Violectric - Official Thread

Lake People established the Violectric brand in 2009 to offer specialist equipment for the hi-fi market. Its goal: to offer music lovers with high standards in sound quality and design aesthetics the chance to enjoy the outstanding quality of audio circuitry engineered for the Lake People brand.

The architect behind these two brands is Fried Reim. All Violectric products are driven by real-world advances in electronics design rather than fantastical, esoteric marketing promises. “ Our products are aimed at pragmatists, ” he says. This approach is reflected in the aesthetics of the Violectric range and its simple yet elegant design.

This is the official spot to discuss the Violectric brand , and for general Violectric news, rumors etc.

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With headphones.com carrying the new amplifiers it is clearly time for an official Violectric thread.

Also, I picked one of these up:

and may need space to discuss it.

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@mfadio is that a cut and paste error or is there some connection between the companies? (I really haven’t kept up with all the news and M&A activities within the market)

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Thanks for the catch. Total copy-pasta error. I wanted to model off a thread done well, as we can all see the level I am capable of without help.

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How did you like it compared to the Bryston or Soloist? The knob looks more impressive.

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That is one hell of a knob. First impressions are that the knob is well weighted, and has a pleasant girth. Rotating it is a fingertips affair to enjoy the ever so slight indents as you move through the range. The level is marked with a machined line that is both tactile and visible. Really top notch work.

And thats about all I can say about it at the moment as I don’t have any headphones worth trying it out on.

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My V281

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Love the milled edge on the final edition!

What are you impressions of its sound?

I’m a longtime fan of both Lake People & Violectric:

  • My 1st serious headphone amp was the Lake People G109-A, the “Anniversary” edition of their compact, powerful single-ended headphone amplifier. This amp, which I purchased new 4-5 yrs ago, demonstrates the Lake People/Violectric “house sound” – slightly warm, great bass, powerful, and very musical (solid state done well IMO)

  • ~3 years ago I got a gently used Violectric V281, the one with the remote-controlled, 128-step volume pot (but w/o the DAC board). This is now not only my favorite headphone amp/preamp–but one of my favorite audio components ever. The sound is very fine SS–the LP/V house sound taken even higher. The overall power, bass quality, soundstaging, and dynamics are epic. I use it primarily for balanced headphones, and as my system preamp: it is superb in both capacities.

I met Fred Reim at the 2019 CanJam in NYC, and found him to be as gracious, friendly & very knowledgeable in communicating about audio electronics. He was also quite helpful/informative to me via PM on Head-Fi on one occasion.

Another benefit of dealing with this company if you live in the U.S. is interacting with their terrific U.S. rep, Arthur, whose company is Power Holdings, Inc. (Violectric). Arthur is a very knowledgeable person: he helped me significantly on several occasions.

All to say I’m quite a fan of this company–their people & their products.

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I’m hoping the recent acquisition of a V550 means we can look forward to a review from @Resolve soon? There is shockingly little information about it available outside of the PH website, and until very recently there were literally no reviews anywhere to be found.

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If I review it, it might be a while from now - we’re working on getting an ABX box for amp comparisons and so I’d want to wait for that.

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A lot of people say that the V281 has a touch of warmth to the sound and I suppose it does compared to some other amps out there that are considered very neutral. I prefer to describe it as a balanced sound.

I also have a Topping A90 and a Focal Arche A class amp and to me the Violectric sits somewhere in the middle of those two as far as presentation is concerned, with a bias toward the Arche more than the A90.

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Retrofitting a violectric V281 with remote control:

Tools needed

2.5mm hex key
1.5mm hex key
11mm or 7/16 socket, or wrench
Spudger

Using your 2.5 mm hex key, remove the top two screw on the rear panel

Using your 1.5 mm hex key, loosen the set screw on the volume knob, and remove the knob from the shaft.

  • I found it easiest to do this with the unit facing me and the volume turned all teh way down, which allows the hex key to enter the recess in the knob at about the 1 o’clock posiiton.

  • Pro tip: all screws and nuts in this project will loosen in the counterclock wise direction. (thats volume down for you audiophiles)

Using your 1.5 mm hex key, loosen the set screw on the balance knob, and remove the knob from the shaft.

Using your 11mm or 7/16 socket, remove the nut and washer on the volume shaft and on the balance shaft.

Using your 2.5 mm hex key, remove the top two screw on the face plate

The top and sides are a piece of aluminum shaped like a U.

In order to remove it, you are going to use your 2.5 mm hex key to loosen the bottom two screws on the face plate until you are able to tilt it forward enough to see the top plate front edge come out fo the groove on the rear of the face plate that it is housed in. When you see this, lift the top plate staight up.

As you look down on the insides of the amp, you will see a smaller blue board attached to the back of the face plate. Gently pull it backwards (towards the back of the amp) and angle it up until the board is free of the face plate. Disconnect the ribbon cable attached to the board.

Locate the eprom chip

Using your spudger, gently pry up one end, and then the other in very small incrementts. If you go to far, you will bend the pins, so take it slow and easy.

Locate the replacement chip in your package from Violectric. Place it gently on the socket, with the text facing the same direction as the chip you removed. If it fits, gently and firmly press it into the socket.

  • If the pins do not align with the sockets:

  • Stop and check if the pins are aligned with the socket often!

  • if they aren’t:

    • using a flat surface, place the emprom so that one side of the pins is flat against the surface. gently roll the chip so that the pins are pushed into true perpendicular to the chip.
    • stop and check if the pins are aligned with the socket
    • Flip the chip so the other side of the pins are flat against a surface. Roll gently until that side of pins is also perpendicular to the chip.
    • stop and check if the pins are aligned with the socket
    • when they are, check one more time to make sure that each pin is seated in the right socket. gently push the eprom down until firmly seated.

Locate the new volume and balance board in your package from Violectric.

Unscrew the nut and star washer from the volume and balance shaft, set aside to reinstall later.

Locate the 10 pin socket labled VOL on the board, directly in front of the eprom socket

Plug the 10 pin ribbon cable attached to your new board into the socket labeld VOL.

Attach the ribbon cable you removed from the first board to the open socket on the new volume / balance control board.

Make sure the washers that go between the volume pot and the face plate are installed

Gently angle the board to slide the volume and balance shaft through the face plate, moving it slowly and carefully to avoid pinching against the interior pieces of the amplifier.

When it is in place, attach using the star washer and nut, tightening lightly with you 11mm or 7/16 wrench / socket. (clockwise or volume up tightens things) .

Place the cover back onto the amp body, taking care to note that one long side is grooved and one long side has a tongue which match to a tongue and groove on the body of the amplifier.

Push the face plate back into place; seating the top cover in the groove on the rear of the face plate.

Use your 2.5mm hex key to tighten screws at bottom of face plate.

Use your 2.5mm hex key to tighten screws at top of faceplate

Use your 2.5mm hex key to tighten screws at top of rear plate

Make sure the balance shaft is set to the “center point” as indicated by indent. Place knob on shaft, noting poaition of indicator line should be straight up. Tighten set screw using 1.5mm hex key.

Turn volume shaft all the way to low , Place knob on shaft, and align indicator line perfectly with the lowest indicator line on the face plate. Very carefully pull knob away from face plate 1-2mm. Tighten set screw with 1.5mm hex key

Pour a bourbon and laugh at those poor Bryston fans, having to turn their volume up and down by hand like animals!

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Boy an I glad I hit this discussion. I love, and can follow the detail, but I’m really impressed with both the knowledge and sharing of said.
Best
(V550 owner)

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It’s informative & helpful posts like this that make participation in internet forums worthwhile - well done!

Unfortunately I have no need for a remote as my desktop V281 sits about 8 inches from my right hand and I don’t use the pre-outs.

Also, just the smell of bourbon makes me gag but I will toast your post with a gin or rum a bit later :tumbler_glass:

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FYI: The manual volume pot has a much more pleasing tactile feel than the motorized.

ummm… scotch!!!