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Violectric HPA V550 Pro Review (Pre-amp/Headphone Amp)

sam_adams

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Just look at it! Brings a tear to the eye.

Yes it certainly does:

rib1.png


Ribbon cables with shoddy termination . . .

More ribbon cable and some 'discrete magic':

rib2.png


OGs will remember these cables and why they were made this way:

201806211500252076584.jpg
 

Vini darko

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Damn thank you so much for reviewing this Amir! Violetric has been on my radar for many years now and I’ve always had this gut feeling that these guys mean serious business. Plus I kinda like the aesthetics of their products, especially when optioned with silver faceplates they kinda look like old USSR lab equipment slapped together during the Cold War haha. Also if anyone wants some design porn these guys have gorgeous PCB layouts:

View attachment 141305

The amplifier in question. Just look at it! Brings a tear to the eye.
Rainbow ribbons are the best ribbons. Socketed op-amps and all through hole parts is rare these days. Should be repairable easily in 20 years.
 

JeffS7444

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Nice, but what's it got that Benchmark, Topping and RME ain't got, at a lower price and sometimes with better features? Luxury branding aside, I thought the essence of good engineering was getting the most performance out of the least amount of "stuff".
 

Mike-48

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Am I off base here, or should they offer both power and low noise for 3000€?

Of course, one wants everything, including bragging rights. Yet the noise levels . . . would they be audible under any circumstances? Though they don't meet the best numerically, aren't they more than sufficient?
 

Grotti

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Nice, but what's it got that Benchmark, Topping and RME ain't got, at a lower price and sometimes with better features? Luxury branding aside, I thought the essence of good engineering was getting the most performance out of the least amount of "stuff".
Exactly: the nice enclosure and a lot of mostly unnecessary power can't justify the price. Especially when the killer features of the RME (PEQ, variable loudness and crossfeed) are missing. Just my opinion of course.....
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Of course, one wants everything, including bragging rights. Yet the noise levels . . . would they be audible under any circumstances?
With very sensitive IEMs. With SNR of 74 dB at 50 mv output, anything played louder than that will have an audible noise floor. If you have such an IEM, I would get a different amplifier for them as changing gain on this unit is not convenient anyway.

For less sensitive headphones, it is not a problem at all.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Exactly: the nice enclosure and a lot of mostly unnecessary power can't justify the price. Especially when the killer features of the RME (PEQ, variable loudness and crossfeed) are missing. Just my opinion of course.....
RME doesn't have this level of power.
 

Patrick1958

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Excellent support.
Some years ago purchased the Violectric V280 on the second hand market (ebay). The balanced input would not produce any sound. Contacted Violectric support. Despite the unit being older than 5 years Violectric repaired it for FREE.
Correction : I purchased the V181, the V280 is the successor of the V181.
 

PeteL

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Checks the review
Checks the Topping A30 Pro review
Compares prices


:rolleyes:

So what am I paying here? The designer salary? The new car of the CEO?
Certainly, those German production workers got to feed themselves too.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Power is cheap: Crown D75A has headphone jack wired directly to main outputs: 35 watts (not milliwatts!) per channel enough for you?
How noisy is it?
 

JeffS7444

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How noisy is it?
Mechanical buzz from transformer: Sort of annoying, possibly due to deteriorated old foam padding beneath PT.

Faintly audible hiss through headphones, wondering if I could have improved further by replacing main power supply capacitors (I replaced all other electrolytics).
 

Tatteredmidnight

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You guys lost connection to reality, I mean, really totally. Amir is the one to blame in the end, measuring mostly irrelevant stuff and then the unwashed come along and try to make a case out of nothing from graphs and numbers they fail to interpret correctly (this increasing tendency of backseat driving here on ASR is putting me off more and more, btw).

That little 10dB rise of low/mid frequency in one channel, compromising SINAD by only 3dB (because it covers only a small part of the frequency range)... this is completely irrelevant and this is clearly not a fault nor a design issue, it could be just simple 1/f noise from components. Note the level at which this is happening!
First, why resort to insulting me? If you didn’t personally design and assemble this unit, I don’t see why you would be taking my comment so personally. Additionally, I am not the one setting the bar, Amir consistently talks about his goals for performing these tests. Seems there is a clear double standard at play, and Violectric has some emotional resonance with you. Implying I’m lesser than you, or that you are a member of some sort of elite inner circle I don’t qualify to be a part of, is exactly the sort of attitude I thought we strove to move away from here.

As to your point about back seat driving, it seems obvious to me, but I will point out to you (the superior, washed elite), that this is a forum. If Amir was interested in a single sided presentation of data, wouldn’t a blog be the more appropriate medium? Or do you feel that only those that agree with you are entitled to comment?
 

Hemi-Demon

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I have always liked the Violectric build quality, volume knobs, the overall user feel on these devices, and that power is just crazy. The slight pre-amp channel imbalance is not something I want to see at this price range, but other than that, well done Violectric. I used to own a V281 and loved it for my 300ohm cans.

Amir if you have not packed this up, would it be possible to test in high gain, at max output (past 4V), just as a reference?

I sure hope you can test the Burson 3XP one day.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Amir if you have not packed this up, would it be possible to test in high gain, at max output (past 4V), just as a reference?
It is already shipped back to the company. The gains above what I tested clip badly so you don't gain anything as far as output voltage. They are only there for very weak source devices.
 
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