Schiit Sol Turntable Review - Episodic.

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

  1. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Hmmm... numbers are not my thing, but, if you measure with rule having 1/64th divisions, you are measuring to 64ths (and you have good eyes) not to thousandths, and certainly not to tens of thousandths.
    Are dial test indicators, measuring to tenths (0.0001s), standard turntable players' accessories? If not, they should be. There is a huge gap in the market here! I don't know how any serious vinylphile can live without one. Especially as they are rather expensive :rolleyes:
     
  2. badf00d

    badf00d Friend

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    My calculator says 1/64 = 0.015625, and dividing that in half (to split the +/-) = 0.0078125. We can debate the precision but this seems like it would be in the ballpark.
     
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  3. Ruby Rod

    Ruby Rod Almost "Made"

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    Don't let your children grow up to be metrologists as they're worse than audiophiles. First you get a ruler. Then you want a better ruler. Wow, now I can measure a hundredth of an inch with a good machinist scale. Then you see inexpensive dial indicators, the gateway drug for 0.001". You get a few, they're cheap. Not good enough, so you get the nice Brown & Sharpe 0.0001" test indicator. Can't hold it stable enough so you get some good stands. Hey, they cost more than your 0.001" dials. Then you discover digital micrometers. Under $200 will get you the Mitutoyo 0-1" digital that resolves 1 micron. Wow, you've arrived... No, wait, how about some optical flats and a monochromatic light source. Not so bad on eBay, along with those import gage block sets for under a hundred bucks. Probably need some pin gages too. Hey, look at the cool tool-makers microscopes...

    Or, you could just go play some records. :)
     
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  4. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    AAAND you need the proper stable base for your optical flats, so may I recommend Midwest Steel? They'll do aluminum up to 38" thick and 94" wide: https://www.midweststeelsupply.com/store/#
     
  5. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Hey now, don't go kink-shaming people who are into sounding...


    I mean, if you're gonna do it right then it should be a spring legged steel frame supporting a heavy concrete slab. Float or pin your components on the slab with whatever combination of sorbothane or spikes or whatever, depending on application. A double frame/slab may be required for your juciest bojangles if you really want the full benefit of mass coupling yet environmental decoupling.

    (if you're wondering, my experience here is from working in labs where I wasn't allowed to hum because the vibrations from my voice would mess things up).
     
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  6. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    (Just following the thought process, because, hey, why not :) )

    The precision is not debatable, because it is mandated by the number of digits that are used. Thus, 1/10th expressed as 0.100 is measured to thousandths, whereas 1/10th expressed is 0.1 is the-rule-is-close-enough. So if talking 64ths (which does my head in: I just checked how small 32nds are on my rule --- although I do have a Mitutoyo vernier in the drawer) it doesn't actually work to use the number off the calculator, because you are not measuring to a thousandth of a thousandth. Even 15-thou would imply not 14 or 16.

    I'm just an old guy who looks back on life and wishes I'd become a machinist --- or even a tool maker. So there is a certain amount of sour grapes mixed with my pedantry!
    But Ruby Rod picks it up beautifully, and runs with it, and I don't doubt that some of the crazier vinyl audiophiles would see all that as perfectly reasonable! Like, how did I listen to music over all those decades without measuring anything?
    Ha ha... we're on to politics now! And as a Brit and an American, I'm sure we could go places with that one! This was one of my dad's pieces of pedantry: a ruler is a king or a queen: the thing you measure with is a rule.

    And an optical flat, I assume, is a room with a view? ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  7. badf00d

    badf00d Friend

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    If you want to split hairs, have at it. Or round the number. Or ignore it altogether. :D The number is close enough to spec to be good for me because I'd rather listen to the vinyl. I only tried to do what I could because Jason was passionate about the quality of the platter, and my kids commented on the wobble.

    Now it's time to get back to making my Yggdrasil feel neglected again...
     
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  8. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    If I hadn't wanted to split hairs, I would never have become an audiophile!

    Enjoy the music :D.

    And, enjoy contributing to making the Sol a better turntable, with whatever tools you choose to use :D :D.
     
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  9. lehmanhill

    lehmanhill Almost "Made"

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    I have been studying turntable designs with the idea of maybe doing a DIY turntable of my own design. Naturally, since the Sol is a new design, I have been looking at the available information. I haven't had hands on, so you guys feel free to correct me.

    In particular, the Sol has an innovative platter bearing design. They give us a hint in the specs, “Bearing: inverted, 0.5" dia x 2.5" long, Igus”. Inverted we understand. The 1/2” diameter is big, which is cool, but not the only one out there. But Igus had me stumped for a little while. It turns out Igus is a manufacturer of plastic bearings. Judging by the color of the bearing material in the set up video, I'm guessing that the bearings are “iglide J series”. And if true, that would be a really interesting choice.

    Most platter bearings are made of steel, bronze, or other metals. They are often running in an oil well which is pretty much necessary with metal bearings. The Sol has a dry platter bearing design. They can do this because the iglide J material is capable of long life and low friction, even without lubrication. It also has excellent damping properties and isn't too fussy about shaft smoothness. To my knowledge, the first time a material like this has been used in a turntable bearing.

    One area where the metal and plastic bearings differ is in modulus of elasticity. By nature, most plastics have much lower stiffness coefficients than metal, in this case, between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude. Still, the radial load on the bearings is very small, so this shouldn't be an issue.

    I did wonder about the creep resistance of the plastic bearing, but couldn't find any data. I noticed in the Schiit set up video that the platter wobbled slightly for the first few revolutions, then became smooth as glass. It made me wonder if something in the platter bearing system was taking a little bit of a set overnight and quickly recovering once spinning.

    Have any of you Sol owners tried playing with belt tension? My gut tells me that the lowest possible tension on the belt that will drive the platter correctly might give the lowest friction. I just don't know if that is better, worse, or the same for sound quality.

    One thing that I might have done differently is use a machined shoulder to locate the platter to bearing rather than a C clip, but I'm sure there were solid reasons for the choice.

    Overall, it is easy to tell that this bearing design is both successful and innovative. Any spinning shaft/bearing that has clearance will have the shaft wandering around in that clearance. That clearance correlates to measured Rumble. At -78 dB, the Sol's rumble is competitive. For example, the Technics SL-1200 Mk2 and later have -78 dB and so does the VPI Prime Scout which is $2500.

    I congratulate Schiit on once again finding a new and cost effective way to make good performance for a good price.
     
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  10. Ruby Rod

    Ruby Rod Almost "Made"

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    Anybody with a K2-W or similar for an avatar has my respect! I sold mine at a hamfest and wish I hadn't. You're right in many things, a bit wrong in others. Some of the secret sauce must remain secret, but I can tell you that a few other turntables have tried plastic bearing inserts. Over time they swelled and seized up, or had other problems because nothing in the past could perform like Igus materials. Still, you can't have the near zero clearance of a metal bearing. I can hone a metal bearing fit to about 15 millionths of an inch (on a good day) that will run like a dream but the plastic has to have more clearance and then rely on some side force to keep everything running true. The belt provides this. The early platter/bearing system had some wobble and this is being sorted out. It just comes down to measurements, tolerances and how the parts are assembled. Note I used the word system. People sometimes want to over simplify, but there are a lot of things in play here, not all of them obvious. OTOH, not rocket surgery either!
     
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  11. lehmanhill

    lehmanhill Almost "Made"

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    Thanks. I think its a fun avatar. My father rescued this K2-W from an analog computer at GM that was being replaced with digital. I've been tempted to try to power it up, but its probably better a an unpowered memory of the past.

    Thanks for your reply. I figured I would get it wrong in places. After all, there is only so much you can see in a photo. But I do want to thank you guys for leading me to the Igus materials. I'm used to DU bushings as found in car struts and they do a nice job, but can be pricey and are far less tolerant than several of the Igus materials.

    As for honing a metal bearing to those clearances, I salute your skills, man.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
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  12. Ruby Rod

    Ruby Rod Almost "Made"

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    It's less skill and more about what a Sunnen hone is capable of with not a lot of practice. BTW, the Igus material will run dry and last near to forever, but it gets a bit quieter with a film of oil.
     
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  13. Decomo

    Decomo Almost "Made"

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    Has anyone who got the betta version tried this solution for Anti-Skate?

     
  14. Ruby Rod

    Ruby Rod Almost "Made"

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    Well, I use pliers and put a nice bend about 0.15" away from the plinth, but the idea is the same. Must be my German ancestors and their need for precision. What you want is the anti-skate mono-filament coming off the arm at 90 degrees when the arm is on the lead in grove of the record. I wasn't going to suggest people bend the wire until Schiit did because I don't know if there's a chance of breaking it. Seems rugged enough, but I also don't know how easy it would be to pull it out of the plinth if it had to be replaced.

    I have a somewhat crude setup video on my site. The platter height I suggest won't work on the original beta units, but hopefully the rest of it will be useful, or at least you can laugh at me.

    http://www.conradhoffman.com/chsw.htm Fifth item down.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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  15. badf00d

    badf00d Friend

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    @Ruby Rod - I can see your video, but I get no audio on my iPhone and on my Mac. Uncommon codec?
     
  16. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    So many wonderful setup tips and tricks in this video, really for any turntable not just Sol. Thanks for sharing. I especially like the trick of using the index card as a baseline for setting the VTA. Setting paper under the front of the headshell while adjusting the azimuth was also very clever!

    PS - As another data point, I was able to play this video with sound on my 2018 Macbook Air, but like @badf00d I don't get any sound when playing it on my iPhone 6.
     
  17. haywood

    haywood Almost "Made"

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    You can copy the link and then paste it into VLC on your Mac or iOS device.
     
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  18. Ruby Rod

    Ruby Rod Almost "Made"

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    Afraid I don't know beans about video yet. I edited it down with the OpenShot video editor and what seemed like typical mp4 settings. Hopefully the VLC trick will work. I've got a couple more in the works as time allows.
     
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  19. badf00d

    badf00d Friend

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    VLC worked. Thank you for the video! Tremendously helpful, and looking forward to seeing more.
     
  20. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    Yes @Ruby Rod very fine video! Made me want to buy a Sol. Schiit should upload it to their YouTube channel or link to it from the Sol sales page at the Schiit website. It plays fine in Windows 10 on Firefox.
     
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