Campfire Audio Solaris - raising the bar?

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by mscott58, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Aeron

    Aeron Facebook Friend

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    It’s been a long time since a piece of audio gear gave me goosebumps, that changed tonight. The Solaris, HiBy Rd (with an ifi iem match set on low), playing the 24/192 version of “Stan Getz, Big Band Boss Nova,” which opens with a solo guitar (which sounds lovely), then the whole Band opens up! Damn jut played it again, goosebumps again, even when I know it’s coming.
     
  2. Aeron

    Aeron Facebook Friend

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    Okay after 24 hours of burn in, and now adding my Mojo to the mix, the Solaris reminds me a bit of the Utopia. Not that they sound exactly alike, but they are almost overwhelming in delivering music.
     
  3. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    The Solaris seems to be living up to the initial hype generated around it last fall. I have over 300 hours on mine out of my ZX300 and it's a truly magical combo. I can't see myself craving an upgrade for a very long time.
     
  4. Aeron

    Aeron Facebook Friend

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    Mine have about 80 hours, playing almost nonstop since they arrived, really running in nicely. The stage opening up, specially in width, looking forward to the arrival of another batch of small Symbios (for deep insertion) arrive, I’ll resist removing their foam insert pe MrScott.
     
  5. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

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    Just a heads up, I bought 4 AK Kann Cubes for our show demo kit... The cube pairs really well with the Solaris so I encourage all to try the AK Cube as a good source. I was also impressed with the Tidal streaming that comes with the Cube. I think the Solaris and the Cascade headphone we make really really shines with the extra power.

    Cheers,

    Ken
     
  6. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Ken - How does the Kann Cube compare to the NW-WM1Z in pairing with the Solaris? Cheers
     
  7. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    Would there perchance be a Cube available for me to demo with my Solaris (along with the Equinox universal and perhaps your Z1R) if were to come by your office in Portland in a few weeks?
     
  8. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

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    Both are terrific, and I would say that they are both so good that its a matter of preference. However I prefer the muscular/meatier sound of the Cube.

    Ken
     
  9. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

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    Oh hell yeah, would love to do that with you... we are always happy to have visitors, esp SBAF peeps so, yes please just need a heads up before to make sure we are ready.

    I also have the Z1r Sony of you want to AB we are happy to throw that in the mix for fun.

    Thanks

    Ken
     
  10. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Oh hey @KenBall . Good speaking with you on Sunday, and good to hear that you and the company are doing well. Any SBAF folk who want to visit him up in Portland, do it. He enjoys hanging with the SBAF people.
     
  11. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Agree. He's a solid dude all around and fun to hang with!
     
  12. Aeron

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    Has anyone had a problem with a Solaris failure? My right channel died in my new Solaris, though the good thing is Auio46 took care of the situation quickly.
     
  13. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Ken and team deal with issues like this very reliably, standing behind their products. Of the numerous ALO/CFA products I have only one has every had an issue and Ken jumped on it immediately. If you bought it new I'd go directly to them.

    By "Auio46" did you mean "Audio46" out of NYC? If so they're an authorized dealer and therefore can and should take care of it, which they appear to be doing.

    Cheers
     
  14. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

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    Im glad Audio was 64 took care of if, if they did not we would. I can say that the Solaris has been our most stable IEM, very little RMAs. Which is odd because its the most complicated IEM we make.

    kb
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    I don't think the love ever stopped. Just that the conversation became more mature and nuanced in describing their sound and fitment to personal tastes and individual ear shapes.

    I never thought the Solaris would appeal to the more typical IEM users based on the tuning of many well received IEMs. You know, those with a V-shaped response, specially elevated bass (not a problem for me) and elevated upper mids with lower treble spikes (big problem for me). Note that I actually like the Atlas (this is more U-shaped and avoids upper mid emphasis).

    I don't read other sites, but I get the sense that the groundbreaking cohesiveness and integration of the DD and BA drivers on the Solaris is lost upon many. This is huge to me! (For instance, I despite ribbon tweeters mated to cones). Another is the exquisiteness of the BA driver, well as much as a BA driver can be (@KenBall: does the Andromeda S use this type?)

    Anyway, I'm glad the Solaris not hype-trained, like the Andromeda which seemed to take off and kept going. Andromeda is still a valid option, all BA drivers across the board. And Sony has their IER-Z1R, which takes heterogeneous driver integration to new depths. :) But heck, to each their own.

    --

    If this sound like an ode to Campfire Audio and @KenBall, then it is. Not everything from Campfire has been well received, SBAF tends to have narrower more specific tastes.

    But I like how Ken keeps pushing and trying. Lyra, Jupiter, Andromeda, Vega, Dorado, Polaris, Atlas, Solaris. Some were hits, a few were bombs, and the rest in-between.

    If we were astute, we can draw a map of the technologies developed for each and how their implementation matured as they ended up in later products. I love this because it's obvious that Ken isn't randomly gluing together stuff and hoping that it works. We can sense that Ken has a vision for his products. Sometimes they don't the the mark.

    But with the Solaris, even if one does not like how its voiced, one cannot say that the execution of Ken's vision didn't hit the mark.

    --

    I initially found the included Final tips to be a flop, bit moved down to the second to smallest tips with a even deeper insertion and found that this worked better than the silicone tips from before. Point is that folks should experiment.

    --
    1. Andromeda BA/BA/BA
    2. Solaris DD/BA
    3. ??? DD/DD <----- lots of people on SBAF waiting for this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  16. Aeron

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    @mscott58 , @KenBall , Audio46 took care of the problem immediately, I’m very pleased with their excellent customer service.

    @purr1n, actually purchased these based on your review, and follow up posts, and I absolutely love them. As you say, their coherence between drivers is the best I’ve heard. My Oriolus Mk.2 has been sold, it has been collecting dust since the arrival of the Solaris.

    On tips, I’ve found the small Symbios allows for deep insertion, provides a great seal, preserving the extended treble and deep bass.
     
  17. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    Sometimes the loaner program does wonders. It helped me actually get my own pair of the Solaris myself.

    Andros, now Solaris. Now I just need a good bass heavy fun IEM and I'm all set for now. Back on the Solaris, I remember that these have real soundstage.
     
  18. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    Get the Atlas, then you'll have a beautiful Campfire Audio trinity :)
     
  19. Aeron

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    I’m interested in the direction you decide to go, I sold my Oriolus and Lola, so I’m looking “fun” tuning as well.
     
  20. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    CA came out with the Polaris V2. Was thinking that, and the recommendations I received in the IEM general thread. We'll see.....

    No regrets in getting the Solaris. Always good to support CA when possible, it's just hard when idiots are selling their Solaris for a good price. My serial is #60 and I'm owner four. It isn't even a year old. Oh well.
     

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