Campfire Audio Solaris - raising the bar?

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

  1. jmpsmash

    jmpsmash Acquaintance

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    super interesting! I also have the WA8 and without anything else the Andro sounded very thin without bass. I always thought it was due to high OI of the WA8 and thus not much can be done. I just recently got the IEMatch to try to fix another OI issue. I wouldn't even have tried it with WA8/Andro without seeing your post. Now the WA8 is sounding much more "balanced" than before.

    it makes little sense for me but the bass is back and I finally have found a pure tube amp that give the right amount of tubey sound to the Andro without the hiss sounding louder than the music.

    Now I need to get myself a pair of Solaris...
     
  2. xsuperxapplex

    xsuperxapplex Acquaintance

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  3. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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  4. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    The unit variance thing has been exaggerated and blown well out of proportion by a few over-excited corners of the internet. Apart from a couple demo units early on I don't think it's cropped up again at all-- it certainly doesn't seem to be a persistent problem. Regarding this legal issue with the drivers it's too early to comment on the scope and nature of what is going on, much less panic about it. Personally I've never cared or known who made the drivers in my Solaris-- what I can say for sure is that it sounds like a top of the line IEM and it handily beats most other flagships I've demoed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  5. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    Rumour has it there's a special edition Solaris coming out soon.
     
  6. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    My prediction is that the shell will be all black with a bright gold edge and it will be called the Eclipse...

    Boom, nailed it
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  7. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    stolen from a reddit post

    "I also asked about the rumored limited edition of the Solaris, and they confirmed that it will be released by the end of the year. Whether it will be a color change or change to the sound was undetermined yet, but it's something to look forward to."

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  8. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Fast forward 9 months later... and I now have a pair of Solaris of my own. Let's just say it nagged on me enough to warrant a purchase.

    TL;DR: I'm probably keeping this pair of Solaris.

    Originally, when I got the Solaris in, I thought it was... okay, not too amazing. UE18+ Gen 3 sounded a lot more airy and open in comparison. The difference was stark.

    Then I started cycling through my sources to find one that would be "decent" with Solaris, and funny enough, it settled with AK120. For some reason, this pair of Solaris sounds very dark with all of my other sources (iPhone lightning adapter, ZX2, GOV2+, etc...) except for AK120. Turning on the PRO EQ of AK120 (it's a subtle 4KHz boost, I think) and that pretty much sealed the deal as it lifted the last of the veil I heard from the Solaris.

    And then the rest is history.

    Comfort is still a big problem. I've found medium Spiral Dot to give me the best sound/comfort ratio but I still can't wear Solaris for longer than 30 minutes a stretch.

    It certainly doesn't have the "flaws" that I perceived from the other pairs of Solaris, namely: cloudy, thumpy, big but very intrusive bass, a slight nasal/shoutiness, treble grain, etc...

    There is still a bit of 7-8KHz peakiness that I can hear (please note: I also hear this with Andromeda, and it's far worse on Andromeda), but it's not enough to bother me on 99% of my music. Just to say... it is definitely not as smooth and effortless as UE18+, and yet somehow UE18+ is still the airier headphone for all of my sources, including the AK120.

    What Solaris does better than UE18+ is with regards to dynamics. Solaris punches harder, with more "bite" to the sound and it gives overall more contrast no matter what type of music I put on. Then again, Solaris also sounds just a wee bit more fatiguing than UE18+ in the long term.

    Measurements for those who are into that sort of stuff. Purely for comparison purposes, not much else:

    Solaris L+R (yes, little variation):

    [​IMG]

    Solaris vs UE18+ Gen 3:

    [​IMG]

    No mod on either one. They are pure stock, but they are using tips that I find give them the best sound. Also... for what it's worth, I find both Solaris and UE18+ to sound pretty similar (like 90% similar) in overall tonality.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
  9. Crinacle

    Crinacle Friend

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    That looks like the UE18+ Gen 2. Does your 18+ come with the extruded 2-pin connectors or the newfangled IPX ones?
     
  10. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    My UE18+ is a demo Gen 3 unit (says so on the box). It may be that it's one of the earlier units that have Gen 2-like tuning. I wouldn't put that past UE.

    I need to measure another UE18+ unit to really tell what's going on with this one.
     
  11. imackler

    imackler Key Lime Pie Infected Aberdeen Wings Spy

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    New Solaris Special Edition at Campfire: https://campfireaudio.com/shop/solaris-special-edition/ $1900
    Press:
    New Enhanced Acoustic Material
    3D printing in new high density ceramic material has opened the door to exciting new sonic opportunities.
    Revisiting the acoustic chamber design of Solaris in this new material allowed us to further refine the performance of this critically acclaimed earphone.
    Internal geometries have been tweaked to expand the soundstage and subtly elevate the vocal range performance.
     
  12. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    There was nothing wrong with the sound to begin with. If only they could have made the bore smaller so it'd fit in both my ears...
     
  13. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    That is not an insignificant price creep for a "limited edition". The Andro is supposedly getting another limited edition too (didn't the Gold just come out?). Can't say I'm a fan of these multiple versions of the same earphone for more money every several months. Makes it hard to have a baseline on a specific earphone. Tinkering can be fun and all, releasing every single little change as a new product is another thing IMO.
     
  14. Bloom

    Bloom MOT: Bloom Audio

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    I view these limited edition IEMs and headphones similarly to how I view video game special editions. They're expensive and most people won't buy them, but they're for the fans and people who like having "collectible" things in their hobby. Is the Solaris SE worth an extra 400 bones over the already stellar Solaris? Maybe, maybe not. But I think these annual or biannual limited edition runs are only net positive. Exciting for collectors AND likely will have positive repercussions on future product development.
     
  15. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    The blue Andro is for Japan only, AFAIK.

    I'm really interested in the custom Andro, Solstice.
     
  16. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    Very interested in this.
     
  17. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    So I've gone and pre-ordered...will report back mid-late December when I finally get to hear it.
     
  18. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    How's the sound sig with the N6ii? I presume you are using the default AKM board?
     
  19. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    I love the n6ii...sound is rich, muscular and detailed...subtle influence in the low end and very smooth treble. I use the A01 board yes because I get 12-14 hours battery life...passed on the t01 because (among other things) it cut the battery life in half. There will be a Sabre board coming out next month (around the same time I get my SE Solaris)...I might be tempted to check that out.
     
  20. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Agree. Now if they could just find a way to do the Solaris custom! :)
     

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