Schiit Sol Turntable Review - Episodic.

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

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yup. Can't live without one. It takes a few iterations to set it up, but after that, never have to worry about it again.

    The problem is that the skeletal frame of the Sol doesn't lend itself to mounting a Qup.
     
  2. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    The most likely scenario is that we'll start shipping Sols again in February, but they will all come pre set-up with a standard cartridge. Target price for re-intro with cartridge is $799.

    For this, you get some significant advantages over other turntables near its price class, including the longest arm anywhere near the price, the biggest bearing anywhere near the price, full cast aluminum construction, on-the-fly adjustable VTA, and easily swappable true unconstrained unipivot arms. We believe this is enough to allow Sol to carve out a niche above the entry-level turntables but below the "big boys," but we also understand if this doesn't work for you, and that there are more choices than ever in turntables these days.

    However, one caveat: the re-introduced Sol will also have the older pulley and belt, which is the only way we've gotten it to measure consistently under 0.1% wow and flutter (on the APx555, not on a phone app or antique meter). This means that the platter will not self-start.

    Before the requests start for a different motor, the answer is "the turntable was designed with a low-torque motor and high-mass platter, and if we have to redesign for a different motor, it could send all of that out the window, plus we'd need new motors, new motor pods, new sorbothane motor mount, new motor board...which means 6 months more waiting, realistically, and at that point Sol probably isn't coming back."

    If this is a non-starter for you, I understand, and you can opt out of the beta and get a full refund.

    We're still waiting a bit for some additional small parts (better motor rubber base and better mat), and we're testing options for standard cartridges (Grado Red sounds best, but has a bit more environmental hum pick-up than other options).

    All beta participants will get the new parts, of course, but I don't know the precise timeline. If you want to know the status of the beta program, it's best to email [email protected] and copy [email protected] and [email protected], since they will have the latest information.
     
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  3. tranq

    tranq Facebook Friend

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    I just found out about such an add on device. Would increase my Sol listening as I only listen now if I'm in my main listening spot, and it's early enough where I won't fall asleep.

    Guess I need to buy one and see how I can get it incorporated without affecting Sol.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It can be made to work by mounting on top of a fairly heavy block, placed under the arm, just in front of the cueing mechanism.
     
  5. tranq

    tranq Facebook Friend

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    That's what I was thinking. I've got a butcher block I think will be turned into a slab for Sol. Probably mount a piece of that same block to the slab I make for Sol.
     
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  6. SuperRoo

    SuperRoo Rando

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    I'm fine with going back to the original pulley and giving it a push each time. Now if I could just find the stupid pulley. May need to order a replacement, but that can wait until spare arms are available for order..
     
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  7. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    I went back to the old belt and pulley yesterday. Decided to measure it, but not change it based on the results and instead, listen to it. After all, my phone is not exactly the speed reference Schiit is using (and no, it didn't measure perfectly, but W/F was better).

    So I was very happy to hear, and to feel, that the "nudge" does sound better. I can only infer that what I'm "feeling" from the change - I use a soft, plush, unlaundered MF towel to "dust" my record before setting the needle down. On the lighter pulley and new belt, what seemed like half an ounce of downward pressure would stop the platter. Now, i have to actually try to stop it. It'll still stop - it's not an idler or anything - but based on this silly test, it just feels like there is more torque or inertia with the original parts.

    And it sounds fantastic. I heard no pitch instability, no lack of pace, nothing. Just honest to goodness, excellent sonics. I played some really "HiFi" recordings (UHQR Hendrix, Supertramp Crime audiophile release) and some more low-fi stuff. I could tell the difference immediately between good and bad, and the bad still sounded fine, but the good stuff was very, very good.

    So from here on out, I nudge. And there are times where the platter starts up fine. I'm going to reapply some talc to the belt but otherwise, just going to leave it and listen.

    Edit - to clarify, 99% of my listening prior to yesterday was on the revised, lighter pulley and new belt. I figured since Schiit felt it was an improvement, and I was tasked to listen to the improvements as part of the beta, that I would hold that variable constant. In a way I'm glad I did since I was able to get pretty darn familiar with everything before the change yesterday.
     
  8. SuperRoo

    SuperRoo Rando

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    I have a Q UP on order. I think we can get it to work. I'll post how it goes.
     
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  9. lehmanhill

    lehmanhill Facebook Friend

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    I'm not a Sol owner, so my opinion doesn't count, but to me, you are doing the right thing. It seems crazy to a tinkerer like me, but even $10k turntables (Kuzma, for example) are being offered with arms and carts pre-set. I guess that's just analog in a digital age.

    I was fascinated by the pulley issue. For what is worth, I think most people will be fine giving the platter a push to get started, as long as they are told about it up front. Then it becomes special knowledge where they tell their friends, "My turntable is special. You have to give it a spin to get it going because they have the low torque motor combined with the heavy platter for better sound."

    Was the problem with the lightweight pulley that you couldn't hold dimensional tolerances in production with the plastic pulley? I learn something new everyday.

    Anyway, I wish you luck with the re-launch. Its an excellent design in a nice price point, so it should be successful.
     
  10. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Actually the lightweight pulley is a 7000-series aluminum alloy, it rings like a silver coin. No problem holding tolerances, the heavier pulley measures far better, as does the original belt, despite any "walking."
     
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  11. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    I have no idea why - I tried both versions of the "original" belt when I first got Sol and they both walked. Now? Nothing. Apparently I just had to put them in solitary confinement for... 6 weeks, and they straightened their shit up and ride true now. It is the weirdest thing. That said, since moving back to originals, well I didn't think I'd get more out of Sol, but now I feel I am.
     
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  12. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Facebook Friend

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    Out of curiosity, are you using the original belts with the new motor pod base? I was using the new belt & pulley, but I noticed that the walking with those decreased when I'd swapped over from the tripod.
     
  13. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    I only have the tripod base at this point, if that helps. But, I do have the motor and each leg of Sol sitting on an isolation puck, which may be helping in that regard.
     
  14. SuperRoo

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    Good news and bad. The Q UP works with the Sol. Mounting is no problem.
    [​IMG]

    It can block access to the motor on off switch. I don't use mine. Instead, I have been using use one of these.
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GXCYWRQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    It is a pretty light weight piece of plastic but once mounted you will never notice that. The tone arm does bounce a little when lifted. I bet due to the unipivot design but nothing that will mess things up.
    Mounting further back does allow access to the switch and it operates the same.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. GimmePeat

    GimmePeat Rando

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    Cool news that Sol is making it to production. Is the Grado cartridge included in the new parts that will be sent out to the beta participants?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  16. seeirwin

    seeirwin Rando

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    I was having some trouble with noise during the quiet passages of my records using the Sol. I figured out pretty quickly that most of it was coming from motor vibrations being transmitted into the stylus. I moved the motor pod to its own little house and the issue disappeared. I also had time to wire up a cartridge into a second tonearm and found that the Nagaoka MP-110 picks up a little noise (I'm guessing EM interference?) that I don't get through the other cartridge (Dynavector 20x2).

    Here are a few audio clips of the before/after

    Motor pod on same platform as plinth

    Motor pod isolated, as shown below

    I moved the motor as far away from the tonearm as possible to try and reduce whatever effect it might have had. Here's how it's looking now:

    [​IMG]

    I'm running the old pulley and old belt and both of those work way better in terms of speed stability. The new belt runs right at 33.33 RPM, while the old belt is just a touch slow (33.12 RPM).

    edit: hosted the audio clips somewhere else
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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  17. tranq

    tranq Facebook Friend

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    Nice setup, I was looking at putting Sol and the pod on the same piece of butcher block. Are you of the opinion I should give the motor pod it's own little piece of block?

    I was planning on doing some rubber feet from Amazon that were meant for guitar amps, with cork, closed cell foam, and felt as a spacer.

    I was also looking to router out some 1/2 to 3/4 inch cups on the block for Sol to rest in.

    Those cups will be filled with 1/8 inch thick closed cell foam, cork, felt, and maybe some sorbothane before resting Sol in them.

    So each foot and the motor pod floats in a dampening pool of sorts, that is built into the butcher block. Would that be acceptable or should I just take a small piece of the butcher block, and make a separate piece for the pod?

    The other thing I've been wondering, has anyone tried coupling the motor pod to a base of some kind to increase the effective mass of the motor pod? Was wondering if there would be a way to screw the motor pod base to the butcher block..
     
  18. SuperRoo

    SuperRoo Rando

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    I notice a little noise with my MP-110 too. How does the Dynavector compare to the Nagaoka? Is it high or low output, what pre ? The audio clips are not showing up here. I'm going to try your motor mod out.
    Thanks,
    Richard
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
  19. seeirwin

    seeirwin Rando

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    That sounds pretty heavy-duty! I think you may have to tinker with things for a bit, but I'd be amazed if you can't get that setup nice and quiet. Please keep us posted!
     
  20. seeirwin

    seeirwin Rando

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    Hi Richard,

    You can go ahead and try the clips again. I moved where they were hosted. As far as the Dynavector goes, it's quieter for sure. I'm using the high output version.
     

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