Campfire Audio Solaris - raising the bar?

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

  1. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    Cool man...can't wait for your impressions.
     
  2. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Yeah, Ken told me at the show he had something like 10 sets left, but that was at the start of the show. Who knows what it's at now. Cheers and enjoy your set @jexby!
     
  3. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    It’s fine, we’ll wait for the special gold edition or whatnot :D
    Or better yet: a custom!
     
  4. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    well only about 30 hours of burn in on this Special Edition Solaris, but of course some listening must occur right?

    First off, macmini Roon feeding WA8 Eclipse over USB (with inline iFi iPurifier3 USB regen device)-
    wow, what a pairing in terms of spacious display, clear treble detailing and heft in the lower bass.
    nowhere is bass or mid-bass over bearing, nor covering up mids. nothing warm or goopy.
    somehow the Solaris delivers depth and no 3 blob presentation, like a TOTL open headphone + tube amp pairing.
    volume knob is very low 1-2 with Solaris and no IEMatch used, so be careful on volume.
    that being said- with no music playing there is only some slight noise heard from usb signal when past 6pm on the dial.
    this will likely be my work desk set up and frankly, has little compromises or fault.

    when on travel, the iFi xDSD or GO2APro and a balanced cable with SE Solaris will be in the backpack.
    more on that in the coming weeks.

    having had the OG Solaris on loan for a few weeks, main difference noticed is that the SE Solaris shells FEEL lighter.
    not sure of grams per shell vs. the OG Solaris, but the OG Solaris "felt" heavier and bigger, and after a couple hours in ear could lead to physical (not sonic) ear fatigue.
    only have had SE Solaris in for 20-30min sessions, but when inserted don't feel as heavy as OG.
    no idea what actual weight difference might be, or if somehow my ear weight recall is off kilter.

    i fear it's too early, and after burn in will be too long between listening to OG Solaris and SE Solaris to define any accurate deltas between the models. about the only way to pull that off is to have both well-worn pairs side by side - and frankly don't have time nor access for that.
    will leave that to the real IEM wizards here, and will simply marvel (again) at this SE Solaris delivering what only I've heard from TOTL open headphones in the past. Big props to CA and @KenBall for the awesome big can sound in tiny form factor.
     
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  5. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    Jexby, can you tell me how long are we supposed to burn in these IEMs? Just got mine today and hooked them up to my old Sony ZX300 to get started with burn in. When battery runs down will switch to iBasso DX 220, then HiBy R3. 43CF8E82-929B-4903-B460-97A7731C720F_1_201_a.jpeg
     
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  6. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    IIRC 100hrs minimum. think Ken B said maybe 200 hours is optimal before passing critical judgement.
     
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  7. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    Thanks. I guess I will not start listening to them until I have about 120 or so hours on them.
     
  8. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    Earlier in this thread purr1n noted: 40 hour minimum, with goodness improving after the 75hr mark.
     
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  9. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Burn them in long enough for the 30 days return period to be over.
     
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  10. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    20 hours of break in and my curiosity got the better of me. Damn, that's better than I expected. They sound pretty good now listening to Maggie Rogers. I guess I will check them out at purr1n's 40 hour minimum.
     
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  11. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    At around 80 hours they sound nicely balanced with articulate bass out of my Sony ZX300. I'll check them Friday out of my iBasso DX 220/#8. I could stop now, but I think there is better to come. Either way, they sound quite lovely now.
     
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  12. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Stuck at home due to covid, plus having a toddler running around the house, I find myself needing isolation 90% of the time. I currently have a zx300/Andro setup that I really like, however I still prefer my main rig with my Auteur. I tried the OG Solaris on the loaner and felt like it was the best IEM I'd ever heard, but hated the fit. I feel like trying them again though and trying some different tips as recommended here for a better fit. Unfortunately I didn't have my Andros at the time to compare to the Solaris directly.

    For those that have heard both, would you say the $3-400 price difference between the OG and SE are worth it? Looking around at some used and open box prices the difference may be closer to $300. The couple of impressions I've read here has me leaning towards the SE.
     
  13. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    @Mystic - Best of luck with the toddler! I've got three in double-digits stuck at home and it's an interesting time indeed.

    At CanJam NYC this year I hung out with Ken for a while and played with a set of the Solaris SE's, comparing them to my long-time reference OGs. For me I didn't really see that much of a difference beyond the aesthetic. To me the differences between the versions I might even say were no more that what I might expect from slight batch to batch variations in the same IEM. However, YMMV and all that normal stuff.

    Cheers and stay well
     
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  14. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    Before you upgrade your Andros, you might think about upgrading your Sony ZX300. The HiBy R6 Pro is $550 at Amazon which is a great better sounding DAP. I like the iBasso DX 220, but its a bit more expensive. Don't sell your Sony. It has much better battery life than these DAPS. Sound quality vs battery life. The ZX 300 is a damn good DAP.Having two DAPS gives you choices.
     
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  15. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I was in a similar situation a few months ago. I didn't want to hold up the loaner Solaris tour so i could buy a shitload of different tips to try and make it work both comfort and sound-wise. But, used, for $300 over Andro I think the OG solaris is worth it. OG to SE for $300 more? no idea, but probably not.
     
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  16. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    Personally I believe it's absolutely worth it. I get PMd this question a lot by people and, as always when giving purchase advice, I try my best to measure my words in order to convey enthusiasm/perspective without giving rise to unrealistic expectations. The first thing to say about SE relative to OG is that it's fundamentally the same IEM-- the changes present are not drastic and belong pretty much exclusively in the realm of fine tuning. For many of us, this is a great thing-- I was a huge fan of the original Solaris and it kept me very happy for a number of months...there isn't very much I wanted to change about it. When I had it I didn't detect any glaring flaws in the tuning or presentation, though at times I craved a little more impact and tightness in the low end. In my opinion the SE Solaris is a subtle but clear improvement over the OG in a few key ways. To my ears the differences are-- more forward vocals as well as more clarity and body in the mid-range. Most significantly (for me) I find the low end, while not increased in quantity, definitely tighter, better defined, with just a touch more punch-- and ultimately for me a lot more satisfying. There also seems to be a bit more air and sparkle up top. People who were hoping for "Andro plus bass" with the original Solaris and found themselves a bit disappointed may find the SE a bit more to their liking. Again, though, the differences are subtle and may not jump out at you right away. I have had SE Solaris since the week it was released and my affection for it only grows in time. It's the most consistently satisfying IEM I have owned or extensively demoed-- besting such luminaries as the IER Z1R, Anole VX, u12t and VE8.
     
  17. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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  18. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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  20. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    Would be nice to get some trusted SBAF ears on the 2020 Solaris. I hear a little BA wonkiness in the upper mids of the OGs and early impressions suggest the 2020 version smooths that out. The smaller size and less gaudy look is appealing too.
     
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