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!