Got to try out a Soloist today with the 2000x and came away totally unimpressed. Music just sounded tinny and fake, poorly layered and just plain uninteresting. They slightly improved the soundstage on the 2000x, but the resulting sound was worse than the headphones unamped. Very surprising, very disappointing.
Similar results with a Teac HA-501, except in reverse...puny soundstage, but slightly warmer, more intimate sound (like a puny room with fun acoustics). I liked it slightly more than the Soloist, but it is not worth the price tag. Simply put, it's not a $1000 piece of gear. If it were $200...maybe.
I did have some luck with this little guy though. Huge soundstage (almost 3d sounding), tons of detail and a warm, rich sound. Was excellent with female vocals (one of the things I'm not in love with for the 2000x unamped...this gave Celine Dion her full vocal range again) It was a little boomy with electric guitar-heavy tracks, but it feels like a nitpick than a complaint and can probably be cleaned up with different tubes. I'm keeping this one on my radar for now.
Edited by GoldfishX - 6/8/13 at 12:45am