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Campfire - Solaris

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  1. beholdclarity
    It's time again!

    The Legend X

    The Legend X is a well-known hybrid with 5 BAs and 2 DD (Sub-woofers) in the following configuration:
    2x lows, 2x mids, 1x high-mid, 1x high and 1x super-high in a mathematically difficult to explain 10-way setup

    For some reason the LX is huuuuungry for power, I have to crank up my SP1000Cu to 90 (I use 55 for Solaris)...

    The Legend X is quite a bit closer to the Solaris than the Vision Ears VE8. The LX offers thick mids with superb body, which is partly because of the notorious bass bleeding into them and less so because of the mids themselves.
    I don't think the bass of the LX is extreme, I have heard much "worse", so let's get that out of the way. It is uncommonly bass-heavy, however, for it's price range.

    The bass should not be reviewed by me at this point, as the IEM is not and will not be burned-in properly. But it can be safely said already that the bass is nicely done. It whoops when it has to and lends bass guitars the texture and depth they deserve. Dark instruments rock and low, vibrating piano notes strike and sound with a rich timbre more than anything I have heard so far. This will take time getting used to and probably tone down a bit, but at the first listening experience that is the key component of the LX. The bass will take away from the mids and especially from the highs when both are played simultaneously, which is meh.

    The mids are soft and rich with plenty, plenty of detail. Maybe something between the vocals and the bass is recessed, though.

    The highs are superbly smooth but detail rich with bad, bad extension. The LX isn't capable of high piercing treble and for some that is great. I thought I would find that great as well but I am not so sure at the moment.
    I also notice a bit of listening fatigue which can only be attributed to the increase in bass at similar listening volumes. My ears are sensitive (and I listen loud) but I never had fatigue due to bass before.

    On tracks where there is only little bass present the LX shines remarkably, making me wonder if the bass isn't so well-done after all. Acoustic guitar strings are remarkably detailed and vocals have emotion, clarity and intimacy. They sound better than on the Solaris but may be a teensy bit behind the VE8. Incredibly, the LX is best for music where lows and vocals but no highs, or vocals and highs but no lows are present. For many audiophile classics that is true and it is also true for EDM. But, as many stated before me, it is no allrounder.
    Where the LX doesn't perform in my opinion, is when it all has to come together. When lows and mids or highs have to be equally present, the lows invariably take the cake making you go "oh, too bad" because you wanted to hear it all. The LX is just not very harmonic, in my opinion. Less so than the Solaris.

    The LX goes much lower than the Solaris, with a seamlessly bottomless and thus remarkably huge soundstage, where the Solaris extends higher.
    The LX is also wider than the Solaris, with a small victory for the Solaris in the positioning of instruments.

    The LX rocks; meaning low instruments and drums have authority and power.
    It thumps; meaning you get visceral power and immeasurable depth.
    It has soul; meaning vocals are clear and full of emotion.
    It sings; meaning guitar strings have soul and magic in the lower treble.
    It is fun, but I fear the V-shape is too pronounced.

    It doesn't clap and kick and it doesn't sparkle in the highs, because it lacks treble extension. Super-high vocals sound awkward and cymbals have no definition and sparkle.
    It is not cohesive, things don't just fall together when they should.
    It kind of lacks magic.

    I am very surprised how well the Solaris holds up in this battle against two TOTL contenders with higher price points. Most of it comes down to personal preference with no obvious flaw for any of those, making the Solaris an excellent choice for all those who still consider purchasing it.
    You're not going to get better. Just different.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    ILyaX, Hellraiser86, fokta and 3 others like this.
  2. antdroid
    Here's some measurements on the Campfire Solaris with the iFi IEMatch2.5 using High (2-3Ohm OI) and Ultra (<1 ohm OI)


    There's a small variation in bass/warmth, but not nearly as drastic of a difference as how the Campfire Andromeda behaves.
  3. Kitechaser
    Sound is subjective. That's why to me personally these reviews, especially "rankings" are completely useless.
    I just spent 6 thousand dollars building a Magnepan Planar Magnetic Speaker system, hoping to recreate the sound I heard from the RHA CL2 DMP-Z1 combo.
    Listen to all these reviewers here, and that iem can't even compete with its 150 dollar Chinese knockoff.
    Who is right? Who owns the truth, do I trust my ears, or random measurements I see on head-fi?
    You can read all the reviews you want, but you will not know what an iem sounds like until you pick it up and listen to it.
    "The description is never the described." J Krishnamurti
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    fokta likes this.
  4. fokta
    Already being teach and direct how to read graph, but my brain just so slow when understanding this.

    But I am still in process of learning....

    This is the new graph right?
  5. antdroid
    The graph is basically saying that there is a very, very small decrease in bass quantity if you use a higher impedance (2-3 Ohm), but otherwise the sound signature is the same. Tips and insertion depth and general source qualities will make a bigger difference than output impedance of your amp.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    Wildcatsare1 and fokta like this.
  6. fokta
    is this can be show also on the graph?

    sorry, for the stupid question...
  7. zeroselect
    Hey antdroid, Can you also overlap the Solaris without the IEMatch 2.5 onto the graph. I think it would help people to have a full picture on what the IEMatch is doing.
    warriorpoet likes this.
  8. antdroid
    My main source for measurements is the RME ADI-2 DAC which is near 0 ohm OI (according to spec).Take the upper treble region with a grain of salt as per industry standard measurement guidelines. I'm using IEC711 coupler, similar to what some other prominent users on this forum.

    Wildcatsare1, fokta and zeroselect like this.
  9. Jackpot77
    This makes sense, given that the bass in the Solaris is actually shared between the DD and some overlap with the full range ported BA running the mids. Guessing the lions share of the sound is picked up by the dynamic, so the IEMatch will be mainly affecting the mid BA.
  10. Rockwell75
    Do you have your N6ii yet? I might have one tomorrow :)
  11. Jackpot77
    Arrived on Tuesday. Not had chance to run it with the Solaris yet as I have s free outstanding reviews I'm trying to get done, but generally speaking it's everything I was hoping it would be in terms of general tonality and technical capabilities. Think it will make a very nice matchup with the Solaris!
    Rockwell75 likes this.
  12. 8481
    Alright, tbh I didn't hear that much of a difference when compared to normal Spiral Dots, maybe a touch better separation and clarity? Fit is better than normal Spirals though due to the softer silicone. This could explain the slight differences. Could be placebo as well. IMO not worth the premium.
    cycheang likes this.
  13. zeroselect
    Forgot to ask. Is this going through the 3.5mm or the 1/4 inch?

    The graph looks to me what i was hearing on the Solaris vs using the IEMatch.

    I also have the ADI-2 DAC as well as the Monolith Desktop 788.
    antdroid likes this.
  14. antdroid
    3.5mm from rme
  15. zeroselect
    Just wanted give a heads up to anyone looking at the Kann Cube. It does hiss from both the 2.5mm and 3.5mm (more on the 2.5 of course). At the amount of hiss coming from the 3.5mm is so low that you really can't complain. The 2.5mm is slightly more but enough I still reach out for the IEMatch on quieter songs. Overall the Kann Cube + Solaris sounds fantastic and quite impressive how low the hiss is from such a power station player.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    Wildcatsare1 and fokta like this.
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