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burson new soloist headphone amp - Page 55

post #811 of 1169

CoolBurn, no offense taken, mate.  No offense intended either.  I was serious that your joke made me laugh.  I was initially thinking..oh maybe I am not crazy...ahh..ok a joke :- I  

 

My concern was actually a legitimate one.  This exchange spiraled a bit - related in no small part to my doggedness about things.  The first message I posted about this was literally within 24hrs of receiving the Soloist.  The difference between gain settings was more evident then than it is now.  The "hoodedness" is largely gone now - compared to my Benchmark DAC1 amp section.  The Soloist is an improvement on the DAC1 amp.  I bought the unit as a demo and did not know how many hours were on the unit.  I sort of assumed it was broken it.  So, I was a bit disappointed by what I was hearing.  I am not hesitant to pull the trigger on equipment (buy, return or sell), rather than have it ruin my mood.  So, I was really looking for some answers.  I re-contacted the dealer and he told me the unit was practically new with only 50 hours or so.  Things have changed for the better now that I am approaching 100 hrs of my own break-in.  It seems the viewpoints I brought to the forum - my own, other reviewers, etc. - had already been rationalized.     

 

BTW, I don't think of volume attenuation and gain as the same thing (I could be wrong).  Volume attenuation is simply adjusting input signal into the same gain stage(s).  This is more obvious with a digit volume readout.  Creating gain could be accomplished a number of ways including using feedback as in Class AB designs (and all the associated problems that causes).  I believe the Lyr actually switches from Class A to Class AB to accomplish more gain.  I assume they do this to keep the heat contained and the unit small.  That said, designers have gotten much better with more efficient designs - AB and lower.  I have a 500W Bel Canto amp that is a switchy Class D design, usually Class D is only good for subs - lots of output, poor quality.  The Bel Canto sounds great through very revealing speakers.  It is not that much bigger than the Soloist and runs cool as a fan to boot.

 

Party on, mates!  I have picked up this "mate" thing since the Burson arrived!

 

   

post #812 of 1169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasquale View Post

This is likely an open question and a matter of preference.  There seems to be sufficient evidence that something sonic is going on, however slight.  But, as they say in my hood..."This amp is pure butta!"  That is "butter" for the unfamiliar - that means excellent, smooth, fluid, worth calling a friend!  The Soloist has that quality I look for in hi-end gear.  The ability to be smooth and detailed simultaneously.  I achieved this effect in my full-scale system after too many dollars in Sonic Frontiers (now defunct) tube gear - including monoblock amps that could warm a house - and Revel speakers.  

 

BTW, please don't sleep (another hood term) on the capabilities of the Soloist as a preamp.   Reviewers have commented on this for reasons I didn't completely understand at the time.  I have a pair of Audioengine A5's on my desktop.  I have never thought much of them.  I have fed them with both a Benchmark DAC1 and a Lyr - with unremarkable results in each instance.  Reviewers said these speakers were overachievers at $300USD or so for powered speakers.  I didn't get it.  But...led by the Soloist these puppies sing...details and controlled bass!  They report on changes in the front end.  I don't completely understand why such a difference.  The A5's are not going to convince you they are Proac's tablettes or anything (yah, I know not a powered speaker, not a desktop, expensive, etc..but my reference in a dynamic compact speaker.), but quite satisfying when you want to take the phones off - and pretend to join the rest of your family..lol.       

 

Cheers, 

Pasquale

I have the A5+ and the Soloist, never thought of hooking them up. Thanks for the idea.

post #813 of 1169

Has anyone compared the Soloist to the Bryson BHA-1?

post #814 of 1169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasquale View Post

CoolBurn, no offense taken, mate.  No offense intended either.  I was serious that your joke made me laugh.  I was initially thinking..oh maybe I am not crazy...ahh..ok a joke :- I  

 

(...)    

 

BTW, I don't think of volume attenuation and gain as the same thing (I could be wrong).  Volume attenuation is simply adjusting input signal into the same gain stage(s).

(...)

 

   

 

Hello Pasquale,

 

I'm happy that you didn't take any offense from my previous message :)  I really didn't think that it made you laugh by the way :)

 

And yes, I perfectly agree about volume attenuation being something different from gain, as you explained it.  My point was only that if gain could change the "qualities" of the sound (including volume of course), then why shouldn't we worry about the volume attenuation being well able to do so as well (putting some resistor between the weak input signal and the amp - seems to me like it could change something as well then).

 

Have a nice day everyone !

post #815 of 1169
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolBurn View Post

 

Hello Pasquale,

 

I'm happy that you didn't take any offense from my previous message :)  I really didn't think that it made you laugh by the way :)

 

And yes, I perfectly agree about volume attenuation being something different from gain, as you explained it.  My point was only that if gain could change the "qualities" of the sound (including volume of course), then why shouldn't we worry about the volume attenuation being well able to do so as well (putting some resistor between the weak input signal and the amp - seems to me like it could change something as well then).

 

Have a nice day everyone !

 

It's a fair point, CoolBurn.  Amp manufacturers go through pains to try to make certain their volume pot doesn't affect the sonics as it very well could.  Some preamps don't sound good (detailed, etc.) at low volumes - the curve changes - in part due to poor implementation of the pot.  This is somewhat why people think a wide open dial is better - remove more resistors from the chain.  I simply did not think Burson's pot was the problem given the company and reviewers have raved about Burson's proprietary system.  In the reviews, some questions were raised about the gain settings, so I naturally went down that path.  I generally think of adjustable gain as a trickier problem - it can change the curve.  I think of it like swinging a golf club.  Even if one could just speed up the swing without changing any other parameters, the higher swing speed contorts the golf ball more at impact.  The result is non-linear.  Not completely analogous, I know.  But, both are levers of a sort. 

 

Anyway, I will stop there.  This subject is interesting to me as an audio nerd (a nerd in general) but obviously a ...yawner ;-o ...for some members.

 

Talk about March Madness anyone?      

post #816 of 1169
Quote:
Originally Posted by cradon View Post

I have the A5+ and the Soloist, never thought of hooking them up. Thanks for the idea.

 

No problem.  It sounds pretty good.  But, it also is making me consider a new set of better speakers like the Dynaudio's.  Man, this never stops....every time I think I am out...it just pulls me back in dt880smile.png

post #817 of 1169

I listened to the Soloist yesterday with a LCD3 and LCD2. I was very unimpressed. Sound was distant and lifeless. With LCD3 it was really really "bad". Poor performance.

Better with LCD2 but nothing special considering the price tag. I enjoyed LCD2 directly out the dx100 better than with the Soloist.


Edited by Lito1 - 3/21/13 at 6:08am
post #818 of 1169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lito1 View Post

I listened to the Soloist yesterday with a LCD3 and LCD2. I was very unimpressed. Sound was distant and lifeless. With LCD3 it was really really "bad". Poor performance.

Better with LCD2 but nothing special considering the price tag. I enjoyed LCD2 directly out the dx100 better than with the Soloist.

 

I hope all the associated equipment was well broken-in:  the phones and the Soloist.  I would have said the exact same thing the first time I listened to the amp through my HE-500's.  There is quite a difference in the Soloist after some burn-in time.  It's not subtle really.  This has been commented on many times.  I can say now that the amp is definitely not dull - quite dynamic at both ends.  There is even a difference if the amp has not been plugged in for a quite...kind of strange for a SS.  It takes some time for that effect to wear off.  Burson comments on this in the manual I believe.

 

Happy hunting!

 

Au revoir

post #819 of 1169

i always thought burn in was a bunch of bullschiit. but as i've upgrade my phones and gear, i couldn't have been more wrong. you can go about it one of two ways.

 

1. listen to your setup immediately and enjoy hearing it smooth out and find its final sound. (here you run the risk of freaking out that it sounds like crap at first, so you return/sell it off and give terrible impressions of very good gear on headfi that you didn't burn in properly)

 

or

 

2. run the setup 24/7 for at least a week before any listening whatsoever. you can save yourself some initial buyers remorse if you stay strong and burn her in.

post #820 of 1169

Well it had a great run but the Soloist finally met its match.  To be fair the GS-X mk2 is 2.5x it's price and shall we say the wait time is considerably longer than with the Burson ;)

 

Soloist is still firmly placed as my second favourite amp of all time,  The GS-X bests it everywhere in an incremental sort of way.  Not a complete 180, just better at what the Soloist does already.

post #821 of 1169

Hey. I am using the headphone connection on the Marantz PM 8004. Love this amp!

post #822 of 1169

Has anyone compared it to GLite v2 with DPS, wondering if upgrade worth the hassle?

post #823 of 1169

^ I instantly disliked the Soloist with the AD2K for whatever that's worth. Only mentioning that since I know you use the AD2K too. And now that I have the GS-X MK2, it just re-affirms my opinion that a Dynalo (or Dynalo+) type amp is one of the best for the AD2K.

post #824 of 1169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

Well it had a great run but the Soloist finally met its match.  To be fair the GS-X mk2 is 2.5x it's price and shall we say the wait time is considerably longer than with the Burson ;)

 

Soloist is still firmly placed as my second favourite amp of all time,  The GS-X bests it everywhere in an incremental sort of way.  Not a complete 180, just better at what the Soloist does already.

 

The GS-X mk2 looks like a phenomenal unit.  It should better the Soloist at the price point (although that is never guaranteed).  Someone had a silver one for sale on the site.  It reminds me however, (before I get my next upgrade itch) that I have a Sonic Frontiers Line 3 preamp in storage (in another state).  It's a fantastic tube preamp.  A bit finicky, but the best I have ever heard (or not heard as may be the case with preamps).  I wasn't into headfi at the time.  I wonder if there is a correlation between the quality of the preamp and it's associated headphone capabilities.  I assume the headphone output is run by the same output circuitry?  Any thoughts?

 

Imagine sitting that on my desk!

post #825 of 1169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

And now that I have the GS-X MK2, it just re-affirms my opinion that a Dynalo (or Dynalo+) type amp is one of the best for the AD2K.

 

FYI Burson's 'new understanding' was finding the Dynalo page on HeadWize so it still surprises me that people dismiss the Soloist out of hand and then claim love for the Dynalo ;)

 

But does go to show the effect of part selection and power supply design.

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