T+A Solitaire P planar magnetostatic
Jan 10, 2021 at 10:18 AM Post #346 of 828

ThanatosVI

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You need to test the subbass qualities yourself, as I have the slight inclination that musicalhead had to find some difference in sound doesn't he, as he could not very well have written that both headphones more or less sound the same.
Because should both headphones sound the same, then why paying more for the Solitaire P, unless you maybe like the haptic touch of the materials used for the P more.
That is true and that the subbass can't match the Solitaire P is also what the manufacturer told me(and probably him), so it was an obvious thing to take that as example for a difference. Both also emphasized that differences are VERY MINOR.

I am hyped to hear them myself and still root for the P-SE until I heard both, hope dies Last.

Edit: I talked to musicalhead some more, he told me that most differences are only noticeable in an A/B test, except for the subbass difference which is more obvious.
 
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Jan 10, 2021 at 12:40 PM Post #347 of 828

offtherecord

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From the following terrible google translation i am assuming the R8 is totally underpowered for the P, but manageable on the SE !....

Der HIBY R8 verleiht dem Flächenstrahler im Grundton geringfügig mehr Plastizität, was eine sehr organisch wirkende Spielart zur Folge hat, ohne dabei audiophile Aspekte zu vernachlässigen. Dies gilt in gleichem Maße für den SOLITAIRE P, von dessen Impedanz (80 Ohm) sich der Kraftzwerg völlig unbeeindruckt zeigt und auch am Herforder Referenzkopfhörer ein formidables musikalisches Feuerwerk abbrennt.



The HIBY R8 gives the surface heater slightly more plasticity in the basic tone, which

results in a very organic-looking variety, without neglecting audiophile aspects. This also

applies to the SOLITAIRE P, whose impedance (80 ohms) shows the power dwarf completely

unimpressed and also burns a formidable musical fireworks on the Herford reference headphones
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 12:57 PM Post #348 of 828

DarginMahkum

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From the following terrible google translation i am assuming the R8 is totally underpowered for the P, but manageable on the SE !....

Der HIBY R8 verleiht dem Flächenstrahler im Grundton geringfügig mehr Plastizität, was eine sehr organisch wirkende Spielart zur Folge hat, ohne dabei audiophile Aspekte zu vernachlässigen. Dies gilt in gleichem Maße für den SOLITAIRE P, von dessen Impedanz (80 Ohm) sich der Kraftzwerg völlig unbeeindruckt zeigt und auch am Herforder Referenzkopfhörer ein formidables musikalisches Feuerwerk abbrennt.



The HIBY R8 gives the surface heater slightly more plasticity in the basic tone, which

results in a very organic-looking variety, without neglecting audiophile aspects. This also

applies to the SOLITAIRE P, whose impedance (80 ohms) shows the power dwarf completely

unimpressed and also burns a formidable musical fireworks on the Herford reference headphones

Frankly as someone who has been in Germany for some time, I sometimes lack the polish to grasp the fine details of the language and MusicalHead's reviews. :) But that wasn't my understanding and I would disagree with that, as R8 is a very powerful DAP and can drive P (I would also expect P-SE) very well. It is technically behind a desktop DAC / amp but not underpowered at all. DeepL translation:

"The HIBY R8 gives the flat radiator slightly more plasticity in the fundamental tone, which results in a very organic playing style without neglecting audiophile aspects. The same applies to the SOLITAIRE P, whose impedance (80 ohms) does not affect the power dwarf at all, and the Herford reference headphones also produce formidable musical fireworks."
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 1:02 PM Post #349 of 828

offtherecord

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Frankly as someone who has been in Germany for some time, I sometimes lack the polish to grasp the fine details of the language and MusicalHead's reviews. :) But that wasn't my understanding and I would disagree with that, as R8 is a very powerful DAP and can drive P (I would also expect P-SE) very well. It is technically behind a desktop DAC / amp but not underpowered at all. DeepL translation:

"The HIBY R8 gives the flat radiator slightly more plasticity in the fundamental tone, which results in a very organic playing style without neglecting audiophile aspects. The same applies to the SOLITAIRE P, whose impedance (80 ohms) does not affect the power dwarf at all, and the Herford reference headphones also produce formidable musical fireworks."

"Danke" for the clarification, i may yet still get the P for the slightly more outright resolution, but especially for the better defined bass as thats very important for me, looking at the SP2000 though the M8 seems to be of equal measure and a better proposition price wise.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 1:09 PM Post #350 of 828

DarginMahkum

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"Danke" for the clarification, i may yet still get the P for the slightly more outright resolution, but especially for the better defined bass as thats very important for me, looking at the SP2000 though the M8 seems to be of equal measure and a better proposition price wise.

I actually was thinking of exchanging my R8 with a portable amp like BX2 Pro and a good portable DAC, but it is very capable in terms of driving power so I will probably give up on that idea. For the SP2000, I might have a SP2000 in hand for a while and test the Solitaire P with it. I am not very hopeful on that but would like to check out what this SP2000 is all about.

EDIT: I heard great things about M8.
 
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Jan 10, 2021 at 1:21 PM Post #351 of 828

ThanatosVI

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From the following terrible google translation i am assuming the R8 is totally underpowered for the P, but manageable on the SE !....

Der HIBY R8 verleiht dem Flächenstrahler im Grundton geringfügig mehr Plastizität, was eine sehr organisch wirkende Spielart zur Folge hat, ohne dabei audiophile Aspekte zu vernachlässigen. Dies gilt in gleichem Maße für den SOLITAIRE P, von dessen Impedanz (80 Ohm) sich der Kraftzwerg völlig unbeeindruckt zeigt und auch am Herforder Referenzkopfhörer ein formidables musikalisches Feuerwerk abbrennt.



The HIBY R8 gives the surface heater slightly more plasticity in the basic tone, which

results in a very organic-looking variety, without neglecting audiophile aspects. This also

applies to the SOLITAIRE P, whose impedance (80 ohms) shows the power dwarf completely

unimpressed and also burns a formidable musical fireworks on the Herford reference headphones
Actually it says that the Hiby R8 manages to drive both very well as they do not need much power to sound good.
 
Jan 11, 2021 at 8:03 AM Post #353 of 828

Musicalhead

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Hello,

below you will find my sonic impressions of the new T+A Solitaire P-SE. I hope that I have succeeded in the translation to some extent. Cause unfortunately the Google translator is completely unusable...and as you know, I am not a native speaker... :wink:

In order to make it easier for you to classify the sound of my test candidate today, I will compare the SOLITAIRE P-SE with the MEZE EMPYREAN, which is also in this price range. But of course, I'm also very curious to see how the current entry-level model from the Herford-based manufacturer will fare against the world-renowned SOLITAIRE P reference headphones.

In addition, the T+A HA200, which is now a firmly established transistor reference on Musicalhead, is recommended to fully explore the sonic talents of the "Trio Infernale". An AURALIC ARIES MINI with implemented SSD hard disk and the corresponding AURALIC ultra low-noise power supply serve as an adequate signal source, which establishes digital contact with the HA200's converter section via an AUDIOQUEST CARBON USB connection.

To test the mobile suitability, the new HIBY R8 does the honors sonically and provides up to 2 x 1,088 mW at its dedicated PentaConn output. Of course, it goes without saying that the aforementioned ear speakers dock exclusively in the balanced connection variant to the Chinese playing partner.

And once again, the usual suspects from the fields of classical, jazz, blues, rock and pop serve me for the musical assessment of my current test candidate. For more information about the T+A SOLITAIRE P-SE, please visit the manufacturer's website.

A small side note: Like almost all orthodynamic headphones, the P-SE requires a relatively long break-in period, which is why it first had to spend 3 days in our tried and tested storage room. Quite to the chagrin of my wife - because of the slightly ambitious chosen level, she even suspected burglars in the house the first night. Bad man.


As is so often the case, I have not made this review easy for myself. Since December of last year, I have been putting the new T+A SOLITAIRE P-SE through its paces acoustically in numerous listening sessions, some of which have lasted several hours, until well into the night. And with every conceivable musical material.

My wife had to separate me not infrequently with gentle force from my listening place in our winter garden. This was also due to the absolutely stress-free presentation of the new ear loudspeaker from Herford, which, in terms of its sonic characteristics, can be identified after just a few minutes as a typical representative of T+A's new headphone product line.

No pithy basses counteract the transparency in the fundamental tone, no excessive treble distracts from decisive events in the sound-relevant midrange. The moreover quite objective, but as it were transparent way of the acoustic presentation had already struck me positively with the SOLITAIRE P and distinguishes now also primarily the new P-SE model.

Just like its bigger brother, the orthodynamic ear speaker does not prefer any specific frequency range with the in-house T+A HA200 - even demanding musical gems are thus reproduced authentically and free of any coloration and finely balanced.

The spatial imaging of the T+A headphones is also exemplary; the separation of voices and instruments in particular is masterfully achieved by the P-SE. And even the entry-level model from the Herford-based manufacturer always maintains the correct proportions of the individual players in relation to each other. That's the way it has to be.

In addition, the flat radiator undoubtedly plays in the Champions League in terms of bass performance. The P-SE inspires at the HA200 with a tight contour as well as a detailed structuring and excellent timing. A very slight emphasis in the midbass also gives individual bass impulses a marginal acoustic weighting, without directing the attention of the grail knight of fine tones specifically to this area.

Only in the low bass range does the new T+A headphone have to admit defeat to the reference model of the Herford manufacture. The black crown prince can't quite keep up with the abysmal bass of the aluminum-reinforced firstborn and ultimately denies itself the final illumination of the very lowest registers.

In the seamless transition to the fundamental tone, the T+A convinces with a slag-free reproduction, which nevertheless always has enough substance. A differentiated and transparent elaboration of musical details with exemplary localization is also one of the P-SE's great strengths in the midrange - but the German headphones also know how to please with fast and natural-looking transients.

The spirited challenger doesn't show any weakness in the high frequencies, especially since the ear speaker seems to be a bit more engaged in this frequency range than the silver first generation. Even the smallest musical details are reproduced with nuance and resolved conscientiously, whereby the flat-panel radiator never tends toward sibilance, but unquestionably maintains a relaxed pace.

In direct comparison to the Herford reference headphones, subtle sonic differences are nevertheless revealed in combination with the HA200. Despite the common DNA, the SOLITAIRE P simply conveys even more calmness in an exemplary three-dimensional sound image and scores especially with the more precise focusing and a higher edge definition in terms of spatial imaging.

The MEZE EMPYREAN reproduces the bass range also sovereignly, combined with a decided low bass. The Romanian headphones start with almost fulminant pressure, but sometimes act a bit too dominant compared to the P-SE, which slightly softens the contours of complex bass lines and sometimes blurs them into each other.

Nevertheless, the EMPYREAN succeeds in unobtrusively connecting to the earthy fundamental tone, which lends the MEZE a unique expressiveness in the tonally rich midrange. Musical events are not only razor-sharp altered, but also absolutely precisely placed in the virtual space.

The more direct playing style of the MEZE in the upper midrange is up to the personal taste of each Knight of the Grail. The SOLITAIRE P-SE is comparatively somewhat restrained in the audible presence range, consequently remains true to its stress-free line and thus explicitly states the tonal philosophy of the house.

In the high frequency range the MEZE also impresses with filigree detail work and first-class resolving power. Sibilants are reproduced softly and smoothly and never tend to sharpness. And although both surface radiators don't give each other anything in the high frequencies, the EMPYREAN nevertheless performs with a slightly darker timbre. The T+A often seems a touch airier here.

In particular, the suboptimal ear pads of the EMPYREAN unnecessarily restrict the spatial impression due to the relatively high acoustic damping, so that not only the actors on the imaginary stage move closer together, but also individual reverberation tails fade out prematurely. Consequently, the P-SE undoubtedly has slight advantages in the discipline of three-dimensionality.

While both headphones master the fine dynamic separation of micro details to perfection, the P-SE does not have much to offer against the exorbitantly high efficiency of the MEZE. The interaction with the HA200 enables the EMPYREAN to achieve almost explosive dynamics. At extreme (!) listening levels, minimal distortions can be heard in the bass range, which are completely alien to the T+A.

The P-SE is thus dependent on higher power reserves in order to shine in terms of (bass) dynamics. Even in comparison with the SOLITAIRE P, the new T+A does not gain any significant advantages in terms of achievable volume - despite the mobile-friendly impedance of 45 ohms. Which, of course, also speaks for the enormous efficiency of its bigger brother.

This calls the HIBY R8 onto the scene for the first time. The reference player from the Chinese manufacturer has already received numerous advance praises in the run-up and can now finally prove its sonic capabilities. And the R8 proves to be the ideal mobile companion for the T+A headphones. Especially at the 4.4 mm PentaConn output, the new HIBY shows the DAP world elite where Bartel has been getting the cider recently.

The player, equipped with a double AKM chipset, is not only capable of playing the T+A headphones without compression at any listening level, the sonic signature of the Japanese reference transducers from Asahi Kasei Microsystems, which prefer a natural and richly colored midrange, complements the transparent presentation of the P-SE in an almost ideal way.

The HIBY R8 gives the flat radiator slightly more plasticity in the fundamental tone, which results in a very organic playing style without neglecting audiophile aspects. This also applies to the SOLITAIRE P, whose impedance (80 ohms) does not affect the power dwarf at all and also produces formidable musical fireworks on the Herford reference headphones.

The EMPYREAN also cuts an excellent figure on the HIBY, convinces on the R8 with grandiose dynamic qualities and inspires with a wonderful musical flow. Even though the MEZE harmonizes in my opinion a bit better with ESS-armed players due to the slightly brighter tonality and a more excessive room illumination.

Finally, I still have to clarify the question of how the SOLITAIRE P-SE performs in comparison to the MEZE EMPYREAN.

Of course, individual listening preferences are crucial for selecting the "right" headphones. In my opinion, the tonal tuning of the corresponding ear speaker also becomes the central focus. And of course the respective intended use.

On stationary components like the T+A HA200, I would personally tend towards the SOLITAIRE P-SE. On the one hand, because the slightly more delicate playing style of the T+A simply appeals to me more, and on the other hand, because the Romanian beau is sometimes a bit too thick in the bass range.

In mobile use, the MEZE could decide the race in its favor due to its high sensitivity - but only in strict dependence on a careful selection of the respective playing partner. While the P-SE can compete with almost every powerful DAP of the new generation, the EMPYREAN often behaves rather like a diva. My wife loves these headphones.

Final thoughts

With the new SOLITAIRE P-SE, the German manufacturer T+A has, in my opinion, undoubtedly succeeded in setting another milestone on the road to musical nirvana. The orthodynamic ear speaker once again plays in the top field of world-class headphones and not only makes music with exemplary transparency, but also acts absolutely free of coloration against a pitch-black background.

The orthodynamic ear speaker also impresses with an excellently structured bass range, great midrange clarity, as well as superb and at the same time unobtrusive detail work at high frequencies. Lightning-fast transients and a perfect impulse response complete the excellent impression.

The sonic differences to the SOLITAIRE P are rather of a marginal nature. The resonance-free aluminum housing of the first generation provides for more quietness in the excellently organized sound image - the higher-quality TPM3100 transducers also enable the Herford reference headphones to achieve an exorbitant low bass.

However, this is only noticeable in a direct comparison. The inclined Knight of the Holy Grail could at most be bothered by the black crown prince's mundane choice of materials and reach for the bigger brother for that reason alone. And although the surcharge seems very ambitious, in my opinion it can be justified by the considerably more complex manufacturing process and a somewhat better qualitative impression.

The T+A SOLITAIRE P-SE will be available in stores from January 25, 2021 at a retail price of 2,800 euros (in Germany). Anyone who has always flirted with the SOLITAIRE P, but has fallen out with the domestic game management because of the ambitious price tag, now gets a second chance with the new offer from the German high-end forge.

Yours Fidelio
 
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Jan 11, 2021 at 6:19 PM Post #354 of 828

xxx1313

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@Musicalhead, why do you not upgrade your status to "Member of the Trade", which would make your role transparent to anybody here? @bidn asked you already to do so, but it seems that you did not. According to the terms of service of head-fi.org, "Member of the Trade" also includes "magazine and e-zine writers". In case that you are not familiar with the rules of this forum, please kindly take a look here:
Terms Of Service | Headphone Reviews and Discussion - Head-Fi.org (head-fi.org)

Cheers,
Bernie
 
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Jan 11, 2021 at 6:26 PM Post #355 of 828

ThanatosVI

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@Musicalhead, why do you not upgrade your status to "Member of the Trade", which would make your role transparent to anybody here? @bidn asked you already to do so, but it seems that you did not. According to the terms of service of head-fi.org, "Member of the Trade" also includes "magazine and e-zine writers". In case that you are not familiar with the rules of this forum, please kindly take a look here:
Terms Of Service | Headphone Reviews and Discussion - Head-Fi.org (head-fi.org)

Cheers,
Bernie
Is it really a Magazine review when his reviews are hosted on his non commercial website, and are the only things hosted there?
 
Jan 11, 2021 at 6:33 PM Post #356 of 828

xxx1313

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Is it really a Magazine review when his reviews are hosted on his non commercial website, and are the only things hosted there?
Musicalhead.de is clearly a professional e-zine imho, and the text posted here is the english translaction of one of his numerous articles on Musicalhead.de. But it is on the administrators to decide, not you and me. :wink: So @Musicalhead should clearly notify them according to the terms of service.

Cheers,
Bernie
 
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Jan 11, 2021 at 6:54 PM Post #357 of 828

ThanatosVI

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Musicalhead.de is clearly a professional e-zine imho, and the text posted here is the english translaction of one of his numerous articles on Musicalhead.de. But it is on the administrators to decide, not you and me. :wink: So @Musicalhead should clearly notify them according to the terms of service.

Cheers,
Bernie
He doesn't get paid for it in any way or form, not even via patreon(and also no adbanners in the website). This is not professional.
I don't want to argue about it, as it wouldn't make any difference to me. Probably also no difference to him either.
From my casual perspective it doesn't qualify as "member of the trade" is all I'm saying
 
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Jan 11, 2021 at 7:05 PM Post #358 of 828

xxx1313

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He doesn't get paid for it in any way or form, not even via patreon.

How do you actually know this? @Musicalhead declined to answer @bidn's question regarding whether he "'received' some of the expensive gear" reviewed by him "at a lower price or for free":
T+A Solitaire P planar magnetostatic | Page 19 | Headphone Reviews and Discussion - Head-Fi.org (head-fi.org)

Getting something very valuable for free or at an unsually steep price discount would clearly be a case of "getting paid". By the way, when operating such a professionally looking high-end gear reviewing website/ezine, would it really be so offending to assume a financial interest?

Cheers,
Bernie
 
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Jan 12, 2021 at 2:09 AM Post #359 of 828

DarginMahkum

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How do you actually know this? @Musicalhead declined to answer @bidn's question regarding whether he "'received' some of the expensive gear" reviewed by him "at a lower price or for free":
T+A Solitaire P planar magnetostatic | Page 19 | Headphone Reviews and Discussion - Head-Fi.org (head-fi.org)

Getting something very valuable for free or at an unsually steep price discount would clearly be a case of "getting paid". By the way, when operating such a professionally looking high-end gear reviewing website/ezine, would it really be so offending to assume a financial interest?

Cheers,
Bernie

In the link you sent, he says: "After all, there are other things than headphones. Which, by the way, I have to pay for just as much if I actually want to keep them after my reviews, just like everyone else."
 
Jan 12, 2021 at 5:26 AM Post #360 of 828

DarginMahkum

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Today I had the chance to test and compare the SP2000 and R8. I have to accept, it is an impressive piece of wonder - for what it does. I previously had the SP1000 and SP1000M and just from memory, I think SP2000 has a more refined sound. Depth, width, pitch black background, super fast transients, every little micro detail...all there with loads of them! It is very impressive!

But, at the same time I find it close to analytical signature (at least with Solitaire P). R8 does, for sure, not have the refinement of SP2000 sound but it has thicker mids and fuller bass which makes it sound also more dynamic and enjoyable with Solitaire P. Especially enabling the turbo mode, which pushes also the mids a bit more forward and improves the clarity and tightens the bass. Also despite the fact that SP2000 has more juice than SP1000, it is still not able to drive the Solitaire P properly.

I think this device needs another iteration for driving such headphones, maybe SP3000 and rework the amplification (and replace the 2.5mm port with 4.4mm). Also Solitaire P just sucks the life out of its battery super fast! (10000 mAh R8 vs 3700 mAh SP2000). It could be that P-SE works better with SP2000 than P.

But other than that, I can think of pairing SP2000 with something like BX2 Pro or a Mass Kobo 428 or even WA11 and I am sure that will give you a proper desktop performance.

So, I would highly recommend testing Solitaire P with something that matches the signature and has the capacity to drive it properly. Otherwise you will not experience the full performance of Solitaire P.
 
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