New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - ULDE?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

A REAL Hi-Fi Owners' Club Forum With REAL Members and a Loaner Program to Prove It!

A rule of fairness:
When other manufacturers websites allow people to recommend our products instead of their own then people can do the same here, but please not before! Such posts will be deleted.
See terms and conditions here...


ULDE?

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
dogrelata View Drop Down
New Member
New Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2017
Status: Offline
Points: 6
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dogrelata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: ULDE?
    Posted: 03 Apr 2017 at 6:35pm

This is my first post and I'm here looking for some advice and guidance.  So where to start?

I'm currently running a PC based digital system using Foobar 2000, mostly playing CD rips (to WAV), MP3 and AAC - no audiophile HD stuff here, I'm afraid!  To further emphasise my philistine credentials, much of my listening is done whilst working at said PC and not, therefore, giving the music my full attention.  Mostly that music is rock, blues or indie.  The rest of the system is a Chordette QuteHD DAC, GS Solo (circa 2005 or 2006) and a pair of unmodified Mr Speakers Ethers. 

Basically this combo makes a sound I enjoy...but I got caught up in the whole hifi forum thing when researching the Ethers a couple of years ago, which can be dangerous.  For a while I was quite taken with feedback regarding some of the Violectric headphone amps, but I've been swithering and holding back because all my purchases are made unheard and tend to rely on 'feel'.  There's always been a nagging doubt somewhere in the back of my mind that's held me back in this instance.

Then I came across a review of the ULDE and at first I dismissed it.  But something stuck with me and further research has got me wondering about this amp.  Recently I've been frequenting the GS site and forum, coming across some interesting options.

Firstly, it looks like it might be possible to upgrade my Solo to a ULDE for less than 50% of a new one, assuming the older chassis is suitable for conversion.  Is the slightly different older casework able to take the new innards?

Secondly, and more contentiously, I've discovered GS cables.  At this point I should declare my general scepticism in this area.  Having said that, it's not stopped me buying a few budget cables from the likes of Wireworld and Ixos but I can't say they do much for the system, other than make it look a bit more visually appealing.  Maybe it's because £30/£40 cables/interconnects don't make much difference, I don't know.  Would a sceptic like me hear a difference if they placed a pair of Lautus interconnects in the signal path, do you think? 

The thing is, a ULDE upgrade, Lautus interconnect and Lautus USB could be had for less than the cost of a new ULDE and they could be phased in progressively.  So here's the challenge, for those who've experienced the differences each of these three options can make; are they able to quantify the relative differences delivered by each option, in their estimation?

Any constructive thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

Edited by dogrelata - 03 Apr 2017 at 6:52pm
Back to Top
Ash View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 18 Mar 2013
Location: Dorset, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 2531
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2017 at 9:05pm
If you only listen to music from a computer and only need a USB input, the Bitzie DAC/amp and Lautus USB cable bundle is the way to go. The Bitzie sounds just as good as the Solo ULDE for digital audio, in my experience.
Bitzie DAC, Majestic DAC/preamp, 4x Proprius monoblocks, Lautus interconnects, Mark Audio Alpair 5Gen2/10P/12P/12PW
Back to Top
RichW View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2013
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Points: 533
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RichW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2017 at 8:11am
Hi Andrew,
The Solo ULDE will fit the older Solo case & is very easy to fit.
My Solo case is the old type & has the latest ULDE board fitted.

I owned Sennheiser HD650 at the time of the upgrade & I don't really think these
'phones have the resolution to show up the differences between Solo & ULDE.
Other people like the '650s, so this is just my opinion.Wink

Other headphones - such as HD540 ref & HD800 sound superb with the ULDE.
The obvious advice is to borrow a ULDE through the loan scheme & this is encouraged.
The Lautus cables are as good as anything out there.




Edited by RichW - 05 Apr 2017 at 8:12am
Accession, Majestic, Reflex M and C, Solo ULDE, CuSat & Lautus.
Back to Top
tg View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
Avatar

Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Location: Sydney
Status: Offline
Points: 1733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2017 at 2:19pm
I am assuming that you already have the PSU1 power supply with your Solo, and your questions are:
Will it be worth my while to upgrade my Solo ?
and
Will I find improvement by investing in GSP cabling to complement  my other equipment?
Since there should be no issue with upgrading your existing Solo (although I would enquire direct quoting the serial number before committing to that), the best course of action would seem to be availing yourself of the loan program to trial the ULDE and cables in your own system.
Contact Jon (Fatmangolf) by PM to arrange that.
Be warned, you may like what you hear and decide that you must have your own - that has happened to many of us over the years.



Edited by tg - 05 Apr 2017 at 2:20pm
Tony G
Back to Top
dogrelata View Drop Down
New Member
New Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2017
Status: Offline
Points: 6
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dogrelata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2017 at 6:14pm

Thanks all.

Ash,

An interesting suggestion.  However the cost of Bitzie/USB cable combo is more than the ULDE upgrade. Plus there's x, the unknown factor of how the Bitzie sounds in comparison to the Qute.  I'm happy with the Qute and have no thoughts of replacing it any time soon.

Rick,

My Ethers are the spiritual successors to my beloved, ailing 25 year old Stax Lambda Pros.  They're not quite as resolving or delicate as the Lambdas, but they come quite close.  If they didn't allow me to hear a difference, I guess the ULDE wouldn't be for me.

Tony,

Yes, I have the PSU1.  The Solo serial number is 0205-70, which suggests it might date back to February 2005, even longer ago than I remember!

I'll request a ULDE on loan and see how it sounds.  I'm a little intrigued by what the "valvey" sound is, especially as the 'Stax mafia' tend to describe the KGSSHV Carbon as being the most valve-like sounding of all the Kevin Gilmore designed SS estat amps.  Anyway, I'll shut up about estats, before I get thrown off this forum!

Cheers,

Andrew.





Edited by dogrelata - 06 Apr 2017 at 6:26pm
Back to Top
Fatmangolf View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Location: Middlesbrough
Status: Offline
Points: 4175
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2017 at 10:48pm
Thanks for your PM Andrew. Hear the Solo ULDE and let your ears decide.

[I renamed the topic 'UDLE' to 'ULDE']



Edited by Fatmangolf - 09 Apr 2017 at 12:00pm
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo UL, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links. and a Majestic DAC.
Back to Top
dogrelata View Drop Down
New Member
New Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2017
Status: Offline
Points: 6
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dogrelata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2017 at 6:49pm

I'd like to start this post by thanking Graham Slee and Jon Berg (Fatmangolf) for the opportunity to try a ULDE via the loaner scheme.

I won't regurgitate my recent audio history as that can be found in the OP, other than to say that most of my listening for the last ten days has been Chordette QuteHD -> ULDE -> Mr Speakers Ethers, apart from a brief session with my HD650's taking over from the Ethers.

My immediate reaction to the ULDE was that it felt a bit forward, in my face and a bit congested.  However that impression passed after a few days.  The next thing I felt was the sound was a bit crisper and cleaner out of the ULDE than the Solo.  There also seemed to be a bit more sparkle and lustre.  Initially I thought that might be a problem in terms of brightness but, again, after a few days I rarely felt it was 'too much'.

A couple of days ago, I thought it was time to compare the ULDE to the Solo.  Trying to volume match as best I could by ear, the results were interesting.  First off, it doesn't seem that there's that much of a difference between the respective sounds - there were no 'hearing things I'd never heard before' moments.  To be honest, my experience with audio gear is that I 'hear things presented in a way I've not heard before' rather than the former.  As I continued to listen, though, the Solo started to sound a bit dull in comparison to the ULDE and not as enjoyable to listen to.  Paradoxically, given that bit of sparkle, the ULDE is easier to listen to at higher volumes and is less fatiguing to my ears.

In conclusion, I have enjoyed the ULDE over the Solo but ultimately I don't think it's going to be for me.



Edited by dogrelata - 16 Jun 2017 at 9:14pm
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.07
Copyright ©2001-2016 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.