Campfire Audio Solaris - raising the bar?

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

  1. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    Out of the ZX2.
     
  2. theveterans

    theveterans Acquaintance

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    I find that Andro’s vocals just sound tonally correct to me with 1.7 ohm out though.
     
  3. HeartOfSky

    HeartOfSky Acquaintance

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    These are the times that I'm annoyed at being so poor. You are a true artist and CA/ALO has been such a great company to me. I look forward to supporting in the ways that I can, because... I will have that Solaris after I've had some more months with the stunningly beautiful Andromeda-S.
     
  4. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I think after you raised the bar with Andros, we all hoped for Campfire to be the voice of sanity in a world of overpriced and flawed TOTL IEMs. The followup bass heavy offerings were, by Andro lovers accounts, a let down for those of us hoping for the sensibilities of the Andros in DD form. Now it looks like CA has finally delivered on our hopes so you can look forward to even more heightened expectations (and resulting disappointments) for your next release! :eek:
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  5. pavi

    pavi Almost "Made"

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    This is pretty much my experience as well. About 50 hours of burn-in so far... source is WM1Z.
     
  6. xtreme4099

    xtreme4099 Rando

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    Hey at least KB is breaking new ground, I still enjoy both the Andro and Atlas, the thought of both in a finely tuned package is exciting, can't wait for mine to arrive, that will make 3 campfire products so far.

    You can't get to the summit without trying a few new things and experimenting. No Solaris without an Atlas, no Atlas without a Vega etc..

    The cool thing is a lot of us are willing to follow KB on his next big thing.

    Maybe a Graphene / Carbyne metamaterial DD or new BA with graphene components is in our future who knows. If it sounds good it is good. Still applaud KB and his team's willingness to try cool new tech to place us in the music without breaking the bank, and for that I'm thankful.



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    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  7. xsuperxapplex

    xsuperxapplex Acquaintance

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    The best tips for my ears at least have been the Acoustune AET07's in medium. Doesn't mute the treble like foamies do, but aren't hashy in the treble either like I've heard on some other silicones (Final, Spinfit, SpiralDot, cheapo generics). I think fit/seal have a lot to do with it. A lot of the other silicone tips just don't sit well in my ear with the Solaris even if they fit well with other IEMs.
     
  8. seamon

    seamon Acquaintance

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    I like my Solaris Treble muted. I can't stand anything but foamies.
     
  9. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    Damn sorry I just noticed that I was summoned @purr1n . Can't really comment, heard them for under a minute at Marv's. My 2 second imoression arent up to snuff. Was enough to pique my interest but I gotta listen to them more.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    One thing that might be worth mentioning is that the Sony portable players many people use on SBAF have relaxed highs and organic lows.
     
  11. seamon

    seamon Acquaintance

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    I have heard a Sony WM1Z with a Zeus and my old A12, it had this super awesome low end presentation that sorta reminds one of an Audeze Planar(Source to headphone comparison is strange but that's the best way to describe it xD). It also had a very natural timbre. However, I do not like to carry more than 1 device on the go, it's just cumbersome to me personally. Besides, with Comply Foam, I have found the perfect amount of Treble with the Solaris. I am a little sensitive to Treble but this combo sounds just so good to me.
     
  12. xtreme4099

    xtreme4099 Rando

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    Congrats to Ken Ball for making another masterpiece, it's a more refined Andromeda in the mids and treble, seemingly more textured in the bass than the Atlas, the mids definitely have more body, bit smoother, making vocals sound even more lifelike, sounds even bigger than the Andros by a wide margin. So begins the burn in process. I'm sure it'll get even better. Will report back once I get more time with it.

    Mini Gallery

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  13. JuniorsGradez

    JuniorsGradez Rando

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    I would love to hear the Solaris...I enjoyed the Atlas and how incredibly engaging it is.
     
  14. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    For the Andromeda, Sony NW-ZX2 was "the" DAP; I bought it specifically for my Andro. Am I to understand that the Solaris is less DAP (or should I say output Z) finicky? If it scales higher with better DAPs, what are some exceptional matching DAPs with Solaris?
     
  15. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Can't compare it directly to the ZX2, but it works great with my 1Z. I also have a 1A, but haven't played with it for a while. Actually not sure why I even still have the 1A...
     
  16. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Friend

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    Heard the solaris today as my friend was visiting NYC. We both had zx300s though unfortunately we only listened to the solaris from the single ended side as his super Litz balanced cable hadn't arrived. We had my modded jvc fd01 and his Andromedas on hand as well.

    I have to say it was an impressive listen and definitely a great iem.



    Fit:
    Even with the meduim large ears I have...the solaris was very big and they bulged out. I tried for deeper insertion but that led to irritation fairly quickly so I stuck to shallow depth insertion. I was afraid perhaps they would drop from my ears as they were pushing down the bottom of the tips and budging out. Memory wire made me feel more secure but was very uncomfortable in the overall fit. Still feel I wouldn't take the memory wire out because i feel it helps keep the iems secure. Despite the largeness, I was surprised at the lightweight of the shells.

    Sound Impressions:

    Better balanced treble. I know there were some complaints about the treble on headfi......saying it's not as extended to Andromedas levels, but I have to wholeheartly disagree. I preferred the treble of the solaris over the andros as I thought they are slightly bright. You could turn the treble down with foam tips, but I found the bass to increase and overall you lose a bit of resolution up in the treble. Hence even with the hotness, I prefer using silicone over foams.
    Its not gonna have that slight reverby/frosty airy sound of the andros. but definitely more balanced and listenable with silicone tips. If anything, the solaris was still slightly sharp up top.

    Sound is well-balanced but I could still tell it's a hybrid. My friend had burnt it in a week straight so I think burn-in is not a problem here. I actually found the bass to bit boosted and prominent despite measurements. These are not the atlas or vegas, but I find it hard to call them bass light in any sense. Its just slightly boosted. However, I felt it was slightly bloated and slightly loose. I guess that is expected from a DD driver so no complaints, but pairing it with the the ba timbre on top end, made it feel disjointed.

    The sound would be gravitated and heavier with slightly loose bass and thick lower mids, but anything above that sounded lighter and airy, with a bit of siblance in the upper mids(maybe I'm at fault because I used spiral dots which maybe do boost the upper mids). Not as crazy as like a pyramid, but it did remind me somewhat of that kind of balance when I listened. Upper sound spectrum, floating over a resting solid sound of the lower spectrum. I haven't heard any other hybrids so i can't comment on implementation, but it is there.

    As for soundstage I felt it was very wide, but I didn't feel it had much depth. Sure with a heftier, darker sound, things have more texture, semblance of depth, and presence, but I found the mids were quite forward for me which didn't lead me to have as 3d of a soundstage as the Andros(found them a bit recessed). While the sound did feel bigger scale, I didn't feel quite the slam that I was expecting from a DD. It was more of a refined, textured sound than a visceral sound. If anyone wants a shotgun to their ear, this iem won't deliver that kind of bass slam.

    That said...the andros, I felt didn't have enough weight on notes and felt it was timbrely ba. The treble was a bit too hot. I felt the bass was the biggest drawback as I felt it lacking physicality. The jvcs fd01 though more uniform/cohesive and natural in the sound, could not compete in detail retrieval, soundstaging and imaging of the solaris. It's not perfect, but I felt the solaris was a clear winner and I didn't want to listen to either of the other two iems afterwards. I guess Ken did a great job mixing the strengths of the two different drivers and its definitely a trade-off I'm willing to accept for what I get in return. However if anyone is averse and sensitive to mixed sound, I don't think the solaris will be for you.

    My friend and I treked to audio46 after and he tried them out of the ak sp1000. the Ak was definitely better than the zx300 and also had less hiss for the solaris. I was quite impressed and the ui experience was great. But at 3.5k? gtfo!
    He tried focal clears for the first time. He preferred the focal clears over the solaris, but he's on the road constantly from professional quartet life, so the solaris was a defintely a better buy for him.

    I still feel hestitant about recommending and buying the Solaris at $1500. Sure Ken isn't price gouging like other iem makers, but I feel it is getting to the point where its too much to pay for an iem. I use Iems on the go, in traveling situtaions(Plane or train) and they are usually unideal loud environments. In these cases, I am hearing something in the background more than carely listening to music. Unless you are always on the go, I feel it would be better used splitting the funds in a headphone like the focal clear(which I prefer over the Solaris) which retails now for $1100 or used at around $850-900, and stick with an andro or lesser iem on the go. If you are an iem only guy , or have a awesome 2 channel system and only need a great iem......the solaris could be for you. As for me , I'll be waiting until used prices go down, or some b-stock to appear in the far future.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  17. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    I just heard Solaris today. Holy balls... fresh out of the box and with just an iphone it was very impressive. Bass was perhaps a little loose but otherwise super resolving with lovely tone and great cohesion between drivers. It seems to hiss even more than Andromeda though (which actually isn't that bad with the iphone dongle).

    A setup like this really reinforces the maxim that transducers > everything else.
     
  18. Chris Bair

    Chris Bair Rando

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    *posted this on head-fi, thought it could be used here too. Also when I copy and pasted I could find the right text color?

    I just had a listen to the Solaris for about an hour comparing with the andromeda S, and the andromeda (briefly with the atlas too)

    I must say that the Solaris is the most comfortable, I wasnt expecting any high level of comfort, but I could barely tell they were in.

    The Andromeda S was my preffered between the S and original. Vocals had more presence, and therefore took out some sharpness in the highs of the original. I didnt even notice sharpness until I did the switch back and forth. The S had more presence overall in the mids, but seemed to not have too much in the upper mids, I didnt notice any shoutyness even on my shoutiest tracks. It kept vocals smooth, rich and full, which I appreciate as a previous hd6xx owner. I will note that the Andromeda S seemed to be even more source dependant than the original.

    After this I put on the atlas briefly, not my cup of tea for most genres I listen to, so I switched to the Solaris. This is when I was blown away. I couldnt tell the Andromeda were lacking anything until I put these on. The Solaris takes everything I love from the Andromeda S, but adds huge bass impact, slam, weight all of the above. The difference between the Andromeda and Solaris is almost like when I accidentally have the iematch on for my hd800's and no bass boost (ifi micro black label), and then switch it all back on (maybe a slight exaggeration). It makes the Andromeda sound thin in comparison? which I never thought before. Oh, and did I say that the Solaris sounded great out of either my phone or the ifi?

    I am in complete amazement with the Andromeda, but the Solaris takes all the good about the Andromeda, and then adds anything that the atlas has to offer. @KenBall Campfire Audio just keeps blowing my mind every time I have time to go in and take a listen. I am truly blessed to be a Portlander.

    Sources were my Samsung S8, and my ifi micro idsd black label.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  19. seamon

    seamon Acquaintance

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    [​IMG]
    Just spent the evening comparing the Campfire Audio Solaris to the 64 Audio U12t.

    Before I say anything, I consider the U12t to be the best IEM in 64's current lineup. It has a better Frequency Response Balance than the Tia Forte and it provides a sense of texture and musicality the U18 just can't compete with. U18 and Tia Forte might have better technicalities and resolution(not by much tho), U12t is just the more coherent and complete package. I was in talks with 64 Audio for a custom A12t before the Solaris was announced and I took a gamble when they launched.

    64 Audio U12t is good. It's very good but I consider the Solaris to be clearly a step better than U12t. However, it's close, very close. If the Campfire Audio hadn't release the Solaris, I would even have a A12t. I like the U12t, quite a lot.

    Let's start with the bass. U12t has a little more bass quantity. Solaris bass extends deeper, much deeper. Bass timbres are totally different. U12t's bass driver does texture incredibly well for a BA driver. I would even say, this one of the top BA bass I have heard. Solaris timbre is totally different because of the dynamic driver. It has that sub-woofer like quality that no BA can ever match and the you get layers upon layers of well textured bass. You can't really beat that with a BA bass setup. It's just totally different playing fields. If are a fan of articulate BA bass, then U12t has one of the best BA bass out there but Solaris just renders the bass more naturally.

    Midrange is where the Solaris is significantly better than the U12t. I think with their recent releases, 64 is having a tough time tuning the midrange for a lot of their IEMs for some reason. U12t midrange struck me as somewhat tonally uneven at least compared to Solaris. There was a recession in the lower mids but then it suddenly goes loud and then a slight recession again in female vocals. It's just not very coherent. It's still a great midrange though and I actually prefer the U12t midrange compared to other IEMs like Vega, Andromeda, Tia Forte and U18. Solaris mids sound more coherent by comparison. U12t mids had more body though, Solaris sounds a little lean by comparison. There's quite a bit of sibilance with the U12t and none with the Solaris.

    Treble is a toss up. Treble is done well on the U12t. It's both faster and has more weight than the Solaris but not by much. Solaris is actually right up in Speed and Weight but U12t just edges it at both. Solaris is a little more extended though. There was no harshness on both and both are more or less equally transparent. Treble is well done on both actually.

    Solaris is quite a bit better at separation and imaging than U12t. Soundstage is more or less equal. U12t might be a touch wider and Solaris a touch deeper.
     
  20. Nordpol Anton

    Nordpol Anton Rando

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    Have you already posted your Solaris and PP8 comparison? If so I can’t find it. Would be great if you could share your impressions. The hype train on HF seams to have come to an end right now.
     

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