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Solo ULDE - my thoughts & headphone pairing.

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Heavysoul View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Jan 2021 at 11:56pm
Hi all,

Sorry for the long post!

New to the world of Slee amps. I was lucky enough to recently buy a 2nd hand Solo ULDE at an amazing price. Due to young kids had been looking to move to a headphone only vinyl system for some time. I'm using an  Inspire Hifi modified Rega P3-24 with a Quintet Red, Trichord Dino MK2 & GradoSR80e's. The cans are really intended as a stop gap until I upgrade then I can use them as a back up pair.

Previously I was running this through my Sugden A21a and someTannoys. First of all have been really impressed with the Solo.  The detail is on another level and I'm hearing things I've not heard on my records. I'm not sure how much is down to the amp or the headphones. The bass and mids are fantastic, highs can be a bit tiring on occasion but again not sure if down to the cans or my phono amp/cartridge pairing. Do think leaving the amp on and letting it settle has improved the treble a bit.

Leads me on to my question really. What's a good set of cans to look to? My thoughts were Grado SR325e,  Sennheiser HD660 or possibly anything else around the £400 mark. My listening tastes are mainly rock, soul etc.

Cheers, Tom.
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Aussie Mick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie Mick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 3:55am
Hi Tom,
   Welcome to the family. Sadly, trying out headphones isn’t an option, or I’m sure that’s where the advice would go. The general rule here is to try things in your own home and decide for yourself. Your ears, your preferences, rather than chasing anything “absolute”. Through my Solo ULDE I’ve heard Jecklin Float Model 2, Sennheiser HD600, Hifiman HE-560, and Focal Elear, Elegia and Clear. I owned the first three, and friends brought over the others. I’m now using Focal Utopias. 

My feeling is that the Solo is consistently detailed with a really good soundstage. I know “valve like” is used a lot, but I’ve never had a valve amp to make the comparison. I do know that each of the headphones has sounded distinctly it’s own, so I suppose that means that the amp isn’t always just making its own sound and homogenising everything 

I think if it’s occasionally too bright it might be the Grados? I assume the RED is pretty well behaved. Is it possible for you to purchase a few different headphones second hand and sell what you don’t like?
Cheers,
Mick.
Rega RP8 - Apheta 2 - Accession MC Enigma PS -Solo ULDE (Focal Utopia) - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lucabeer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 8:35pm
Try the Denon AH-D 5000 or 5200. Yes, it's a closed headhpone. But you won't feel any fatigue on the highs. Promise. And it works great with the Solo.


Edited by Lucabeer - 13 Jan 2021 at 8:36pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Heavysoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2021 at 2:55pm
Thanks for the replies. 

Yes I think expirmenting with different headphones over time is the way to go. Just have to convince the wife it's a worthy investment LOL

The amp definitely seems to have settled in a little now and mellowed on some of those highs, or maybe the headphones  have now had a bit of burn in. I'm not sure if some fatigue in the higher frequencies is a sign that its time to replace the cartridge? 

So far really enjoying the amp and the detail it exposes. I think over time my intention is buy some more Slee gear, maybe the Reflex C to compliment. 


Edited by Heavysoul - 17 Jan 2021 at 2:55pm
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Ash View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2021 at 3:03pm
Buy second-hand good condition headphones because if you're anything like me, you might find yourself buying and selling your way through quite a few before you find something worth keeping. All of my limited-budget recommendations are sadly discontinued by the manufacturer so I can't help there.
Lautus S/PDIF>Majestic>Lautus-R3>2xProprius>MySphere 3.1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2021 at 10:01pm
Just to second Ash's sound advice. I got some second hand headphones he refurbished and separately second hand Grado's to join the various new headphones I purchased before. Not only is second hand cheaper, you benefit from the experience of others who paid the full price.

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.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sboraston Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2021 at 10:54am
Tom
I use a vinyl and headphone only system with a pair of sr325e. They did seem a little bright initially but that seems to have subsided, whether that's me or them I'm not sure.

The one thing I would say is they do leak a lot of noise so if you're in the same room as someone watching the tv etc they may not suit but my guess is your SR80s are similar.

To my old ears the solo/sr325e combo sounds pretty good and I've got a reflex m on order which should keep me satisfied for a while...hopefully.

Bottom line is I think the SR325e is great value for 250-260 but do leak.

Simon
P******t RPM 1 with acrylic platter, Graham Slee Reflex M, Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear DE, Grado SR325e.
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