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Soulution Nature of Music

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  #1  
Old 03-26-2013, 12:26 PM
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bzr bzr is offline
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Default Soulution 520

Today was a vey good day for me as I got to compare the sound of preamps from Audio Research, Shindo & Soulution. The findings were quite startling.
My first port of call was to Grahams, also known here as audiot servant. His system consists of macbook, Chord Qute dac, Shindo Aurieges-L preamp, Sanders Magtech amp, Magnepan 20.7 speakers. Remember here, we are comparing a preamp of around 3k to one with a rrp of 25k, but this is a character of sound comparison. Grahams system is very musical with lovely warmth & detail as he has been very deliberate with selecting isolation etc to enhance the quality of sound in his system so it wasn't that surprising to sit in the sweet spot to be bathed in the rich sound from those Maggies, a very lovely & enjoyable experience that I would have been happy with in my own home.
When the time came to swap preamps it was definitely a very surprising comparison in sound signatures of the two, they weren't that far removed from each other as most would think. Sure one was a tube preamp & the other solid state, but where the Shindo had that rich tube sound the Soulution also had some of it's midrange musicality going on too, but more refined without as much bloom. It was a comparison that quite frankly surprised both Graham & myself, this Soulution had some very good things going on to the point of it being a very surprising & enjoyable time with the s/s showing no harsh traits & as expected transforming the system to another level.

Our next move was to Bills hi-fi place to compare the Audio Research Reference 5SE to the Soulution 520. The system was macbook, Lampizator 4 dac, Audio Reference 5SE preamp,Audio Research Reference 150 amp, Magnepan 20.7 speakers. With this system I didn't think the 150 had enough juice to really grab the Maggies & comparing it to the Sanders Magtech amp get the best out of them with power in reserve, I also thought that after this realisation that it may have prevented the 5SE from really showing it's true nature. From there we swapped the two preamps & the Soulution again raised the bar, this time with the figures being around the 18k & 25k, a touch more even on the scale of comparison.The Soulution once again was a delightful sound that just seemed right & very easy to listen to. The three of us also knew something wasn't quite right, the Audio Research Reference gear should be sounding better than it was as each component had 180 hrs on them. To solve this problem Graham wanted the Maggies changed out with the DeVore Orangutans 0/96. Well that certainly worked & the true magic of the ARC gear just leapt out of those efficient speakers, what a lovely & musical bit of gear you ARC owners have.
With all said & done, we all agreed that the choice was easy. If you wanted tubes then it was ARC or Shindo, but if you wanted solid state the new Soulution 5 series has narrowed the gap between the 2 to such a small difference that either is totally liveable with.
This new preamp that Soulution has given us is truly an exceptional piece of gear that blurs the line between what we think is a sound trait of either type of preamp. Of one thing I am sure, this is a very good preamp with zero fatigue & a nature about it that very, very few, could fault! It gets my high five!







Last edited by bzr; 03-26-2013 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:36 PM
joeinid joeinid is offline
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Great write-up Kev.

Thank you.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:45 PM
bakerman bakerman is offline
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Kev, It sounded like you guys had a great time enjoying each others gear. Apparently if someone wanted a more "tube-like" sound from a solid state piece, Soulution should be on the list.

One thing you didn't mention though, how does it sound with your 2301's & Strads?
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:50 PM
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bzr bzr is offline
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Hey Joe.
Doug, it's one of those "oh ++++" moments
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:08 PM
bakerman bakerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzr View Post
Hey Joe.
Doug, it's one of those "oh ++++" moments
That's all that really matters Kev...
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:09 PM
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Kev.. that was an enjoyable read , congrats on a fine pre-amp . I have listened to the ultra neutral 7 series , and am told that in comparison the 5 series are definitely more humane in nature . Enjoy !
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:24 PM
Car commander Car commander is offline
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I am supposed to get a 520 to try in my system. I am looking foward to it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Car commander View Post
I am supposed to get a 520 to try in my system. I am looking foward to it.
Jim, I'm quite confident you'll like it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:30 PM
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Kev
I found the Soulution gear with Focal speakers to be a top tier pairing. Your results do not surprise me at all.

Thanks for the very nice write up..
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:32 PM
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Jim, like you said in another thread, when you get to this level, they are all good, it just comes down to preference. For me as far as the sound spectrum goes if you put everything into groups of a 1/3 each as in very dark, neutral, & very bright I am pretty sure I'd like anything in the middle third that has some warmth/musicality to it & has detail. This is a very disarming piece of gear as in it has you listening to the music & revelling in the sound instead of trying to dissect the sound.
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