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Connection query for Solo

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JCL5 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 Jun 2020 at 9:13pm

I’m planning on trying out a Solo ULDE with my Naim system. I believe I have two choices for connecting the amp to the system. My main source is a streamer.

1.     Come out of the streamer with a pair of RCA/phono cables and then connect these to the Solo. This would limit me to only being able to listen to the streamer.

2.     Connect the Solo to my pre-amp which would mean I could then occasionally listen to an old FM tuner and potentially vinyl if I ever wish to use my old turntable. The problem with this means of connection is that I’d have to get an additional din to RCA/phono converter as the preamp only has din outs and no output via RCAs.

My question is would I get better quality by coming directly out of the streamer rather than coming out of the pre-amp with some form of din to RCA converter in the chain? I wonder if there would be any audible difference between the two options.
Has anyone tried both and can comment?

Any advice gratefully received
Thanks
John
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Chris Firth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Firth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2020 at 9:31pm
Going direct from streamer you'd lose whatever the Naim preamp section does to the signal, so, depending on your viewpoint, this is a good thing, or not Wink
The Naim pre will have an effect.



Edited by Chris Firth - 11 Jun 2020 at 9:33pm
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fluddite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fluddite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2020 at 9:35pm
Hi John

I can't comment re Naim connectivity/quality - but I've just bought a much-loved Solo ULDE + PSU1 from a forum member and hooked it up (with Chord RCAs) to the tape output on my Rega Elex-R to burn in with some Radio 3 prior to proper listening over the weekend Wink

The thing with the Solo ULDE (in addition to its other apparent qualities, which I'll doubtless be burbling about next week...) is that it has TWO sets of RCA inputs which can be hooked up at the same time - with a selector switch on the front. So if I were in your position, I'd try the Solo ULDE (via the very wonderful GS loaner scheme) using your best RCA interconnects from your streamer in the first instance - and if you like the sound via (say) hi-res streaming/downloads or good quality FLACs on USB, you could then punt for a DIN-RCA interconnect (mebbe even another GS loan?) to try the vinyl/FM approach as a direct comparison.

Also, what headphones would you be using? They'll be a major factor as well....

All best

frank
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lfc jon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2020 at 2:38pm
Hi John
I agree with Frank
But you can only listen with your headphones if you are like me you may wont to use your Speakers too it then gets complicated ( which socket to use ) or you will be changing cables over to listen to both when you wont to listen to your music by headphone amp or speakers I had that problem but I got my answer from Graham Slee him self. I ended up using the tape rec in socket.
See my post ( how to connect headphone amp ) for a more detailed answer. I would never have thought of using that

 jonathan
Pro-j tt,Ortofon 2m Bronze cart,Audiolab 8300CD,GS Reflex M. Solo headphone amp both with PSU1,MF M2si amp,Monitor audio silver 100 speakers, Atlas cables
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JCL5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2020 at 9:58pm
Hi Chris
Thanks for your reply.
Yes that makes perfect sense but its so difficult to try and quantify or at least second guess what the pre-amp might bring to the listening experience and if any of it's influence is affected by an additional din to phono adapter that I'd have to use.
I guess the only real way to find out is to try both ways of connecting the amp.
I think to begin with I'm just going to try directly connecting to the streamer (also Naim) and see what that's like.
Thanks again
John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JCL5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2020 at 10:27pm
Hi Frank

I think that's good advice and probably what I'll do.
The 'loaner' Solo arrived late afternoon today and I've hooked it up and left it gently warming up with a play list on repeat. It's connected directly to my streamer at the moment via a pair of loaner Lautus cables. I'm so impressed with the loaner program, what a fantastic idea!

Straight from the box it sounded okay but somewhat 'lean', I couldn't honestly say I was that impressed but it was something I partly expected. I started listening again after about 4-5 hours and it was much, much better. I guess it had started to warm up and the new cables had started to burn in. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how it develops over the weekend.

I've got a few pairs of headphones. There's a pair of old Sennheiser HD 650s, a pair of PX 100s that I only really use if I'm out and about and connected to my phone and lastly a pair of Focal Utopias that I bought just before lockdown.

I like speakers but find I'm increasingly listening through headphones these days. To begin with this started out of respect to my neighbours, I was finding that unless they were out I just felt I couldn't really turn the volume up. Actually now I find using the headphones sometimes a better experience. In some ways it gets you closer to the music and enables you to hear with much greater clarity what is going on in the track.

How about you? What headphones? I'd be interested in hearing how you get on with your new Solo

All the best
John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JCL5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2020 at 10:39pm
Hi Jonathan
Thanks for your input.
My existing headphone amp connects via a 'tape out' connection to my pre-amp but I cant readily connect the Solo this way as the pre has no RCA/Phono output connections. All the outputs are DIN fittings, which is a bit of a shame.
What I've done is connected the Solo to the RCA/Phono outputs on my streamer and bypassed the pre completely. Its a bit of a pain because I then have to dive into the menu of the streamer with it's remote and switch the output from DIN to RCA or vice versa depending if I want speakers or headphones. Not a massive problem but not ideal. I might try investigating a DIN to RCA converter so at some point I can connect directly to my pre. That way too enables me to not just streamer content.
I'm going to dive back in to some proper listening now
Regards
John
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