Campfire - Solaris
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rutter

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The IER-Z1R is only $100 more with Campfire Audio's cheapest balanced cable. The FW10K is $100 less. Both outperform the Solaris by big margins in certain aspects. The difference is the Solaris is American and has gotten disproportionate publicity in the West.

I tried deep insertion with the IER-Z1R for 30 minutes and my ears rung for at least a week. I spent a decent amount of time with the Solaris and thought the seal was good. Briefly I was impressed while using a laptop of all things, but usually and perhaps always there was an overall prosaic quality to the sound. With the IER-Z1R you can at least say the bass catches your attention. If you're going to do balance do it brilliantly or have an actual soundstage. Or have incredible clarity and resolution. Good is not good enough at this price.
 
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uthood

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. There is no such thing as an expansive soundstage with the Solaris, IER-Z1R, etc.
I think it's all relative. For IEMs, to me, the Solaris has an expansive soundstage. Comparing them to open back cans, especially something like the HD800, is not a helpful comparison for me. It's the same as comparing a For Explorer to a Honda Civic and saying the Explorer gets terrible gas mileage. Relative to each other, the statement may be true, but the use cases are different, and within the SUV category, the Explorer may be top of class.

I feel fortunate to have found headphones and IEMs that meet the need for my use case AND my preferred sound signature. It sounds like IEMs aren't for you, which is totally fine, especially since the HD650 work so well for you.

My two cents, for whatever it's worth from a stranger on the internet, would be to stop exploring IEMs and start looking at source gear for your 650. That's a totally valid path to enjoying the hobby.

Edit: spelling
 
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rutter

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The Explorer can't go coast to coast on a tank of gas. These supposedly relative words are not descriptive. I don't know why some people perceive that the HD650 is my endgame just because I mention them.
 
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post-14985810
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uthood

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The Explorer can't go coast to coast on a tank of gas. These supposedly relative words are not descriptive. I don't know why some people perceive that the HD650 is my endgame just because I mention them.
I think people are just trying to be helpful. Based on your commentary, it seems like you're looking for something that will make you happy, which the HD650 seem to do.

For the Explorer example, it's totally fine that it can't go coast to coast on a tank of gas, because that's not why I bought it. I bought it to haul kids, large items from the store, and to be able to tow things. A Civic can't meet my needs the same way an Explorer does. So, I'm totally happy with the tradeoff of not getting as good of gas mileage as a Civic.

Edit: a word
 
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rutter

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The most helpful thing to anyone is accuracy and good reason.
 
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post-14986009
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Audiophonicalistic

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I've said this before but it always seemed to me that you were never able to get it to fit right as the issues you described when you had it were exactly the issues I had before I was able to get it to fit right. For the Solaris to shine it needs a deep insertion as well as a proper fit and full seal-- if you don't achieve this the sound will suffer dramatically. Disregarding the overarching issue of totl IEMs being overpriced in general the Solaris does offer quite a good value for the money as to get anything else close to it in the world of IEMs you have to spend quite a bit more money.
Agreed. I have Solaris, phantom, legend x, hd650, and focal clears. Solaris is really awesome. I don't understand how somebody doesn't like them. I can see preferring one iem vs the other but the solaris imo is totl indeed. Though I've never heard any of the 3k iems yet.
 
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uthood

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post-14986097
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denis1976

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The IER-Z1R is only $100 more with Campfire Audio's cheapest balanced cable. The FW10K is $100 less. Both outperform the Solaris by big margins in certain aspects. The difference is the Solaris is American and has gotten disproportionate publicity in the West.

I tried deep insertion with the IER-Z1R for 30 minutes and my ears rung for at least a week. I spent a decent amount of time with the Solaris and thought the seal was good. Briefly I was impressed while using a laptop of all things, but usually and perhaps always there was an overall prosaic quality to the sound. With the IER-Z1R you can at least say the bass catches your attention. If you're going to do balance do it brilliantly or have an actual soundstage. Or have incredible clarity and resolution. Good is not good enough at this price.
if you can please listen to solaris with a N8 in tube mode, you will change your opinion
 
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rutter

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The Sony DMP-Z1 is supposed to be amazing. Too bad it's $8000 but if you get the chance to hear it maybe it makes sense of everything.
 
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fokta

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@rutter, hi, nice to see you again...

Still using DX220 I assumed... if you like DMP-z1, means u prefer warm sig.

regarding IEM, I believe each people have preference, souns sig that they want. but Somehow I find they dont know what they need.
Seeking in the thread, reading review can give draft of picture, but he/she needs to know the his/her path, if not, u will be wondering to uncertainty, which is not a bad way, or good way if you have the budget for it...

my point, u have ur exp, others also have, lets discuss...

edit, Mistypo
 
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fokta

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I've got a question for those who have heard a wide variety of TOTL IEMs. One of my favorite aspects of the Solaris is its spacious headstage and (I would say) holographic imagery. Is this something common to most high end IEMs or is it something that the Solaris in particular excels at?
Here's my opinion. TOTL IEM I have try Tia Fourte, PP8, M9 (consider this is the high end before Z1r)... I don't know Accustone is consider...

each have uniqueness, some strong point and also something that not my cup of tea.
but trying them was important path to know what sound sig u after... by trying urself...
Try to be open mind...
I believe in my ear, but the simple way to know is, I will always repeat certain song with certain cable to certain IEM, which where I am now.

Now I understand why my dad is so talkative to me when he wanted to explain or make me understand... man, I am Old...


D@mn to myself, got carry away...
answering @Rockwell75, What is Solaris excel, and why I still use it daily until now... IMHO
CFA SPARK (i believe this is CFA signature, although I found people prefer to smooth it, edit)
Resolution,
layer mid (with DX220),
excel Dynamic with low Volume (DX220 & my best stack combo Note8UAPP-NX4DSD-E12a),
Soundstage with spacious 3D and Holographic image (yes, there are other that can pint point source better),
and Separation (need to mod for this but the biggest influence is Source like DAP).

is it a perfect IEM that outstand other TOTL? NO...
but it suits me fine... because now I know what sound sig I after for IEM, and Solaris sits well in there, for now...
 
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post-14986342
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Rockwell75

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The IER-Z1R is only $100 more with Campfire Audio's cheapest balanced cable. The FW10K is $100 less. The difference is the Solaris is American and has gotten disproportionate publicity in the West.
The Z1R is $1000 more than the Solaris for me (in Canada)...I'm not counting the second hand market. It's $700 more if you factor in the balanced super litz cable I bought for my ZX300. I don't know anything about the JVC but it has even less of a North American presence than QDC products so I've never really considered it a contender. You're right that the Solaris being American increased the likelihood that I would be exposed to it (and be able to demo it)...that is true and simple logic...but to imply that its popularity is only due to its publicity is disingenuous and quite frankly insulting to those of us who really enjoy it and spent months doing research and demoing before making the purchase.

Honestly though, when I read things like:
Both outperform the Solaris by big margins in certain aspects....]here was an overall prosaic quality to the sound. With the IER-Z1R you can at least say the bass catches your attention. If you're going to do balance do it brilliantly or have an actual soundstage. Or have incredible clarity and resolution. Good is not good enough at this price
...I am left with the feeling that you're not listening to the same IEM than I am, or that yours was defective...or that you're not getting the fit right...but who knows. I have talked to and read impressions from enough people whom I trust to form the suspicion that while the Z1R does have better bass and treble than the Solaris (which itself is said to have better mids)...the difference is not that dramatic and that there are plenty of people who are perfectly satisfied with both. Solaris has really good bass-- it's powerful, deep, punchy and impactful when called on. I do not say this lightly. When I demoed the Solaris I was a very happy owner of the bass cannon Atlas and found the Solaris bass only marginally less in quantity than the Atlas and of equal quality, with the rest of the package more than justifying the jump over, which is what I did. I can believe that the Z1R has better bass than Solaris but to imply that the bass on the latter doesn't even catch your attention suggests to me that something is amiss. Regarding clarity, imaging and holographic soundstage I find that Solaris IS incredible in all these regards..relative to IEMs, which is all I have experience with.
 
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rutter

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It was a $100 difference for me in the US, all brand new. Presence in the West has little to do with sound quality. As I've quoted a North American seller multiple times in the IER-Z1R thread, the iem market in the East is far beyond what it is in the West. In the West people tend to buy full-size headphones whereas in the East they predominantly buy iems. The Solaris' popularity with western posters here is indeed partly due to it not only being American but also possibly better plugged in with western reviewers. Objectively speaking the Solaris gets disproportionate attention among us that is not reflective of its sound quality, doesn't matter who's offended. As you've stated yourself, you have very little experience listening to the actual iems on the market. The most experienced people tend to be Asians who represent by far the biggest market for iems and who are the primary consumers for manufacturers. Those people don't make statements like the Solaris is by far and away the best value to the degree being done in this thread.

I'm currently selling my IER-Z1R and planning to move back to actual headphones so that tells you how much I think of what I've been hearing over the past few months. You're trying to split hairs between the Solaris and IER-Z1R, which not only do I not agree with but think the problems extend much further. Even with me finding the IER-Z1R being better spatially than the Solaris and driving it competently with an iBasso DX220 and amp8 (4.4mm balanced) I know that for a few hundred dollars more I can grab an open box HD820 that will blast both of these iems, and the rest out of the ball park. Using a word like expansive is laughable, it's ridiculous. IEM soundstages are defined by limitations more so than positive qualities. Overall they are a mix of flat, closed, boxed, compressed, and a mess. Not mincing words as I think a reality check is appropriate. You might also hear some real bass out of an HD820 that makes you feel vibrations and air into your ear if it's anything like I recall from the HD800S and what some people post in its thread although some quantity may be lacking, but first you should see what you think of the Solaris' bass after trying at least an IER-Z1R. "When called on" is a trite phrase associated with lack of performance and impression. It's a good thing that you are happy, but there is a bigger world out there. At some point you have to explore it instead of looking for people to tell you what you want to hear. I recall you talking about having a store up in Canada, surely you can try some things there. IEMs are for practicality, not to expose you to the best sound qualities available and especially not at value-conscious prices. It's an unfortunate reality and blind contentment doesn't push manufacturers to either do better or sell at more reasonable prices. There are plenty of people satisfied with products ranging down to a few hundred dollars, you don't seek out their opinions though. Most people appear to be satisfied with most things they have, unless you know where to look for differing opinions. Count your blessings that you are satisfied, don't assume you have awesome value until you've heard more. Perhaps you do have good value for your taste, but it surely isn't extreme.
 
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That was me, and I do indeed expect value for my money or prices to reflect performance. Whereas switching to the HD650 from the Solaris was a relief I think the Sony IER-Z1R is comparable to it albeit I drive the HD650 with only a Magni. There are a bunch of blanket statements on this page that are false. No, iems do not compete against headphones very well despite the bizarre inability of headphone manufacturers to put well rounded headphones together, yes, soundstage in instances can be comparable. I hear that the FW10K is supposed to have a bigger soundstage than the IER-Z1R. It's a total mystery to me how people are impressed by the Solaris but there's no need to beat a dead horse. The IER-Z1R has issues of its own for the price, so I might finally put my money where my mouth is and try an HD820. Anyone who has the slightest interest in spacious headstages and holographic imagery should hear one of Sennheiser's HD8**s. And even with them I think people really exaggerate spatial qualities, but at the least hearing one of them would give some people proper perspective. There is no such thing as an expansive soundstage with the Solaris, IER-Z1R, etc.
If you are looking for a well rounded headphone with great soundstage I suggest you try the Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC. It has incredible bass, outstanding resolution, electrostatic like speed, and soundstage that rivals the hd800 without being overly wide and exaggerated. They are simply put stunning. If the form factor is a concern then the diana phi gets about 90% of the magic that the 1266 tc has.


For an iem I would try the noble Khan. It has great bass and the best treble I have heard in an iem. And the soundstage is damn good for an iem. They find more ear time than my Solaris currently.
 
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rutter

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I've seen good things about Abyss, but way out of my price range. You add proper DACs and amps on top and you're talking about $10,000, if not more. The Noble Khan I've heard negative things about. Hoping the HD820 would be a good compromise, and disagree on an implication of overly wide and exaggerated soundstages. The Sennheiser HD8**s have much bigger issues than that silly accusation in my opinion. I didn't even find the HD800S that wide, the separation is what stood out. But it was very dry with awful vocals, not to mention something about what I was using made my ears ring very quickly. It was unfortunately a no-brainer return vs an Audeze LCD-X, which eventually was a no-brainer sale vs the HD650, and that's what I was left with.
 
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