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Rhapsodio Solar

Rating:
4.83333/5,
  1. PinkyPowers
    Of, Relating To, Or Determined By The Sun: A Review of the Rhapsodio Solar CIEM
    Written by PinkyPowers
    Published Aug 7, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Detailed and clear. A wealth of deep, deep bass. Glistening highs. Perfect Mids. Delivers a thick, full sound.
    Cons - Cable is rather stiff.
    SolarAK120ii4.jpg

    What would you do if you owned a pair of IEMs you loved completely—if only they weren’t so god-awful big?

    That’s my predicament with the Jerry Harvey Audio Siren Series Angie. I’ve now owned her just under a year, and sound-wise she leaves nothing to be desired. Everything I wrote in my review still holds. And then some! Unfortunately, her size causes me sorrow and distress in regular intervals, tarnishing an otherwise miraculous relationship.

    Modern wisdom says the solution to this conflict is to go custom with Angie, and I very nearly did. Yet I couldn’t shake the notion this was an opportunity to explore something new, something I may like even better.

    My passions run towards a warmer, weightier sound. Angie is capable of superb note thickness, but I wanted to push this philosophy even further. The Noble Kaiser 10 almost got my money, its legendary status as a beefy, warmth-monster speaking directly to my aforementioned disposition.

    However, the Solar BA10 repeatedly beat out Noble by Head-Fi members who owned or tried both. So in a reckless leap of faith I contacted Rhapsodio.

    SolarFarInfraredAK120ii.jpg

    Big Boss Sammy at Rhapsodio is highly responsive on Facebook—not so much via email—and he took good care of me. Being a life-long artist, I simply had to design the CIEM myself. I sent him some proof of concept images for the look of my custom Solars and he and his team were enthusiastic about tackling the project.

    RedWineMockup.jpg

    Now, I’m not going to lie to you, Sammy is not the greatest with English. Communication is hit or miss at times. Now and again I must take pains to make certain we understand one another. Although, seeing as I don’t know any second languages, he’s doing far better than me. Plus, he’s very patient with me and willing to work things out until all the details are agreed upon by both parties.

    This is my first experience with Custom In-Ear Monitors. I found an Ultimate Ears-approved Audiologist very close to me. She made the process painless, admiring how clean my ears were and commenting on my average canal size… which I felt undercut the praise a little. There’s nothing average about this man’s biology; I’m an experimental mutation the likes of which shall never be seen again.

    Wait-time on my CIEM Solar ended up being two months… the first go around. For someone who’s previously only gone the universal route, waiting months for a new earphone is hard on the psyche. So you can only imagine the mental anguish of finding out the left ear piece does not seal well. I held on to them for a week, trying to maintain my denial. Eventually reason won out.

    Back to the Audiologist for another ear-mold. And another one-and-a-half-month-wait for the refit.

    And the left side is still not perfect!

    Placing blame for fit issues with CIEMs is not clear-cut. It could be the Audiologist, the earphone manufacturer, or even your own damn fault. Maybe you tensed your jaw while the impressions set.

    The fact the left monitor still does not fit perfectly is fishy. I shall bring my IEMs into the Audiologist and try to figure out what’s going on here. I CAN achieve a good seal. It just doesn’t last like a custom fit ought to. You needn’t worry that my review is compromised by sub-par audio. I’ve put a couple hundred hours on these with absolute perfect seal. I know what these truly sound like.

    Who’s at fault over fit issues may be a gray area, but it’s far easier to blame Rhapsodio for the adventure I’ve had with the cable.

    During our very first correspondences I stated my want for a 2.5mm TRRS Balanced cable. I went so far as to put that info, along with other specifics, in the PayPal notes upon purchase. I wrote a lovely letter that traveled with my ear impressions across the ocean which also made reference to the type of termination my cable should have. I made further comments about it during the many Facebook chats I enjoyed with Sammy.

    The first time my Solars arrived they came with a 3.5mm TRS cable. I laughed. Sammy Laughed. When they came back after the refit, it still only had a 3.5mm TRS cable. I groaned, and Sammy cried. He decided to build me a special cable with a special new connector he found. Sammy claimed it changed the sound in a way he was very excited about.

    TRRSCase.jpg

    TRRSCable.jpg

    It’s a fine bit of work to be sure. The only thing different is the termination, and yet he’s right, it does sound truly different. Even when I use my 2.5mmTRRS-to-3.5mmTRS adapter, to rule out my AKs balanced output as the culprit, there is indeed a change. It sounds a tad clearer than the other cable, but the bass is audibly lower, which I’m not a fan of.

    The volume in general is also lower, which should not be, since my AK120ii puts out more voltage through its 2.5mm output. There must be a ridiculous amount of resistance in this jack. Unfortunately, the lack of bass is not an illusion due to the lower overall volume. When I volume match, and listen critically, the lows are lessened by a serious margin.

    I think I’ll re-terminate this new cable myself when I find the motivation. For now I’ll stay with the single-ended 3.5mm cable.

    The standard Pandora cable is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and right sturdy, but I don’t like how stiff it is, or the rough texture coating each strand.

    Sammy also turned my regular old standard Solars into FarInfrared Solars, which involves placing magic stickers on the driver clusters inside the shell. It’s meant to make the sound cleaner, with better extension. But no one can explain how or why. Since so much time past during the refit, I’m in no position to give a reliable comparison between the two versions. I loved them before, and I love them now. The stickers are pretty though.

    SolarFarInfrared.jpg

    Which makes this a good time to talk about how these buggers actually sound, yes?

    The Rhapsodio Solar BA10 delivers a full, bassy presentation, with enough treble to maintain good air and detail. The vocals stand back a pace on the stage, letting the lows and highs swell around them to wonderful effect. Very much like a live rock concert. Solar uses ten Balanced Armature drivers: A pair of large drivers for bass. Four medium-size boxes dedicated to the middle spectrum. And four tiny tweeters administer the highs.

    I cannot call the Solar v-shaped. The Klipsch R6 is v-shaped. In contrast, Solar is artfully done, as you never lose the vocals, no matter how much bass exists on the record. Like I said before, the mids simply take a small step back, nowhere near enough for the other frequencies to bury them.

    Nonetheless, the Solar’s bass is its defining quality. It blooms and rumbles deep into the lower reaches. It’s fast and smooth and remarkably natural in tone. It sounds more like a dynamic driver than a BA. Such warmth swaths the music, creating a tangible, earthy presence.

    SolarX51.jpg

    You would expect earphones like this to be dark in balance, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Solar’s treble pierces the gloom in clear, bright highs that sparkle like a pearl in sunlight. The treble is clean and honest, widening the soundstage and revealing all the subtle complexities of the track. Upon first hearing Solar, I marveled at how much air there was, given the amount of bass and the thickness of the sound. Those highs truly elevate it above the murky fenlands that often come from too much sub frequency in the mix.

    Terms like “recessed” are misleading when talking about the Solar’s vocal range; you can hear them perfectly. There is detail, grit, and vibrato. They sound true and right. With Rock & Roll, they could not be placed better in the mix. Still, if you are a purist at heart, and hold neutrality at top priority, then Solar is probably not for you, as they are tuned for fun and pleasure-listening, not professional/critical-listening.

    SolarInPelicanCase.jpg
    Solar and AK120ii secure in my Pelican 1060 case, with 1062 foam insert.

    IEMParty.jpg

    I’m cobsmacked at how much the Solar sounds like my early favorite, the Audio Technica IM03. Yes, Solar is much thicker, and noticeably more detailed, yet bass punch and treble sparkle are nearly the same, with Solar just barely edging ahead. Overall balance and tonality are very alike. The IM03 is just a little closer to neutral with the vocals. The Audio Technica is one of the most natural-sounding earphones, and Solar does not necessarily beat it here, but rather matches that high grade.

    Jerry Harvey’s Angie has been my closest companion for so long now. She sings with a voice I fell in love with upon first hearing it. Even after weeks and weeks with nothing but Solar in my ears, when I come back to Angie, I don’t know which I like more. Each does a couple of things better than the other.

    My preference is to keep Angie’s bass attenuators at 2:30, giving her a warm, bassy profile, without losing detail or air.

    Although Solar has two drivers more than Angie, note thickness and weight are about the same, both much fuller than the IM03. Angie is capable of nearly the same volume of bass, but Solar reaches deeper into the sub bass and the lows come off fuller and richer because of it. Amazingly, Solar also possesses FAR greater air in the presentation. Even when I turned Angie’s pots all the way down, Solar sounded brighter, with a better sense of space and atmosphere. This is likely due to Solar’s outstanding treble. I’ve always praised Angie for having clean, well-extended highs, but Solar adds some real sparkle to its top frequencies, and that makes a world of difference here. It brightens the stage up, revealing details Angie might miss.

    SolarAK120ii.jpg

    So you may think by the above paragraph that I clearly favor Solar, but as I’ve said, it’s not quite so easy for me. Angie is smoother and lusher. Probably owing to its lack of sparkle. Every detail is not highlighted, rendering a more forgiving melody. Angie is not dull or muddy. FAR FROM IT. Though compared to Solar, she’s certainly the easier, more euphoric monitor. She pours honey in my ears and I love her for it.

    I planned to sell off Angie when the Rhapsodio Custom came in, but I’m not sure I can do that. Her size really is a detriment, but if I don’t have to use her as my every day carry, maybe I can keep her around for the occasional sexy fun time when I lust for that old honey again.

    In the meantime, The Rhapsodio Solar FarInfrared BA10 CIEM suits my needs splendidly. It is a killer earphone and I can’t recommend it enough. The same goes for Rhapsodio as a company; Sammy helms a magnificent ship over there in Hong Kong. While it may be young, Rhapsodio has grown mighty, and I look forward to seeing where next it sails.

    -~::Pinky_Powers::~-

    SolarAK120ii2.jpg

    SolarFarInfraredLCD22.jpg

    SolarFarInfraredinear.jpg
    1. View previous replies...
    2. FastAndClean
      great review
      FastAndClean, Aug 8, 2016
    3. Paulo Abreu
      Well written.Interesting the mention about K10, makes me feel better and confident on my option for Angies... :)
      Paulo Abreu, Aug 8, 2016
    4. Subhakar
      Old honey. Sexy fun time. Miraculous relationship. Cobsmacked. Magnificent review from a life-long artist. Kudos. :)
      Subhakar, Oct 19, 2016
  2. RRC-Tyr
    Rhapsodio Solars: Hidden Gem in the IEM World
    Written by RRC-Tyr
    Published May 11, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Bass depth and impact, Great mids, resolution and clarity
    Cons - Lack of accessories
    The Solar
    -10 balanced armature drivers
     
    Introduction
    To start, this is my first time writing a review so please bear with me and I would also like to put a disclaimer that everything written here is based on my opinion only and does not in any way undermine products from other manufacturers.
     
    13101326_10206454002734345_365942017_n.jpg
    (Credits to my friend for photo above)
     
    Information
    For the source, I am using an LG G4 running Onkyo HD Player through a MicroUSB OTG cable into the Chord Mojos. Music genre ranges from pop, rock and instrumentals most of which are from Japanese artists like Nana Mizuki, BACK-ON, SPHERE, fripSide and the like. Below will be a list of a few songs listened to for this review. Lastly, all music formats listened to are in FLAC. The Solars used for this review is the Universal version with Rhapsodio's very own "wind" tips (L). This was used as it provided the best fit out everything else. Though I didn't get a chance to take a photo for comparison, I would say the IEM is roughly, if not the same size as JH Audio Angie's. So if you have ears that are in the smaller side, I would suggest getting the custom version. Also, before anything
    Sammy also allows one to put a custom logo and designs/colors not in the website. Feel free to contact Sammy for requests, he is an approachable guy and really nice if I may add.
     
    Treble
    First off, this is the only element in the Solars that I would say does not 100% fit my preference. To start with, the treble is quite sparkly at least for my taste. Though not my cup of tea, it contributes to the overall fun sound signature of the Solar. Quoting what Sammy said 'after around 100-150 hours of burn in, it should lessen'. The sparkle can easily be heard on relatively high volumes especially on high pitched female vocals. This leads me to my next point, treble extension. The treble extends quite high in the Solars to the point that you think your ears will break but never does. If you're the type of person that likes a V-shaped sound signature, then I would 100% recommend the Solars.

    *Note: After roughly 80 hours of listening, I am happy to say that I have learned to love the sparkle in the treble, as a
    matter of a fact, I find that it actually enhances female vocals and contributes to the overall "fun" nature of the Solars*

     
    Mids
    One word, speechless. This is the only thing I can think of that can describe the mids of the Solars. The midrange is full, clear, and natural. I can't think of anything wrong with it at all. As I mainly listen
    to Japanese songs, the midrange is extremely important due to the songs being vocal heavy. The main issue I had coming from full sized headphones(HD650) is that the mids sounds veiled but for the Solars it doesn't sound veiled at all even with the amount of bass present. The mids are unique in the sense that it presents male and female vocals quite differently, males vocals have that slight warmth to it to portray that deep voice while still maintaining clarity. On the other hand for female, the amount of clarity and detail is simply breathtaking.It's like the perfect blend of treble,midrange and bass all in a single package, not one element tries to overshadow the other. I would not change anything which regards to the mids, simply amazing.
     
    Bass
    Before I start ranting on how much I love the bass of the Solars. I would just like to point out that I am a basshead and as such I love earphones that can produce that punchy bass but I am also quite picky when it comes to the quality of bass. Most people think that as long as it has that boomy sound, it has good bass but there is a difference between just boomy bass and good quality bass. And for me the Solar have ticked all the boxes for being a quality bass even exceeding my expectations. The bass of the Solars is fast, punchy and goes really deep. I would say that even if you're used to having little/no bass, you will appreciate what the Solars have to offer. The bass is punchy but in a controlled way, what I mean by control is that even though it extends quite deep for whatever reason the midbass is not muddy at all. The best part is that it doesn't make the vocals sound veiled at all either. I don't know how Sammy did it, but whatever he did it is just amazing.
     
    Soundstage
    Coming from full sized headphones, I would say that my standard for soundstage is a bit different mainly due to being used to the wide and surround like presentation. Taking this into consideration, I would say that the Solars comes up quite close, only lacking a bit of width and height compared to their heavier brothers. If I would use figures for comparison, headphones would present itself as half a circle where each of the instruments have a significant gap as to where they are being played almost like attending a concert with a huge stage. And like a concert, you need to pay a premium price
    to be able to listen closer. On the other hand, the Solar soundstage would be similar to listening in a bar, a bit narrower but the instruments are closer to each other and more in front of you. Though the depth is in my opinion, better than what full size can give. Lastly, the presentation is nice and airy with great resolution. All these things considered, I would say that the Solars is one of the best I've heard in a while in terms of soundstage/presentation.
     
    download_20151222_221635.jpg
    Final Remarks:
    Overall, I would say that the Solars is a great all-rounder if you happen to be in the market for one. Also, if you're the type that wants music to be presented in a realistic and fun manner then I would 100% recommend the Solars. It can definitely hold its own against other TOTL iems from other manufacturers. Considering also the price, one should definitely put the Solars up
    in the list of contenders. As I would say it is one of the best, if not the best bang for the buck IEM in its price range.
     
    Comparison
    These comparison are based on roughly only 2 hours of auditioning due to time constraints when I met with Sammy. So basically, initial impressions and comparison.
     
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    Rhapsodio&Rooth Hybrid Collaboration(MSRP unknown)
    First off I would like to thank sammy for giving me the chance to audition these iems. If I had to compare these IEMs, it's like the little brother of the Solars. Like how little brothers are in real life(at least as kids), they are livelier and more in your face type of IEMs. If the Solars are front going to midrow the rooth collab hybrid is on the front row period. Every aspect aside from soundstage is accentuated,
    treble is more sparkly, while bass hits hard but not as deep. For me, because the bass hits harder; it felt like the bass is not as fast and sometimes find it difficult to catch up to bass heavy fast paced songs. Also, because of this the sound is a bit muddier and sometimes midrange is slightly overshadowed. As I said earlier in this review, sparkly treble is not my cup of tea and as such the rooth collaboration hybrid is not for people that have similar tastes. Though this is the case, I would highly recommend the IEM to people that mainly listens to rock/pop and just wants to have a great midrange iem.
     
    20160101_122201.jpg
     
    Rhapsodio Galaxy(MSRP $1600, comes with SG 2.98 as stock cable)
    This is an IEM that is still currently in development by sammy so these impressions/comparison will not be the final product but roughly 60%-70% of it. The Rhapsodio Galaxy is what I would say how a reference sounding IEM should sound like. If I have to give a comparison, it is literally an HD800 in IEM form. Treble extends really far when called for(even further than the Solars imo) with just the right amount of sparkle. Bass is there only if it's called for, and when it hits it's just the right amount(might not satisfy bassheads). By right amount, you will definitely hear the bass,but once the next note hits it's gone which is probably why I feel that the galaxy is heads above the Solars in terms of clarity and resolution. As a comparison, Solar bass can be felt but Galaxy is more analytical? Lastly  soundstage is similar to the Solars, like the Solars compared to full size headphones,the soundstage is relatively narrower and more compact with one another. Big words as this may be, I think this IEM is a HD800 in a smaller more portable casing sacrificing only some aspects of full sized headphones like comfort and soundstage width and height. Definitely a TOTL item like it's brother the Solars just catered for a different set of people.
     
    Upgrade Cables
     
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    Rhapsodio Golden Litz Cable (roughly $650)
    This is the most expensive invoking cables that I have ever used from the day I started getting into audio. The cable just screams premium in all aspects(particularly color). Now does it sound as good as it looks. In my opinion, it does though imo it's catered for a different set of people. The most obvious thing when I change to these cables is clarity and resolution in the midrange and improves on what the Solars can already deliver with stock cables. Treble extension became even further with these cables to the point that it is ear piercing. This is where for me how the cables transformed the Solars into more reference sounding. As for bass, compared to the stock cable of the Solars it turned into something like the Rhapsodio Galaxy bass, just enough when called for. Soundstage became wider for sure and height is improved a little bit, small but good change. The cable for me is an attempt to retain all the great things about the Solars while trying to mix in little
    bits of how Galaxy and headphones sounds like.
     
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    RSD Nylon Mark 1
    One word "reference", this is the very first thing that came to my mind when I listened using these cables. the transformation is just unreal for me it's like I was using a different IEM close to that of the Galaxy. It transformed the Solars into something opposite of my tastes. As a basshead,I felt that the bass became less and honestly almost non-existent for me. It's like when you're eating cake and you removed the icing which made the Solars sounded a bit dull for my taste. If you're the type of person that likes the treble and upper midrange then by all means this cable is a specialist in improving those two aspects. Don't get me wrong, it is a good cable just not for me. Honestly the one cable I spent the least time on.
     
    2.98 Silver Litz Cable
    Of all the cables mentioned, this is imo the best pair for the Solars. It made the Solars a bit warmer and improved the midrange quite a bit while lessening the sparkle in the treble of Solar. If you're a basshead and you think that the Solars are still lacking then you're in for a treat. These cables gives more authority to the Solar's bass almost like you made the Solars lift some weights. Bass impact and texture is improved and for me brought the drums closer to the vocals in terms of imaging which made it sound like you're in the front row. Mids became slightly more forward resulting in more
    in your face yet fun signature. The cable made the Solars sound fuller while still retaining the overall nature of the Solars.
     
    List of some songs used.
    1) Vitalization- Nana Mizuki
    2) Complication- ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D
    3) Imagination- SPYAIR
    4) Two souls- toward the truth- fripSide
    5) Gyakkou no Flugel- Takayama Minami & Nana Mizuki
    6) Brand New Smile- Takagaki Ayahi
    7) L.L.L- Myth&Roid
    8) The first ending- Myth&Roid
    9) Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari - Love Live
    10) Irresistible- Fall Out Boy
    11) Phoenix- Fall Out Boy
    12) Clock Strikes- One OK Rock
    1. View previous replies...
    2. H T T
      There is no way I can afford this IEM, but where did you purchase your music by Nana Mizuki? It is so hard to get JPOP in the US.
      H T T, May 16, 2016
    3. mahesh
      Very nice Review :)
      mahesh, May 17, 2016
    4. 0MoUsE0
      When I saw the "μ" on the IEM, I already know what the song list is going to look like. XD
      However, nice review, thanks
       
      0MoUsE0, May 22, 2016
  3. ezekiel77
    Rhapsodio Solar - Arise, Empire of the Sun
    Written by ezekiel77
    Published May 5, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Immaculate balance, natural lifelike timbre, coherence, excellent bass, mids and treble, large soundstage with accurate imaging, robust build quality.
    Cons - Slightly veiled mids, sluggish bass at times, blunted note attack (can be too smooth), arguably best sound quality from silver cable.
    Introduction
    A wise man once said that in summit-fi, there are no weaknesses, only preferences. He must work in marketing. I’ve been in the head-fi game since 2012, still a relative newbie, and have tested, bought and sold my way up the ladder in pursuit of “the perfect sound”, which does not exist. Still, the journey has been nothing short of enjoyable, as I continue to be wowed by the many new ways music can be presented.

    Enter the Solar. Rhapsodio is a boutique brand from Hong Kong led by Sammy, who is active in Head-Fi and Facebook. The company is making waves for its impeccable IEM tuning and fancy upgrade cables. The Solar came highly, highly recommended among its reviewers, frequently garnering 5-star reviews. And being a 10BA-driver IEM, was naturally aligned with the Noble K10. Coming from a small city with no interest in developing head-fi, I had no means of testing either. So based on a few stellar reviews, the lower price of the Solar (at the time), and the friendliness of the guys in the Rhapsodio thread, I took the plunge to depths unknown, and bought the Solar blind. I chose the custom, because there’s nothing like commitment in your purchase, heh.


    IMG_20160504_165147.jpg


    Equipment Used:
    Astell & Kern AK100ii
    Chord Mojo
    Rhapsodio Solar
    Campfire Audio Jupiter
    JH Audio JH13 FreqPhase
    JH Audio Angie

    Albums Listened:
    Adele – 25
    Amber Rubarth – Scribbled Folk Symphonies
    Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
    The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
    Jeff Buckley – Grace
    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    Xiomara Laugart – Tears and Rhumba


    IMG_20160503_191747.jpg


    Packaging and Accessories
    I was hand-delivered the Solar by Sammy himself. It came in a simple, classy packaging: all-black cardboard box, opening to reveal a metal miniature suitcase that would probably survive an earthquake, and in it… the power and glory of the sun. Also, the Pandora OCC cables. There weren’t any other accessories per se, but it’s a custom IEM, and I wasn’t expecting any. You were expecting a cleaning cloth?

    Fit, Isolation and Comfort
    Sammy gestured me for a quick fit. Being brand-new CIEMs they had slight resistance going in. Oh don’t worry, they will be coated with a delicate layer of my exquisite cerumen (that’s earwax to you) and will slide right in with repeated fits. And get a really nice sheen while we’re at it. So back to the subject, the fit was perfect, 100% seal for both ears in the first fit. No refits needed, REJOICE! Isolation was near-total blockage of external noise, and that is to be expected in well-made CIEMs. Comfort wasn’t the best and never will be in the first fit, but as of today, they slide in, stay put, and after an hour or so I don’t feel like I have anything inside my ears. Supremely comfortable.


    IMG_20160503_222941.jpg


    Design and Build Quality
    After a quick listen, I took them out of my ears to admire the fruit of my good taste. “Man, I chose good. Look at ‘em!” And I could look at them all day. Black with gold flakes is a Rhapsodio favorite, nearly a trademark, and a timeless design. The build quality is also flawless. I gave Sammy the thumbs up. He gave me an amused “of course” look. It’s really a different feeling when the creator of the CIEM is standing right in front of you. I wanted to gush at his genius, yet had to hold back, as I was certain everyone else has already gushed at his genius. In the end I mustered three words, “好好听 (a very good listen).”

    Cables
    Each Rhapsodio IEM comes with a house cable priced from $130 upwards, and have the look and feel of upgrade cables. The “stock” cable paired with the Solar is the OCC Pandora. After a week or so with it, something felt off, and I had to PM Sammy. This is a matter of preference of course, but to me the notes lacked attack and bite, and I was nodding off even while Rage Against the Machine (a very popular band known for their ballads) was playing. Matter-of-factly, Sammy suggested the RSD silver litz cable for more excitement in the sound, and so I bit. Holding the silver cable in my hands for the first time did not inspire confidence. It was more rigid than the Pandora, and has an unwieldy memory effect. The cable has more of a “backyard DIY” look compared to better-known brands, and the pins did not insert fully into the Solar. The sound had better be good! And true enough, there is a marginal improvement without messing with the overall signature. More note urgency and sparkle. Not a night and day difference, but enough to tell a difference. I didn’t a/b both cables because I sold the Pandora back to Sammy. I’m cheap. Now onto the sound.


    IMG_20160505_120924.jpg


    Sound Impressions:
    Overall Signature

    I’m a wordy dude, so no worries if you’ve skipped everything above. Bro’s got your back. What you need to know is the sound impressions are made with the RSD Silver Litz cable, not the stock Pandora copper. The cables are ran-in for 100 hours, and the Solar about 200 hours total before serious listening began. Sammy’s a proponent of burning-in, and I understand it’s controversial here, so just assume I’m following manufacturer’s instructions if that makes you sleep better at night. The signature is U-shaped, with enough bass to blow your house down, and a smooth yet sparkly treble that’s perfectly balanced. The mids are slightly pushed back, but still very detailed. Notes are thick and rich with a smooth finish, never fatiguing. Attack and decay is natural-sounding but its speed can be sluggish, noticeable in fast tracks. Very good separation and layering of notes owing to a deep and tall soundstage. On the whole, you get a very coherent sound, with a pleasing, easy-to-like signature, and natural, lifelike timbre in instruments. That’s the Solar’s main selling point.

    Bass
    The bass never ceases to amaze me. It’s definitely boosted for your enjoyment, but the bloom and decay sounds so natural, like a well-tuned dynamic-driver. Double bass, bass guitar, bongos, they sound alive and inviting. It reaches deep into your throat, and you feel it! Subbass is gently elevated while the midbass is plenty generous, with a rich tonal body. It does sound slower in complex passages, and not too detailed. But it segues very naturally into the mids, with no bleed at all. The deep soundstage helps in getting the most out of the bass, yet separating it cleanly from the rest of the spectrum. It has its own playground, and flourishes in it. A top, top bass. Hugely satisfying, like something from high-end speaker systems. And I’m not even a basshead.

    Mids
    Sweet, rich, creamy, a gentle but satisfying bite, and well-layered. I assure you I’m not reviewing a fine slice of cake. Although employing a mild U-shaped signature, the mids are still allowed to shine. You get used to the location of the mids, at the deepest part of a semi-circular stage, rather than occupying centre stage. Pop in a record heavy on vocals, acoustic guitar and pianos, and bask in its magnificence. Lower mids carry some body from the upper bass, lending richness and authority to the notes. Upper mids are intimate and melodious. Vocals are located above and in front of the head, with good heft and weight. They sound natural and pleasing, especially male vocals. Guitar plucks are realistic and have fantastic timbre. Pianos sound like the real thing. A GREAT slice of cake. Smooth as butter with no grain, perhaps a bit too smooth, as detail-heads will be clamoring for clarity. Compared to detail-oriented IEMs, there is a veil, but on its own, its richness and smoothness will make you sit back and enjoy the music.


    IMG_20160504_165037.jpg


    Treble
    The most accomplished of the whole spectrum. Where the bass can be sluggish and the mids can be veiled, the treble is hardest to fault to my ears. Hugely resolving, extending for Miles (Davis), with nary a touch of harshness. It’s quite exciting yet forgiving, achieving a splendid balance between smoothness and clarity. Cymbals and hi-hats decay with realism and a certain je ne sais quoi, trumpets bray triumphantly without piercing the ears. Cavalli Audio might have taken the name, but listening to the treble is truly like liquid gold. Some sparkle and shimmer, a fluid and seductive character, and precious to no end.

    Soundstage and Imaging
    This is the IEM that taught me about height, that it’s not enough for a soundstage to be wide and deep, hang on bruv, there’s a third dimension! Where the width is good, but not the greatest I’ve heard among TOTL IEMs, the depth and height are astonishing. The music achieves a definite 3D space, with width, depth, height and layering used to maximum effect, creating a wonderful, enveloping soundscape. Think back to when you were a kid going inside a circus tent for the first time, the sensation overload and being amaze-balled by everything. Okay maybe not that big but you get the idea. Imaging is stellar. Each instrument occupies their own space inside the tent and is allowed equal opportunity to shine. Even with the note thickness of the Solar, separation and air between instruments are well below the lime (sublime). My jokes might fall flat but not the Solar. Like the first burst of light at dawn, the Solar provides light and warmth and invites you to immerse in its splendor. What a sight, what a sound.


    IMG_20160504_215709.jpg


    Comparisons:
    Campfire Audio Jupiter

    The Jupiter is a well-loved 4BA universal with a solid build and a neutral-with-slight-warmth signature. Its subbass and midbass are boosted equally, unlike Solar with more midbass emphasis. Note thickness is similar for both, but impact, slam and rumble definitely goes to the Solar. But curiously, bass detail and separation are better for the Solar despite the elevated midbass. It makes good use of its depth for better layering. Jupiter’s midbass stumbles more in fast passages, notes less well-articulated. For mids, Jupiter’s are in-your-head whereas Solar’s are more above and in front (studio vs stage). Solar has sweeter and more natural mids despite being slightly veiled. Jupiter has boosted upper mids and lower treble that increases detail and clarity, however this makes some instruments, especially trumpets, sound unnatural. Treble in the Jupiter also has more sparkle and shimmer, but not as forgiving and once again, natural sounding as the Solar. Jupiter has the wider stage, but is no match for the depth and height of the Solar. Overall, Solar sounds more coherent with a seamless spectral transition. Jupiter no doubt has a more exciting sound and a bigger wow factor on first listen. But its thick bass and sparkly treble, while good individually, can come out disjointed at times. The Jupiter seems like the kid trying to impress the teacher with his knowhow, while Solar IS the teacher.

    JH Audio JH13 FreqPhase
    The 6BA 13 is my reference, the yardstick by which all TOTLs are measured by. Its exciting, fast, balanced sound makes this an endgame for rock and metal. Against the Solar is a battle between two ideologies, the quick aggressor vs the relaxed slow-burner. Notes are thinner and nimbler on the 13, with a faster and impactful attack and decay. It makes for a very engaging listen. Solar, as I’ve said, has a more natural, lifelike tuning. Sounds sluggish next to the 13, but shines so much more on low-tempo tracks when emotion and euphony are called upon. Then it makes the 13 seem cold and “digital” in comparison. If we go by sections, bass extension is equal for both, but Solar packs more rumble, with a more accurate, realistic timbre. The 13’s mids, probably the weakest point of the 13, is no match at all for the natural, emotive Solar mids. 13’s vocals might sound clearer with a veil removed, but tends to be shoutier. 13’s treble too, is splashier, less forgiving, and can be downright harsh in poor recordings. Certainly more exciting but error-prone next to the Solar. In terms of presentation, Solar has a more immersive, enveloping sound with good layering, while 13 seems to present its music like a flat canvas in front of you. There is width and some depth, but the separation and air between instruments are lacking next to the Solar. And I will again harp on the lifelike timbre of the instruments presented by the Solar. The 13 does cymbals, drums, percussion and high-hats very well, but just about every other instrument is bested by the Solar.

    JH Audio Angie
    The Angie is an 8BA IEM that’s known for its mid-forward neutral sound, and to me the best-tuned of the Sirens. In contrast to the 13, the Angie and Solar share many similarities. Let’s get to it. Angie (at bass port 2:00 position) has slightly more detailed bass, with cleaner notes and quicker decay. Solar is warmer, slower, midbass-heavy, punches harder, with a natural decay, and sounds dynamic-like. Angie sounds like a very good BA bass. Mids they go blow-for-blow, decided only by preference. Angie’s mids are more prominent and upfront, with a bit more detail but grainier. Excellent tuning, except vocals are in-your-head. Solar's mids are located further back, sounds sweeter and smoother but very slightly muffled compared to Angie's mids. Both sound natural, with realistic timbre. I would gladly go for either. Treble is another close fight. Both have equal extension and detail. Angie with more precise, articulated notes, and Solar with sweeter, thicker notation. More treble shimmer and sparkle on the Solar, very addictive and natural. Both are just as forgiving. In terms of staging, Angie is wider, whereas Solar is taller and deeper, with better layering of music. Not to say Angie’s imaging is bad, but Solar makes a better case, using its width, depth and height to create a splendid 3D image. Imaging is a mighty Solar strength! Overall, both are in the same ballpark of warmish, smooth, detailed premier IEMs. Angie has the thinner and better-separated notes, giving the impression of more detail. But Solar, with its thicker, richer notes actually sound airier because it uses its depth and height very well. A rare feat indeed.


    IMG_20160505_091550.jpg


    Conclusion
    This is my first TOTL review, and with apologies to Sammy, I’ve really taken my time with it. Moments of critical listening were interrupted by hours upon hours of sheer musical enjoyment. I have not heard realism from instruments as good as this. It’s uncanny! And like a drunk uncle who knows not when to leave or shut up, I will drill these words again to you. Natural, lifelike timbre. I’ve said natural like a few hundred times in this review alone, because it really was a revelation to me. If you want a well-balanced all-rounder suitable for nearly all genres, with pinpoint imaging and a satisfyingly large soundstage, please do consider the Solar. Its bass, mids and treble gel together in a super-coherent unit, ignited by its immaculate balance. It truly has no deal-breaking weaknesses.

    At this level, and especially with this signature (warm, smooth, detailed), people will gravitate towards fellow headliners Zeus, A12 and of course, the nambawan custom in Head-Fi, the legendary K10. I daresay the Solar stands with that elite group of CIEMs, and trades blows with them week-in, week-out in Head-Fi battles/comparos. Sort of like Austin, Triple H, Undertaker and the Rock. The past year has been a watershed moment in IEM history, with breathtaking TOTLs arriving every other month, portable audio has never been this exciting. With more reviews, good word-of-mouth, and aided by the excellent customer service of Sammy and co., I hope to see the Solar withstand the test of time.


    IMG_20160504_164940.jpg
      autumnholy, Wokei, Kerouac and 7 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. EagleWings
      @ezekiel77 , Cool. I also noticed that a K10 is in order as well. I look forward to reading your comparisons between the Solar, K10 and A12. Exciting times indeed.
      EagleWings, May 6, 2016
    3. ezekiel77
      @EagleWings that one's up in the air bcos the wait is so long. I might or might not cancel, we'll see.
      ezekiel77, May 6, 2016
    4. EagleWings
      @ezekiel77 , oh well.. I'm sure the Solar and the A12 will do the job of keeping the times excited..
      EagleWings, May 6, 2016
  4. ozziecook
    The life-giving Solar
    Written by ozziecook
    Published Jan 29, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Balance, bass detail, sweet treble, clarity, airy soundstage, design, service
    Cons - Tip options
    IMG_4570.jpg IMG_4560.jpg
     
     
     
    David Bowie, John Lennon, Jeff Buckley, George Best, Nick Drake, John Martyn, Syd Barratt, Kurt Cobain and my mother & father. I’ve lost some big loves over the course of my lifetime. Sadly you can’t bring all of them back. But on occasions, I swear that some of them are back in the same room with me.
    Those occasions are when I have Solar in my ears.  Ah the wonderful, life-giving Solar. 
     
    david-bowie-2.jpg    john-lennon.jpg    Georgebest.jpg    Syd-barrett.jpg     nick-drake-012.jpg
     
     
     
    Here’s the story. On first insertion, these purple wonders were like a wobbly, slightly lame drunk dog trying to find its feet.  Raspy, limp, loose and thin. Every track seemed different in quality. Tubular Bells II, to Mike Oldfield’s credit, was astounding. Much of the rest of my cherished lineup was comparatively grisly and I reached yearningly for my FX850’s.
    Angry, with steam and cranky notes still coming out of my ears, I emailed poor Sammy with a list of complaints. He simply replied, ‘Burn. 200 hours’.
     
    So for the next few days, I obeyed the monosyllabic master magician. And boy, oh boy am I glad I did. If ever there was such a myth about the myth of burn in, this was it in action. (It can't really have been my brain can it?)
    Encouraged by a few helpful head-fiers I also added an amp and some decent tips (see below) and persevered. Eventually we had lift off into the Solar system. Sunshine, thunder and hail filled my ears and head space.
     
    I won’t drone on about the accessories which have been covered aplenty by others here. Nice box, yes…even nicer case, great cable, average assortment of tips (sorry Sammy, please get some foamies in there!). But the IEMS themselves were glorious things of beauty. Granted they’re my first proper TOTL iem but they look as good as my wife did when I met her (speaking of my wife, move over gal…I have a sweet pair of new young lovers in my bed with us - deal with it! :wink:
     
    Sammy. Again, most people here have paid homage. I will too. He doesn’t say much, but he’s quicker than a Novak Djokovic return at getting back on email - and I like that. It’s the way I work in my business and it’s nice to see someone else who values customers and efficiency as highly. The only downside. He released Galaxy just after I received my Solar. I would have like to have known about that, the cheeky monkey - but I guess business is business.
     
    My setup then: Plenue P1 → Cayin C5 →Pandora Spc  → Solar → ear ‘oles
     
    Please note, these reflections are based on the above and Trinity Audio foam tips so your mmv. Another point to note;  whilst I have lengthy experience of multiple iem and headphone listening and an unhealthy obsession with chasing aural nirvana, I haven’t experienced many actual TOTL’s for longer than a few minutes – so there won’t be much of the, ‘lower mids on the Solar through the wibbly dangly whip snapdragon cable are 10hz more recessed than the SE5.326 but the upper shrill range is more resolving than the JH NormaJean’-type of comparison. Sorry.  
     
    Also, my impressions on the Solar will be based purely on the set up above – through the P1, which has a multitude of EQing options, and the Cayin. So pure barebacked Solar impressions, these aren’t. (How many really are, I wonder?) I’m merely telling you my experiences at my preferred settings.
     
    So, with my Solars still burning in, I ran through my motley and dubious collection:
    Floyd, Steely Dan, Beethoven, Gabriel, Fleetwood Mac, Amber Rubarth, Steven Wilson, Kate Bush, Supertramp, Yes, Miles Davis, Mozart, Sting, Diana Krall, Agnes Obel, Bonobo, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Bowie, Holst, Radiohead, The Beatles, The Doors, Wycliffe Gordon, Vivaldi, Van Morrison etc etc. And like Frankenstein’s monster…it slowly came alive.
     
    Sting’s ‘All this time’. Now this is a quasi-live album. But the production is superb. The Solars put you in the nightclub, with glasses chinking slightly in the distance…it seems more like you’re on stage than in the audience…and then ‘Fragile’ begins. Piano music is notoriously difficult to reproduce well…but the Solars do just fine, with a pleasing depth of body and delicate tinkling up higher. And the strings and wind instruments…just beautiful.  There’s a real sparkle to the treble too and a real sense of distance and air between the instruments that the fantastic Solar treble brings.
     
    The best album, I find, to check out soundstaging and imaging is Amber Rubarth’s binaural ‘Sessions from the 17th Ward’. It’s a threadbare mix of drums, guitars, violins and Amber’s vocals in an acoustic, almost echoey setting. With the Solars it’s like being in a hologram with drums pounding deep far to the right, guitars to the far left and in the middle and Amber just in front. You can hear her move her head as she sings and her intakes of breath as she reaches for the next syllable. Then there’s the strings reaching deep around you. It’s not easy to harness Ms Rubarth’s voice as it can be a little harsh on the highs with some iems. Not so with the Solars. It’s just clean, pure with a touch of echo - and not a trace of sibilance either.
     
    Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side…’. Oh no, not that, I hear you say. Yep, fraid so. None better for comparing what I’ve heard before as it’s been with me for…a long time. OMG. I’m drifting into cliché when I say I’m hearing things I’ve never heard before. But it’s true. There are occasions with Solar when you feel like you’re actually inside the music looking around at each instrument and note. Something catches you and you focus on it, almost looking around the specific sound from each angle. That’s what it was like with DSotM and Solar. I’m sure I heard a bum note too…or a recording glitch. Must check it out again sometime.
     
    PeterGabriel.jpg         phil_collins4.jpg
     
     
    I’ve got a confession. I love Peter Gabriel. Not in that sense of course. He knows it mind…as I spoke to him once or twice about a book I was going to write on him and I think I must have made a real arse of myself.  Here’s a brief embarrassing story. When I was a despatch rider years ago, I had to deliver some tour badges to Phil Collins’ house in Surrey and he invited me in for a whiskey. It was a cold, wet night and he took pity on me. Nice guy, Phil. Lots of scars, I noticed. But instead of being starstruck, all I could talk about was Peter Gabriel and how he was a hero of mine (what a twa* I must have been) and that never published book. All he could say was, ‘he’s not all that you know’.  Ha.
    Bless him. He even left me a tip for waiting time when it was me blithering on for hours about Peter. Hey, I was young, gimme a break.
     
    Anyway. Peter Gabriel’s ‘New Blood’ album. *** me. This is aural sex if ever there was. The orchestral versions of ‘The Rhythm of the Heat’ and ‘Downside Up’ are just eargasmic (pardon all these cringeworthy puns!). Full bodied, highly involving, dripping in emotion…with Gabriel’s voice winding round the orchestra’s booming drums and strings and his daughter’s vocals beautifully clear sweet and somehow suspended.  ‘Intruder’ is just frightening. Peter is in right up close in your ear, whispering, ‘I know…something about…opening windows and doors’. Get yourself outta here! 
     
    So I won’t go on any longer rhapsodising about Solar (oops, another pun) in terms of my music. I’m impressed as you can tell. It’s true what they say, Solar does hit hard when it wants to. The bass reaches deep when needed and eases off when it’s not wanted. It all takes a bit of getting used to, as any signature does, obviously. At times I felt it was too bassy. And sometimes I felt it was too bright. But that’s because you just look for faults and struggle to unpollute your head of lingering comparisons. Ultimately I have a suspicion it’s just right. Treble-wise, there is a nice sparkle in the highs, enough to give it space and air. Bass: 9/10 (undecided about BA bass v DD but this is as good as I’d expect from a pure BA). Treble: 10.
     
    The mids. I haven’t mentioned the mids so far. Well some experienced headfiers have mentioned a slight V-shape. I’m not sure I’m experienced enough to say either way. All I can say is, it’s not anywhere near as v-shaped as the mid-low end iems I’ve tasted and spat out. For me, Solar’s mids are lovely and smooth with plenty of detail that I’ve hitherto missed before now managing to find its way through. Sometimes, yes, the vocals can be not so forward as you’d expect…but then again on certain tracks you wouldn’t want them any closer. 9 (some other TOTL’s would possibly deliver better).
     
    The soundstaging? Very impressive. Best I’ve heard.  Iems are always going to struggle a little as there’s not much air or distance between the sound and the ear drum. So it’s always going to take a real trick of sound engineering to reproduce what we’re used to in the real world. Somewhere deep down I think when we listen to any iem we know that it’s not natural what we’re hearing  – which is possibly why we’re always looking for the next feat of engineering. But Solar is at times astounding. Others just good. Could be down to the production.
    Soundstage: 9.5. Imaging: 9.5.
     
    Warm or bright signature? Thick notes or thin? Difficult one this, as I find Solar a bit of a chameleon. Generally it's on the slightly warmer side of neutral with a more analogue sound. Note thickness I've found can vary - sometimes it can really surprise you with its weight, depth and sheer size of sound as well as its ability to pound hard and fast. Other times it can sing like an angel - soaring lightly and seductively - especially on classical.
     
    Ultimately it seems Solar has an uncanny ability to adapt to what you're playing. And the sheer detail it presents can astonish. If it wasn't for the annoying niggle of curiosity, we could well be talking endgame here. Congratulations to Sammy.
     
    Hope you’ve enjoyed the read and my first review. To make up for the lack of comparisons, I’ve tried to be entertaining!
    1. View previous replies...
    2. ozziecook
      Thanks again :)
      The 'wibbly dangly whip snapdragon cable'? Ah yes...you can buy that from the, 'NeverFullySatisfied Audio store', Curiosity-Killed-the-Cat Lane, Squeeze-an-Extra-Detail City, BR0 KE
      :wink:
      ozziecook, Feb 3, 2016
    3. flinkenick
      Say what you want about that cable; it does improve the upper shrill range by a large margin.
      flinkenick, Feb 3, 2016
    4. glassmonkey
      That is a frigging brilliant first review. Makes me sad that you feel you've already reached the pinnacle. I'm glad your satisfied, but I want to read another one. :)
      glassmonkey, May 4, 2016
  5. mahesh
    Rhapsodio Solar "End game Iem"
    Written by mahesh
    Published Jan 14, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Amazing thunderous bass, lush mids , sweet airy high
    Cons - none so far
    Rhapsodio Solar "End game Iem".
     
     
     
     
    P1270409-copie.jpg
     
    P1270401-copie.jpg
    P1270407-copie.jpg
    P1270405-copie.jpg
     
     
     
     
    I got my solar and after careful listening for 2 days i came to the conclusion : solar is definitely a TOTL iem.
    When i got them they were in a shiny aluminum box, inside is the solar itself,looks stunningly beautiful,they look and feel very premium.
    I tried all the tips provided but i got best fit with comply t500 tips,
    Now a little bit about sound
    I dont have any hiend iem experience other then the akg k3003, and some hours on jh audio angie, I more listen to entry to midfi stereo at home,or visit some hiend audio shops in Paris to listen, so what is hiend audio, i am well familier with.

    I never write any review, i am a person who appreciate and enjoys reading other people reviews, I am more like spectateurs.
    But after listening to solar, i said to myself hay why not…..
    So my review will be more like a very unprofessional, but will be straight for my heart. please guys ans gals English is my third language but still i will try my best.

    Ok solar reminds me of my akg k3003 for sure but does everything better especially in the bass, sub-bass. On akg sub-bass is almost lacking compared to solar,akg bass is slower and has less rumble, and has elevated mid bass may be 80 to 200 hz. Angie bass is fast but dont have a texture of solar.
    Listning to Hans zimmer Dark knight rises ost , i can feel the sub bass……..
     
    I give note on bass Solar as reference
    Solar   :100
    K3003 : 90
    Angie  : 97
    Sony xba 4 (why not) : 80
    Fostex t5 : 85
     
    Mid on solar is as upfront as akg, but very liquid ,lush resolving,while listening to Hubert sumlin "sometime i’m right ,his voice is so beautifully presented i could easily compare with Raidho d1 passlabs mono combos.
    Listening to Youn sun nah "moondog" her voice is so lush even k3003 couldn’t come close
    But Angie medium is similar to solar…..but still solar mid has a sweetness..

    I give note on medium as solar reference
    Solar :100
    K3003 : 95
    Angie:97
    Fostex t5 : 85
    Xba4 : 75
     
    High on solar are crisp and has a great extension and body, hi hat cymbals sounds more real or accurate then akg, when i compared to Angie being more laid-back lacking a litttlebit of shimmer and air. Akg high is great but at the same time siblent.
     
    Note on high solar as reference
    Solar :100
    Akg k 3003:98
    JH Angie:97
    SonyXba4:93
    Fostex t5 :90
     
    Soundstage on solar is wide and has good depth, which k3003 lacks,while Angie has as wide and depth as solar but still solar has a great sense of depth. k3003 soundstage width is comparable to solar or Angie.
    Instruments are nicely and distinctively presented all over and almost behind the head, very impressed.
    Instrument placement and separation is also impressive on solar, notes are thicker on solar so sometimes k3003 sounds thin compared to solar
     
    Note soundstage solar as reference
    Solar width : 95
    Solar depth :100
    Akg width : 95
    Akg depth : 80
    Angie width: 96
    Angie depth : 95
    Xba4 width : 75
    Xba4 depth : 70
    Fostex t05 width: 80
    Fostex t05 depth :70

    Here are some my imaginary pics of soundstage
     
    Solar:
     

     
    Akg K3003

    Jh Audio Angie

     
    Sony Xba 4

     
    Fostex te05

     
     
    Here are some my imaginary pics of Imaging
     
    Solar:


    Akg k 3003


    Angie:


    Sony xba4:

    Fostex te05:

     
    Details and micro details are also very nicely heard, for example listening to Melody Gardot « Don’t Talk » I can easily hear when she whispers which was almost
    inaudible on akg, even xba4 was better than akg.
     
    So in conclusion I must say that I’am very impressed with Solar’s sound, women voice sounds more exquisite,delicate,charming.
    Solar has a great clarity, presence, Bliss. very welcoming sound, I listened almost all genres of music and they were all rounder iem.
    Right now i am listening to David Bowie (we will miss him) Tom Waits and Nick Cave and having eargasm……

      proedros, Kerouac, hqssui and 2 others like this.
    1. Kerouac
      Great review => really enjoyed reading it and such wonderful (professional looking) pics!
      Btw, some nice musical taste as well :)
      Kerouac, Jan 14, 2016
  6. rookie2009
    Rhapsodio Solar - A Gem Among Stones
    Written by rookie2009
    Published Dec 17, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Nice full sound, large soundstage, excellent detail without causing fatigue..
    Cons - Packaging could be more premium, could include more accessories...

    Disclaimer: First attempt at a review so be nice [​IMG], but more importantly my impressions are subjective,each person can often have varying opinions on monitors,different strokes for different folks etc..
     
    Introduction:
    Hailing from a small studio from Hong Kong under the tutelage of Chun Yin Mak Mak, or better known to us head-fiers as Sammy are Rhapsodio with their 10 driver balanced armature in ear monitor called “Solar”. They are a small team and have been in existence since 2012, but are making giant strides in the competitive world of in ear monitor manufacturers. Sammy is very extensive in his research and driver configurations and this can be seen in the Rhapsodio product range which caters from single dynamic driver in ear monitors, to 6 driver in ear monitors to the aforementioned Solar which is a 10 driver.
     
    However, while normally most companies offer a standard copper stock cable with their monitors, Rhapsodio are unique in that they also offer super high quality upgrade cables to complement their range of monitors.I can say from my correspondence with Sammy during my purchase that he is very helpful throughout the entire process, which I appreciated as personally speaking, customer service is as important as the product you receive.
     
    Build Quality and Packaging:
    The Solar arrived in a Rhapsodio branded Pelican style hard case which offers adequate protection. In this case of course are the Solar themselves in all their glory along with an impressive looking cable connected to them. What really impressed me was the build quality of the monitors themselves, to me they look beautiful with their 24k gold nuggets fused together with the black shell to form something that will rival the most aesthetic monitors available in the market today. They utilize the traditional 2 pin connection as used in ciem’s, which I personally prefer to mmcx connections as I feel they are more secure.
     
    IMG_20151217_125907.jpg
     
    In addition to that, the stock cable is perhaps the most impressive I have ever received with a monitor and I have owned plenty ranging from companies such as Noble Audio, Heir Audio, and JH Audio. The 3.5mm jack is of high quality with adequate strain relief, while the actual cable is constructed of 5N silver plated OCC copper. We then have a metal Y-split and a plastic slider suitable for chin locking. The ear guides on the cable utilize memory wire which is hidden from view by some black shielding. Microphonics are non-existent with this cable which is another positive
    .
    We also receive a variety of ear tips to choose from, the stock tips from Rhapsodio which I believe are called “Wind” tips and also the ever growing in popularity Spinfit ear tips. The Spinfit provided are the Taiwan version which are a touch more stiff/rigid than the Japanese Sarounbi version which are very flexible.
     
    I would describe the shells of the Solar as the “universal custom” type in comparison to some of the more generic shapes you see available. I think Rhapsodio have really nailed this fit wise and somehow managed to keep the size to a minimum to ensure it does not protrude from the ear like a Frankenstein bolt (yes JH Audio, I’m looking at you [​IMG]). It’s a really snug fit with pretty good isolation once you use an adequate tip, and if you are like me you will amassed several brands of ear tips at this stage to aid you when using universals. I would recommend people have a look at the JVC Spiral Dots, Sony Hybrid, or Ultimate Ears tips if the provided tips from Rhapsodio do not agree with you.
     
    IMG_20151217_125119.jpg
     
    IMG_20151217_125200.jpg
     
     
    Sound:
     
    For this evaluation I will be using the Solar from a Chord Hugo with my Sony NWZX2 as a source and a 7n crystal copper interconnect.
     
    IMG_20151217_130704.jpg
     
    IMG_20151217_130806.jpg
     
     
    Bass:
    If I were to describe the bass of the Solar, it would have to be punchy. By no means do I consider myself a basshead but at the same time a monitor must have adequate response in this department. The Solar has plentiful bass, digs deep when the recording you are listening to requires it to, thus making it an enjoyable experience with excellent transient attack and fast note decay. There is no bleed from the bass into the midrange either which can be the case with some monitors and is to the detriment of the performance of the midrange. To my ears the bass performs very well across all genres, bravo.
     
    Midrange:
    I consider the Solar to be a full sounding monitor with a balanced sounding signature, with the midrange perhaps being pushed back by the smallest of margins but not to the extent that I would consider this even close a U or V-shaped monitor. The Heir 8.0 is one of the richest sounding monitors I have owned previously. From memory the Solar is not quite as rich or lush as something like that, but simply put this is a superior tuned monitor in comparison to the midrange on the 8.0.
     
    Personally I have a diverse taste in music but mostly I listen to hard rock or metal (Megadeth, Iron Maiden etc) and the Solar brings a fullness to guitars which make listening to these particular genres really fun. To me, there are no obvious peaks or dips in the midrange, just a smooth enjoyable experience without congestion in this range.
     
    Treble:
    I would describe the treble of the Solar as sweet, but at the same time it somehow manages to retain a great amount of detail without it becoming piercing or harsh. There is absolutely no sibilance either which can often be an issue for me at times with some monitors (often this can be due to poorly mastered recordings too). If I were to compare Solar to something like the AKG K3003,the Solar is undoubtedly a lot less fatiguing to my ear, often with the K3003 I might have to take a break if I was listening for a couple of hours, but that may be down to the Knowles 30017 speaker it uses which is very detail orientated. My point is that you can listen to the Solar for extended listening sessions yet somehow it keeps all that detail without being fatiguing which is really a great achievement by Rhapsodio here.
     
    IMG_20151217_125945.jpg
     
    Soundstage:
    In terms of soundstage to date, the most impressive I’ve heard was the JH Audio Roxanne Universal, but the Solar is certainly not far off it providing great width and depth but ultimately perhaps not to the same level of the Roxanne,however it certainly bests my Sennheiser IE800 or AKG K3003 . Imaging on the Solar is top class, some of the most impressive I have experienced to date with great separation, you could lay back and pinpoint each instrument on stage such is the quality, overall a very coherent experience.
     
    Summary:
    If you are seeking a top of the line in ear monitor that does everything very well, then the Rhapsodio Solar may be the one for you. The full presentation and large soundstage performs amazingly well across all genres. Prior to receiving the Solar my favourite monitor was the JH Audio Roxanne which comes with a slightly coloured presentation as JH Audio tend to have their own house sound. Based on sound quality and ergonomics, it seems I may have a new favourite in ear monitor on my hands.
     
    I would have no hesitation in recommending the Rhapsodio Solar to other head-fiers,it certainly warrants its place alongside other top of the line iems from rival companies and I look forward to seeing what Rhapsodio produce in the future [​IMG].
     
    Price: $1350
     
    Links:
    http://www.rhapsodio.com
    https://www.facebook.com/rhapsodiohk
     
    Specifications:
    ·         4-way passive crossover design

    ·         10 balanced armature drivers (2 tweeters, 2 high, 4 mid, 2 bass)

    ·         Frequency response: 20 ~ 20,000 Hz

    ·         Impedance: 26ohm

    ·         1 year international warranty

    ·         Bundles with 5N Silver Plated OCC Copper Cable

      proedros, Kerouac and flinkenick like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Ivabign
      Excellent review - just so hard to read with my Solar 40 miles (but 2 days) away from me - I'm glad that you enjoy them. Can't wait to join the club.
      Ivabign, Dec 20, 2015
    3. rookie2009
      Thanks Reggie :) One thing for sure is that it will make a nice Christmas gift for yourself!! Hope you enjoy it!
      rookie2009, Dec 20, 2015
    4. proedros
      great review and the K3003 comparison was very helpful indeed
       
      thumbs up
      proedros, Jan 27, 2016
  7. subguy812
    Solar...it's all about the balance
    Written by subguy812
    Published Dec 11, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Balanced overall sound signature; Solid sub bass; extended treble; very detailed
    Cons - Accessories
    Introduction:
    I do not consider myself an audiophile. I love music and I love good sound and that is why this is my hobby. I prefer to find the best portable setups available. I do not want to be tethered to a desk with an amp. I enjoy finding the best possible pairings I can, something I can enjoy anytime, anywhere. I don't read graphs or charts, when I listen to music my ears tell me what I like, not my eyes. If this hobby becomes work as opposed to my getaway I will find another hobby. I have had many iem's at all levels of price with a variety of driver types and number of drivers. One thing I have learned is price, or the number of drivers is not indicative of a pleasing sound signature. 
     
    Enter Rhapsodio Solar...http://www.rhapsodio.com/
     
    The Solar:
    -MRSP (Universal): $1450
    -10 balanced armature drivers (2 bass, 4 mid, 2 high and 2 tweeters)
     
    My quest started by reaching out to Sammy and discussing options. I will say that Sammy is a quick communicator. There are many design options and ultimately I gave the reigns to Sammy and told him to design the face plate & base combination that he liked, and he did. I must say it was a sexy choice.
     
    Sammy responded to my questions via mails quickly and then we switched to Hangouts so communication went smooth all the way... I love this guy Sammy!
     
    I have never seen such shipping speed from Hong Kong. I received my Solar two days after it was shipped. WOW!  [​IMG]
     
    Packaging/Contents:
    When the Solar arrived, it was in a postal envelope and inside was a plastic, latched, branded Rhapsodio box. I also ordered an additional cable which was included in a blue Rhapsodio drawstring bag. Six pair of eartips was included, three pair of Wind tips and three pair of Spinfit tips. The Wind tips have a wide bore and the Spinfit tips have a more narrow opening. There is an included leather strap to help keep the cable wound. Nice touches, but I still felt there was no choirs of angels singing once I saw the opened the package. I am not sure I could offer any suggestions but these are TOTL iems and packaging and accessories could create more of a wow factor.
     
     
    IMG_20151205_141556.jpg
     
     
    IMG_20151205_141658.jpg
     
     
    IMG_20151205_141720.jpg
     
     
    IMG_20151205_141935.jpg
                 WIND TIPS(WIDE BORE) & SPINFITS
     
     
    Design & Build Quality:
    Sammy chose a Wood faceplate with smoke transparent bases for my universal fit Solars. I think it a classy and sexy design. Actually it is the same design I have in another iem, the Heir 8.0 universal.
     
     
    IMG_20151205_141755.jpg
          SOLAR WITH STOCK PANDORA SPC CABLE
     
    The build quality is great. I examined the Solar for any flaws and I could not find any, which is impressive coming from a small custom iem boutique in Hong Kong. The cables as well are built to last with quality in mind, you could almost rock climb with these cables. The nozzles have waxguards installed.
     
    IMG_20151205_141813.jpg
                   RSD SILVER LITZ 4-BRAID CABLE
     
     
    IMG_20151205_142555.jpg
          SOLAR DESIGN WOOD WITH SMOKY BASE
     
     

                   SOLAR IN ALL OF IT'S SEXINESS
     
     

                     IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DRIVERS
     
     
    Comfort:
    The Solars are slightly bigger than my Heir 8.0 universals. I would say the Heir is the most comfortable of the two, however the Solar is not uncomfortable. The Solar is larger but I do not fight with comfort issues as I have with the JH Angie or Layla. The Wind tips are comfortable as well as the Spinfit. I also use the JVC Spiral Dot tips(Wide Bore).The JVC seal well but provide the least comfortable fit. The isolation is good and when music is playing it covers up for many external noises.
     
     
    IMG_20151211_204820.jpg
     
     

     
     

     
     
    Sources:
    I used a Nexus 6p streaming Tidal and an AK120ii for testing and review purposes. The Solar are driven easily by both of these sources.
     
    Sound:
    For review purpose, I used the largest Wind tips and large JVC Spiral Dot tips. The JVC sealed the best and the Wind tips are the most comfortable, so you can choose your poison, however I will say that it is very important to use a wide bore tip to achieve the soundstage that the Solar is capable of achieving. I tried a deep insertion and shallow, I found a deep insertion offered the best sound quality.
     
    Upon first listen I was like meh, okay these sound a bit thin. I experimented with tips and listened to what provided the best seal. After about an hour the smile started to wash over my face and the smile hasn't left yet, in fact it has become Cheshire cat like after around 25 hours of listening time. These iem's have really started to open up. I am not going to start a debate about burn-in. Believe it or not, these are improving and Sammy said they will be at their peak in 200 hours.
     
     I look for a balanced sound with an emphasis on details and tone of instruments. I actually prefer an IEM that is slightly colored, a fun, lively, detailed sound is my favorite signature, something very musical. That said, the Solar confidently checks all of those boxes. The level of detail and clarity combined with the sub bass and mid bass layering, a balanced mid range with sparkly, lively treble and no bleed over into the various ranges from any other range. HOLY SMOKES this is one balanced TOTL iem. Balance, balance, balance.
     
    Bass:
    The bass on Solar is deep in the sub levels and detailed and layered in the mid bass range. One of the finest blends I have heard. The iem has a sound signature that is colored but again, never bleeds into the other ranges. The tone of the bass in the mid bass range is awesome, clear and detailed. As a comparison the Angie could have the same level of bass if you cranked the inline bass control above 1:00. The Solar has more detail in the bass as compared to the Angie. The Heir 8.0 has more of a bass presence throughout the signature, however the quality is not on par with the Solar. Is this a basshead iem? I would say it would please the basshead. As I have said I prefer a slightly colored signature and the bass in the Solar is very satisfying, although I don't consider myself a true basshead.
     
    Midrange:
    The mids of Solar are crisp, clear and incredibly detailed. The tone of female vocals shine and male vocal sound strong. The mids are not in the least veiled and could be considered some of the most blended and balanced I have ever heard in an iem. The soundstage is wide and when listening to some Radiohead the imaging was providing me with a spatial eargasm. There was some 3D stuff going on there. 
     
    Treble:
    The treble of the Solar is ever present. At no time is it strident or sibilant. It is sparkly and this helps to create the incredible soundstage that the Solar proudly shows. Overall the treble produces a sparkly life to these iem's in contrast to the opposite bass spectrum that thumps when called upon the balance between all ranges continues to impress.
     
     
    Presentation:
    The Solar presents itself in an airiness with nice resolution. It would be considered a slight V shape, however the mids do not sound distant. The entire frequency spectrum is represented and the speed is never thick of lagging throughout the entire signature providing a fine iem. The tuning is superb and the it is well engineered.
     
     
    Summary:
    I have around 25 hours already of listening time already. After the initial hour the Solar really started to open up. They have a very balanced sound, very musical and fun. That is not to say that they are not true to representing the sound and tone of instruments, believe me the sound is quite realistic. The sub bass rumbles as well the bass is clear and defined in the lower mids. There is no bleed over in the mids to muddy the sound. The mids offer a great deal of clarity and are very detailed while the treble is a little forward but not harsh.

    I have listened to many genres of music with them. From jazz, blues, classic rock, alternative, classical and finally some edm. Radiohead, which generally to me don't represent well in headphones, and the spatial feel was terrific. The imaging was providing me a wild ride. I did receive a 3d sense to this.

    Wide bore tips create a bigger soundstage and the soundstage can be quite wide at times. With some high quality Jazz FLAC files, ie... Jazz at the Pawnshop the details and crispness made me feel I was in the audience, front and center.

    Crunching guitar sounds from AC/DC are awesome. Female vocals, such as Sade or Norah Jones sound great as well, and this surprised me a little.

    Overall a very balanced, detailed presentation. The little "enhancements" and peaks in parts of the spectrum are all in the correct spots. 

    On a final note...I have only dedicated my review time to the stock SPC cable. For me switching from iem to different iem confuses my thoughts and I never truly get to appreciate or loathe a specific iem. Upon completion of this review I will listen to the SIlver Litz and include my thoughts. The pairing of the SPC cable has never made me want for more.

     
    These are TOTL iem's period. Once you reach this level it is not a matter of "better", it is a matter of finding a sound signature which satisfies and agrees with you.This iem checks all of the boxes with a balanced confidence not heard in many other iem's.
     
    A must have!!!!
     
     
     
    1. View previous replies...
    2. vhsownsbeta
      Great review, much aligned with my own impressions. Momentum is building! Solar are astounding monitors.
      vhsownsbeta, Dec 12, 2015
    3. subguy812
      Thanks. It's one of the few pieces of gear that most opinions align. It is really rare almost everyone is hearing the same thing.
      subguy812, Dec 12, 2015
    4. Kerouac
      Superb written review and some very nice pics to!
      It's all about the drivers and the tuning of these I guess...once you've heard the Solar, I think it's almost impossible not to fall in love with it :)
      Kerouac, Dec 12, 2015
  8. tupac0306
    Rhapsodio Solar Universal Review: V-shape King
    Written by tupac0306
    Published Dec 10, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Punchy and deep bass, superb clarity, top class imaging and separation, great dynamics, detailed and resolving presentation.
    Cons - The universal size can be large for small ears.

     

     

     

     

     

     
     
    Build Quality and Packaging:
     
    The build quality of Solar universal is top class. As you can see, the 24k gold shell/faceplate design is absolutely a candy to the eye. The silver 4-wire cable is another feature that stands out because you don’t normally get this type of cable from a universal IEM package. Two types of canal tips (spinfit and wind tips) are included with different size options you can pick. The wind tips (red) is more like a wrap you put around the canal tubes, so it doesn’t take away much of the original sound of Solar making it the closest sounding to the custom version. The spinfit (white) tips provide a slightly more 3D soundstage and a bit more warmth and smoothness to the overall signature, which IMO is better for listening to vocals. The size of the Solar earpiece is larger than the average universals such as Shure or Westone IEMs, thus while the fit is fine, a portion of the shell is sticking out from my ears (but not to the extent of JH layla or Angie universals). Since it’s a universal IEM, the isolation is average, but still high enough to block the sound from the outer environment when playing music, unless someone is shouting at you. Actually the sound leak of universal has its own advantage over the custom version in terms of soundstage, you get a more sense of air and space from the universal. The comparison is similar to closed vs. open headphone, though not to that obvious extent. And you also got the choice to play with different tips to get different sound preferences.
     
     
    Sound:
     
    For review purpose, the smallest wind tips (red) are used, because it provides deepest insertion and most sealed experience for me, hence providing the most original sound for the Solar.
     
    The very first listening-section is very important for me because it can pretty much sum up whether I will like the IEM or not. For me, I always like the music to sound realistic and natural with only slight allowance of twist/emphasis here and there. Thus if an IEM is very colored, I will instantly know that it’s not my cup of tea. And I don’t get excited easily since I have owned more than 20 CIEMs. With that being said, Solar is one of the few IEMs that still get me amped up. The minute I put them on, I know I am encountering something special here. Superb clarity, resolution and dynamics without overly done, everything just sounds so effortless. Many thanks to Mim for the recommendation.
     
    I only have Astell&Kern 380 as my source right now, so sadly I won’t be able to compare Solar regarding to different DAC/DAP systems. The Solar can also be easily driven very well with iphone 6 (~half the volume is the highest I can take), making it a great on-go option. The review is done after extended periods of careful listening.
     
     
    Bass:
     
    The bass on Solar is one of the aspects that stand out the most. The impact and presence of the bass is slightly more than neutral. But for people who like some extra bloom, it sound just satisfying! The texture is superb with plentiful detail, thanks to the treble. The quality of bass is more like JH Roxanne/UM mentor type rather than noble K10’s, so it’s very clean and punchy with slightly faster decay than normal. The extension of bass is awesome producing rumbling up to almost 20 Hz. What’s great is the balance between the sub, mid and upper bass region. No specific area is lacking, thus giving rise to a very coherent and complete overall bass performance. The bass also is greatly integrated with the mid section, producing no mid disturbance or incoherence what so ever. I don’t feel like the bass is dominant when listening to normal bass-level songs. But when it’s called for in some bass strong music, that’s where the capability of bass becoming impressive. I just can’t stop knocking my head with the deep, punchy and tight bass slam. So whether you are a bass head or not, you will be amazed by the incredible bass Solar offers. When switched to the spinfit (white) tips, it scattered out some of the treble, thus making the bass slightly more natural in terms of ADSR.
     
     
    Midrange:
     
    The mid region of Solar is clean, clear with a lot of detail, producing excellent instruments imaging and separation. Its overall presentation is slightly laid back in contrast to bass and treble, but not making is anyway too recessed. It just doesn’t get the most attention within the whole spectrum. And to my ears there isn’t any obvious hump or cut throughout the whole midrange (250-5000 Hz), so again very coherent. Certainly the mid is not as evolving as the spiral ear SE5 Ult, but the distant presentation provides another listening perspective allowing you to capture the performance as an audience in front of a stage rather than in a recording studio. Both male and female vocals sound good on Solar with great resolution and clarity. When switched to the spinfit (white) tips, the minor reduction of treble quantity exposed more mid-section, providing a more evolving, smoother and fuller sound. So if you want to take a break and relax from the high resolving, detailed presentation, spinfit tips are recommended.
     
     
    Treble:
     
    Along with the bass, the treble of the Solar is another aspect that stands out the most. With forwardness of the lower treble region (6-9k Hz), it produces excellent clarity and airiness with sharp, pinpoint type focus/imaging enabling you to capture every little detail being presented in the music. The note attack and decay is also on the faster side of the spectrum. The treble character makes the Solar a master in presenting instruments. No matter it’s normal pop, heavy rock, or even very aggressive metal, Solar handles any type of instrument density/speed effortlessly with clean and tidy performance. The treble extension is just as great as my other top end CIEMs (audible up to over 19 Hz), only fall behind the most extended CIEMs such as spiral ear SE5 Ref or JH audio 13FP. Although the upper treble isn’t dominating much, the Solar is still very transparent, so you won’t get the “veiled feeling” in IEMs like Roxanne due to its extremely dramatic treble extension roll off. Overall the treble is capable of producing a lot of sparkles while maintaining superb smoothness and liquidity. The Solar finds its sweet point where the music is presented in a clear and articulated way yet not getting in the trouble of any sibilance, which is very well done.
     
     
    Presentation:
     
    The Solar presents great space in the music with approximately equal width (x, y) and depth (z). The soundstage is as large as top end CIEMs like spiral ear SE5 or Hidition NT6, but fall a little short compared to Tralucent 1+2 or JH Roxanne. Although the absolute resolution is not as high as SE5, its high clarity and airiness from the lifted lower treble make it equally detailed, just in a different way. Note ADSR is fast type of natural across the frequency spectrum which makes sense due to its slightly V shaped sound signature. The coherence from bottom to the top is impressive! I cannot notice any obvious cut or hump throughout the whole spectrum, especially around the bass-mid and mid-treble connecting regions. Overall the Solar is slightly on the brighter side of neutral with combination of great fun and accuracy.
     
     
    Summary:
     
    With its fun, exciting and unique sound signature, the Solar is more than incredible, definitely within my favorite IEMs/CIEMs. It is the best V-shaped IEM I have ever heard to date. The perfectly integrated bass, mid and treble really take you right into the music, and make you forget you are actually listening to an earphone. I am even considering going for the custom version! It’s an all-rounder that is capable of playing any type of genre of music from rock, metal, classical, jazz to pop, R&B and hip hop. While the never sibilant, clear vocal sounds superb on Solar, the instrumental performance is absolutely top class. IMO it can fit most of people’s taste for enjoying music regardless you want an easy-to-listen-to or audiophile type IEM.
     
     
     

    1. flinkenick
      Fantastic review mate, especially coming from someone so experienced!
      flinkenick, Dec 10, 2015
    2. Kerouac
      What an excellent Solar review! Very detailled sound descriptions with also some nice pictures added. I had some thoughts on the mids myself, but already posted that in the Rhapsodio thread. Thanks for the great read!
      Kerouac, Dec 11, 2015
  9. flinkenick
    The Solar: Rhapsodio's TOTL Contender
    Written by flinkenick
    Published Sep 16, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - full and natural midrange, upper midrange and treble clarity, fast and precise bass with enough qauntity
    Cons - customization options (at time of ordering, updated)
    Introduction
    Ever thought of what your perfect signature for an iem is, if you had to specify it as accurate as possible? I was once discussing a custom iem project with one of our local ciem makers, and he asked to list my preference for a sound. I told him I wanted bass that was as powerful as possible, while remaining fast and clean as it shouldn't distort the rest of the frequency. A full sounding midrange like the Heir 8.A was an absolute must, but with more sparkle and airiness up top. Unfortunately we did not proceed with the project, and a few months later I decided to gamble on a relatively unknown ciem based on limited information available: the Solar, by a small company called Rhapsodio.
     
    Rhapsodio is a boutique company based in Hong Kong, that recently celebrated their 3 year anniversary. The two owners Sammy and Sam are passionate about their craft, constantly experimenting with new innovative designs and improving their products. Rhapsodio was the first company for instance to introduce a hybrid design encorporating two dynamic drivers, a while back. Despite their high quality products and satisfied customers, they never managed to make that final ascension to the top of the audiophile community. With two new flagship models, the Rti2 sporting two dynamic drivers and the Solar with ten balanced armature drivers, as well as a new line of upgrade cables, Rhapsodio has come storming again in a fresh attempt to win over the audiophile community.
     
    21538161860_f76fbb5bb3_o.png
     
    The Solar
    -10 balanced armature drivers (2 bass, 4 mid, 2 high and 2 tweeters)
    -Frequency response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
    -Impedance: 26 ohm
    -MRSP (custom): $1550
    http://www.rhapsodio.com
     
    Sound impressions
    For this review I’m listening with a Cowon P1 connected to a Headstage Arrow 5TX. The Cowon has a fairly neutral presentation, with smooth tonality. The 5TX is also neutral, but provides a slight increase in tone definition and separation, and widens the soundstage by placing instruments a step back from the listener. It can also boost bass significantly while remaining nice and punchy. Most listening was done with the provided Copper Litz cable. -edit- note, this is a different cable than the current standard cable, the Pandora SPC. The Pandora is warmer, and fuller sounding; while the Copper Litz has slightly leaner notes with more treble sparkle.
     
    Overall, the Solar has a clean and natural presentation. The 4 BA drivers dedicated to the mids provide a solid foundation for a full and lively midrange, with nice thick note impact and clear, beautiful treble. Its signature is best described as natural, in a lively and colorful way. Soundstage width is not more than average compared to other top tier iems, but depth perception and layering is excellent. The precision with which you can hear the different rows of instruments is uncanny. Take the Eagles’ classic hit “Hotel California”. The song starts with the lead guitar presented close and intimate to the listener. The arrangement becomes more enveloping with guitars chiming in to the left and right, topped of by a drum to the right announcing the vocals are about to set in. Instrument separation is spot on - close your eyes and you can identify each instrument from the moment it sets in, as well as the distance between the guitars in the front to the vocals and guitars in the back. Depth perception and separation within the soundstage does not rely on subtle cues that required trained ears - I played the track to a non-audiophile friend that can get a decent fit. She was shocked by the accuracy of the 3D presentation, besides the beautiful tonality of course.
     
    Bass
    The Solar’s bass is fast, tight, and controlled. The high level of control prevents it from leaking to the mids, contributing to the overall clean sound. The bass is not ever present such as with the 8.A and Velvet, but comes with authority when called upon. While I wouldn’t consider the Solar bassy, quantity is definitely more than adequate for most – even for a basshead as myself. It provides ample punch for bass heavy genres as hardcore, hardstyle or hip hop. But its speed is its most remarkable feat. Even with rapid bursts of bass, the definition from the first to the last tone remains intact. Partially because bass decay is rather quick; the bass does not linger for any more time than necessary.
     
    Mids
    Ah, that gorgeous midrange. The Solar’s mids are full, clear and colorful. Now what I mean with colorful is that compared to other iems, it’s like peeling off that plastic protector from a new smartphone. It looked great before, until you realize what you’d been missing. The lower midrange provides that bottom end extension to fill up those classic rock ‘n roll guitars as in AC/DC’s “Who Made Who” (wait for the second guitar to kick in!), creating that nice full sound. It also contributes to the depth required for male voices. Consider Fink’s “Pilgrim”. The song starts with the drumming chords of two guitars, portraying a sense of urgency. The chords being struck should not only be heard, but felt. The vocal sounds deep, providing the perception that sound is being produced from the throat. A lacking midrange will miss that quality, appearing as sound comes only from the mouth. But the upper midrange is where the Solar really shines, especially higher pitched guitars like Mark Knopfler playing away on his Fender Stratocaster in “Sultans of Swing”, or Slash playing one of those heavenly solos in pretty much any Guns ‘n Roses track – this is how an electric guitar should sound: full bodied, clear, and extending smoothly up in to the treble. Vocals sound well defined and realistic with just a hint of warmth to bring out emotion, while the clarity helps female vocals to really shine.
     
    Treble
    The Solar’s treble keeps on extending up to the point you think it might break, but never does. The upper midrange extends on fluently to the treble, contributing to that overall clear and beautiful sound. As with the mids, rather than thin, the treble has a thicker presentation – violins sound beautiful and full, but less sharp and precise in their definition – emotive, rather than analytical. For synthetic treble however the thicker note presentation contributes to a more engaging experience, where you need that nice note impact to feel the music.
     
    Overall, the Solar sounds very lively and has the right properties for an allrounder: fast, punchy bass with enough quantity without distorting the sound. A solid midrange for instruments and vocals, and treble that extends far enough for classical music, but excites for electronic-based music.
     
    IMAG0232.jpg
    From left to right the Solar, Heir 8.A, Rooth LS-X5, Rhapsodio Rti2, and EarSonics Velvet
     
    Comparisons
    EarSonics Velvet ($700)
    The Velvet is U-shaped, with energetic highs and excellent punchy bass that will satisfy most bassheads (full review). The Velvet finds a great balance between being detailed without sounding cold and analytic, due to pleasant warmth that comes off the bass. Following the EarSonics house sound, the Velvet has nice thick note impact, providing a great sense of energy and musicality. When playing Muse’s “Defector”, treble is clearly more forward giving the electric guitars a more upfront ‘in your face’ sound compared to the Solar. The Solar is both smoother and more balanced – the guitars are less prominent and don’t dominate the overall sound. The same holds for EDM, where you want the main melodies to be more prominent. The U-shaped signature of the Velvet however gives it an exciting edge, partly due to the enhanced bass quantity. The Solar’s bass doesn’t fall far behind in quantity, but steps up in quality. The Velvet cannot match its level of speed and precision. So far for the good – the midrange is where the Velvet falls far behind. When directly switching between the Velvet and the Solar (or 8.A for that matter) for most instrument-based music, it can sometimes feel like there’s a hole where the mids used to be: the overall quantity of sound being heard feels reduced. Vocals lack depth and can sound hollow, while the lack of presence in the lower midrange makes instruments sound thinner and less dynamic. Due its U-shaped signature, the Velvet still sounds fun for V-shaped genres – EDM, hip hop, pop and energetic rock, but must admit defeat when it comes to music relying on instrument definition and vocals. While the Velvet's soundstage is slightly wider, the Solar steps up with imaging and depth perception.
     
    Heir 8.A ($1200)
    I’m guessing a lot of people are anxious to hear how the Solar compares to Head Fi's local celebrity: the Noble K10. Best I can offer, is the K10’s stepbrother from a broken marriage - the 8.A. With its gorgeous lush and thick midrange, the 8.A has a full and warm sound, partly due to that copious, ever present bass. The 8.A is the iem equivalent of 70’s American muscle car: strong and powerful - but lacking some precision and refinement. Details tend to get lost in the warm sound, and full and lush as it is, its midrange lacks a bit of clarity. The number one complaint of 8.A owners is probably the lack of sparkle in the treble, the 8.A just doesn’t go there. Bottom line however, is that the 8.A presents a very impressive midrange. The Solar calls  – and raises with detail and clarity in that beautiful upper midrange. The top end of electric guitars are better defined and have that sparkle that let them really shine. The 8.A however has more presence in the lower midrange, giving the bottom end of grungy electric guitars a bit of extra rumble. Due to the warmer sound, male voices sound slightly deeper. However with the Solar, vocals sound clearer and less veiled; vocals can come off a bit more distant with the 8.A. Part of the 8.A’s charm is in its slow ‘analogue’ sound, which presents its main weakness with fast music. Be it metal or EDM, the 8.A wants no part of it. EDM tones and fast guitars - the Solar is much quicker. The same holds for the bass; the Solar’s bass is faster and punchier, as well as more controlled and detailed. In a direct comparison they both share a beautifully full midrange, but differ in their upper vs. lower midrange presence. The 8.A has a unique charming signature, but there’s no denying that the Solar is technically on a higher level due to its speed, precision and clarity. If the 8.A is a 70’s classic muscle car, the Solar is a ’15 Porsche.
     
    Rhapsodio Rti2 ($1200)
    With two dynamic drivers Rhapsodio’s other flagship follows a different design, as well as philosophy (full review). Where the Solar strives for beauty, the Rti2 aims at realism. The Solar has a fuller midrange, and its treble extends higher. The Rti2 sounds darker than the Solar, in which the upper midrange and treble sounds slightly more accentuated, making the Solar sound a bit livelier and more colorful. The Rti2 might not have that full, multi BA sound, but music is portrayed with a higher resolution: instruments are sharper defined, while the Rti2 takes midrange clarity to a next level. The nuance of the chord of an acoustic guitar being plucked, a silent breath before singing - it’s all there. In short, acoustic instruments sound better with the Rti2, electric guitars with the Solar. The Rti2’s bass is slower, but has that nice round feel of a dynamic driver. Decay is slower and more natural, giving kickdrums that nice ‘thump’. The Solar is a clear winner concerning quantity, but the Rti2's seems to be less variable than the Solar's. While the Solar's bass doesn't require amping, I'll keep my Arrow's bass setting on I or II when listening to the Rti2. While the Solar’s bass is faster and more precise, my preference for bass goes to the Rti2 - albeit amped. You just can’t beat a high quality dynamic driver. Overall, the two flagships are more complimentary than similar. When comparing, either’s strength is also a relative weakness. The Solar has a fuller, but as a consequence, less pinpoint precise midrange as the Rti2. The Solar sounds livelier, the Rti2 more balanced and realistic.
     
    Summary
    If I had to describe the sound of my iems in one word, I’d say the Velvet was designed to excite. With its forward highs and thunderous bass it sounds emotive and energetic. The 8.A was built to sound cool. The 8.A basically sounds great for any type of music where artists perform in sunglasses and leather jackets, irrespective of their age. It doesn’t care if it’s too slow for modern synthesized music; it was made to rock. It’s certainly too cool to add any ‘sparkle’ in the treble. The high resolution Rti2 provides every subtle nuance in the music, the dynamics of instrument being placed: the Rti2 aims at realism. The Solar’s natural and colorful sound is built from a solid foundation of mids, extending on up to that sweet, beautiful treble. Detailed, without being analytic and full bodied without lacking clarity, and all of that perfectly balanced: the Solar was built to sound beautiful.
     
    21105092513_f95ac435a7_o.png
     
    Cable matching
    If you are interested in the Solar, it’s worth asking Sammy about their new cable collection. He might be inclined to give you a good deal on an additional purchase of one of their new upgrade cables. Switching between cables drastically changes the Solar’s signature, and slowed down the process of writing this review. Every time I thought I pinned down exactly what the difference between say the Solar or Rti2 was, switching cables reversed my perception of their relative differences forcing me to rewrite the review a couple of times.
     
    RSD OCC Copper Litz 8-braid
    When I inquired about their copper 8-braid, the first thing that Sammy said was that it is a hard cable. He warned me twice more before I purchased it, but I am personally not deterred by cable ergonomics. He wasn’t lying though, it’s probably the stiffest cable I’ve ever had – that being said, it also brings out the upper midrange and treble with a clarity like no other cable I’ve ever had. Female vocals, acoustic instruments or gently plucked electric guitars: this is the one cable you’ll ever need. It is somewhat of a specialist though, since the Solar becomes quite a bit more V-shaped. The consequence of the upper midrange clarity comes at the cost of a lower midrange recess affecting rock ‘n roll guitars, and sometimes the depth of male voices.
    Recommend for: acoustics, vocals, singer/songwriter type music, classical
     
    RSD Silver Litz
    Sammy recommended the 4-braid over the 8-braid due to that the Silver Litz remains very true to the sound of the iem. The 8-braid is warmer, but also adds more coloration. So, reluctantly, I got the 4-braid. The Silver Litz is a very balanced cable, bringing out detail in the treble without recessing the lower mids. It sounds slightly colder than the standard copper, without sounding bright. It’s a very transparent cable, although it doesn’t add that sparkle on electric guitars like the OCC Copper 8-braid. Bass is punchier than the standard Copper Litz and OCC Copper Litz 8-braid, and better defined. Of the three cables it is the most neutral.
    Recommend for: EDM, metal, rock, pop
     
    RSD Silver/Gold 2.98 OCC Litz 8-braid
    Of the three cables, this is the most serious sounding one. The cable is warm and midforward, and regularly brings out abundant detail in the (lower) midrange and bass that I overlooked before. Music sounds weightier, with increased note impact. The same holds for the bass, which becomes rounder and again, weightier. The treble appears slightly attenuated; this is not a ‘sparkly’ cable, as one would expect of a silver alloy cable. Not that treble is recessed, it is just as extended, but the relative forward mids dominate the overall signature more. I picture the 2.98 as the cable equivalent of the Heir 8.A, with it’s warm, midforward and somewhat analogue sound. As such this cable is also somewhat of a specialist. It excels for band-based music. Vocals, electric guitars, just anything that rocks. It is somewhat of a specialist though, as it doesn't have a clear background. Instead it sounds very heavy, which cannot be mistaken for muddiness as it has a high resolution. It’s best matched with iems that have strong mids, like the Solar or 8.A. The 2.98 can be considered the opposite of the RSD OCC Copper 8-braid; midforward vs. V-shaped. Rhapsodio: where you get a silver cable for the mids, and a copper for treble. Shocking.
    Recommend for: rock
     
    IMAG0236.jpg
    Top to bottom: 2.98 Silver/Gold 8-braid, Silver Litz, OCC Copper Litz 8-braid and standard Copper Litz. 
     
    Comparisons with the Solar in other reviews:
    AAW W500:
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/advanced-acousticwerkes-w500-ahmorph/reviews/14596
     
    Empire Ears Zeus:
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/empire-ears-zeus/reviews/14716
     
    Perfect Seal AR6:
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/perfect-seal-ar6/reviews/14957
     
    EarSonics S-EM9:
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/earsonics-s-em9-in-ear-earphones/reviews/14990
     
    (Photos credit to Victor van der Boom)​
    1. View previous replies...
    2. proedros
      Hey Nic, just one question about the cables part in your review - is this copper cable the same as the stock one provided ? or is the sound enhancement different due to it being an 8-braid (i think stock is a 4-braid) ?

      RSD OCC Copper Litz 8-braid
      also , the thing you say about silver cable beefing up the mids and copper cable beefing up the highs extends to cables by other makers as well ?

      cheers

      proedros, Feb 8, 2016
    3. flinkenick
      Hi Sotos,
      -The review was actually written with the copper litz cable, the former standard cable.
      -The OCC copper 8-braid was an upgrade cable that is no longer for sale.
      -The silver litz actually gives a slight recess in the lower mids, has a colder atmosphere, but makes the midrange clearer by improving resolution as well as treble sparkle. I will prob edit the whole cable part out.
      flinkenick, Feb 9, 2016
    4. Incarnation
      Hellooooo, just wanted to know, after so many other TOTLs are being released, do you think solar still has the capabilities to stand against the rest? :)
      Incarnation, Mar 11, 2017
  10. Kerouac
    Rhapsodio Solar (10BA flagship), pushing boundaries...
    Written by Kerouac
    Published Aug 12, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Great sound quality (lows, mids & highs) all over. Superb details, soundstage (width & depth) and imaging. Build quality and fit.
    Cons - Not easy (for me) to get some tips on the nozzle. Not a con with custom fit (had mine reshelled later on) anymore of course.
    Introduction:
    For starters, I'm not the everyday ''Hey, let's write a review'' kinda guy and because English isn't my main language, please forgive me my grammatical flaws and somewhat limited vocabulary on this one. I decided to make an exception for the Solar, because I think Rhapsodio is a brand that just deserves (based on their high quality products) more attention...
    http://www.rhapsodio.com/

    My Rhapsodio adventure started over a year ago when I picked up a RTi1 in the classifieds on Head-Fi. I especially liked the treble and details of that iem but imo it also lacked a bit in the low frequencies. Although with some added amps bass boost, the lows where there...it just needed some extra help to get it outside...

    For quite some months I was thinking about (because of multiple positive reviews that I read) a universal Noble K10 or Unique Melody Mentor, but then the Solar came on my radar and because Rhapsodio had a discount because of it's 3rd anniversary I chose that one instead and I'm glad I did [​IMG]

    When I ordered it, Sammy turned out to be a very friendly and helpful person to deal with and he answered my questions/mails pretty quick, so communication went smooth all the way...

    Build & design:
    When the Solar arrived, it came in a (nice looking) Rhapsodio box with the cables that I ordered and 3 different size of (I think Spinfit) tips. What more do you need?
    Solar01.jpg
    Rhapsodio cables from left to right: Litz copper (4 braid), Silver/Gold 2.98 (8 braid, 2% gold) and Panther MKII (8 braid copper)

    I chose the universal fit with ebony faceplates and dark transparent shells without the logo and I really like how that turned out designwise...
    Solar02.jpg

    The build quality is very good imo, it feels and looks like a professional job to me...
    Solar03.jpg

    Fit:
    The Solars shells are slightly heavier and bigger than my Tralucent 1Plus2 and 1964 Ears V6 Stage (also universal fit)
    Solar04.jpg
    Solar05.jpg
    Solar06.jpg

    but when I put them in my ears the universal fit (I've never tried a custom in my life, so can't compare to that) appeared to be almost perfect for me. The only reason I didn't rate the Solar on max for comfort and isolation is that that's probably only possible with a custom fit...
    Solar07.jpg

    The only downside was that (for clumsy me) it was a bit of a hassle to get the tips on the nozzle (as it seems wider than that of my other iems)...but when I put the large tips (that came with it) on it, it filled up my ears in a positive way (perfect seal) and stayed in its place, even while moving around. I can listen with it for a long time this way, without the need to adjust them in my ears.
    (* Edit 02 dec 2015: on recent pictures of the universal Solar I see it has a wax guard nozzle nowadays => should be much easier to get the tips on the nozzle that way)
    Solar08.jpg

    * Edit 03 july 2016
    OK, after about a year I decided the Solar was here to stay anyway, so I decided to have it reshelled into a custom
    Please click to enlarge and see the beautiful details inside...
    20160630_120224.jpg
    Now I've felt and heard the difference, I would advise a custom fit above a universal one any day!

    Source:
    At first I used all my 3 sources/stacks to listen with the Solar: iBasso DX90/Chord Hugo, Pono player (single ended) and FiiO X5/Cayin C5. But because DX90/Hugo was the most revealing and gave the best sound quality, I mainly used that stack for this reviews listening time and believe me, that were quite some (not unpleasant at all) hours...
    Solar09.jpg

    Sound:
    For me it's extremely difficult to describe exactly what I hear...some members (for example Jason with his ''Fit for a Bat'' reviews) pull that of in a way that I can only dream of (I only wish I had that skills), but here we go:

    Because of it's driver set-up (2 bass, 4 mid, 2 high & 2 tweeters) I was a bit afraid the Solar would have an overly bright signature, but this is not the case imo. Clarity is absolutely a strong point, but everything seems in balance and it all sounds very natural to me...I'm very impressed with the sound overall from the start and I consider the Solar to be a great all-rounder as it sounded excellent with all songs and genres (I normally listen to) that I threw at it...I'm not sure how much the 5-way passive crossover design plays a part in that, but I guess it has its contribution in the final sound result...
    Without the intention to get into a sound science debate, I tried it with both new ''upgrade'' Rhapsodio cables and imo they added a bit of their own signature to it. With the copper Panther MKII the sound became a bit smoother and relaxed, while with the 2.98 silver/gold cable it sounded more forward and transparent, with stunning details that sometimes seemed to be too good to be true...oh boy, oh boy...I almost couldn't believe my ears/brain sometimes...for this review I kept the 2.98 s/g cable on the Solar as it had the best synergy to my ears.

    Anyway, my attempt for a sound description:
    Lows: yes, totally there...bass slams with authority and goes all the way down... Listening to a song like Massive Attacks ''Angel'' it has great sub-bass too. With Hans Zimmers ''Why so serious?'' (from The Dark Knight soundtrack) at around 3.25 the bass seems to disappear under water, but the Solar pulls it of to follow it there and give you the rumble in your ears.
    Mids: I don't think I've ever heard it better than this in any other iem so far...the Solars sound isn't V-shaped because of it's marvelous mids and therefor sounds very full. Listening to almost every song mentioned in this review, it gave a very rich and complete sound without getting muddy...
    Highs: sparkly but (luckily) never fatiguing on the ears. Female voices, for example Tori Amos high voice in ''Winter'' or Heather Nova on her ''Island'' were a real treat (never harsh) to my ears. Cymbals or other high tones sounded amazingly crisp and clear without sibilance detected...
    Soundstage: very wide (but realistic) with excellent depth. I also listen lots of live music => a good soundstage is a very important quality in an iem to my taste... Listening to Madrugadas ''Majesty'' live at Tralfamadore sounded so real that it gave me goosebumps...''Midnight Rambler'' from the Stones classic album ''Get Yer Ya Ya's Out'' put me between the crowd and made me almost smell the grass (I mean the sort that cows eat) and mudd of the festival field and Jon Hopkins ''Collider'' took me on a short trip into space...
    Imaging: with your eyes closed, you can almost point out the instruments yourself at their place in the musical spectrum. For example, at the beginning of David Sylvians ''When Poets Dream of Angels'' different instruments are coming from all kind of directions and the Solar points them out for you precisely. Same story with Jimi Hendix ''Born Under a Bad Sign '' on his ''Blues'' album, it's almost if you're in the studio with the musicians playing around you...
    Details: on an almost scary level, nothing less than crystal clear and highly realistic I would say. The thunder and rain in Tools ''10.00 Days (Wings Pt. 2)'', the birds, bug and bells in Pink Floyds ''High Hopes'', the typewriter and all kind of strange sounds in Thomas Dolby's ''Dissidents''....it all sounds so real to my ears...all songs seemed to come alive though the Solar, proving it's obviously an utterly revealing iem, that can serve you the quality that the file and the source that you play it on are able to deliver...

    Comparisons:

    Solar vs Tralucent 1Plus2
    The 1Plus2 has a more laid back signature, where the Solar has a more energetic signature. 1P2 is known for it's very good soundstage, but the Solar is probably on par (* Edit 27 nov 2015: have been listening extra with 1P2 lately, focussing on it's soundstage and I guess 1P2 is still ''king of the hill'' concerning its soundstage width, where Solar has an incredible depth) in that department. Solar just sounds more realistic and dynamic, and after switching from Solar to 1P2 the latter sounded every time a bit dull and muffled for the first minutes...although I'm still very fond of the 1P2's sound signature, it just lacked that lively feeling of the Solar.

    Solar10.jpg

    Solar vs 1964 Ears V6 Stage
    The V6 Stage (2 low, 2 mid, 2 high BA) has a sound signature that reminds me of the Solar, but (although being an extremely good iem for ''only'' $700 imo) it simply lacks the high level of sound quality that the Solar can bring to the table...because the V6S universal has very long tubes they insert deeper into the ears and give me a more intimate sound (also narrower soundstage). Level of details with V6S are also pretty amazing, but the Solar is simply the better performer in every single department.

    Solar11.jpg

    Solar vs Sony XBA-Z5
    The Z5 (hybrid) still has the best lows (using a 16mm dynamic driver) I've heard so far in an iem, but the Solar comes pretty close. The Z5 also has a very wide soundstage, I think almost on par with the Solar, although Solar has better depth. But in every other aspect the Solar is the clear winner imo, as it has better mids, highs, imaging and details.

    Conclusion:
    Although I'm still curious about other company's flagships, I'm also totally satisfied (or should I say extremely happy) with the Solar at the moment. Besides that, I seriously doubt if there are many (c)iems out there that would top this one anyway...but when I ever win the lottery (as robbing banks is just getting too dangerous nowadays), then I will surely try that for myself...

    So, would I recommend the Solar? Well, what do you think?
    From the moment I started to listen to AC/DC's ''If You Want Blood'', my foot started tapping and if it doesn't stop within the next few hours, then I'm off to see a doctor...

    And for those of you who are still not tired (really?) of reading, for this review listening purposes and comparisons between the different iems above, I made a special playlist and these were the used...

    Test tracks:
    AC/DC – If You Want Blood / Angus & Julia Stone – My Word for It / Atoms for Peace – Stuck Together Pieces / The Beatles – Come Together / Beck – Morning / Björk – Hunter / Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Stop / Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer / Blondie – Rapture / Bob Marley – Exodus / Booka Shade – Mandarine Girl / Brendan Perry – The Bogus Man / The Cure – Primary / Daft Punk – Fresh / David Bowie – Fame (live) / David Sylvian – When Poets Dream of Angels / Declan O'Rourke – Sara (Last Night in a Dream) / Deftones – Pink Maggit / DJ Shadow – Stem, Long Stem / Dire Straits – Water of Love / Eagles – The Last Resort / Fleetwood Mac – Dreams / Foo Fighters – White Limo / Gregory Alan Isakov – Master and a Hound / Gregory Porter – Liquid Spirit / Hans Zimmer – Why So Serious? / Heather Nova – Island / Jeff Buckley – Dream Brother / Jimi Hendriks – Born Under a Bad Sign / Jon Hopkins – Collider / The Knife – Silent Shout / Led Zeppelin – Babe I'm Gonna Leave You / Madrugada – Majesty (live) / Massive Attack – Angel / Matthew Dear – Up and Out / Moloko – The Time is Now / Morphine – Let's Take a Trip Together / Motorpsycho – Vortex Surfer / New Order – Sunrise / Pink Floyd – On the Run + High Hopes / Porcupine Tree – Trains / Radiohead – Subterranean Homesick Alien / Red Hot Chili Peppers – Venice Queen / Rolling Stones – Midnight Rambler (live) / Rush – 2112 + YYZ / Simple Minds – This Fear of Gods (live) / Steely Dan – Do It Again / Soundgarden – The Day I Tried to Live / Suzanne Vega – Tom's Diner / Tears for Fears – Woman in Chains / Thomas Dolby – Dissidents / Trentemøller – Take Me into Your Skin / Tool – 10.00 Days (Wings Pt. 2) / Tori Amos – Winter / Vangelis – Spiral / Van Halen – Ain't Talking About Love / Wovenhand – Corsicana Clip / XTC – Making Plans for Nigel / Yes – Does It Really Happen?

    Btw, the answer is ''Yes, I would totally recommend it, also for it's full retail price''
    Thanks for reading and happy listening to all of you out there [​IMG]
      Tony1110, AmberOzL, canister and 5 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Kerouac
      Thanks for the compliment(s) proedros...
      Trying probably ends up in buying :wink:
       
      Γεια σας
      Kerouac, Sep 23, 2015
    3. FidelityCastro
      What a great review, Kerouac. With a moniker like that, we should've known you can write very engagingly indeed...
      And seeing as you took the trouble to include your playlist, I've been checking out some of the ones I haven't heard of. So it's a double value review - bravo mate.
      FidelityCastro, Sep 24, 2015
    4. Kerouac
      Thanks FidelityCastro,
      Glad you liked the review and hopefully you discovered some nice new music on the way...or should I say on the road :wink:
      Kerouac, Jul 3, 2016