Vioelectric V-281 troubleshoot

I am very pleased overall with the performance of my amp - Vioelectric V-281. Sounds great, and is probably future-proof for where I am and am going.

I did buy used, however, and I am beginning to wonder if this might be why the seller decided to sell. I am having intermittent scratch and pop if I should bump the XLR cable near where my headphones plug in. If I turn off the amp, and unplug / replug the XLR cable, it feels like it seats in real nice, but it can wiggle in the connector more than I expected it to be able to do. If it wiggles even a little, I will hear a scratch and / or pop in the audio, even if there’s no audio playing.

Is this normal? At this level, I kind of expected tighter fitting and more assured connection. Maybe my expectations are out of synch with reality. Is there an easy fix which doesn’t involve the risk of breaking the amp? (I would rather not bend pins and such, if I can avoid it). Does anyone have any experiences to share in shipping a Vio product back to PowerHoldings for repair? I’ve dealt with Arthur a little in the past, and he’s always been very accommodating, but I don’t want to waste his time if this is just normal…

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I actually have a similar issue on my Burson Soloist 3x performance and it bugs me as well! The connector set in the soloist is a Neutrik, so I actually think it has to do with the quality of the XLR I’m plugging in.

I use Hart Audio cables, which I otherwise love, but it seems like the XLR connector they use sit a tad loose and allows some wiggle, leading to pops and clicks if it gets bumped. The interconnects I use are also Hart Audio, but they use Neutrik connectors for their interconnects and they lock into the amp with zero wiggle. A perfect lock.

What cable brand do you use? If anyones got suggestions for us I’d appreciate them. I’ve thought about doing a custom order and requesting a proper neutrik termination so they lock seamlessly or buying one and soldering myself, but haven’t yet. Lol, I’m worried it’s an unbranded neutrik connector and I’ll come off like an idiot on the custom form. :sweat_smile: :joy:

Best case, like @Axeraider wrote, this is just a socket and connector fit issue.
Worst case, the solder connection to the connector on the amp broke.

The scratch/pop sound when bumped points more towards fit issue.

The nicest connectors I have used to far (Lemo something something 5-pole) were smooth and then just seated without a fuss. Non of that “wiggly crunchy” experience the shit-tier XLRs on cheap DMX-lamps give you, or those slightly-too chinesium HDMI plug in the back of cheap TVs…

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It was my experience with the V281 that the XLR connector felt loose especially when using “generic” xlr terminations. Using Neutrik connectors on XLR cable terminations were much better but still never as snug as with other amps.

I never had any noises associated. You might just want to contact Arthur. He is really friendly and knowledgeable as you know, and may even be able to replace the socket. You would have to pay to ship both ways and for parts/labor - he’ll quote your first at least he did when I contacted with questions about servicing my 281.

The v281 is a great amplifier, definitely worth a shot especially if it could be end-game for you.

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Thanks all for the replies!

I, too, an using Hart cables and interconnects. The mini-XLR is a really solid, no wiggle connection, but it seems the full sized XLR termination may be a little loose in more than just my amp, so that seems the likely culprit.

The sounds are very subtle, just enough to notice, but only barely so.

I very much doubt this is an internal issue like a solder joint or mounting being loose, it just feels like the XLR plug at the amp end of my interconnect has more wiggle room than I expected. Since the cable is very nearly new, but I bought the amp used, I surmised it to be more likely that the wiggle came from the amp.

That said, I’ve done a little non-intrusive poking and prodding. The female XLR connector on the amp is very solid, and there’s no wiggle in the housing. Nothing looks scratched, bent, dented, or otherwise damaged from the outside. The male XLR connector that I am plugging into it can wiggle once seated in the amp.

Arthur is, indeed friendly, knowledgeable, and very accommodating, but at this juncture, I don’t think there’s much he will be able to do, as I am beginning to believe it’s not the amp. Not that I’m throwing any shade at Hart, but this could well be an issue of product tolerances not lining up - say a female connector that was made to spec with one set of tolerances, erring on the side of smaller by a few thousandths, and a male connector also made to spec, but with a different tolerance, erring on the side of larger by a few thousandths, resulting in an overall sloppy fit. I may try a new cable sooner than I thought.


I have a V281 in my desktop setup and all my headphone cables are balanced XLR from Audiophile Ninja with Neutrik connectors as standard. No issues at all with connection.

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Thanks, I’ll check them out!

In case anyone may be curious in the future, Audiophile Ninja cable / Neutrik XLR connector did, in fact fix this issue.

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