Print Page | Close Window

New Solo Ultra Linear

Printed From: Graham Slee Hifi System Components
Category: Headphone Audio
Forum Name: Write A Review
Forum Description: Satisfied with your Graham Slee headphone amp? - share your experiences here
URL: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1078
Printed Date: 01 Jul 2022 at 6:59pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: New Solo Ultra Linear
Posted By: Fatmangolf
Subject: New Solo Ultra Linear
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 10:36pm
My new Solo Ultra Linear arrived just after 8am on Saturday and was plugged in before the kettle. First impression was the substantial feel and excellent finish of the casing, it looks and feels like a piece of Great British Hifi.
 
The sound is pretty good to start with, enthusiastic but not shrill. I left the Solo UL feeding an old pair of headphones and went on the shopping run.
 
On Saturday night it sounded fine and the same on Sunday. It's Monday night and I am listening now to a borrowed pair of RS1i's and very impressed by what I can hear. Very musical and really revealing. It's an interesting combination of the character of the Grados and the neutrality of the Solo. But I like the clarity of the sound and just how good pianos and cymbals are sounding, even in a busy mix. The basses and kick drums are great, which has been commented on by others.
 
The Solo UL hiss is soft and unobtrusive during music. However I can hear tape hiss and noise gates closing on some tracks, which is a tribute to the honesty of the Solo UL. It's a small price to pay for the musicality of my new headphone amp!
 
Thank you Graham for another great GSP hifi product. Clap
 
From previous postings by fellow members I know the sound will develop over the next month. I will report on it in case anyone's interested?


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.



Replies:
Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 11:27pm
Do enjoy your new toy, specially after 500 hours or so of burn-in. BTW which power supply are you using?

-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2011 at 11:44pm
Thanks Miguel, I read what you wrote somewhere here or on Headfi about the 450-500 hours burn-in time so I am expecting the Solo UL to reach its full potential at the end of the month.
 
Very pleased with the PSU1 I bought a few months ago. It now powers the Solo and my Genera. My brother got the Green supply with the Novo DAK I built, lucky man!
 
Jon


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: tg [RIP]
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2011 at 6:04am
Enjoy Thumbs%20Up - as I am sure will.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2011 at 7:17pm

Thanks tg! Big%20smile

The new Solo is continuing to develop but it has only been burning-in for 5 days so far. Last night I tried a pair of the Audez'e LCD-2's with it and was really impressed by the clarity of sound. Thanks are due to Simon at Hifi Sound in Stockton.
 
[Aside on LCD-2's: very listenable and detailed presentation but without the mid and/or HF emphasis of many headphones. Tons of deep and punchy bass. My first impression was the lack of HF compared to other headphones but the detail is definitely there. My analogy would be the sound of a ribbon mic (see my avatar) compared to a condensor mic. I really like the LCD-2's. Star]
 
The Solo's two inputs and switching with mute is very convenient. I have my Genera and 840C connected to it now.
 
The Solo U-L is highly recommended and the 4th fine piece of kit I have bought from GSP. Sensible prices and a no nonsense approach backed up by great engineering is a terrific combination, but you all know that already!


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 14 Apr 2011 at 9:52pm
I am loving the Solo Ultra-Linear with the borrowed LCD-2 headphones. Very clear and enjoyable to listen to (can't wait for the mature version in 2-3 weeks).
 
Crude calculations from the specs and using an oscilliscope suggests it will put about 100mW into them. Is that loud enough? My SPL measure and Leq would suggest it is, anyone else have a view on this?
 


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 12:09am
If it is loud enough for you it is loud enough. Basically only you needs to be happy, do not worry about what others have to say, most have not heard your combo. Good luck.

-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 1:20pm
Thank you for your wise words Miguel.
 
Jon


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: oldson
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 8:11pm
for "burn in" does the solo need to be playing music or  just turned on?
cheers


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 8:29pm
Just turned on/powered up.

-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 8:35pm

Follwing on from Miguel's point about personal preference. I put an SPL meter roughly where my ear would be but not touching the LCD-2's and it gave about 85dBA on 'slow' which is quite loud enough for me. I use the Leq approach - how long would I want to listen to this level and would regular exposure of several hours damage the hearing I need to enjoy an £800 pair of headphones?



-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 16 Apr 2011 at 12:22am
85dBA! man that would be painful to this old phart ears. I listen at 68 dBA-72 dBA.

-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 16 Apr 2011 at 12:12pm
Originally posted by mrarroyo mrarroyo wrote:

85dBA! man that would be painful to this old phart ears. I listen at 68 dBA-72 dBA.
I agree with you Miguel about comfortable listening levels. That rough SPL reading was with the Solo's volume just backed off from audible distortion and much louder than I would want to listen continuously to headphones. All the GSP headphone amps' literature warn about potential damage to hearing.
 
I'm 2 weeks into the Solo U-L burn-in, it seems slightly darker than before. How is the sound likely to change in the 2-3 weeks ahead?
 
Jon
 


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 16 Apr 2011 at 2:19pm
The sound will open up, ie soundstage and depth. The clarity and detail will improve and overall musicality as well. Over the first 500 hours the sound will go up and down. BTW, IMO the Solo sounds best aftert 5-6 hours of being turned on.

-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 16 Apr 2011 at 2:39pm
Thank you. I will keep listening and enjoying it, knowing the sound will get better and better.Approve
 
Update: my Solo Ultra-linear is sounding better and better as predicted above. Three weeks or about 450 hours in and the sound is very clear. I found on head-fi that others have used their Tandy (!) and iPhone app SPL meters to measure dBA and dBC levels on the LCD-2 headphones. They run louder than you think, according to my very rough tests. I bought my pair from Simon at Hifi Sound and recommend auditioning them if you are considering a high end pair of headphones.
 
Back to topic, another very happy owner of a Graham Slee Solo Ultra-linear recommends it to other discerning listeners.


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2011 at 11:43pm
It just gets better and better, mmm... probably close to its final sound now. And worth every penny.

-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Kasper
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 11:59am
Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:

Follwing on from Miguel's point about personal preference. I put an SPL meter roughly where my ear would be but not touching the LCD-2's and it gave about 85dBA on 'slow' which is quite loud enough for me. I use the Leq approach - how long would I want to listen to this level and would regular exposure of several hours damage the hearing I need to enjoy an £800 pair of headphones?



Thanks for pointing me to this thread of yours Fatmangolf. That sounds mighty loud! Yes that should damage your hearing with prolonged exposure. For short listening sessions I can tend to blast a little (11´clock), if I am in the mood. But for long sessions I tend to listen at around the 9´30 mark on the AKG 701.

Great to hear that the Solo UL will deliver more than enough power for the LCD-2. It´s that or HE-500. Unfortunately I just had to spend $1200 on a fridge instead, hear me whine, hear me cry. So the this dream has been postponed somewhat. The only and major comfort is that the Solo UL, is breathing new life into my K701´s. A lot of what I did not like about the K701 has now been corrected, and I am only 20 hours in on the burning.

By the way, I have a technical question, however basic. Does it at any level "burn in" the amp to leave it on, but not driving any headphones? I wondering if that stand by current does anything at all to the right components. Frankly I do not understand burning in on amps, so forgive me if I am being ignorant here.

Does anyone else here use pink noise for burning in? I am mostly just playing various sorts of music broken up my 5 minutes of pink noise from a FLAC file.

Are you going to write up a detailed "impressions" on the UL + LCD-2 combination at some point?


Posted By: tg [RIP]
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 1:24pm

Kasper,

perhaps you will find much of what you enquire about in this http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=547&FID=49&PR=3&PN=1 - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=547&FID=49&PR=3&PN=1 thread.




Posted By: Kasper
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 4:42pm
Originally posted by tg tg wrote:

Kasper,

perhaps you will find much of what you enquire about in this http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=547&FID=49&PR=3&PN=1 - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=547&FID=49&PR=3&PN=1 thread.




Thanks Embarrassed I really need to hit that search function.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 25 May 2011 at 11:57pm
Originally posted by Kasper Kasper wrote:


Are you going to write up a detailed "impressions" on the UL + LCD-2 combination at some point?
Good idea Kasper, I will write some reflections down before too long!
 
Jon


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 14 Jun 2011 at 10:41pm
Some reflections on Solo UL and LCD-2
 
Overall I really like the range of sound, from the deep bass to the clear hi-hats and percussion. I can clearly hear all the parts in a pop mix, and the echoes in acoustic recording. There is a lot of detail but the sound is not crisp, which makes brighter mixes and those with enhancers or exciters more listenable.
 
The depth and clarity of the bass and midrange makes drums and stringed instruments sound very good. For example some cello concertos come to life, upright and electric basses sound great. Drums sound great because the Solo UL/LCD-2 has real depth and is fast, kick/snare/tom parts are dynamic and I can hear the resonance of the toms.
 
The sound levels are fine for extended listening. I just measured 82dBA with a Realistic SPL meter on the "slow" setting and it will go louder than that. Now on 88-90dBA and still has clarity and dynamics, and is louder than I would usually listen. Out of curiosity I asked Audeze support to confirm the 91dB sensitivity was in fact at 1mW as stated, rather tested than 1V (which would be about 20mW into 50 Ohms). The prompt and courteous response said it was 1mW. That would fit with my SPL readings.
 
Enough specs and back to the music. I often listen to CD's and lossless/high bitrate tracks via the DAC in my modified 840C when reading or browsing. The UL and LCD-2 combo is very good on everything, musical and revealing parts that were lost in the mix. I can hear subtle things on demos I had never noticed!
 
Some great bits of UL/LCD-2 magic on music I like. On "Garvey's Ghost" the bass parts sound great and I can hear new texture in the tracks that are low in the dub mix. "Revolver" has the guitars, drums, strings, and vocals I love but sounding even better. "Live at Leeds" sounds brilliant, as well as the musicianship I can hear the echoes in the refectory clearly. Pop music like Adele sounds very good but hearing 80's hip-hop and rap through the UL/LCD-2's showcases the clarity and speed of the sound. You may not like Dizzee Rascal's "Fix up, look sharp" but it sounds out loud and clear via UL/LCD-2.
 
I have been listening to Kate Bush's "Director's Cut" and enjoying the new interpretations but hearing the remastered "Red Shoes" and "Sensual World" was great. There are vocal parts and instruments in some of the mixes that were inaudible, and now are an integral part of a complex mix.
 
On vinyl the sound I hear through the IL/LCD-2's is full, clear and very enticing. The depth and fullness of the bottom end is surprising. Overall the sound is very clear and more natural but there is a downside, in that tracking distortion and surface damage are exposed. Fair enough!
 
I should also add that the LCD-2's can be plugged straight into an iPOD, soundcard, or digital recorder. But I miss the detail and natural sound of the Solo UL.
 


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: tg [RIP]
Date Posted: 15 Jun 2011 at 1:44am

An informative post FMG, (as yours usually are Thumbs%20Up) - thanks for sharing your impressions.

Does leave me feeling I may have to upgrade my Solo sooner rather than later Unhappy



Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 8:57pm
Thanks TG! The Solo Ultra Linear is outstandingly good, all of the headphones I have plugged in sound better than they ever have before. I was trying to write down why I like listening to it so much, which we all know is hard to do. I hope you get one, I am sure you'll feel the same way about it.

-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2011 at 12:17am
Well ... I am finally listening to a Solo Ultra Linear with a PSU1! Big smile Straight out of the box and fed using a pair of RCA splitters from an inexpensive HLLY SMK-II with Apple Lossless files from an iMac running iTunes 10.4.1 I can say that versus a fully burnt-in SRGII w/ PSU1:

1. The soundstage is wider.
2. There seems to be more air between the notes.
3. There is more clarity and I suspect more treble extension (to be confirmed after more burn in).

Now, why did I wait this long? Embarrassed


-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2011 at 8:09am
Originally posted by mrarroyo mrarroyo wrote:

Well ... I am finally listening to a Solo Ultra Linear with a PSU1! Big smile 
...
Now, why did I wait this long? Embarrassed
 
Don't look back Miguel, think of the years of pleasure ahead!
Jon


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 30 Oct 2011 at 9:34pm
Well it has been 27 days and the Solo UL has been moved from the burning in location to the listening bench. Currently I am using a splitter to feed both the SRGII and the UL from the same source ... HLLY SMK-II DAC out. For cans I am using my 6 year old pair of Grado RS-1 and the music files are Apple Lossless from a 2009 iMac 3.06.

I still think the UL has a wider soundstage. However the difference is not as pronounced as I recall when I first took the UL out of the box. I then switched over to a Sennheiser HD580 w/ the HD650 cable and noticed I had to slightly increase the volume pot on the UL to match the SRGII. Not much of an increase, perhaps 1/4 hour more.

They are very close in this round and it would be very hard for me to select one over the other. I will get a better DAC to feed both amps concurrently to see if I can hear difference or not. More to come.


-------------
Miguel


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2011 at 10:33am
The soundstage on the UL is so much wider than the SRGII that it is hard to imagine unless you listen to the two amps side by side. The SRGII by virtue of having a narrower presentation has a more "in your face" impact. My wife and I feel the bass in the UL is a bit deeper and with more impact, not a night/day difference but noticeable.

-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Fidel IT
Date Posted: 04 Nov 2011 at 2:40pm
Hi mrarroyo,
 
I have an SRGII at the moment and will be buying an UL this month. I am listening through HD650's.
 
Your 2 posts above this one got me a bit confused. In the first one you're saying that the difference in soundstage is small, in the second one you're saying it's huge... The difference in time that you posted them is 2 days.
 
What made the experience so different? Did you use a better DAC?
 
regards
 
Fidel IT


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 04 Nov 2011 at 9:59pm
Actually it was different cans. With some cans the soundstage is significantly wider on the UL. Regardless, the soundstage is wider and the bass has more impact/depth with the UL however the difference does not change much as I swap cans.

Grado RS-1
Sennheiser HD580 w/ the HD650 cable
HiFiMAN HE300 w/ the OCC cable upgrade



-------------
Miguel


Posted By: tg [RIP]
Date Posted: 10 Nov 2011 at 2:51am
In something of an abuse of privilege I snaffled the Australian loan program Solo UL on the pretext of "burning it in". Wink
I recall when I first got the "green" Solo I still own, that it gave a few hints of a greatness that did not eventuate after burn in.
Not that I dislike it, it is a very competent HPA with a sweet disposition and a clarity of presentation that are very listenable. It has given many hours of happy listening to a very varied musical diet driving both ATH-W1000 and AKG-K701.
Not to detract from that HPA, but my favorite amp throughout that period has been a rather lovely tube amp of Japanese manufacture, a design that was voiced to the AT cans but drives the K701 with aplomb.
It does have something "special" about it that makes long listening sessions delightful.
A powerful and weighty sound but with plenty of detail and definition, sufficient to make Mr 6 moons re-think his estimation of the ATH-W1000 when he reviewed the combination some years back.
I digress - Mr Slee, this time I think you have absolutely nailed it, the Solo UL is absolutely superb.
It delivers what the "green" tantalisingly hinted at, a huge soundstage, a wealth of timbral nuance and subtlety, a totally immersive listening experience, one that almost does not leave me wanting a "speaker fix".
The AT cans absolutely love this amp and happily sing with whatever it delivers.
The entire musical spectrum and canvas seem to have been extended in both directions leaving sufficient space for each and every nuance and texture to be clearly and distinctly heard yet drawing the whole together into a cohesive and spellbinding musical whole. Overdubs and backing singers are more clearly placed and delineated, different voices in duets are easier to distinguish and the uniqueness of different voices, human and instrumental more readily heard.
I do not think I have previously so clearly distinguished the variety of instrumental voices within an orchestral piece
I may be waxing lyrical, but this is so good that I feel sorry for anyone put off experiencing this amp due to the thought of hiss.
I hear none of that, yet I can clearly hear the tape noise on older recordings.

In all fairness, I may be at an advantage in that respect, having had tinnitus for more than 20 years I have become accustomed to my own level of "background hiss", if that disqualifies me from commenting on the SQ of this amp in anyone's eyes, then I would suggest they take the opportunity to borrow one for themselves, I sincerely doubt it will fail to impress. Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

Source for most listening, foobar/ASIO>Terratec DMX 6 Fire coax out>heavily modded Beresford Caiman DAC.



Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 10 Nov 2011 at 11:05am
Very nice impressions TG, should I assume you liked the Solo UL? Wink

-------------
Miguel


Posted By: shamu144
Date Posted: 10 Nov 2011 at 8:46pm
Thank you for your impressions TG... I had been wondering for a long time how the UL would fare against the Yammy. Please remember to share the UL with others LOL


Posted By: tg [RIP]
Date Posted: 11 Nov 2011 at 1:27am

Miguel, you are on pretty solid ground with that assumption.

Shamu, I have yet to do a serious head to head comparison, what I will say, is that the UL is such an absorbing listen, that it stops me from wanting to make comparisons, I keep coming back and wanting to listen to yet another piece I have yet to hear through it, just to hear what it can do with it.  An example, listening to one of Janis Joplin's earliest recordings, Trouble in Mind, this has always sounded a fairly amateurish recording to me and the UL makes no bones that it is that, BUT, I was surprised to hear what I had not previously noticed, the unmistakeable (if you are old enough to have heard one Wink) sound of a typewriter in the background.  A little google-fu reveals that, yes, on a few of her early recordings, a typewriter was indeed used as a percussion instrument.  It also reveals the heart and soul she put into her singing that made her the performer she was.  Another example, Rod Stewart and Tina Turner singing "It Takes Two", a hard driving performance where both singers are belting it out, it is often difficult to distinguish which  of them sings any particular phrase, not so with the UL, there is no ambiguity through it, each singer distinct in their contribution.



Posted By: Marsh
Date Posted: 20 Nov 2011 at 6:00pm
Hi all, a few thoughts on my recent upgrade to the U/L with PSU from the standard Solo.
 
Firstly, thanks to Graham's colleague John who carried out the upgrade while I waited (free cup of tea thrown in and a listen to some of the cans in John's collection - most interesting for someone whose only serious headphone listening has been through HD650's). Usual outstanding customer service.
 
My heaphone listening system comprises Squeezebox Touch playing FLAC files wirelessly through a MF M1 DAC into the U/L (with PSU) and out through the aforementioned HD650's.
 
I read a lot of good things about the U/L so for the relatively modest price, thought it was worth a punt to upgrade. The unit has been on for just over a week, so probably not reached its full potential yet. For the first few days I have to say, in all honesty, that the 'improvements' over the basic Solo were marginal at best, based on relatively limited listening time. I didn't think it was worth getting too analytical during the burn in period.
 
A couple of nights ago, however, there was a marked change (for the better) and I ended up making a few notes regarding the following recordings:
 
Simon & Garfunkel - Wednesday Morning 3am - very natural sound and fantastic separation of the lead singers' voices - you could really hear who was who with the vocals (which were very sweet and well forward). I never thought this was a great album but thoroughly enjoyed the experience of it through the U/L.
 
Various - The Essential Mozart  - I only occasionally dip into classical music but was impressed that the U/L was able to present strings with some bite/attack without being harsh or fatiguing. Fabulous levels of detail with the big orchestral pieces and expansive soundstage. 
 
INXS - Welcome To Wherever You Are - I had always thought this was more of an interesting recording than a great one - there's alot going on in there for a rock album with some dense mixes, true stereo instrument placement and unusual sounds. The U/L dealt with it superbly. The end of the track 'Communication' is basically a wall of sound/noise but the U/L managed to make some sense of it, enabling most of the individual instrumentation to be identified. The following track 'Taste It' was marvellous - thumping but tuneful bassline and crystal clear guitar riffs. The music won't take your head off but neither will you want to take your headphones off after 5 minutes. The U/L truly enables pleasurable long term listening.
 
Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen - a fairly hopeless transfer to CD of a typical 80's recording. At last though, through the U/L I was able to hear details that had previously eluded me. Again, for a recording with an electronic/'artificial' sheen, there was still a nice naturalness to the sound and it was far easier to appreciate what the producer was trying to achieve in the mixes. I have found my attention wander in the past with the tracks towards the end of the album (Horsin' Around, Desire As and Blueberry Pies) but with the U/L uncovering new details and presenting them in an unforced, relaxing but highly detailed manner, the whole album was a great listen.
 
 
I was a bit concerned that when researching the U/L there were suggestions of a valve-like 'hiss'. I can report so far that I have not experienced this - maybe I don't listen to music at the required decibel level for this to kick in - but then again I'd rather preserve my hearing for the long term. The only background noises I have heard come from the recordings themselves.  
 
Although still early days, my overall impressions of the U/L compared to the standard Solo are that the improvements are (at first hearing) subtle but become very significant. The more I re-visit familiar recordings, good or bad, the benefits of the U/L become increasingly apparent - great detail, great dynamics, natural tone and greater enjoyment of the music. Whether it's like a valve amp, I can't say, due to no point of reference. However, anyone thinking of taking the plunge with this piece of kit, either as a first time buy, upgrade or upgrade from Solo, would not, I think, be disappointed. 


Posted By: suede
Date Posted: 27 Dec 2011 at 4:37pm
I just have to say that even though I've had my UL for about 6 months now, the full extent of its magic has just gotten to me the last few days when I have utilised cusat 50's all the way from dac to UL. Earlier I had tried to put my then only cusat 50 directly from my dac to the Solo and I thought there was a small improvement but I didn't use the configuration for any extended sessions but rather quickly put it back so that my line amp was fed with a Supra DAC-X cable and the cusats running from the tape loop to the Solo.
But now when it's cusat joy all the way and I have the time to really hear the difference I suddenly feel that the UL comes to life like nothing I've heard before I think. It's a jaw dropping blank staring quite hypnotic listening. You can't fathom all that space and atmosphere being mere centimetres from you ears. The bass is soft but tight and extended and all the even minute details are there and present all the way up to cymbals and high pitched bells. With amazing texture and timbre too, to sound like a true audio review cliche Smile. The best single adjective I can think of is perhaps musical. My GS1000i's seems to be truly singing. Everything sounds musical in such a perfectly natural way. Even though I know that the GS1000 has a slight loudness curve everything just sounds very slightly coloured by it without taking away any of the awesome transparency. I like the sound so I don't mind at all.
I was very pleased even before but now it's beyond satisfaction. It's euphoria and bliss and everything nice. Big smile
The only downside is that I now want (need) a speaker upgrade as the quality divide has become too vast. You're quickly spoiled in audio land.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 31 Dec 2011 at 9:07pm
The posts about speaker placement and the 685's are now in a new thread:
http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/speaker-placement_topic1280.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.gspaudio-community.activeboards.net/speaker-placement_topic1280.html
 
Pleaes continue to use this thread for the Solo Ultra Linear.


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 19 Mar 2012 at 9:37pm

Any more reviews of the Solo Ultra Linear would be welcome. We may need a new, separate thread for the Diamond edition of the Solo Ultra Linear.



-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2012 at 10:09am
Robert borrowed it as well as the Novo and compared them in the USA Loaner program.

-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2012 at 8:51pm
Originally posted by mrarroyo mrarroyo wrote:

Robert borrowed it as well as the Novo and compared them in the USA Loaner program.
 
Thanks Miguel, I posted a reply to that and forgot - doh!
 


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: LOINER
Date Posted: 24 Dec 2013 at 3:18pm
I was originally going to post a review in the Music that has Impressed
me but thinking about it I was aware that I had been impressed with what I was hearing over the last few nights(different cds each time).
It couldn't be just the music could it?Well no because I have always enjoyed my music that's why I buy it.It had to be something other than the music,the headphones possibly but I have had them for most of the year and they have sounded good for the last few months The only thing it could be is the headphone amp It has taken some time to burn in but CHUFF ME was it worth waiting for,and does it sound good no it sounds chuffing excellent.I am now hearing things I hadn't noticed before,the sound has really filled out and there is a richness to the sound and everything sounds so musical.Bass is as it should be without being overpowering vocals clear and concise,i could go on but I think you get the picture.
This headphone amp is some serious piece of kit and worth every penny at last I can sit back and really enjoy my headphone listening.
the headphone amp a SOLO ULTRA LINEAR DIAMOND EDITION and in conclusion I can only say THANK YOU GRAHAM and every body at GSP
As I am composing this I am listening to ENYA singing ADESTE FIDELES
and it sounds absolutely SUPERB

-------------
STUART
SOLO ULTRA LINEAR DIAMOND EDITION
LAUTUS DUAL MONO 1.5M INTERCONNECTS
GRAM AMP 2SE


Posted By: Bradders
Date Posted: 28 Dec 2013 at 12:36pm
Well its been a few weeks now and after lots of initial testing I changed the Grado PS500's for the Audeze LCD 2's and sat and listened.
The overall system I now have to my ears at least is absolutely awesome.Its that good that when I asked the wife to have a quick listen I didn't get control of my stuff back for 40mins even then it was a struggle.ShockedShocked
The LCD 2's are great and definitely an upgrade from the PS500's with more high end detail.I must thank Morris_Minor for the advice there you were spot on.WinkClapClap

Now the Solo ULDE now I've had some time to let it settle in and now I have experience with the LCD's I feel that I can comment on the difference between this and my Novo amp.I think the Novo is a great entry level amp and it now resides downstairs in living room awaiting some closed back cans.
The difference between the two is immense from my point of view,backing singers suddenly go from making some contribution to having tone and expression to their voices.Everything is more lively, not an upturn in high frequencies just more detail.Old music you haven't listened to now has more vibrance which then makes you go through you collection again. Hours fly by with I wonder how this one will sound etc.Then there's the clarity to the lower frequecys the BBBB B the bass is so crisp.
I would definitely recommend going from the Novo to the Solo ULDE without any hesitation it is from my ears point of view night and day,as the Novo was the same step up from my headphone output on my Arcam amp.SmileSmileSmile


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 28 Dec 2013 at 5:42pm
I think that's a good comparison Brad. Your wife's not alone in that reaction! Whenever I listen to my Solo UL and LCD-2's they put a smile on my face and a quick check often turns into a listening session.



-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession M, Accession MC, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 28 Dec 2013 at 6:30pm
Originally posted by Bradders Bradders wrote:

The LCD 2's are great and definitely an upgrade from the PS500's with more high end detail.I must thank Morris_Minor for the advice there you were spot on.WinkClapClap
You're welcome. It's great you're enjoying the LCD/Solo combo! It's certainly a special pairing. . .

-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links



Print Page | Close Window

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd. - https://www.webwiz.net