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Schitt Sol Turntable

garbulky

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#1
It's been released. Curious as to other's thoughts.
It appears to be a turntable that requires a lot of setup so I'm out of the running there. Though I own a turntable, I am not familiar with the adjustments outlined in their video.

https://www.schiit.com/products/sol

The setup
 
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#2
Schiit provides download links for both Lofgren and Hoffman templates to align your cartridge on the arm, you do have to provide your own stylus force gauge and blank record to set anti-skate force. Schiit used a $14 Neoteck scale in the video. A small bubble level would help to level the unipivot arm. A bubble level would get the VTA close then you do fine adjustments by ear. They started designing the table in 2013 so a lot of thought went into it.

Probably not the best choice for someone's first turntable unless they watch the video and think hey, no problem, I can handle that. An eleven inch tonearm and on the fly VTA adjustment for $799 is great value. I have not heard the Sol yet but look forward to it. This turntable is a dream for vinylheads who love to tweak, not so much for someone looking for a plug and play table, other companies have that covered.

This is also one of the least cat proof turntables I have ever seen. I bet Schiit or an aftermarket company will offer a base and dust cover some time in the next year.
 
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restorer-john

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#3
This is also one of the least cat proof turntables I have ever seen. I bet Schiit or an aftermarket company will offer a base and dust cover some time in the next year.
Polishing cat claw scratch marks out of perspex turntable lids is no fun either... ask me how I know that... :)
 

watchnerd

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#4
Schiit provides download links for both Lofgren and Hoffman templates to align your cartridge on the arm, you do have to provide your own stylus force gauge and blank record to set anti-skate force. Schiit used a $14 Neoteck scale in the video. A small bubble level would help to level the unipivot arm. A bubble level would get the VTA close then you do fine adjustments by ear. They started designing the table in 2013 so a lot of thought went into it.

Probably not the best choice for someone's first turntable unless they watch the video and think hey, no problem, I can handle that. An eleven inch tonearm and on the fly VTA adjustment for $799 is great value. I have not heard the Sol yet but look forward to it. This turntable is a dream for vinylheads who love to tweak, not so much for someone looking for a plug and play table, other companies have that covered.

This is also one of the least cat proof turntables I have ever seen. I bet Schiit or an aftermarket company will offer a base and dust cover some time in the next year.
I have a pretty darn tweako turntable (Michell Gyro SE, also very cat unfriendly) but there were a few things about the Sol design I found puzzling:

-With an outboard motor with no speed control, why are the wall wart and motor plugged into the TT itself, instead of just plugging the wall wart straight into the motor?

-Why the need to hand start the platter? Sounds like the motor is very low torque?

-What's the effective mass of the tonearm? It looks super duper light, which might limit matchable cartridges, especially with a fixed headshell (i.e. no way to adjust the mass via heavier headshell)

-Is there any damping of anything? It seems to be neither in the high-mass / unsuspended nor lighter-mass / suspended school of design
 
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watchnerd

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#5
It's been released. Curious as to other's thoughts.
It appears to be a turntable that requires a lot of setup so I'm out of the running there. Though I own a turntable, I am not familiar with the adjustments outlined in their video.

https://www.schiit.com/products/sol

The setup

I'm curious which ones you were unfamiliar with, as they seem pretty common?

Except for the VTO of a unipivot (I prefer bearings), I've had to do some variation of all of these on TT's I've owned.
 

garbulky

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#6
I have a pretty darn tweako turntable (Michell Gyro SE, also very cat unfriendly) but there were a few things about the design I found puzzling:

-With an outboard motor with no speed control, why are the wall wart and motor plugged into the TT itself, instead of just plugging the wall wart straight into the motor?

-Why the need to hand start the platter? Sounds like the motor is very low torque?

-What's the effective mass of the tonearm? It looks super duper light, which might limit matchable cartridges, especially with a fixed headshell (i.e. no way to adjust the mass via heavier headshell)

-Is there any damping of anything? It seems to be neither in the high-mass / unsuspended nor lighter-mass / suspended school of design
I had a question as to how they controlled the speed of the platter. They said it was a synchronous AC motor which I assumed eans it gets its timing from the 60 hz sine wave. If that's the case, how do they control for variations? Maybe this is naive but I've seen turntables that have some sort of calibrator with dots or a sensor of some sort to keep the rpm at 33.
I'm curious which ones you were unfamiliar with, as they seem pretty common?

Except for the VTO of a unipivot (I prefer bearings), I've had to do some variation of all of these on TT's I've owned.
Hehe, I think you have overestimated me. Pretty much everything seemed daunting to me in that video starting at the first time they did literally anything (I think at 30 seconds). But then at the point they started tying a fishing line and adjusting 3 weights, installing the tone arm, and aligning the cartridge etc I was well on the way out the door. :D
 

maxxevv

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#7
Polishing cat claw scratch marks out of perspex turntable lids is no fun either... ask me how I know that... :)
lol ....

You need a custom armoured glass top. Maybe sapphire glass would be even better for scratch proofness.
 

watchnerd

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#8
I had a question as to how they controlled the speed of the platter. They said it was a synchronous AC motor which I assumed eans it gets its timing from the 60 hz sine wave. If that's the case, how do they control for variations? Maybe this is naive but I've seen turntables that have some sort of calibrator with dots or a sensor of some sort to keep the rpm at 33.
There are a couple of ways to do it:

1. Quartz-regulated 'speed box' to make sure the signal is reclocked to 60 Hz, avoiding variations. Cheap and pretty effective. I once had a Proj-Ject Debut Carbon with external speed box (now they're built-in) and it tested to 0.02% speed stability...not bad for a budget belt drive.

2. The more sophisticated and expensive way is to create a feedback loop using a Hall sensor on the platter as a tachometer. The Michell Orbe works this way, some of the VPI models, and I think the SME and Avid models do this, too.


Hehe, I think you have overestimated me. Pretty much everything seemed daunting to me in that video starting at the first time they did literally anything (I think at 30 seconds). But then at the point they started tying a fishing line and adjusting 3 weights, installing the tone arm, and aligning the cartridge etc I was well on the way out the door. :D
I understand not knowing the string-antiskate stuff (if you have a tonearm with a spring dial), or if you TT comes with a built-in tonearm....but cartridge alignment? I'm curious how you avoided learning that. ;)
 

Wombat

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#9
I have a pretty darn tweako turntable (Michell Gyro SE, also very cat unfriendly) but there were a few things about the design I found puzzling:

-With an outboard motor with no speed control, why are the wall wart and motor plugged into the TT itself, instead of just plugging the wall wart straight into the motor?

-Why the need to hand start the platter? Sounds like the motor is very low torque?

-What's the effective mass of the tonearm? It looks super duper light, which might limit matchable cartridges, especially with a fixed headshell (i.e. no way to adjust the mass via heavier headshell)

-Is there any damping of anything? It seems to be neither in the high-mass / unsuspended nor lighter-mass / suspended school of design
Hand starting - more involving experience. A bit like hand cranking vintage cars to get them started. ;)
 

Daverz

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#10
If you don't want to deal with cartridge and tonearm adjustments, an all Rega system is probably the way to go. As long as you use Rega cartridges, you don't have to make any adjustments.
 

watchnerd

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#11
If you don't want to deal with cartridge and tonearm adjustments, an all Rega system is probably the way to go. As long as you use Rega cartridges, you don't have to make any adjustments.
There are a bunch of plug-n-play TT systems for which that is true, many of which use Ortofon or AT MM carts, which gives a wider selection (at better prices) than Rega...who just OEM carts from others, anyway.
 

restorer-john

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#12
I had a question as to how they controlled the speed of the platter.
It's likely just a little synchronous weak-ass motor like the U-turn Orbit etc.

That's also likely why at this stage they don't have an option for 50Hz countries. Not sure why not however, as it's not rocket science, they could easily make another pulley, and as the motor is free standing, they could use the same belt too.

In the 1970's most Japanese synchronous motor belt drives came with switchable 120/240V and two pulleys, one for 50Hz one for 60Hz. Usually the importer would fit the correct one, change the mains cable & plug, and often the spare pulley had a special storage hole on the chassis. But that was the good old days- things seem a bit hard for these tin-pot startups.

I've got some early Akai tape decks with marked 50 and 60Hz pulleys stored on the chassis plate.
 

watchnerd

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#13
It's likely just a little synchronous weak-ass motor like the U-turn Orbit etc.

That's also likely why at this stage they don't have an option for 50Hz countries. Not sure why not however, as it's not rocket science, they could easily make another pulley, and as the motor is free standing, they could use the same belt too.

In the 1970's most Japanese synchronous motor belt drives came with switchable 120/240V and two pulleys, one for 50Hz one for 60Hz. Usually the importer would fit the correct one, change the mains cable & plug, and often the spare pulley had a special storage hole on the chassis. But that was the good old days- things seem a bit hard for these tin-pot startups.

I've got some early Akai tape decks with marked 50 and 60Hz pulleys stored on the chassis plate.
The whole thing looks very Rube Goldberg for $799.

I don't get it, personally.

For $500, you can get a plug n play TT that has electronic speed regulation, amongst other features.

For $1500-$2000, you can get a proper 'power user' table with replaceable tonearm.

It seems like for $799, you're getting something that is neither fish nor fowl. It's not as easy to use as a $500 TT, nor as upgradeable as a $1500+ TT.

Seems more like a toy, or as they say, a 'hobbyist' turntable.
 

garbulky

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#14
There are a couple of ways to do it:

1. Quartz-regulated 'speed box' to make sure the signal is reclocked to 60 Hz, avoiding variations. Cheap and pretty effective. I once had a Proj-Ject Debut Carbon with external speed box (now they're built-in) and it tested to 0.02% speed stability...not bad for a budget belt drive.

2. The more sophisticated and expensive way is to create a feedback loop using a Hall sensor on the platter as a tachometer. The Michell Orbe works this way, some of the VPI models, and I think the SME and Avid models do this, too.




I understand not knowing the string-antiskate stuff (if you have a tonearm with a spring dial), or if you TT comes with a built-in tonearm....but cartridge alignment? I'm curious how you avoided learning that. ;)
Easy, I never did it. :D :D I use a garage sale $5 turntable (Pioneer PL570). Came already setup or at least it looked "setup". I think it's slightly out of alignment as one channel is louder than the other. Not the best sounding setup, but it's fun when I get the fancy for vinyl.
Thanks for the info. So I guess they use a speedbox. Because I assume if it was expensive they would have let us know all about it.
 

watchnerd

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#15
This is baffling.

The FAQ says:

"Remember, Sol doesn’t come with a cartridge or a phono preamp. So you’ll have to choose a cartridge"

Okay, no problem.

But what's the effective mass of the tonearm, Schiit?

Otherwise, I can't pick a cart with a matching compliance.....:facepalm:
 

garbulky

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#16
This is baffling.

The FAQ says:

"Remember, Sol doesn’t come with a cartridge or a phono preamp. So you’ll have to choose a cartridge"

Okay, no problem.

But what's the effective mass of the tonearm, Schiit?

Otherwise, I can't pick a cart with a matching compliance.....:facepalm:
They have some reccomendations on cartridge.
 

watchnerd

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#17
Easy, I never did it. :D:D I use a garage sale $5 turntable (Pioneer PL570). Came already setup or at least it looked "setup". I think it's slightly out of alignment as one channel is louder than the other. Not the best sounding setup, but it's fun when I get the fancy for vinyl.
Thanks for the info. So I guess they use a speedbox. Because I assume if it was expensive they would have let us know all about it.
I didn't see any evidence of a speedbox, and if there was one built-in, you wouldn't need to change speeds by moving the belt...you'd push a button, instead.

I suspect it's just using raw 60 Hz and crossing fingers.
 

garbulky

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#18
If you don't want to deal with cartridge and tonearm adjustments, an all Rega system is probably the way to go. As long as you use Rega cartridges, you don't have to make any adjustments.
I have a friend who has been interested in selling his Rega Rp6.
 

garbulky

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#19
I didn't see any evidence of a speedbox, and if there was one built-in, you wouldn't need to change speeds by moving the belt...you'd push a button, instead.

I suspect it's just using raw 60 Hz and crossing fingers.
See but that's not good right? Not for a turntable that price? Or is that standard on hobbyist tables?
 

watchnerd

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#20
They have some reccomendations on cartridge.
This?

"We like the Nagaoka MP-110 and Denon DL-103R, amongst others, but we also like Grados and Audio-Technicas and Deccas. The main thing is, you can spend $100 or $1000 on a cartridge for Sol, and be assured the turntable isn’t holding the cartridge back."

That's a terrible, bullshit recommendation.....a blanket recommendation for any Grado, Audio Technica, or Decca in the $100 - $1000 range is awful advice and also cannot be true given the massive variances in compliances, weights, and VTF that covers.
 

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