GSP Solo vs Chiarra
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winty

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As these are 2 of the easier amps to buy in the UK, I'm curious to know whether anyone has heard both, and if so which one they would pick. I'm several upgrades away from buying either, so no point listing my gear atm, but any insights would be very useful.

Thanks.
 
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Alick

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Pink Floyd has heard both. I'm currently cursing him for his rave review of the latest Solo which has probably kyboshed my plans for upgrading the PSU and Cap's in my X-Can V2 and completely blown my spending plans for the next wee while
See here for details.
 
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winty

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Thanks for that, I had read it, but didn't realise it was by PinkFloyd. It doesn't mention the Chiarra at all, but I'm putting 2 and 2 together now. There was a Chiarra on ebay UK recently that linked to rock-grotto.co.uk.... I'm wondering whether Pink has sold his Chiarra now because he's so happy with his GSPSolo?
 
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Alick

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The Chiarra sold on ebay for £274 (seems a real bargain - he included a load of quality "mix 'n' match" op-amps). He had the modded Solo up on eBay too (briefly), but it was withdrawn because of an error in the listing (according to eBay). Methinks he couldn't bear to part with it?
 
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Filipe

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alick
The Chiarra sold on ebay for £274 (seems a real bargain - he included a load of quality "mix 'n' match" op-amps). He had the modded Solo up on eBay too (briefly), but it was withdrawn because of an error in the listing (according to eBay). Methinks he couldn't bear to part with it?


Really?
I was bidding on that (and lost), but didn't realise that it was withdrawn.
Will it be up again?
 
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pbirkett

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I think that Solo will be on ebay again, just a hunch


FWIW, I seem to recall Pinkie felt that the Chiarra was way better.
 
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PinkFloyd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alick
The Chiarra sold on ebay for £274 (seems a real bargain - he included a load of quality "mix 'n' match" op-amps). He had the modded Solo up on eBay too (briefly), but it was withdrawn because of an error in the listing (according to eBay). Methinks he couldn't bear to part with it?


The Chiarra trounces the Solo in the sound quality department which is no surprise as it would cost over a grand if it were sold in the shops (remember the kit may "seem" reasonably priced but you've got to spend time building it and "time" to a manufacturer equates to cost). The Solo is probably one of the best UK commercial amps but it can't compete with the Chiarra kit amplifier....... the Chiarra just has the edge.

Yes, that was my Chiarra up for sale on ebay....... summer is here and it's off with the headphones and over to loudspeakers for me till the winter time so I thought I'd give someone else the opportunity to enjoy the Chiarra rather than have it sitting dormant. I'll be building another extra special turbo Chiarra ready for my winter headphone listening sessions. It's a tradition with me, build in the summer and listen in the winter, it keeps me occupied during the summer


I'll also be building a White Noise Audio headphone amp and a WAD headphone amp so looks like I'll have a lot to report on after the summer :)

Anyways, I'm waffling here...... to get back to the point: The Solo rocks big time and is a superb amp but if you can build a Chiarra then it has the edge sonically. The new owner of the Chiarra has a Solo also and will be doing a comparison so it will be interesting to hear what he thinks.

All the best.

Pinkie.
 
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winty

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Thanks for that. That pretty much settles it then. I contacted Williams Hart a while back and their cost for building the Chiarra is not too bad, so I guess I'll go that route when the time comes (not for quite a few months). I'm buying without hearing it, but it sounds like it's pretty good value for money
 
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Alick

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Actually, I hadn't considered the DIY route, but that's got me thinking. If we're talking £200 for the amp and psu kits plus my time, I'm game - I quite enjoy that sort of thing anyway. There's the added advantage that, at half the price of the Solo I can justify not putting my X-Can on eBay until after I've built the Chiarra. And look at all the fun I can have rolling op-amps.

Pinkie - I'd be right in thinking that the usual electronics tools (iron, pliers, snips, etc) are all that's required?
 
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PinkFloyd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by winty
Thanks for that. That pretty much settles it then. I contacted Williams Hart a while back and their cost for building the Chiarra is not too bad, so I guess I'll go that route when the time comes (not for quite a few months). I'm buying without hearing it, but it sounds like it's pretty good value for money



Be warned that Shaun (Williams Hart) builds the Chiarra / andante into very basic unpainted cases and they require painting otherwise they'll tarnish..... the unpainted enclosures quite literally look like corned beef tins. If sound quality is all you're after then the enclosures do the job but if you want a bit of style as well then get him to build them into the UC 252H/SW Case.

All the best.

Mike.
 
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PinkFloyd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alick
Pinkie - I'd be right in thinking that the usual electronics tools (iron, pliers, snips, etc) are all that's required?


Yes, Alick. You'll also need a multimeter to measure the resistors and a basic understanding of electronics. Shaun Williams moves to Spain next week so if you're going to order a kit it's maybe best to give him a few weeks to settle in over in Spain before ordering. It'll be business as usual except that Shaun will be sending the Chiarra kits from sunny Spain :)

If you run into any problems constructing the kit just give me the nod and I'll give you a hand as I'm just down the road from you
actually, I'd be happy to populate the boards for you as I love building them up :)

All the best.

Mike.
 
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Alick

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Thanks - I'll give the lucky sod a chance to settle before ordering then. I may take you up on the offer of support if I run into issues, but I'll populate the board myself - I used to be an electronics engineer but switched industries, so I don't get the chance to tin my iron very often these days...

I've got a cheap and cheerful DMM - how accurately do the resistors need to be measured? Is it for matching purposes? If so, I suppose repeatability is more important that accuracy? (Got a feeling this should continue in DIY or PM as I seem to be forcing this thread OT).
 
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PinkFloyd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alick
Thanks - I'll give the lucky sod a chance to settle before ordering then. I may take you up on the offer of support if I run into issues, but I'll populate the board myself - I used to be an electronics engineer but switched industries, so I don't get the chance to tin my iron very often these days...

I've got a cheap and cheerful DMM - how accurately do the resistors need to be measured? Is it for matching purposes? If so, I suppose repeatability is more important that accuracy? (Got a feeling this should continue in DIY or PM as I seem to be forcing this thread OT).




It's not so much the matching Alick it's identifying the resistor values as they don't come marked with the kit so you've got to use an ohmeter to check the values of the resistors. I, personally, match the resistors to zero tolerance..... some may find that a bit pedantic but I prefer things to be spot on :)

All the best.

Mike.

PS: the kits will be a breeze for you being an electronic engineer.
 
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How does the Chiarra compare to the other highly regarded DIY amp, the PPA?
 
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Thanks PinkFloyd for all your comments on the Chiarra, I have now got to blame for a big hole in my wallet


Chiarra on order, hopefully wont be too long in despatching once Mr Williams has settled in over in Spain. I`m impatient already....

Pink - where in the UK can I get the op-amps you recommended?
 
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