Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › New Burson Soloist SL Headphone Amp!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New Burson Soloist SL Headphone Amp! - Page 9

post #121 of 205

Mine arrived today, I ordered it from Audio Affair as well. So far I'm chuffed with it... Goes very well with the TH-900 :D

post #122 of 205

Just ordered 1 through moon audio.    Use code - Amp50 to save $50

$549+ f/s

 

I cant wait to pair it with my Fostex HP-A3 dac and one of my Technics 1200 turntables!

post #123 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by tattare View Post

Just ordered 1 through moon audio.    Use code - Amp50 to save $50

$549+ f/s

 

I cant wait to pair it with my Fostex HP-A3 dac and one of my Technics 1200 turntables!

 

Congrats mate! Let us all know what you think beerchug.gif

post #124 of 205

 

Well she arrived and shes very clear.  When you lift the needle off the record its like the unit is turned off.   So quiet!

No complaints paired with the TCC TC-750 preamp

Iv yet to hook it up to the Fostex hp-a3 & Denon DVD-1920

post #125 of 205

Review Equipment:

Source:         Dell Studio Slim PC running Windows 7, JRiver Media Jukebox as media player

DAC:              Schiit Audio Bifrost, fed by Audioquest Cinnamon USB to Nuforce uDac2-SE converted to Media Bridge digital coax

Cables:          Power – Shunyata Venom 3S (amp and DAC); RCA – Bob’s Devices copper cable; Headphones: Artemis Cables “Silver Arrow”

Amp:             Musical Fidelity M1HPA

Headphones:     Audeze LCD-2v2; Audeze LCD-3 (provided with loaner Soloist SL)

 

Packaging/Build Quality:

Upon receipt of my loaner Burson Soloist SL direct from the Aussies, I could hardly contain my excitement.  This was my opportunity to listen to a headphone amp that had all the right intentions in mind: simplicity, quality parts, stream-lined power.  After unboxing, openly visible was the ample packaging designed for light-weight, foam-centric protection.  Provided was a set of RCA cables, a standard 10amp power cord, and the User Manual.  All looked tidy and fresh.  Pulling the Soloist SL out of its sleeve, one can immediately detect the craftsmanship of this piece.  The brushed aluminum casing is a super clean, cool, and durable-looking feature.  The Alps pot dialed smooth as butter, with a very substantial feel to the knob.  No issues found with the inputs around back, nor with the selectors up front.  The solitary “Burson” etched in front, classy!  Once powered on, I gave the unit a few hours of burn-in after its travels.  The rear analog and power inputs grasped their respective cables with a good, Goldilocks grip.  Primed and prepped, it’s time for this SL to sing.

 

Listening:

If I had to give a single-word description to the Soloist SL, it would be: detail.  This amp is a detail machine, wherein it unveils the finer elements that often times can get glossed over with other amps.  Not to say those details aren’t there with other amps, but the Soloist SL simply draws the curtain to reveal those intricacies with a brighter, more focused spotlight.  For example, when listening to Chris Botti’s Live in Boston – When I Fall in Love, the articulations of the drummer’s brush on the snare was undoubtedly present.  Each flick and snap of the brush revealed its own character of jazzy-snazz.  With the likes of the M1HPA, this was merely layered over by a splashy spray, essentially hiding the emotion and groove of the drummer’s intent.  Likewise, on the other end of the spectrum, while listening to Tool’s Lateralus – Ticks and Leeches, beginning at around 3:30, the track turns from the head-banger’s heaven to an atmospheric windscape.  During this transitional phase in the song, the distant sputterings and unintelligible vocal mixings span across the aural field.  These elements are lost in translation with lesser-focused amps, and furthermore headphones.  Not so with this silver surfer!

 

The treble frequencies with the SL are laid clearly out to harvest.  There is nothing hidden with this amp, and even more impressive, is the fact that nothing else is added (i.e. glare, sibilance).  Never did I once feel the need to remove the headphones from my head, as fatigue stayed far away.  The same cannot be said for the M1HPA, with its more sterile, washy treble.  Cymbal crashes, sky-high guitars, and female vocals all retain their composure with the Burson, while never pushing edginess to the forefront or drawing any unwanted attention.  A great example of some ravenous highs that the SL tamed is in Anathema’s Weather Systems – Lightning Song.  The powerful crescendo into this song’s soaring climax includes an onslaught of cymbals and guitar, which presents as borderline incoherent with the M1HPA.  The Soloist SL renders the instruments with appropriate clarity and air, despite the barrage.  This amp simply possesses the best treble I’ve heard from any amp so far, which is without a doubt my number one aggressor, historically.  

 

Coming into the mid-range universe, the true character of the Burson comes to life.  Let me begin by saying there is no doubt this amp is solid-state through and through, but the SL truly does dance with the tubes.  The hints of light bulb liquidity come into play, depending on the choice of music at hand.  With this, comes a well enveloped yet roomy soundstage.  The M1HPA does best the SL in this department, giving way to greater spaciousness, as well as a lower noise floor.  The Burson brings a bit of a “bubble” effect to the table here, as well.  Everything you want is there, but it feels a bit more forward and contained.  Rather than a landscape to swim in, you’re more so treading water.  Dream Theater’s Images and Words – Metropolis: Part 1 portrays this difference well.  The intro spreads a more distant playing field of instrumentals with the M1HPA, most noticeably with the first tom-tom strike centerstage.  Where the SL counters, however, is in the details again.  Instruments have their appropriate decays, textures, and air around them.  The M1HPA simply glosses over these aspects, giving a more wall-like signature.

 

The SL, however, has an effortless sound signature, to the degree of letting the music just “be”.  Authority is most certainly present in the SL’s domain.  Where the M1HPA will present a smooth and balanced sound, it also proves to be rather polite in comparison to the Burson.  Bass has more grip, punch and fullness, and will continue to drive forth as the attenuator heads east without losing its control.  Sticking with the bass department, there is plenty to go around with the SL.  And not to harp solely on the quantity; another highly apparent aspect of the SL’s bass is texture.  Finally, I understand what is meant by the term.  Regardless of genre, loudness, or impact, bass of all brands is presented with the flavor, color, and temperature as desired by the artist.  Lastly, the depth of bass, while very similar to the M1HPA, did seem to dig down deeper with more gusto.  One caveat exists, however, and that is a wee bit of bloat to go along with it all.  This, however, improved steadily with the introduction of upgraded power and headphone cables from stock…another day, another discussion.

 

One final note from my 2 weeks with this amp is an odd sensation that came through in my later listening: pace.  When listening to most of the music in my collection, pace never seemed to be an issue or question.  That was until I played some trumpet concerto, via Alison Balsom’s rendition of Haydn Hummel classics.  Here, the Burson lost its “giddy-up”, leaving me to feel like I had to coax the music along to get up to speed.  This simply did not happen with the M1HPA.  Could this be an inherent aspect of the design that will most notably apply to specific genres of music?  PRaT fans adjourn, you’ve been warned.

 

Conclusion:

For those of you looking for a mid-tier, high-performing, and aesthetically pleasing bundle of power for your ‘phones, you may not need to look much further.  The Soloist SL is an amalgamation of trickle-down technology, finesse, and focus.  It presents itself as a harbinger of detail, a master of musicality, and a requisite of refinement all in one gorgeous package…oh yeah, and for well under that $1000 threshold.  With this amp you will receive articulate and crisp highs, a liquid yet decisive midrange, and a gutsy and textured low end that will beg you to play “just one more song”.  This is certainly a no-nonsense amp that delivers the goods while also saving valuable real estate on your desktop.  Feel free to seek out the upgraded peripherals, which the SL will certainly reward their presence.  The good news is, however, you can argue for not even needing them to begin with.  This silver surfer is just that good right out of the box!  I want one.

post #126 of 205

Thank you for your review. Last time I had a comparison with Violectric V100 / V200, I thought they are slightly more detailed than the Burson, but Burson may well have the edge in being organic, airy, and as you said, a gusty and textured low end.

 

There is little doubt to my mind that both Burson and Violectric easily surpass your another amp, Musical Fidelity M1, which sound somewhat pale and clinical in comparison.

post #127 of 205

thanks guys, but I've just read from a audeze support forum that the LCD-2/3 need about 1W at 50Ohm to prevent clipping at some large orchestral music which might peak from 90db to about 120db on occasion, and by calculation the SL only delive ~0.64W at 50Ohm, anyone who've tested the SL with the LCDs notice any problem with it?

post #128 of 205

@Chik0240, the guy who posted his impressions above ^ he was using the LCD-2 R2 and the LCD-3. 

post #129 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by technica18 View Post

I have a strange problem. I hear a buzzing sound which is prevalent in the left channel from zero volume to 1 o'clock and prevalent in the right channel from 1 o'clock to max. Anyone else experiencing this with their SL? It's even worse on high gain.

I finally figured out that it was a light dimmer causing the buzzing noise.
post #130 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chik0240 View Post

thanks guys, but I've just read from a audeze support forum that the LCD-2/3 need about 1W at 50Ohm to prevent clipping at some large orchestral music which might peak from 90db to about 120db on occasion, and by calculation the SL only delive ~0.64W at 50Ohm, anyone who've tested the SL with the LCDs notice any problem with it?

Of the classical music I listened to, I never experienced any lack of power reserves across the range. Honestly, the SL delivers plenty if power for the LCDs. The only headphones I'd be concerned about are the likes of the HiFiMan HE-600s. Don't always relate power ratings to performance. The LCDs really don't need that much power to perform well. Extra power really just rewards the experience with some more headroom and openness to the sound.
post #131 of 205
Correction: HE-6, to avoid potential confusion.
post #132 of 205
The SL drives the LCD-2 really well. I can't really tell a difference between the SL and the Lyr with the LCD-2 apart from having to crank the SL a little more due to the power difference. Please keep in mind this doesn't include classical music. With the HD800 though I greatly prefer the SL.
post #133 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabio-fi View Post

@Chik0240, the guy who posted his impressions above ^ he was using the LCD-2 R2 and the LCD-3. 

 

Thanks brother!, and yea, I noticed that was even the promotion loner program pairing, just mere curious when I came across the mentioned suggestion power, so wanna have a look about fellow head-fiers

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by technica18 View Post

The SL drives the LCD-2 really well. I can't really tell a difference between the SL and the Lyr with the LCD-2 apart from having to crank the SL a little more due to the power difference. Please keep in mind this doesn't include classical music. With the HD800 though I greatly prefer the SL.

Thanks, again! actually I am using a HE-500 paring with the SL with no problem at all, but as someone who's always "looking" at full potential of headphones I'd be curious if my friend wanna go to the soloist will the SL be enough or the original soloist is a much better amp (we hate clicking of the stepped attenuator) or the SL will be enoughgs1000.gif thanks guys

post #134 of 205

Went over to a friend's last night and listened to his Q701 with his Soloist SL... and I have to say I was impressed with this little amp.  Now, I've previously only had the K701's so I don't know if there's supposed to be that much difference between the two on their own (haven't really compared it, though I've read conflicting reports of how Q701 may be warmer), but combined the the Soloist SL it really had a excellent bottom end, way more than I remember my K701 having out of various amps... and no hint of harshness at all either.  Not the dry, clinical K701 that I remember at all.  If the Q701 is actually supposed to be more or less then same as K701's then I have to say the Soloist SL is doing hell of a job amping it!

post #135 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

Now, I've previously only had the K701's so I don't know if there's supposed to be that much difference between the two on their own (haven't really compared it, though I've read conflicting reports of how Q701 may be warmer), but combined the the Soloist SL it really had a excellent bottom end, way more than I remember my K701 having out of various amps... and no hint of harshness at all either.

 

I've seen a few people state this about the Soloist (the regular not the SL) and I feel differently. I have limited experience with different solid state amp, but when I moved from the 160D to the Soloist I felt like there was significantly less bottom end.  Again that's just my direct comparison with a 160D in regards to the bottom end, can't speak to other varieties of amps.  I suppose if a lot of the other solid states on the market have an even weaker bottom end I would not be a fan of them.

 

I've also seen a few posters here describe the Soloist as "laid-back".  This makes me wonder which amps are more up-front or aggressive....would love to try one.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › New Burson Soloist SL Headphone Amp!