Schiit Sol Turntable Review - Episodic.

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by purr1n, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. scblock

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    I received another Sol care package today. Small but weighty, it was a new motor can base and a small pack of screws with star washers. Carefully packaged, but no notes or anything else.

    TLDR is that Schiit sent a new motor can base with a large solid rubber base instead of three small feet, and it appears to improve on motor can vibration and stability. Wall of pictures incoming.

    Here's what was in the package, next to my motor can.

    [​IMG]

    I was a little surprised that they sent an entire new base, metal and rubber (or feels like rubber at least).

    Top and bottom views of the base, side by side. New is on the left. The metal part appears to be the same between revs. As this is inside the can or outside of view I don't have any opinion about differences in finishing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Installation was simple: remove the three screws holding the existing base in place, replace with the new, and put the screws back in. I wasn't sure if I was really supposed to use the new screws with star washers or not, honestly, so I reused the existing screws. Incidentally, the motor can has the traditional red Schiit circuit board inside.

    [​IMG]

    After installation, mass is up 50 grams, or 8% over baseline (with the original heavier pulley installed).

    Before, 622 grams:
    [​IMG]

    After, 672 grams:
    [​IMG]

    The new base itself is 312 grams, indicating the old base was about 262 (I didn't measure it).
    [​IMG]

    So, differences. The first is that the can no longer has a tendency to tip in certain orientations if you set belt tension too high. This was a minor issue that I don't think was a real problem in practice, but improved quality of life is probably worth the change. The second is that the can appears, in initial runs at least, to vibrate less on my cheap IKEA LACK table. Previously with the motor running I could hear a quiet but audible hum from the pod. It was always mechanical, and I never heard anything through headphones or speakers. That hum appears to be significantly reduced, as has vibration of the can to the touch. Unfortunately I didn't do this as a direct before and after and didn't think about it until I had everything set back up, so I'm going from memory.

    So overall this appears to be a nice change, and hopefully won't have any unforeseen downsides. And I would appreciate feedback on if I was supposed to do something with the small pack of screws and star washers.
     
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  2. scblock

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    Brief follow up to my own post: there is still some audible vibration hum from the motor can. I can hear it during silence if I listen carefully. It is definitely mechanical as it is there whether or not the amplifier is on and can be eliminated by removing the motor can from the table. Improved, but not eliminated. Still a worthwhile revision to the design.
     
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  3. burnb

    burnb Rando

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    I have the same vibration hum from the new motor base still as well. I have always had to sit the motor on some type of sound deadening material. I have found the best solution is to put the platter mat that the table comes with under the motor. A cutout of that material to the motor pod size would be perfect, at least I have found in my situation.
     
  4. seeirwin

    seeirwin Acquaintance

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    I made a recording of the noise I'm getting from the motor pod, in case anyone is interested. The first file is what it would sound like at a normal listening volume (i.e. the motor noise is not that loud, but it's there). The second file is just the noise with some more gain applied to better hear what's happening. In that file (it came from the same source), you can hear when I pick up the motor pod and the noise decreases and when I put the motor pod back down. It's also audible in the first file, too, but much easier to hear in the second.

    Skip to about 1:55 to go straight to the noise

    Just the noise

    On a lark, I wrapped the whole motor pod in tin foil to see if there was any EM noise I could shield, and that didn't seem to make any difference.
     
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  5. tranq

    tranq Acquaintance

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    So I have a noob question that is probably best answered here. Doesn't adjusting the vertical tracking angle have an effect on cartridge tracking force? My TT and Grado cartridge are set at 1.5 g. Won't it affect my cartridge If I raise or lower the VTA while playing a record, without taking out my scale and readjusting the counter weight? How do I ensure I accurately return my VTA to the original dialed in setting?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  6. seeirwin

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    The VTA will affect your VTF, but not by a huge amount. In theory, adjusting your VTA by a huge amount that would introduce a 15-degree change in the angle your tonearm makes in reference to the platter would decrease the VTF by about 3%, so that might take you down to 1.45 grams tracking force.
     
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  7. tranq

    tranq Acquaintance

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    Thanks for that, the allure of on the fly VTA to you experienced TT types is clearer now. I understand Sol is a huge increase in SQ to the turntables I've been exposed to in my life, but I'm still learning to understand the why.
     
  8. tranq

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    Tonight I played with the new bearing and platter that I was sent. (New to me at least, platter has been used ( or tested previously)
    This platter and bearing seems to be quite a bit looser then the old ones. The original bearing housing fit very tightly in the platter. I could not spin the platter around.
    The new bearing housing and and platter are very loose in comparison. I can easily spin the platter on the bearing housing in my hand. I also see residue from a belt on the platter.
    Does anyone know which one is preferred? My original platter or the new one.
    I don't hear/see any slippage, but I'm concerned about it. I'm using the old bearing shaft on the new platter as it fits a tad bit tighter then the new bearing shaft does.
    My original platter and bearing had a bit of a a tilt. 3 - 1/8 inch cork coasters hung up on spots on the table, but I've since raises the platter. In this spot that measurement is harder to make, but there appears to be slight wobble as I watch the table spin.
    Is it possible that the main bearing shaft isn't tightened straight/flush in the plinth/main sol chassis, and is causing this wobble?
    I'm noticing.now that rubber mat doesn't appear to lay flat, I'm wondering if I got an original mat, and didn't notice that right away.
    I don't have a record weight.
    All of these ramblings aside the table sounds great through a basic Grado, and Mani.
    Listening to a beat up copy of heartbeat city by the cars. Sounds really awesome.
    I don't miss digital once I get a record cleaned and make sure the table is ready.
    But digital is sit down and go... My vinyl is all second hand, so everything gets a basic cleaning before playing.

    I'll say there is a fullness, depth, weight that is present on SOl that my Bifrost 4490 doesn't have
     
  9. toddrhodes

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    So I tried a thing, but it didn't work. However, it did show one area of promise but it's hard to draw any real conclusions.

    I tried a silk string belt. I couldn't get the platter to spin at 33.33 RPM though, I was stuck at about 32 RPM. I believe I used #2 string so it was pretty thin. I'm guessing it was the diameter that caused the issue? In researching this a little, I found that a speed controller is a must, in order to use silk or a poly string belt. But I also read that if the motor is not fixed, that could work too.

    So while this didn't work out this time - I did see one encouraging thing but it may be a bad observation since it wasn't at the right speed. But, Wow and Flutter was down to .15% which is the best I've measured so far (Android RPM app, nothing fancy here). So that gives me a little hope I guess?
     
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  10. Jalsar

    Jalsar Almost "Made"

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    Mine runs a little fast but not enough for me to remotely notice (like .15%). The wow and flutter I'm getting is .55%. According the my phone app. I don’t fully trust the phone app so I broke out the strobe and test disc. It is indeed a little fast and the speed isn't consistent. When I have time I’ll try the original belt and see if that works any better.
     
  11. seeirwin

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    I'm getting exactly the same performance with mine and the new belt. The old belt was just a hair slow with much better wow and flutter.
     
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  12. Jalsar

    Jalsar Almost "Made"

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    Woke up super early and decided to mess with it. The original belt for me is still slightly faster 33.62 and the flutter is down to .21%. My music hall is .10% but I doubt I would be able to tell the difference between them other than a test tone. Unfortunately the hole in a lot of newer vinyl isn’t dead center anyways.
     
  13. seeirwin

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    Above 0.5% seems to be the threshold where it makes the music sound pretty off to me. Here's a clip I shared with the Sol team that is a few passages from an OG Kind of Blue

    That clip sounds pretty wavy to my ear.
     
  14. Ruby Rod

    Ruby Rod Almost "Made"

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    Something to check for- take the platter off and just put the bearing cartridge on the spindle. Rotate it with your fingers. If you can feel any variation in torque/friction, I can almost guarantee you'll hear it. One of the spindles I made had a defect on the end and I couldn't believe how audible the slight change in torque was. Polished it out and the sound cleaned right up. You probably don't have this issue, but it's easy to check.
     
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  15. scblock

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    One more thing on this table. If you have it all set up and leveled and have had time to get comfortable with it, then I strongly recommend you take a favorite record or two and take a little time to play with the VTA while listening carefully to really dial it in for your preference.

    I had my tone arm effectively level, but thought things sounded a little bit bright after a few dozen records. I lowered the arm just a bit and found a spot that was more the sound I was looking for.
     
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  16. toddrhodes

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    IsoPucks under my Sol. Liking what I'm hearing. Bought four - one for each leg, one for the motor, "leveled" with a bit of blue tac, but it thankfully didn't take much.

    [​IMG]

    On the VTA thing - for what it's worth, one of the best setup guys around uses this record for setting VTA. I tried it on my older PolyTable setup and it's amazing how the sound changes (at least, with a ML profile stylus; haven't tried it with my elliptical MP-200 but doubt it will be as profound) with almost minute changes in VTA. And that was on a 12" Jelco arm so VTA changes aren't nearly as exaggerated at that length.

    https://www.discogs.com/Norman-Blak...olland-Jethro-Burns-Norman-Bl/release/8082236
     
  17. oneguy

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    Any idea when normal production will resume?
     
  18. sheldaze

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  19. toddrhodes

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    I can only say that I hope Schiit works all this out and brings a table - or maybe two versions, beginner and advanced? - to market for full release. I will say that posting "what are you playing now?" types of posts on Reddit, FB, wherever - the Sol generates quite a few questions. There's genuine interest in it and I have lost count of how many have told me they hope it goes on sale again. I've passed this all up to Schiit as well, but figure it can't hurt to post it here too. Love spinning records on this thing.
     
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  20. tranq

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