Review: Violectric V850 – The Improved Successor

Violectric V850 5

Disclaimer: The Violectric V850 DAC was loaned to me by Violectric Germany directly. It is supposed to be returned after this way overdue review. Pictures in this review, unless watermarked are property of Violectric.

 

Violectric

March 2016 – We all know Violectric and LakePeople by now and their gear has been covered on this very site on several occasions. For those not familiar with these brands, I’ll quote Violectric themselves: Violectric is a trademark and product line of Lake People electronic GmbH. Lake People electronic GmbH develops, manufactures and distributes products in the professional range, for broadcast, television, airports, exhibition halls, festival venues, theatres, large-scale installations, private studios and more. In the private sector as well, Lake People products become increasingly popular due to their outstanding quality.  Devices are exclusively developed in Germany by the engineers of Lake People electronic GmbH. In doing so, the team of developers can draw on twenty years of experience and countless products for the pro-audio domain.             

These last few years the Head-Fi community has been using the V100, V200, V281 amplifiers and the V800 DAC in their home setup and then we’re not even talking about the LakePeople gear yet. Violectric nowadays is a well-established and well-known brand in personal audio and the V281 is a lot of people’s reference solid state amplifier. The V800 in fact is the only unit I haven’t bought from Violectric after the review, mainly because I had Rein’s X-DAC with me at that time.

The Violectric V850 DAC is Fried’s (Violectric’s CEO) latest creation and I have the pleasure of it being part of my living room setup combined with the V281 amplifier and the EGD/EGA system from Stoner Acoustics. In fact I’ve had this unit since last September when I took it home with me after the Canjam show in Essen and it’s been my reference DAC since. I’ll try not making this review too technical as there’s an excellent Head-Fi thread on the V850 where technical questions are being answered by Fried himself. Whiz kids should go there.

Violectric V850 10

V850

The new V850 DAC is an evolution of Violectric’s V800 DAC which I reviewed back in July 2013 on this very site. Fried says: “For the V850 we´ve taken more care on the analog circuitry, the power supply, the clock generation and many other things inside the new gear. And there are the double-mono converters and the remote control. In my opinion all our efforts result in a better sound whilst maintaining our basic sound “philosophy”.”

The Violectric V850 pretty much looks like the V800 and they both have the typical look, style, size and feel of the V100 and V200 units. The case as well as the panels are made of solid aluminum and are Nextel coated while the 8mm front panel is milled, sand-blasted and anodized. The labeling is laser engraved. The V850 measures 170 x 49 x 226 mm (B x H x D) and looks sweet in combination with the same size V100/200 amps. In combination with the larger/deeper V281, the V850 still looks good but it’s not as sexy anymore when seen from the side (the DAC is not as deep). Build quality as we are used to is the very best: Made in Germany.

According to Violectric, the V850 DAC is a top-range D/A converter, distinguished by its resampling unit, its 32-bit double mono converters and very particular analog output stages. By means of their specially designed, variable low-noise and low-distortion circuitry, the DAC V850 fulfils even highest demands. As an option, the volume control, input selection and the resampling functionality may be remote controlled. Violectric stands behinds its products and offers an impressive 5 year warranty.

Violectric V850 8

Lay-out

The V850 has four digital inputs on the unit’s rear panel: balanced, coaxial (unbalanced), optical and USB. The electrical inputs (balanced and coax) accept PCM-encoded digital audio data with a word length of 16 … 24 bit and 28 … 210 kHz sample rate, so does the optical input. The USB 24/192 circuitry uses the X-Mos chip set and accepts 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz sample rate. In order to avoid any interference caused from the host, the USB input is fully insulated, with the signal coupled via transformer. In the beginning I had some issues with getting the V850 to work via USB on my Windows machine until I found out I had to connect it to a USB 2.0 port. Windows does require the installation of drivers and after installation a Violectric Control Panel will be available via your taskbar. The V850 has a digital coaxial and both a balanced and non-balanced analog out. Both outputs can and may be used simultaneously.

Violectric V850 3

On the front of the unit you’ll find the power button, volume control, the input selector, the resample rate and the remote control receiver (you can share it with the V281). Like I mentioned in my V281 review, I never use the remote as the amp is right behind me when I’m in my couch. It also seems my Panasonic TV-remote is similar to the Violectric one as some keys make it switch inputs, etc. Whenever an input signal is found the “lock” light will light up. There are a number of people who find the V800/V850 to have too many LEDs on the front panel – one guy even described it as a Christmas tree – but I’m not one of them as each LED has a specific function. In a dark room or on your nightstand those LEDs could lighten up your room though, that’s a fact.

It continues on Page 2, right after the click HERE or below

Review: Violectric V850 – The Improved Successor
4.29 (85.88%) 17 votes

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. Coming from a musical family he's always been interested in good sound. Unlike his family members the only musical instruments he plays are amps and DACs. He loves playing with old tubes and discovering new products while staying faithful to the good old Sennheiser HD650.

16 Comments

  • Reply March 17, 2016

    Clarence

    Very nice review, l’m very interested in this combo, how do you compare this to hugo which l have and looking for an upgrade. And the hugo tt is on my upgrade list. Did you audition the hugo tt before and how do you compare them.

    • Reply March 18, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      Thank you, the TT still hasn’t made it to me. Ever since Chord changed Marketing guys, it’s been really quiet at their end…

      You mean you want to get the V281+V850 to replace the Hugo? You’ll love it!

  • Reply March 23, 2016

    Jann

    Hi.
    If you can could you please compare the Eximus DP1 and the combo V281+V850? I know it was long time ago you listened the DP1 but maybe you remember your experience. It would be interesting to compare the V281+V850 vs Auralic Vega as well. Any thoughts?
    Thank you for reviews.
    Best regards.

    • Reply March 24, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      I can’t remember listening to a DP1, sorry. Thanks!

  • Reply March 27, 2016

    Punit Shetty

    Could you please compare the sound of V850 vs V800 ? Thanks.

    • Reply March 27, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      have you uberhaupt read anything from the article?

      • Reply March 27, 2016

        Punit Shetty

        I’ve read it more than once but couldn’t find any comparison between V850 & V800 regrading Treble, mids, Bass & sound stage ? In case I am missing something can you point me to the part in the review where you have done this comparison ?

  • Reply April 3, 2016

    Nickjan Glas

    Great review, although I am a tad late to react to this one.

    I am (again) going over my stereo/hifi’ish set up and just bought me a nice SA-KI pearl lite player with a soundsheavenly headphone cable for my H6. (the only manufacturer to make a custom one for the H6 I believe).

    As I read this review I noticed the price drop of the V800, which is now closer priced to the Meijer Daccord FF version. I am still short a dedicated DAC in my setup as I probably have to combine multiple analogue outputs to one corda classic input and a dedicated DAC would probably outperform the several mid-end DAC’s in the players etc.

    Now the price of the V800 has come down (+/-850), can the DACCORD (+/-770) with its new FF technology hold its own and also compared to other DAC’s in this price range? Many new models come out and the Daccord is already some years old (before the FF). In this respect I mean quality wise and not sound signature wise, since this can be subjective.

    In my own subjective mind I am quite drawn to the Daccord since I already own the classic FF.

    Thanks in advance for your and maybe others’ insights.

  • Reply October 29, 2016

    Gerald

    Hi Lieven,

    Did you test the Resonessence MIRUS in the meantime?
    What are your impressions compared to the V850?
    Thanks,
    Gerald

    • Reply October 31, 2016

      Lieven

      I did and I returned it without a review. While it was good it for some reason didn’t have the magic for me. The detail was there but for the price it just wasn’t like what I’m used to from Resonessance. Maybe the new unit is better 🙂

      • Reply November 12, 2016

        Gerald

        Hi Lieven,
        Will you test the new MIRUS pro in the near future?
        Please let us know about your impressions.
        Thanks,
        Gerald

  • Reply October 31, 2016

    Gerald

    Will you test the new MIRUS pro in the near future?
    Please let us know about your impressions.
    Thanks,
    Gerald

    • Reply November 12, 2016

      Lieven

      I might, no concrete plans though

  • Reply December 24, 2016

    Sanjeewa Samaranayake

    “Before the V850 arrived I was constantly switching between DACs like the Chord Hugo, Resonessence Labs, ALO CDM, Stoner EGD, Chord Mojo and even DAPs like the AK240 and Fiio X7 which have excellent DAC chips. While I quite like several of those – and especially the Sabre based DACs – the V850 plays in a different league, both in versatility and sound quality”

    Well I have V850/V281 ->HD800 balanced cables all the way. All the gear well passes required burn in periods. I have DSD 128 recording of Pink floyd which I used to test. Listening to track Mother which has wide sound stage and well recorded I can only say Mojo->V281 and V850/V281 have very minimal sound differences which is difficult to identify (even when there was are absolutely no interferences and very concentrated listening). So I do not agree with the above statement where it is made to belive V850 in different league to other DACs including Mojo. I have listen to Hotel California also hi-res and the same effect.

    Needless to say I am disappointed as I went all the way to get V850 relied on above assessment. Reviewers should bring objectivity in some way to their reviews without going overboard.

    • Reply December 26, 2016

      Lieven

      V850 doesn’t even play DSD… so you probably aren’t even using ASIO or another bit perfect transport to the V850. What headphone was used? I still stick to my point that the Mojo is good, yet overrated and I prefer the V850 DAC

    • Reply December 27, 2016

      Marco

      >>> I have DSD 128 recording of Pink floyd which I used to test. Listening to track Mother […]

      Hi SANJEEWA,

      please, can you tell me (us) where you got Pink Floyd recording (any) @DSD128 ? AFAIK only WYWH and TDSOTM were issued as DSD (SACD) and those were @64 anyway; Mother is a track from the Wall so the thing is even more misterious.

      THX for let me know.

      ps: I’m now thinking you’re referring to HD (DSD) vinyl rip… is it so ?

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