Schiit Sol Turntable Review - Episodic.

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

  1. fallington

    fallington Rando

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    Thank you
     
  2. Bakerman

    Bakerman Rando

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    Has anyone tried a Denon DL-301MkII on this yet? I inquired at Schiit but so far no reply. Just trying to get my ducks in a row before sending the $$.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  3. Metro

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  4. SpeedSmith

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    That would be very unfortunate as it really hits a nice sweet spot in the market...especially for vinyl tweakers.

    I love my Sol and am super happy I picked up another tonearm when I did.

    I'm hearing parts shortages impacting many of the niche brands folks on SBAF like. Weird world we're living in right now.
     
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  5. oneguy

    oneguy Acquaintance

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    I’m hoping I can pick up another tonearm.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  6. nlitworld

    nlitworld Rando

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    Long time lurking on this thread and finally picked up a Sol on the latest batch that was released. Honestly setup was fairly straight forward and this thread was super helpful with setup and on all the tweaks and oddities to watch out for. I leveled the feet with computer standoff screws like a post on Steve Hoffman forum. I got the speed dead on 33.33 with using automotive masking tape around the platter to slow it down (was running 33.7 out of the box), and speed stability is still +/- 0.08. Cheaper than running a Music Hall cruise control box. I bought the Funk Firm Achromat and that thing really does bring out a ton of detail and musicality to the lower octaves. Also I fashioned a custom anti-skate weight to match the 1.7g that I needed.

    When I first assembled it, I put my existing 2M Blue cartridge and it sounded really good. Since I had seen in every review that this table scales with the quality of the cartridge, I went completely overkill and placed a Benz Micro Zebra on there. Holy crap did that send this thing to the moon in sound quality. Absolutely unbelievable the detail this deck can pull out of the groove. As much as I love getting swept up in the groove of the music, I really geek out on all the little detail you can pick out and this table does it so effortlessly.

    So thank you to all who have contributed here to make my new Sol experience so enjoyable. I hope that Schiit can get their supply chain issues figured out because this deck is absolutely too good to go the way of Betamax or the Mazda RX-7.
     
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    Last edited: May 20, 2021
  7. JackG

    JackG Rando

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    Good stuff, would love to hear more. How many layers of tape did you use? I may try a lighter AS weight as well. I'm using the heaviest one but the next smaller is much too light and I'd like it just a bit lighter.

    Overall I absolutely love this table.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  8. oneguy

    oneguy Acquaintance

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    I got an urge to peek under the hood while I await some parts and took some pics of what inside the electrics section of the plinth.


    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  9. nlitworld

    nlitworld Rando

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    So I ended up wrapping the platter 5 times and messed with the belt tension to get it perfect. 6 times had a nice easy tension to the belt but it was a little uneasy on stability at +/-.13% where 5 wraps and a tighter belt tension nailed it at +/-0.08%. It'll stretch out the belt a little quicker but it's worth it for better sound.

    As you mentioned a.s. weight, I wanted to touch on one thing. I bought the recommended Achromat in the 5mm size, and it actually has a tiny outward slope to it where the center is higher than the edges by the tiniest of margin. To get the sound focused I'm running about 1.25g of weight which is the tiny weight and a short metal twist tie wrapped around the line. It's amazing how quickly the image focus just snaps back to center when you get it right!
     
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    Last edited: May 24, 2021
  10. oneguy

    oneguy Acquaintance

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    I finally got around to ordering a new platter and bearing as my wobble was actually +/- 0.0469” when measured more accurately. $40 plus shipping if anyone is interested in knowing. Also 2 of the connectors on the back side of my cartridge are very loose (I bought this Sol used) so I have some KAB tonearm wire and Cardas gold plated cartridge connectors ($70ish was enough to buy materials to make 2 sets) coming to re-wire the tonearm. I believe this is the first Sol tonearm re-wire for a Sol so I’ll post pics and impressions when the re-wire is complete.
     
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  11. JackG

    JackG Rando

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    You rock. Was running at 33.6-33.7 and 5 wraps has me at 33.33. Just another instance in which analog (masking) tape beats digital (Cruise Control). :)
     
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  12. SuperRoo

    SuperRoo Acquaintance

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  13. JackG

    JackG Rando

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    Would be interested in seeing that.
     
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  14. oneguy

    oneguy Acquaintance

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    For the tonearm rewire project I chose the KAB 34 awg copper Litz wire and his 36 awg ground wire. The wire itself was easy to tin and it is very flexible even more so that a wet noodle.
    [​IMG]
    (KAB vs stock Sol wire below)
    [​IMG]
    For the connectors I chose the Cardas gold plated cartridge connectors and the gold plated DuPont connectors I found on eBay. Material cost wasn’t too bad but what upped the price was the tools to strip and crimp. I didn’t have anything that went down to 34 or 36 awg wire so I went with the Knipex Precision Mini Stripers on Amazon for $48 currently and DuPont crimpers on Amazon for $15. Lastly, the solder used for this project was the Kester 5% silver solder and little bit of Teflon heat shrink.

    The project began by cutting each of the wires to 16” long. I bought 3’ of wire because it was so inexpensive I could make a backup set or have leftovers in case the first attempt didn’t go well. The length of the wire provided by Schiit was about 17” from connector to connector but I felt given the flexibility of this wire I didn’t need extra limp wire hang around.

    After cutting, I tinned all the wires as as described on KAB’s website with no issues. The wires were soldered to the cartridge connectors by placing the wire in the Cardas connectors cup, heating the underside of the cup with the soldering iron and filling the cup with solder. Finally came heat shrinking the connectors.
    [​IMG]
    Next I heat shrinked all the wires together with about .5” of heat shrink to keep the bundle together and counter-clockwise twisted the channel pairs. At the other end I finished it off with about another .5” of heat shrink to keep the wires from untwisting as I continued to work.

    From here you have two options: 1. Pass the free end of the wire through the tonearm tube and continue on with the DuPont connectors or 2. Complete the DuPont connector end then pull the cartridge connectors through the tube using floss as a pull string. I elected to do #1 but unknowingly pulled the cartridge connectors through to tube while working so I ended up having to do #2 to get them back through so I know both methods will work.

    The last step involves stripping and tinning the other end of the wires and then soldering them to the DuPont connectors which will then be crimped. I know soldering and crimping is a no no but in this case the wire is small the crimp won’t hold it and the tabs on the gold plated terminals need to folded in so it fits in the plastic connector. I guess you could cut the tabs but seems like more trouble than it’s worth. Once this is done, insert the terminals into the plastic housing and use a push pin to fully seat them. Plug and unplug DuPont connector into the turntable a couple of time to make sure the terminals are fully seated and use the push pin as necessary to fix those that aren’t.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    You may notice on mine that I do not have a heat shrink boot around the connector to wire interface. I fully intend to I just didn’t realize (or think about) having a heat shrink with a high shrink ratio until after I started the build. I will eventually heat shrink it.
    [​IMG]
    Impressions will come in the next post. I started drinking while listening to the second record going through these wires and that’s probably not the best time to be critically listen.
    [​IMG]
    EDITED: to correct proofreading errors
     
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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
  15. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Drunk reviews > sober reviews, in terms of the general silliness that beget this forum. Especially considering we're talking about tonearm wiring which is not likely to turn anyone's system into garbage due to ill choice informed by cheap scotch.
     
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  16. ripblade

    ripblade Acquaintance

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    Nice job, oneguy. I haven't done a rewire but have replaced the tags as I don't particularly like the ones the Sol ships with. I can confirm that the Sol is arguably the easiest arm to rewire anywhere.
     
  17. oneguy

    oneguy Acquaintance

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    Haha, fair point!

    Thanks! Yeah 2 of my tags were loose which doesn’t sit well with me. Not sure if they came that way from Schiit or it was the previous owner but the new Cardas ones fit tight.
     
  18. oneguy

    oneguy Acquaintance

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    Well I’d categorize this wire as more forward tilted and open than the stock wire. A slight dip in the mids and more defined bass but with less quantity. Seems more transparent than the stock wire with better separation.

    One non-listening impression benefit of the KAB wire is wire routing doesn’t matter since it’s so limp. It is not going to pull on the tonearm as the stylus tracks inward.

    I’m a mids man so I’m hoping the mids open up more and it gains some bass. At this point I’d recommend this wire for someone looking to brighten an already dark system. We’ll see how it interacts with the new phono amp around the middle of next month.
     
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  19. ripblade

    ripblade Acquaintance

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    I think the Sol tags are Michell knock offs, but they're not made properly so the tines have no spring. They either fit perfect or not at all. I replaced them with old school tags made of stamped, unplated copper foil. They fit a wider range of pins, and are a bit shorter which is both a good and a bad thing: there's more room for bigger cartridges but less tag to hang on to.
     
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  20. ripblade

    ripblade Acquaintance

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    The wire needs time to break in....at least a couple of hours. I'm not sure why but I believe the soldering, handling, etc. temporarily alters the final electical characteristics. The wire needs time to bed in, electrically, so to speak.
     

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