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Graham Slee's Solo SRG w/ PSU1 - Page 3

post #31 of 113
What! You can upgrade an older Solo to SRG status. How much would that cost and how skilled do you have to be to do it .

But am I right with burn in the SRG is not warmer then the Solo? Using PSU1?
post #32 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by oqvist View Post
What! You can upgrade an older Solo to SRG status. How much would that cost and how skilled do you have to be to do it .

But am I right with burn in the SRG is not warmer then the Solo? Using PSU1?

Graham Slee is still working on the kits, so no info as to price or what will be involved in the conversion. Here is the link to graham's forum in case you don't already have it.

GSPAudio Support Community

I'm not sure where the SRG would have ended up, as I didn't get to hear it fully settled in, but if I had to guess, I'd say you're proably right.

If Miguel's interested, I'd be happy to send him my Green Solo. He'd be able to give it a much thorough eval then I could, not to mention is much more experienced and has alot of other stuff to throw at them.

edit: HeadphoneAddict now has the SRG, but I forget if he has a previous model or not.
post #33 of 113
Thread Starter 
I will see if Skylab might be available and interested in listening to the Solo SRG in a couple of weeks, after HeadphoneAddict.
post #34 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by charley phogg View Post
Graham Slee is still working on the kits, so no info as to price or what will be involved in the conversion. Here is the link to graham's forum in case you don't already have it.

GSPAudio Support Community

I'm not sure where the SRG would have ended up, as I didn't get to hear it fully settled in, but if I had to guess, I'd say you're proably right.

If Miguel's interested, I'd be happy to send him my Green Solo. He'd be able to give it a much thorough eval then I could, not to mention is much more experienced and has alot of other stuff to throw at them.

edit: HeadphoneAddict now has the SRG, but I forget if he has a previous model or not.
Thanks I hadn´t found any info on it . Will look into it. I like the Slee Solo and I could keep it forever. But it would have been nice to see if the SRG really is better
post #35 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by oqvist View Post
Thanks I hadn´t found any info on it . Will look into it. I like the Slee Solo and I could keep it forever. But it would have been nice to see if the SRG really is better

Oh it's obviously better, IMHO. Put it this way, I'm sure you could tell without a/b'ing. In other words, we're not talking that last 5-10%, to me.
post #36 of 113

I Thought So...

I thought so - that the SRG was better than the Solo 2007... primarily in driving low impedance phones - it seemed quite a lot better in that regard. And... enough better overall, that I'm at least considering buying the SRG, whereas, I never considered buying the Solo 2007, after I tried it.

Although, as I've noted previously, I'm not sure its reasonable to expect an amp to drive both low impedance and high impedance phones equally optimally. I suppose its possible, you obtain the best SQ from an amp that's designed to drive one, or the other, really well. But, an amp designed to drive both, may always be a compromise for one, or the other, or both - just my guess.

Again... its been about a year since I heard the Solo 2007... and... mine was never burnt in - so, I really don't know how the mature Solo 2007 might sound.

However, apart from the relative performance of the two amps, as noted, with low impedance phones... I thought the two amps sounded quite a lot alike driving Senns.

Though, Chris would possibly be a better judge of how they compare, since he A:Bd two burnt in amps... and... maybe Miguel has also.
post #37 of 113
Well I placed my order today at Audio Affair who listed it as in stock at the time, so hopefully I'll get it before the weekend. I'll be able to chain link it through my Creek OBH21-SE, so I should be able to compare them side by side which will be pretty useful.
post #38 of 113

Also...

Quote:
Originally Posted by niggle View Post
It's better to buy Darkvoice 337. I have Graham Slee Solo with PSU1 for 2 years. The former (tube amp) recently I bought is much better in musicality. The source is G08.
Also... is the DV337 better with both high impedance (Senns) and low impedance phones (Grados, Denons, ATHs, etc.)... or... just Senns, primarily???
post #39 of 113

Mini-Review: Grahm Slee SOLO SRG w/PSU1

Part 1 - Solo warm-up, and testing with modded APS V2 cabled D2000, APS V3 cabled HD600 and RS-1:

I am using the regulated PSU that came with it, and the ground wire too. I have not tried it without the ground wire. I am using a CD5001 > Synergistic Research active shielding coax digital > Apogee mini-DAC > ALO SXC XLR > Single Power Sq Wave > loop out SXC RCA > Woo WA6. And then the Apogee 2nd line-out > ALO SXC mini-RCA > directly to Solo SRG. My HD600 and woodied recabled D2000 both have APureSound 4-pin XLR cables, with a single ended adapter and balanced adapter (dual 3-pin). My RS-1 are single ended APS cable. I also tried it with my Westone ES3X customs.

It has been running for about 5 hours now and I don't believe I have heard a SS amp that changes with warm-up as much as this Solo SRG does. Out of the box it was a little duller, thinner and less spacious (flatter soundstage) than either my cold Woo WA6 or my warm Single Power Square Wave XL (which also has no power switch and has been running since 2/14/09 without being shut off). I tried it with all the phones listed above, all with the same impression - before being warmed up it was very similar to my Apogee mini-DAC headphone out. That didn't seem like much of an upgrade to it at all - certainly not much more of an upgrade than the NOVO was.

After about an hour it was starting to wake up and become warmer and richer, and now at this point (and since about 3 hours of warm-up) it is sounding very good with my HD600. I didn't realize that I had spent this much time listening to Diana Krall "Live in Paris" on repeat (I started typing this 45 minutes into the warm-up period). I found that I like the Solo SRG much more than the NOVO. It is smoother, more refined, and with better bass and richness than the Beta NOVO. The soundstage is also a little more seamless. Hugely different from when it was cold. The changes with a 24, 48 and 72 hour warm-up as recommended to me were fairly smaller than what I heard in the first 6 hours.

My Square Wave XL when running single ended sounds very similar once the Solo SRG is warmed up, but when using my HD600 or D2000 as balanced on the single power it pulls ahead slightly ($1250 amp with blackgates upgrade). The warmed-up single ended maxed WA6 with Sophia rectifier has no trouble keeping up with the Square Wave XL, and many times I like the WA6 a little better than the Sq Wave, even when the Sq Wave is run in balanced mode. So, it goes without saying that I prefer the WA6 ($1250 maxed) to the SRG as well.

I have previously compared my Amphora to the Sq Wave and Woo, and thought Amphora kept up with the balanced Sq Wave and was slightly behind the Woo WA6. This would put the Solo SRG a little behind the Amphora, but not by a whole lot. When I returned from CanJam I did compare these and found that to be the case. The SRG is definitely a step ahead of how I recall the NOVO sounding, and in direct comparison it is ahead of my Apogee mini-DAC, Travagans Red with upgraded opamps, or my Head-direct EF1.

Right now as I type this part I am still listening to the SRG with my HD600, and haven't thought to swap over to one of my other amps. I have also decided I like the HD600 most with it, with RS-1 slightly behind, and D2000 in 3rd. The gap between RS-1 and HD600 performance narrows when I use them with the WA6, and widens when I use them with the Sq Wave. With the ES3X the Solo SRG is wonderful, and there is minimal but still audible hiss with these high sensitivity customs. The hiss is less than my Amphora or Macbook headphone out, and I think the SRG and ES3X are a good match.

As I leave for CanJam I was left thinking that if I did not already have a maxed WA6, upgraded Sq Wave XL or ALO Amphora, with an Eddie Current ZDT on order, once the SRG was warmed up and I got used to it I would be wanting to keep this amp.

Part 2 - Solo with new HD800: (HD800 has about 24 hours of burn-in during CanJam, and another 24 as I write this)

I really liked the Solo SRG with my HD600 before I left for CanJam. I felt that after a lengthy warmup the solo could likely offer some competition with the Single Power Square Wave XL or ALO Amphora, and was just a little behind my Woo WA6. HD600 synergy was best, but not enough to make me sell any of my amps to get one.

With the HD800 the Solo still sounds good, and on the SRG you can still tell the HD800 are better than the 600's. But the 800 are just not quite as immersive in the performance with the Solo as they are with the other three amps. I haven't been able to put my finger on it yet, but it may be slightly brighter with the HD800 than I would like, and not quite as smooth. The HD800 has good bass on the Solo, with comparable levels to a 600 but with better speed and detail. The soundstage of the HD800 on the Solo SRG is not quite as big as when using the HD800 on the other amps, but it does not sound compressed or flat once it has warmed up. When the HD600 or 800 are used single ended, then the Solo is about on par with the Single Power when it is used single ended as well. Once I go balanced the single power pulls ahead (4-pin XLR with single ended adapter) and is very close to the maxed WA6 in synergy with the HD800 (for tonal balance and large soundstage). I think the 800 improve more when balanced than the HD600 do, and the balanced HD600 sound didn't pull away from single ended sound as much as it did with the HD800.

The Solo SRG does not struggle to drive the HD800 in terms of power. I use my Apogee mini-DAC as a preamp, so I set the volume of my amps to 3 o'clock and then use the DAC to control the volume of the three amps connected to it. I have never come close to running out of power with the HD600 or 800, although I listen with about an extra hour on the dial with the 800. (never need to take both amp and pre-amp past 3 o'clock). The 800 are not as hard to drive as some people make out - it is more of an issue of does it have synergy. I can even get nice sound out of a $200 Head-Direct EF2 tube hybrid with the HD800 - and yet the EF2 is certainly an amp that DID struggle audibly to drive the Head-direct RE5 planar magnetic headphones at CanJam. I am not saying all you need is a $200 tube hybrid for the HD800, as the Solo is still noticeably ahead in terms of soundstage, tonality and power; but I am saying that the HD800's favorite amp are not solely governed by how powerful the amp is.

After the initial half of my evaluation (and before I got my HD800) I felt that if I didn't have the other amps around the house that I could have been happy with just the Solo. The HD800 change that slightly, in that I'd want that extra last bit of performance that I am missing, which the WA6 or my balanced amp offer. It's only when you have heard how good the HD800 can be that you know what you are missing.
post #40 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo
So over two pages of “stuff” and yet nothing on how the Solo SRG w/ PSU1 sounds? So where should I start? I think with the soundstage, it is very wide and deep w/ openness to the presentation that keeps you coming back for more. The music is presented in such a way that every note has its place and makes for a very engaging and enjoyable listening experience.

Although people talk about bass and treble extension the reality is that most of the music is in the mids. This is one area where the Solo SRG excels at; it is very clear and detailed w/ lots of air in between the notes. As stated earlier the soundstage is wide and deep, this makes for a very easy exercise to place the instruments as well as allowing the singer “the room” to strut his/her stuff. All of this allows you to pick-up the start and end of notes, for example cymbals and hi-hats. In other words it is very musical and it presents the material with excellent control and micro detail. All of this IMO makes for non-fatiguing listening sessions, yes it keeps you tied listening to your favorite music.

There is excellent treble extension this allows for notes to cut through and for the listener to place the various instruments. The amp kept its composure and remained tight and articulate.

The bass is tight and goes deep, although at times it is a bit light. What it has is very clean and punchy while staying in control. I found that once I stopped listening to the bass as compared to other amps it did not seem lean at all, actually it was at times a bit much with the Ultrasone headphone.
I agree with what you have said, and I did not read this thread before my impressions. I also was unaware of the price of the amp until just now as well.

I want to add that my D2000 have the markl mahogany wood cups with dynamat inside the cup but not on the frame or driver of the headphone, with stuffed ear pads ala markl style, and an APS V2 cable (vintage prior to V3 cable introduction). It has a 4-pin XLR and I use an APS V3 adapter to connect to SE amps and balanced amps. I prefer open cans to closed cans, but the D2000 have been my best closed cans so far. I still prefer the R10 or L3000 more, but don't want to spend that much on a closed can.

PS: Although ALL the interconnects were ALO SXC, I also swapped my interconnects between the WA6 and SRG with no appreciable change in sound, so the loop out of the Sq Wave into WA6 did not hurt the WA6 sound in the initial comparison to SRG, or when I tried it the other way as well (could have been an advantage for the SRG if it was).
post #41 of 113
I should have the Solo SRG next week to review. Looking forward to it.
post #42 of 113
Thread Starter 
Look forward to your comments as well as dw6928's.
post #43 of 113
Well I'm not going into too much depth, but the Solo SRG just seems to edge over the Creek OBH-21SE in all respects. However, for the K601, the Creek would be a better value amp in my opinion. I have to do a bit of hunting for the differences, especially if the music isn't quite up to standard.

Unfortunately, I think I might have made a poor investment here; I'm already eyeing the HD800 after initial impressions, and from HeadphoneAddict's comments the Solo SRG might not be the best match for the HD800. I'll see though, as if my local hi-fi store has an HD800 on demo I should be fortunate enough to take my Solo SRG along and test it. Perhaps if I then decide to buy the HD800 I'll find much more difference between the OBH-21SE and Solo SRG.
post #44 of 113
Thread Starter 
paulb09 allow your Solo SRG to be fully burnt in. I would suggest a good 600 hours of burn in, also leave it on all the time. If this is not possible turn it on at least a day before doing any critical listening.
post #45 of 113
Hi all,

I have just purchased a brand new Graham Slee Solo, am I right in assuming that this makes it a SRG? (looks exactly like mrarroyo's photos).

I have to say, it has been plugged in and playing music for around 4 hours now, and sounds completely different to how it sounded cold, much much better sound stage and bass extension. I couldnt agree more with HeadphoneAddict on that count.

However, I am slightly dissapointed that there is not much of a discernable difference between it and the pico DAC/amp I have been using! (I guess this is down to the fact that the Beresford is holding it back?).

In short, this thread gave me the nudge to purchase a SRG, and I am enjoying the ride so far!
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