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2008 "Green" Solo by Graham Slee In The House! - Page 2

post #16 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorander View Post
I would lend you my PSU1 if only you lived closer (and use 220-240V input). The proof is in hearing it yourself after all.

Cheers!
A good friend of mine who has both and shall remain nameless has compared the Green Solo with both the PSU1 and the power supply the Green Solo ships with. He reports not audible difference whatsoever. I will say my friend is a very knowledgeable and experience user of headphone and headphone amps and I trust his findings.

I hope to make my next post on the Green Solo's sound evolution (burn in) at the 100 hour mark on Saturday, 9/1 to be followed at the 300 hours on around 9/10.
post #17 of 98
I was listening to my Solo '04 just last night...playing a Yellow Sunshine Explosion CD called Psychadelic Trance (all YSE pressings are superb), with the volume dial set a little bit past 9 O'clock.

Lying there in the dark, I wondered why on Earth I was considering the upgrade to balanced gear.
post #18 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosch View Post
Lying there in the dark, I wondered why on Earth I was considering the upgrade to balanced gear.
You are not alone.
post #19 of 98
I think we need a Miami meet immediately so that I can hear this beast..... I have been coasting along very happily satisfied with my Nikko hp jack, but the Solo has me sorely tempted. There is something about this guy building these things one at a time in the Yorkshire countryside while occasionally posting his anti-gov diatribes on RockGrotto, you jusy gotta love him and think he is making something extraordinary.

The placebo doing the heavy-lifting and I haven't even placed my order yet......
post #20 of 98
Thread Starter 

100 HR Mark (Burn-In)

100 HOUR MARK! Well the Green Solo has reached 100 hours of burn in. I decided to listen in and post my observations, of course it is still a good ways off the 3 weeks (+/-500 hours) of burn in recommended by Graham Slee.

Tonight the source is the Arcam DiVA CD73, the IC's are Blue Jean Cables, and the cans the Grado RS-1. For music I selected Joe Sample - Invitation and Jane Monheit - Surrender





I did a mini side by side with my Musical Fidelity X-Can V3 w/ the full mods by PinkFloyd including a Little Pinkie PSU and a pair of Russian 6H23-EB. The other amp was the Mapletree Ear + Purist HD100. Before any comparison I will say that all three are fantastic and anyone would make an end user very happy. All three sound slightly different and to me that is good. Kind of different ice cream flavors.

In general terms the biggest improvement the last +/-75 hours have brought to the Green Solo is a bigger and deeper bass. The Green Solo continuous to be crystal clear with a very wide but yet intimate soundstage. I still hear almost like two amps in one, the first for a "center" channel and the second for the left/right of the soundstage.

My wife had a listen and she concurs with most of what I heard. In instrumental passages the Green Solo has the best highs and soundstage with the bass going to the Mapletree. We are split in female vocals in that she prefers the Mapletree were I am vacillating on which one would be my preferred one.

BTW, an observation on soundstage. Visualize a shallow triangle in which the point is facing you and very close to your face but slightly above (say at forehead level), the two ends are outside your head and in front of you. That is the Green Solo's Soundstage. Now imagine a yardstick with the center being inside your head and the L/R outside of your head slightly to your left and right of your ears. That is the Mapletree Soundstage. I think the soundstage on the Green Solo is slightly wider, but both are good if slightly different. In case I was not clear, the Grado RS-1 sounds fantastic with the Graham Slee.

I look forward to the next 400 hours in the Green Solo's evolution.
post #21 of 98
Thread Starter 

260 Hour Mark Of Burn In

This is my fourth installment out of 5 in the evaluation of the Green Solo by Graham Slee. The manufacturer recommends 21 days (504 hours) of burn in; currently my amp is halfway through the cycle at approximately 260 hours.

For today’s impressions I will be using my computer as a source. Specifically Apple Lossless files played via iTunes version 7.3.2.6. The signal from the Chaintech AV710 will be fed via on optical cable to a stock Musical Fidelity X-Dac V3 powered with a Little Pinkie PSU. From the X-Dac V3 to the amp a Blue Jean Cable RCA to RCA IC built with Belden 1505F cable will be used. For headphones I will be using an AKG K501 and a Sennheiser HD580.

Music for today’s listening/impressions will be: 1) Arturo Sandoval, The Best Of Arturo Sandoval, and 2) Barney Kessel, Autumn Leaves.





Since I would like to provide a point of reference I will be doing a side-by-side comparison with a Musical Fidelity X-Can V3. This particular V3 has all of “PinkFloyd” modifications including a pair of Russian 6H23-EB and a Little Pinkie PSU. All the other components in the signal path mentioned above will be used with both amps.

The Green Solo’s bass has matured, while it has not become a basshead dream amp the quality and quantity is very satisfying. But most importantly its presentation is very realistic, for example it is very tight and punchy. The best I can supply is that the K501 have sufficient bass to make me very happy. The highs have mellowed, while still retaining a sense of crispness and clarity not found in many amps. The last 150 hours (from last impressions) has had a major impact on the detail and separation of the midrange. That is the amp presents the frequency range openly and without emphasizing a particular range.

My previous statement about soundstage remains valid. It feels like you have two amps, one for a center channel and a second to handle the music that extends beyond your ears.

The amp is very nice to look at and due to its small footprint is very un-obtrusive. IMO it would blend very well in most environments as well as optimizing the desk/shelf space. Both the amp and its PSU continue to run without any difference in temperature from the background, that is cool to the touch.

When using the K501 to compare the two amps I find that at this point in the evolution of the Green Solo it is very close to the fully modded X-Can V3. I think I hear that the Green Solo is a bit quicker responding, for example when Arturo Sandoval goes at a million miles an hour in his trumpet solos. On the other hand I sense a bit of a warmer presentation by the X-Can V3. The soundstage with is very close and hard for me to tell them apart. The Green Solo’s presentation of the stereo center is located in the center of your head right above the nose bridge. On the X-Can V3 is behind the nose, inside your head.

When using the HD580 the first thing I noticed was that although they are 300 ohms they are more efficient than the K501 and I had to lower the volume on both amps to achieve the same levels as the K501. For some reason it is harder to hear differences with the HD580, it almost acts as “equalizer” in that both amps sound almost the same to my ears. The two areas the HD580 was good at was: 1) in making me realize that the bass has more impact than I had realized while using the K501, these of course is the case with both amps, and 2) soundstage, now they both present the stereo center in the center of your head with the Green Solo being just a bit wider (although not by much) and a tad more focused.

Be advised that my impressions so far are likely to change somewhat as the amp reaches it recommended 21 days of burn in. It is also important to remember that as any piece of electronics “matures” it could go through very wide swings in its audio presentation. So it would not be unlikely that today it sounds great and tomorrow it is “blah”. Just give this or any other piece of gear its due time to reach its steady stated (final) presentation.
post #22 of 98
Very nice impressions...almost want to get me two "green duo" for a balanced system.

As my frame of reference, how does it compare with your X-Can V2, since we both have owned the modded V2....and like it very much.
post #23 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SK138 View Post
Very nice impressions...almost want to get me two "green duo" for a balanced system.

As my frame of reference, how does it compare with your X-Can V2, since we both have owned the modded V2....and like it very much.
I can't wait to do that comparison! Currently it has been on loan for about 3 weeks. Heck I have also loaned the Mapletree Ear + Purist HD100.
post #24 of 98
Do you by any chance still "remember" the CanAmp sound and how it compares against the Solo Green?

I really like my CanAmp sound and size wise but the Solo was always an amp I wanted to try. Just not sure how it might compare.
post #25 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartins View Post
Do you by any chance still "remember" the CanAmp sound and how it compares against the Solo Green?

I really like my CanAmp sound and size wise but the Solo was always an amp I wanted to try. Just not sure how it might compare.
Sorry, it has been quite a while since I had the Heed CanAmp. However, soon I will be loaning the Green Solo to a fellow Head-Fier who has a Heed CanAmp. I hope he posts his opinions here.
post #26 of 98
I would also like opinions from anyone who has compared the CanAmp to the Green Solo. I have HD650's with stock cable, EMU0404 USB and CanAmp connected with cheap RCA cables playing 320kb downloads from my computer.

This set up sounds great to me but I have never heard any other amp and wonder if the Solo would be an improvement. It seems like a bargain price and would be easier for me to get than other amps from outside EU.
post #27 of 98
Thread Starter 
dxhound2003, I will be sending my Green Solo to dw6928 at the end of September. He has a Heed CanAmp and I am sure he will post a comparison. I too want to hear what he has to say.
post #28 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post
Sorry, it has been quite a while since I had the Heed CanAmp. However, soon I will be loaning the Green Solo to a fellow Head-Fier who has a Heed CanAmp. I hope he posts his opinions here.
He will if you ask him. I think I can get in touch with him.
post #29 of 98
Have you compared the Solo running directly off mains vs going through the Monster power unit? I did some tests between direct and using my Cawsey Powerbox.

Direct seemed to give slightly better dynamic range and a more muscular sound, and a bit more powerful bass punch, but with with a rougher edge all round. Via the power filter, things were more controlled and methodical, a tad cleaner, but perhaps a fraction slower too. Giving more volume tended to compensate for lowered dynamics. The differences are all very subtle, though, and with say clean electronica, fairly negligible either way.

Since the added 'kick' by going direct was minimal, I tend to use the Powerbox with the Solo. In my lounge speaker HT set-up, I go unfiltered for the amps.
post #30 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosch View Post
I was listening to my Solo '04 just last night...playing a Yellow Sunshine Explosion CD called Psychadelic Trance (all YSE pressings are superb), with the volume dial set a little bit past 9 O'clock.

Lying there in the dark, I wondered why on Earth I was considering the upgrade to balanced gear.
Come on. You know you want to.. Two solo's & configure them.. You will love it even more..
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