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Up for sale is my Burson Soloist SL headphone amp. It's in very good condition and functions as new exempt for a very small black line on the bottom of one side of the case. I have tried to capture this mark in the third photo. Includes the manual and AC cord. Asking $399 shipped in the CONUS, PayPal fees included.
Ok, just a quick overview for anyone wondering about this most under-reviewed/previewed amp in the history of hifi! I popped into the offices of addicted to audio in Kew East down here in Melbourne, they have a lovely collection of amps & dacs and headphones available for direct comparison. Here's my PS500s getting ready to make lurve with the toys: A very distracting view while waiting for the very patient Guillaume (apols if I misspelt!) to reconnect various DACs I managed to compare the Soloist SL & separate DA-160 DAC to the CONDUCTOR. Yes, for a relative audiophile N00B, I feel rather spoilt. Surprisingly, contrary to my own & Guillaume's expectations, I found the first combo far superior to the conductor! Yep, an around $1400 combo (plus interconnects) sounded better to my ears than the fabled conductor. At similar volume levels, the sound stage and attack of the SL & Dac combo sounded way ahead to my ears. Emphasis on MY EARS, and MY headphones (only around 20 hrs burn in). So in short, IMHO the SL is the bargain of the century. I've filmed an accompanying video to this overview to be edited on the weekend, but I actually filmed my comparing of the (kindly) loaned Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear (around a thousand bucks AUD) to the $650 Burson. With my Grados, sorry, the Burson tore it to pieces. Then the DAC. What a pain, as my decision forced me to select a separate DAC, rather than the appealing convenience of the all in one Conductor. The chore of it all :-) We compared the DA-160 ($700ish) that I was already in love with, with a $1000 Violectric 200 amp. A very close call, I think I preferred the Burson again! So Guillaume recommended I try the M1DAC from Musical Fidelity, while he & another chap were struggling to get the drivers working for another well reviewed and anticipated DAC, the hard to pronounce Schiit Gungnir, around $1400. Boy did they work hard to get that recognised on the laptop. Thanks guys! Slam, the M1 really impressed, a leap above the more expensive Violectric. More defined, natural bass to my ears. A better soundstage. All the standard descriptions. I loved it. So it was with great anticipation I waited for the Schiitty to be prepared. If the M1 was this good, imagine what that thing would be like! Almost twice the price. Sadly, I couldn't pick much difference. I went back to the M1, then back to the Schiit, getting ready for Guillaume to hit me on the head for swapping too much. This final swap convinced me to go for the M1, the bass definition, air and imaging really did feel superior, to me anyway. So that's it, I ended up with this amazing combo, I'm loving it already at home, before any serious burn in. In the end I'll be up for more money than with the Conductor, as I'll need to get a better power cord for the amp at least, but even so, I'm happier with the sound. So, anyone considering the too good to be true Soloist SL, I highly recommend you give it a try, for headphones at least! One final note - while waiting, G (again, kindly but with a twinkle in his eye), let me try the fabled Grado GS1000is. That was scary! But happily, I listened to my favourite tracks, and thought 'ho-hum', the intensity of sound, the 'reality' that I was used to with my PS500s, was NOT THERE. I was rather chuffed, those cans are a true bargain. I hope this post helps my fellow headphone addicts, as well as Burson (go Aussies!!), Musical Fidelity and the Addicted to Audio crew. Go ahead, invade their offices! Never has it been such a great time for audiophiles. Simon (and no, I have no affiliation with Addicted to Audio, I just think it's worth spreading the news when a store is so helpful and has pretty good prices too)