Violectric V281 headphone amp - who is using it?

I am going out for a few hours so hopefully when I return there will be a few comments posted :laughing:

On the current headphone thread there seems to be quite a bit of love for this headphone amplifier.

Since it has just entered end of life status myself and a fellow forum owner have been toying with the idea of a purchase. Are people happy with it?

One here. Why did I buy mine without hearing it? Reviews, reputation yes. But, when I saw what was inside I was convinced. Well designed. Well laid out. Quality components. And a well over spec’d power supply. All in a proper industrial case. Tweekable too with respect to adding gain. Just in case I use difficult headphones. A lot of headphone amps suffer imo with under rated power supplies. Plus it has 4 seperate amps to drive balanced cans properly.

I’ve got one driving my Meze Empyreans in balanced mode.
Very fine it sounds too!

Unbalanced into my old Sennheiser HD 700’s it was noticeably better than the Headline / Non-DR Supercap that it replaced.

I have one and i think i might be the reason a few others have one as well.
They are about to bring a new model out, but i wont be swapping mine out.
They are a fantastic sounding amp, very powerful and will drive even the most demanding headphones.
I use sennheiser hd800s and the amp brings a slight warmth to them, without losing any off the amazing detail and supper wide sound stage, you get with the hd800s.
Definitely a top end headphone amp, and smashed my last amp and power supply.
Mine is also just the standard one, no dac and the standard volume pot, but i do run mine from the balanced XLR’s direct from the rossini. I guess you will do you same, if you go for one.
But Gregg i dont think you will be disappointed

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I have a new Final Edition V281 with the USB DAC. It’s the best HP amp I’ve ever had including Bryston, Chord TT2 and Dave and a bunch of other ones.

The Violectric V281 is made by Lake People in Germany. They have an Ultimate Series of headphone amplifiers called Niimbus. I purchased the Niimbus HPA US 4+ and I have written about it on this forum. It is an excellent product and I am very happy with it.

V200 was a very good solid state amp with warm sound signature, v281 must be better:)

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They do look good as well and solid feel etc


V200 here. Lovely.

Tempted by the 281, natch…

Well - that was nice.
A return from my outing to find 6 Naim users with Lake People amplifiers!

There is a “replacement” just out for the V281 - the V590. Unfortunately it is not a direct replacement in that it is a amp/DAC combination. This carries on with the new direction the headphone amp industry is moving toward with combination amp/DAC units.

Leatherneck - my understanding was that the USB DAC is a separate board which can be added at a later time?

Razor - I will have to search the forum for your feedback on the Nimbus. I had a “brief” demo at CanJam 2019 however in show conditions it was not the best chance to hear it.

My understanding is that LakePeople want to change direction with their external design and introduce products more in line with the Nimbus and V590. A shame as the photo posted by DUNC definitely has the Naim black box muscular design ethos we all love.


PS - My experiences to date include a Sim Audio Moon 430HA which highly disappointed despite its extremely positive reviews in the press and on Headfi - and - the new HeadAmp GSX Mini which I completely love due to its ability to accept an unbalanced signal (such as from the out of the 552) and internally convert to a true balanced output. This allows me to run my balanced Focal Utopia and Sony Z1R headphones. The V281 is also capable of internally converting to balanced.


Yes, but the Final Edition throws in the USB DAC for free. The bill of sale shows only the remote option but my Final Edition has the DAC in it.

Is there a way (cable) that would permit using the DIN Tape/Aux 1 output of a NAC 252 or 552 into the dual 3 pin XLR inputs of the V281. I’m currently coming directly from the ND555 using a Cardas RCA to XLR conversions into the V281.
I’d like to see how the V281 would sound when fed by one of the preamps.

There was v280 in massdrop to 1700$ if i remember corectly, it is similar or same performance without the pre amp function if I remember correctly

You can have CHORD make you a cable - i recently got them to make me an Out to RCA cable.

I have one on order with the 128 stage volume, which is supposed to improve sound vs the standard or standard remote volume. Have no way to compare mind you…

Same here. I am using a Chord Signature TA DIN>RCA to go between my 552 and various headphone amps

My goal is to read every one of the 319 pages on HeadFi to figure out if the 128 stage volume is the way to go :laughing:
The relay clicking sounds with every volume change are the annoying part of the equation. Some say it sounds better - others cannot hear a difference.

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I managed to try both and couldn’t tell really
the difference, but the clicking volume, you can hear.
Was about to order a new one, when one popped up for sale at a great saving and it happened to be a standard one, which is what i was going to order anyway, so a nice bonus.

Also another unit over here, with remote volume control.

I acquired it shortly after the Audeze LCD-XC, as they are quite current hungry and out of the efficient range of most hadphone amps. Magnificent in every way, construction, reliability, power, quality, sound quality, both with the most difficult cans, such as the Audeze, as well as with the easiest ones, such as the Audio Technica W1000 Sovereign or the AKG Q701 Quincy Jones Signature.

Unfortunately, I use it less than I would like.

I just figured for a little extra, max out the sound quality - I didn’t bother with the dac so what I saved from one add on, I spent on another ! Having never heard the standard volume, I can remain in blissful ignorance, convinced I made the right choice :joy: