Review: Audiovalve Solaris – Oh Baby!

Features & Specs

http://www.audiovalve.info/solaris/2015%20solaris%20eng.pdf

– consequent dual mono design
– 2x 0.15mm copper for top and bottom layer
– multi VIA layer grounding basis, pcb design based on the theoretical principles of the “kelvin-wiring”
– heavy 3 mm laser cut steel case – coated
– clipping indicator (shows faulty tubes or overload)
– 8 power tubes (4 per channel) – 6GV18 (6F5P)
– full automatic DC/AC servo biasing
– multi match transformers (PIKATRON) included
– power output mode selector for: IMP – OTL – STAX modes
– ALPS volume remote control
– Balance pot. +/- 3dB
– green illuminated main power switch for power ON mode
– heating and plate voltage “soft start” circuit
– headphone protector circuit
– reversible heating / plate current limiter
– installed OPA 134
– highly accurate implemented stereo MM phono module – “old school design”

– OTL – Output Transformer Less tube amplifier (design 1982)
– double mono construction
– power output: each channel 12 watt sin at 220R load in OTL mode
– bandwidth: 15 – 100,000 hz
– damping 3600
– s/n ratio 100 dB
– distortion 0.002 % at 1 watt – 200 Ohm load
– max. OTL – mode: output 120 VAC eff
– max. STAX – mode: output 480 VAC
– gain: OTL mode 34dB, STAX +12dB by output transformer ratio
– gain switch for all modes: +8dB
– input sensitifty. 0dBm, resistance 47k
– bias voltage: 300 + 580 VDC
– IC – full autom. – controlled bias – Class-A mode
– patented full automatic servo tube biasing
– power consumption min. 100 watt
– size 360 depth x 320 width x 140 height mm
– weight 10kg

LOW IMPEDANCE mode:

Test load 4Ω: (6 Watt an 8Ω/channel)

bandwide: 15 – 100.000 Hz

damping: 15

min. load 4 Ω

gain IMP: 34dB – 15,5 dB = 18,5 dB gain Stax: 34dB – 9,5dB = 24,5 dB

 

OTL mode:

Test load 220Ω. ( 8 Watt an 100-400Ω/channel)

bandwide: 12 – 150.000 Hz

damping: 3200 (220 Ω)

gain 0: 34 dB

gain +: 42 dB

max. load 2000 Ωs

 

STAX mode:

( Step-UP-transformer )

bandwide: 15 – 100.000 Hz

Bias: 300V+580 VDC

Vout: max: 470 VAC rms

gain IMP 0: 34 dB + 6 dB = 40 dB

gain IMP +: 42 dB + 6 dB = 48 dB

gain Stax 0: 34dB +12 dB= 48 dB

gain Stax +: 42dB +12 dB= 54 dB

 

 

Review: Audiovalve Solaris – Oh Baby!
4 (80.47%) 43 vote[s]

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

4 Comments

  • Reply February 8, 2018

    dale thorn

    As I read this, I was thinking – awesome amp with the right headphone, but not every headphone likes tubes. It looks amazing though.

  • Reply February 9, 2018

    Jogi Güdeler

    Oh yes,

    this amp is based on a very very old circuit design from 1984 (RKV) – I had that amp long time ago and I was rather pleased (AT THAT TIME !)…

    But nowadays…?

  • Reply February 9, 2018

    Wim Geleijnse

    Thanks Lieven for this great review.

    You confirmed what I already knew. I also use the Solaris for my Hifiman with a noir hybrid hpc headphonecable from Forza Audio and Siltech cables for connection. Together with the cd-player Lua Appassionato GS NOS I’ve super sound.
    The midrange and voices are not to beat and the tones are very very clear. For me this is one of the best equipment I’ve ever heard.

    Kind regards,

    Wim

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      JON KRAFT

      How would you say the Solaris is as a pre amp? Do you know how it compares to for example Auralic Taurus which is an exceptional preamp?

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