Schiit Sol Turntable Review - Episodic.

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by purr1n, Sep 10, 2019 at 1:16 PM.

  1. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,187
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Calgary AB, Canada
    When I first saw that photo (a link to the article was posted here earlier) I presumed it was staged just so the carts could be seen - the 4 on the left are all as far forward as they can go, and the 5th is not far from the front.

    It does seem odd that the 103R is such a bad fit given that the 103 was one of Mike Moffatt's recommendations for the table... Tube length out or protractor awry on purr1n's example, as was speculated earlier?

    Edit: Hmm, but then looking at his pictures again, even as far forward as it'll go in the shell doesn't leave much room...
     
    Richgard likes this.
  2. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Likes Received:
    116
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Baltimore
    I'm certainly not an expert, but I didn't have too much trouble following along the video. The one step I did get frustrated with was the paper protractor, which I wasn't having a great time with. I quickly decided that was probably some inexactness on my part wrt. cutting on the lines, and I swapped out for a cheap mirrored one which worked well enough. I went ahead and set the cart all the way forward, as in the instruction video (and without pressuring the pins), but this didn't actually seem to interfere with the alignment at all.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I think the angle at which I took these pictures makes it look less aligned than it is.

    That's not to say things went without issue... but I think that's more of a support or me being a dumbass problem.

    I'm actually only getting audio out from one channel on the tonearm. No audio on the other channel.

    I've tried swapping the channels to see if the problem changed sides at a few places. Swapping the RCA cables from Sol to the Mani causes the channels to swap. Reversing the 4-pin connection from the tonearm to the Sol causes the channels to swap. Switching the L and R pins from the cartridge to the tonearm does not cause the failing channel to switch (I do get the other channel's audio out instead).

    I think this means that the issue is in my tonearm and not the cartridge or my alignment. Dunno, I might just be a dumbass. Already contacted Schiit for help & support but if you spot me being an idiot of the nth degree and know how to cure me, please PM me so we don't derail the thread.
     
  3. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

    Friend JK47
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,560
    Dislikes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    "Surf City USA"
    The Zu and Pardox 103 upgrades kick it up another notch, everything is tighter and more defined. Can almost compare it to adding the center weight and periphery ring to a VPI Classic...
     
    dmckean44 likes this.
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    48,300
    Dislikes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    You used a totally different cart, one with a short backside and needle toward the middle. The DL103 (large and long body with needle at the front) was one with the tight fit. I had less of an issue with the more compact Shure M95HE.
     
    Richgard and monacelli like this.
  5. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2017
    Likes Received:
    691
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    PNW
    This looks like a relatively easy fix, but I am quite surprised Schiit didn't catch this in development. They've had a prototype at the Schiitr for 2+ years, right?! It makes me wonder if the production parts are slightly different, etc. I would have been pissed if the thing showed up and I had to go to those lengths to mount a very popular, industry standard cartridge. Hopefully it gets sorted out soon.
     
    Ash1412, RatSalad and Ringingears like this.
  6. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,312
    Dislikes Received:
    100
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Say whaaaat? Good news: there are solutions to these problems. Here is one such solution.
     
    Decomo, skem, JoshMorr and 1 other person like this.
  7. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

    Friend BWC MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,556
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Munich
    Was the platter and motor pulley at least reasonably close to level when the belt wobbled? I know from experience that if the belt rolls up and down the speed instability is so bad the TT is entirely unusable. No user adjustable feet? Are you supposed to perfectly level the shelf that you're going to put it on?
    Which belt did you use? I ask because my dad and I sometimes use different diameter belts to tweak the speed in our DIY designs (effectively changing the pulley and platter diameter), but in a commercial design there should be absolutely no tweaking the speed. If the belt's larger now it will run too fast. Did you check with a strobe? I know my dad's VPI Classic runs too fast.
    Smaller nylon string should run too slow or there's an even bigger problem.

    Which alignment did you use with the DL103R? I doubt it's going to make much of a difference, but maybe something was off. Otherwise that's a massive fail.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019 at 11:40 PM
  8. Decomo

    Decomo Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    203
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Australia
    Great to see actual feedback from users. Cheapo rubber belt is relatively easy fix and Schiit can provide better belt as upgrade option or include it for Free. I do not mind the challenge and taking time to set up all of minor quibbles but the main concern is the headshell workable distance for cartridge. All of photos and videos that I have seen so far shows cartridges all the way out. I guess that easiest fix is the headshell to be longer so there is a bit more room for cartridge pin connector at the back and also cartridge can move inwards a bit. i am also fairly newbie into TT so please correct me if my understanding is incorrect.
     
  9. badf00d

    badf00d Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    32
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Ohio
    My Sol will be delivered this afternoon, but I won't get to start setting it up until the weekend. Marv, thanks for posting the photos and descriptions. You may well have saved me from Sol-raging. :)
     
  10. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,638
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I'll eat my words on your profile post, this ^ is pretty out there, lol.

    Also, the band not riding the platter level is tragic.

    Does that count as hard set up or something that doesn't work?
     
    Hooncake likes this.
  11. Bloom

    Bloom MOT: Bloom Audio

    Joined:
    May 5, 2019
    Likes Received:
    227
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    NJ
    Home Page:
    Marv, this thread was such a good read (and quite entertaining). Thanks for sharing all this. I still plan to get a Sol once my youngest is older and having this in our family room isn't extremely risky...hopefully that version will be a lot easier to assemble.
     
    Thad E Ginathom and Decomo like this.
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    48,300
    Dislikes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    The stock smaller diameter rubber belt wobbled up and down the on platter. Everything was approximately leveled. No feet. I had to shim my Ikea Lack coffee table. I didn't check with strobe. Really need a precise speed controller anyway. Running slow is OK for me. Lowers A tuning to the proper frequency where all beings can live in harmony.

    I use Lofgren for better tracking of inner groves of old records. The sheet that Schiit provides is Lofgren. Again, I haven't printed out my own or taken a spindle to bearing measurement.

    It works. Just need elbow grease. The headshell clearance is the most troubling, but it can be worked around with custom connectors and solder work if there is ever an issue. The band is an easy fix for me personally since I do prefer the sound of string (nylon, silk, etc.) over rubber. All the other issues can be corrected since there are infinite adjustments (except feet): platter height, bearing height / VTA, bearing, tonearm pivot cup height, motor pulley height, cueing height, etc. In other words, it's always possible to fix via adjustment. More adjustments are good; and bad.

    It would have been easier if out-of-box, the setup was close. It should have come with the platter (and associated cueing height) raised. Then I wouldn't have had to adjust so many other things, resort to Lego blocks, and then switch everything back.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 9:29 AM
    Richgard and sphinxvc like this.
  13. wbass

    wbass Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Likes Received:
    35
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Looks like a greyhound of a turntable: elegant, skeletal, temperamental, but runs beautifully when everything's right. I've been eagerly waiting for this, but might hang on a bit to see how all the early adopter set-up pains get worked out. A speed controller would be great. My Technics SL1200-GR is very precise on speed, and, after having it for a year now, I really seem to be sensitive to pitch fluctuations on other decks. Thanks to all for sharing their impressions of the Sol. At the very least, it will likely shake up the TT world nicely.
     
    monacelli likes this.
  14. allegro

    allegro Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2017
    Likes Received:
    404
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Great thread. Considering the popularity of the Denon DL103 I was surprised it was not a drop in fit. From photos @purr1n posted just making the headshell longer won't fix the problem: the carbon fiber arm itself also needs to be made about 3/8 inch shorter to provide room for the connectors. If Schiit does not want to change the stock arm they could sell an optional arm made just for longer cartridges.

    Edit: There is an active thread at Steve Hoffman forum echoing same complaints about the tonearm and drive belt.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 12:19 PM
  15. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,955
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    India
    I think old guys such as me who just want to listen to records like we used to would do the same.
    Did I say that? I don't believe I said that!

    Plainly, anything that needs assembly is not going to something one listens to out of the box for a while before even considering adjustments --- but is a fairly easy starting point too much to expect?

    I was never going to buy a new turntable: I don't use the one I have. But I wanted to like this one vicariously. Oh well, once everyone is over the setup-blues I suppose I still might.
     
  16. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    5,159
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    This is really disappointing to read. The head shell problem is significant and I’m shocked Mike let it go to production with that kind of a flaw. Also I’d much rather have adjustable feet for leveling instead of adjustable on the fly VTA. Schiit was quick to point out that on the fly VTA is a feature usually reserved for tables that are thousands of dollars, but neglected to mention they aren’t including a feature that most turntables that could be considered quality have.

    I get the philosophy that turntables are not plug and play and require time and experimentation to get the best sound, but most turntables worth their salt make it easier than this. I guess instead of money you’re paying in time (and frustration). I may wait for a revised version or I might take another look at the MFSL tables.
     
    Olor1n, Dr. Higgs and Decomo like this.
  17. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

    Friend BWC MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,556
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Munich
    Uhm, I just watched the setup video and noticed quite a bit of platter wobble. I have to say I really like the look of the tonearm lift mechanism, though. From 23:37 onwards look at the underside of the platter when it's rotating:

    The platter seems to move up and down almost a millimeter once every rotation, not to mention the belt which really does drift like Marv mentioned. The belt can be replaced, but replacing the whole platter bearing is not cheap/easy. Does the platter really wobble like that with it set up properly on a level desk? Maybe they filmed their video on a prototype, at least I'd hope so.

    Side note: Me and my dad bought a platter which seemed like a good deal at the time, but we later realized the whole construction was cheap and the bearing tolerances were crap. It also moved up and down a bit while it was turning like the Sol in this video. We found a fix for it that didn't require a new bearing, but that might not work for the Sol. Oh and we ended up buying a new platter, too. You know how the saying goes... buy cheap, buy twice.
     
    Thad E Ginathom, obsiCO, skem and 4 others like this.
  18. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,187
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Calgary AB, Canada
    @purr1n , do you still have the PlatterSpeed app on a phone? It'd be interesting to see the results with the stock belt and with your fishing-line.
     
  19. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2015
    Likes Received:
    744
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Jersey City/NYC
    I got one in tonight so @sphinxvc @Hooncake and I should have some early listening impressions over the weekend.

    My initial impressions based only on basic assembly and checking out the tolerances are... not encouraging.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 6:19 PM
    Olor1n, Lyander and sphinxvc like this.
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    48,300
    Dislikes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    @Serious: folks on other forums, I think Hoffman mentioned platter wobble. I just took a close look at mine, which has a little bit of it. Eyeballing, it looks like 0.3mm.

    The VPI Classic 4 platter doesn't seem to have any wobble, maybe a tiny hair that I could see, but let's just say it's way too close to make a call and I wouldn't bet a dollar that it could really be off because it could just be a dull spot from a fingerprint.

    One of my Sol arms has two spots inside the bearing cup that will balance on the bearing. Possible machining / tolerance issues. It drove me a bit nuts because azimuth adjustment was different every other time I mounted it. Took me a while to figure this out.

    Really hate bringing this stuff up, and I certainly don't want to kill this product, but I think these observations are fair game and many of them seem to be consistent with that of other users.

    I hope that Schiit will make it right for the early adopters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 7:58 PM
    Thad E Ginathom, Olor1n, YMO and 8 others like this.

Share This Page