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burson new soloist headphone amp - Page 42

post #616 of 1162
Quote:
I just now paused for a couple of minutes to write Burson and ask them what they recommend, if anything, for protecting the Soloist (against power surges, brownouts, blackouts, hammering blackouts, sustained over-voltages, etc.)  And I asked them if their power supply provides built-in protection for any of these conditions (beyond filtering of line noise).  

 

I asked a similar question to Burson via email, and they dont seem to recommend a particular brand (power conditioners, surge protectors...) that's up to the user. 

 

Im curious about your findings Zilch, do some testing and let us know the results. 

post #617 of 1162

Hi fabio-fi,

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fabio-fi View Post

 

I asked a similar question to Burson via email, and they don't seem to recommend a particular brand (power conditioners, surge protectors...) that's up to the user. 

 

Im curious about your findings Zilch, do some testing and let us know the results. 

 

Yes, I don't mind Burson saying that they don't recommend using a power conditioner.  It's surely their prerogative to make that recommendation.  I also wouldn't expect them to take the time to test a lot of power conditioners made by other companies, so that they could equip themselves with an opinion, but I thought I would ask, just the same.

 

What I do mind, is their contention that the Soloist already has "everything" that is needed, unlike other manufacturer's products, and then falling silent when I ask them what "everything" includes  in the way of power conditioning or protection.  That's poor customer service - very poor.

 

We're left with making assumptions as to what is built into the Soloist, in the way of power conditioning and protection features, if anything, beyond noise filtering.

 

Meanwhile....

 

I've spent about five hours, last night and this morning, carefully testing, listening, and just enjoying the Tripp-Lite LC1200 Line Conditioner with my DACmini CX and Soloist both plugged into it.

 

I can emphatically testify that I'm hearing no sonic changes whatsoever using the Tripp-Lite LC1200 to supply power to both the DACmini CX and the Soloist.  

 

I'm hearing no loss of dynamics no loss of anything at all - and nothing has been added to the sound, either.  I've beaten this to death swapping back and forth between plugging the DACmini CX and Soloist directly into the wall outlet vs. plugging them into the Tripp-Lite LC1200.  Not only is it clean as a whistle using my LCD-2, T1, or Shure E4g (IEM), the unit itself only generates a feint hum that I can only hear when I place my ear within a couple of feet of it, in a dead silent room.

 

I'm completely satisfied that the Tripp-Lite LC1200 is indeed the poor man's power conditioner - at least for compatibility with my gear.  At only $83.00, I regret having bought the less feature-full Furman AC-215A, that only provides noise filtering and surge protection, without brownout protection and voltage regulation). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the way, I don't normally rest the DACmini CX atop the Soloist, for fear of scratches, but it looked nice for the photos.  smile.gif

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 1/31/13 at 12:06pm
post #618 of 1162
That looks like a fantastic setup! Thinking of getting some of the same stuff. wink.gif just need to win the lotto. Or get a raise.
post #619 of 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZheadcase View Post

That looks like a fantastic setup! Thinking of getting some of the same stuff. wink.gif just need to win the lotto. Or get a raise.

 

Or just get stupid, like I did!   biggrin.gif

 

Really, for anyone just getting into a desktop system, within the limitations of what I've personally owned, I would have to recommend the DACmini CX + LCD-2 for getting you 95% of the sound quality you'd have with the Soloist + LCD-2 or T1.  Then there's the fact that the DACmini CX includes a great DAC, too.   In terms of bang for the buck, the DACmini CX wins easily, and it sounds great with the LCD-2.      

 

That last 5% is nice, to be sure, but it's subtle, not jaw-dropping.  I could live without a Soloist (and the Beyerdynamic T1), but I wouldn't want to drop below what the DACmini CX + LCD-2 gives me.  

 

If you'd prefer a little less warmth overall and slightly brighter treble to compensate the LCD-2's shelved highs, you might consider getting a DACmini CX with the 1-Ohm output impedance mod (for an extra $100 at the time of order).  Mine has this mod, which really balances the LCD-2 nicely, without affecting its wonderful bass and mid performance.  And the 1-Ohm mod also allows you to use the DACmini CX with low-impedance IEMs, too.  

 

(The default output impedance is 10-Ohms, which means that ideally, going by the 8:1, you should use it with headphones that present an 80-Ohm load or more, but lots of people like the warmth and color of the standard DACmini CX (10-Ohm) with LCD-2 or LCD-3 - even though they're currently rated at 60 Ohms - close enough to 80, I suppose - and it's just a rule of thumb, anyway.)

 

OK, enough of pitching the DACmini CX.  I love the Soloist - really I do - but it's the 200 mph car that costs twice as much as the car that can do 190.  

 

smile.gif

 

Mike

post #620 of 1162
Thanks mike. What do you think of this strategy moving forward? I already have a lyr, asgard, bifrost, and pan am stack:

T1; DACmini CX; soloist.

Id probably get rid of the asgard soon after getting the dacmini.
Edited by NZheadcase - 1/23/13 at 11:34pm
post #621 of 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

Look who's back on Team Burson!  First a move from LCD-3 to LCD-2 and now from Peak to Soloist... really should get myself checked ;)

I think its because we get bored at least in my case its that way, I just got another V200  3rd time if I include the review sample I had and the one I sold plus this one. I only have one  two amps here that are permanent and thats my Decware CSP2 which is still my go to amp 98 percent of the time and my SX650 for CD speaker usage mostly now. My headphones have not changed now for a bot and I see no more swaps there. Who know I may end up back with the Burson again. For now I am using the V200 with my AT3000ANV

post #622 of 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZheadcase View Post

Thanks mike. What do you think of this strategy moving forward? I already have a lyr, asgard, bifrost, and pan am stack:

T1; DACmini CX; soloist.

Id probably get rid of the asgard soon after getting the dacmini.

 

I just had a look at your profile...  

 

I've never heard the Bifrost, but from everything I've read, it's a great DAC.  My indirect impression is that it's one of their best products (compared to their amps).  

 

I'm not sure you need to go for the DACmini CX, unless you're hoping its amp section could in some way outperform or provide a different signature than your ALO Pan Am.  I've never heard the Pan Am or Schiit's Asgard, but I borrowed a Lyr for 30 days and was not impressed with its "fuzziness" - even the LCD-2 could discern more detail when using my Meier Stepdance portable amp, instead.  From everything I've read, though, your Pan Am is supposed to be awesome with the LCD-2, and I suspect you'd find it to be a good match with the T1, which needs some warmth.

 

So, despite my affection for the DACmini CX with LCD-2, given that you already own the ALO Pan Am, if you're keen on getting the T1 first, I would just forget about the DACmini CX and go for the Soloist instead.  All of that assumes that you like the Bifrost and aren't really in the market for a DAC.  If you are in the market for a new DAC, the CEntrance DACport LX, at $250, sounds very, very similar to the DAC section of the more expensive and cumbersome DACmini CX, which also has an amp you don't really need.   The DACport LX + Soloist sounds just as good as the DACmini CX (DAC section) + Soloist.

 

Obviously, all of my recommendations are confined to the equipment I'm familiar with.  redface.gif  

 

Mike

post #623 of 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Hi fabio-fi,

 

 

Yes, I don't mind Burson saying that they don't recommend using a power conditioner.  It's surely their prerogative to make that recommendation.  I also wouldn't expect them to take the time to test a lot of power conditioners made by other companies, so that they could equip themselves with an opinion, but I thought I would ask, just the same.

 

What I do mind, is their contention that the Soloist already has "everything" that is needed, unlike other manufacturer's products, and then falling silent when I ask them what "everything" includes  in the way of power conditioning or protection.  That's poor customer service - very poor.

 

We're left with making assumptions as to what is built into the Soloist, in the way of power conditioning and protection features, if anything, beyond noise filtering.

 

Meanwhile....

 

I've spent about five hours, last night and this morning, carefully testing, listening, and just enjoying the Tripp-Lite LC1200 Line Conditioner with my DACmini CX and Soloist both plugged into it.

 

I can emphatically testify that I'm hearing no sonic changes whatsoever using the Tripp-Lite LC1200 to supply power to both the DACmini CX and the Soloist.  

 

I'm hearing no loss of dynamics no loss of anything at all - and nothing has been added to the sound, either.  I've beaten this to death swapping back and forth between plugging the DACmini CX and Soloist directly into the wall outlet vs. plugging them into the Tripp-Lite LC1200.  Not only is it clean as a whistle using my LCD-2, T1, or Shure E4g (IEM), the unit itself only generates a feint hum that I can only hear when I place my ear within a couple of feet of it, in a dead silent room.

 

I'm completely satisfied that the Tripp-Lite LC1200 is indeed the poor man's power conditioner - at least for compatibility with my gear.  At only $83.00, I regret having bought the less feature-full Furman AC-215A, that only provides noise filtering and surge protection, without brownout protection and voltage regulation). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the way, I don't normally rest the DACmini CX atop the Soloist, for fear of scratches, but it looked nice for the photos.  smile.gif

 

Mike


Really nice testing there Mike! Thank you for sharing that! Was it better with it than directly in the socket?


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 1/24/13 at 2:04pm
post #624 of 1162

Thanks Dan,

 

I've since put in another four or five hours of listening with the Tripp-Lite LC1200 and I'm still content that it's not making any sonic changes.  

 

 

This may be of interest:

 

I took some measurements with my Kill-A-Watt:

 

 

AC power measured at the wall outlet:  124.2V at 60 Hz.  

 

AC power measured at the Tripp-Lite LC1200 outlets:  124.2V at 60 Hz.    

 

As stated in the specs I posted previously, the LC1200 will not attempt to attenuate an incoming voltage until it's higher than 128V.  So, it's not routing the power through its transformer when the wall is providing 124V.  (And per the specs, the voltage would have to fall - brownout - below 112V - before it would start boosting the voltage.)

 

 

Using the Kill-A-Watt, I also measured AC power consumption, as follows:

 

DACmini CX (while using only the DAC, bypassing the amp):  

 

   4.6 W 

   0.08 A

 

 

Soloist (while playing at 85.0 dB SPL on Hi gain into LCD-2):

 

  10.9 W

   0.12 A

 

 

Thus, together, the DACmini (DAC) + Soloist are only pulling 0.2 Amps at 124.1 VAC, or just 15.5 Watts!   

 

The Tripp-Lite LC1200 can handle 1200 Watts, or 77.4x as great a load as it's seeing with the DACmini CX and Soloist.   It's cruising along at only 1.29% of capacity.  wink.gif  

 

It might not be so "quiet" if it were used with a big HiFi system that requires something closer to its rated 1200-Watt capacity.  But for this relatively low-power, 120V Head-Fi gear, it seems to be quite nice.

 

Mike

post #625 of 1162

Interesting that you guys brought up the surge protection. I heard that many have such in the US for computers and sensitive electronic circuits, but surge protection is mostly overlooked in my country. Looks like I have to take a serious look into this someday.

 

Back to the Solonist, I heard one in a dealer showroom and impressed, but I thought it was a little less lively than Violectric / Lakepeople. I thought the Solonist may have the upper hand with orthodynamic but my phones are most efficient ones.

post #626 of 1162

I really can't find any way to describe the LCD-3 and the Soloist as being anything less than a marriage made in heaven to my ears! I have tried both the LCD-2 rev 2 and the LCD-3s with the Soloist. The LCD-2s have a more peaky treble which can at first come across as sharper, brighter. The LCD-3s have a smoother treble but you start to hear more detail across the spectrum because of it. Sometimes the impression of being laid back comes from not having enough treble for YOUR ears. Missing treble can make the sound too warm or lacking pace, because our brains often use high frequency cues for timing perception. However, I have particularly good high pitched hearing, and therefore am VERY critical of headphones like the HD800 which just sound unpleasant to me because the treble is simply too much and it fatigues me.

 

So I think it is really really important for people to understand that a combination of headphone and amplifier is not simply black and white, works or doesn't. It really depends on YOU, and you need to listen to combinations yourself if possible before purchasing.

 

To me the LCD-3 in combination with the Soloist is rich, defined, solid and not in the least bit slow, laid-back or fatiguing. I can sit and listen for hours. The biggest problem is that you are in danger of listening to things too loud because everything is so clear with no distortion. Also the LCD-3 does have audibly faster transient responses which if anything make it more energetic at some frequencies.

 

There were some problems with early LCD-3s that were described as sounding veiled and needed re-work. Certainly those early problematic LCD-3s could give rise to negative perceptions with many amplifiers. I don't think the LCD-3 (a good one) is any harder to pair than the LCD-2.

post #627 of 1162

Hi jonstatt,

 

Your comments ring true with several PMs I have exchanged with an Australian friend who has the LCD-3 (a newer version), which he uses with a DACmini CX.

 

Your opinion also aligns nicely with that of Skylab, who wrote the Soloist review at innerfidelity.com, saying the LCD-3 sounds "SUPERB" with the Soloist.  

 

Best of all, I like the way you've reminded us that it's important to consider our own personal tastes and hearing abilities, and those of reviewers, if possible.

 

I would love to hear the LCD-3 with the Soloist - I think I'll have a chance to do that at the upcoming meet in Austin, Texas on March 2nd.

 

Mike

post #628 of 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

 

I just had a look at your profile...  

 

I've never heard the Bifrost, but from everything I've read, it's a great DAC.  My indirect impression is that it's one of their best products (compared to their amps).  

 

I'm not sure you need to go for the DACmini CX, unless you're hoping its amp section could in some way outperform or provide a different signature than your ALO Pan Am.  I've never heard the Pan Am or Schiit's Asgard, but I borrowed a Lyr for 30 days and was not impressed with its "fuzziness" - even the LCD-2 could discern more detail when using my Meier Stepdance portable amp, instead.  From everything I've read, though, your Pan Am is supposed to be awesome with the LCD-2, and I suspect you'd find it to be a good match with the T1, which needs some warmth.

 

So, despite my affection for the DACmini CX with LCD-2, given that you already own the ALO Pan Am, if you're keen on getting the T1 first, I would just forget about the DACmini CX and go for the Soloist instead.  All of that assumes that you like the Bifrost and aren't really in the market for a DAC.  If you are in the market for a new DAC, the CEntrance DACport LX, at $250, sounds very, very similar to the DAC section of the more expensive and cumbersome DACmini CX, which also has an amp you don't really need.   The DACport LX + Soloist sounds just as good as the DACmini CX (DAC section) + Soloist.

 

Obviously, all of my recommendations are confined to the equipment I'm familiar with.  redface.gif  

 

Mike

 

I think it is a great DAC. The only comparison I have though is the dac from the pan am and the e17. 

 

I like how you think mate. It makes sense to maybe skip the DACmini. I do want to get a centrance product somewhere down the line, just to experience how good their products are. I figure I can always keep what I love, and sell the ones that don't mesh with my preferences. However, that's what I said when I got the Lyr, and yet I can't get myself to part with the Asgard. That's also what I said when I got the LCD 2, and yet I still have the HD598 and my entry level phones! This hobby is evil. lol!

 

But the Soloist and the T1s are definitely in my radar. That would perhaps set me up for years and years once I've scrounged up enough cash. :)

post #629 of 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonstatt View Post

I really can't find any way to describe the LCD-3 and the Soloist as being anything less than a marriage made in heaven to my ears! I have tried both the LCD-2 rev 2 and the LCD-3s with the Soloist. The LCD-2s have a more peaky treble which can at first come across as sharper, brighter. The LCD-3s have a smoother treble but you start to hear more detail across the spectrum because of it. Sometimes the impression of being laid back comes from not having enough treble for YOUR ears. Missing treble can make the sound too warm or lacking pace, because our brains often use high frequency cues for timing perception. However, I have particularly good high pitched hearing, and therefore am VERY critical of headphones like the HD800 which just sound unpleasant to me because the treble is simply too much and it fatigues me.

 

So I think it is really really important for people to understand that a combination of headphone and amplifier is not simply black and white, works or doesn't. It really depends on YOU, and you need to listen to combinations yourself if possible before purchasing.

 

To me the LCD-3 in combination with the Soloist is rich, defined, solid and not in the least bit slow, laid-back or fatiguing. I can sit and listen for hours. The biggest problem is that you are in danger of listening to things too loud because everything is so clear with no distortion. Also the LCD-3 does have audibly faster transient responses which if anything make it more energetic at some frequencies.

 

There were some problems with early LCD-3s that were described as sounding veiled and needed re-work. Certainly those early problematic LCD-3s could give rise to negative perceptions with many amplifiers. I don't think the LCD-3 (a good one) is any harder to pair than the LCD-2.

 

Agreed. biggrin.gif

post #630 of 1162

I still prefer the LCD-2 on the Soloist over the LCD-3.  LCD-3 needs a more aggressive amp unless you like laid back sound.  Source is obviously going to affect the result too ;)

 

I'll run an official A/B tonight but I think I prefer the Soloist to the First Watt F3 for the LCD-2 as well. :O

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