Burson Soloist 3X Performance Head/Pre Amp - 8Wpc XLR with MUSE72320 volume control
Mar 3, 2021 at 7:24 PM Post #706 of 1,262

brif

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I just got Celestee, and on medium gain my soloist has a very present hiss. It disappears on low gain. I can’t hear it on any gain setting with Arya (much less sensitive). I haven’t tested IEMs.
 
Mar 3, 2021 at 7:42 PM Post #707 of 1,262

SQ13

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hiss is definitely noticeable on medium gain, especially on sensitive iems. I tested with shure846 and sony ier-z1r on low gain and hardly hear it in a totally quiet room and no music playing
 
Mar 4, 2021 at 9:00 PM Post #709 of 1,262

JWahl

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Following up regarding source pairings with the Soloist 3X. I received my replacement Bifrost 2 yesterday and it's working like a charm. I've posted more detailed thoughts on the DAC in the Bifrost 2 thread, but so far this is my favorite pairing yet the Soloist 3X, at least the the HE6-SE V2. Although I don't have the Neo iDSD on hand anymore, I think that might still pair better with the HD-650 if it's your primary headphone. It's kind of difficult to judge, though, because I've become so adapted to the HE6-SE that the HD-650 sounds really congested and veiled. It never ceases to amaze me how the brain can adapt to a headphone over time, though. Same thing happened when I had the Elear. It took me awhile to adjust back the the HD-650.

Without re-hashing everything from the other thread, I really like synergy of the total chain. The Bifrost 2 brings the warmth and body I expected when paired with the Soloist 3X, although upper-mids can still be a little energetic and there's a very slight smokiness/haziness to the sound. What really stands out in the full-chain is how well the transient energy of sounds are articulated (aka amplitude or ASDR envelope). The Bifrost 2 is head and shoulders above competition in this regard the both the Soloist 3X and HE6-SE communicate this very faithfully. It makes the rhythms really groove (where applicable) and can make you really stop micro-analyzing everything and just enjoy the music, despite some minor flaws.

The Neo iDSD had a similar quality regarding transient energy to a degree and was one of the things I liked about it, but not really on the same level as the Bifrost 2. The Neo iDSD was also leaner and cleaner in general. Sometimes the setup (with the Bifrost 2) can be a touch bloomier in the lower midrange than I prefer, but tube-heads would probably enjoy the slight coloration. I went through swapping op-amps again with the Bifrost 2 and still preferred the V6 Vivid in volume stage with SparkoS in the input buffer. It just yields the most natural and balanced tonality to my ears. I definitely lost some sleep last night as the "one more song" effect is very strong with this setup.

Side note: some of the upper-midrange energy is probably just the HE-6SE itself. I ran a frequency-sweep test yesterday, and I was surprised to hear just how perceptibly lumpy the upper-mids and highs are. I suppose they have to sufficiently differentiate it from the Susvara. I haven't had the pleasure of hearing the Susvara, but others have said the HE-6SE is reasonably close when you consider the price gap. I'll have to find a good eq software for Mac and see if I can play with smoothing out the upper registers a bit, and maybe pad experimentation to bring out the sub-bass in the HE-6SE.

I think I can finally say I'm satisfied with my setup for awhile, as long as finances don't necessitate I have to sell something. For perspective, I can say I'm getting more involvement and enjoyment out of this chain than the most expensive full chain I've owned: The HD800 (Paid $1,100), Trafomatic Head 2 (Paid $2,000), Schiit Yggrasil (Paid $2,400) and iFi iUSB 3.0 (Paid $400). Not bad for less than half the total cost.
 
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Mar 4, 2021 at 9:03 PM Post #710 of 1,262

Bazaar

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Any thoughts compared to the ADI-2?
 
Mar 4, 2021 at 10:06 PM Post #711 of 1,262

JWahl

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Any thoughts compared to the ADI-2?

I was hesitant to include a direct comparison with the full chain, since I didn't have the HE-6SE when I had the ADI-2. I general, I think their design philosophy is much different. The RME is exceptionally clean, smooth, and measures very well in terms of noise and THD. The features are also genuinely useful to me; I do miss them. It's just that when I downgraded to the Modius temporarily, I found the Modius to be more engaging in the sense of rhythm and dynamics, despite using the same DAC chip. The Bifrost 2 kind of takes that trait to 11, but also isn't quite as technically clean as either the RME or the Modius. The Modius kind of sits in between the two in general presentation. I had the RME for at least 6 months, and I noticed that I didn't really listen to music as much as I used to, and that's what the strange thing was to me. In isolation, I couldn't really find any serious fault with the RME.

It wasn't until the direct comparison that I noticed the difference in the engagement factor. Despite the top-notch engineering and great features, it just didn't pull me into the music as much as the others, and that's really the #1 priority for me. To be fair, I think that in a pro-audio environment that RME is tailored to, you wouldn't want to be distracted or "entranced" by the music when you're trying to critically listen during monitoring, so I think the flat presentation may be intentional for that reason. I just try to avoid calling it "sterile" because that conjures up images of being thin and bright to me, and the RME has a generally pleasing and agreeable neutrality to the frequency spectrum which makes that engagement factor so difficult to catch on it's own.
 
Mar 4, 2021 at 10:10 PM Post #712 of 1,262

Bazaar

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NOW you tell me :) :)

Interesting to hear, appreciate your observations.
 
Mar 4, 2021 at 10:36 PM Post #713 of 1,262

JWahl

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NOW you tell me :) :)

Interesting to hear, appreciate your observations.
Of course, this is just one person's opinion, and I still think it's a terrific choice in its price range compared to a lot of stuff out there. The differences in modern DACs in general are fairly nitpicky, which is why I didn't feel like I was missing too much with the Modius. There's also the possibility that the HD-650 wasn't resolving all of the technical ability that the RME is actually capable of, and thus the technical differences and nuances between it and the Modius seemed less apparent. It would be interesting to re-evaluate it with the HE-6SE in play.
 
Mar 5, 2021 at 11:54 AM Post #715 of 1,262

RenEh

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Does anyone know how this compares to the Flux FA-12? I'm trying to decide between the two. Price point of the Burson is very similar when on sale.

Does anyone know what the landed cost of the Burson was after customs/brokerage? Thanks!

My chain is pi2aes->Ares 2->THX 789->Ananda Balanced right now.
 
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Mar 5, 2021 at 12:10 PM Post #716 of 1,262

MakubexGB

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Does anyone know how this compares to the Flux FA-12? I'm trying to decide between the two. Price point of the Burson is very similar when on sale.

Does anyone know what the landed cost of the Burson was after customs/brokerage? Thanks!

My chain is pi2aes->Ares 2->THX 789->Ananda Balanced right now.
Are you located in the USA?
 

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