 of 14

leithen

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It's like comparing a moped to a liter bike. The O2 is perhaps the worst sounding component I've heard that was aimed to the audiophile market. It sounds opaque and grainy. It lacks full dynamic contrast, resolution, and transparency. The Vio, OTOH, is an opposite of that with the addition of a warm, inviting tonal balance. Good luck.

Edit: Out of sheer curiosity, how did you decide to choose between a $100 and a $1000 amplifier? Surely there are other options in the huge gray area in between.

 
Thank you for the thoughts. I was mainly interested in how much of an improvement one gets when going from the o2 (which was designed to essentially remove itself from the system) to something more substantial like the Vio V200. According to NwAvGuy who designed the o2, it should sound very similar to the V200, but I find this hard to believe, which fits with your thoughts.
 
May 11, 2015 at 1:19 AM Post #5 of 14

Shaffer

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Thank you for the thoughts. I was mainly interested in how much of an improvement one gets when going from the o2 (which was designed to essentially remove itself from the system) to something more substantial like the Vio V200. According to NwAvGuy who designed the o2, it should sound very similar to the V200, but I find this hard to believe, which fits with your thoughts.


This piqued my interested enough to read through the guy's blog. Among the cornucopia of completely self-indulgent drivel, he reviewed a component that I own, as well. Without harping on every point regarding the piece, he either needs to have his hearing aids calibrated or he's functionally deaf. I'm not joking.
 
May 12, 2015 at 3:53 AM Post #7 of 14

Poladise

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I think there's potential disappointment in store for someone hoping to get a total upgrade over the O2 with a V200. I own both. The V200 has a thicker sound over the spectrum, warmer and fuller sounding, but it also sounds a bit dull with slightly soft or out of focus bass instrument detail and slightly rolled off treble.
 
The O2 has better defined bass instrument detail, higher resolution over the spectrum and more extended highs, but can sound a bit thin and lifeless at times. 
 
I consider the V200 an upgrade over O2 in terms of being more 'musical' and if I just want to enjoy my fav tunes I always choose V200, but on raw details and clarity, O2 beats it. 
 
May 12, 2015 at 3:57 AM Post #8 of 14

leithen

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Interesting. I have found that the o2 has a hard time driving the HD800 so, in that regard, I think the V200 will be a big upgrade. For easier to drive headphones (e.g., the HD650), I honestly can't say I can really imagine much of an "upgrade" over the o2, as it sounds incredible - a truly remarkable little device.
 
May 12, 2015 at 5:19 AM Post #10 of 14

Poladise

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  Interesting. I have found that the o2 has a hard time driving the HD800 so, in that regard, I think the V200 will be a big upgrade. For easier to drive headphones (e.g., the HD650), I honestly can't say I can really imagine much of an "upgrade" over the o2, as it sounds incredible - a truly remarkable little device.


Forgot to say, my comparisons are with LCD2, Grado SR325i. Looks like there's quite a few that are happy with V200 & HD800 pairing worth a demo art least. These two amps are supposed to be accurate beyond human hearing. Funny that they sound quite different. Either the statement about THD isnt true or one of these amps lie about their specs.
 
May 12, 2015 at 9:14 PM Post #11 of 14

AlanU

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For the price of the 02 amp I'd suggest buying it and test it with your ears.
 
I own the 02 amp and I'm probably one of the rare Headfi members using a Grant Fidelity B-283 mk2 as a tube buffer. I will have to say it sounds fantastic. The buffer provides a warm fuller body to the mids that is extremely musical.  Now if I remove the buffer out of the equation the 02 dac sounds detailed and extremely neutral with the HD800's. Depending on your music genre the 02 amp can get intense with long listening periods. The price of the amp I'd say it's very good.
 
On Headfi there's a mix of of detail freaks to folks looking for a warm musical trip. I own HD650's and they are a better fit with the 02 amp in my opinion since those headphones are darker with a smaller sound stage with more intimacy. The 02 can wake them up. As for the Hd800 they are extremely dynamic that can lack musicality. Running my Space tech labs tube dac the 02 amp sounds incredible since I'm using the amp as a neutral "amp" with coloured source.
 
I've never heard the V200 but a solid state amp is still a solid state amp. Your limited to the signature sound the company designed the amp to "sound".
 
What you must understand is the "collective" combination you get with your headphones. I would rather use my Tube dac with 02 amp vs listening to my Burson Virtuoso with built in dac.
 
My point is the "sound" your after isn't a cut and dry approach of "what amp" for Hd800. It's  a combination of gear to create the sound you like. 
 
Think out of the box. I'll take tube overtones/pleasant distortion over hyper overloaded detail that distracts away from the music. Just remember the next time you got a concert you do not hear the artist taking a breathe with an air instrument or the tapping of the feet or depressing of the pedals of a piano. This is what i find distracting with hyper details.
 
Having  a warm amp may work well with the revealing hd800. You must figure out the sound quality your after with your own ears.
 
So my point is the 02 amp is spectacular with a combination of components. Use a hyper detailed 9018 dac (blanket statement) with an 02 amp and your ears may bleed with fatigue.  You must choose your poison.
 
Again ..... I'll take my 02 amp with tube buffers over a $2000 Burson Virtuoso any day.
 
Have fun...this is a hobby and for enjoyement of music. Analyzing pin point hyper detail is not something I find a means of chilling out. Your preference is what matters...... 
 
May 12, 2015 at 9:27 PM Post #12 of 14

leithen

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Thank you for the feedback. I actually own an o2 combo and have been using it with the HD800 a little and its not so to my liking, which is why I wanted to know whether the V200 would be an improvement. For me, the HD800/o2 lacks something - just seems lifeless. However, with the HD650, its a really killer and super cheap system! Not fatiguing at all and all round very musical.
 
May 12, 2015 at 9:45 PM Post #13 of 14

AlanU

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  Thank you for the feedback. I actually own an o2 combo and have been using it with the HD800 a little and its not so to my liking, which is why I wanted to know whether the V200 would be an improvement. For me, the HD800/o2 lacks something - just seems lifeless. However, with the HD650, its a really killer and super cheap system! Not fatiguing at all and all round very musical.

 I have not tested the v200 but I would imagine that an amp can be extremely warm and coloured that would provide more meat to the mids. IMO this is not my approach in a system. I would rather have a neutral amp and allow the headphones (warm) and source to create the warmth. Many ways to skin a cat. However having an overly warm amp would mean you'd need a neutral or cool source to counter the amps "warm" characteristics. 
 
My Burson amp is more refined but with my tube buffer it sounds incredibly natural with longer note decay (very pronounced with piano music).  Solid state devices have a much harder time recreating note decay IMO unless you spend $$$$$$$$$$$
 
Even changing my tube buffers stock cord to a home depot 10 awg cord  (diy) there was added meat to my music. "if" your ears can hear a difference play with tweaks. 
 
I will very likely buy a akg k812 since my ears prefers a warmer musical HP over my HD800.  I'm a 2 channel guy so that will happen in a semi distant future. 
 
However I really like my 02 amp with tube dac. My tube buffer is less analog but even that combo is substantially better than the 02 amp on it's own. 
 
Jul 2, 2016 at 10:49 AM Post #14 of 14

The Puddle

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I know this thread is old, but for anyone in the future reading this I've found the HD 800, O2+ODAC and a little bit of EQ to be the best setup. 
Bring the bass up and tone down 6.5 and 9kHz.
 

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