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Upgraded to Ultra Linear!

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    Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 11:49am
Today I received the Ultra Linear DE upgrade card for my Solo!

I have a Solo SRG since January 2009, and I have always been satisfied with it, never felt it lacked anything. After 10 years... well, I simply was curious about the upgrade!

Now, a word to those who might be afraid about doing the upgrade themselves: it's a breeze. The instructions here on the website are very clear, and if you have the right keys/screwdriwers it takes just 15 minutes. Really, it's completely error proof.

Of course now I will leave it plugged before giving it a complete evaluation, but may I say that the bass while not necessarily more plentiful seems much tighter and more controlled, with more slam? Not fatter, meaner.

And just a curiosity from other owners... I guess I had misunderstood this image:



Since I have low impedance headphones (Denon AH-D7000), I was expecting the Ultra Linear to be much louder compared to my early 2009 Solo SRG. I was expecting that the same position on the knob would be louder on the ULDE than on the SRG.

It isn't: I find myself listening at EXACTLY the same knob position I was listening to before the upgrade.

What didn't I understand about that picture? Is it the same for other owners who have done the upgrade?




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 1:53pm
My take on that diagram is - don't be afraid to turn it up for high impedance headphones or down for low impedance headphones; the sound quality at any setting will as good as at any other. (Which is to say excellent!). I don't think there's very much difference in output (if any) between SRG and ULDE.

I had some Denon D7000 'phones for a while . . . they worked very well indeed with the ULDE!
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
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lucabeer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 3:08pm
Thanks! So I guess that the meaning of that diagram is simply to say "it works great with any impedance", and not that the behaviour of the knob changes according to phone impedance. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lucabeer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 6:28pm
OMG, listening to "Little wonder" (David Bowie, "Earthling" album, green vinyl from MOV)...

It's so much more dynamic than it was before (I had listened to it yesterday before the upgrade), and even when played loud, that naughty infrasonic bass doesn't swallow everything: every intrument stays more separated from it instead of swamped, and detectable.

If it wasn't silly to dance with big headphones, I would be dancing now.




Edited by Lucabeer - 05 Mar 2019 at 6:29pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 7:00pm
This was specifically developed for headphone dancing https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/interconnects-cables/headphone-extension-cable.html

Wink
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...
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Lucabeer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lucabeer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 7:45pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

This was specifically developed for headphone dancing https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/interconnects-cables/headphone-extension-cable.html

Wink


Clumsy as I am, I would get tangled in a few minutes!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lucabeer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2019 at 6:03am
Another curiosity arises... I am a controls engineer, so I like to understand things related to gain, phase margin, etc

Since I tend to listen at rather loud volumes, and since I have some LPs which are not cut particularly loud, I tend to have the volume knob often in the 3 o'clock position even with low impedance phones.

If in future I found myself switching to headphones with a larger impedance (but similar sensitivity), would the Z-match system automatically adapt the gain and allow me to listen at the same volume or would I find myself always at 5 o'clock and maybe wishing for more power?


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