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Schiit Sol- The Next Great Turntable?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by msinderson, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Schiityttnoob

    Schiityttnoob Well-Known Member

    I'm going to go out on a limb, and say they caught it when they realized how big of a problem it was. They took swift action and stopped it from being a disaster. Lemons to Lemonade and all that.
    Derleth likes this.
  2. oldtinears

    oldtinears Well-Known Member

    san diego ca
    As a Schiit serial customer, I am astonished that they apparently did no beta testing for Sol. A clean-sheet design? Of a product the company had zero experience with? Cue the mock rhetorical question, what could possibly go wrong? Well, we've found out. Even more mystifying because the co-founders are on a first-name basis with a cadre of customers/supporters who are experienced in all aspects of the audio hobby and live an easy drive away from the factory. A few emails would have had volunteers lined up. And within 24 hours, Jason would have been fully (and privately) apprised of all the issues we've been reading about on various forums.

    Did Schiit get over-confident because the table was designed by an honored analog guru? The same guru who made the headshell too small for many common carts? An idiotic mistake which raises many questions.

    Frankly, Schiit has shot themselves in the foot with a 12 gauge, and will be limping for a long time after all the so-far identified glitches have been handled and the unsuspecting beta testers mollified. Sol has to be the tweakiest audio product released this century, described by some as a kit of parts from which a turntable may be assembled. With some luck, and profanity. Which may have been a perfectly sound launch strategy in the 1950s, but those audiophiles are dead. Or deaf, or streaming. How many millennials are gonna put up with the hassle?

    And while all those adjustments may appeal in principle, in practice they just give the uninformed that many more chances to screw the pooch. There are maybe 100 people in the country who know how to set up a turntable. Oh, lots of people think they know, and I bet a fair number of carts and records will be ruined in the process of proving that, no, they do not know. Not to mention that some of those adjustments are far from easy to make. My magic eight-ball suggests there will be a high return rate on this product.

    The upside is that the Schiit co-founders are fast learners. Future products, like the long-rumored CD transport, will doubtless be thoroughly beta-tested. In a year or so, I may well pick up a Sol Mk. III.
  3. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    The Six
    That's a good question: while I sit here and wait for mine to clear customs, I wonder how many of the initial buyers decided to accept Schiit's offer of a full refund?

    Show of hands?
  4. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Schiit did this "mistake" on purpose as a marketing stunt. To drive home the fact that the Sol is not a turntable for noobs and that anyone new to turntable setup should not buy one. ;)
    JohnCarter17, Aftermath and bever70 like this.
  5. Balthazar

    Balthazar Forum Resident

    That seems like a smart play. Aside from the table itself, I also imagine they'll have improved their setup videos and have a lot of excellent forum feedback from the early adopters to help less experienced buyers with fine-tuning details of the setup.

    I think most people assumed this would all be ready because the turntable was reputedly SIX YEARS in the making, but I guess not.

    Anyway, it's just audio. None of this stuff is an emergency and they did the right thing in responding to the crisis.

    I would probably opt for a full refund if I were an early adopter, but I have a lower threshold for tinkering than most.

    I'll be most curious to see input from SH'er @toddrhodes as he once owned a GEM Dandy PolyTable and the Sol looks like a ghetto version of that table.
    Kyhl and toddrhodes like this.
  6. insidious meme

    insidious meme Forum Resident

    So Cal
    I don't think there were a lot of first buyers. Yes, there are a bunch of Schiit fans out there, but I think they're mostly digital. And first buyers of a product that a company has never made before... woo wee. But I've never been one to be the guy who needed to be the first on my block to own anything.
  7. inperson

    inperson Forum Resident

    You're right. My apologizes.
    cashmir and Cyclone Ranger like this.
  8. Schiityttnoob

    Schiityttnoob Well-Known Member

    I will say this, Mr Hoffman seems to have his ducks in a row when it comes to turntables. I enjoy reading his posts in the SOL thread on SBAF. I'm just wondering why he wasn't involved every step of the way, handholding Schiit, to make sure they implemented his design more precisely. I would suspect that SOL and Schiit will end up better off after this whole deal gets sorted out and resolved. Yes I'm turntable noob, so my opinion counts for little, but I do really like the look of that table. Someone on SBAf recommended using thick cutting board, and leveling underneath that.. the table would look pretty good sitting on a piece of butcher block, stained black.
  9. Derleth

    Derleth Active Member

    Raleigh, NC
    I got one, and my SN is in the 170's so if they started at #1... I also opted for the $300 (plus tax) and I am having fun messing with everything on the TT.
    I agree, this TT is not for most, but Schiit could easily (once the major issues are solved) sell a pre setup version with say a mid level Grado, at a premium, but it would hurt the low price point. Perhaps they could partner with someone local, they sell the TT and the setup and cart choices are through a third party.
    Schiityttnoob likes this.
  10. Derleth

    Derleth Active Member

    Raleigh, NC
    PS, right now I feel like i have a "you break it, they buy it" policy, so i really have nothing to lose but time ... and a cart and record... if i really mess something up.
    Schiityttnoob likes this.
  11. Kyhl

    Kyhl On break

    As a Schiit customer, this table is designed for me. I want a fully adjustable table with a longer arm. I view Rega as the opposite end of the spectrum where I have little desire to ever own a Rega table because nothing is adjustable.
    I've tweaked my current TT about as much as I feel possible, short of adding LED lights to light up the platter different colors. '

    I've changed:
    The bearing;
    The wiring, a couple of times;
    Tweaked VTA from end to end;
    Tweaked azimuth;
    Added anti-vibration under the feet;
    Added anti-vibration under the motor, and messed with motor height;
    Tried a few different carts;
    The RCA jacks;
    Replaced the antiskate weight and string, after much messing around with the forces;
    Tried a couple different mats;
    Added a cruise control to clean the power going to the motor and to control the speed;
    Tried different clamping schemes, including adding different thickness o-rings between the vinyl and mat when clamping down.

    I've toyed with the idea of adding weight to the counterweight to bring it in closer to the pivot point. Haven't put much thought into it yet.

    After all that, you can see why I have little interest in a Rega. I am pretty interested in the SOL, bugs and all. I can understand some people not interested in the fiddly nature of it. Count me in though.
    One other change I'd like to see to the SOL, a heavier more inert platter.
    akubacki, chifanpoe, dmckean and 3 others like this.
  12. Optimize

    Optimize Forum Resident

    How long is the tone arm on the SOL?
  13. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Best Coast USA
    Optimize likes this.
  14. Optimize

    Optimize Forum Resident

    So with a little longer head shell and moving back the tone arm then we are at 12" :D
  15. Paddlefoot

    Paddlefoot Active Member

    i just ordered a 2x18x22 black isolation platform for my Sol, ill put some leveling under the bottom, i think once they get some of the issues corrected it will look great and sound great.
    Schiityttnoob and Optimize like this.
  16. oldtinears

    oldtinears Well-Known Member

    san diego ca
    Not at all inconceivable, given Schiit's devil-may-care, we're gonna build what we want and screw you if you can't take a joke approach to the audio business. It's just hard to see how they are doing themselves any good by aggravating a lot of customers and potential customers. Not to mention that this contretemps must be costing some serious money and interfering with the smooth running of the organization, which means even more money wasted. Good thing Schiit is a well-established firm; if they were a cash-poor startup this might just have sent them spinning down the porcelain. (Couldn't resist - not sorry.)

    Of course, it's hardly likely that Jason and Mike expected to buy a corporate jet with the profits from selling Sols. Turntables are a niche market in a niche market. I sometimes suspect J+M do the whole Schiit thing just to amuse themselves and stave off boredom. Their corporate culture, if you can call it that, seems to require they tease the customers a little - like putting power switches in weird places. And we put up with it, heck, we wear it like a geek badge of honor. But even the gentlest Labrador retriever, if teased sufficiently, will bite. And I worry that Sol may be too involved, too tweaky, to allow most users to get really good sound. And that will leave a bad taste in too many mouths, and people will shy away from Schiit in general. And I would hate to see that happen because I want the company to thrive.
  17. blowinblue

    blowinblue Kind of not blue.

    SoCal USA
    Maybe it's time to share my Schiit Audio experience. About six months ago I took the time to stop by their Newhall CA showroom for a look-see and a listen. Heard the buzz, wanted to see and hear for myself. By coincidence, they had a Sol turntable prototype on display but it wasn't functioning yet. No worries, I'm happy with my Rega. I was a bit curious about their Vidar amplifier, thus the reason for my visit. I brought in a couple of my favorite CD's that I know intimately. Awesome sound quality, but you wouldn't have found them in the audiophile section when they were available.

    I spent about an hour at the showroom. Still have no real idea what anything truly sounded like. The gentleman who was manning the store that day must have severe hearing damage. He started off playing music so loud that I immediately knew my hearing was in danger. Kept asking him to turn it down. He did a little bit a few times. Thankfully someone else came in and engaged him in conversation in an adjacent room. That allowed me to jump up numerous times to keep reducing the volume. The sound was just an immense puddle of poo and mud even at the reduced sound levels. Volume was way too loud for the room.

    I find it hard to believe that their showroom generates any sales among those who can hear clearly. I have very, very mild tinnitus. Doesn't keep me awake at night nor interfere with listening to soft classical music. It took about a month for my background noise to return to its usual levels. They permanently lost a potential customer. I know, pics or it didn't happen. The KEF's and the KEF sub on the floor was what we were listening to. One of the Salks had a blown driver. Ya think?


    M. M.
    chifanpoe, Optimize, jeffsab and 2 others like this.
  18. allegro

    allegro Well-Known Member

    Just a conspiracy theory. Schiit did an eight month beta test on the Unison USB receiver board and we are not hearing of any problems from Bifrost 2 owners. They just neglected to do a proper beta test for the Sol. Even Jason said on HF:
    Sometime between approval of the prototype and production some changes were made could even be accidental. That's why you have beta testing. The designer of the Sol received a production model and remarked:
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  19. Schiityttnoob

    Schiityttnoob Well-Known Member

    For what it's worth I have owned had a vidar/saga combo at home for about a year. First it was paired with a set of old wharfedales and the elac debut B6 2.0. Now it's paired with Zu omen dirty weekends and KLH Kendalls ,which are both really efficient. A very nice change from the old AV receiver I had. 95 Percent of my listening is done late at night when the wife and kids are asleep, so the volume is very low. Does not sound like poo or muddy.

    It's clean and articulate, and is very enjoyable.

    Sorry you had a crappy experience with their employee and setup, while that's Schiits fault, it's likely not the gear that ruined your experience.
  20. zonto

    zonto Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    Maybe it's not. This is not a general purpose schiit-on-Schiit thread, it's a thread about a turntable. You and many others have said absolutely nothing about said turntable. Also, your post is akin to those "reviews" on Amazon that complain about the time it took a third party to deliver the item, but say nothing of value about the actual item purchased. One cannot glean anything of value about the sound of Schiit electronics from your post, simply that the volume was too loud. Now, back to Sol...
  21. blowinblue

    blowinblue Kind of not blue.

    SoCal USA
    Sorry to hurt your feelings. Those who plan on traveling to the Newhall CA showroom to listen to the Sol turntable and other associated Schiit gear can certainly glean some insight into what to expect if they make the effort to visit.

    M. M.
    bootbox and bjlefebvre like this.
  22. winders

    winders Music Lover

    San Martin, CA
    Please. If I want to go to the Schiiter to listen to music played on specific equipment, what you posted would provide no useful insight to me for that trip. At least not insight into what to expect or what I might hear.
    Schiityttnoob likes this.
  23. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Sherwood, OR, USA
    It was a tongue-in-cheek comment. Hence the wink smiley. No conspiracy theory going on.
    But a joke comment like that only works if there is a level of plausibility and potential truth in it.

    The reality is that Sol is not a turntable designed for people who are expecting the out of box setup ease of something like a Rega. The Sol is for people who want to set up a turntable from scratch and through experimentation. If this buggy release of Sol scares away the people who might expect it to be easy like a Rega then Schiit is probably happy about that. They would not want a bunch of people expecting a Rega to buy the Sol. That would lead to customer service issues and returns.

    I consider myself borderline suitable for considering the Sol. I'm not a turntable expert. I've installed a cartridge or two in my years, but nothing like the sort of setup that the Sol would require. I wisely did not jump in to buy it on the day of release. And I'm still debating with myself whether I should consider it later on.
  24. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    The Six
    I've been thinking about that too. I have a TTW copper/Maple mat to try on it. Should add about 2 kilos, and clamp down pretty much of the ringing tendency. I'm also thinking of trying the damping filler treatment that Zu offers for the Technics 1200, should they adopt a similar program for the Sol.... which they should...

    That's the beauty of it: endless possibilities. Some people have no idea of the potential it represents, not only for the budget oriented end-user but for the cottage industries that will mushroom up around it. The future for vinyl is brighter because of it.

    And by all reports so far, it sounds not too bad...
    Schiityttnoob likes this.
  25. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    You might consider Isodamp -- it doesn't add much weight and is very effective. I made a mat out of it for my restored SP-10. I like how it sounds. Also very cost-effective.
    Ripblade and Schiityttnoob like this.

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