Burson Soloist 3X Performance Head/Pre Amp - 8Wpc XLR with MUSE72320 volume control
Mar 2, 2022 at 11:06 PM Post #2,416 of 2,741

TheFrator

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Just an FYI, you can use the search bar at the top of the page to "search" this thread / research a general question. There is a lot of helpful information on Headphone mode.


What headphone(s) and DAC are you using?
Thank you for pointing out that search bar. I use dark mode on my browser and that bar was hidden a bit.

I have a SMSL SU-9n for my DAC and a pair of Audeze LCD-5 and ZMF Verites as my main headphones. I've been using them with medium gain in headphone power amp mode the past couple days.
 
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Mar 2, 2022 at 11:15 PM Post #2,417 of 2,741

David222

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Thank you for pointing out that search bar. I use dark mode on my browser and that bar was hidden a bit.

I have a SMSL SU-9n for my DAC and a pair of Audeze LCD-5 and ZMF Verites as my main headphones. I've been using them with medium gain in headphone power amp mode the past couple days.

Of course, welcome to the club! Happy to (try) and be helpful.

Here's my $0.03 and I'm sure others will jump in as well:

1. Sweet cans! :sunglasses:

2. Personally, I would not use LCD-5 on headphone mode, but others might disagree.

3. Your ZMFs should do fine.
 
Mar 2, 2022 at 11:28 PM Post #2,418 of 2,741

akelew

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As i said before, i've been running my LCD-3's on power amp mode to great success. Especially with EDM. More bass impact. More body to the sound. More soundstage. More dynamics is what im noticing the most. LCD-3 is a planar, with a 'highish' impedance of 110 ohm. So its probably perfectly suited to using power amp mode.

Since my DAC doesnt have volume control, and the fact I'm using Roon DSP to add in my parametric EQ, I have just decided to use Roons DSP volume control. I believe it's not going to degrade the sound quality any more than adding in the EQ does (and i highly value the EQ more then any slight benefits to not digitally attenuating the sound), so i decided not to add a pre-amp to my chain.
 
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Mar 2, 2022 at 11:32 PM Post #2,419 of 2,741

TheFrator

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Of course, welcome to the club! Happy to (try) and be helpful.

Here's my $0.03 and I'm sure others will jump in as well:

1. Sweet cans! :sunglasses:

2. Personally, I would not use LCD-5 on headphone mode, but others might disagree.

3. Your ZMFs should do fine.
Nevertheless I appreciate it.

1. Thank you! Won't derail this thread but the LCD-5's and Verites are stellar cans and I recommend either to everyone.

2 & 3. Yeah I'm going to tinker with it. Given the LCD-5's low impedance compared to the Verite (14 vs 300 Ohms) I don't know if headphone amp mode will mesh with both equally. But like you said earlier it's all subjective so I'll have to decide for myself. I'll probably change my feeling with headphone amp mode on the LCD-5's day to day haha
 
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Mar 2, 2022 at 11:40 PM Post #2,420 of 2,741

adeadcrab

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I think the consensus is that it depends on your headphones and what it needs to be driven to its potential. I have a pair of HE-6se cans and they love the extra juice from power amp mode. It's one of the reasons I bought the Soloist for, short of running these cans straight off a regular stereo power amp. But maybe not all headphones would be suited for that.
Is the gain still adjustable in power amp mode?
 
Mar 2, 2022 at 11:54 PM Post #2,421 of 2,741

Slade01

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Is the gain still adjustable in power amp mode?
Yes. The volume knob is disabled, but the gain switch is still available/enabled.
 
Mar 3, 2022 at 12:05 AM Post #2,422 of 2,741

adeadcrab

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As i said before, i've been running my LCD-3's on power amp mode to great success. Especially with EDM. More bass impact. More body to the sound. More soundstage. More dynamics is what im noticing the most. LCD-3 is a planar, with a 'highish' impedance of 110 ohm. So its probably perfectly suited to using power amp mode.

Since my DAC doesnt have volume control, and the fact I'm using Roon DSP to add in my parametric EQ, I have just decided to use Roons DSP volume control. I believe it's not going to degrade the sound quality any more than adding in the EQ does (and i highly value the EQ more then any slight benefits to not digitally attenuating the sound), so i decided not to add a pre-amp to my chain.

EDIT: disregard this, as happens to the best of us in the hifi world, we can jump to conclusions too hastily.


I don't have the Soloist 3XP (yet..) but I do have their op-amps and have used them for a number of years now. Currently they get use in my Gustard P26 preamp.

I have observed today that they sound best on maximum volume (99 on the preamp's display). I've used foobar to mitigate volume and tested.. the classics, for example, can give a leaner sound on 50, however the sound also sounds hollowed out and digitally artifacted in the treble. It's weird to explain...

I'm sure the circuitry is much different between the P26 and Soloist 3XP, but perhaps these opamps sound the best when run at '100%' so to speak. Or at least the circuit performs optimally at that level, and anything less can degrade the sound.
 
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Mar 11, 2022 at 2:57 AM Post #2,424 of 2,741

Moses Kwon

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I have a question. Where do you guys like to place 2 Classic op amps in Soloist? Output stage or volume stage? I have not opened my Soloist yet. Is the location indicated? Thank you in advance. I heard that output stage has larger effect.
 
Mar 14, 2022 at 1:16 AM Post #2,426 of 2,741

David222

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Would topping d90 be better dac than bifrost 2 if my he1000se can take more advantage of power amp mode with soloist??

IMHO --> ultimately you'll want to nail down the sound signatures you (personally) enjoy most. It's hard for anyone to tell you what that is. The BF2 is a very popular pairing with the Soloist for a slightly warmer / thicker / punchier / dynamic sound. You'll likely find the d90 more clinical / precise / exacting, but less natural/smooth.

Might I ask what general budget range you are looking for DAC? There are other options you can consider around this price point, such as Denafrips Ares II or even the RME (just a few dollars north), also would provide you with variable gain control.
 
Mar 14, 2022 at 1:43 AM Post #2,427 of 2,741

HC1205

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IMHO --> ultimately you'll want to nail down the sound signatures you (personally) enjoy most. It's hard for anyone to tell you what that is. The BF2 is a very popular pairing with the Soloist for a slightly warmer / thicker / punchier / dynamic sound. You'll likely find the d90 more clinical / precise / exacting, but less natural/smooth.

Might I ask what general budget range you are looking for DAC? There are other options you can consider around this price point, such as Denafrips Ares II or even the RME (just a few dollars north), also would provide you with variable gain control.
I was looking for a below 1k range. I actually got composer 3xp to match it and also use my soloist as power amp mode. I don't know if I made a good choice or not haha
 
Mar 14, 2022 at 1:59 AM Post #2,428 of 2,741

David222

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I was looking for a below 1k range. I actually got composer 3xp to match it and also use my soloist as power amp mode. I don't know if I made a good choice or not haha

Interesting. I've never heard the Composer, so won't comment on that unit specifically, but certainly have read great things.

IMO --> it seems like a lot of squeeze (possibly little juice) to pick up a second (less expensive DAC) for variable gain control for one pair of headphones.

You might get more bang for your buck(s) if you were to consider (one) "upgraded" DAC with variable volume, or, if you really want second DAC.... perhaps consider the Denafrips so at least you get to try another sound profile, like R2R, or as you mentioned above the BF2. I know this does not solve your HP mode question above, but it's something to think about when second DAC shopping....just not sure how much overall enjoyment you'll get from owning two Sabre DAC chips within a few hundred dollars of each other...🤷‍♂️
 
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Mar 18, 2022 at 5:49 PM Post #2,429 of 2,741

HC1205

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Interesting. I've never heard the Composer, so won't comment on that unit specifically, but certainly have read great things.

IMO --> it seems like a lot of squeeze (possibly little juice) to pick up a second (less expensive DAC) for variable gain control for one pair of headphones.

You might get more bang for your buck(s) if you were to consider (one) "upgraded" DAC with variable volume, or, if you really want second DAC.... perhaps consider the Denafrips so at least you get to try another sound profile, like R2R, or as you mentioned above the BF2. I know this does not solve your HP mode question above, but it's something to think about when second DAC shopping....just not sure how much overall enjoyment you'll get from owning two Sabre DAC chips within a few hundred dollars of each other.

Interesting. I've never heard the Composer, so won't comment on that unit specifically, but certainly have read great things.

IMO --> it seems like a lot of squeeze (possibly little juice) to pick up a second (less expensive DAC) for variable gain control for one pair of headphones.

You might get more bang for your buck(s) if you were to consider (one) "upgraded" DAC with variable volume, or, if you really want second DAC.... perhaps consider the Denafrips so at least you get to try another sound profile, like R2R, or as you mentioned above the BF2. I know this does not solve your HP mode question above, but it's something to think about when second DAC shopping....just not sure how much overall enjoyment you'll get from owning two Sabre DAC chips within a few hundred dollars of each other...🤷‍♂️
Ive had the composer for 2 days now and honestly i cant hear much difference between power amp mode and normal dac mode. Maybe its because of my he1000se has low impedance
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 4:16 AM Post #2,430 of 2,741

Tormenta

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Don't know if any of you guys also experienced the same, I recently noticed that my Soloist 3xp start to have a higher noise floor, I'm using low sensitive planars like Arya and Empyrean, but when I turn Soloist to power amp mode, even on Mid gain, there's clearly some audible noise when nothing is being played or no source is plugged, and when I turn to High gain, the noise is much louder, like 'ta ta ta ta ta .....'
Also when I turn off power amp mode, and use High gain for my Arya, I find that when volume is below 51, there's a very audible noise, but when volume set to over 52, the noise is much lower, which is really weird.....
BTW I'm using their Super Charger as power source
Hello, I'm the same, 52 is less noisy than 51. Have you solved this?
 

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