Schiit Sol Turntable Review - Episodic.

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

  1. ripblade

    ripblade Rando

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    My very first listen was without, but that's because Schitt only supplied the parts and I'm lousy at tying fine plastic monofilament I can barely see lol. Once I did tie one on, I was shocked at how much it degraded the sound. I never would've thought a simple thing could have such a large impact, and I've since gained great respect for the arm designers who've worked out systems that work without compromise.

    For me, going commando is fine for conicals and cheap, bonded tips, but there's no chance I'd ever run an expensive nude microline without proper compensation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
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  2. ripblade

    ripblade Rando

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    I'd post photos but I don't see any facility for uploading attachments.
     
  3. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Post them on a photo hosting site like imgur, then link them. Unless you don't like those sites for your own reasons.
     
  4. Inoculator

    Inoculator Facebook Friend

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    Now that folks have had their Sol for a bit more time, any extended impressions? I am about ready to chuck my Pro-ject out the window after spending the past couple weeks trying to fix some motor noise and bearing issues while I was without a phono preamp (have a Tavish Vintage on the way, super excited, will share impressions). Side note...do not invest in Pro-ject decks. Debut Carbon is a great and reliable budget starter deck, but stop there in their line. They keep using the same cheap parts and just prioritize form over function. Live and learn I guess.

    Any additional nagging issues cropping up after weeks of regular use? Would also be curious if anyone has done any comparisons to decks in the midrange price bracket this falls in. Looking to snag something for around $1k that I can slap my Denon 103r on, this is the only new deck I have under consideration at that price, everything else is vintage options (Thoren TD160, Ariston RDIIs, an old Japanese direct drive, etc).
     
  5. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    I would look for a VPI Scout 1.1, the first model with the acrylic platter. A really nice sounding tt, very simple, bombproof but at any rate all parts are readily available (you can buy a new motor directly from Hurst for about a hundred bucks). If you're dying to upgrade, find a used SDS power controller, makes an audible difference. Resale is unlikely to fall below what you paid.

    Here's a nice one on ebay with starting bid at 1k:

    https://m.ebay.com/itm/VPI-Aries-Sc...e&pageci=95224825-6b2f-4e02-9f2e-f6b060986eaf
     
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  6. Cabal

    Cabal Rando

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    Hi Everyone! I've been following this thread for a long time now. I'm in a little of a quandary. I have been intrigued by the SOL since its release and have yet to pull the trigger. I'm now feeling that need for an upgrade. I currently own a lot of Schiit... I have 2 VIDAR's running balanced into my Freya +, powering my Axiom Audio M60 speakers. My sources are the Bluesound Node 2i running into the new Modius, that's running balanced into the Freya + as well. That's the digital side. I also have an entry level TT, an Akia BT500 with a NG-110 cart hooked into the MANI and LOKI for fine tuning. Now my TT sounds pretty good for me, no noise issues, very quiet and from what I can tell very good dynamics. So, being in Canada, I can get the new SOL with the upgraded Grado OPUS with shipping for around 1500 CND. I have a hi-fi shop here selling the Marantz TT15 (TT15S1) for around $1700, which is a totally different TT compared to the SOL, however the cart on this one is very, very good.

    So based on your collective experiences, what should I do? There are definite pro's and con's for each one.
     
  7. ripblade

    ripblade Rando

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    I would guess that the 2 tables sound somewhat similar, but ease of use will be quite different, with the Marantz having the edge on that one.

    What cartridge does it come with?
     
  8. Cabal

    Cabal Rando

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    Yes, I like the ease of use standpoint from the Marantz, however the potential upgrade aspect of the SOL has me intrigued.
    https://www.techradar.com/reviews/marantz-tt-15s1-turntable

    The cart is: Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood, which retails close to 1k itself. I've never heard it yet, but this TT has this cart come standard.
     
  9. ripblade

    ripblade Rando

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    As far as I'm aware the upgrades are non-existent so far, unless you intend to make your own, which is what I've bee doing.

    The Virtuoso Wood is an AT95 generator in a custom wood body. I have one as well. If the table comes in @ $1700CDN with that cart, buy it and sell the cart in exchange for the new VM95ML, which will be an improvement still. The Wood is an improvement over the stock AT95, but not $1k's worth, IMO. I haven't heard the Opus3, but I've tried a Grado Blue on the Sol and I consider them a synergistic match.

    Tough choices....it really comes down to how much tweaking you like to do.
     
  10. Cabal

    Cabal Rando

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    Really appreciate the insight. I wasn't aware the VWood for that price point isn't as favourable as VM95ML. I don't mind tweaking as anyone with this "audiophile" bug can't help themselves, I do like the set it and forget it approach and listen to music. Even with the Loki, I don't try to manipulate each record I play, however it does help on some recordings.
     
  11. ripblade

    ripblade Rando

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    AFAIK, The VWood comes with the standard .3 x .7 bonded elliptical tip, whereas the VM95ML sports a nude microline. The tips are essentially interchangeable (by clipping away the plastic grip), so you could buy the VWood and put an ML tip on it.

    CA has to be paid for their efforts, and the wood body is first class and a real upgrade over the old AT95 body. Still, for the SQ it doesn't represent good value, IMO. The one I have I got for $100 w/o stylus, which it is easily worth. The new VM bodies are substantially improved over the old body: much beefier and with threaded metal inserts. I think this is the reason for the improvement in SQ irrespective of the tip used.

    The Sol is more work to set up, obviously. And it has an almost endless upgrade/tweak path. However, once you have it dialed in to your liking it is just as plug n play as any other deck....it just takes awhile to get there.
     
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  12. Cabal

    Cabal Rando

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    Ok all good points. I'm not adverse to tweak and set up, I just don't want to be missing out on anything in that price point. Obviously the Marantz is 1500 USD compared to 955 USD with Grado from Schiit which is not in the same price bracket. By getting to CND with shipping et al, the price here is similar.
     
  13. Storytime

    Storytime Rando

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    I’m considering buying a Sol as my “final” turntable (I currently have a Project Debut / 2M Blue / Nighthawk; I’ll upgrade to 2M Bronze when I get the new table). But I’m concerned because I’m going to be moving quite frequently in the years ahead—probably every couple of years for the next 10 years.

    Once I have the Sol dialed in, can it be taken apart and packed up in a way that will prevent me from going back to square one when I unpack it? For instance, will the settings on the tonearm remain applicable when the turntable is taken apart and reassembled? Or will enough of the specs inevitably be changed ever so slightly that I’ll need to check and redo every setting again? I’m considering the Sol purely because of its reputation for great sound at low cost. I’m not at all a tweaker by nature.

    And will the Sol even hold up to repeated disassembly/packing/trucking/reassembly?

    Would I be better off getting a set-it-and-forget-it table that’s built like a tank—like a Technics SL-1200GR? The Technics costs more up front, but I’ll likely never need to pay to repair it after a move, and I’ll be saved the headache of setting it up over and over and over (for me that’s a chore, not fun, and I don’t know that I’d even get it right time after time).

    Has anyone had both tables to compare directly? I know, it’s kind of apples-to-oranges, but how much of a step down in sound quality is the SL-1200GR from the Sol?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  14. ripblade

    ripblade Rando

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    The Sol comes in robust packaging, so as long as you repack everything it should travel well. The only issue might be in dressing the wires that exit the wand as these will no longer be in the same position once you remove and replace the arm. This will lead to the azimuth being slightly off kilter for a period of time. Unlike others here, I dress the wires so they exit the right of the wand (as shown) but instead of behind the pillar I bring them around the front and under the wand. I prefer the sound this way, but it's also easier to redress the wires so they return to their natural state more quickly. It's still a good idea to check the azimuth periodically until the wires settle in.

    I haven't done a sound comparison with the Technics but if you want to compare conveniences the Technics will win hands down. I think an armoured travel case can still be bought for them so there's really nothing to pack. In this regard, no other deck compares. The Sol will need to be dismantled into its individual components, which might take up to a half hour or so.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. Storytime

    Storytime Rando

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    Thanks so much, ripblade. From what you say, at least I won't need to worry about the Sol breaking in transit. This actually happened to me repeatedly with my first turntable back in college (in the Paleolithic era). I think all the repair bills cost at least as much as the original purchase of the table. That's why I'm nervous about moving with the Sol, I guess.

    So my only real concern now is for my mental health putting it together four or five times. Maybe it'll get easier as I get more practice?

    Oh, and another question:

    Has any entrepreneurial board member dreamed up a storage box / carrying case for dialed-in Sol tonearms? (Might have to wait until replacement arms are sold separately...)
     
  16. ripblade

    ripblade Rando

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    I just use the box the arm comes in. I cut away the foam around the shell area to make room for the cartridge. This way I can drop the arm straight in, needle down. Haven't pooched one yet, even without a stylus guard. Have to be careful though. Once in it's pretty snug and secure.

    The Sol itself is pretty simple, hard to imagine it being difficult to take part and put together. The trickiest part might be separating the platter from the bearing but I don't know as I haven't had to do that yet.
     
  17. Cow Dog

    Cow Dog Rando

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    Glad to see this thread is still active! (sort of). Anyone remember that discussion back around mid-April? (yes, this year) - About how to display your Sol and keep the dust off it? Well, now that everyone's moved on from that, I'm back to report on my modest success! (sound of tree falling in a deserted forest) Anyone? Ok then!

    So I thought, what about one of those multi-tier rack systems like the Podium Reference Rack from Hi-Fi Racks UK? Then just put an acrylic box on top and call it a day? But then, nah, somebody'd just come around, knock it sideways and mess up the Sol, which we know is delicate, right? Plus, the closer I looked at that rack, the more I realized it wasn't the best wood and it was kind of expensive, what with import duties, tax, etc.

    So I designed my own 7-tier system, using butcher blocks made from quality walnut from a place in Ohio called Hardwood Lumber Co. They looked over my (exasperatingly detailed) plans and said, "hey, we can do this". I'm gonna post a few pics if I can figure out how to do that. And for the dust cover, a simply acrylic box from ShopPOPDisplays, which sets into a groove on the top tier that they milled for me. Isolation cones are those cool-looking black chrome things from Parts Express, who also supplied the sturdy rubber feet. This may be my only project ever to get compliments from my wife, who would complain about a fart in a windstorm. So let me share that with you, (the pics, not the fart) if you have read this far and I can figure out how to post them.

    https://imgur.com/a/x4ohj1S
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  18. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    Very impressed. Hope you don't mind if I go ahead and link some pics directly.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
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  19. NationOfLaws

    NationOfLaws Friend

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    Do you mind me asking what the wood base cost for materials and milling? I wonder whether they’d run the same play again and ship it?
     
  20. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Wow, @Cow Dog, that is beautiful! I'm not a fan of pointy feet, but hey, that's your choice for your rack. What I would do is have level adjusters for the turntable shelf.

    One other thing is that I'm strongly disinclined to have anything heat-producing under a turntable. Vinyl is absurdly, horribly and destructively sensitive to even slight heat. I know there's a big chunk of wood in the way, but I'd try to have a gap. Maybe an empty shelf or cold components on the second shelf.

    Quibbles aside... let me repeat Beautiful. I don't see why hifi shouldn't look good, and yours... I'm in love already :)
     

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