Burson Soloist 3X Performance Head/Pre Amp - 8Wpc XLR with MUSE72320 volume control
Apr 14, 2022 at 10:54 AM Post #2,461 of 2,741

Terr0rSandmann

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Unfortunately sound quality is not quantifiable so i'm just focused on clean, powerful amp with a perfect channel matching feature and a screen to tell me where i'm at the volume scale. I discovered SMSL SH9 and Gustard H16 so far but i'm not fully satisfied with them. They seem a bit overpriced to be honest and SMSL blatantly lies about it's power capability.

I actually have Zen Dac/Zen Can stack which isn't bad. It's ridiculously powerful for high impedance headphones. However i use current hungry planar which seems like a weak point of this amp. I'm not fan of the channel balance either. So planning to sell this stack to fund another amp.

I would get the SH9 if it wasn't so overpriced. Just looking for a proper and convenient solution at a reasonable price.
6W hp output, clean sound, display, remote, super measurements and good build quality for under 300€. This is overpriced for you?
Do you want such devices for free?
 
Apr 14, 2022 at 2:45 PM Post #2,462 of 2,741

phalanx2357

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So just got the Soloist 3xp on Monday. Have been using the Topping A90 for a while and wanted to try the soloist since I ve read so many good reviews. Using the amp on my daily driver, Abyss diana tc. Honestly was disappointed in the first 2.5 days. The two amps sound very different, with the soloist being warmer, particularly in the mids, and slightly elevated bass. However the biggest difference is that vocals sound recessed, honestly even dark for me, with most sibilance gone. I honestly didn't enjoy it and thought I will listen to it more but will likely return it. However last night someone on reddit told me about using the soloist in its power amp mode. I did that and am very surprised by how much of a difference it is.

First the power level is much higher. On normal mode, I had to turn the knob past 90 on medium gain, so I switched to high gain and rested at 53 for my comfortable listening level. When I switched to power amp mode, I first tried low gain, which was low as expected, so then switched to mid gain. Cautiously I set volume on the computer to be around 45% just to be safe and the volume was ULTRA loud. Fortunately only played for half a second... I ended up using peace eq to apply a -13db preamp to reach my comfortable listening volume. The important thing is that not only the power, but also sonic character has changed as well. Vocals no longer sound recessed, and there are some other changes that are harder to tell at this point since I only listened for a couple hours in this new mode. But I think I like it. The main issue I have with the A90 is that sometimes things sound a bit too bright, maybe a little shouty, to be somewhat fatiguing. I think based on the couple hours I have heard so far, the soloist improves on that. Also the vocal timber sounds a bit more pleasant on the higher frequency end. I will be listening a lot more over the next few days to get a better feel. One possible negative is that bass is definitely stronger (not boomy at all, still very tight, defined, but strong). This may be good in most circumstances, but the DTC already has very powerful bass (more punch than Focal Clear OG), so I need a little bit getting used to on that - like feels it's getting on the edge of being too strong.

Overall quite surprised by how much difference a mode makes on the amp... Any thoughts on how/why it has such big power and even sonic differences?
 
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Apr 14, 2022 at 3:38 PM Post #2,463 of 2,741

TheFrator

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Give this article a read - https://www.audeze.com/blogs/technology-and-innovation/sensitivity-impedance-and-amplifier-power . In case you want to nerd out. But planars like the Diana TC love power and running the Soloist is power amp bypasses the muse volume control and just provides 100% of the power the Soloist is capable of.

computer to be around 45% just to be safe
Please be sure to mute your OS's system sound in the volume control panel (at least that's what it is called on Windows not sure about MacOS or Linux). Almost experienced an unfortunate notification sound at 100% volume while in power amp mode haha. For windows, if you use your media player in WASAPI exclusive then disregard this advice.
 
Apr 14, 2022 at 5:43 PM Post #2,464 of 2,741

phalanx2357

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TheFrator, thanks, great read. Does this mean somehow the amp, in normal mode, essentially reduces its own dynamic range? That would be a pretty weird design... you would think the engineers would aim to make the volume knob function such that it would reduce the average volume without reducing the dynamic range.

I am applying a system-wide software preamp at -13dbs to ensure volume doesn't go crazy by accident.
 
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Apr 14, 2022 at 6:11 PM Post #2,465 of 2,741

TheFrator

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Does this mean somehow the amp, in normal mode, essentially reduces its own dynamic range?
AFAIK, dynamic range is a product of the recording file quality and it's conversion to analog signal. When you control the volume on the Soloist you are lowering the power reaching your headphones. Citing point B of the Audeze summary towards the bottom, "The power required to produce high SPL transients is actually orders of magnitude higher than the headphones’ sensitivity measurement." So for planars the more power the better and when the Soloist is in power amp mode, it is giving all the power it can deliver to your headphones.
 
Apr 14, 2022 at 6:40 PM Post #2,466 of 2,741

Donald Russell

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AFAIK, dynamic range is a product of the recording file quality and it's conversion to analog signal. When you control the volume on the Soloist you are lowering the power reaching your headphones. Citing point B of the Audeze summary towards the bottom, "The power required to produce high SPL transients is actually orders of magnitude higher than the headphones’ sensitivity measurement." So for planars the more power the better and when the Soloist is in power amp mode, it is giving all the power it can deliver to your headphones.
Thanks for the explanation. I have tried several times to like the soloist in normal mode to use the high quality volume control they put in it, but I just can’t like it as much as in power amp mode. I don’t know if it’s hard on the amp or not to be used in amp mode, but it just sounds better to me. I have several hifiman headphones and they all sound better to me in amp mode using the highest gain setting I can use with them. I just use a simple passive code balanced volume control between my denafrips ares II and the soloist and just love it with my Arya. I was using a Singxer SA-1 in preamp mode as the volume control but like it better with the passive volume control.
 
Apr 15, 2022 at 6:05 AM Post #2,467 of 2,741

dracynical

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Looking through this thread as I recently purchased a soloist with a 3a supercharger, I am still confused about what the proper use etiquette is for this amplifier.
From my deep reading dive:
  • Burson states that I should turn off the unit when not in use.
  • I can power it on even with headphones connected. The audible click does not cause harm
  • I shouldn't unplug headphones while in use.
Any other things I should be mindful of? I intend on using power-hungry headphones for it most of the time.
 
Apr 15, 2022 at 9:06 AM Post #2,469 of 2,741

TheFrator

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Did you actually read my post ? Don't believe what you see on specsheet. It doesn't deliver that power. Not even as powerful as basic magni/heresy stuff.
What are your sources for this? I like to think manufacturers wouldn't lie on their spec sheet about their power delivery especially when it's easily measurable.
 
Apr 15, 2022 at 10:29 AM Post #2,471 of 2,741

TheFrator

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ASR and reference audio analyzer website. These are the only measurements i've found.
https://www.l7audiolab.com/f/burson-soloist-3x/ - need to translate the page unless you can read Mandarin. This is the only website I saw mentioned on ASR. And shows it can hit 8W out.

But the section you probably have the most interest in. Link to the top graph so you can zoom in- https://cdn.l7audiolab.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/BAL-THDN-Ratio-vs-Measured-Level.jpg

1650032852726.png
 
Apr 15, 2022 at 11:46 AM Post #2,472 of 2,741

Kozwoz

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I’m running the Soloist with a 5a Super Charger and Classic op amps with the LCD4 and the performance is pretty insane. Don’t think I’ll ever have a need to upgrade other than op amp experiment. This amp is ridiculously good.
 
Apr 15, 2022 at 11:59 AM Post #2,473 of 2,741
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Thanks for the explanation. I have tried several times to like the soloist in normal mode to use the high quality volume control they put in it, but I just can’t like it as much as in power amp mode. I don’t know if it’s hard on the amp or not to be used in amp mode, but it just sounds better to me. I have several hifiman headphones and they all sound better to me in amp mode using the highest gain setting I can use with them. I just use a simple passive code balanced volume control between my denafrips ares II and the soloist and just love it with my Arya. I was using a Singxer SA-1 in preamp mode as the volume control but like it better with the passive volume control.
Any comments on moving up from an SA-1 to the soloist? Currently have an SA-1 which I do enjoy but really wish the low end was a bit punchier.
 
Apr 15, 2022 at 12:39 PM Post #2,474 of 2,741

akelew

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Please be sure to mute your OS's system sound in the volume control panel (at least that's what it is called on Windows not sure about MacOS or Linux). Almost experienced an unfortunate notification sound at 100% volume while in power amp mode haha. For windows, if you use your media player in WASAPI exclusive then disregard this advice.
I pretty much will only use power amp mode through roon exclusive mode with hard volume limits set for this very reason. For my LCD-3 on medium gain i set minimum volume on roon to -10. I then run optical into my bifrost 2 as the alternate output from windows. Whats cool with the bifrost 2 is the usb connection doesnt drop when you change inputs, so you can swap between USB for Roon, optical for windows/everything else.
 
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Apr 15, 2022 at 12:43 PM Post #2,475 of 2,741

Donald Russell

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Any comments on moving up from an SA-1 to the soloist? Currently have an SA-1 which I do enjoy but really wish the low end was a bit punchier.
It seems to me that the soloist is more dynamic and has better bass. I have switched back and forth between the singxer and soloist with the same song and headphones and I just like the dynamics and sound of the soloist better. the singxer seems more laid back and maybe smoother but to me the soloist is more engaging. I will say anyone who thinks the soloist doesn’t have a lot of power hasn’t used one. With hifiman he6se I have to turn the singxer to close to max volume on high gain to get 75-80 decibels but with the soloist In headphone amp mode I can barely turn it to 10 o’clock on the dial before it’s too loud On high gain. With Arya V2 I can barely use it on high gain at all. I assure you even with the he6se the soloist can make you deaf. I have also used the he6se on a speaker amp using the speaker taps but it sounds better to me on the soloist. Of course audio is strictly individual preference. I really thought I would like the singxer more than I do so you might feel differently.
 

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