Schiit Sol Turntable Review - Episodic.

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

  1. ripblade

    ripblade Acquaintance

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    I hope it works out for you. I hear a little pitch waver at times too, but I assumed this was due to living within 1/2km of 5 commuter rail lines, coupled with living in a 130yo house with bouncy floors. I could put the Sol on a wall shelf but it won't help much if the earth tremors from the trains are shaking the foundation. And sometimes its an edge warp on the record....can't do nothing about that.

    I never noticed this problem with the Delphi, but it has arguably the best suspension in the business....and a price to match. OTOH the extensively modified RB250 arm I had on it is not quite as revealing as the Sol arm - of music, never mind pitch waver.

    In the meantime, I'm still floating some ideas on improving motor isolation and stability. I'm working on the theory that the can is top heavy, causing any outside stimulus to bobble it back and forth under load at the pulley.
     
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  2. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    Having listened to a good 10-12 sides of albums tonight - I can't say I've picked up any pitch issues now. I'm not particularly sensitive to pitch which is why I found it so odd that I was having issues in that area. I'll take some measurements once I get the new platter in, see if there's any improvement to be had.

    Measurements aside, one "tweak" I made that has seemed to basically render any bearing noise I was picking up moot, is the Gem Dandy PolyWeight. I'm not one to advocate putting rocks on cables and shit, but this thing really seems to help in my system. I had one as part of a George Merrill table package a couple of years ago and always enjoyed the sound on the PolyTable more with the weight than without. And, to me, it seems to help Sol just as much.

    It's a little expensive at $70 but as these things go, I guess that's not too horrible.
     
  3. SuperRoo

    SuperRoo Acquaintance

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  4. Bigpond

    Bigpond Rando

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    So, budget for $500 in tweaks from the get go and you’ll have a table competitive with the 3k tier...

    That’s not too bad, all things considered.

    I haven’t read any of Fremers reviews at analog planet before. He seemed a bit more free to be critical than at SP.
     
  5. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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  6. SuperRoo

    SuperRoo Acquaintance

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    I'm still going to try out the MF recommended Music Hall CC. Correct me if I'm wrong but won't it help stabilize speed variations.
     
  7. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    I'm using one and yea, better speed stability and accuracy is improved. I plan to keep it even after the new pulley arrives.
     
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  8. QXB98

    QXB98 Rando

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    Hey, I was wondering if any of you who own the Schiit Sol could give any sort of comparison to other tables you may have owned in the past? Say something from the likes of VPI, Rega, etc. I know the OP gave a few comparisons to other tables, but more opinions from others would help out too. Sorry if I’m jacking this thread, I can delete it and post my own if you wish.

    thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
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  9. ripblade

    ripblade Acquaintance

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    I always thought Schiit was targeting the US domestic Rega market, based on price/performance ratio. I would say they're slaying Rega with the SQ, but that's just my opinion.
     
  10. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    My previous tables, and how I feel they compare to Sol, in no particular order:

    ClearAudio Concept - It's been awhile but this is a pretty good comparison, I think. Both tables are somewhat light on their feet, revealing, and feature prodigious yet tuneful bass free of bloat. Both scale with the cartridge of choice. Sol wins though, fairly easily, due to its flexibility. Concept is minimally adjustable and is what I'd consider "high end starter table, set and forget."

    VPI Classic 2 - Hard to make a comparison here as I put this table in a poor position, on a wall shelf in a small room and was getting some feedback through the arm as a result. Took me way too long to figure that out. That said, I never felt like the Classic was all that agile and fast, not a "foot tapper" as it were. Also, tracking wasn't as good with the shorter arm and frankly, I find Sol easier to set up, especially for azimuth. VTA adjustment was better on the VPI but at its price point, that's a solid "duh." Speed was good on the VPI but speed control was very costly to add on.

    Pioneer PLX-1000 - Competes on price. More speed stable and accurate. Beyond that, if you listen to Sol and the 1000 back to back, which I did - same cart and everything - it will feel like your music has cut weight and can now run ultramarathons in comparison. The PLX is a very solid table but it is nowhere near "hi fi" in any sense. Loose bearings, short arm, not flexible. Needs upgrades to even remotely compete.

    Music Hall 7.1 - Similar to the Concept. And Sol is a far better table for the same reasons, plus the Concept arm and speed control was superior so Sol's arm is just in a different league IMO.

    George Merrill PolyTable Super12 - This one was fully upgraded - 12" Jelco arm, Improved mounting collar, PolyWeight, DMD motor controller. Put simply - the more I tweak Sol, the closer and closer I get to what the PolyTable delivered sonically. It is so close that at Sol's price point + tweaks, I'd seriously call this a draw. Both are very nimble, responsive and dynamic. Excellent base with excellent image capability. The PolyTable was more speed stable - I've closed that gap on Sol with a Cruise Control. PolyTable was quieter from a bearing/platter perspective. This is the one area that I'm not sure I can fully close the gap on. But, in terms of microdetail, plankton as it were relative to what vinyl can offer, Sol is just neck and neck with it. Both are just absolutely fun to play with and to play music on. This was a $3k setup without cart when I bought it a few years ago. It is no longer available due to Jelco closing up, so the closest you can now get is $3k without an arm.

    I've been chasing down that damn PolyTable sound for a couple of years. I'm close enough now with Sol, the PolyWeight, Cruise Control, and with better isolation and leveling of it, that I no longer "miss" the PolyTable.

    Also - the PT had the benefit of feeding a $3500 Herron phono stage and an Art9 LOMC cart. Sol is competing with it using an MP-500 and 30 year-old, used Mod Squad Phono Drive.
     
  11. QXB98

    QXB98 Rando

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    Thanks so much for your response! I’ve been tossing around the idea of getting back into vinyl for awhile. I tell myself if I get back into it I need to save up for a table in the $2,000-4,000 range that I’d be happy with for years to come. But, if the sol could get me about there in terms of perform I’d be happy. So would my wallet.
     
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  12. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    Re-ran the RPM test after reading a tip that you want to elevate the phone above the spindle, centered on the platter (I used a tupperware container turned upside down as a platform). Doing it that way, the numbers that popped up seem quite reasonable for a belt drive table like Sol. This is also using a Music Hall Cruise Control 2.0 on the 45 RPM pulley, using the CC to change speeds.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    Going to need a bigger box, but it'll work for one arm, for now.

    Got my craft on! Turned a wine box and a block of foam into a reasonable and VERY cozy space for a Sol tonearm. And I can even write fancy little messages on it in chalk. How about that.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. SuperRoo

    SuperRoo Acquaintance

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    I'm hanging mine.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    I was doing that with 2 hooks but the location was less than ideal and there really aren't many better ones. Damn small rooms...
     
  16. Nostinkinhifi

    Nostinkinhifi Rando

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    Hi All,
    First, I must tell you that I neither consider myself an expert and as far as audiophile it’s more like maybe just part time even though I do listen to my system daily. Sometimes records, sometimes streaming from Qobuz. I have two turntables a Rega P3 that has been highly modified running a Nagaoka MP200 and the Schiit Mani. I also have the subject of this post the Schiit Sol with the Grado Opus 3 and a Ifi phono stage. I hesitated on pulling the trigger on the Sol due to all the postings on this site. I was totally wrong! Putting the Sol together was a breeze. The cartridge was near perfect. The only problem I had was that I was missing an Allen wrench and a set screw on the motor. Schiit resolved that quickly. They sent me a complete set of Allen wrenches and a new motor.
    Now maybe I was lucky but I tend not to think so. I have a bunch of other Schiit stuff and yes I am a fan. A Freya+ and pair of Schiit Aegirs to drive my Zu Soul Supremes. In my bedroom a Schiit Valí, Schiit Modi Multibit and Loki to drive my headphones and I have a Schiit Valhalla that was sending signal to a pair of Kef LS50 W speakers that will go into my office once my office is finished. So yes once again I am a Schiit fan so perhaps my outlook is bias but here is the thing. I prefer the sound of the Sol as it is right now to my Rega. Is it the turntable? Can’t say it is completely. I have switched things around, yes it was painful and I hate to say it’s not the cartridge, it’s not the turntable it was the phono stage. Yes, the Ifi phono 2 was $549 as compared to the Mani $129 but the difference is serious. I am now waiting for Schiit to put their TT arms on sale as I hope to buy one and match it to the Hana ML cartridge.
    Bottom line the Sol was not hard to put together and it’s a joy that I think can handle a really serious cartridge like the Hana.
     
  17. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    I contacted Schiit directly to get my 2nd Sol arm. They're not listed on the site but they can be procured with an email to Sales, just FYI.
     
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  18. Nostinkinhifi

    Nostinkinhifi Rando

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    Great Thanks! Last time I asked was a couple of months ago. Working on a new streamer right now but will go for the new arm and cartridge after.
     
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  19. Nostinkinhifi

    Nostinkinhifi Rando

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    I ordered the extra arm. Thanks. Has anybody tried the mat recommended by Michael Fremer? Achromatic 5 mm? I think.
     
  20. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    I'm using one, zero complaints. It is thick though. I am also using a GEM PolyWeight and feel that I really cant ask for much more in terms of bass articulation and focus. Weights are tricky territory though so I won't pretend to have arrived at a scientific conclusion here. Though I will say the PolyWeight is much less about mass than it is about energy dissipation, just like the mat. But the way the table sounds with both the mat and weight... I'm done messing about :)
     
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