Campfire Solaris 2020 Mini-Review and Measurements

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by purr1n, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I will keep this one very succinct, but this thread for the OG Solaris is a good place to start. If you are not already familiar with the Solaris, which is a hybrid IEM that meshes two driver types, many aspects of the OG Solaris are still pertinent.
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/campfire-audio-solaris-raising-the-bar.6926/

    IMG_20200601_100944.jpg

    The Solaris 2020 is an update that addresses a few things with the OG Solaris, at least in my mind. None of these issues were deal-breakers, and some may even be inclined to prefer the OG. In other words, I am not suggesting that everyone upgrade; but rather read and consider before doing so.
    1. OG Solaris' laid-back upper mids (and lower and maybe overall treble) which was a vocal complaint by more than a few. Keep in mind that more than a few preferred this presentation. I was OK with it and continued to use the Solaris.
    2. OG Solaris' physical footprint, too long a nozzle, too large a housing. I wasn't a fan of this, but I could like with it.
    Lets first take a look at the physical differences between the OG Solaris and Solaris 2020. I took a few photos to give you guys a better idea. The dimensions are smaller all around. The OG Solaris is black / gold. The Solaris 2020 is all black.

    IMG_20200601_101047.jpg
    IMG_20200601_104406 (1).jpg
    IMG_20200601_104703.jpg

    As for whether these are suitable for exercise, definitely much more than before. However, the fit isn't quite as snug as the Ara / Andromeda type housing. The latter have nozzles that taper which allow for deeper insertion if desired and snugger fit in the concha. With the Solaris, there's only so far that I have shove them into my ear.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    See general measurement notes before digesting the plots: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/note-on-iem-measurements-changelog.2153/ Any who allow a single or handful of measurements to define sound quality will be immediately banned from SBAF.

    Campfire Solaris 2020
    Frequency Response
    upload_2020-6-1_11-0-1.png

    Compared to OG Solaris (PUR) - fresh measurement.
    upload_2020-6-1_11-4-36.png

    Compared to Ara (GRY)
    upload_2020-6-1_11-6-51.png

    Subjectively, the Solaris 2020 sounded quite a bit brighter in the mid-treble and less laid-back in the upper mids. It's hard to say from the measurements for the highs because anything past 8kHz is questionable.
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Campfire Solaris Distortion L
    upload_2020-6-1_11-14-0.png

    Campfire Solaris Distortion R
    upload_2020-6-1_11-14-30.png

    Really, no much in terms of changes from the OG that can be gathered, given the difficulty and reliability of these types of measurements. I'm not hearing much of a difference here in terms of distortion either.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  4. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Interesting left/right.

    Subjectively, is that audible to you?

    Also, on a side note... while I think the smaller shell size is welcome with the new Solaris, I find the new look a bit too muted. The gold/black look of the original looks a bit better to me... but maybe it's just me.
     
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  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I did those measurements a few times, reseated, etc. to make sure. I didn't hear a difference. It's hard to when the differences are narrow band and not too far in amplitude from each other. OG definitely more blingy. It's still very much like the old Solaris, just a bit brighter and with the upper mids filled (more than measurements here would suggest).
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  6. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Many people found the gold plating quite gaudy :D Could be a West vs East sensibility thing...

    You can buy the iFi copper-gold-silver cable to bring back that gold accent :D
     
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  7. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    Other comparisons I've seen say that the 2020 is a little bit fuller sounding - do you hear that? There''s a thinness/naseliness in the OG upper mids that bothers me at times.
     
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  8. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    I mean... I'm probably secretly a part of the rich Asian kids with hearing damage (tm) club. But honestly, the new ones are like... all black. That's as "muted" as I think anything can ever be.

    Have you seen the cringey orange, flowery 64Audio Tia Fourte? I'd cringe at that. Solaris is... okay.

    And of course, sound quality is still #1.

    If anything, I actually would prefer to have a Solaris with slightly less 8KHz. Its upper midrange presence is... just about enough to my ears. Looks like the 2020 is more of a "different take" rather than an improvement. That's not a bad thing, actually. Gives more choice.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Depends what's meant by fuller sounding or thinness. The OG Solaris was "fuller" and "less thin" using my understanding of these terms because of the lows and mids are higher relative to the upper mids and treble.

    In terms of "nasal", that usually means a low or mid-midrange bump in relation to the mid-to-upper mids. For sure I would say this has been corrected. I typically use Taylor Swift's You Belong to Me to evaluate this. The mastering is kind of off to feature certain aspects of Swift's voice, but it's overdone. Her voice during the chorus played back on a neutral system will be harsh, perhaps even startling so. If her voice isn't hrash, then I know the upper mids or harmonic ranges of the female voice are scooped, which they are on the OG Solaris. The Solaris 2020 largely takes care of these issues and indeed Swift's voice is not nasal and harsher (it really should be a tad harsher than that if the IEM were more neutral).
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Campfire Audio Impedance
    upload_2020-6-1_16-43-31.png

    Campfire Audio Step Response (driver time-alignment)
    upload_2020-6-1_16-44-34.png
     
  11. Rockwell

    Rockwell Almost "Made"

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    Haha...well I prefer the look of my abalone to either of the other two versions and I'm pretty sure it's at least subconsciously partially due to the fact that abalone is highly valued on the west coast of BC where I live :). Both the gold and abalone versions are very striking and imho classy looking.[/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2020
  12. USAudio

    USAudio Rando

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    These are tempting. I find myself moving more and more to IEMs as I don't like being trapped in one room to listen to quality sound. However, they sure are pricey - they cost almost as much as my Lyr 3, Bifrost 2 and HD650s combined.
    I guess that is the price we pay for quality sound and in this case ... mobility! :headbang:
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  13. theveterans

    theveterans Acquaintance

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    IMO from a technical standpoint, the Solaris2020’s resolution in plankton is superior than the Sennheiser HD 650 though
     

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