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Campfire - Solaris

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  1. Rockwell75
    Ken Ball loves the cube as well. Its 2.5mm connection and the fact that it's just a little to big to be really portable for me has taken it out of the running as a main player. My Cayin N6ii is pretty amazing with Solaris and will be hard to top. Looking forward to hearing the cube though :)
  2. AlanU
    Ok so this indicates that you've tested the Andro's with the campfire provided generic silicon tips. This is how Travis typically demo's IEM's in his store. Unless you've provided your own "tip" of preference which would require the proper ID to connect to the IEM.

    This is where stock tips can have sibilance and lack bass due to fitment issues. The silicon tips also vary due to insertion depths. So many factors involved.

    I like using Comply 400 as they fit well for me and provide isolation. Insertion depths are always consistent. I just have not found a silicon tip yet that fits me well. This is my next step in exploration.
  3. AlanU
    May I ask where you sourced your N6ii ?

    Cube is bulky so I've held off buying it. I'm waiting for the next AK "flavour" product with smaller form factor.
  4. Rockwell75
    I got it from Andrew at Musicteck.
  5. Random Lunatic
    Yep - I do prefer silicon tips (particularly the Shure style), and got a decent fit, but I cant rule out that different tips might improve the sound a tad. With the Weston UM 50Pro the foam tips provided a slightly warmer sound which was better, and better isolation - don't really like wearing foams though, feels congested, kind of like CIEMs but worse. But this is also why I still hold out a bit of hope that the Solaris might be good...
    But short of a very detailed/reliable comparison to something I know, I suppose there isn't really much I can do short of pulling the trigger - not sure I dare though. :p
  6. Random Lunatic
    For portability, I ended up finding even the AK240 a bit cumbersome, and now mostly use a Dragonfly Cobalt with my iPhone 7, which works surprisingly well with most things! ... The iPhone's lack of FLAC is driving me up the wall though ^^
  7. broopa
    The iPhone can use FLAC; I have a bunch of FLAC on mine, download foobar from the App Store and you can drag files in iTunes into the foobar folder.
  8. fokta
    When u forgot to bring ur DAP, and u still need those dose of Music in life...

    Ipad 2 Mini - > ifi earBuddy - > multiple adapter - > Solaris... with Spotify...
    I enjoy it... No hiss...
  9. SQ13
    3 adapters???
  10. fokta
    Hehehe.. Yes.. My Solaris cable is 2.5 TRRS,
    I dont have 2.5 TRRS to 3.5 TRS.
    But I have a lot Adapter when all my cable was still 4.4 TRRS..
    So why not be creative a bit...

    Additional iFi because SOLARIS really HISS if direct plug to IPAD 2 Mini...
    BTW, find this is interesting, Spotify with the current combo, I can enjoy...
    Narrow Soundstage, but still enjoyable...
    *the Low / Bass puncy, with detail Rumble...

    edit: *
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  11. ok3wire
    1) Tl;dr version:

    If your considering the Solaris as a major upgrade to your current mid-tier or lower IEM, go for it - 95% of your quality recordings are going to sound amazing. Just understand that it may take a minute or three for your brain to begin fully appreciating them.

    2) Bloated, self indulgent version:

    Understanding full well that we’re probably hundreds of pages and thousands of posts beyond the point of really needing another “listening impressions” review in this thread, I nevertheless thought I’d offer a few brief observations for the benefit of anyone who might be contemplating a Solaris purchase as an upgrade after many years of listening to an older, less capable IEM.

    By way of background, I meet the most basic requirements for offering such an opinion. Prior to the arrival of the Solaris three days ago, the only IEMs I’ve used for the past dozen years or so have been a pair of Shure SE530s. Apologies up front to all the audio cognoscenti here who are now having to clean the orange juice and coffee out of their keyboards, :) but yes, you read that correctly - my only IEMs for well over a decade have been the Shure SE530.

    I certainly don’t think anyone would need to justify such a purchase at the time. As the more seasoned among us may recall, for anyone making their first quality IEM acquisition back in the 2000s, the SE530 definitely had the potential to be a revelation. I know it was for me. As far as mobile solutions of the era go, iTunes and iPods had just given us the ability to store massive amounts of lossless CD rips on one fairly small device with a baseline SQ approaching that of our portable CD players. Combining the iPod with an iQube V1 and the SE530 resulted in a travel combo that provided me with countless hours of classic rock, metal and new wave audio bliss on many long transcontinental flights.

    Of course the iPod eventually gave way to the iPhone, and a Mojo was added into the mix along the way for good measure, but what I might be less able to justify, particularly in these circles, is why I haven’t tried any other IEMs in the interim. Well, what can I tell you? I guess I’m not a ‘flavor of the month’ kind of guy. <insert massive understatement alert here> But whatever the reasons, the Solaris is here now and it too has been a revelation, in any number of ways.

    Of course there is the largest measure of truth to all the accolades that have been heaped upon the Solaris with respect to its soundstage, depth, isolation, separation, layering, extension, etc. And while these are all inarguably positive attributes, I will say to the person contemplating such a major IEM upgrade as mine, after having spent so long with only one other pair, that there is much truth as well to the notion that you need to be willing to spend some time retraining your ears.

    I won’t lie. At first listen - despite all the research I had done, all the reviews I had read, all the comparisons to other IEMs I had seen made - I was worried that I may have made a mistake. On paper, the Solaris’ advertised sound signature matched up almost perfectly with my general preferences. Yet there were so many more layers of sound present, and so much more extension as compared to my much older Shures, that initially my ears were more than a bit overwhelmed. Separation and even some clarity - of the bass in particular - seemed to suffer in contrast to how I remembered songs in my mind through the SE530s.

    Yet as I worked to process all the new sonic information being presented, I continued bouncing haphazardly around my music library. In short order, I began to land upon songs where the differences between the two IEMs seemed less dramatic. Rush’s Moving Pictures might be my favorite album of all time and it’s one that sounds pretty powerful on the SE530s. Here though, a significant overall improvement could be heard through the Solaris immediately. A heavy sigh of relief was breathed. Then it was off to Memphis with Marc Cohn, down to the waterline with the boys from Dire Straits and on to a brief exploration of Richard Butler’s gravelly vocals fronting the Psychedelic Furs. A long standing love affair with the first ladies of new wave, Terri Nunn and Dale Bozzio, was taken to a new level. In all these cases, the Solaris was stunning on first listen. Progressively, those feelings of relief further gave way to ones of excitement and anticipation.

    More importantly, through this process, my brain is quickly learning to decode the Solaris’ presentation of nearly all the music in my collection, finding the increased separation, detail and texture that these new IEMs have to offer. That’s not to say there still isn’t some work to be done. For whatever reason, Metallica’s Master of Puppets continues to sound almost comically unnatural to me - as if it were being broadcast from underwater. I can’t tell you why, as many other Metallica tracks sound marvelous. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. And, if all else fails, there’s no law preventing me from continuing to listen to certain songs or albums with the SE530s.

    The other bit of conventional wisdom that I found to be particularly applicable in this transition, as it would be with any top quality IEM, is that the Solaris is quite capable of exposing the limitations of the source material. I noticed that with some of my Beach Boys recordings, the highly refined instrumental isolation, separation and soundstage of the Solaris tends to expose an unnatural amount of space and distance between the individual instruments - almost like you were hearing them emanate from three or four widely dispersed but highly point sources. Fortunately the vocals are dead center, right where they should be, and they’re spectacular. So too with some of Van Halen’s earliest offerings, where Eddie’s guitar can sound just a tad too far pushed off stage left. But these are minor hindrances to what has otherwise been a massive reawakening of my musical library. With each new day this week, I’ve eagerly looked forward to stealing away whatever moments I can to continue this exploration into uncharted IEM territory.
    Keizoxx, Aslshark, snk8699 and 5 others like this.
  12. Rockwell75
    Well said man. It doesn't matter how far into the thread we are-- new impressions are always welcome. The fact that this thread is still so alive with new impressions speaks to how good the Solaris really are. When I first started my search for a high end IEM earlier this year there was a lot of backlash to the initial glowing hype of these IEMs, which many deemed too much. Speaking from my own recent experience where branched out to another IEM only to come back and realize how much I really love the Solaris-- I think it's fair to say that they have more than lived up to the initial hype surrounding them. As someone who experienced the same, it's a marvelous feeling to totally re-experience your music library after so much time-- it's like becoming reacquainted with old friends. Once upon a time I used to used gear to listen to my music-- now I use my music to enjoy my gear lol. Happy listening!
    ok3wire and B9Scrambler like this.
  13. cr3ativ3
    This is so true :)
    Tristy likes this.
  14. Rockwell75
    I've been really enjoying these last few days with Solaris after not hearing them for close to two weeks. I stand by my original claim that they're a good mix of the best of the Atlas and Andromeda without the extremes of either.
    Aslshark and subguy812 like this.
  15. ok3wire
    Thanks for the kind words, and I couldn’t agree more with your assessment.
    thecryder, B9Scrambler and Rockwell75 like this.
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