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Solo Diamond Ultra Linear - Oh My God!

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Paperweight View Drop Down

Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Location: Lexington NC US
Status: Offline
Points: 78
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paperweight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Dec 2016 at 3:59pm
Just for something different, I housed the board in a blue anodized aluminum case from Hammond. Drilled out all the end panels and it looks decent even though case work isn't my thing. I received a nice surprise and my stack of 22 new records arrived yesterday while I was at work. After a good night's sleep and 6 cups of coffee, I have the time and inclination to listen to records.
At first I was trying to figure out what was causing so much surface noise even after using a dry record brush and cleaning the stylus after each side. I was curious if it was cartridge alignment. Maybe not. What about the anti-skating? I looked up how to set it on the Rega P5 since it had been a while since I used it. All the way out is 0 and all the way in is full. I had it set backwards of course. With the Audio-Technica AT150MLX, less is more on the tracking force and anti-skating. Got that set where I wanted it and it sounds great.
So far, the 2011 Steven Wilson stereo remix of Jethro Tull's Aqualung is one of the more notable reissues I bought. The instruments are really well defined. The bass is tight. The noise floor is noticeably lower.
I'm not much of a jazz fan but the reissue of Duke Ellington's The Feeling of Jazz is really nice. For what I assume is a recording out of the 1950s, this sounds fantastic.
I'm hard pressed to say where the sound of the Reflex M ends and the Solo Diamond Ultra Linear begins. They're such an impressive musical pair. All I can say is the Solo drives a 9 year old set of Sennheiser HD-600s in a very euphonic, tuneful, toe tapping way. Nothing is over emphasized but you can pick each instrument out of the mix and the soundstage is marvelous in it's depth and width.
As always, Graham never fails to impress. I had some doubts as to how much a seemingly simple thing as a headphone amp could further improve the sound of my vinyl rig. Now it's my new favorite. It just sounds amazing and does everything extremely well.

Edited by Paperweight - 25 Dec 2016 at 4:03pm
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Hbuus View Drop Down

Joined: 28 Nov 2015
Location: Denmark
Status: Offline
Points: 82
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Hbuus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Dec 2016 at 5:06pm
Sold my Solo UL back in April, as having two expensive, high end headamps was one too much (I have one from another manufacturer which I was/am also very happy with.)

I quickly started missing the Solo though. It has a different sound to the other head amp I have, but obviously a very nice sound. So I started keeping an eye on the used section here in Denmark.

Long story short: I'm now listening to my HD-700s on a Solo with the ULDE board installed Smile

Highly recommended combo.

(As Paperweight above, I also think SULDE matches Sennheisers very well.)

EDIT: Still have the other head amp btw. I'll probably switch between them with some months' interval. What a luxury! But I've learned my lesson: I'm not gonna sell the other head amp - I'll no doubt start missing THAT one too then!! Smile

Edited by Hbuus - 25 Dec 2016 at 5:08pm
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